Sprinter-Forum    
 

Go Back   Sprinter-Forum > Sprinter-Based RV's & Conversions > Sprinter-Based RV Brands > Leisure Travel Vans > Unity


 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-15-2016, 01:07 PM   #1
Pumpkinass
 
Pumpkinass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: NYC~
Posts: 240
Thanks: 261
Thanked 61 Times in 42 Posts
Default Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

Hello,
I'm looking into getting maxed up with solar on the Serenity we're about to order.
AM Solar seems like a trusted installer.
AM solar wrote me an estimate for about $5,000 for a 300w coupled with a 25A MPPT charge controller with built-in battery monitor, traditional lead acid battery set up and $15,200 if we want to go with lithium batteries....
I'll be talking with them today about why the giant cost difference.
But..i'm open to opinion from the forum.

But..i'm mostly hoping to get some opinion from any of you who have tried to max up the solar on your Unity or Serenity's.
We like the idea of boon docking as much as possible.
What works best for you?
Also..they say that lithium batts won't fit under the stairs?
If you've gone the lithium route..where have you had them installed?
Best,
Bill
Pumpkinass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2016, 03:07 PM   #2
jackfish
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Rural Halsey, Oregon
Posts: 1,757
Thanks: 360
Thanked 829 Times in 571 Posts
Default Re: Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

I have four Group 27 AGM batteries. Two are in the original battery compartment under the entry step, and two are in the storage compartment left of the entry door.



__________________
You learn something every day whether you want to or not.

Last edited by jackfish; 12-15-2016 at 03:21 PM.
jackfish is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jackfish For This Useful Post:
Banjoe (05-22-2017)
Old 12-15-2016, 03:16 PM   #3
Pumpkinass
 
Pumpkinass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: NYC~
Posts: 240
Thanks: 261
Thanked 61 Times in 42 Posts
Default Re: Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

Thanks!
there goes a complete storage bin I suppose ;)
How many watts do you have going?
Bill
Pumpkinass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2016, 03:24 PM   #4
jackfish
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Rural Halsey, Oregon
Posts: 1,757
Thanks: 360
Thanked 829 Times in 571 Posts
Default Re: Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

Yes, the storage bin contains two batteries, inverter/charger, subpanel, and solar charge controller. I have 635 watts of solar panels on the roof.
__________________
You learn something every day whether you want to or not.
jackfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2016, 03:35 PM   #5
Pumpkinass
 
Pumpkinass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: NYC~
Posts: 240
Thanks: 261
Thanked 61 Times in 42 Posts
Default Re: Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

@jackfish~ Wow!?
Here's AM's suggested setup response.

"We have put together an estimate (see attached) that features 300W of solar installed on the roof of your new Leisure Travel Serenity Van, coupled with a 25A MPPT charge controller with built-in battery monitor, the replacement of your standard house batteries with two (2) Lifeline 6V 220Ah AGM batteries, and an upgrade of your existing converter/charger (if needed).
As of this writing, we do not carry a set of Lithium batteries that will fit in your existing battery compartment. If you're leaning in the Lithium direction, then we would need to inspect your rig for a suitable alternate location, and give you a fair assessment of labor to install. From a budgeting standpoint, it would not be unreasonable to estimate a 180Ah Signature Lithium Battery System at $4,200.00 + $6,000.00 (labor) = $10,200.00. If you were to add solar on top of this, you're looking at a total cost of around $15,200.00 (ballpark).
We understand your Leisure Travel already comes with a 1200W inverter, so it appears you're covered there."

Do you feel they are being conservative towards wattage in their suggested set up?
I've followed your postings for some time and trust that your tech knowledge in solar is much much better than mine ;)
I'm hoping to get the best most useful solar set up right off the bat.
Best,
Bill
Pumpkinass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2016, 04:17 PM   #6
Klipstr
2018 Wonder FTB
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Rio Verde and Show Low AZ
Posts: 602
Thanks: 73
Thanked 313 Times in 198 Posts
Default Re: Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

And I think $5K for a traditional solar install as they have spelled out is ridiculous! Here is my breakdown using flexible panels:

3 x 100W Flex Panels (Amazon) $200 = $600
1 x Bogart Engineering 30A PWM Charge Controller and Trimetric Monitor = $350
2 x AGM Lifeline GPL-4CT 220AH Batteries $380 = $760
1 x Wiring = $100 (at the most)
6 x Hours of your time = $0

Should be around $2K.

