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Old 01-07-2021, 08:55 PM   #1
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Learning about batteries

OH NO, NOT ANOTHER LEARNING OPPORTUNITY! This is recent detailed / technical information about house batteries. About 35 minutes long, but a good one to watch at 1.5 speed. (And they are giving away a pair of batteries.)
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:27 AM   #2
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Charging LiOn batteries?

Can Lithium Ion Batteries be charged from the same systems as we have in our campers, with lead acid batteries? Or do they require a special charging device?
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:36 AM   #3
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Can Lithium Ion Batteries be charged from the same systems as we have in our campers, with lead acid batteries? Or do they require a special charging device?
Whatever charging device you get, should support Lithium chemistry. Lithium batteries have a different charge profile than Lead acid so they might not charge fully if you use a charger that doesn't support Lithium. For example, my solar charge controller supports flooded lead acid, gell cell, AGM and Lithium. If you have a Progressive Dynamics converter in your trailer, you can purchase a new charge controller that supports Lithium. If your Converter/Charger is the original from a vintage trailer, you probably should replace it anyway since the older chargers would boil the battery. Another alternative would be to get a separate DC to DC charger that supports Lithium.

Since I plan to convert to Lithium at some point and my trailer doesn't have a charger converter, I will purchase one that supports Lithium.
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:11 PM   #4
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There has been a lot of discussion regarding LFP vs lead acid batteries regarding cost, volume density, longevity, etc., but no real side by side comparison that I know of. This is an excellent comparison and well worth watching. Just make sure you are sitting down and not prone to dizziness as this can make your head spin.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-08-2021, 01:06 PM   #5
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Wow, thank you, that was a ton of relevant info. I was not aware of this guy - he is really knowledgeable.

So interesting to see the 6V flooded batteries performing so well as a cost effective alternative to LiFePO4.

I looked at building a 12V heating pad for my LiFePO4 batteries for better performance performance below freezing. There is some good blog information about how to do it. But I realized it was cheaper to just keep the battery compartment open to the heated cabin of the trailer, either with shore power or the propane furnace. When not using the trailer for a while I remove the Battle Born batteries and take them into the house.
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:11 AM   #6
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Lifecycle data assumes person keeps their camper/battery for the life of a Lithium battery. Most do not keep their campers anywhere near that long. Most probably don't keep their campers for the life of an AGM or flooded battery.

Now if you swap the battery into a future camper, it works out. I have a friend that spent about $8,000 on lithium batteries for his motorhome. Sold the motorhome one year later. Batteries went with the motorhome.

With molded FG trailers, I would expect people tend to keep their campers longer than a stick built trailer. The heated lithium batteries are a very nice improvement!

Coffee maker load was very interesting. I would have expected it to be more stable. Great test!

My guess is that lithium batteries will slowly decline in price and at some point, will become the standard on RVs.
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:25 AM   #7
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The coffee maker is a thermostatically controlled circuit. If the temperature is too low the thermostat turns on until the temperature reaches a threshold then it turns off. That's why the load looks so unstable. It is sometimes called a bang-bang control scheme.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bang%E2%80%93bang_control
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Old 01-09-2021, 01:43 PM   #8
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Great information here!
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:44 PM   #9
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finally, a comparison that emphasizes Watt hours above Amp hours, an advantage often overlooked for LFP batteries.

and, in terms of price, battleborn are very expensive vs others that are available. and, if so inclined, you can build your own LFP battery for much less still. buying a cheaper dropin or building a DIY makes the cost comparison a no brainer IMO.

the temperature issues are problematic but there are simple workarounds. the issues of balancing and preventing cell runaway are more difficult but also can be handled and there's lots of help on solar forums as well as this site.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:10 PM   #10
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I have a Scamp13D with a lead acid battery (group 27?) with a 20A onboard converter powered by shore power, it is also charged from the TV while underway.
It has a 400W tru-sine inverter for light 110V applications.
I generally don't carry my generator and do not use Solar.



It has LED lighting, a 110V television with a DVD player and remote powered speakers and antenna. a propane furnace, fantastic fan, fresh water pump, shower pump, and several 12V outlets to charge electronics.


Being a travel trailer it is used for travel and for short stays with and without shorepower.


I spent well under a hundred dollars several years ago for the present Walmart battery. I guess I should be ashamed to say this, but I have largely ignored this battery and simply expected to have the power I need when needed. It has done this with impunity.

It has often spent long periods in storage without a charge and long periods in storage with shore power.
We shower, watch movies and run lighting for hours even when overnighting in transit, occasionally even using a hair dryer or curling iron.

We do not run a coffee maker, microwave, or A/C without shorepower.


