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Just curious... Lithium vs AGM


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I'm wondering if anyone who decided on the lithium package wish they had opted for the AGM package instead?  I like the idea of running lithiums into the ground, so to speak, down to 15%, vs worrying about crossing the 50% plateau on the AGMs, but I just don't know what my boondocking future has in store for me.  Have to make a decision by mid September.  Leaning towards lithium at this point.  Thanks for any insight 🙂

John

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My AGMs worked well for 5 years.  Never worried about running them too low when dry camping.  We’re getting used to our new lithium’s, they are working well too.  I replaced the 4 AGMs (about 280 lbs and 400aH) with two Lithium’s (about 75 lbs and 200aH).  So far we’ve never been below 80% in the morning after running stuff all night.  The Oliver package is more than double what we have so it should work well.  Mike

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44 minutes ago, Mike and Carol said:

My AGMs worked well for 5 years.  Never worried about running them too low when dry camping.  We’re getting used to our new lithium’s, they are working well too.  I replaced the 4 AGMs (about 280 lbs and 400aH) with two Lithium’s (about 75 lbs and 200aH).  So far we’ve never been below 80% in the morning after running stuff all night.  The Oliver package is more than double what we have so it should work well.  Mike

Thanks,Mike!  That's a big weight difference.  Did you put in an inverter/converter as well?

John

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I can’t comment on the difference from AGM to lithium.  I upgraded our last rv from 6v flooded to lithium. It was a night and day difference. After having experience with lithium I didn’t hesitate when ordering the Oliver I wanted lithium again. 

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6 hours ago, johnwen said:

Thanks,Mike!  That's a big weight difference.  Did you put in an inverter/converter as well?

John

Yes.  When I ordered the batteries from Battle Born they also sent the upgraded Progressive Dynamics charger that handles lithium and jumper cables.  Mike

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We had two AGM batteries in our Ollie and replaced both AGMs with one 100AH Battleborn lithium.

Installing  a lithium battery was a great decision for us. Our Ollie does not have factory solar package or inverter.

We use a portable 100W solar panel, but decided not to take the solar panel on this mountain trip.
 

Run a Honda Gen-Set about 60 minutes daily on this trip to heat water for showers and charge battery to 100%. Saving LP gas for refrigerator and cooktop use.
 

Using one single lithium battery, it stays above 70% after 24 hours of use before recharging with Progressive lithium charger with gen-set.

Really like how fast the lithium battery recharges, too! Saved weight using a lithium battery. Our LE2 ready to camp weight is under 5000 lbs, with other Ollie mods.

Edited

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On 7/27/2021 at 6:13 PM, johnwen said:

I just don't know what my boondocking future has in store for me.  Have to make a decision by mid September.

Hello John, 

I recently had to commit to my own build sheet and, like you, I am unsure of how serious I will get about boondocking until I get out on the road and see where the wind blows me. 

I decided to go with the 6V AGM, 2000 Watt Inverter and the easy start AC but no solar for now. I also invested in a Honda 2200 with the LP conversion kit so that I have my own power solution while I learn what my long term needs will, or will not be, relative to Solar.  

Not trying to sway you in either direction this is just where I landed, my build sheet is set in stone, check written and I pick up my Ollie the end of Oct. 

Your question is AGM VS Lithium so I may not be of much help 😉 in my case it was more commit or not commit to solar right now.... and the batteries I chose were the result of that decision. I am used to 6V AGM from my past campers and never had any issues with them. 

Good Luck with your choice and Happy Trails. 

Dan

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Geez, am I out of date and old fashion or what?

Still have 4 wet cell 6 volt Trojan T-105's and solar with no complaints. Have never even come close to running out of electricity and only once or twice dipped into the mid 80's percentile of available current left. I don't even take them out of the Ollie for long winter storage here in Montana and they stay fully charged to 12.84 volts ± a fraction even after 5 or more months of storage. This most likely does not help the OP in his decision however. 

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Everyone needs to evaluate their personal situation.  Storage, camping, recharging options .

And, cost and budget. 

 

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3 hours ago, rideandfly said:

We had two AGM batteries in our Ollie and replaced both AGMs with one 100AH Battleborn lithium.

Installing  a lithium battery was a great decision for us. Our Ollie does not have factory solar package or inverter.

We use a portable 100W solar panel, but decided not to take the solar panel on this mountain trip.
 

Run a Honda Gen-Set about 60 minutes daily on this trip to heat water for showers and charge battery to 100%. Saving LP gas for refrigerator and cooktop use.
 

Using one single lithium battery, it stays above 70% after 24 hours of use before recharging with Progressive lithium charger with gen-set.

