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Old 09-25-2021, 01:09 PM   #1
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Battery pros and cons

We have had several battery issues with our iPod 196. We are considering upgrading to lithium batteries. I am interested in general feedback on the pros and cons. I'm also trying to determine the difference between group 31 size batteries and group 24 when it comes to their reserve capacity. I've been researching on the internet but struggling to determine how much better the larger batteries provide. We are still learning a lot when it comes to batteries and our trailer.
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Old 09-25-2021, 02:05 PM   #2
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what kind of battery issues? Or, what's happening that leads you to think it's the battery?

If you've got a drain or something, that'll still be there even when you upgrade. Group 31's are bigger and heavier compared to a group 24, and would generally have a higher reserve capacity. It would be only marginally better, if you still had a lingering issue.
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Old 09-25-2021, 02:29 PM   #3
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What are the issues? Not enough to power your camper during your stay when not plugged in?

A lot of benefits to Lithium like more useable amp hours and faster charging.. The downside is their cost since many can set you back almost $1000 dollars and to get the full benefit you’d likely have to upgrade your on board charger since they have a different charging profile then lead acid batteries.

If you’re looking to say with lead acid then your best bet is to get two 6 volt golf cart batteries. They have more amp hours then lead acid 12 volts and can be discharged down to 25% without harm instead of 50%…You don’t have to upgrade your onboard charger and you can get a decent set of them for $250.
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Old 09-25-2021, 09:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by nakman View Post
what kind of battery issues? Or, what's happening that leads you to think it's the battery?

If you've got a drain or something, that'll still be there even when you upgrade. Group 31's are bigger and heavier compared to a group 24, and would generally have a higher reserve capacity. It would be only marginally better, if you still had a lingering issue.
Mainly we had problems because we were using deep cell batteries and were newbies and did not understand that we weren't supposed to let them drain all the way down. Also we did not store them properly in the winter. We are learning as we go and are convinced that there are some better batteries out there we just don't know for sure what to do.
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Old 09-25-2021, 10:32 PM   #5
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X2 on getting two 6 volts batteries. Ours have been perfect now for 5 years.
You can also consider supplementing power needs with a 2000 watt "generator".
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Old 09-26-2021, 04:20 AM   #6
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X3 on the GC2 batteries. We have a 2205S with the 12 volt fridge, 190 watt solar and 1KW inverter. The GC2s ran the fridge all night with enough power left over to brew a couple of cups of coffee in our 800 watt K-cup brewer while watching the morning news. As the sun started to come up you could see the solar working to refill the batteries.
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Old 09-26-2021, 11:41 AM   #7
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Some additional comments: we added a voltage meter so that we can monitor the batteries when camping. We are also pleased that our frig is propane/110. And, when we use the inverter for short periods, it is at half power. During the winter, we use a battery tender from time to time.

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Old 09-26-2021, 02:04 PM   #8
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The direct answer to your question is that a true deep cycle Group 24 has around 75 amp hours of capacity...giving you a usable 37.5
A Group 31 will typically give you around 105-110 amp hours giving you a usable 50-55 amp hours.
Obviously...pairs give you twice as much.
A typical 6V golf cart battery PAIR will give you 215 or slightly more than a pair of 31's. Of course...if ONE goes out...the other won't work to give you the 12V you need.
Lithium are wonderful...but don't yer make much economic sense unless you are doing one hell of a lot of camping and cycling. A pair of GOOD QUALITY true deep cycle wet cells are quite capable of lasting the average camper a decade if shown proper care, The lithium might last 30 years...but I won't! And the money I saved will pay for the cremation!
I suggest some good wet cells and a Victron Battery monitor to keep you on the straight & narrow.
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Old 09-26-2021, 03:22 PM   #9
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We use 2 of these maintained with 2 200 watt solar suitcases.

https://lifelinebatteries.com/produc...eries/gpl-4ct/

We also carry 2 2000 watt inverter generators that can be connected together when boondocking. Only one accompanies us if we're going to have shore power.
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Old 09-26-2021, 03:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch View Post
Mainly we had problems because we were using deep cell batteries and were newbies and did not understand that we weren't supposed to let them drain all the way down. Also we did not store them properly in the winter. We are learning as we go and are convinced that there are some better batteries out there we just don't know for sure what to do.
Lithium are certainly better for several reasons but if you mistreat them your cost is higher to replace. You will need to remember to store them at around half-capacity and make sure no loads are on battery when stored. They can get very cold stored but will have to warm up before placing a charge on them. Some are sold with heaters built in and some use heat pads. I went with the built in heater option and it runs from the charge when needed. That avoids placing unnecessary draw on the batteries with a heating pad.
As with all batteries you should know the specs of the battery and set charging properly.

The lead-acid (or AGM) are over a century old technology that has and still is doing people well. They can be damaged in same cold temperatures as Lithium, contrary to popular belief. If left discharged they can freeze. As you have discovered lead-acid cannot be discharged based on their listed capacity without damage.

