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Author Topic: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium  (Read 531 times)

Mprats3

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2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« on: October 02, 2020, 12:29:44 PM »
Hello, I have a 2005 Roadtrek 170P. I want to change my house battery to a Lithium battery. Has anyone done this? I contacted Roadtrek to see if It was as simple as just replacing the battery or if I needed to do some modifications. They said I had to take it to tech and could not tell me over email. Anyone here know anything about this. Thanks!

Mark_K5LXP

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2020, 01:45:08 PM »
see if It was as simple as just replacing the battery or if I needed to do some modifications.

The latter.  There's some benefits to running lithium but it's not plug and play.  At a minimum you need to manage the charge differently, from the alternator for sure and depending on the converter, there too. 

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM


Tom55555

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2020, 02:11:13 PM »
Lithium has five times the energy density verses lead acid. I converted our e-bikes from SLA batteries to lithium which dropped 13 and 19 pounds per bike which is a huge difference on a bicycle.

Lithium batteries are great for weight, cycles and drain but they are expensive. I'll stay with lead acid in my coach until the prices drop, weight becomes an issue or I need more power.

2015 Winnebago 22R

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2020, 06:55:13 PM »
Lithium batteries have a different charging voltage profile than lead-acid, so for optimal results you would want a different charger.  I've heard that some lithium 12v batteries are designed as replacements for lead-acid and have a built-in charge control that help protect them for the charge voltage typically applied to lead acid, but I don't know a brand to suggest.
 
Opinions on what happens when a lead-acid charger is used on an LiFeO2 battery varies from disaster to simply sub-optimal. Most articles on the subject are written from the viewpoint of either an avid advocate of lithium batteries or a battery engineer, so often lack a practical use perspective.


Be careful when researching lithium batteries on the internet because there are several different lithium battery chemistries and they do differ. And what is gospel truth for an electric vehicle battery pack probably doesn't apply very well to a 12v battery package.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 06:59:27 PM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

X-Roughneck

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2020, 05:05:31 AM »
I am not battery savvy, but I do know I was peaking at the Battle Born Batts as a Fantasy install. 

I saw the I think CEO on YouTube, the Battle Born have no Cranking Amp Capacity. 

My Coach Batteries share Cranking Duty for my onboard 4k Onan Gen Set, so I quit looking at that point. 

I am thinking about taking a under dinnette storage for a couple more soon to be AGM to get up to 4, Gel Celled once these Lead Acid I have die out. That and throw 2 more Panels on the roof to go with the OEM 100 watt Zamp Panel that came with the RV I guess as a Trickle Charger.   

For me adding the batts to this location might not be so smart with the 2 ft travel of the slide when in Operator Mode, as it maybe better to modify the slide tray by taking it to a Pro Welder.

JD
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2020, 08:52:15 AM »
Quote
I saw the I think CEO on YouTube, the Battle Born have no Cranking Amp Capacity.

My Coach Batteries share Cranking Duty for my onboard 4k Onan Gen Set, so I quit looking at that point.
It's true - the Battle Borns are designed for continuous amps rather than the surge of a cranking job. The BB will deliver 100amps continuous and 200A for 30 seconds, enough for small engines in warm weather but not the best choice for regular starting or tough conditions. In fact its Battery Management System will shut the battery off if the amp draw exceeds 200A for more than a half-second or so.  Note, however, that is per battery, so a pair of the BBs in parallel would very likely stay within the 200A (each) envelope as long as engine temperatures were above freezing.

Battle Born has an excellent FAQ section on their website that addresses common usage questions like this. One entire section is dedicated to motorized RV use.

https://battlebornbatteries.com/systems/rv/motorized/
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Tom55555

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2020, 11:34:04 AM »
2015 Winnebago 22R

X-Roughneck

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2020, 12:50:52 PM »
I recommend batteries be installed in ventilated areas. Here are two articles that may be helpful.

https://www.mtcounties.org/news/association-news/safety-corner/lesson-learned-exploding-batteries/

https://www.coastalclimatecontrol.com/index.php/blog/54-battery/122-thermal-runaway-in-agm-batteries-in-defense-of-lithium-ion-batteries.html#:~:text=The%20simple%20fact%20is%20that,possibility%20of%20fire%20and%20explosion.