Really like how fast the lithium battery recharges, too! Saved weight using a lithium battery. Our LE2 ready to camp weight is under 5000 lbs, with other Ollie mods.

Edited

Thanks, rideandfly.  5000 lbs...that's pretty light 🙂

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2 hours ago, fairmontrvpark said:

Hello John, 

I recently had to commit to my own build sheet and, like you, I am unsure of how serious I will get about boondocking until I get out on the road and see where the wind blows me. 

I decided to go with the 6V AGM, 2000 Watt Inverter and the easy start AC but no solar for now. I also invested in a Honda 2200 with the LP conversion kit so that I have my own power solution while I learn what my long term needs will, or will not be, relative to Solar.  

Not trying to sway you in either direction this is just where I landed, my build sheet is set in stone, check written and I pick up my Ollie the end of Oct. 

Your question is AGM VS Lithium so I may not be of much help 😉 in my case it was more commit or not commit to solar right now.... and the batteries I chose were the result of that decision. I am used to 6V AGM from my past campers and never had any issues with them. 

Good Luck with your choice and Happy Trails. 

Dan

Thanks for the help, Dan.  We'll have to commit mid-September for a mid January pickup....brrrr!  Just trying to get as much info as possible.  80k+ is a big number for us so I'm trying to get it right the first time.  Best of luck with your October pickup 🙂

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2 hours ago, routlaw said:

Geez, am I out of date and old fashion or what?

Still have 4 wet cell 6 volt Trojan T-105's and solar with no complaints. Have never even come close to running out of electricity and only once or twice dipped into the mid 80's percentile of available current left. I don't even take them out of the Ollie for long winter storage here in Montana and they stay fully charged to 12.84 volts ± a fraction even after 5 or more months of storage. This most likely does not help the OP in his decision however. 

Not at all, routlaw!  We are full timers and don't have much of a clue how the Oliver will open boondocking opportunities.  I welcome the 4 season advantages and want to maximize off grid times, if we even go that route.  Thanks for your help 🙂 ........we stayed over for all of July last year at a private park in Garrison, MT and were planning to be there this July but for family health issues.  50 degree temperature swings seem to be very common for that part of the state in the summer.

John

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I got the lithium from the factory because we dry camp (no  hookups) a lot including in darker wetter months here in the  PNW and /or under dense tree canopies and I'd like to be able to not have to use a generator frequently,especially on shorter trips. I see the expense as worth it even just for that but it looks like the lifespan may also be enough longer that in the long run it may also pencil out well financially. 

When we're called with even a half day of sun during the longer days of the year the solar more than keeps up with our daily usage so if that were our only camping scenario the lithium wouldn't make as big a difference for us.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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@johnwen, are you fulltiming now, and if so, what batteries do you have? That would give a good base.

Fwiw,over the last 14 seasons,  we've rarely had power or hookups, and, with a 3 way fridge and 200 watts of solar, 2 105 ah 12v batteries did fine, for us.

When we installed a dc compressor fridge. That all changed, with the additional 60 to 70 ah of battery storage required.  (Elite, smaller battery tray.) We added 200 watts portable, and an additional 200 watts fixed. Still not enough, if we camp in the shade. Generator comes in handy, two or three times a week.

Even with that extra load, I'm still hesitant about the considerable  investment in lithium, since we haven't found a solid "need." Just the want. And, if course, the luxury of extra power 

Were it me, I'd start with solar, and base batteries or agm, and see how it works out.

Lithium keeps getting more affordable.  And, I personally don't think it's a really big deal to swap it out.

If you fulltime in a very northern climate, everything changes. See @Jim_Oker comnent.

 

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24 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

@johnwen, are you fulltiming now, and if so, what batteries do you have? That would give a good base.

Fwiw,over the last 14 seasons,  we've rarely had power or hookups, and, with a 3 way fridge and 200 watts of solar, 2 105 ah 12v batteries did fine, for us.

When we installed a dc compressor fridge. That all changed, with the additional 60 to 70 ah of battery storage required.  (Elite, smaller battery tray.) We added 200 watts portable, and an additional 200 watts fixed. Still not enough, if we camp in the shade. Generator comes in handy, two or three times a week.

Even with that extra load, I'm still hesitant about the considerable  investment in lithium, since we haven't found a solid "need." Just the want. And, if course, the luxury of extra power 

Were it me, I'd start with solar, and base batteries or agm, and see how it works out.

Lithium keeps getting more affordable.  And, I personally don't think it's a really big deal to swap it out.

If you fulltime in a very northern climate, everything changes. See @Jim_Oker comnent.