Bottom line... my cheap lead-acid has done well for considerably less than $20 per year without concern for conserving power. I am fully satisfied with the performance and don't soon anticipate any change

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
If the battery should fail from use or abuse, I am never far from a Walmart for warranty or purchase, and replacement takes only a few dollars and a few minutes.
I suspect that the majority of owners with small fiberglass trailers would have about the same experience with minor differences compensated for with changes in power supply or power consumption.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
I have a Scamp13D with a lead acid battery (group 27?) with a 20A onboard converter powered by shore power, it is also charged from the TV while underway.
It has a 400W tru-sine inverter for light 110V applications.
I generally don't carry my generator and do not use Solar.



It has LED lighting, a 110V television with a DVD player and remote powered speakers and antenna. a propane furnace, fantastic fan, fresh water pump, shower pump, and several 12V outlets to charge electronics.


Being a travel trailer it is used for travel and for short stays with and without shorepower.


I spent well under a hundred dollars several years ago for the present Walmart battery. I guess I should be ashamed to say this, but I have largely ignored this battery and simply expected to have the power I need when needed. It has done this with impunity.

It has often spent long periods in storage without a charge and long periods in storage with shore power.
We shower, watch movies and run lighting for hours even when overnighting in transit, occasionally even using a hair dryer or curling iron.

We do not run a coffee maker, microwave, or A/C without shorepower.


Bottom line... my cheap lead-acid has done well for considerably less than $20 per year without concern for conserving power. I am fully satisfied with the performance and don't soon anticipate any change

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
If the battery should fail from use or abuse, I am never far from a Walmart for warranty or purchase, and replacement takes only a few dollars and a few minutes.
I suspect that the majority of owners with small fiberglass trailers would have about the same experience with minor differences compensated for with changes in power supply or power consumption.

Good for you! My experience is almost the opposite of yours. We had always camped in a four-wheel pop up and never had problems with battery even going out for 10 days or so with no recharge but we were only powering lights. Then we got our Scamp and after just one cold night using our new furnace (we were so proud of) and a couple days, we were getting pretty far down on our battery. That's when I realized we'd have to get solar to stay out for extended trips without recharging. Maybe it's that you're towing most days between camps or camping hooked to shore power?



How you can run all that stuff with no or infrequent recharging is a mystery to me. Also a mystery how you can run a hair dryer with a 400W inverter since most of those I've seen are at least 1000W. I'd like to get a low power one.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:04 AM   #12
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From what I can see the test parameters were set to usage patterns that favor lithium. I believe they were talking about a 20A draw and frequent deep discharge cycles. If you’re pulling that much power every day and using your RV many days a year, lithium probably does make more sense.

For light and intermittent power usage, you will never realize the full potential of lithium, in which case their secondary conclusion applies: a simple flooded lead acid battery is next lowest in overall cost of operation. With reasonable care and limited discharge cycles, a flooded lead-acid battery can last many years.

To put another way, the less power you use, the longer the payoff for lithium, and many people will never get to the break-even point.
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:05 AM   #13
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I have a friend who loves his Battleborn on his NuCamp 320. His came with a too small series 27 battery, so just moving to a series 31 would have been a huge improvement. OTOH, we're happy with our dual six volt Crown AGM batteries at $450. If I were purchasing today it would be a single SiO2 12v giving us the same 100 ah's of usable energy with the charging profile of lithium, without the temperature problems (<32F and >95F) of lithium.

To me, a single Battleborn is a waste of money, but if I was going to have multiple batteries (200 usable ah's or larger) I'd probably get lithium if needed for the weight savings (that we currently do not worry about).

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by semievolved View Post
Good for you! My experience is almost the opposite of yours. We had always camped in a four-wheel pop up and never had problems with battery even going out for 10 days or so with no recharge but we were only powering lights. Then we got our Scamp and after just one cold night using our new furnace (we were so proud of) and a couple days, we were getting pretty far down on our battery. That's when I realized we'd have to get solar to stay out for extended trips without recharging. Maybe it's that you're towing most days between camps or camping hooked to shore power?



How you can run all that stuff with no or infrequent recharging is a mystery to me. Also a mystery how you can run a hair dryer with a 400W inverter since most of those I've seen are at least 1000W. I'd like to get a low power one.
I don't have much hair so a towel dries mine.
I checked with my wife and it turns out that she does use her curling iron but has only experimented with the hair dryer on the "air only" setting with no heat.
you are correct on that point... my bad.


All else is correct.
We do usually have shore power for longer stays.... The longest stays without hookups or towing have been around 4 nights and 5 days, with very little furnace use.
Of course we do have jumper cables if needed and the the TV would use about a pint of fuel at an idle to charge the battery if ever needed.

