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Switching to Lithium Ion Batteries recommendations on which type I should get and can I switch out??


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I am sure this topic has been posted before but I cannot find it..

I have had my Oliver 2 for 4 years now and have used it about 3 months out of every year. I went cheap and got the 6V battery option (i do have the 2000W inverter and a zap connector for solar)  Now I seem to be having problems holding a charge on these batteries using solar. I think they are shot so I think I need to upgrade to the lithium ion batteries to hold the charge. My Norcold refrigerator comes up with a C error code when the battery reading gets down to less than 10.5.

I want to switch to lithium ion batteries so I can use my microwave etc. when boon docking. Can I just take the four 6V batteries out of the battery compartment (see pics) and put 2 lithium ones in and just hook the connectors up as it is? Any recommendations on what the best battery to use? 

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Posted (edited)

Short answer:  Not really.  

Kindly create your signature block with your TV and Ollie hull number and I am sure many responses specific to your Hull will be forth coming.

Expanding on the not really part:  You'll need a shunt so as to monitor your SOC.  Also a master cutoff switch as well.  Suggest 350 amp BlueSeas.  Likely some cable work would be beneficial.  Many of use Battleborn 100 amp hour batteries.  Mostly three of them.  Others go with a higher dollar version and much higher capacity.  To run AC, you'll want a 3,000 inverter with a second A/B Switch.  All can be DIY if you have the tools and skills.

I would recommend first searching for Lithium on the forum.  There are a bunch of different ways to do it.  

GJ

Edited by Geronimo John
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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Imelda said:

I want to switch to lithium ion batteries so I can use my microwave etc. when boon docking.

You can use your microwave with the 2,000 watt inverter.  I did for 5 years. 

Since your hull is only a few years old, those batteries should last several more years.  

Many owners also went "less expensive" when purchasing and then when their LA batteries die, they upgrade then.  That's smarter use of money already invested.  It would also give you time to study the technical issues of conversion.

GJ

Edited by Geronimo John
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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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Posted (edited)

@Imelda, yes @Geronimo John is certainly correct in running the microwave on a 2KW inverter. Our setup is similar to yours. I run our inverter day-and-night, for many needs. Use the microwave to reheat coffee in the morning, leftovers for lunch, etc. The TV is often running, laptop chargers, etc. Chris runs an electric tea kettle and a blow-dryer occasionally. Many of these are 1100-1500 watts each, so you can only run one at a time. We travel mainly in the sunny SW, so usually we're good on batteries. But if a cloudy day is in the forecast, I'll still run the microwave for 30 secs or more, but we will forgo the electric tea kettle for one on the LP stovetop.

You could run two such appliances with a 3KW inverter at the same time. But the main reason to upgrade to a 3KW Inverter is to run your AC unit. Some cool in the afternoons when boondocking is what we truly want, eventually. But again, it comes down to available battery capacity. 

LI is not a straightforward battery swap, but not very difficult. There are charger settings to change and likely some new cabling. You'll want to add a shunt and perhaps a display or other options.

GJ also mentioned Battleborn 100AH batteries. They run a little about $900 each, call it $3,000 +/- taxed and shipped, for three units totaling 300AH (I believe 4 will not fit). There are better options. Why replace relatively new batteries, ours are 450AH lead-acid, 225AH usable, for 300AH LiFePO4? Not a large enough bump for the money.

I believe OTT uses Lithioncs brand in their Lithium Pro Package, which states 390AH. Though I could not find a 390AH Lithionics model shopping online. Many online sellers list their 320AH battery at a whopping $4,500, more like $5K OTD. Perhaps top-of-the-line but one of the most expensive LI batteries. There are better options out there today, unless $$$$ is not an issue. 

I learned of Epoch batteries last fall on this forum. They are priced to sell with good reports. In fact, this model is soooo HOT at $1,399 it is often out-of-stock: 12V 460Ah Heated & Bluetooth LiFePO4 Battery - Epoch Essentials (epochbatteries.com) That's 460AH which would double your capacity in one battery. Some do prefer redundancy if one fails, but I would take that risk.

Mike @rideadeuce went with TWO 460AH Epoch batteries, amazing! A more expensive, but still competitively priced, model including "Victron Comms." I don't believe you need this feature as a Victron shunt would be enough for me. This model is $1,999 list and during last year Black Friday sale it was 15% off! I almost pulled the trigger. Maybe next year, LI prices have come down every year.

