By Mike Sokol
You (the people) have spoken. Last week I published a guest essay by Dennis Wieske from Progressive Dynamics, one of the leading manufacturers of RV battery chargers and power centers. To read that article, please take a look HERE.
The big question (no, the answer is not 42)….
After his informative article, I posted a poll asking if you would like to attend a YouTube livestream event in a few weeks with both Dennis and me, allowing you to text us questions about Lithium battery charging in real-time. Here’s how you responded to the poll (you can’t vote on this screenshot):
By the numbers…
As you can see from the numbers (and the numbers don’t lie), 2/3 of those responding (66%) said you would definitely watch this event (either live or a recording), with an additional 18% thinking about it. I would call that a definitive positive response. So we now have a tentative YouTube livestream date and time of Tuesday, February 2 (Groundhog Day) starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time, which is 5 p.m. Pacific time. But don’t worry if you can’t attend the livestream event in real-time as it will be recorded and archived on YouTube forever.
Why is this important?
Since so many campgrounds are overcrowded, and reservations may already be completely booked through 2021 for many of them, many RVers are looking at boondocking as a way to go camping. However, if you’re on your own there’s no pedestal to plug in for AC power. So Lithium batteries, solar panels and quiet inverter generators are important technologies that can help keep you happy and safe when providing your own power during boondocking.
Isn’t it as easy as Plug ‘n Play?
Some resellers of Lithium batteries imply you can just drop a new Lithium battery into any RV without considering the rest of your electrical system. Seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? That may be true in many cases with a modern converter/charger rated to work with Lithium batteries, but never assume anything.That’s because as great as they can be, Lithium batteries require that your converter/charging system is capable of providing the correct voltage and current for best battery performance.
And it’s true that if you do everything correctly, Lithium batteries are good for 3,000 to 5,000 charge/discharge cycles. And yes, you can indeed discharge them down to 0% SOC (State of Charge) without any damage, essentially doubling the usable amp-hr capacity of your current lead-acid battery which you shouldn’t discharge below 50% SOC.
However, if you simply drop a Lithium battery into your RV as an upgrade without checking your RV’s battery charger compatibility, you can create problems ranging from the inability to fully charge your battery to 100% SOC, all the way to destroying your expensive new Lithium batteries rather quickly from desulfation pulses designed for flooded-cell lead-acid batteries.
What to do?
Well, Dennis is the expert on Lithium-rated charging systems for your RVs, and has already fielded hundreds of questions from the field, so I’m excited to learn even more about this important topic. Please add any more of your questions below so we can prepare for our YouTube livestream event on Tuesday, February 2nd, 8 p.m. Eastern Time. And we’ll also be able to take live text questions from those of you watching in real-time.
If this goes as planned, I’ll try to find other experts in a variety of RV products and technologies who I can interview. So please pass this link on to everyone you know. This coming week I’ll include a link to this YouTube stream here so it will send you a reminder of when to log into the show. So check back soon and ask your questions below.
Sign up on YouTube for this live streaming event by clicking HERE.
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.
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