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  • Writer's pictureKourtney

The battery Debate (Lithium batteries vs. Deep Cycle 6 Volts)

This was a huge learning curve for us on the road. We quickly learned that when it comes to RV living vs. Overland living, not all parts are one in the same.

Most of the advice we were given, during our build, was from Van/Skoolie conversion companies or RV shops.

The common thought was that they are all the same when it comes to living out of a vehicle. However, this simply is not true.

Our whole build and life on the road has been one big trial and error, which should come to no surprise to us (or you who are reading this), because overlanding (at least the way we are doing it) is not very common quite yet and we built everything ourselves.

One of the biggest sources of frustration on the road was our ongoing battle with batteries and solars. We are hoping this post helps fellow builders and travelers save money and some serious heartache.

When we first left, everything appeared to be fine. Batteries were charging, solar was running everything and it was smooth sailing. But all it took was one off roading trip in Sedona, for things to go south, causing us weeks of experimenting to figure out the issue. FINALLY we discovered what happened. Because of the jostling, from off roading, our Battle Born LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Batteries cracked and therefore were no longer capable of holding a total charge. no A/C, no heat and no refrigerator. We lost hundreds or dollars in groceries over those few weeks trying to figure out the issue. Our power would shut off in the middle of the night, causing our anxious puppies to panic and we were running our generator into the ground (which for a couple of eco friendly nomads, was extremely frustrating.)

A common battery configuration in RVs and golf carts involves the use of multiple 6V GC2-style batteries connected in series to form 12V or 24V systems. We examined the differences in discharge and charging profiles between a single Battle Born 12V 100Ah (BB10012) pack and a single Lion energy lithium battery.

The first thing we noticed when the batteries arrived was the obvious extreme weight difference. These lithium batteries weigh around 29 lbs each vs. our 2 GC2s that weigh a combined 150 lbs.

To be continued....

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