Good Articles. 

I performed Battery Maint today down here in my Dusty Desert. It has been about 90 days. 

The outside cells took about 3 oz and the inner 2 0z /24 oz Distilled total.  They always take about the same. I try to do the maint every 90 on schedule.  Looks like I need to step up the maint interval as 90 seems outside the window I need to be in not to give the batts a big drink of distilled H20. 

I probably overcharge, not sure as I have the 100 w panel on the fence trickle charging constantly with mobile clamps direct on the house batt terminals.

I still have the Roof 100W in play, but only absorbs indirect rays as the sun is shielded from hitting the Roof of the RV.

JD
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

Mprats3

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2020, 01:09:29 PM »
Thanks everyone for your input. It looks like it may be too complicated and expensive for me right now. I appreciate everyone’s help.

Tom55555

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2020, 05:17:11 PM »
If you aren't familiar with smart chargers with a desulfator check them out. I get ten years plus on my lead acid batteries with the exception of my sump pump back up system which beeps after about five years.

I use this charger on every 12 volt battery I have INCLUDING my deep cycle batteries about every six months. Highly recommend.

By the way, they offer different connectors for your toys. Permanent attachment for my motorcycle and I installed a cigarette lighter plug on my 10KW Duramax generator which also works great on my RV starter battery.

https://www.amazon.com/BatteryMINDer-Model-12117-Maintainer-Desulfator/dp/B000P23HZS
https://www.amazon.com/BatteryMINDer-Volt-Vehicle-Power-Plug/dp/B001DZNCNS
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KS2GCXJ
« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 09:04:46 PM by Lou Schneider »
2015 Winnebago 22R

X-Roughneck

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2020, 04:10:31 AM »
If you aren't familiar with smart chargers with a desulfator check them out. I get ten years plus on my lead acid batteries with the exception of my sump pump back up system which beeps after about five years.

I use this charger on every 12 volt battery I have INCLUDING my deep cycle batteries about every six months. Highly recommend.

By the way, they offer different connectors for your toys. Permanent attachment for my motorcycle and I installed a cigarette lighter plug on my 10KW Duramax generator which also works great on my RV starter battery.

https://www.amazon.com/BatteryMINDer-Model-12117-Maintainer-Desulfator/dp/B000P23HZS
https://www.amazon.com/BatteryMINDer-Volt-Vehicle-Power-Plug/dp/B001DZNCNS
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KS2GCXJ

Nice share Tom.  I see the Desulfate the top link of the three stated is was NOT recommended for Deep Cycle Batteries.

I put up a 100 watt panel on my fence and I run the cable under the RV and Connect the Clamps direct to the House Battery Terminals.  I have a Regulator in the path. 

My question is the Maintenance "desulfating" function is being performed by the regulator box so me buying this particular cable would be NA.  I guess I am assuming the box is performing the function of the regulator I already have.

BTW I do have solar on the RV but only get indirect lighting as the metal roof is keeping the sun off so it cuts down on the Bake/Oven Effect due to the environment down here.

JD
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

Mark_K5LXP

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  • 2005 Itasca Sunova
Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2020, 09:21:44 AM »
"Sulfation" is the chemical process that occurs as a battery discharges.  All the time, every time.  It's how lead acid batteries work.  Where it becomes "bad" is if you discharge a battery and leave it that way for an extended period of time.  In this context, weeks or months.

When you recharge the battery it "desulfates" - the lead sulfate crystals on the plates get converted back to electrolyte.  In the context of marketing, "desulfators" are a schtick to recover batteries damaged by leaving them sit discharged for too long.  There are number of different "desulfate" methods and theories of what works "best" and it's highly subjective whether it's really effective or not.  My perspective is if your batteries are roached it's probably wishful thinking this will bring them back.  If they're not roached, then it's a don't care, it won't help and won't hurt.  If you store your batteries on a maintainer at 100% there's nothing for a "desulfator" to do and odds are pretty good it won't do much for a sulfate damaged battery.  To coin the phrase from a battery engineer I knew years ago, "you can't uncook that egg".

