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Old 12-04-2022, 10:05 PM   #1
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Lithium Batteries

We have a 2022 3011DS with solar option. Is it possible to upgrade to lithium batteries or is an upgrade to charge converter required?

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Old 12-04-2022, 10:23 PM   #2
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If solar controller has Lithium charge profile available changing converter is not required. Standard converter will provide the majority of charge to batteries and Solar will top off at the higher voltage.

It's also possible that the OE converter has Lithium capability as many later model RV'S are being shipped with them. A make and model no of converter would help determine this.

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Old 12-05-2022, 08:05 AM   #3
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^ x2 what Titan said

2022 models should have converters that can do lithium

If you have a 2022 Forester 3011DS
according to your owners manual, your converter will be Progressive Dynamics PD4000 Series
( Forester was the only RV that comes up in a search for '2022 3011DS' )

The PD400 requires you to flip a tiny switch to set it for lithium,
switch is labeled LA | LI ( LA= Lead acid LI = Lithium )

Else
Lithiums charge profile is similar to AGM
if you need more charging for topping up add 150w -200 Watts (or more) of solar.

Solar will fully charge it and keep it balanced which is only required once in a while.

BTW You can find your manuals here... not the greatest owners manuals but still good for general stuff
https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/owners
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Old 12-05-2022, 10:00 AM   #4
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Just noticed OP's location
How much sun they get that far north?
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Old 12-05-2022, 10:51 AM   #5
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Just noticed OP's location
How much sun they get that far north?
True, but I am jealous of how close they are to the semi-arid parts of the USA and Canada. Not that bad of a drive.

IMO, lithium batteries have many advantages over LA batteries well beyond solar.
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Old 12-05-2022, 11:08 AM   #6
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True, but I am jealous of how close they are to the semi-arid parts of the USA and Canada. Not that bad of a drive.

IMO, lithium batteries have many advantages over LA batteries well beyond solar.

Yeah have been researching a lot of lithium
Stay away from the real cheap Chinese stuff
Middle of the range like chin's are good

Most batteries can be repaired if the fault is in the bms

My preference when I finally get to do something will be the DIY build my own battery ...

watch this guy tearing up batteries and what is inside.... and how easy it is to make a 12v

https://www.youtube.com/@WillProwse
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Old 12-05-2022, 06:56 PM   #7
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Most batteries can be repaired if the fault is in the bms
Unless the battery is in a case designed to be opened for repairs, like the SOK batteries, repairs will not only be extremely difficult, the end results will look like a teenager took it apart then reassembled with duct tape.



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Old 12-05-2022, 08:04 PM   #8
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with so many reviewers making videos of what's inside a particular brand
I would try and find a video first.... then make decision if opening the case is worthwhile

would be nice if all of them used a good case.

Not every person is able or wants to open them up............ but it is doable
If the cells / pouches are still good swapping the BMS is relatively easy
unless it's soldered on and your soldering skills are like mine.


but you shouldn't have to throw away a repairable battery because the case might not look nice any more....

plenty of good ways to open a case other than using a oscillating saw.
If it comes out of the case OK and can be repaired what have you lost?

AND if the plastic gets destroyed no reason a nice plywood box could not be built
You could paint it to match the color of the RV.

Or you can also buy empty cases ... make it look like a battery again.
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Old 12-05-2022, 10:49 PM   #9
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with so many reviewers making videos of what's inside a particular brand
I would try and find a video first.... then make decision if opening the case is worthwhile

would be nice if all of them used a good case.

Not every person is able or wants to open them up............ but it is doable
If the cells / pouches are still good swapping the BMS is relatively easy
unless it's soldered on and your soldering skills are like mine.


but you shouldn't have to throw away a repairable battery because the case might not look nice any more....

plenty of good ways to open a case other than using a oscillating saw.
If it comes out of the case OK and can be repaired what have you lost?

AND if the plastic gets destroyed no reason a nice plywood box could not be built
You could paint it to match the color of the RV.

Or you can also buy empty cases ... make it look like a battery again.
If your planning on working on the innards of your LiFePo4 battery why bother with buying a cheap Chinese one (with cheap BMS, wiring, etc) and just buy a set of cells, a good BMS, some bus bars, and build your own. Put it in a stout plywood box that holds the cells under compression and call it a project.

Me, I just bought some good batteries with quality materials inside, installed them, and went camping. For the first ten years they are the manufacturer's problem and they're right here in the USA. I could even route one of my camping trips near their office and get warranty service on the spot if necessary.
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Old 12-06-2022, 12:23 AM   #10
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If your planning on working on the innards of your LiFePo4 battery why bother with buying a cheap Chinese one (with cheap BMS, wiring, etc) and just buy a set of cells, a good BMS, some bus bars, and build your own. Put it in a stout plywood box that holds the cells under compression and call it a project.

Me, I just bought some good batteries with quality materials inside, installed them, and went camping. For the first ten years they are the manufacturer's problem and they're right here in the USA. I could even route one of my camping trips near their office and get warranty service on the spot if necessary.

my comments that they can be repaired is to assist others in deciding if Lithium is the way to go...

Mentioned many times here and in other posts
When I go lithium I will probably be going with DIY build my own batteries. 12v 560AH

BUT I won't be surprised when the time comes....
Prices may have dropped just a bit more and I may get a pre-made ones.
I'm flexible.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
One of my pet peeves with deciding to go to lithium was......... what if it breaks?
found too many stories of having to ship back to China for warranty work would be an issue especially with the real cheap ones.

