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Old 07-06-2019, 11:55 PM   #1
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Default LiFePO4 retrofit on Travato

I have a 2017 Winnebago Travato with 200 watts of solar in two panels. I also have a 30A (PWM) Zamp Charge Controller and two NAPA 105AH (Group 31) AGM batteries which are failing. I want to replace them with two 100AH BattleBorn LiFePO4 batteries. I have several questions that I haven't been able to answer as of yet. Can you help me out with this?

First question is, can I use my current Zamp controller? If so, what battery type should I program it for? If not, do I need an MPPT controller or will the PWM be satisfactory. Will my existing generator be able to charge these batteries. What about the engine generator?

Any other recommendations you might care to make would be appreciated.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:02 AM   #2
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Contact Battle Born, then post back with their recommendations. We have some experts here that can advise as to the validity of their reply.

I contacted Renogy and they suggested a DC to DC charger to prevent the chassis alternator from over charging and shutting down their lithium batteries. I decided to hold off since (in addition to the expense of the batteries) I'd be looking a a new charger and inverter. The cost can really add up quickly.

Then there was the question of how to get the onan generator to play nice. I hadn't even considered if that would be a problem or not. Just too many unknowns for someone with little expertise like me.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:12 AM   #3
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The first issue to deal with is the temperature sensitivity of the Li batteries. Three solutions: 1. Stay out of freezing conditions. 2. Put them in the living area. 3. Battery heating pads.

What solution are you going to use?
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:55 AM   #4
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The first issue to deal with is the temperature sensitivity of the Li batteries. Three solutions: 1. Stay out of freezing conditions. 2. Put them in the living area. 3. Battery heating pads.

What solution are you going to use?
You donít need to worry about any of those if you choose low temperature LiFePO4 batteries. So far Relion and Zeravolt make them. We use Zeravolt in our builds.
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:47 AM   #5
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What solution are you going to use?

Not an issue. Live in a rather temperate area. Can't remember the last time I saw <25 deg temps, but it does happen. In any event, I won't be camping then and holed up in a warm house. Just disconnect the batteries so they won't charge.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:19 AM   #6
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Not an issue. Live in a rather temperate area.
Put them in with a battery monitor and let us know how it goes. All previous people that were going to do that quit posting. With a battery monitor you can monitor voltages and make your own decisions about the changes that need to be made, if any, to meet battery specs.

Two Battleborn batteries will accept 80-100 amp charge rate. If you want to do that you will need a new charger. Install them and see what rate you get with your present charger.

As for solar, hook it up and see if it will exceed the voltage spec of 14.6 volts. It probably will not. I use 14.5 volts. Yes, I have two Battleborn batteries with an adjustable solar controller.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:37 PM   #7
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Put them in with a battery monitor and let us know how it goes. All previous people that were going to do that quit posting. With a battery monitor you can monitor voltages and make your own decisions about the changes that need to be made, if any, to meet battery specs.

Two Battleborn batteries will accept 80-100 amp charge rate. If you want to do that you will need a new charger. Install them and see what rate you get with your present charger.

As for solar, hook it up and see if it will exceed the voltage spec of 14.6 volts. It probably will not. I use 14.5 volts. Yes, I have two Battleborn batteries with an adjustable solar controller.
For those of us who have considered a change to lithium but have not due partially to cost and partially to uncertainties, could you please post your chassis make, inverter, charger, etc?

Did you add a second alternator? Did your OEM alternator play well with the battle borns and coach charger?

If you already posted this elsewhere, can you post the link? Thanks.

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Old 07-07-2019, 02:12 PM   #8
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You donít need to worry about any of those if you choose low temperature LiFePO4 batteries. So far Relion and Zeravolt make them. We use Zeravolt in our builds.
Aren't Relion and Zeravolt lithium batteries LiFePo4 chemistry. What makes them any different with -4F absolute storage temperatures and no charging at freezing temperatures?
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:55 PM   #9
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For those of us who have considered a change to lithium but have not due partially to cost and partially to uncertainties, could you please post your chassis make, inverter, charger, etc?

Did you add a second alternator? Did your OEM alternator play well with the battle borns and coach charger?

If you already posted this elsewhere, can you post the link? Thanks.

Where have you been?

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f2...stem-8526.html

There are other threads that a search for hybrid might get.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:22 PM   #10
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First question is, can I use my current Zamp controller? If so, what battery type should I program it for? If not, do I need an MPPT controller or will the PWM be satisfactory.
Which model Zamp? If it doesn't have a lithium program, then it looks like you can use the AGM program.

PWM will work.

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Will my existing generator be able to charge these batteries.
What model converter does your coach have? I.E - is it a WFCO, Progressive Dynamics, or ?

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What about the engine generator?
The biggest issue might be whether or not your alternator output will properly charge fully discharged lithiums without drawing too much current and tripping a breaker or overheating the alternator. Battleborn sells a special battery isolation manager that is supposed to mitigate that potential issue. It doesn't limit current though.

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Any other recommendations you might care to make would be appreciated.
  1. Check with Battleborn.
  2. Measure your alternator voltage - make sure that it's within range of the battery.
  3. Read up on the charge voltage requirements for our batteries, and make sure that both your converter and solar controller are compatible. For instance, even though my GoPower doesn't have a lithium profile, the AGM profile matches what Battleborn expects.
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