Motorhome Facts Forum banner
21 - 39 of 39 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
36,370 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Both of those under discussion are lithium, one is apparently a good deal less likely to burst into a ball of flames than the other.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,339 Posts
Please do some research, Lithium-ion batteries DO catch fire.
Lithium iron phosphate (LifePO4) batteries DO NOT.
LifePO4 is the chemistry of batteries now commonly used for motorhome use, they will of course given correct circumstances catch fire but do not cause the massive problems that Lithium-ion ones do.
Notice the different spellings Lithium-ion, Lithium iron phosphate.
Using the description 'Lithium Ferrous Phosphate' avoids the confusion, especially in speech rather than writing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,538 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,136 Posts
They sound pretty good if for no other reason than the huge reduction in weight. What concerns me a little bit thinking ahead from Clives article there appears to be some restrictions as to what battery types you can use depending on the van make you have. He discusses the difference between Swift and Hymer for example.

I replaced our old 125 ah maintenance free battery with a 120ah AGM earlier this year. Coupled with a single 100w panel and the very clever MPPT controller it's been absolutely amazing all summer. It doesn't sound much when you consider what some people have but until September at least it's been like we were on hookup. Never dropped below 12.5 or 12.6. the van is often stationary for weeks at a time also.

I'm getting a bit cautious now with usage especially up in the Scottish isles but it's getting to the time I would look for EHU anyways

I would consider these for our new van though if we get it. Got to be the way forward I just wonder if there will be hurdles to jump depending on your van choice.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,339 Posts
They sound pretty good if for no other reason than the huge reduction in weight. What concerns me a little bit thinking ahead from Clives article there appears to be some restrictions as to what battery types you can use depending on the van make you have. He discusses the difference between Swift and Hymer for example.

I replaced our old 125 ah maintenance free battery with a 120ah AGM earlier this year. Coupled with a single 100w panel and the very clever MPPT controller it's been absolutely amazing all summer. It doesn't sound much when you consider what some people have but until September at least it's been like we were on hookup. Never dropped below 12.5 or 12.6. the van is often stationary for weeks at a time also.

I'm getting a bit cautious now with usage especially up in the Scottish isles but it's getting to the time I would look for EHU anyways

I would consider these for our new van though if we get it. Got to be the way forward I just wonder if there will be hurdles to jump depending on your van choice.
How long have you been talking about swapping Hank?

Oh yea you cannot find one with a rear lounge, a garage and a jacuzzi - in mahogany with a pink bathroom - right? 😀
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,136 Posts
How long have you been talking about swapping Hank?

Oh yea you cannot find one with a rear lounge, a garage and a jacuzzi - in mahogany with a pink bathroom - right? 😀
About a decade. It's not my fault there are no vans out there that are as good as the Kontiki 640. 😎

We did of course come within a hairs breadth earlier in the year but the dealer preferred to sell it to someone else rather than answer my questions.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,556 Posts
Barry, with reference to your new van, the limitations are only relevant if you want to be able to utilise a Lifepo4 without making any other changes.
You will possibly need to change the 230volt charger and wire the solar direct to the new battery, other than that you can enjoy the increased available power and weight saving (both of the battery and your wallet) :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,136 Posts
Barry, with reference to your new van, the limitations are only relevant if you want to be able to utilise a Lifepo4 without making any other changes.
You will possibly need to change the 230volt charger and wire the solar direct to the new battery, other than that you can enjoy the increased available power and weight saving (both of the battery and your wallet) :)
Presumably you dont wire the solar directly to the battery though. They still need an mppt controller?

Solar is our main charging method. Hardly ever go on hookup and when we do it's unlikely we would be spending many nights off grid. Generally the back end, early winter.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,892 Posts
Can I ask you about sub zero charging John? The implication from what I've read is that attempting to charge when the battery is at or below 0 degs will result in cell damage. Given that in winter quite often I would start up the van in the morning below 0. Would I need to disable charging? Also Solar?

I see for approx 150-200 extra you can get a built in battery management system that has a heater that overcomes that. Money well spent?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,136 Posts
Or if your battery is stored inside the .motorhome just make sure the van is heated above zero at least before starting it up. I generally disconnect our solar in the winter if it's stood for months anyway. It's useless where it's parked and I've actually seen the controller drag the battery down.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
36,370 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,892 Posts
Unfortunately my batteries are in a ventilated slide out locker under the van so the non charging and possible damage in low temps is a bit of a worry as I would say that our leisurely and meandering drive to the med (especially via the Alps) and even in this country can mean many if not the majority of mornings are below zero.

