RVelectricity – Review of Mike’s popular Lithium battery chargers webcast

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By Mike Sokol
Dear Readers,
My “Ask an Expert” live webcast on Lithium battery chargers with Dennis Wieske from Progressive Dynamics last Tuesday evening on YouTube was a huge success. It started on YouTube Live at 8 p.m. Eastern, and by the time we ended shortly after 9 p.m., some 528 of you had watched it. As of the next day it had more than 1,200 views, which is pretty cool for a geeky topic like Lithium battery chargers. And a big thanks to the dozens of you who sent in live questions during the webcast for us to answer. That really helped the show go well.

On with the show!

Click on the picture or click HERE if you haven’t watched this webcast yet. And in case you missed them, below are links to our previous two articles (one from me and one from Dennis) we posted a few weeks ago:

Lithium battery charging Part I, Potential problems of upgrading to a Lithium battery (Dennis Wieske)
Lithium battery charging Part II, Lithium battery charging (Mike Sokol)

Why are Lithium battery chargers a big deal?

You may ask why this kind of information is important… Well, in addition to discussing what you need to check for with your existing charging system if you want to upgrade to a Lithium battery in your RV, we also discuss who SHOULD NOT bother with buying a Lithium battery for your RV.

That’s right, folks. If you’re plugged into shore power virtually all of the time and only use your RV house battery for running the slides in and out and possibly as a breakaway brake controller, then there’s little need to drop a thousand bucks on the latest battery technology when your existing FLA (Flooded Lead Acid) batteries should be just fine.

But for those of you who want to boondock and keep complaining that you can’t get through the night on battery power alone while running your RV furnace and CPAP machine, then Lithium batteries could be in your future.

Too much fun!

It was great doing this video interview with Dennis because he’s a virtual walking encyclopedia on battery charging systems and has had a ton of experience answering the Help Desk phone for Progressive Dynamics. And it’s in his and Progressive Dynamics’ best interest that you make the proper charger and battery selection, even if it doesn’t involve a Lithium battery upgrade.

To the future, and beyond!

So what’s next? Well, that’s up to you. Please take the survey below to let me know if you watched this YouTube webcast live or recorded, and if you plan to watch later. If you have any ideas for other products or technologies you would like me to cover in a similar live video webcast, let me know and I’ll round up an expert.

Please add any comments or suggestions on future Ask an Expert live webcasts below.

Let’s play safe out there….

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

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Roads of Life
16 days ago

Good interview, but it seemed geared more towards those who are building their own system. Will there be a future discussion about purchasing lithium systems from vendors such as Volta and Lithionics.
There seems to be a small debate going around about who is “better”. Isn’t one a 48v system and the other 12v, so not really comparing the same thing? Both lithium systems, with proper wires, BMS, inverters, chargers, etc., but approached differently. Like comparing apples to oranges… both fruit, but not the same.

Tim
10 days ago
Reply to  Roads of Life

Sorry, I have to disagree. I do need to design my own system and some re-design of my onboard wiring layout.

Although very informative the webinar didn’t address anything I wanted to know.

I would like a lot more of why and when to use different techs, and less ‘part #’ references.

I appreciate the effort and time put in to the production and will watch all future videos.

I think a list of links to all the diagrams would be very useful. As screenshots in a video I found them hard to read and to go back and review them.

Thanks

Bill
18 days ago

Mike, I watched the webinar live and found it very informative although a large portion of the discussions were above my level of knowledge. I have a 2021 Leisure Travel Vans Wonder Murphy bed on order with the option of two lithium batteries but no solar. There is some negative discussions regarding the flex solar panels that Leisure uses and also the solar controller they use. I would be interested in a webinar on the different types of solar panels and the different types of solar charge controllers (MPPT and ?). Thanks for your excellent articles.

Mike Sokol
18 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Great suggestion… I’ll try to find a solar panel/controller expert for my next Webcast.

Paul Holden
18 days ago

Mike, I have 2 AGM batteries in my Four Winds Sprinter and just talked with a local dealer that sells lithium batteries. He said my WFCO 5955 inverter along with my 160 watt solar panel would be fine for charging. I hardly ever plug in, even at home with the solar panel now. With the correct solar charge controller, is he right? He indicated the panel would make up for the lack of the charger.

Mike Sokol
18 days ago
Reply to  Paul Holden

I have a WFCO expert I can ask.

Joe E.
18 days ago

Mike, I watched the webinar live. I now know much more about charging and protecting my batteries. I have a 2008 HR Ambassador 40SKQ with a 160a alternator. My experience is most motor homes of the era came with Magnum Energy components as standard. Your readers would be well served if you would have a webinar with a Magnum engineer who would design and explain the optimum Magnum setup for lithium batteries in a motor home. I have the following components. How do I protect my alternator?
-Two BB 100Ah LiFePo batteries (house)-Two 950CA SLA batteries (coach)
-Blue Sea Systems Automatic Charging Relay ML SERIES 500A 12V ACR #7622 (replaced Trombetta 114-1211-020 12 Volt Bear DC Contactor)-Magnum MS2012 2000W Inverter 12V W/50A Pfc Charger (replaced control board with Magnum specified replacement for Lithium batteries and ARC-50 module-Magnum ME-ARC50 module
-Magnum MS Series Battery Monitor Kit (ME-BMK)-Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with Battery Temperature Sensor
V/r,
Joe E.

Irv
19 days ago

I watched and found it very informative. I’ve been playing with various lithium battery chemistries for 5 years so what I found most helpful was the info on RV converter/chargers.

I didn’t have much of an opinion about Progressive before the show but I now have a very positive one. Any company that employs knowledgeable adults like Dennis in a support function rather than just kids reading from a script, gets my money.

Thanks Mike and Dennis

Tommy Molnar
19 days ago

I fully intended to watch the webinar but we got hung up with two wrecks in Las Vegas and it put us behind almost two hours. I didn’t want to tune in somewhere in the middle so I opted to watch it later.