Lithium iron phosphate 12v 100amp battery - anyone installed in a t@b?

Pricey but tada! found one under $1000
https://www.solar-electric.com/battle-born-bb10012-100ah-12v-lithium-battery.html

I was researching golf cart batteries to make the change to 2-6volt configuration and happened upon reviews for LiFeP04. Opened up a whole nuther alternative if only the converter will work.  

Searched lithium on these forums and haven't seen any installs yet.  Did find comments that current converters in our t@bs aren't compatible.  

Comments I've found in other places address chargers, but don't spell out converters.    
Example Q:  Will regular battery chargers and maintainers such as those in a 3 or 4 step maintainer in RV power center work with a lithium ion battery?  A:  Yes they will. Lithium ion batteries have a broad spectrum of voltage tolerances. You will be just fine with just about any standard charger. 

Info from link above (in case that link doesn't work):  NOTE: Charging with an existing lead acid charger or inverter charger that bulk charges at 13.6 volts is acceptable, however it will take longer than a specialized li-ion charging system. These batteries perform best at 14.4 volts bulk and absorption charge.  

Details from specs page:  The Battle Born Battery requires no new hardware to run in your boat, RV, trailer, or golf cart. Built in Battery management system for automatic cell balancing.  Operating voltage 12.8 volts, Charging voltage 14.4 volts

Shouldn't the converter work to convert shore power to dc, but simply take more time to charge LiFeP04 than one made specifically to charge at higher voltage?  Don't want to replace the entire electrical system, but I'm interested in increased capacity, reduced tongue weight (moving my spare tire to the tongue and installing aluminum outback platform also), as well as lower maintenance and longevity.   Comments please.  


"Bella"  2016 T@b maxs blue, towed by '18 Chevy Colorado ZR2 duramax diesel - yes NEW baby, accompanied by the Red dog
Rural Liberty Hill, TX, near Austin

Comments

  • 4ncar4ncar Posts: 260Member
    What little I know, is what the dealer says(tongue in cheek) & that the converter(on shore power) will charge a Li battery... I too had searched the sit and found only one post, sooty no reference.  Why hasn't anyone else gone this direction? 
    TV- '14 Jeep GC Eco Diesel & '09 JKU 
    2018 320S Outback
  • jcfaber1jcfaber1 Posts: 309Member
    I am curious how this will work but it is still too pricey for me as I have already made the $500 (2 6V AGM golf cart batteries 225AH) plunge!  I think the technology is steadily improving and will watch on the sidelines.  Best of luck.

    John

    2007 T@B

    Rockford, IL

  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,367Member
    I see this note:

    "NOTE: Charging with an existing lead acid charger or inverter charger that bulk charges at 13.6 volts is acceptable, however it will take longer than a specialized li-ion charging system. These batteries perform best at 14.4 volts bulk and absorption charge."

    You will want to get a separate battery charger. The Converter does not hit the absorption stage.

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • 4ncar4ncar Posts: 260Member
    jkjenn said:
    I see this note:

    "NOTE: Charging with an existing lead acid charger or inverter charger that bulk charges at 13.6 volts is acceptable, however it will take longer than a specialized li-ion charging system. These batteries perform best at 14.4 volts bulk and absorption charge."

    You will want to get a separate battery charger. The Converter does not hit the absorption stage.
    So...typical dealer response..." of course it will, absolutely, what ever you say..." Supposedly, they spoke to nucamp.... pppffftt!
    TV- '14 Jeep GC Eco Diesel & '09 JKU 
    2018 320S Outback
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,170Administrator
    4ncar said:
    What little I know, is what the dealer says(tongue in cheek) & that the converter(on shore power) will charge a Li battery... I too had searched the sit and found only one post, sooty no reference.  Why hasn't anyone else gone this direction? 
    Most individuals are taking a " wait/see" attitude on the LI batteries as I am and obviously they are very expensive.  I doubt many of the dealers are too well versed on them at this point in time as many of these folks are selling multiple products and aren't as focused on new technology detail, nor do they have the time to research these things as most folks on the forum.  

    I would think that questions regarding charging abilities, capability, etc. would be something that the manufacturer of the batteries or electric converter would be better suited to answer.  You'd have to think that the people building the converters (e.g., WFCO, etc.) have to be testing and developing a more enhanced and robust unit to address the LI generation of batteries too.  Have any of you fired off an inquiry to WFCO, etc???  You can bet that this will be a game changer for the RV industry in the future and would bet the larger motor coach units are probably out there with a few installed right now.  
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 T@B Max S
    Attached Image
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,367Member
    4ncar said:
    jkjenn said:
    I see this note:

    "NOTE: Charging with an existing lead acid charger or inverter charger that bulk charges at 13.6 volts is acceptable, however it will take longer than a specialized li-ion charging system. These batteries perform best at 14.4 volts bulk and absorption charge."

    You will want to get a separate battery charger. The Converter does not hit the absorption stage.
    So...typical dealer response..." of course it will, absolutely, what ever you say..." Supposedly, they spoke to nucamp.... pppffftt!