He went this route to fit two batteries side-by-side for 920AH total. The first model I mentioned I believe fits in the battery tray (you know measure twice, ...) but you can only fit one in the bay since it is wider (one would be enough for most campers). The Victron Comms model is narrower, yet taller, so Mike removed the sliding battery tray to accommodate. A crazy amount of stored power for a small TT, a creative plan and sound installation. Check it out: Victron MP2 with (2) Epoch 460ah batteries. DAY #1 Removal, rewiring, mounts, routing wires - Ollie Modifications - Oliver Owner Forums (olivertraveltrailers.com)

I suggest reading several more posts here, do other online research, give it a lot of thought, ask more questions and "patience grasshopper!" These batteries should last 10 years and if you add a 3KW inverter and perhaps other options (checkout the Victron product line) it becomes a large investment. You want to make the right choices, so that it works for your needs many years. Hope this helps! 🙂

Edited by jd1923
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Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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19 hours ago, Imelda said:

…I want to switch to lithium ion batteries….

 

Just be aware that the batteries you want are Lithium Iron Phosphate not Lithium Ion. 

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Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

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Battle Borns are a good option - made in USA in Reno, NV.  They're an authorized Victron dealer.  Excellent "over the phone" product support for integrating future Victron upgrades, in my experience. 

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Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA
  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
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It’s a little hard to tell from the picture provided but it appears that your batteries are all wired in parallel. This means most likely they are 12v batteries. Personally I’d just replace all 4 with a single 460ah Epoch unit. No jumpers necessary, easy install, no reason for a shunt because it’s a single battery that has Bluetooth communication showing battery life et al. 

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As @jd1923 mentioned, there are charger settings that need to be changed on your Xantrex for lithium batteries. OTT could provide those for you. You might need to change the cabling to fit the new battery terminal locations. Our Lithionics report their SOC through a Bluetooth app, so we don't have a separate shunt, but they are expensive. As for running the A/C, we have the 3000W inverter and can do that for an hour or so and recover the charge the next day if it's sunny. 

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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Posted (edited)

Update to my battery situation. I was having a hard time getting batteries to charge and hold a charge. The previous night I was hooked up to shore power and now the batteries are doing great. holding 12.9V off shore (boon docking), refrigerator is doing great running on propane and no C (low battery error). The batteries seemed to have healed themselves. The batteries are the 6 Volt AGM batteries, four of them. see diagram below

I have no experience with batteries but is it possible they got down so low that they could not fully charge with solar or hooked to the truck charge and they needed full up 120V 30A  charge to remedy them? Anyone have similar experience? 

My 2000W inverter has a shut off set about 12.1V so I need to figure how to set it to a lower voltage. It would-be nice to run the microwave for a minute or two to reheat my coffee. I have purchased a Jackery 1500 that I love that can run the microwave, air fryer etc.  but it would be nice to use the inverter that I paid for. 

jd1923 or anyone how do I change the battery shut of voltage lower than 12.1V? Right now I can 30 secs of microwave before it shuts off. Is there a youtube somewhere?

image.thumb.jpeg.d1b635d7f05449f82b2b1e7ffd39c965.jpeg

Edited by Imelda
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12.1 volts is just about 50% SOC for your AGM batteries (wired in series to produce 12 volts). You generally don't want to discharge them below 50%. That's why the inverter is set to cut off at 12.1 volts.

"Try to keep your max discharge level to 50% – this is 12.1v on AGM batteries – as our cycle life data is based on a 50% discharge level. You can technically take AGM batteries lower than that, but the cycle life will reduce accordingly." Source: https://www.alpha-batteries.co.uk/blog/a-detailed-guide-to-agm-batteries/#:~:text=Try to keep your max,will increase the cycle life.

I've read that you can technically discharge AGM batteries all the way down to 20%, but you'll greatly reduce their lifespan.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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Posted (edited)

I’m going to stick with my guess that you have four 12v lead acid batteries wired in parallel.  If your battery bank is going from full charge to basically empty in less than 30 seconds you might want to have the batteries tested to see how much reserve capacity is available. 
 

The reason I bring up the 12v battery is these are normal wet cell units, however they are sealed from the factory. Meaning they will boil off water during usage and you are not able to replenish it. Short answer they are low quality and many report limited lifespan.  

Edited by ChrisMI
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On 5/28/2024 at 2:52 AM, MAX Burner said:

Battle Borns are a good option - made in USA in Reno, NV.  They're an authorized Victron dealer.  Excellent "over the phone" product support for integrating future Victron upgrades, in my experience. 

