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Old 04-14-2017, 08:57 PM   #1
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Second battery

Iím looking to install a second battery in my 15, since I donít want to make the front heavier than it is Iíll probably attach it to the rear bumper (17 style). A cutoff/selection switch will give me the option to choose front or back battery or completely disconnect the power. Any input will be appreciated.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:14 PM   #2
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I don't have personal experience with this battery, but it looks really interesting. Much, much lighter in weight. Can use almost 100% of its capacity without causing problems, no venting issues, much longer life, much higher price.... The Airstream forum had a long discussion on these recently.

https://battlebornbatteries.com
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCBill View Post
I don't have personal experience with this battery, but it looks really interesting. Much, much lighter in weight. Can use almost 100% of its capacity without causing problems, no venting issues, much longer life, much higher price.... The Airstream forum had a long discussion on these recently.

https://battlebornbatteries.com
At $900 it's not in the budget for this project, but It is interesting. Also I belive it needs different charging than a "standard" battery.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:37 PM   #4
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From what I have read, it works fine with standard charging system, but I am no expert on it.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effie View Post
A cutoff/selection switch will give me the option to choose front or back battery or completely disconnect the power.
I'm a great fan of two battery systems isolated from each other by a battery selector switch.

I use them one at a time, except when using the microwave. If, for some reason the #1 battery was to get low then I'd be very frugal with #2 until charging conditions improved.

Also, for the first time for me, I had a battery only 3 months old develop an internal short. Since it wasn't a 6 volt battery, part of a 12 volt bank, it was only a minor annoyance.

Ron
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:06 AM   #6
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Good to here this was done before, except I didn't think of running both together. I assume you connect the batteries in parallel to run a converter. What converter are you running to power a microwave?
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effie View Post
Good to here this was done before, except I didn't think of running both together. I assume you connect the batteries in parallel to run a converter. What converter are you running to power a microwave?
What you're talking about here is an inverter, rather than a converter.

Terminology (for an RV context):
  • converter: converts 120 volt AC power to 12 volt DC
  • inverter: changes 12 volt DC power to 120 volt AC
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effie View Post
Iím looking to install a second battery in my 15, since I donít want to make the front heavier than it is Iíll probably attach it to the rear bumper (17 style).
It will make the front lighter; you might not want that. The tongue weight of the 15' is more affected by weight added to the bumper than other Escape models, due to its proportions. Also, adding mass at the extreme ends of the trailer is bad for stability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCBill View Post
I don't have personal experience with this battery, but it looks really interesting. Much, much lighter in weight. Can use almost 100% of its capacity without causing problems, no venting issues, much longer life, much higher price.... The Airstream forum had a long discussion on these recently.

https://battlebornbatteries.com
These are typical lithium batteries of the type used in RVs. I wouldn't add a lithium battery to a lead-acid battery, but replacing the stock lead-acid battery with the same weight of lithium battery would substantially increase capacity without affecting tongue weight or stability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Effie View Post
At $900 it's not in the budget for this project, but It is interesting. Also I belive it needs different charging than a "standard" battery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCBill View Post
From what I have read, it works fine with standard charging system, but I am no expert on it.
The optimal charging system voltage for LiFePO4 is not the same as for lead-acid. Some of the modes of some charging systems are definitely inappropriate; with some chargers more appropriate voltages can be programmed. The "lithium" chargers from Progressive Dynamics (Inteli-Powerģ PD9100L Series) which Battle Born sells are simply their normal chargers with a simple charging program: constant current (at the charger's rated output) until the single voltage setting is reached, then constant voltage. They are set for 14.6 V (3.65 volts per cell), but can be changed for different batteries. Chargers intended for lead-acid would normally be set for lower voltages.

Reliable operation of lithium battery systems usually requires a battery management system (BMS) which monitors each cell individually; this is normally built into the package of 12-volt LiFePO4 batteries, which have four cells (a 12-volt lead-acid battery has six cells). The Battle Born batteries include a BMS.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effie View Post
Good to here this was done before, except I didn't think of running both together. I assume you connect the batteries in parallel to run a converter. What converter are you running to power a microwave?
A battery selector switch gives you: off, #1, #2 or both.

I have an inexpensive 1500 watt modified sine wave inverter.

Ron
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:31 PM   #10
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Thanks all for the info. I think I'll stick to my original plan plus adding the 120 inverter. The next stage is roof top solar, just got to figure out how to attach the panels doing minimum damage.
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:42 PM   #11
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I believe that the rear bumper on the 17 is beefed up for the single battery. And, you have to specify the dual 6V at build so the frame can be built to accommodate the weight.
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I believe that the rear bumper on the 17 is beefed up for the single battery. And, you have to specify the dual 6V at build so the frame can be built to accommodate the weight.
Although the frame and bumper tubing sizes are likely the same on all models (1.5" wide, 3" tall), the 17' (the only model designed to have the battery on the back) may have the bumper further from the body to accommodate the battery or batteries - I would have a good look at the 15' with a tape measure before assuming that a battery can be mounted there in the same style as a 17'.

For dual versus single batteries on the 17', I think it's just a matter of brackets, rather than strength.
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:18 PM   #13
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Rear of the 2015 Escape 17, showing the battery support structure:
The bumper and rear portion of the frame is 2"x3"x1/8" wall steel tube, the smaller member nearest the body is 1Ĺ" sq. tube. You can see the std. size (group 27) battery location on the driver side; we got the larger group 29 that was mounted on the passenger side.
Edit: I recently cut off the driver side angle iron batt. platform and relocate it nearer to the center, so I could add a 2nd Group 29 battery. The group 29 needs a larger platform. I had to move the spare tire post back to its standard location on the trailer centerline, and insert spacers to raise it almost an inch, so I could get the battery box covers off.
:
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:07 PM   #14
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Obviously my 15 doesn’t have the battery ready bumper of the 17, I do have the bike carrier 2" receiver limited to 150lb. Since I plan to install a single battery it should be well under this limit even if I decide to carry my bike back there.
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