    Umm....no...this really has nothing to do with nuCamp or a dealer rip-off. Most RV converters do not charge sufficiently to reach absorption phase of charging, they max out at 13.6v. You will reduce the life expectancy of your battery if you repeatedly do not charge it to absorption (14.4v) There are plenty of threads on this issue if you do a search. Most people concerned with battery longevity and purchase a separate battery charger to reach the absorption phase. I use my solar controller but am looking at battery chargers for convenience. People who just drive a couple of hours and plug in at the state park generally never notice. 



    I would think that questions regarding charging abilities, capability, etc. would be something that the manufacturer of the batteries or electric converter would be better suited to answer.  You'd have to think that the people building the converters (e.g., WFCO, etc.) have to be testing and developing a more enhanced and robust unit to address the LI generation of batteries too.  Have any of you fired off an inquiry to WFCO, etc???  You can bet that this will be a game changer for the RV industry in the future and would bet the larger motor coach units are probably out there with a few installed right now.  
    @FuzzyYanni has done quite a bit of research on this issue and the WFO converter in the T@b does not reach absorption.

    The write-ups I have seen from some of the FT RVers who have done this conversion indicate that to date, the batteries did not last as long as promised. These folks were not using standard anything when it came to power - everything was custom. 

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • libertyolibertyo Posts: 32Member

    Thank you so much for your feedback.  Yep, not exactly trusting info sellers put out there. My first step is asking if anyone has already installed li batteries in a t@b – doesn’t look like it darn.  I've got more researching to do.  FYI, I’m not deterred by the expense as much as the fact that no one has done it!   In retrospect, I should’ve purchased the outback.  Since I didn’t, I’m happy to put that extra expense right back into my 2016 maxs.  I’ve got a few upgrades to make my Bella nearly perfect for me.  Lifted outback axles happening and want to move the spare tire to the tongue.  I’m concerned about tire along with the extra weight of 2 6volt batteries, plus the aluminum platform and whatever I put in storage boxes on that platform.  My perfect world includes li battery!  Maybe WFCO will get this converter on the market someday, doesn’t appear to be available yet. 

    Lithium-Ion Converter Coming Soon

    On February 20, 2017

    WFCO has a history of providing RV electrical solutions that the marketplace needs, often well before the demand reaches a peak, and this instance is no exception! As part of WFCO’s continued commitment to providing the RV industry with leading power solutions, we will soon be introducing the industry’s first two-stage Lithium-Ion Converter for RVs.

    "Bella"  2016 T@b maxs blue, towed by '18 Chevy Colorado ZR2 duramax diesel - yes NEW baby, accompanied by the Red dog
    Rural Liberty Hill, TX, near Austin
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,367Member
    I can't remember who, but there is an infrequent poster who has done this. I have not found that the juice is worth the squeeze, yet from a price/value point, yet. I would probably opt, instead for the 230ah AGM that they are using in the 400 or stick with the dual golf cart batteries.

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • libertyolibertyo Posts: 32Member
    Meh, drop in replacement is questionable.  I've decided to go with 2 - 6v golf cart batteries.  If anyone out there installs a lithium battery in their t@b, please give details on what when how!  

    Response from Wfco converter installed in our t@bs:  "You will not get the full benefit of the Lithium battery by using a normal converter.  It is best to have a converter that is designed for this type of battery.  We are still working on this but don't have one on the market as of yet."

    Response from Zamp (using 120amp solar suitcase now):   "The new 120-P has the ability to work with a lithium battery, but your model from 201 does not.
    You would need to order a new lithium charge controller for your unit to be able to use a lithium battery."

    Response from lithium battery manufacturer:  NONE
    "Bella"  2016 T@b maxs blue, towed by '18 Chevy Colorado ZR2 duramax diesel - yes NEW baby, accompanied by the Red dog
    Rural Liberty Hill, TX, near Austin
  • RollingztoneRollingztone Posts: 15Member
    I installed 2 Battleborn 100ah batteries in parallel in the closet of my 2012 T@B. They are drop-in replacements for lead acid group 27's. They weigh 33 lbs, give off no gas, can be oriented any way you want (mine are sideways), take no maintenance whatsoever, and can be drained down to 1 amp hour before recharging. I emailed Battleborn about a dozen times with questions and they gave quick and thorough responses. They have a table on their website that shows what converters are compatible with LiFePO4 charging. The new Zamp solar chargers have a LiFePO4 setting that takes them up to 14.4V when charging. I got good information from Joe at Back Country Solar in Colorado. I love 'em.

    2012 PLVA T@B U-Layout, modified M@XX, Dark Blue Trim. 2008 GMC Sierra Z714X4 SLT 5.3L V8
  • 4ncar4ncar Posts: 260Member
    Yes, but the t@b converter doesn’t charge it fully...
    TV- '14 Jeep GC Eco Diesel & '09 JKU 
    2018 320S Outback
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 91Member
    @Rollingztone.
    installed 2 Battleborn 100ah batteries in parallel in the closet of my 2012 T@B. They are drop-in replacements for lead acid group 27's.  . . .  The new Zamp solar chargers have a LiFePO4 setting that takes them up to 14.4V when charging.
    Could you provide a simple diagram and full parts list for your installation.

