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Old 09-24-2022, 07:26 AM   #1
crtravis55
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Solarflex or lithium battery upgrade

We've got a 2022 Passport with the Solarflex 200i package and standard 100A AGM battery and Victron SmartSolar MPPT 75/15 solar charger. I have installed a Xantrex 1000w inverter and Renology battery monitor. My battery won't last the night keeping the 12v refrigerator going if I need to have the furnace running or a fan on the inverter at same time so I've resorted to tying into a second battery via jumper cables when I'm off shore power. We only use the inverter for TV, small appliances/fan or computer and only as needed. We don't do much boondocking yet other than state / national parks or one night at a Walmart w/o power. We do have a generator we could use but prefer not to if possible. Also don't do any winter camping at this point either.

My options:
- Get single 100A lithium battery to replace existing battery or upgrade to a single 200A lithium battery inside the front pass-through storage.
- Battery brand suggestions? There are several 200A batteries brands (Renology, etc.) that cost less or a little more than a single Battle Born 100A
-On either choice, is it worth adding second solar panel - I don't have a problem with present battery charging on existing single panel solar.
-Do I need to upgrade the Victron charger if going to a bigger battery?
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Old 09-24-2022, 06:23 PM   #2
mikec557
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Originally Posted by crtravis55 View Post
We've got a 2022 Passport with the Solarflex 200i package and standard 100A AGM battery and Victron SmartSolar MPPT 75/15 solar charger. I have installed a Xantrex 1000w inverter and Renology battery monitor. My battery won't last the night keeping the 12v refrigerator going if I need to have the furnace running or a fan on the inverter at same time so I've resorted to tying into a second battery via jumper cables when I'm off shore power. We only use the inverter for TV, small appliances/fan or computer and only as needed. We don't do much boondocking yet other than state / national parks or one night at a Walmart w/o power. We do have a generator we could use but prefer not to if possible. Also don't do any winter camping at this point either.

My options:
- Get single 100A lithium battery to replace existing battery or upgrade to a single 200A lithium battery inside the front pass-through storage.
- Battery brand suggestions? There are several 200A batteries brands (Renology, etc.) that cost less or a little more than a single Battle Born 100A
-On either choice, is it worth adding second solar panel - I don't have a problem with present battery charging on existing single panel solar.
-Do I need to upgrade the Victron charger if going to a bigger battery?
Remember, nothing "runs" on your solar panel. Everything (12v and your INverter) runs off your 12v battery. So if your AGM doesn't last through the night, no amount of solar panels will change that. You need more battery, and yes, I think lithium rather than lead acid (LA) is the answer. But other people may disagree. Think of lithium as 100% usable rather than 50% usable like LA. Whether 100ah or 200ah is math you'll have to figure based on how you want to have power before you "have to" recharge the battery.

YouTube a guy by the name of Will Prowse. He can help you figure out which battery brand you want to buy. And he'll help you understand your solar system.

Personally, I think you should get 200ah of lithium battery. It will give you a cushion of power for unexpected needs.

