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Old 03-11-2020, 06:51 PM   #1
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Battle Born LiFePO4 as real drop-in replacement

Dear community,

I'm kind of sick buying two brand new 12V 100Ah lead acid batteries and to be careful not to discharge them too deep. Therefore I'd rather buy 1x 100Ah Battle Born battery.

The question I couldn't fully answer yet is, what are the downsides if I replace JUST the battery? I would like to avoid to replace the converter and do any other changes in the rig if possible.

I have a 2018 22MKSE Grey Wolf and unfortunately I'm not sure which converter comes with that rig. I assume it comes with a WFCO 55Ah charger...

Just using the built in charger and the 155Ah alternator of my RAM 1500 (with tow package), how full do you think could I charge it? I know I won't get up to 100% if I'm not charging with 14.6V but how much will I get in on a long drive, when being plugged into shore power or use my gen set to re-charge?

I think if I would just replace my lead acid with LiFePO4 I will render my 4 led battery charge indicates useless - but it's kind of useless right now as well :-)

Hopefully someone made this experience already and can share it here.

Thank you
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:44 PM   #2
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It is NOT 'drop in.'
For my Sunseeker 2400R MBS, with two batteries...
Parts required:
New batteries (2xBB10012) - $1000/ea
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...cycle-battery/
Upgraded converter/charger (PD4060LICSV) - $270
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...ttery-charger/
Upgraded Battery Isolation Manager (Li-BIM) - $200
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...ation-manager/
Victron Battery Monitor (BMV-712) - $245
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...uetooth-built/
Additional battery cable (from battery to Victron shunt) - $?

New Battery warming pads (BAT830-12V-15W) - $220/ea (for operation in freezing conditions)
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...d-for-bb10012/

And I LOVE it!
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by marcap View Post
Dear community,

I'm kind of sick buying two brand new 12V 100Ah lead acid batteries and to be careful not to discharge them too deep. Therefore I'd rather buy 1x 100Ah Battle Born battery.

The question I couldn't fully answer yet is, what are the downsides if I replace JUST the battery? I would like to avoid to replace the converter and do any other changes in the rig if possible.

I have a 2018 22MKSE Grey Wolf and unfortunately I'm not sure which converter comes with that rig. I assume it comes with a WFCO 55Ah charger...

Just using the built in charger and the 155Ah alternator of my RAM 1500 (with tow package), how full do you think could I charge it? I know I won't get up to 100% if I'm not charging with 14.6V but how much will I get in on a long drive, when being plugged into shore power or use my gen set to re-charge?

I think if I would just replace my lead acid with LiFePO4 I will render my 4 led battery charge indicates useless - but it's kind of useless right now as well :-)

Hopefully someone made this experience already and can share it here.

Thank you
The real answer is that you will loose maybe 4-5% of potential battery capacity due to the lower charging voltage standard converters peak out at.

If you look at the SOC/Voltage curve for an LiFePo battery the curve becomes extremely steep as it goes over 94-95% SOC. That last portion of the curve represents more "Voltage" than actual power (amp hour capacity).

Since Battleborn batteries are conservatively rated, in reality if you don't discharge at high rates and are like the average user with your largest draw being the furnace, a 100 ah Battleborn can easily deliver around 110-115 ah. (as has been my experience using a Victron BMV monitor).

A very economical approach would be to just replace the batteries with a single Battleborn and see how it works for your needs. 90+ percent of 110 ah is only 1 ah short of the designated 100 ah capacity and in reality you will find it to be even more.

I have two Battleborn's and when I first installed them I just used my regular converter. Never depleted the two below 65% in ANY single day with heavy use.

If you want to make sure the batteries are charged periodically to their full 14.6 volts just invest in something like a NOCO battery maintainer that has a Lithium battery setting. When you are running the generator or plugged in to shore power let the converter do the bulk charging and then attach the auxiliary charger for a periodic topping off.

Based on my experience the Battleborn's are just as advertised, drop in. The small loss of capacity is not a real factor in real world terms. If you are constantly working off the bottom of a lithium battery you really need two batteries.

FWIW, Battleborn does make their batteries in a 50 amp hour capacity. If one wants to save a few $$ because they need more power it's possible to just purchase three 50 ah batteries and connect them in parallel. 50 amps more than a single 100 ah and 50 amps less than two 100 ah batteries.