Lithium pluses:
-can discharge safely to rated capacity
-charge at high rate up to full capacity (quicker)
-lighter weight
-much easier maintenance
Minuses:
-might need different equipment if converting over from lead-acid
-have to warm up to charge in very cold weather
-cost (but long term cheaper)

Lead-acid minuses:
-can only discharge to around 50% of rated capacity safely
-charge takes much longer by charging at full rate then slowing for several hours to get up to a full charge (longer gen run time, longer solar time)
-heavy (more than double the weight of a same rated capacity lithium, quadruple the weight at usable capacity)
-lots of maintenance unless sealed AGM but still replacing much more
Pluses:
-any charging system can handle
-no need to warm to charge
-cheaper (but long term more expensive)

I always liked 2-6V “golf cart” batteries but after making the switch to Lithium I’ll never go back! I have one 300AH LiFEBlue Lithium with built-in heat and it works great in my motorhome.
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Old 09-26-2021, 07:31 PM   #11
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what brand of 200watt solar suitcases do you have?
thanks
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:38 AM   #12
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what brand of 200watt solar suitcases do you have?
thanks
ken
Renogy 200 Watt Eclipse Monocrystalline Solar Suitcases
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Old 09-27-2021, 01:32 PM   #13
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Thanks!
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:58 PM   #14
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We use 2 of these maintained with 2 200 watt solar suitcases.

https://lifelinebatteries.com/produc...eries/gpl-4ct/

We also carry 2 2000 watt inverter generators that can be connected together when boondocking. Only one accompanies us if we're going to have shore power.
Might as well go LiFePO4 for that price.
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:36 AM   #15
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Might as well go LiFePO4 for that price.
Couldn't agree more.

A couple of expensive AGM batteries with 200-300ah (50-80% usable) will cost from $500-$800.

LiFePo4 batteries with 200-300ah capacity (100% useable at half the weight and several times the life expectancy) are now selling for not much more.

Just not having to worry about maintenance and faster recharge time adds more to the value.
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Old 10-04-2021, 08:01 PM   #16
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https://www.amazon.com/LiFePO4-Batte..._gw_hlp13n_bbn check these out . If you do a lot of boondocking get lithium if you don't just go back with what you have group 27 are smaller than group 31 so you will need to up grade battery boxes unless you go lithium and mount them inside you won't need boxes . With that said I put my lithium batteries in battery boxes so no accidental shorts will happen . Hope this helps
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Old 10-04-2021, 09:14 PM   #17
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Two GC batteries wired in series and two 100 watt panels do everythng we need. We have a battery monitor with a shunt that shows us exactly what is going in and out of our battery. Solar does the long term charging that a lead acid battery needs to get fully charged. Trying to do that with a generator, means running it for hours and hours.
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Old 10-04-2021, 10:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by chooch View Post
We have had several battery issues with our iPod 196. We are considering upgrading to lithium batteries. I am interested in general feedback on the pros and cons. I'm also trying to determine the difference between group 31 size batteries and group 24 when it comes to their reserve capacity. I've been researching on the internet but struggling to determine how much better the larger batteries provide. We are still learning a lot when it comes to batteries and our trailer.
Having camped a lot with both lead acid and later lithium batteries. I can say this, if your budget can handle paying $500 for a 100Ah lithium battery, you'll never regret it. We have two such batteries, but could probably get by with one. And we could never go back to lead acid.

But it is more money up front. If lithium is not in the budget, then two 6v golf cart batteries are the way to go. Most I see are rated at 215-230Ah. Don't use more than half, don't drain them more than 50%. That would give you about 110 usable Ahs. Check Sam's Club and Costco for golf cart batteries.

Finally, you definitely need a battery monitor. Not just a volt meter. Research the Victron Smart Shunt, about $130 on Amazon. It will Bluetooth to your smartphone and you'll know everything about your battery status.
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Old 10-05-2021, 12:08 AM   #19
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Thank you so much!
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Old 10-05-2021, 11:31 AM   #20
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I use four Group 27 traditional flooded lead acid deep-cycle marine batteries in my boat, instead of Lithiums. Lithium pro's: they're light-weight. Con's: They extremely expensive, and require a special charger to charger & maintain them. I have a Minn-Kota MK-440-PC 4-bank charger that's able to simultaneously charge all four different types of batteries (flooded lead acid, AGM, Gel, and Lithium), so the issue, for me, is cost. I don't need the weight savings. The two Group 27's that I use for my bow trolling motor can easily pull me, three other adults, and my fully loaded boat for 50 hours at 1 mph before being drawn down to 50% (the lowest safe discharge level of a flooded lead acid battery--drawing it down further reduces the number of times it can be recharged). I typically get six years of use from a pair of 12V flooded lead acid batteries powering my bow trolling motor. If you've got the money to burn, or if you MUST have lighter weight batteries, go for the Lithium. If money isn't to be spent frivolously on something unneeded, if you don't have an issue using the heavier flooded lead acid batteries, eschew the Lithiums. Both styles are hazardous waste, but Lithiums are more toxic, more hazardous, and are a special limited resource item that requires special handling for recycling. Please read this information before buying, and thinking of discarding (instead of recycling) Lithium batteries: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/used-lithium-ion-batteries
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