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Time for batteries.

wallnutz

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It's time to replace the acid batteries in my coach. I have looked into the lithium batteries, but my inverter isn't rated for them. I know that you can still use the same inverter but it won't have the charging capability for the lithium batteries.

So what's the next best? I am leaning towards AGM because they are sealed and don't have to worry about the water getting low. But are they as good of battery? I am needing six, 6 volts. I have an in to purchase Lifelines at a discount and they sell all three. Anyone have some answers?

Edit, I didn't go back far enough. I found another battery thread, but still open for ideas.
 
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mesquito_creek

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Can you set your inverter into a mode where it does not provide charging?... If so you could add lithium and a separate charger and just use the inverter for AC power off the batteries....

What problem are you trying to solve with LifePo4? Do you just want to double your capacity and 10X your life of the battery or is there any other issue?
 
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EmpirE231

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Do you have any solar, or plan on adding any? If so... it seems like the Lithium batteries are the way to go... just need to make sure you adjust everything for it. A bit more work and money involved... but can last 10+ years and get much better use out of them.

If you don't want to do that... AGM is the way to go. I'd go with the lifelines... I have those in my trailer and they are holding up great. I have full river AGM in the motorhome and they work well, but can tell they are never getting to full capacity properly (they are only 2 years old, but who knows if they previous owner hurt them / let them get way discharged)

also all depends on how long you plan on keeping the coach? because the costco / sams club 6V flooded cells are cheap, and work... best bang for the buck... just more maintenance.
 

wallnutz

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Can you set your inverter into a mode where it does not provide charging?... If so you could add lithium and a separate charger and just use the inverter for AC power off the batteries....

What problem are you trying to solve with LifePo4? Do you just want to double your capacity and 10X your life of the battery or is there any other issue?
Wanting the capacity and maintenance free part of it. I will check the inverter for the no charge mode. I would just buy a new inverter if I could find one. Most places say they have them and you go to order them, they say 6 to 9 months to get one that is compatible. Have a buddy that is waiting on one from Tiffin and it's been three months already and are telling him maybe three more.
 

wallnutz

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Do you have any solar, or plan on adding any? If so... it seems like the Lithium batteries are the way to go... just need to make sure you adjust everything for it. A bit more work and money involved... but can last 10+ years and get much better use out of them.

If you don't want to do that... AGM is the way to go. I'd go with the lifelines... I have those in my trailer and they are holding up great. I have full river AGM in the motorhome and they work well, but can tell they are never getting to full capacity properly (they are only 2 years old, but who knows if they previous owner hurt them / let them get way discharged)

also all depends on how long you plan on keeping the coach? because the costco / sams club 6V flooded cells are cheap, and work... best bang for the buck... just more maintenance.
Probably on the 6 year plan with this coach depending on the economy. Would like the less maintenance approach. I have heard the AGM's don't take a charge like the lead acid batteries do. I do have AGM's in the boat, sand rail and trailer and they always seem fully charged.
 

EmpirE231

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Probably on the 6 year plan with this coach depending on the economy. Would like the less maintenance approach. I have heard the AGM's don't take a charge like the lead acid batteries do. I do have AGM's in the boat, sand rail and trailer and they always seem fully charged.

6 years I'd say go the AGM or lithium route. The lifelines in my trailer never skip a beat, but the trailer also has solar, which keeps them full. I'm sure the full river brand is just as good. But if I were to mess with the batteries again, I would go the lithium route. Seems to be the best route to go, unless you are in freezing temps regularly.

even with AGM though, you gotta make sure your inverter has the charge profile for them. Most newer inverters should.
 

mesquito_creek

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Wanting the capacity and maintenance free part of it. I will check the inverter for the no charge mode. I would just buy a new inverter if I could find one. Most places say they have them and you go to order them, they say 6 to 9 months to get one that is compatible. Have a buddy that is waiting on one from Tiffin and it's been three months already and are telling him maybe three more.

Post up the model number of your inverter.

One of the big advantages to lifePo4 is the combination of solar and mppt charge controllers, you can charge the batteries fast and free. But if solar isn't part of your solution then you take away one advantage of LifePo4. LifePo4 is the way to go for campers looking to boondock over longer periods of time for a week or more etc. If all you do is go out as a weekend warrior, the advantage is minimal.

I have never heard that AGMs don't take a charge like Lead. They normally have lower resistance and take a charge faster? There is not any real advantage to Lead over AGM besides cost. Additionally most AGMs can take a slightly larger discharge percentage before you damage them over LA and give you more workable capacity. If 6 years is all you have you are probably not going to fully realize Lithium, unless you plan on being off the grid and boondocking during that years.