BTW, I have since upgraded to a "Lithium" converter but my early experience with a conventional converter were still acceptable.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TomAR View Post
It is NOT 'drop in.'
For my Sunseeker 2400R MBS, with two batteries...
Parts required:
New batteries (2xBB10012) - $1000/ea
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...cycle-battery/
Upgraded converter/charger (PD4060LICSV) - $270
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...ttery-charger/
Upgraded Battery Isolation Manager (Li-BIM) - $200
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...ation-manager/
Victron Battery Monitor (BMV-712) - $245
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...uetooth-built/
Additional battery cable (from battery to Victron shunt) - $?

New Battery warming pads (BAT830-12V-15W) - $220/ea (for operation in freezing conditions)
https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...d-for-bb10012/

And I LOVE it!
Like TomAR said, you don't "need" any of that extra stuff. You can just buy one BattleBorn and drop it in place of your current battery and enjoy the true deep cycle life until you get around to adding all that other stuff.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:05 PM   #5
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Trying not to hijack the thread, but I have a question... I've always read that you shouldn't store a lithium fully charged or fully discharged. Is this true with the Battleborns or are they a different composition than most in articles on storing lithium batteries. Just curious. Thx.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:26 PM   #6
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Trying not to hijack the thread, but I have a question... I've always read that you shouldn't store a lithium fully charged or fully discharged. Is this true with the Battleborns or are they a different composition than most in articles on storing lithium batteries. Just curious. Thx.
Still good advice even for Battleborns but "storage" means Months, not just a few weeks.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:44 PM   #7
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Still good advice even for Battleborns but "storage" means Months, not just a few weeks.
So is that that part of the winterization ritual with BB's is to discharge them a ways before putting TT in hibernation?

That's good to know! Thx.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:56 PM   #8
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Don't know. I bought a new Plasma 42" TV in 2003 for $3500. I should have waited for the price to drop precipitously as all new tech does.

On the other hand, I'm still waiting for it to fail so I can buy a $100 replacement!
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:53 AM   #9
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Don't know. I bought a new Plasma 42" TV in 2003 for $3500. I should have waited for the price to drop precipitously as all new tech does.

On the other hand, I'm still waiting for it to fail so I can buy a $100 replacement!
We got a much better deal on our 42" plasma in 2006: $2,600. It is currently in use at my daughter's house and still going strong. Weighs about 800 lbs. Had to rent a 3/4 ton just to get it home because it exceeded my 1/2 ton's CCC.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:05 AM   #10
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That's NOT what I said. I did not try the OEM charger/converter on the LI batteries. Without the Li-BIM, batteries would not charge while driving. Granted, the Victron was not required, but it is the only way, other than idiot lights, to know the state of charge (SOC).
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:17 AM   #11
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So is that that part of the winterization ritual with BB's is to discharge them a ways before putting TT in hibernation?

That's good to know! Thx.
No need really. Chances are that you'll use enough power during your winterizing routine (water pump, lights, etc) to reduce the battery(s) from fully charged. Just leave converter off when plugged in or turn off battery disconnect. The main issue is to not leave them on "Float" when no loads are being cycled on or off. All I do with mine is to not plug my shore power in when I get back from a trip. I then use the lights and run the slide out when I set up on my back yard pad. When finished I then hook up to shore power and turn off the battery disconnect. When ready to hit the road again I just switch on the batteries and they charge.

They really aren't as complicated as people tend to make them out to be. The manufacturer has built in all kinds of protections with their BMS.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:23 AM   #12
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That's NOT what I said. I did not try the OEM charger/converter on the LI batteries. Without the Li-BIM, batteries would not charge while driving. Granted, the Victron was not required, but it is the only way, other than idiot lights, to know the state of charge (SOC).
I found a far less expensive way to charge my batteries while driving. I installed a Renogy DC-DC charger (Mod DCC 1212-20). Is both an isolator and charger that charges batteries at a 20 amp rate and only cost me $127.
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:57 PM   #13
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The real answer is that you will loose maybe 4-5% of potential battery capacity due to the lower charging voltage standard converters peak out at.
Thanks Mike for your explanation that was exactly what I was looking for and I'm glad you shared it. I would have been okay with even loosing more capacity if I don't have to buy other equipment I don't need for >$500 now. Will go for the battery and not modify anything.

