How to Installing Lithium Batteries In RV?

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When lithium batteries are installed in an RV in a parallel arrangement, the positive and negative poles remain segregated. Accordingly, you connect positive to positive using the red battery connections and negatives using the black battery wires. This setup is required for 30-amp RVs in order to maintain the 12-volt power level.

Are you thinking about upgrading your RV’s batteries to lithium-ion ones?

They are a fantastic source of power, but to get the most out of your new power system, you may want to think about making a few changes in addition to the batteries.

What else do I need to update in addition to the batteries, which is one of the most frequent inquiries we get regarding lithium?

This article will provide an answer to that query.

What Makes Lithium-Ion Batteries Better?

For good reason, lithium batteries are growing in popularity.

Lithium-ion batteries provide more power than other battery types in energy storage applications when weight and size are taken into account.

They also charge better and last a lot longer.

Because lithium batteries don’t release any gases, they may be put in confined areas.

We examined the price of lithium in great detail and even discovered that it is the least expensive battery for power applications during its lifetime.

Lithium-ion RV batteries also get rid of the dreaded “battery anxiety” in addition to all the power advantages.

In other words, you become excessively fixated on and concerned about the condition and charge of your batteries.

Because lead-acid batteries need such precise charging conditions, it is simple to harm them by overcharging or undercharging them.

You don’t have to worry about your batteries all the time with lithium-ion.

They just work! Additionally, lithium-ion batteries last so long that they are lifetime batteries in the majority of applications.

Although any lithium batteries will provide you with these advantages, we personally prefer Battle Born Batteries since they are high-quality American-made and developed.

Suggestion reading: How To Charge RV Battery While Driving?

Differences in Charging

When switching to lithium-ion batteries for your RV, charging is the most important factor to take into account.

The most common change is from lead-acid to lithium batteries, and these batteries have quite different charge profiles.

There are three distinct charging phases for lead-acid batteries.

Based on the battery voltage and internal resistance, the majority of lead-acid battery chargers will step through them.

Bulk, absorption, and float are these charging phases.

In the unique absorption stage, the voltage is maintained at a higher level to compel current into the battery as the resistance rises.

Another significant problem of lead-acid batteries is that charging slows down significantly during this period.

The three phases of lead-acid charging are as follows. Bulk is I, absorb is U0, and float is U. The Absorb Phase in lithium is either minor or not required, which drastically cuts down on charging time. By Hankwang, en-wiki:Hankwang, CC BY-SA 4.0

The absorption phase is not necessary in lithium batteries.

This is due to the batteries‘ decreased internal resistance, which enables them to charge at maximum speed until almost full.

Lithium batteries may thus charge far more quickly than many other kinds of batteries.

They are also a superior option for solar energy since they won’t squander energy from a slowing charge.

What Other Parts Need Upgrading In Conjunction With The Lithium Batteries?

Referred to in this article are drop-in lithium-ion RV batteries.

These batteries are designed to be used in lieu of conventional lead-acid batteries and are equipped with built-in BMS (battery management system) modules.

You will need extra equipment to ensure your batteries run properly if you’re thinking of creating your own battery from scratch or utilizing batteries without a BMS, like electric vehicle batteries.

Without a BMS, never connect a charger to lithium batteries unless you have additional safety precautions in place.

#1. Chargeable Batteries

It seems obvious that a lithium-specific charger will be useful now that we are aware of the charge variations.

Faster charging is usually a plus.

A lead-acid battery charger will still function despite this.

As long as the charger does not have automated equalization, drop-in lithium iron phosphate batteries will often function with current machinery.

Typically, you can set a battery charger to operate with lithium if it is programmable.

A charger may, on sometimes, just have several charge profile options.

AGM is often the best option if there isn’t a lithium setting.

It is always preferable to get the correct voltage settings for bulk, absorption, and float from the manufacturer of your lithium-ion batteries, even if the charger is completely programmable.

With lithium, avoid using automatic equalization.

Lead-acid batteries need to be equalized for life and safety, whereas lithium batteries need not.

To “equalize the lead cells,” an equalization charge raises the voltage far higher than usual.

This may harm lithium batteries‘ BMS if done to them.

You should thus permanently turn off automatic equalization.

If a lead-acid battery charger’s automatic equalization cannot be turned off, it should be changed.

#2. A Solar Charger

Any solar chargers must work with lithium RV batteries in addition to the main battery charger.

Solar chargers will often only operate with lithium and lack any equalization features.

But they could accelerate slowly.

Some charge controllers can be reprogrammed to the correct voltages for the batteries since they are programmable.

In this situation, look up the battery manufacturer to find out the recommended voltage values.

#3. Inverters

Inverters often have no problem using lithium batteries.

They should function as long as the voltage is within the proper range (12, 24, or 48 volts).

If the inverter has a low voltage cutoff, you should replace it.

Manufacturers of lithium batteries will provide a suggested low voltage shutdown for inverters.

#4. Additional Things to Think About When Replacing Lithium-Ion Batteries

The majority of the time, loads like lights, water pumps, and appliances won’t even be aware that they are powered by a different kind of battery.

You don’t need to adjust anything about them as a result.

When using lithium-ion batteries, I usually advise installing a shunt-based battery monitoring system to precisely track the level of charge.

The Victron BMV712 is the monitor I like.

In car home systems connected to an engine’s alternator system, lithium-ion batteries are often changed.

A boat charges off the engine, a trailer charges via the tow vehicle, and a motorhome charges off the engine.

Lithium batteries often blow fuses or even the alternators themselves because of the lower internal resistance of lithium.

We detailed how we configured alternator charging in one of our projects in a blog post.

