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Old 06-22-2018, 11:39 PM   #121
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Ball park estimate...about how much "money" does it cost to just be able to have enough lithium power to run an air conditioner for a couple hours and recharge the batteries the cheapest possible way?

What percentage of the cost for a lithium power system is for recharging? If I wanted to drastically cut the cost for a system...is recharging the angle to go?
It really depends on what kind of air conditioner you have.

In my Xplorer (and the same as some of the older Roadtreks) it had a window style AC unit. I put in a new high efficiency 9000 BTU model. It would run on 55-58 DC amps on full blast.

I put in a new magnum 2800 watt inverter ($1800), 400 watts of solar (from AM Solar ~$2500), the Advanced Magnum Remote ($300), the BMK ($200), four 125 AH Stark litium batteries (I paid $1300 each, but I see they've dropped to $1000 each now) and misc cables & switches ($300). All in, I probably spent 20 hours installing and tinkering.

In the end, I had a system that would run the whole coach. I ran the air for 5 hours and it only got down to 78% SOC. Anything above 60% SOC is an easy day's recharge on the solar alone. So I think overnite is no problem, but you couldn't recharge with just solar alone the next day - it would require some alternator charging or shore power connection.

A big rooftop AC unit is more problematic - the amp draw is going to be closer to 100 amps DC I think. So this size battery bank would only be good for a few hours. If you went with more batteries, then you'd have problems doing recharging without shore power.

So all-in, I'd say a rudimentary DIY system is $8-$10k depending on what you can do yourself. It's not cheap by any means, but it's not impossible either. It's certainly no comparison to the Volta system.

The cheapest possible way to recharge would be your engine's alternator or shore power connection. Without a second alternator, you will be limited to about 40-45 amps off your alternator. Shore power is better - my Magnum inverter will put 100-125 amps into the bank. All these are far below the max acceptance rate of these batteries - which is around 400 amps.
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:13 AM   #122
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So all-in, I'd say a rudimentary DIY system is $8-$10k depending on what you can do yourself. It's not cheap by any means, but it's not impossible either. It's certainly no comparison to the Volta system.
Thank you for the detailed explanation of what is needed! I'm guessing what makes the Volta system so expensive at this time is the recharging capabilities. In my case, using shore power to recharge a lithium system will enable me to afford it and meet my two hour max of ac. I am not capable of installing a DIY system so, I am trying to think of every possible way of getting the cost down to meet my one necessity. Very much appreciate learning about your system.
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Old 06-25-2018, 02:41 PM   #123
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I mean, really, what do you want? You expect some kind of completely silent recharging system? How about a 40kw battery? Oh yeah, you want all this on a $60k van too I suppose.
Of course people want things. One of the fundamental troubles with a Class B is weight, not overloading it. Wanting is human nature. Onan generators have always been noisy for people. I owned a 1987 Bluebird Wanderlodge with a 15K Japanese Yanmar diesel generator that was pretty damn quiet given the heavy sound insulation and placement design that Bluebird put into it.

On the other extreme, a Honda EU2200i portable generator for $1000 can run for 6 hours on a tiny tank of gas and can power a portable AC or a properly selected RV AC (or carefully making sure you only power the AC and no other loads in the RV). That's an old trick people have done for more than a decade - as it's a lot less sound than an Onan generator hanging off a typical Class B or Class C. Part of it can come down to being able to move the portable generator to one side of the RV and direct some of the noise.

Low-weight but expensive battery systems are a new approach. These topics are going to keep coming up and people learning the various solutions to the noise issue.
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:46 PM   #124
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A big rooftop AC unit is more problematic - the amp draw is going to be closer to 100 amps DC I think.
FWIW, I think the Travato rooftop A/C systems are about 12 amps. FitRV replaced his with a Dometic Penguin, and it used 13 amps, which he said was slightly more than the original.

https://youtu.be/azX83omvSwQ?t=873
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:07 AM   #125
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FWIW, I think the Travato rooftop A/C systems are about 12 amps. FitRV replaced his with a Dometic Penguin, and it used 13 amps, which he said was slightly more than the original.

https://youtu.be/azX83omvSwQ?t=873
The 12 and 13 amps are at 120v AC, not at 12v DC. Multiply by 10 and add some more for inverter inefficiency if you are running from the batteries.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:19 AM   #126
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The 12 and 13 amps are at 120v AC, not at 12v DC. Multiply by 10 and add some more for inverter inefficiency if you are running from the batteries.
Ah, that makes sense.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:18 AM   #127
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Of course people want things. One of the fundamental troubles with a Class B is weight, not overloading it. Wanting is human nature. Onan generators have always been noisy for people. I owned a 1987 Bluebird Wanderlodge with a 15K Japanese Yanmar diesel generator that was pretty damn quiet given the heavy sound insulation and placement design that Bluebird put into it.

On the other extreme, a Honda EU2200i portable generator for $1000 can run for 6 hours on a tiny tank of gas and can power a portable AC or a properly selected RV AC (or carefully making sure you only power the AC and no other loads in the RV). That's an old trick people have done for more than a decade - as it's a lot less sound than an Onan generator hanging off a typical Class B or Class C. Part of it can come down to being able to move the portable generator to one side of the RV and direct some of the noise.

Low-weight but expensive battery systems are a new approach. These topics are going to keep coming up and people learning the various solutions to the noise issue.

Of course people want things. One of the fundamental troubles with a Class B is weight, not overloading it


I thought it was "space".. not weight????.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:01 AM   #128
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Well, I placed an order for one of these Lithium Travatos. Going to get another G, this time in Granite.

They are selling with the typical Winnebago margins, so although the MSRP for this package is rather high ($29k), it get's discounted in the same way as the rest of the options you may desire. So still figure you can get a Travato full optioned out for the standard 25-30% off MSRP.
What options did you decide on for the GL?
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:16 AM   #129
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Coachmen is also offering an optional lithium ion system in its Galleria class B motorhomes Galleria Class B Motorhomes by Coachmen RV
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:24 AM   #130
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Coachmen is also offering an optional lithium ion system in its Galleria class B motorhomes Galleria Class B Motorhomes by Coachmen RV
Yes, there are posts about that back when it was announced. A few people have them now.

Currently it's only on their Sprinter models and the battery is small compared to the Volta system. Coachemen's system is the Xantrax package and includes the 600 AH battery from Lithionics. It's all 12 volt, not 48 volt like the Volta. I have the Lithionics battery in my Class A, so I can vouch for it's quality. It's a fairly big box, so I understand that since they install it inside (to avoid thermal protection measures), that's as big as they can go. It's also the biggest battery Lithionics makes, so they would need a 2 battery setup if they wanted to go bigger.

My estimate on the Coachmen is that it's probably good for 4 hours of air conditioning.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:26 AM   #131
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What options did you decide on for the GL?
I got everything except for the deluxe paint and the shiny cabinets. The quality on previous vans was poor, and with the granite color, the black bumper covers blend in just fine.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:10 PM   #132
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I got everything except for the deluxe paint and the shiny cabinets. The quality on previous vans was poor, and with the granite color, the black bumper covers blend in just fine.
Did you opt for the fixed steps or the retractable ones?

Why do you suppose they have gone to the Max Air exhaust only fan?
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:54 AM   #133
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4 hours of air conditioning sounds about right though there are folks who claim 6-8 hours of air conditioning time with the Coachmen/Xantrex system. But the runtime depends on other factors such as external temperature and other AC loads that are turned on at the time of air conditioning.
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