Concerning the Battle Borns:

    Free shipping on the batteries.

    Military discount. 

   Three fit very nicely in the existing tray.  Using exotic and highly technical machining skills, four can fit.  But for the vast majority of us OTT DIYers, three is the limit.  

    Over the phone support as Art mentioned is exceptional

    Ten year guarantee is also amazing.

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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Posted (edited)
On 5/28/2024 at 12:08 PM, ChrisMI said:

It’s a little hard to tell from the picture provided but it appears that your batteries are all wired in parallel. This means most likely they are 12v batteries. Personally I’d just replace all 4 with a single 460ah Epoch unit. No jumpers necessary, easy install, no reason for a shunt because it’s a single battery that has Bluetooth communication showing battery life et al. 

We replaced a big bank of six volts on the boat with the Epoch 460. It's heavy, but light for the power it stores.

Epoch also makes well reviewed smaller batteries, with comm. Two 100 ah batteries would probably fit, but the 460 is ip67 rated (best for the boat) and I think the 200 are only ip 54 or ip57. Still, in a sealed compartment...

There are options beyond Battleborn. None are actually  "drop in." My husband and our friend did some wiring changes. We already had controllers. Required setting changes.

So far, so good, but only six months or so in.  11 year warranty. 

Epoch was a fraction of the cost of battleborn, for same storage capacity. Will prowse reviews on tear down were impressive. We took a fly, and I'll update as we go. (600 watts of solar on the boat. No shore power connection, normally. We haven't plugged in for 5 years, at least.) 

So, we'll update as the years go on..

 

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

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Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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FWIW, Will Prowse also did a great write up on the SOK brand of LifePO batteries which are far less expensive but doubt the customer service is equal to Battle Born. SOK is a Canadian company and I believe the actual battery packs are made in China but from all I have read they get great reviews. BTW you will also most likely need to change your shore power charging unless it has the capability to also change the charging parameters. Lots to consider, good luck. Considering the same myself on 9 year old lead acid. 

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Legacy Elite II #70

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Posted (edited)
On 5/28/2024 at 8:34 AM, Imelda said:

I have no experience with batteries but is it possible they got down so low that they could not fully charge with solar or hooked to the truck charge and they needed full up 120V 30A  charge to remedy them? Anyone have similar experience? 

Yes, to your question.

A friend of mine could not get his 6 volt Trojan's to charge up.  I asked him if he had checked the distilled water level in his.  OOPS.  Had not.  several cells were near dry.  Basically lack of maintenance can fry serviceable type batteries.  Not being familiar with your batteries, if they are the serviceable ones:

  • Have you checked the water level in all of the cells?  
  • If one was low, then a very easy check with a hygrometer of the acid in each cell will tell you the serviceability of the battery. 
  • If you find one defective it is generally felt that you would need to replace them all.  

If you are leaning towards Li's, but are not ready to start the project this season, you could get a couple of COSTCO deep cycle marine 12V batteries and swap cables around to your loads.  That could buy you another season to plan out your game plan.

GJ

Edited by Geronimo John
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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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Hello everyone for Hull #725 aka Mahal.  Scott & Nimfa here ownwers of a 2021 OLE2.    We too are looking to move from our 4- 6 volt AGMs to Lithium batteries.  We have the Xantrex Freedom 2000 inverter. I also have pretty much settled on Epoch batteries.  However, still considering whether to go with two 300Ah or one 460ah.  Or just start with one 300ah and see how that goes.    Question:  Reading throughout another Oliver  forum I saw discussion about disconnecting the charge line from your TV to prevent damage to Lithium batteries or TV alternator.  Am I missing something?  Any positive guidance is greatly appreciated.  TIA.

Scott & Nimfa

OLE II Hull # 725 aka Mahal

TV: 2020 RAM 2500 6.7 Cummins

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37 minutes ago, Sparkinson said:

Question:  Reading throughout another Oliver  forum I saw discussion about disconnecting the charge line from your TV to prevent damage to Lithium batteries or TV alternator. 

Yes - because lithium batteries can charge at fairly high rates it is possible that they can overload either/or both your alternator or wiring in your tow vehicle.  With Ford F-150 this is easy in simply pulling a single fuse in the engine compartment (#17 as I recall).  There are also other way to disable the charging line from your tow vehicle to include disconnecting the charge line in the Oliver pigtail or in the tow vehicle or taking the charge line fuse out in the Oliver (if present).

