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Old 04-05-2024, 07:57 AM   #1
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Name: Hugh
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North Dakota
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Lithium battery choice

My camper batteries need replacing. Looking to up grading to lithium. At the same time, I would be looking at a lithium compatible 120 volt to 12-volt converter. and a dc to dc 12-volt inverter lithium compatible for charging from my tv.

I have a good understanding and years of experience working with both charging systems and overall electrical. For efficient charging, life of the batteries, and overall safety it is best to upgrade the charging system also.

My question is choice of batteries. Lithium batteries, group 27, 100ah to 120ah, price ranges from $200 to a $1000 +. I know you get what you pay for. But sum batteries have all kinds of different features (bells and whistles)[heaters, bluetooth,bms, ect] that drives up the price, that I may or may not need.

With a properly built charging system for lithium batteries, what brands and model batteries do people have the best results with?
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Old 04-05-2024, 08:49 AM   #2
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Smith Valley, Nevada
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I ran (4) 120 AH Expion batteries for 480 AH in a previous trailer for two years and had excellent results. They have a 12 year warrantee. Now, I have (3) 360 AH Expion batteries in my current trailer for 1,080 AH. Again, excellent. My buddy has been running (3) 100 AH Battle Born bats in his Oliver for about four years and loves them.

If you need heaters you can get pad heaters cheap on Amazon and set that up with a switch. And, of course, if the batteries are inside you can get heat to them with a muffin fan and a couple of vent holes into the living space

I think the best way to charge is with an Anderson plug, wired directly from the truck battery, with appropriate breaker, to the rear bumper. Then plug the trailer's dc-dc charger into that plug. I have used the Victron 30 amp dc-dc charger because it needs no signal wire to turn on. Instead, it notices the voltage increase when the truck starts. It is completely configurable and has a bluetooth app to monitor all functions on the phone, or of course, you can monitor with a meter in the trailer.
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Old 04-05-2024, 09:52 AM   #3
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We're different from most in that we would rather charge from as many watts as we can get from roof solar (used the 100 watt portable once this winter, since mid-January). Roof solar works when you're dry camping.

With DC-DC your truck must be running. More and more campgrounds are limiting genset times or eliminating them altogether.

We use a Victron IP22 for any charging when we have 120 volts available. It can also double as a 12v power source for your trailer. The IP22 would be our #1 choice for a 12v converter, yet can double as a charger.

Food for thought,

Perry
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Old 04-05-2024, 03:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
We're different from most in that we would rather charge from as many watts as we can get from roof solar (used the 100 watt portable once this winter, since mid-January). Roof solar works when you're dry camping.

With DC-DC your truck must be running. More and more campgrounds are limiting genset times or eliminating them altogether.

We use a Victron IP22 for any charging when we have 120 volts available. It can also double as a 12v power source for your trailer. The IP22 would be our #1 choice for a 12v converter, yet can double as a charger.

Food for thought,

Perry
Obviously, the truck must be running to charge from the truck. The dc-dc is excellent when you are towing. Otherwise, I agree that solar is the way to go. That's why I have 1,240 watts of solar on the roof and am an off-grid trailer. But I still see bad weather sometimes and we still tow, so the dc-dc is a good setup to have.

Perfect example here: We have been running the compressor fridge and the inverter with Starlink, plus all the other loads, 24/7. As well as about four hours of AC yesterday, all with no shore tie. The batts were down a bit. But we moved to a new spot that took about two hours of driving. I didn't run the truck to charge the batteries, I ran it to tow the trailer. But while towing...........
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Old 04-06-2024, 04:19 PM   #5
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Name: Frank
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Check out this site for some good recommendations on what lithium batteries to buy as well as other solar equipment: https://www.mobile-solarpower.com/li...batteries.html
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Old 04-10-2024, 10:27 AM   #6
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Name: Greg
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DIY

If you have time and feel like a project, check out Will Prowse’s videos & website. I have quite limited experience electrically, but following his pages and some research and I was able to order in 4x280Ah cells, a BMS & assemble a box giving me an awesome 280Ah battery for less than I would have paid for 100Ah commercially.
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Old 04-10-2024, 10:54 AM   #7
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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I have installed two Chin's 100 Ah LiFePO4 batteries from Amazon. They seem to be OK and they are very reasonable and have good reviews.
I charge from three 100 watt solar panels on the roof and do not usually use the on board 120 volt power unit (PD 4045).
I also have a compressor fridge installed and run it from the batteries and solar.
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Old 04-10-2024, 03:33 PM   #8
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Casita
New Mexico
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Highly recommend SOK batteries

A year ago I poked around a lot and got several recommendations here and elsewhere for SOK brand batteries and Current Connected for a supplier. I got a 100AH 12v marine unit with built-in Bluetooth battery mgmt and that’s exactly what I would do again. Once I learned to contact CC directly (SOK factory support is in China) they have done a good job babying me on the ins and outs of lithium charging. The distributor’s warranty on SOK is 10 years. I went back to Current Connected for RV Solar panels and a Victron charge controller, not for the price but because someone always answers the phone and tech support is great.

You can feel good about buying now as the price of my battery has dropped 33% in the last year.

Adding Bluetooth battery management means you can monitor your battery from a phone app and see charge state as well as how much current is being drawn and other neat stuff. Very handy for troubleshooting. The only reason not to get the BMS would be if you were going more high end for a shunt/monitor like the Victron BMV-712.
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