To the OP, despite all the advantages and features lithium batteries bring to many applications consider that every fossil fuel vehicle made today and millions and millions more in current use all have lead acid batteries in them.  The reason is simple - they work well enough.  If you need the features of lithium then the cost is what it is, but for the most part despite it's issues lead acid (SLI and storage) is often good enough.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

Tom55555

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2020, 04:39:02 PM »
In my experience, keeping the plates wet and using a good charger every 6 months makes them last a long time. I used to buy new batteries about every 3 to 5 years but now it's more like 5 to 10 years. I've had the Batteryminder for 15 years and it works well.
2015 Winnebago 22R

X-Roughneck

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2020, 07:36:44 AM »
In my experience, keeping the plates wet and using a good charger every 6 months makes them last a long time. I used to buy new batteries about every 3 to 5 years but now it's more like 5 to 10 years. I've had the Batteryminder for 15 years and it works well.

from a pure Battery Life stand Point...Your Historical Data shows...

So you are saying a every now and then charge coming from a Old School Battery Plug in charger is better that having a 100w free panel on the fence constantly trickle charging... from a pure battery Life stand point? 

There are trade offs to both approaches from a end user stand point...meaning a 110V cable laying around in the back yard, juiced.

JD
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 07:40:11 AM by X-Roughneck »
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

Mark_K5LXP

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  • 2005 Itasca Sunova
Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2020, 09:15:35 AM »
So you are saying a every now and then charge coming from a Old School Battery Plug in charger is better that having a 100w free panel on the fence constantly trickle charging... from a pure battery Life stand point? 

Here's the definitive answer for that - it depends.   :o

When batteries are in their "prime", and in a cool climate (winter), self discharge is little and a shot every six months will bring them back up.  When factored into the "noise" of all the other operational nuances of how an RV battery is used over it's life this becomes essentially suspended animation where the clock is ticking but the chemical activity is minimal.  But technically the battery is sitting at some state of charge less than 100% and for an extended period of time so it's not "ideal".

Constant trickle charging has the advantage of keeping the battery at 100%, 100% of the time.  This minimizes the slight chance of sulfation an inactive battery might see.  But, the actual voltage or charge profile used might not be "just right" for the battery topology and temperature, and could cause a bit of water use which if left unchecked can result in a dried out plate and ruined battery.  If the "trickle" is a bit more than a true trickle that extends for months at a time it can cause irreversible damage to the grid paste ("paste shedding") so there can be too much of a good thing.

In my opinion the best option is how many of the mains powered battery minder/tender products do it.  They monitor the battery voltage and only give a shot of juice for a prescribed amount when the battery actually needs it.  This eliminates the variables of temperature and self discharge conditions and there's virtually no water use.  Maybe there's some solar controllers out there that do this which would be the best of both worlds. 

Not factored into any battery maintenance you usually see published is the issue of electrolyte stratification.  For any idle battery this is a problem and will contribute to declining capacity over the life of the battery if it sits unused a lot.  The remedy for that is to either physically move the battery around (drive the vehicle) which stirs the electrolyte or provide an equalize charge which will generate gas and stirs the electrolyte from inside.  Once a month would take care of this but I think the prevailing opinion is more people would cause damage to their batteries by the over application of equalize charges than the damage caused by stratification, so just let the sleeping dog lie.  I've seen some converters and solar chargers with an equalization mode and it's a standard protocol in stationary battery banks.   With the preponderance of other deleterious issues at play in RV service, stratification is low on the list but if you're off into the weeds debating the subtleties of trickle vs boost maintenance you might as well cover all the bases.

At the end of the day, even a battery stored "perfectly" is going to fail eventually. They're degrading from the minute they're made and operating them successfully is just an exercise in managed decline.  In the grand scheme if you just do "something" you're way farther ahead than if you do nothing, so run 'em hard, charge 'em up and get what you can while you can because the end is always nigh.  If you manage to use them up before they give up, you win.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2020, 12:46:35 PM »
Yes, I don't really know until I try and dry camp or until I go up to My Sister's Place 20 miles outside Custer, Rushmore.  I think it is Wyoming actually, but I would love to take her up on her offer to come use the land.  It gets hot down here so I want to start utilizing the escape plan in the summer.  We got away from the August Blast Furnance temps down here for a couple weeks + this summer.

With cooler temps and lack of AC requirements hopefully when we go up I may just try to stick it out with the 2 Batteries Group 31.