After research I would like the 220AH one in this range. Sterling has a good name and this range has a built in battery management system that incorporates a heater and would compensate for any shortcomings my charging system has.

Pricey i know but if I can dress it up as a present to the wife. Ie TV watching unlimited :) I might get away with it and never ever need another EHU ever again especially with the brilliant B2B.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,556 Posts
Presumably you dont wire the solar directly to the battery though. They still need an mppt controller?
Solar is our main charging method. Hardly ever go on hookup and when we do it's unlikely we would be spending many nights off grid. Generally the back end, early winter.
A lot will depend on the control system of your chosen van, many modern vans have facility to add solar charge through the main control unit (Schaudt EBL etc.) but yes it will still need to go through a decent controller, that system although easy to set up does have limitations (as well as advantages)
If you're considering a lot of solar input it will be best to connect direct to batteries through a good quality MPPT controller.

Can I ask you about sub zero charging John? The implication from what I've read is that attempting to charge when the battery is at or below 0 degs will result in cell damage. Given that in winter quite often I would start up the van in the morning below 0. Would I need to disable charging? Also Solar?
I see for approx 150-200 extra you can get a built in battery management system that has a heater that overcomes that. Money well spent?
A lot will depend on where your battery/ies are stored but yes they cannot be charged if the battery itself is below freezing, if you are likely to be in that situation then it will be best to choose one with heater pad built into the Battery Management System that uses the batteries own power to raise the cell temperature to a level acceptable for charging before it allows charging to start.

I'm looking at this.
My Schaudt charger has an Li option.


John, if you see this have you any comment to offer please?
Alan the battery you link to is very cheap! at that price it cannot be made from premium components, whether or not that is a problem is a decision only you can make.
Much will depend on how you use your van and where and when and of course what your expectations are.
The Li option on the Schaudt unit probably refers to the 230 volt charging, which ensures the battery will get the correct charge profile, which for Li is very different from other chemistries. I think I recall you are buying a new van, if it is fitted with a "smart alternator" then it will most likely also be fitted with the latest generation of Schaudt controller which has the built in option of B2B charging (some up to 70Ah.)

So how or what you choose should be driven by what your needs and or expectations will be, many of the so called "van lifers" go totally over the top with the amount of equipment they install with many going into the high thousands of pounds worth of equipment.
The Lifpo4 option gives the advantages of weight saving, approx half of the Kgs of a similar Ah rated lead acid, more actual use of stated Ah, the lead acid is really only good for half of its stated Ah capacity i.e. discharged to 50% whereas the Lifpo4 can be safely taken to 80% discharge or more, the ability to be to safely recharged at very high levels 60-70Ah possible with B2B.
The Lifpo4 also gives a basically flat voltage (close to 13 volts) output until almost fully discharges when it drops to close to zero and the BMS will shut it down.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,556 Posts
Unfortunately my batteries are in a ventilated slide out locker under the van so the non charging and possible damage in low temps is a bit of a worry as I would say that our leisurely and meandering drive to the med (especially via the Alps) and even in this country can mean many if not the majority of mornings are below zero.

After research I would like the 220AH one in this range. Sterling has a good name and this range has a built in battery management system that incorporates a heater and would compensate for any shortcomings my charging system has.

Pricey i know but if I can dress it up as a present to the wife. Ie TV watching unlimited :) I might get away with it and never ever need another EHU ever again especially with the brilliant B2B.

Dick, the one you link to is actually 200Ah, I'd not really looked at Sterling and their prices do look good and as you say they do have a good name.
Does your van already have a B2B installed?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,892 Posts
Dick, the one you link to is actually 200Ah, I'd not really looked at Sterling and their prices do look good and as you say they do have a good name.
Does your van already have a B2B installed?
Yes it does John, I fitted one 5 yrs ago, huge difference it made. It’s the one that "fools" the alternator. Not sure of the charger without going up the field to the van but it would have been the top of the Hymer range one (in 2003/4). From memory it has a setting for gel/AGM as well. I’ve got 3X110 AH cheap lead acid batteries in the locker that are coming to the end of their life.

ps sorry it was 200AH
 
  • Like
Reactions: erneboy

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,556 Posts
Yes it does John, I fitted one 5 yrs ago, huge difference it made. It’s the one that "fools" the alternator. Not sure of the charger without going up the field to the van but it would have been the top of the Hymer range one (in 2003/4). From memory it has a setting for gel/AGM as well. I’ve got 3X110 AH cheap lead acid batteries in the locker that are coming to the end of their life.

ps sorry it was 200AH
Most gel settings will be OK for lithium but not ideal.
 
21 - 39 of 39 Posts
Top