Lithium battery install for new Tab 320 CS Boondock

We have a 2021 Tab 320 CS-S Boondock on order.  Our dealer contacted us to see if we wanted to upgrade our standard battery.  We are very interested in the Battleborn LiFePO4 Lithium battery, but the dealer said they do not install lithium batteries as an option.  We are considering getting the standard battery, but then upgrading to the LiFEPO4 on our own.  Will we have to get a new lithium compatible power converter?  Battleborn says we don't; that you just switch out with the old acid-lead battery, but we would like to know if others have had experience doing this.  Also is the lithium battery compatible with the factory-installed Victron Smart Shunt battery monitor with Bluetooth?  TIA for any help! 
Lewes, DE
2021 [email protected] 320 CS-S
2020 Toyota Takoma
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Comments

  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,604
    edited February 9
    @patsycarp,  you can do the upgrade yourself. It is a physical swap of the batteries. Your standard converter will be capable of charging your Battleborn to 85/95% of its capacity. Since you bought the Boondock model, it will come equipped with rooftop solar, and your solar will be able to "top off" the LiFePO to a full charge. Be aware though, that depending on your geographic location, your LiFePO will not be able to charge or discharge while temperatures drop below 25-32°F unless equipped with internal or external warmers. Beside our [email protected] we have a large trailer with what might be considered a massive solar system. We have 600 ah of Battleborns, 1,400 watts of rooftop solar and are here in the northern climes. The system has each of the 6 batteries equipped with independent warming blankets. Although most of the system is covered with 8 inches of snow, there is enough charge being generated to keep the warmers running and the system charged to 99/100%. The same should be true of your system, albeit smaller. The principals of physics remain the same. Love our LiFePO system!
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • patsycarppatsycarp Member Posts: 5
    @dragonsdofly, thank you!  Good to know that the solar will "top off" the LiFePO to a full charge.  We live in the mid-Atlantic so our temperatures are more moderate, but we do freeze at times.  We will look into warmers.  Also good to hear you like your system.  We like the weight of the LiFePo, the ah, can discharge to a lower level than the acid-lead batteries, and has no water maintenance.  Also, found out from NuCamp that the Smart Shunt battery monitor will work with the LiFePO.  So it looks like a go!  Thanks again.
    Lewes, DE
    2021 [email protected] 320 CS-S
    2020 Toyota Takoma
  • NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 81
    I was told you need to change the charger to do it the right way rather than only going to 85%. Adding that to the cost I opted to:
    I went with 2 6V AGM's mounted inside under the bed next to the charger with their weight over the axles. They fit perfect.
    Now I can add a second propane tank in the tongue box.
    I added two terminal blocks in the area of the existing battery then ran 2 #10 from them under and thru the wheel well. I used a piece of pex pipe as conduit.
    2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
    365 Watts of Solar
  • Dutch061Dutch061 Member Posts: 443
    NovaTab said:
    I was told you need to change the charger to do it the right way rather than only going to 85%. Adding that to the cost 
    The new convertor is pocket change ($200.00) compared to the Lithium batteries ($2000.00). I am upgrading my convertor to allow better bulk rate charging with the 2 x 6 volt AGM in our 400 but I am thinking pretty hard about a couple of Battleborn Lithium batteries in addition.

    Brad 
    2020 400 BDL aka "Boonie"
    2021 F-250 Tremor with PSD aka "Azul"
    Concord, NC 
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,604
    @NovaTab, the converter will charge the lithium, just not top it off. You also have solar and your solar would complete a lithium battery charge to 100%. As an addendum we were informed with the very recent solar install on our other trailer that there is developing science regarding the lithium batteries NOT always being charged to 100%. Seems they last longer and perform better when not forced into a 100% state of charge constantly. That takes a change in mindset. Having had the lead acid (wet cell) battery system, we learned to monitor every watt in and out, be judicious, even stingy on usage, etc. Now to be told to increase the battery life span, let the charge drop below 100%, for lengthy times, use more energy and not be concerned about charge level until below 20% (when we are then instructed to become miserly about usage) is a 90 degree bend in our curve of knowledge regarding battery power and correct usage.
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,604
    To everyone who might ask or have questions regarding my previous post - recap - the system I'm referring to is not on a [email protected], but another trailer. 600 ah of Battleborns, 1,400 watts of rooftop solar. Our warning to become miserly with power usage begins when the system is discharged to 20%. The system is fully operational until 11% state of discharge when an automatic shutoff engages to protect the batteries. The Battleborns are good to discharge until only 10% of charge remains in general. You have 90% usable power. That is a fact kinda hard to wrap our brains around and contrary to what we have been taught or learned most of our lives. This will all get easier. Facts will become more clear, usage and charge perameters will be more defined and in general, boondocking will be more attainable, longer in duration, and easier to accomplish.