Also, just because your inverter/charger profile isn't exactly perfect for lifepo4 is still may be workable.... need more info on the charging profile. Lithium charging is more forgiving but requires the higher voltages which may or may not be available on the lead profile of the charger. In order to fully charge a 12V LiFePO4 battery, a charger with a voltage of 14V to 14.6V is required. Most Lead/AGM battery chargers are within that range it may still charge the battery, but it won't charge it to 100%.

I charge my 12v LifePo4 batteries at a constant 13.8 all the time with no issues. Lead has to be perfectly charged or is dies, LifePo4 can take whatever you give it without any damage, you just might not get 100%... 80% of a LifePo4 battery is still 30% better than lead.

BTW, slightly under charging LifePo4 like I so supposedly extends the life of the battery.
 
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mesquito_creek

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You want to ask the battery manufacture if the profile will work. Their job is to sell you batteries and will let you know if what you have for a charger will work.

Never ask the Inverter/Charger company if the profile will work, Their job is to sell you a new inverter/charger under all conditions regardless...
 

HB2Havasu

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Unless your RVing fulltime with the majority of your time boondock camping then Lithium is hard to justify with the 300% added price over AGM Batteries. Personally the majority of our camping is 2 to 3 day weekends camping in the desert. I run an 150W Solar Panel and (4) 6 Volt AGM's with an Auto Gen Start so if the heater is running the batteries low on really cold nights it will kick on the generator to charge up the batteries. We also have a little 2000W Yamaha Generator I run at night before bed if were doing a lot of stuff inside the trailer or watching movies at night time. FYI - We rarely use it.
 

WildHorses24

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The lifelines in my Toyhauler were on year 9 when I sold it, had no issues. My current set of 6v in the moho are on year 7 no issues. We put 12v lifelines in the Schiada and both sets went 10 yrs, we never put a maintenance charger on them ever...
 

STV_Keith

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8D Lifelines x 3 in my RV. Going on 4 years old, two previous owners seemed to have taken care of them. Installed a Victron BCM-712 to monitor amps being drawn out of the battery bank so I can tell how far down they are beyond just by voltage. Seems to work well. I'd go Lifeline AGM again if I had to replace them.
 

mesquito_creek

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The lifelines in my Toyhauler were on year 9 when I sold it, had no issues. My current set of 6v in the moho are on year 7 no issues. We put 12v lifelines in the Schiada and both sets went 10 yrs, we never put a maintenance charger on them ever...

I would suggest that your success with your batteries is primarily to your care and maintenance first and foremost and secondly to your current battery capacity meeting all your electric demands. I don't think battery chemistry or brand has much to do with it. If you maintain a lead/AGM battery and NEVER draw it below 12.2 v they will last many many years. The problem is that some people exceed their battery bank capacity routinely, but it works perfectly fine in the moment. It only shows up later in reduced battery life. The only option is to add more and more Lead/AGM or move to a different battery chemistry (ie LifePo4).
 

mesquito_creek

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8D Lifelines x 3 in my RV. Going on 4 years old, two previous owners seemed to have taken care of them. Installed a Victron BCM-712 to monitor amps being drawn out of the battery bank so I can tell how far down they are beyond just by voltage. Seems to work well. I'd go Lifeline AGM again if I had to replace them.

See my post above to WildHorse24... BUT to your point, the addition of a real battery monitor like a Victron BCM-712 is really the ONLY way to do it right. Spot voltage readings are a reasonable guess at best as to your state of charge and how close you are to drawing down the battery into the damage zone. I have also used the Victron Shunt with bluetooth if you don't want to mount the gauge and want to just hide the shunt in the battery compartment. My most recent experimental system I am putting in my cruiser is using a cheaper AiLi battery monitor shunt and gauge from China/Amazon.
 

Wheeler

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Picked up 4 6v trojans last month. Pain to locate
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'em and the price is getting a tad high. 250 bux per battery. I might try 2v batteries on the next go around.
 

wallnutz

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Thanks guys for the replies. Went with the Lifeline AGM's. Pricy suckers, but think they will be a good fit for what we do.
 

Bpracing1127

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I am looking at either adding another lithium to my setup (1 battery, 100 amp hour lithium) or replacing the one I have with a 300 amp hour lithium.

Not sure which to do?
 

mesquito_creek

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I am looking at either adding another lithium to my setup (1 battery, 100 amp hour lithium) or replacing the one I have with a 300 amp hour lithium.

Not sure which to do?
What problem are you trying to solve?
 
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