Bill

2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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1 hour ago, Sparkinson said:

Hello everyone for Hull #725 aka Mahal.  Scott & Nimfa here owners of a 2021 OLE2.  We too are looking to move from our 4- 6 volt AGMs to Lithium batteries.  We have the Xantrex Freedom 2000 inverter. I also have pretty much settled on Epoch batteries.  However, still considering whether to go with two 300Ah or one 460ah.  Or just start with one 300ah and see how that goes.    Question:  Reading throughout another Oliver forum I saw discussion about disconnecting the charge line from your TV to prevent damage to Lithium batteries or TV alternator.  Am I missing something?  Any positive guidance is greatly appreciated.  TIA.

I forgot about the 300AH model, and it makes a whole lot of sense! Thanks for the reminder. Go with the two 300s is my take. Bottom line, 460AH is VERY good, 600AH is exceptional, and if you're our friend @rideadeuce who ditched the tray to go for 2x460, OMG 920AH is "priceless." 

Both options fit in the battery tray. The smaller 300s at 58 LBS are easier to handle in length and weight vs. the 20+" 84 LB monster. At today's prices I calculate the 460 is $3.04/AH and the 300s are $3.66/AV, but you get 600AH! Right now, the is a MEMORIAL10 code, so two 300s are 1,978.20 plus tax and ship! Wow, I want these, but still have to wait for other mods. Last Black Friday they had an extra 15% OFF sale. You could start with just one, but that is barely more usable AH than what you already have.

As far as wiring @topgun2 is correct, but I would not pull a fuse in your tow vehicle (TV). You may want it when towing another trailer and forget it's disconnected. It is simple enough to pull the wire at the positive busbar. Here is a picture of mine, though your newer hull may be different. Should be a black wire, easy enough to test. When disconnected from both busbar and TV it should show open/no voltage. When connected to the TV you should read +12VDC. Test OFF and ON until you are certain. In my pic, it's the black wire on the left hanging. Later I taped it up and taped it to another insulated wire, so it sits open. 

OTT Streetside Electrical 12V+ Bus.jpg

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Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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@Sparkinson;

Concur with @jd1923's assessment 100%.  Another option is to open your 7-pin and disconnect the charging wire from the plug housing inside, fold the wire back and tape it.  

Either way, you'll still have a full-up operational 7-pin outlet on your TV.

Just say'n...

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Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA
  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
  • HAM call-sign:  W0ABX

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/30/2024 at 10:35 AM, Sparkinson said:

Hello everyone for Hull #725 aka Mahal.  Scott & Nimfa here ownwers of a 2021 OLE2.    We too are looking to move from our 4- 6 volt AGMs to Lithium batteries.  We have the Xantrex Freedom 2000 inverter. I also have pretty much settled on Epoch batteries.  However, still considering whether to go with two 300Ah or one 460ah.  Or just start with one 300ah and see how that goes.    Question:  Reading throughout another Oliver  forum I saw discussion about disconnecting the charge line from your TV to prevent damage to Lithium batteries or TV alternator.  Am I missing something?  Any positive guidance is greatly appreciated.  TIA.

I just installed an Epoch 300 AH battery to replace our original 4-6 volt trojan agms. I have a victron shunt so I can monitor things. I did not disconnect the charge wire. So far I can only get 2.5 amps or so through the 7 pin depending on voltage difference of TV battery and smart alternator and TT.  I went to the trouble of installing a normally open relay in the Oliver to isolate the batteries, and can attempt charging by turning on lights (trigger for relay).  The black wire on the far right stud between the relay and  the circuit breaker is the charge line from the 7 pin.  Left studs are for trigger off green lights wire and ground.  So,  right now not much difference from just disconnecting although I need to make sure the charge and ground wires off the umbilical weren’t spliced to a smaller gage wires and test disconnecting the feedback to the smart alternator and see if it will output a constant high voltage. 
 

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Garry and Kristi

Apex, NC

2018 Oliver Elite II Hull 372

TV 2015 Ram 1500 3.0 L EcoDiesel

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12 hours ago, GarryandKristi said:

I did not disconnect the charge wire.

I believe the community consensus is to disconnect the 7-pin charging wire, either within the plug housing or inside the Oliver, upon installing lithium (lithium iron phosphate) batteries. OTT routinely does this during a build when an upgrade to lithium batteries is opted. Reason being, the TV alternator does not have the proper charging profile for lithium. You can however, install a DC-DC charger and utilize the TV’s charge system to maintain the house batteries. 

Edited by Ronbrink
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2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt, Hughes Autoformer, dual Lagun tables

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