Why would this battery not charge at all from my truck 155A alternator without a DC-DC charger? That would be a problem as I rarely use shore power, mostly I charge during driving or use the gas generator.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:01 PM   #14
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Thanks Mike for your explanation that was exactly what I was looking for and I'm glad you shared it. I would have been okay with even loosing more capacity if I don't have to buy other equipment I don't need for >$500 now. Will go for the battery and not modify anything.

Why would this battery not charge at all from my truck 155A alternator without a DC-DC charger? That would be a problem as I rarely use shore power, mostly I charge during driving or use the gas generator.

The problem with just charging directly from the vehicle alternator is pretty much the same as using a standard converter. The output voltage is lower than the peak voltage that will give you a full charge in a LiFePo battery.

Your alternator will charge the battery pretty much the same as the converter although due to the smaller wire size, current will be low due to the voltage drop.. Don't over worry about this as one's drive time is usually measured in several hours. If you only get 5 amp of charge current (and it could be more or less) you will still be replacing a significant portion of the power consumed. This means you would only have to run the generator a shorter amount of time to get it more fully charged.

What I like about the Renogy DC-DC charger is that when I arrive at my campsite the batteries are as full as they get and they charge at a full 20 amp rate when I leave my last campsite.

For what your goal is I wouldn't over-think it. First see how your setup works with your regular converter and whatever current you get from your tow vehicle. If it's all adequate, leave it as is. If you need more charge then consider the next step of a different converter but again, see if you really need to first.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:03 PM   #15
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I agree. To me it's pointless to try to charge the lithiums directly from the alternator. DC to DC convertor is the way to go. It's actually a good way to go for non lithium batteries as well.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:32 PM   #16
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Battle worn

I'm a lead acid deep cycle guy. When my RV is in storage I disconnect the battery and hook up a 10w solar panel. Facing a little south of east it does a great job.

Cheers, Paul
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:40 PM   #17
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Don't know. I bought a new Plasma 42" TV in 2003 for $3500. I should have waited for the price to drop precipitously as all new tech does.

On the other hand, I'm still waiting for it to fail so I can buy a $100 replacement!
Same here! 😂
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:55 PM   #18
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Same here! 😂
Luckily my old plasma television failed years ago. It was a good TV but was a better "Room Heater". Consumed about 400 watts of energy while my new LED smart TV uses 1/10th the amount of electricity.

After a while the "Old Technology" ends up consuming more energy (money) than a replacement would cost.
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:05 PM   #19
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For what your goal is I wouldn't over-think it. First see how your setup works with your regular converter and whatever current you get from your tow vehicle. If it's all adequate, leave it as is.
Thanks, that's exactly what I'm gonna do now. If I want to get a higher charge I'd go for the DC-DC charger. Can I just install that in-between the battery and the tow vehicle trailer connector or do I have to wire it up all the way to the vehicle battery. Also will it continue to charge my battle born battery when the engine/alternator is off? I assume 20 amps are good as 40 amps would maybe drain the vehicle battery too much?
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:19 PM   #20
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Thanks, that's exactly what I'm gonna do now. If I want to get a higher charge I'd go for the DC-DC charger. Can I just install that in-between the battery and the tow vehicle trailer connector or do I have to wire it up all the way to the vehicle battery. Also will it continue to charge my battle born battery when the engine/alternator is off? I assume 20 amps are good as 40 amps would maybe drain the vehicle battery too much?

You can install the DC-DC charger in your TT and just connect to the charge wire from the 7-pin connector. You will need to disconnect the charge wire from the TT battery and power panel however so it ONLY goes to the input of the DC-DC charger. The output of the DC-DC charger is then connected to the TT battery. To prevent reverse flow from the LiFePo battery to the lower voltage TV battery the DC-DC charger has a control wire that needs to be activated turn it on. Just running a wire from the input to the DC-DC charger to the "control terminal" should activate the charger and if your charge wire in the 7-wire cable isn't hot when the ignition is off you're fine. Otherwise you will have to unplug or install a switch in the control wire.

The issue isn't so much running your TT battery down as it is that you could overcharge the starting battery over an hour or two.

I've automated mine by running a heavier gauge wire from TV battery to the DC-DC charger and only use the charge wire in the regular 7-wire cable to activate the charger. The second, heavier wire (both pos and neg) are connected through an anderson connector for easy hookup/disconnect.

Ignition on and engine running, battery charges. Ignition off, battery systems are isolated even if still plugged in.
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