    It would be very helpful / interesting to understand your set-up.

    For example;  Have you disconnected the WFCO 'battery charge' line and added a battery compatible charger in the T@B or do you only use a 14.4V charger {AC powered} at home (between outings)?

    2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
    Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

  • RatkityRatkity Posts: 3,183Member
    @MuttonChops, I currently have the camper plugged in. Normally, I run the 100W solar panel suitcase to it and have the battery disconnect switch flipped. I didn't connect the panels this time because of the short days and weak sun. That and I knew there was going to be snow and ice in the forecast. My solar panels are currently locked to my wrought iron rails on my front porch. If I have to boondock, it's usually with friends and they don't mind me running the Honda 2000 - especially if they get fresh Keurig coffee. They also can plug in to my external outlets. Their power needs are minimal (homebuilt teardrops). Keep in mind, these are times I am not running the A/C. 

    As an aside, the little Keurig barely makes the Honda change it's running speed, unlike a drip pot. I suppose it's one cup vs a pot.
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha T@B from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a T@Bluver at heart)
  • RollingztoneRollingztone Posts: 15Member
    Re. MuttonChops questions. The WFCO converter/charger is still in-line with the Battleborn batteries and is on the Battleborn charger compatibility list on their website. I periodically do a full charge with the 160 watt portable Zamp solar system which takes the batteries up to the full 14.4V. These batteries are supposed to have a 3000-5000 charge cycle life. According to Battleborn, by not fully charging to 14.4V every time, it may lessen the life charge cycles by a few. I have installed a Victron BMV-700 battery monitoring system as well and try not to recharge the batteries until they are at least below 50% capacity. I'm working on a diagram and parts list and will post when I'm done.

    2012 PLVA T@B U-Layout, modified M@XX, Dark Blue Trim. 2008 GMC Sierra Z714X4 SLT 5.3L V8
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 91Member
    @Rollingztone.
    Thank you.
    Am looking forward to your next posting of installation details.

    Would seem your approach to top-off with the solar sourced 14.4V is a good solution.  WFCO only enters bulk charge 14.4V under specific battery voltage conditions (have not found details on the programed levels) with Li-ion batteries having such a flat voltage discharge curve would guess the WFCO won't enter bulk mode until the battery is near 80% discharged then WFCO will only output 14.4V for four hours . . . . most likely too short a time to fully recharge the Li-ion.

    Even with a shorter battery charge cycle life due to less than ideal charging conditions the light weight and true AmpHr capacity do make Li-ion so tempting.
    2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
    Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

  • RollingztoneRollingztone Posts: 15Member
    Re. MuttonChops questions. Here is a diagram and parts list you asked for. Let me know if you have any questions.


    2012 PLVA T@B U-Layout, modified M@XX, Dark Blue Trim. 2008 GMC Sierra Z714X4 SLT 5.3L V8
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 91Member
    edited January 17
    @Rollingztone

    EXCELLENT Documentation.  Thank You.


    Seeing your added On/Off Switch on the WFCO 12VDC line I now understand your earlier comment about not charging until the battery is near 50% discharge.  You can control WFCO charging while on shore power!

    Question:

    How does the Tow Vehicle +12VDC connect to your set-up or have you 100% disconnected the TV +12V input source from your T@B.   Which would mean while driving only battery power is available to the T@B.








    2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
    Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

  • RollingztoneRollingztone Posts: 15Member
    Re. MuttonChops questions. If I understand your question, I didn't change anything regarding the WFCO connections or the TV connection. When the T@B is plugged in to the TV and my battery bank is turned off, everything in the T@B still works, e.g., lights, water pump, fan, etc., as does the external T@B turn signals, license plate light, etc. The TV just can't charge the batteries. The inverter is always able to be turned on and work (it is connected directly to the battery and the inverter on/off switch is built into the inverter) regardless of whether the batteries are turned off, on or the TV is or is not connected. The battery off switch just isolates the batteries from the WFCO and, hence, charging from the the TV  and shore power.
    2012 PLVA T@B U-Layout, modified M@XX, Dark Blue Trim. 2008 GMC Sierra Z714X4 SLT 5.3L V8
  • RollingztoneRollingztone Posts: 15Member
    By the way...how do you get that @Rollingztone under your picture when you reply to my post?
    2012 PLVA T@B U-Layout, modified M@XX, Dark Blue Trim. 2008 GMC Sierra Z714X4 SLT 5.3L V8
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 91Member
    . . . I didn't change anything regarding the WFCO connections or the TV connection. When the T@B is plugged in to the TV and my battery bank is turned off, everything in the T@B still works . . .  The battery off switch just isolates the batteries from the WFCO and, hence, charging from the the TV  and shore power.
    Now I understand.  The On/Off Switch is the Factory Standard Battery Isolation Switch.  And you can still decide if the TV charges the Battery Bank or not.

    No question your information has been very helpful and encouraging. Li-ion upgrade like your's is on my to-do-list . . . however, might wait until next year after recovery from the initial T@B purchase.



    Rollingztone; will address your other question in a PM

    2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
    Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

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