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Old 02-23-2019, 07:48 PM   #1
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Lithium is calling

I've posted about our new/used Isata3, about battery issues and about our solar panels being reverse wired when we took possession. Regardless of what, if anything, the dealer takes responsibility for I'm wanting to switch to Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries. I've read that Progressive Dynamics makes a fairly simple component swap for lithium. Anyone do the change to lithium and have info to share?
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:20 PM   #2
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I've posted about our new/used Isata3, about battery issues and about our solar panels being reverse wired when we took possession. Regardless of what, if anything, the dealer takes responsibility for I'm wanting to switch to Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries. I've read that Progressive Dynamics makes a fairly simple component swap for lithium. Anyone do the change to lithium and have info to share?
I am anxious to see where this goes Rich, I would be interested to change to lithium as well. In the little research I have done, most chargers that will charge AGM's (with a programmable Charge Management System) will charge lithium's but lack the hardware to disconnect completely if the voltage becomes too high or too low. Lithium's don't like hot environments and you can't charge them below freezing. Please keep us posted with your project!
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:30 PM   #3
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I am anxious to see where this goes Rich, I would be interested to change to lithium as well. In the little research I have done, most chargers that will charge AGM's (with a programmable Charge Management System) will charge lithium's but lack the hardware to disconnect completely if the voltage becomes too high or too low. Lithium's don't like hot environments and you can't charge them below freezing. Please keep us posted with your project!
Be happy to keep you posted Phil. I've saturated my brain doing research and I just can't think of anything to keep from going forward. The upfront cost is steep, but it starts to turn in our favor down the road a few years. Plus the power they serve up is impressive. There's some concerns like you mentioned related to ambient temperature but for 0 - 100F they offer many benefits. BB is going to follow up with me next week, plus they're a preferred provider according to Progressive Dynamics.
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:53 PM   #4
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Same thing...we were looking at Relion. The battery itself will take whatever you throw at it and it meters the voltage on its own.

The one question mark is that it will not charge when freezing....so it really needs a battery heater so that if you want to leave in winter. I guess it will discharge when freezing, so hopefully by time it is going dead the coach is up to temp.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:00 PM   #5
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The one question mark is that it will not charge when freezing....so it really needs a battery heater so that if you want to leave in winter. I guess it will discharge when freezing, so hopefully by time it is going dead the coach is up to temp.
Yes, they’ll discharge just not charge. Yes, battery blankets can be helpful. I believe BB had one. I also think they’ve lowered their low temp point below freezing.

For Riverbend, I upgraded my trailer to Battle Born batteries and wrote about it here:
Let’s Boondock! Battery upgrade (to lithium)! | Learn To RV

Yes, it should be decently easy to switch to a lithium aware Progressive Industries charger/converter. But it can be a challenge to find someone to sell you the specific model you need. On my current rig (Spartan toy hauler fifth wheek), the converter is part of the distribution panel. Progressive Industries makes a replacement but they wouldn’t sell direct and Best Converter never got me pricing.

However, you might consider an upgrade to an inverter/charger and charge with that instead.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:11 PM   #6
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Battle Born claims effective temperature range of 0 - 100F. And what a novel concept, using a battery powered battery blanket to keep that same battery working! Almost feels like it goes against the laws of physics! I've not heard of that other brand but will check them out. Edited: I have seen Relion products...they are about 30% more than Battle Born but have good reviews.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:22 PM   #7
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If you want to look at some heavy users of Battleborn Batteries check out the RV Nomads movie. Always on Liberty https://alwaysonliberty.com acquaintances I met though the HOC have done this where there Heartland Landmark. I have just taken delivery of my solar panels and MPPT controller to start on my project for my Heartland Landmark as well.

Best of luck with this project.

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Old 02-23-2019, 09:28 PM   #8
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If you want to look at some heavy users of Battleborn Batteries check out the RV Nomads movie. Always on Liberty https://alwaysonliberty.com acquaintances I met though the HOC have done this where there Heartland Landmark. I have just taken delivery of my solar panels and MPPT controller to start on my project for my Heartland Landmark as well.

Best of luck with this project.

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And best of luck to you, as well! You sprung for the fancy controller, eh? I've seen the RVNomad review, as well. Only thing holding me back for now is my DW said "they cost HOW MUCH?" She'll go along because she's very logical and the lithium just makes sense.
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:36 AM   #9
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Same thing...we were looking at Relion. The battery itself will take whatever you throw at it and it meters the voltage on its own.