Oh yeah, no I don't think you need a new solar charge controller. The Victron 75/15 has a lithium battery setting.
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Old 09-26-2022, 03:12 PM   #3
jeffmoore564
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I just bought the 200ah Renogy battery and am installing it this weekend. Going to put it in the pass-through and need to do some rewiring. We do a lot of remote, extended camping so I am anxious to test it’s battery life. I have a 200watt suitcase solar panel that I use during the day. I will let you know how it goes. We are going off-grid again in the middle of October. Will get back to you when we get back…
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Old 09-26-2022, 09:13 PM   #4
crtravis55
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Thanks, I'm looking at the Ampere Time 200Ah lithium battery with the low temp self-heating feature to make up for the lack of low temp charging protection most of these batteries don't have. I understand higher end ones like Battle Born do have low temp protection standard but the price is almost double for same capacity. We live in MI and plan on doing some fall and maybe even winter camping.
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Old 09-26-2022, 10:38 PM   #5
jeffmoore564
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Live in AZ. Cold is not really an issue. Only place it gets -4 degrees is a place I do not plan on camping. Good luck and enjoy…
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Old 09-27-2022, 06:32 AM   #6
JRTJH
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Live in AZ. Cold is not really an issue. Only place it gets -4 degrees is a place I do not plan on camping. Good luck and enjoy…
The problem isn't just when you're camping, but also when your trailer is parked in storage or beside your house. The solar charging system and/or the shore power cable both will provide power to recharge the trailer batteries while in storage and if the temperature drops to that -4 degrees, your battery could be damaged, even while sitting in storage. So, if you install lithium batteries without a heating circuit, and the temperature will drop below the minimum recommended while the trailer charging system is connected to the battery, make sure you disconnect the battery to protect it from being charged "automatically" even if the trailer is not being used for camping at the time.
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Old 09-29-2022, 05:37 AM   #7
Javi
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
The problem isn't just when you're camping, but also when your trailer is parked in storage or beside your house. The solar charging system and/or the shore power cable both will provide power to recharge the trailer batteries while in storage and if the temperature drops to that -4 degrees, your battery could be damaged, even while sitting in storage. So, if you install lithium batteries without a heating circuit, and the temperature will drop below the minimum recommended while the trailer charging system is connected to the battery, make sure you disconnect the battery to protect it from being charged "automatically" even if the trailer is not being used for camping at the time.
Or... my Battle Born batteries have a built in monitor which will not allow the battery to charge if the temps drop too low.. you can still draw power from the battery but it will not accept a charge.
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Old 10-02-2022, 06:03 PM   #8
unyalli
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Be aware of BMS rating. In general your 1000w inverter will pull around 83 amps if you draw the full 1000 watts. Both Amperetime 200ah and BB 100ah heated have 100amp bms with surge ability. If 100 amp draw is plenty your golden with AT 200ah. On the other hand for similar price you could get two AT 100ah heated and in parallel have 200ah and 200 amp draw.
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Old 10-03-2022, 06:40 PM   #9
TimC
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Check out SOK. Not the cheapest, but cheaper than battleborn. Has low temp charge protection also. I have six of the 200 ah batteries and so far they’ve been great.
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Old 10-04-2022, 12:51 AM   #10
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I have a 2021 Cougar 26rbs... Threw out the double lead acid batteries it came with and upgraded to two 100ah Battleborn lithium heated batteries... These will allow charging in cold weather below 32 degrees... Have 175 watts solar that trailer came with... We have boondocked 3 days w/o problems even with night heating. It was a tight squeeze to get the larger two group 27 cases on the front... Had to trim the inside case handles... :-)
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Old 10-04-2022, 05:11 AM   #11
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Interesting enough I started at 400w and changed out to 2 100ah AGM batteries from the beginning since i wanted to ensure the 12V fridge and the heat would work "without question". I have not been disappointed. I now have 3 170W panels, 2000W inverter with the original batteries. At the current time I basically only turn on the inverter for coffee, TV, power tools and sometimes external lights.



I've entered a number of posts in here on the installation of this system and my mistake of putting in a 2000W inverter/charger. Naively I didn't realize that the charger portion can not be turned off...I've fixed this but that is off track from the OP. The part that is relevant is running a 1000W inverter with the fan for a meaningful period of time is probably a lot bigger draw than you think. You probably want to look at the stored data on your controller for "the end of the day" when you stop using the fan.



Personally I would change all of this at your house incrementally. (if you can park there).



1. (as others have stated)....increase the battery resources as the first step and figure out other non-inverter fan solutions. - money well spent anyways.



2. Monitor the charge rate after a night of running the furnace and the fridge only. (when does the controller indicate a full charge?).


3. If #2 doesn't happen after long hours and a "cloudy day", then look at adding another panel or supplement it with a portable panel as you probably have another solar port for that purpose.



If you upgrade the roof panel you will probably have to upgrade to a 20A (I'd go to 30A) controller.
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Old 10-06-2022, 09:32 AM   #12
DrSmart1
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We just wanted the residential fridge to run while travelling or when there's a power outage while camping. The Group 32 LA battery wouldn't keep the fridge running for very long. Installed two 100ah Renogy LiFepo4 batteries in parallel. Went with 2x100 instead of 1x200 for redundancy. If one of the batteries fails, I can disconnect it and have a single 100ah. This trip in prepping the trailer, we put the slides out, loaded the trailer. Turned on Residential fridge, put the slides in, raised the levellers and landing gear, drove 4 hours, operated the landing gear, levellers and slides for set up. 81% charge remaining on the 2x100's. Lithiums were the best upgrade I've made. I tried running the furnace and fridge on battery while here. The Renogy app estimated 11 hours remaining, but I wouldn't let them totally discharge. The inverter is a 1200 watt Xantrex. The power converter has the Lithium charge option. When we connected to shore power the converter/charger fed 40 amps total to the 2 batteries recharge.Didn't take long to get back to 100%.

I'm not planning to add solar.
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