As you say, the furnace is the biggest battery hog.



Solar may fit your needs, but I would not have enough use for it to justify the cost. That may well change as off the grid stays may become more important in the near future.



The thread is really about batteries though, and lead acid batteries are cheap reliable and adequate for most applications, which was my point after all.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:16 AM   #15
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Mobile Groomer battery set up in 99 E350 Mini Shuttle Bus HELP PLEASE

Hi, I am not sure how to go about setting up a battery powered mobile grooming shuttle bus (AGM 200?... Isolation? Inverter?

I'm just starting this very important job and I could really use some help and advice.

It will need to run dryer, water pump, clippers, shop vac.

A/C in Arizona is not an option. It is a MUST HAVE.

I have a Westinghouse 7k/8.5k peak watt generator.

But I am looking for other possibilities.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:33 AM   #16
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That's a lot of power-hungry stuff, the AC, dryer and vacuum too. You will be hard pressed to carry enough battery to run even one of those at a time for very long much less all day. Lithium (LiFePO4) batteries would probably be a better choice performance-wise (and weigh much less too), but the entry cost is much higher. Solar can help, but I suspect you will probably have to go generator IMO.

Figure out your energy needs by adding up the power draw from your appliances, and how long you will run them in a day. You need to figure out peak demand current draw (simultaneous use), and also total consumption for a day to know what batteries, solar, or generator will work for you.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:47 AM   #17
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Thank You.

I know I have a lot more studying to do. Was hoping someone came up with a new technology or plan of action to conquer this power dilemma.

I think after all the videos I have watched about mini shuttle bus conversion, I now know enough to get me in trouble. Haha.

I want to set up with generator and batteries as I will not be running dryer at same time as AC and often plan to run portable swamp cooler before end of June.
Basically, I would love some advice about (non lithium battery at this point, cost too much at this point for me). To run clippers, water pump, lights and portable swamp cooler when generator is not running.
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:34 AM   #18
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Lithium batteries may be an improvement over lead acid deep cycle batteries, but for our style of camping , the actual gain does not justify the expense .
The same could be said about adding 400 to 600 watts of solar or installing a mini split heat pump, for us the gain just doesn’t match the price
Rather than sticking $1000 in a lithium battery , I’d rather spend $80 on a Walmart special and use the leftover money on camping , fuel , food ,etc , etc
In our 12 years of camping in a FG trailer , we’ve had only one battery related problem while camping and that was shorted battery cell
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:53 AM   #19
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Happy to hear I'm not crazy in my thoughts.
Though I am not a camper YET I am setting up for mobile grooming business, to make the money to become a camper in the end.

I'm thinking THIS :
200 AGM and 125 AGM
batteries.
3-100 Watt solar panels.
and a 3000 Watt inverter.

Plus the generator Westinghouse 7k/8.5k pk hitched to back of bus as I don't want to kill any pets that I am grooming.

I'm not a guy so honestly I don't have the mindset I wish I had ��

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-30-2021, 08:27 PM   #20
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I don't have much hair so a towel dries mine.
I checked with my wife and it turns out that she does use her curling iron but has only experimented with the hair dryer on the "air only" setting with no heat.
you are correct on that point... my bad.


All else is correct.
We do usually have shore power for longer stays.... The longest stays without hookups or towing have been around 4 nights and 5 days, with very little furnace use.
Of course we do have jumper cables if needed and the the TV would use about a pint of fuel at an idle to charge the battery if ever needed.

As you say, the furnace is the biggest battery hog.



Solar may fit your needs, but I would not have enough use for it to justify the cost. That may well change as off the grid stays may become more important in the near future.



The thread is really about batteries though, and lead acid batteries are cheap reliable and adequate for most applications, which was my point after all.

i agree, and am also hair challenged! i don't yet have lithium batteries on the trailer and have done well with paired 6V batteries. but, we have difficulty when it's really cold and we need the furnace and then it snows or stays very cloudy for a few days and the solar doesn't do much. it's not a good idea to leave lead acid batteries low for long and i am looking forward to not having to worry about that with the LFP.


this is clearly a personal choice and it's easy to see how different campers' needs vary widely. personally, i don't have and don't want a generator and don't like idling a truck engine either so, for me, having a reliable solar recharge system and a nice battery bank is worth it.



on a humorous side note, since we don't have the power to run a hair dryer with our present setup, when my wife needs to dry her hair, it's a great excuse to turn on the furnace and she waves her hair around in front of it, 12,000 Btu/hr hair dryer!
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