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Old 11-29-2020, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default Lithium batteries

I have a 2017 PW Ascent with 2 lithium batteries. I always disconnect the charger for the winter. Is it a problem to leave them out in the cold? It does get down to the 20ís at times here in southern Oregon.
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:52 PM   #2
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I have a 2017 PW Ascent with 2 lithium batteries. I always disconnect the charger for the winter. Is it a problem to leave them out in the cold? It does get down to the 20ís at times here in southern Oregon.
Not a problem for lithium batteries until you get down to -4ļ F. You should not charge them until the core battery temperature is above freezing.
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Old 12-06-2020, 06:00 PM   #3
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It’s no problem to leave them in place just make sure to disconnect ALL charging sources. Solar/alternator with the large red key disconnect. As well as generator and shore power separate breakers.
The batteries themselves need to be above freezing to safely charge them. A wireless temperature monitor located in the battery box will give you a good idea of the battery temperature.
PW owners can join the PW owners groups and get relevant answers from fellow PW owners that know the systems.
FB and/or groups.io have owners groups depending on which platform you prefer.
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Old 12-06-2020, 09:10 PM   #4
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Not a problem for lithium batteries until you get down to -4ļ F.
What happens when it goes below -4F. For example, to -30F.
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:20 PM   #5
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What happens when it goes below -4F. For example, to -30F.
Then you find a way to keep the batteries warm. In some installations, the batteries have a heater. Otherwise one would have to figure out a way to heat the coach.
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:25 PM   #6
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Then you find a way to keep the batteries warm. In some installations, the batteries have a heater. Otherwise one would have to figure out a way to heat the coach.
And if you don't have a way to keep them warm, in my case in very cold outside storage (down to -30F) with no access to 110 power, what happens. Are the batteries destroyed? Do they blow up? Or will they be ok when it warms up in the spring.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:36 AM   #7
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And if you don't have a way to keep them warm, in my case in very cold outside storage (down to -30F) with no access to 110 power, what happens. Are the batteries destroyed? Do they blow up? Or will they be ok when it warms up in the spring.
Yes, at those temperatures they are likely to be destroyed, due to internal freezing.

That is why I don't have lithium batteries.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:54 AM   #8
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Yes, at those temperatures they are likely to be destroyed, due to internal freezing.

That is why I don't have lithium batteries.
Your account gets a couple thousand dollars lighter to replace them. Those are expensive batteries. Learn to take care of them properly. You canít change them out for lead acid (AGMs included of course), so itís best to learn the limitations of them and prevent disasters.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:58 AM   #9
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itís best to learn the limitations of them and prevent disasters.
Or, if you don't need them, to avoid them entirely.

If you store your van without access to continuous reliable shore power, there is really no choice but to remove the batteries and take them indoors for the winter. For many people, this is worth it. For me, it is not, at least not right now.
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Old 12-07-2020, 02:55 AM   #10
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If my van is ever where it's -4F or below, I've made quite a few wrong turns.

Meanwhile, sure, if it's going to be that cold where your van is and you won't be camping anyway, go ahead and bring *all* your van's batteries inside until the weather improves.
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Old 12-07-2020, 03:39 AM   #11
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If you store your van without access to continuous reliable shore power, there is really no choice but to remove the batteries and take them indoors for the winter. For many people, this is worth it. For me, it is not, at least not right now.
Thanks Avanti and others. It's what I thought: lithium batteries aren't suitable for cold weather. I have a Roadtrek Zion with AGM and I leave it outside all winter charging through solar or remote start (when panels covered with snow). Even if they were lithiums, it would be a major job to remove the semi-permanently mounted under van batteries. I wonder how manufacturers like Pleasure-Way (Saskatoon - further north than I am in Calgary) manage it. I suppose every RV they build must be kept indoors through the winter, or batteries not installed yet. Although their batteries are more accessible than in a Roadtrek. Thank you.
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Old 12-07-2020, 05:40 AM   #12
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I live in Ontario where it gets pretty cold and own a 2018 PW Lexor. I leave my PW outside during the winters. There have been numerous discussions on this topic and numerous people have reached out to PW for info (including myself). Almost ALL of us Canadian PW owners leave our lithium batteries in our PW during the winter, including PW Industries in Saskatoon, MB (I believe they also store many of their vans outside in the winter with the lithium batteries kept inside them). As long as they are not charged below 0 degrees C, they should be fine.
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Old 12-07-2020, 03:03 PM   #13
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I live in Ontario where it gets pretty cold and own a 2018 PW Lexor. I leave my PW outside during the winters. There have been numerous discussions on this topic and numerous people have reached out to PW for info (including myself). Almost ALL of us Canadian PW owners leave our lithium batteries in our PW during the winter, including PW Industries in Saskatoon, MB (I believe they also store many of their vans outside in the winter with the lithium batteries kept inside them). As long as they are not charged below 0 degrees C, they should be fine.
This is an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Can you document that PW says that this was OK? What is your battery chemistry?

The effects of frigid temperature on lithium batteries are well-documented by the battery manufacturers, as is the underlying physics. At a bare minimum, ignoring the battery manufacturer's temperature specs would be considered "abuse" and is almost certainly excluded from your warranty, no matter what anybody tells you.

Everyone is of course free to do as they see fit, but I would caution folks about risking this kind of money based on Internet hearsay.
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Old 12-07-2020, 03:19 PM   #14
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I agree with Avanti, there is lots of evidence from the cell and major lithium system manufacturers that the -4* F is an important threshold.


What we have seen as much of is the drop in battery folks picking up that recommendation very much. Probably because it kind of blows up the whole idea of them being a drop in, no changes needed, replacement for lead acid batteries.


Personally, I would not be all that surprised if past, and maybe current, guidance from Pleasure-way would not mention the no below -4* for storage recommendation as IMO they have been behind the learning curve from the beginning of using the lithium batteries. The first time we saw a Pleasure-way at a show, the sales guys and reps knew absolutely nothing about how they worked and were telling all the perspective customers they would need nothing different than lead acid batteries in any way from charging, storage, whatever. For a long time they continued using the two way separator that would drain the lithium batteries when not on charge. They make a great product, but their lithium knowledge, IMO, is not top notch.
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