I don't think MPPT is necessary at 300W. Some will squawk that it is but it's like arguing religion: there are no winners.

I'm also thinking that for sort of normal camping this might do it, especially if you move about and run the engine every couple of days. For long periods of boondocking, depending on your electrical use, 300W might struggle to keep up. But with all LED lighting and careful monitoring (something the Trimetric will let you do) you can probably make it work. Is there room for a fourth panel on the roof? I don't know.

P-ass: (I kinda liked abbreviating that) if you want we can take this offline.
__________________
Kelly

Rio Verde and Show Low AZ
2018 Wonder FTB

https://cuernoverdesolar.wordpress.com/
Klipstr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2016, 05:38 PM   #7
dchurch
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 4
Thanks: 1
Thanked 9 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

On our 2015.5 Unity MB, we installed 300 Amp/hr of lithium batteries under the wardrobe drawers,next to the furnace. The main reason for this location was not space limitations, but the need for the lithium batteries to be in a temperature controlled area. Most lithium systems have restrictions on charging the pack at or below freezing temps.
dchurch is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to dchurch For This Useful Post:
Pumpkinass (12-15-2016)
Old 12-15-2016, 08:13 PM   #8
Peter Tourin
2012 LTV Unity MB
 
Peter Tourin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Jericho Center, VT
Posts: 1,981
Thanks: 824
Thanked 780 Times in 500 Posts
Default Re: Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

The battery price seems high. Two 100Ah SmartBattery SB100's would be $1300 each, so only $2600, and when I looked last, it was cheaper to build up batteries from cells with a BMS - and when you build from cells, you can certainly fit 200Ah into the compartment. But that means you have to know how to select and install the system yourself.

On the panels - if AM Solar is quoting on 3 SP100 panels, those are expensive panels - but there's a reason - they are very efficient and they're small, so that it's easier to get them on the roof of a small RV. They'll probably be more efficient and last longer than many other panels, including the flexible panels. Those are the panels that have interested me so far - I can fit 3-5 of them on my roof. AM Solar isn't a cheap solution, but they seem to have always tested what they sell, and carried a limited selection of items that they know will work well. It may be that they're a good idea for the solar part, but not quite so much for the lith phosphate part, if you decide to go that way.
__________________
Peter Tourin
2012 Leisure Travel Unity MB
Peter Tourin is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Peter Tourin For This Useful Post:
Pumpkinass (12-15-2016)
Old 12-15-2016, 08:45 PM   #9
Andrew1
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 85
Thanks: 40
Thanked 21 Times in 15 Posts
Default Re: Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

Lithium batteries is one option that I would love to see LTV start offering as an option. Pleasureway is offering what is the equivalent of 400AMP Lithium batteries now. If people are willing to pay and LTV can make money why not? I would like to hear more about how difficult it is to switch to a lithium battery system? Maybe I'll start another thread sometime and ask for advice from the knowledgeable folks that have done this.

Thank you
Andrew1 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Andrew1 For This Useful Post:
AndrewK (03-27-2017), Pumpkinass (12-15-2016)
Old 12-15-2016, 09:29 PM   #10
Pumpkinass
 
Pumpkinass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: NYC~
Posts: 240
Thanks: 261
Thanked 61 Times in 42 Posts
Default Re: Where does one put lithium batteries if they won't fit under the stairs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchurch View Post
On our 2015.5 Unity MB, we installed 300 Amp/hr of lithium batteries under the wardrobe drawers,next to the furnace. The main reason for this location was not space limitations, but the need for the lithium batteries to be in a temperature controlled area. Most lithium systems have restrictions on charging the pack at or below freezing temps.
That makes sense!
The technomadia couple were talking about that recently in their vlog.
The 'extra chair' between the passenger driving seat and the motor home door.
Any chance you can show a photo of your set up?
Best and thanks,
Bill
Pumpkinass is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 11:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.