 

Hi SeaDawg,

I have one 100ah AGM with a portable 100w Renogy that I added last summer to our Casita.  It did keep up, barely, with our day to day operations, with me chasing the sun.  We used the maxair fan, 3 way fridge on propane, and the occasional water pump (by far using the most power), and led lights.  If I start out with AGMs do I need to rewire for lithiums if I change over in the future?

Thanks,

John

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My friend's  casita only had a spot for one battery. Are you getting an elite, like mine, or the bigger 2?.

If you're like her, even the base battery package (included) on the Oliver, doubles your energy storage . On the Elite 2,  even more amp  hours 

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56 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

I got the lithium from the factory because we dry camp (no  hookups) a lot including in darker wetter months here in the  PNW and /or under dense tree canopies and I'd like to be able to not have to use a generator frequently,especially on shorter trips. I see the expense as worth it even just for that but it looks like the lifespan may also be enough longer that in the long run it may also pencil out well financially. 

When we're called with even a half day of sun during the longer days of the year the solar more than keeps up with our daily usage so if that were our only camping scenario the lithium wouldn't make as big a difference for us.

Thanks, Jim.  Makes sense concerning the longevity of the battery endurance in terms of charging and the life of the battery.  Decisions decisions!  🙂

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Our Elite  shorty has two 105 agms  to clarify. Twice the energy storage of your original Casitas, at least.

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3 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

My friend's  casita only had a spot for one battery. Are you getting an elite, like mine, or the bigger 2?.

If you're like her, even 5he base battery package (included) on the Oliver, doubles your energy storage . On the Elite 2,  even more amp  hours 

The Oliver II, and yes I considered the sizeable increase in Ah capacity.  Just trying to "get it right" for us.   Don't want to have to rewire if we do get the AGMs and later change to lithiums.

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Were it me, I'd start with fla or agm, and move up if/when I felt the need.

Definitely,  get the solar package,  so you have the inroads recharging, and wiring in place. Upgrading is easier. Imo

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8 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Were it me, I'd start with fla or agm, and move up if/when I felt the need.

Definitely,  get the solar package,  so you have the inroads recharging, and wiring in place. Upgrading is easier. Imo

Agree 100%.  Get solar.  If you go with the AGMs you’ll be good - we were for our first 5 years.  I had to replace them because they were starting to leak (hold down brackets wearing a hole in the case).  I opted for lithium’s, half as many aH, 25% of the weight and we’ve been very happy with them, too.  You can always upgrade later…. Mike

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1 hour ago, Mike and Carol said:

Agree 100%.  Get solar.  If you go with the AGMs you’ll be good - we were for our first 5 years.  I had to replace them because they were starting to leak (hold down brackets wearing a hole in the case).  I opted for lithium’s, half as many aH, 25% of the weight and we’ve been very happy with them, too.  You can always upgrade later…. Mike

Thanks, Mike 🙂

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The new Oliver's with Solar and the Xantex Charger/Inverters are all set so you can drop in Lithiums in the Future.

That means going with the 4 AGM's initially will save you $$ and you'll have an easy upgrade path to LI in the future.

In our case, we didn't have the Xantrex Charger/Inverter so our upgrade process was more "invasive".

CS

 

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1 hour ago, Galway Girl said:

The new Oliver's with Solar and the Xantex Charger/Inverters are all set so you can drop in Lithiums in the Future.

That means going with the 4 AGM's initially will save you $$ and you'll have an easy upgrade path to LI in the future.

In our case, we didn't have the Xantrex Charger/Inverter so our upgrade process was more "invasive".

CS

 

Thank you CS, very good to know 🙂

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Whenever I'm asked this question, my first response is to ask what type of camping do you plan to do. If the answer is "we plan to always stay in established campground with full hookups", I advise them to go with the least expensive battery system even going so far as to forego the solar option unless they are worried about resale value. On the other hand, if the response is "we want to boondock as much as possible" my answer is to buy the best battery system you can afford and definitely get the solar system.

We do a lot of boondocking. If I were buying a new trailer today, my choice would be Lithium. My way of thinking is that I would eventually end up with them anyway so why wait. Oliver offered a lithium option for the first time in 2021 and the majority of current owners never had an opportunity to choose so what we all did is a moot point. Prior to that the best choice was AGM's. Many of our AGM systems have reached the end of their life (ours lasted seven years) and we have switched to Lithium's.

If expense is an issue, choose the AGM's, otherwise buy the biggest lithium package you can afford. It goes without saying that in either case you have to have the solar option as well, but I said it anyway in case you didn't know.

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