Will Prowse 's videos showed some very well made batteries...
example Chins and SOK
so not only is the price going down the quality in some is improving a lot!

After seeing what is inside most batteries (even ones with soldered leads on the BMS)
I feel that repair is an option so the RISK of switching to Chinese assembled lithium is LESS.

my2c ....
stay away from real cheapo's pay a bit more and they can be repaired here in the USA with off shelf parts quickly and easily if cells are not damaged!

even if a 3.2 cell was damaged it can be swapped out for another one!
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Old 12-06-2022, 08:57 AM   #11
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Unless the battery is in a case designed to be opened for repairs, like the SOK batteries, repairs will not only be extremely difficult, the end results will look like a teenager took it apart then reassembled with duct tape.



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After doing one and seeing how they go together it would be fairly easy to put the case back together without damage. It is just a glued lid on a plastic case. The glue is not permanently sealing. Will Prowse's destructive testing videos IMO are only for show.

Below was for a quick first time BMS exchange. The next time the case will have no damage:
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Old 12-06-2022, 11:21 AM   #12
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even if a 3.2 cell was damaged it can be swapped out for another one!
If you can find one that matches the ones in the battery. Even cells from the same manufacturer go through a "matching" process before they are assembled. Same capacity, voltage, and internal resistance are important parameters unless you want to seriously degrade your battery's performance.

Lithium batteries are a whole new world and just because it "looks easy" there's a lot more to them than many understand.
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Old 12-06-2022, 01:33 PM   #13
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Lithium batteries are a whole new world and just because it "looks easy" there's a lot more to them than many understand.
for now not to totally hijack this thread...
we agree that lithium can be repaired

even down to cell level it can be done
which is rarely ever needed...

90% of faults are for add on's such as under torqued nuts ,studs , busbar and or failed BMS

but stay away from the ultra cheapo's from China
unless you can confirm the build quality using someone like Will Prowes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I do my project will start a build thread where I post my thoughts and research and calculations and where people can comment before I purchase stuff in phases.

going to start with adding some solar... fitting them on the roof and a homemade suitcase.all designed to match later upgrades.

But each project will be separate and work on their own with the existing setup


I know my limitations and welcome discussion not just for me
For others to follow along and maybe decide this will a way for them to go.


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Old 12-06-2022, 08:32 PM   #14
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for now not to totally hijack this thread...
we agree that lithium can be repaired

even down to cell level it can be done
which is rarely ever needed...

90% of faults are for add on's such as under torqued nuts ,studs , busbar and or failed BMS

but stay away from the ultra cheapo's from China
unless you can confirm the build quality using someone like Will Prowes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I do my project will start a build thread where I post my thoughts and research and calculations and where people can comment before I purchase stuff in phases.

going to start with adding some solar... fitting them on the roof and a homemade suitcase.all designed to match later upgrades.

But each project will be separate and work on their own with the existing setup


I know my limitations and welcome discussion not just for me
For others to follow along and maybe decide this will a way for them to go.


Here's a place to buy your cells from. They have a warehouse in Texas. They also carry a good BMS. I would get a BMS with Bluetooth so you can keep an eye on cell balance.

https://www.docanpower.com/index.php...product_id=451

If you need help ask and I'll be glad to help. You've already seen pictures of the one I built.
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Old 12-07-2022, 10:21 PM   #15
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You may want to look at Alberta Lithium, I used their batteries for my upgrade and so far no issues.
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Old 12-08-2022, 08:31 AM   #16
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You may want to look at Alberta Lithium, I used their batteries for my upgrade and so far no issues.
The best place to buy lithium is local-if there is such a place. Returning a battery is a PITA if not nearly impossible. The one I bought from an honest company in Austin, TX area ended up just refunding my money to avoid the shipping nightmare.
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:22 PM   #17
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The best place to buy lithium is local-if there is such a place. Returning a battery is a PITA if not nearly impossible. The one I bought from an honest company in Austin, TX area ended up just refunding my money to avoid the shipping nightmare.
I bought an AGM battery from Summit one time, and it died under warranty. They actually did make me ship it back in order to warranty it, so I took a refund instead and bought one from my local Batteries Plus. Much easier.
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Old 12-14-2022, 09:17 AM   #18
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My understandingis that lithium batteries should not be charged when temperatures are below freezing. Does a good BMS prevent that from happening?
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Old 12-14-2022, 09:34 AM   #19
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My understandingis that lithium batteries should not be charged when temperatures are below freezing. Does a good BMS prevent that from happening?
Yes as long as the BMS has a temperature sensor.

Some of the low-cost imports do not.
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Old 12-14-2022, 10:05 AM   #20
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It's a huge problem ... buying the Chinese El cheapo battery.
Many of them will say they have low temp on their literature... the BMS is capable of low temp sensor .............. but they don't install the sensor!


or they use second hand (used) cells .


then their USA warehouse is a none existing address or a rent an office for an hour place.




if considering a lithium
check out if Will Prowse has done a review and/or has dismantled the battery you are thinking of using.
https://www.youtube.com/@WillProwse


DIY solar forum
https://diysolarforum.com/
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