Friday, June 9, 2023


Talkin’ RV Tech video: Basics of lithium batteries

Last Wednesday evening, we wrapped up our second “Talkin’ RV Tech” where I discussed lithium batteries with Dustin Simpson and his associate Zach Mortenson, with input from readers who joined us by chat.

Zach is a service technician at Dustin’s California RV Specialists in Lodi, Calif., and the point person for customers with questions about lithium batteries. He’s also a fountain of RV knowledge, as you will see.

Our discussion was focused on determining if lithium batteries are right for all RVers. After all, it doesn’t make any sense to pay $1,000 to $2,000 for these high-technology products for those folks who do not dry camp or boondock.

Since most RV owners are fed up with their lead acid battery’s short life or even holding a charge through the weekend, they automatically look to lithium as the answer. However, understanding what runs off the batteries and how to properly charge and maintain the cheaper lead acid batteries is the better choice.

In our discussion, we cover what components are powered by the batteries, what amp hours really mean, and what batteries are best for various applications. And you can’t just swap out your lead acid batteries for lithium until you verify your charging options such as the converter, inverter or solar controller as well as the size cable from the charging system to the batteries.

If you’re considering upgrading to lithium batteries, you won’t want to miss this discussion on what works best for you and what you need to know about quality batteries and installation.

Click the video below to play. And remember join us at 4 p.m. (Pacific time) every Wednesday to talk about things technical as they apply to RVs. Where to join us is listed in every Wednesday RV Daily Tips newsletter.



Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.


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Daniel Frownfelter
7 months ago

Love your info Mike. Can you recommend a 12v thermostat controlled heated “blanket” for a 300ah Lithium battery for use when I go to Alaska next year?

7 months ago

Excellent, knowledgeable discussion. Cleared up a lot of info on just how bad do you need lithium or even AGM’s. Thanks for that info. My 12v lead acid last 6 to 9 years being charged when parked at home and on the road by the alternator. Very little, if any, dry camping.

I have one question: Dave mentioned lithium batts are ruined if they freeze…. Does this apply to all lithium batts? i.e, flash cameras, dash cams, cell phones etc? The small (expensive) slip in ones?

Edward Wilkinson
7 months ago
Reply to  DW/ND

Hi, I just want to say that you will damage the battery if you charge it when it is 32 F and below. The battery will continue to discharge and you can safely use the rest of the power down to a much lower temp. So, the battery will not be ruined if it is simply freezing, you just make sure that it does not get any charging to it at 32 deg and below. Some BMS boards take care of this problem, and some have heater pad response built in…but whatever the case…just make sure they are not charging below freezing. Not sure of the smaller batteries you mention, though.

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