    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 2,244
    It is interesting that every time the charging capacity for the lithiums with the WFCO is listed...it gets lower and lower.  First it was "only" 95 percent...then 90....this thread says 85........ 
    If the WFCO only does 95 percent of a 100 amp hour battery....you are spending several hundred dollars to replace the converter for...5 amp hours.

    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Member Posts: 1,148
    @dragonsdofly, you can discharge at temps down to -4F. Here is what BB says about BMS and cutoff temps:

    Temperature

    High temperature: > 135F
    The BMS will not allow a charging or discharging current.

    Low temperature: < 25F
    The BMS will not allow a charging current. Charging current will be allowed again at 32F
    The BMS will allow a discharge current down to -4F before shutting down.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
  • NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 81
    thanks not the point you want to get to 100% ASAP
    2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
    365 Watts of Solar
  • NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 81
    not as fast as you'll want or at need

    I called Wifco they said 85% and do not recommend
    2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
    365 Watts of Solar
  • dsfdogsdsfdogs Member Posts: 422
    edited February 10
    My own recent experience with our stock WFCO converter charging my BB battery got it to 99%. Topping it off is when balancing happens, which is important. That's where solar or separate lithium charger or lithium compatible converter will get it to 100%.

    I would recommend this video from Will Prowse interviewing the BB CEO. I had to listen and take notes a few times to get to the important points for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywn-vBjKblI&list=WL&index=4
    He discusses the hot/cold factors, charging, float, and storage.
    Debbie in Oregon
    2018 [email protected] 320 S/2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5
  • MarcelineMarceline Member Posts: 1,137
     NovaTab said:
    not as fast as you'll want or at need

    I called Wifco they said 85% and do not recommend
    Maybe I'm suffering from a failure of imagination, and I know that people use these trailers in a lot of different ways, but I've had a lithium battery for over a year now and I don't understand what "not as fast as you'll want or need" means. 

    If I'm depending on the battery for power, I'm dry camping and I'm recharging it via solar and the converter isn't a factor. If the solar doesn't keep it topped up (winter or bad weather) then I put the battery on a charger when I get home (I don't have rooftop solar). If I had rooftop solar, it would top up the battery while the trailer's parked. What's the hurry? What's the "need" for a faster recharge?

    If I'm camping with hookups, I'm not depleting the battery, so again, what's the "need" for faster recharging?

    Under what scenario do you want or need faster charging from the converter?
    San Francisco Bay Area
    2013 CS-S [email protected]
    Battered but trusty 3.5l V6 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Dutch061Dutch061 Member Posts: 443
    Marceline said:
     NovaTab said:
    not as fast as you'll want or at need

    I called Wifco they said 85% and do not recommend
    Maybe I'm suffering from a failure of imagination, and I know that people use these trailers in a lot of different ways, but I've had a lithium battery for over a year now and I don't understand what "not as fast as you'll want or need" means. 

    If I'm depending on the battery for power, I'm dry camping and I'm recharging it via solar and the converter isn't a factor. If the solar doesn't keep it topped up (winter or bad weather) then I put the battery on a charger when I get home (I don't have rooftop solar). If I had rooftop solar, it would top up the battery while the trailer's parked. What's the hurry? What's the "need" for a faster recharge?

    If I'm camping with hookups, I'm not depleting the battery, so again, what's the "need" for faster recharging?

