What To Expect When Converting an RV to Lithium Batteries
If you’re driving an older RV, you may still have lead-acid batteries keeping things running. Many modern vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, and, fortunately, most recreational vehicles are designed to allow people to make the upgrade to lithium and take advantage of these more powerful batteries. Here is what to expect when converting an RV to lithium batteries and how you can make it a smooth transition.
Size and Weight
One advantage of swapping out older batteries for new lithium-ion models is that many lithium battery manufacturers design their units to have the same, or very similar, shapes and dimensions as many of the older models. Keeping dimensions similar means less hassle when going through the process of installing new batteries, and a greater guarantee that your new lithium batteries will fit seamlessly into the space reserved for your battery bank.
However, lithium-ion batteries weigh significantly less than lead-acid batteries, and typically have a greater energy density. This means that you’ll be able to fit more power in the same amount of space, while massively reducing the weight of your battery system.
Maintenance and Charging
Another thing to expect when converting an RV to lithium batteries is less general maintenance. Lithium-ion batteries are self-contained and don’t require the typical work that goes into lead-acid models. With lithium-ion batteries, you no longer need to regularly check water levels to ensure they are balanced if you have flooded lead-acid batteries, and if you have sealed lead-acids, you don’t need to worry about cleaning terminals, the environment of your battery bank, or other common hazards.
Lithium-ion batteries also have a significantly longer lifespan than lead-acid batteries, leading to greater lifetime savings, and less replacements. They also afford a greater depth of discharge, ensuring reliability and efficiency for a longer period of time when using the batteries while on the road or boondocking.
One of the main questions people have when trying to upgrade their RV to lithium-ion batteries is whether they need to make any big adjustments to the rest of their existing system. Fortunately, nearly all lithium batteries contain a battery management system (BMS) that allows the batteries to work in most systems without any alterations beyond some setting changes on your inverter or charge controller. However, if you’re unsure, we recommend discussing your vehicle make and model, as well as your current system components, with a certified expert who can tell you if your lithium batteries will need any additional equipment.
BigBattery has a wide selection of RV lithium battery packs for recreational vehicles, as well as batteries and accessories for golf carts, home solar systems, and more. Browse our catalog to find the right battery to meet your needs, or contact us anytime with your questions, comments, or concerns.