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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Camping 3 months with single 100Ah Lithium

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Ramblin' Ralph

Central California Coast

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Posted: 10/30/21 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Before I started ramblin' this summer, I replaced my two lead acid batteries with a single 100 Ah lithium. I also added a second solar panel to go from 125w to 225w.

I was on the road almost five months, and three of those were dry camping every night. Usually at the end of the day my battery was down to around 90%. The next day it was quickly up to 100%. On Labor Day weekend I camped in a shady spot for four days. At the end of that my battery was down to a little less than 70%. It took a couple of days to get back to 100.

I don't have any high power devices on my camper. My furnace draws the most, at 4 to 5 amps. I only ran it for about 15 minutes in the morning, when needed. All my lights are LED. My fridge was running on propane the whole time. I installed a DC-DC converter before I left home, but never used it.

FYI, my setup is a single AmpereTime 100Ah 12v LiFePo4 ($540 last Jan when bought and $400 now, on Amazon), 225w of solar panels, Victron MPPT 75/15 solar controller and battery temperature/voltage sensor, and an eBay purchased battery monitor that records amp hours. Turned out the battery doesn't have low temperature charge protection, but the Victron solar controller takes care of that.

I'm very happy with my installation and doubt now that I'll ever need other than my solar charging. Now I don't have to remember to check battery water and strain my old body to lift a battery. [emoticon]


Ralph
2006 GMC 2500HD, XCab, SB, 6.0L w/2001 Lance 845
Bilstein Shocks, TorkLift Stable Loads, 100 Ah LiFePo4, 225 watt solar
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Lwiddis

Cambria, California area

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Posted: 10/30/21 08:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good to hear that the Ampere battery has served you well.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


jimh406

Western MT

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Posted: 10/30/21 08:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the review/report.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Toyo M655 225/19.5 Gs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 10/30/21 09:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I need better metering in my TC. Far as I can tell, I get about three hours usable battery life with the laptop on and the dinette table led on. I have basically the same amount of solar and 2 group 31 AGM 105 AH batteries. I plan to setup up about 600 watts solar and 400 AH battery. I think that's what it'll take to supply my power demand, especially at night in cold temperatures. I refuse to be cold at night, especially in the bathroom at 3 in the morning or whenever. Those walls are COLD.


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NamMedevac 70

Reno

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Posted: 10/31/21 01:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did you use only solar panels to recharge the battery or is Truck also able to charge the battery? I know very little about solar panels as of now. Enjoyed and saved many of your photos over the years. Thanks

zb39

slippery rock

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Posted: 10/31/21 06:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like it worked very well for you. Congrats.


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Lwiddis

Cambria, California area

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Posted: 10/31/21 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I recently bought a 200 amp Lithium battery and will probably install it and a new solar controller in the next couple of weeks…need SIL to assist me lifting out old batteries…buried between trailer tongue rails. I differ in Ralph’s electrical usage only due to my desire to watch local news on TV. I’m planning on only solar for recharging. If 3 100 watt panels aren’t enough, I’ll add.

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 10/31/21 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good report, although I think the title is misleading.
You camped 3 months on solar power, where battery was just a storage and it did not matter if that was lithium, or lead-acid.

* This post was edited 10/31/21 09:30am by Kayteg1 *





pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 10/31/21 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Keytag1,

You took the words out of my mouth. A couple of repurposed telco agm's would have given similar service to the Li. Cost about $1 per amp-hour.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Ramblin' Ralph

Central California Coast

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Posted: 10/31/21 11:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the comments folks:

Camper Jeff: 3 hours doesn't sound like very long with only a laptop plus other small draws and dual AGMs. I don't run my furnace at night. I just pile on the extra blankets, get up in the a.m. and turn on the furnace and get back in bed until the inside is warm. Although the mandatory middle of night bathroom visit is a bit nippy. [emoticon]

NamMedEvac 70: I never turned on my DC-DC charger powered by the truck alternator. Used solar only. Thanks for saving some of my photos. If you ever want any "full resolution" ones, just let me know.

Kayteg1 & pianotuna: I mentioned Lithium because that's what I have and is becoming very popular. One reason I switched from lead-acid is because I'm old and can't lift much anymore. )

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