I advise using a DCDC converter to maintain a safe amount of current if you wish to charge lithium batteries using an alternator.

In order to establish the proper voltages and current restrictions, a DCDC charge controller should be completely programmable.

Related Also: RV Battery 6V vs 12V: Which Is Better?

Benefits of Changing to Lithium Batteries for Your Travel Trailer

Lithium batteries endure longer than lead-acid batteries, as we’ve previously said.

One of the numerous advantages of switching your travel trailer RV’s normal lead-acid battery to a lithium deep-cycle battery is that.

Let’s examine some more.

#1. Setup Anywhere

Smaller automobiles can pull travel trailer RVs since they are smaller than many other RVs, making weight distribution crucial.

For safe handling when towing, the weight distribution of storage, additional propane tanks, holding tanks, fuel tanks, and other heavy goods is essential.

Batteries made of lithium often weigh less than those made of lead-acid.

As a result, you have a lot more flexibility in deciding where to put the battery.

Lithium batteries are really so light that they shouldn’t affect the trailer’s overall weight distribution.

#2. Reduced Weight

In addition to helping with weight distribution, this 50% weight reduction might be important if you wish to switch from a single battery to a bank of many batteries.

Two lithium batteries weigh around 60 to 70 pounds, compared to a single lead-acid battery’s weight of 70 to 80 pounds.

Therefore, even when switching to several lithium batteries, you still end up weighing less than when using a single lead-acid battery.

#3. Throughout the Life of Your RV or Travel Trailer

The lithium battery inside your travel trailer may survive the whole time you own it, even though most RVers sell or replace their trailers within ten years of purchasing them.

A lead-acid battery with proper maintenance and never having its capacity down below 50% may survive 500 to 800 charge/discharge cycles.

A lithium battery won’t suffer harm if it drops below the 50% mark.

In reality, a lithium battery may be regularly discharged below 20% capacity and yet endure for up to 5,000 cycles.

That is around ten times longer than a lead-acid equivalent’s lifetime!

#4. There is no upkeep

A lithium battery essentially requires no maintenance.

Most have a battery management mechanism that keeps levels at their best.

In contrast, you need to keep an eye on the electrolyte levels and charging status of a typical lead-acid battery.

The health of the battery may need you to periodically open it up to check the water level.

Many RVers are required to schedule a battery service on a regular basis since doing this might be risky if you don’t know how to do it correctly.

You must regularly check the charge level of your sealed lead-acid battery to make sure it doesn’t go below 50%.

#5. Better Power Efficiency

Where lithium batteries really excel is in efficiency.

A lithium battery may be discharged below 20% without suffering damage, as was before indicated.

The amount of power accessible every charging cycle has increased significantly.

Therefore, if you have both a lead-acid battery and a lithium-ion battery with an 80 amp-hour rating, the lithium version will provide more hours in a smaller container.

Not to add, a good inverter allows you to operate bigger power loads, like 120V appliances, effectively.

#6. Long-Term Most Economical Battery

When comparing the initial cost of lithium batteries to lead-acid batteries, you can experience sticker shock.

But when everything is put together, lithium comes out on top virtually every time.

Lead-acid batteries may only survive a few years under intensive use, or much less if you repeatedly drain them below 50%.

In contrast, lithium batteries‘ improved chemistry, battery management systems, and more robust design enable them to endure more than 10 years.

Therefore, even if the price of a high-quality lead-acid battery may be about a third of that of our lithium batteries, lithium batteries have a far longer lifespan and need almost no maintenance.

If you do the arithmetic, purchasing lithium will save you money!

#7. Safety

Despite what you may have heard, lithium batteries have a solid reputation for being safe for RVers.

Since the invention of lithium technology, businesses have achieved enormous advancements, particularly in the RV industry.

Lithium iron phosphate is the most often used lithium technology for RV batteries (or LiFePO4).

It uses a battery management system for increased safety and a lower energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries.

In addition to being non-toxic, LiFePO4 batteries are also less hazardous to dispose of than lead-acid batteries.

You may feel more at ease while camping with your family thanks to increased safety!

Recommended reading: Why do I use Trojan T-105 6V Golf Cart Batteries in my RV?

How to Install Lithium Batteries in Your RV?

When the time comes to switch from lead-acid to lithium batteries, you may either hire a professional or, if you’re experienced with DIY electrical tasks, do it yourself.

Battle Born Batteries offers fantastic support when installing their batteries if you wish to do it without an expert’s assistance.

You’ll have all the knowledge you need for a successful setup, from tutorials to specifically designed support for your unique application.

What Batteries Do a Travel Trailer RV Usually Have?

A single 12V deep cycle lead-acid battery is generally included in travel trailer RVs.

Although it resembles the starting battery you often find under a car’s hood, deep-cycle batteries are able to survive multiple cycles of charging and draining.


There are relatively few reasons not to switch a travel trailer RV battery from a regular lead-acid to a lithium battery.

With this simple modification, you can address many of the shortcomings of your present lead-acid batteries!

Even though the initial expense is a major worry, think of it as a hassle-free, long-term investment.

By switching from a single lead-acid battery to a single lithium battery, you may use your device for many more hours without interruption and for longer periods of time without being concerned about how long your battery will last.

Lithium in your system allows you to go outside and remain outside for much longer.

Recommended Videos from Youtube about Installing Lithium Batteries In RV

Installing Lithium Batteries In The RV – Affordable LiFePO4 Unowix Batteries – RV Lithium Upgrade – RV Habit
How to Install Lithium Batteries in an RV the hard way – On the Road with Ron
Installing Lithium Batteries For My RV (Your Help Needed) – How To RV


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Ryan is a RV product expert with nearly a decade of experience researching, developing, and testing RV products.

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