    Under what scenario do you want or need faster charging from the converter?
    @Marceline , I am changing the convertor in our 400 BDL so that I can charge the batteries faster while boondocking. There are times when we don't get sufficient sun on the solar panels to keep up. With the factory installed WFCO, it never enters the bulk charging rate. This means that it takes up to 24 hours to fully charge the AGM's. By changing to a PD 9260 and relocating, it will have the ability to get me to 100% in a reasonable time period from a generator. In addition, the model I am installing has a pendant to "force the bulk charge rate" so even if I were to upgrade to lithium batteries (quite likely) that I can still use the same convertor.

    Hope this helps!

    Brad

    2020 400 BDL aka "Boonie"
    2021 F-250 Tremor with PSD aka "Azul"
    Concord, NC 
  • MarcelineMarceline Member Posts: 1,137
    Dutch061 said:

    @Marceline , I am changing the convertor in our 400 BDL so that I can charge the batteries faster while boondocking. There are times when we don't get sufficient sun on the solar panels to keep up. With the factory installed WFCO, it never enters the bulk charging rate. This means that it takes up to 24 hours to fully charge the AGM's. By changing to a PD 9260 and relocating, it will have the ability to get me to 100% in a reasonable time period from a generator. In addition, the model I am installing has a pendant to "force the bulk charge rate" so even if I were to upgrade to lithium batteries (quite likely) that I can still use the same convertor.

    Hope this helps!

    Brad

    Thanks! That's the first logical explanation I've seen. 
    San Francisco Bay Area
    2013 CS-S [email protected]
    Battered but trusty 3.5l V6 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • dsfdogsdsfdogs Member Posts: 422
    @Dutch061 in the event you ever switch to lithium, Battleborn does not recommend charging at higher than 50 amps. I believe that was mentioned in the video I linked above, maybe on their website too. 
    Debbie in Oregon
    2018 [email protected] 320 S/2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5
  • Dutch061Dutch061 Member Posts: 443
    dsfdogs said:
    @Dutch061 in the event you ever switch to lithium, Battleborn does not recommend charging at higher than 50 amps. I believe that was mentioned in the video I linked above, maybe on their website too. 
    Yes, there is a 50 amp limit per 100 AH battery as per Battleborn. If I upgrade, I will have 2 x100 AH batteries, so I can charge at up to 100 amps. Battleborn also recommends model PD9160 which has the algorithm for Lithium. However, the 9260 has a pendant as mentioned previously that will allow me to force a bulk charge, I don't remember the voltage range offhand but as per PD it was within the range for Lithium. As mentioned, I will need to see how the improved convertor and location does with the OEM installed AGM's, I may be so happy that I have no desire to spend $2k on lithium. 