The one question mark is that it will not charge when freezing....so it really needs a battery heater so that if you want to leave in winter. I guess it will discharge when freezing, so hopefully by time it is going dead the coach is up to temp.
Anyone looking at RB100-LT Low Temperature version?
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:41 AM   #10
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Anyone looking at RB100-LT Low Temperature version?
Those RB 100-LT batteries seem like the next generation. Also close to $1,400 each. I'm wondering if these prices will go down or are they at the bottom now?
Another benefit from LiFePo is the weight, and especially to us class c owners with low CCC.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:08 AM   #11
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And best of luck to you, as well! You sprung for the fancy controller, eh? I've seen the RVNomad review, as well. Only thing holding me back for now is my DW said "they cost HOW MUCH?" She'll go along because she's very logical and the lithium just makes sense.
The controller was $40 Canadian on Amazon and will do 30 amps. In my case that would be 10 panels on the roof. My experiment is ground based for the storage lot with 2 panels. If this works and once my warranty is up on the trailer I might put 8 to 10 them on the roof.
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:42 PM   #12
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Ordering two Battle Born LiFePO 100Ah group 27's. After communicating with them today I'm comfortable going in that direction. Next step will be figuring out compatibility issues with GoPower, buying the Progressive Dynamics lithium conversion module and also figuring out the MBS alternator charging ability. Gaining some CCC but it's already on what I would consider the "light" side of the FW. They might sit in the basement until spring, too!
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:57 AM   #13
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Battery comparison

https://youtu.be/jR34QF3xcCc
Interesting battery comparison. Battle Born also recommended this company's 30 amp battery to battery charger for use from my chassis to coach.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:04 PM   #14
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Ordering two Battle Born LiFePO 100Ah group 27's. After communicating with them today I'm comfortable going in that direction. Next step will be figuring out compatibility issues with GoPower, buying the Progressive Dynamics lithium conversion module and also figuring out the MBS alternator charging ability. Gaining some CCC but it's already on what I would consider the "light" side of the FW. They might sit in the basement until spring, too!
Thanks for the information. Keep us posted on the conversion. I definitely want to go do the same thing later this year.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:22 PM   #15
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Thanks for the information. Keep us posted on the conversion. I definitely want to go do the same thing later this year.
Will do! Today I ordered the two 100Ah LiFePO batteries from Battle Born, as well as the Sterling Power battery to battery 30 amp DC powered charger that they recommended to incorporate with the chassis charging system. I then ordered the PD 4060 LICSV to convert the coach system. The GoPower controller, I'm told, will work set on AGM. Now I wait for shipments to arrive. I will probably wait for warmer weather to roll up my sleeves and do the actual conversion.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:38 PM   #16
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Will do! Today I ordered the two 100Ah LiFePO batteries from Battle Born, as well as the Sterling Power battery to battery 30 amp DC powered charger that they recommended to incorporate with the chassis charging system. I then ordered the PD 4060 LICSV to convert the coach system. The GoPower controller, I'm told, will work set on AGM. Now I wait for shipments to arrive. I will probably wait for warmer weather to roll up my sleeves and do the actual conversion.
I watched that video, those are some amazing stats on Lion! If Dynamax had offered them as an option I would have done that I'm sure, now that I have AGM's maybe when these die? And just think of the weight savings on an I5 where CCC is important.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:41 AM   #17
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I watched that video, those are some amazing stats on Lion! If Dynamax had offered them as an option I would have done that I'm sure, now that I have AGM's maybe when these die? And just think of the weight savings on an I5 where CCC is important.
My weight savings after swapping batteries and adding the battery to battery charger will be right around 70 lbs., which is pretty impressive. I'm not even close to choosing a good location for the charger. The considerations include distance and routing for wires and the integral cooling fan noise. It being that our rigs are not especially quiet by nature makes me think it won't be too much of an issue...but then again, we're always trying to eliminate the noise. I'm really hoping and trying to get this right the first time, and any input is greatly appreciated at this stage of planning. This morning (after plowing snow ) I'm going to give serious consideration to locating the charger in the storage bay just aft of the propane tank.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:54 AM   #18
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GoPower controller

Things you learn along the way: my Isata came with the PMW -30- SQ controller, which was replaced in 2019 by the PMW-30 that is lithium capable. I'm told that programming to the AGM profile will be compatible with lithium, but I'm exploring the actual difference. Just one of those running change things we find, as even though mine is a 2019, it has lots of 2018 characteristics. The title came a few days ago and it's listed as a 2017.
The passenger side cargo hold looks like a good place to mount the battery to battery charger, right behind the inverter. There's already wired routes, though Dynamax did a fantastic job filling all the holes with foam! I hate to touch it but it makes sense at this point.
Edit: The charging parameters are so close that's it appears to be negligible.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:47 PM   #19
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Pd 4060 licsv

Received the lithium module today for switching in the Progressive Dynamics converter/charger. I ordered it from Leisure Time Distributing from Milan, TN. Best price I could find even with shipping, ordered Tuesday and arrived very nicely packaged today. Looks to be a very simple swap, and it came with a very easy to understand one page diagram with instructions. C'mon spring!
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:02 PM   #20
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Received the lithium module today for switching in the Progressive Dynamics converter/charger. I ordered it from Leisure Time Distributing from Milan, TN. Best price I could find even with shipping, ordered Tuesday and arrived very nicely packaged today. Looks to be a very simple swap, and it came with a very easy to understand one page diagram with instructions. C'mon spring!
Did BB mention needed the BIM225 LiFePO4 Battery Isolation Manager to protect the batts from over charging while the engine is running? I am thinking our Isata's already have something in the mix to not over charge the AGM coach batts?

Here is the reply after I sent BB a screen shot of my shopping cart:
Hello Jay,

The only piece I would recommend would be the BIM225. That unit would isolate the lithium batteries from the lead acid starter battery. I’ve attached a link to the unit below. Beyond that it looks like you are dialed in.

https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...ation-manager/
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