Would I be a Idiot for adding more panels on the roof leaving just the OEM 2 Each, Group 31?  The OEM Zamp 30 Amp can accept 510 Watt Input.

I have 2 available Plugs on the roof.  Zamp Makes a 170 Watt Panel, but they are way Pricey/

If you were me. What would your next move be?  Add panels and leave the batts as is? Upgrade Panels and add 2 Batts. 

I hate to dig into the aesthetics too much as carpentry etc are not my strong suit and adding 2 batts to a slide now you have 18" of travel and cord you need to tension properly without hanging up and ripping / remodeling your wiring pulling it out with the slide motors. 

Not just as easy and throwing 2 in the bay and rolling.  The weight suck down of 100 LBs + almost scares me off right there. If I keep 2 I may just stick with Lead Acid.  I am not so sure the Gel is going to live up to this heat down here.  I also know there is a slight negative production value to bang to buck also going AGM but cant correlate that to real world eXperience.

Again we plug in to power where we normally go, but this Custer Area Land of 19 acres is very attractive.  I could drop a 30 amp service and pay my sister for electric too.  That may be cheaper as I don't see alot of other times we would be boon docking.  My tanks are too small to be out there for long periods, with 25 G/Black. 35 Gal Gray and Fresh only.
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

Mark_K5LXP

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2020, 01:57:16 PM »
I've been boondocking way more than parkin' it with hookups.  I think you would benefit greatly by pulling the plug and running stuff on your battery from the comfort and backup power opportunity of your home.  If all you're doing is going from park to park and starting your genset you're only scratching the surface of your capacity.  I have the benefit of a few decades messing with batteries and just after a cursory test of what the different loads in the class A were, the immediate conclusion was gee, I could go for days at this rate.  And I can.  In your driveway you have the luxury of running things possibly to the point of no return, and the remedy is nothing more traumatic than hauling out the extension cord and making mental or paper notes of what you did and what to try next time. 

Something to consider for your Wyoming destination is what the altitude is.  If it's anywhere like most places in the Rockies it may get toasty during the day but you'll see sometimes a 25-35 degree drop in temps at night.  What this translates to is depending if you're in the shade or not you might run the genset and A/C a bit in the mid afternoon but after that it's going to cool off quite nicely.  I'm sure you observed this during your recent trip to RMNP.  With little or no need for A/C, or heat, there are few other loads you'll have that require much genset or will take a serious bite out of your capacity.  LED lights draw very little and aren't on that long, the propane fridge is just a trickle.  If DW is watching TV that's probably the largest long-term load we have and we can still go for days on a couple GC-1's.  You won't know until you try and discovering it ain't no big deal will go a long way towards reducing charge anxiety and going through the gyrations of putting in batteries you don't need.

Solar's another question.  Having "too much" is usually never a bad thing as it brings up what batteries you have quicker, and gives you more power when conditions aren't optimum like clouds or daytime shade.  This translates to less genset time or maybe no genset time at all.  I'm generally not opposed to running the genset but even with that position it can get old to have it hammering away for hours every day, so I'd say if you have the option to augment your solar I would do that before adding batteries.  Maybe in the interest of expedience just taking panels with you and setting them up on site where they get decent exposure might be an option, since it requires no installation and gives you the option to park the rig in the shade.  The downside to that is it's one more thing to unpack, set up, tear down and pack away and portable solar can easily grow legs but might check the box for you. 

Another option is a distant generator.  A small inverter genset set up 50 or 100' away and putt-putting along dribbling Ah into your batteries a couple/three hours a day checks many boxes.  The one I have cannot be heard at the campsite when set up that far away and using a small folding table next to it as a sound barrier.  Not a great option at crowded campsites but it sounds like you have real estate to work with so that'd be an option in my book.  Saves a lot of messing around dorking with solar and it works no matter what the weather.  You could play "make believe' with this at home, plugging your RV into the AC mains for a prescribed amount of time simulating a genset run, and seeing how that plays into your energy budget.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM


Andrew Coates

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Re: 2005 Roadtrek 170P battery replacement to Lithium
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2020, 10:27:43 PM »
I own one Battle Born 100ah. It’s a great product! And they are a great company with solid customer service, but then again so is Renogy, and the Renogy is anywhere from $50-100 cheaper than a comparable Battle Born (100ah).