    Brad
    2020 400 BDL aka "Boonie"
    2021 F-250 Tremor with PSD aka "Azul"
    Concord, NC 
  • SusanDSusanD Member Posts: 69
    I have a terrible time understanding the technical side of batteries but I am so frustrated with the lack of battery power while boondocking that I'm considering installing a lithium battery. I have a 2021 tab320 boondock. Can anyone give me a sense of what one Lifepo4 100 ah battery will give me - can I use the fridge and a little bit of water (hopefully hot) for a couple of days? 
    2021 Tab320S Boondock, 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,399
    You should be able to do that, Mellow Yellow did this mod, and she managed a two and three day trip, on the one charge.  A Lithium gives you around 80-90 amps of power before shutting down.  Your existing traditional wet cell battery only half of its amp rating (30 amps for a 60 amp battery).  Good luck.
    cheers 
    2018 TaB400 Custom BoonDock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 2,244
    @SusanD Tell us what fridge you have.  Solar?  What size ( in amp hours) is the battery you have now? And, the most important part: what are you monitoring your battery with? 
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,399
    Thomas, The 2021 TaB 320 Boondock has a 12 VDC compressor fridge, and a105 watt solar panel, with a Victron MPPT controller, which will work with a 100 amp lithium battery.  
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom BoonDock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • SusanDSusanD Member Posts: 69
    Thanks Denny for the specifics.  I went to Jenn Grover's spreadsheet and have been investigating further.  It looks like the fridge is the killer in terms of amps used.  I think I'm going to make the investment and see how it goes.  I'm already scheduled for a week long off-grid trip in July so I'm thinking the old cooler is going to be required with or without lithium batteries.  I already see a new converter and 2nd lithium battery in my future...
    2021 Tab320S Boondock, 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 3,399
    Your solar panel will top off the lithium battery, you do not need to replace the converter unit.  We have the older version of the 12VDC fridge in our TaB400, and the solar keeps up with the fridge load on the battery, we went three days off grid, not issues with keeping the battery charged.  Your TaB has a more efficient compressor, and draws less 12 volt power than our’s does.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400 Custom BoonDock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • ginsbujginsbuj Member Posts: 44
    Changed mine to Battleborn and it works great with stock solar on 2019 Boondock. The battery doesn't even seem to lose anything overnight. Don't overthink it. BatttleBorn did walk me through settings over the phone.
    We've been stuck in the desert in super hot temps but again Battleborn says it is protected up to 135 degrees.
  • DenverJaguarDenverJaguar Member Posts: 45
    Does anyone know why they don't make 6 volt lithium batteries that could be connected the same way the 6 volt golf cart batteries are? 
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 2,244
    edited June 20
    All the advantages of dual 6v batteries disappeared when lithiums came on the scene. A dual 6v was longer lasting, held more power, was a bit lighter, etc.  A single lithiums can do all that, can be discharged lower, and have major weight savings.
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • Dutch061Dutch061 Member Posts: 443
    edited June 24
    As @pthomas745 said, the weight difference between the BB and the factory installed Harris 6 volts is that the 2 x BB weigh less than 1 x Harris 6 volt. Harris as per the cut sheet weigh 67.3 lbs. each and the BB weigh in at a "sleek 30 lbs." each as per the cut sheet. 

    So I added 74.6 lbs. of CCC at only $2.68 per lb. Kind of expensive when you look at the cost per pound.  :open_mouth:

    Brad

    2020 400 BDL aka "Boonie"
    2021 F-250 Tremor with PSD aka "Azul"
    Concord, NC 
  • jebjamjebjam Member Posts: 34
    edited June 25
    Battleborn sells two 100 ah 12V LiFePO4 batteries, the standard one and for $200 more a GC2 model, described as a "drop-in replacement" for a 6 volt GC2 LifePO4 battery.  Both are 100ah 12V.  I assume the regular battery not the GC2 is the one to buy when replacing the single 12V stock battery that came with our camper, yes? (We have a 2021 320 CS-S boondock.)  
    I assume the GC2 is meant for someone who has existing 6V GC batteries and just wants to replace what they have, but its really not clear from their website or from reading.
    I know someone here can fill me in on which to purchase.
    2021 [email protected] 320 CS-S Boondock / 2020 Ram 3.0 EcoDiesel
    Golden, CO
  • Dutch061Dutch061 Member Posts: 443
    Get the BB10012, I just looked and they have a blem blowout for $749.00 which is substantially less than I paid. https://battlebornbatteries.com/product/100ah-12v-b-stock-battery/

    Brad
    2020 400 BDL aka "Boonie"
    2021 F-250 Tremor with PSD aka "Azul"
    Concord, NC 
  • CharlieRNCharlieRN Member Posts: 271
    edited June 25
    While I'm no expert, everything I've read indicates that LiFePO4 batteries are superior to lead-acid batteries in every way, except for initial cost. There is also a modest hidden cost to lithium batteries in that you will need a DC:DC charger or at least an isolator for safe TV charging.
    Big thanks to Brad (@Dutch061) for the heads-up about the Battleborn blem sale!
    I was holding off but at that price, for what is arguably the best LiFePO4 battery available, it's really a no-brainer. I actually phoned BB to check a few things about the sale and the rep stated that the blemishes are almost imperceptible on most of them, which doesn't much matter since the battery is going to live out of sight anyway.
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock / 2022 Telluride - Phillies/Eagles/Flyers Country
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