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Old 07-02-2022, 07:53 AM   #1
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New ETI Lithium System: Change My Mind?

According to the June questions video ETI is substantially changing the components in its Lithium package. I am not sure I understand all of the changes and benefits, though the shunt sounds like a real improvement.

Still filling out Build Sheet and had decided to not get lithium, primarily due to cost. Do not know if the new package will have the same cost, but, if it does, should I reconsider my decision due to the new components?

Related: Opinions on recovery of added cost upon resale?
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Old 07-02-2022, 09:41 AM   #2
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According to the June questions video ETI is substantially changing the components in its Lithium package. I am not sure I understand all of the changes and benefits, though the shunt sounds like a real improvement.

Still filling out Build Sheet and had decided to not get lithium, primarily due to cost. Do not know if the new package will have the same cost, but, if it does, should I reconsider my decision due to the new components?

Related: Opinions on recovery of added cost upon resale?
IMHO, lithium vs conventional is like regular vs premium fuel. There will be those who may want to upgrade and those who feel it is not worth the cost. Your choice...
I have always used the dual 6volt package and felt it meets my needs, your choice may be entirely different......
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Old 07-02-2022, 09:58 AM   #3
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As Jim noted, your camping style determines whether lithium makes sense. If you generally camp with hookups there is little need for the additional expense. If you spend most of your time dry camping, but require an air conditioner and other heavy demand appliances, a generator will be necessary, and again little advantage to adding lithium.

If you dry camp for long periods, want to go without a generator and depend on solar to recharge your batteries, lithium makes sense. In my case for the last 7 years I spent most of the winter dry camping in the Long Term Visitor Areas in Arizona & California. Typically, 2+ months in a row without hookups, the record 91 days.

Three years ago I converted to lithium (currently 3 100 amp hour Battleborn batteries) and a total of 620 watts of solar. I could do the same with a pair of 6V batteries (I did for the first 3 years) but I like the ability to make a pot of coffee, run a toaster or microwave, instant pot, etc without worrying about whether I'll have enough amp hours left to run the furnace overnight.

I applaud those that dry camp for long periods of time with just a single 100 amp hour battery & a 100 watt solar panel, but that is not my lifestyle.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:43 AM   #4
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Interesting article. https://www.energyandcapital.com/art...ng-from-/76938
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:03 PM   #5
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.... Still filling out Build Sheet and had decided to not get lithium, primarily due to cost. Do not know if the new package will have the same cost, but, if it does, should I reconsider my decision due to the new components? ....
IMO Jon Vermilye's post above is the best, most concise, and relatable explanation I've ever read of a rational decision-tree for the answering the basic question 'Should I go lithium?'.

Insofar as the changes outlined in the ETI video ("Smart Shunt", 'more efficient battery package', 'MPPT controller', "all Victron") .... IMO all of that is very encouraging.

The devil is in the details and one will likely pay more for these components than the current GoPower components, but IF my RV lifestyle met the threshold described by Jon for 'going lithium' I'd certainly be enthusiastic about what's indicated for ETI's future offerings (much more than I was when I decided to 'pass' on the current ETI offerings even though I knew I wanted to 'go lithium', and therefore planned on a DIY solution; I might well have taken ETI's options as now forecast).
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:57 PM   #6
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According to the June questions video ETI is substantially changing the components in its Lithium package. I am not sure I understand all of the changes and benefits, though the shunt sounds like a real improvement.

Still filling out Build Sheet and had decided to not get lithium, primarily due to cost. Do not know if the new package will have the same cost, but, if it does, should I reconsider my decision due to the new components?

Related: Opinions on recovery of added cost upon resale?



I would not worry about resale value with the 6 volts. I am not sure what your power needs will be. I have noticed since ETI has been offering Lithium package a lot of people are ordering it. it seems if i buyer does not understand the system they just buy the More expensive option. I would expect that very few of them actually need it.There is advantages and disadvantage to both systems . Another issue is on the 17 and the 19 models ETI is still installing Lithium batteries out side . This is a huge problem in below freezing weather and high heat. On my 19 I installed a inverter and left room for two Lithium Batteries inside. So far i been doing good with the 6 volts boon docking for 28 days at a time . my big draw in furnace in the snow and cpap machine. I still might add them because I like to free up the front storage box for my Honda generator. witch has only been used once in 2 years to run air. I keep thinking I should not eleven carry it but it gives me piece of mind should the furnace stop working I can get some heat before things freeze up. Its pretty lite. you need to think about how you plan to use the trailer. remember these systems can be added later .
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Old 07-02-2022, 02:08 PM   #7
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A single group 27 Trojan deep cycle battery has worked for me for 14 years ( not the original battery ). I have no installed inverter, no microwave or electric kettle/toaster/instant pot.
I camp in forest service sites without hookups whenever possible.
My sister cooks a turkey and all the fixings in her trailer for Thanksgiving. It's your call.
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Old 07-02-2022, 05:08 PM   #8
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I think the price is justified if you have the need like Jon who lives in his escape most of the year. If you also are getting the compressor frig is another good reason. Or if you like to use lots of electric appliances especially for cooking. We don't do any of the above so we get along beautifully with the two flooded golf cart batteries and one 170W solar panel. If we ever start taking long trips and especially winter camping we would convert to lithium batteries and add more solar.

Not having the voltage drop like lead acid batteries do would be great for the furnace I bet. Nothing worse than low voltage preventing the furnace from coming on when you need heat.
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Old 07-02-2022, 06:41 PM   #9
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We're typically out 5-6 weeks just before Memorial and just after Labor Day. The 2 6V Interstates have always been charged up full by noon with one 160W panel.

It's pretty obvious there are a lot of people here buying new trailers that don't care about the cost and probably order the Whole Nine Yards just to brag IMO.
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Old 07-03-2022, 08:38 AM   #10
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We prefer to prepare most meals ourselves. Saves time, money and is way healthier when traveling. We live in the Southeast, so most great destinations out West are days driving just to get close. (Five years out from retirement) The solar/lithium would allow us to drive, eat, sleep. Drive, eat, sleep just to get close to any destinations. Like others mentioned, being able to run a 12 volt electric blanket, heater, microwave or whatever anywhere you pull over without energy worry is pretty awesome. We could do the same with a wet cell but I don't need the worry at this point in my life about energy conservation on the road.

Your batteries are just a storage tank of energy like the fuel tank in your car. Your car will run just fine on a two gallon fuel tank. You just need to top off sooner and can't run as far. The lithium will allow you to run longer and recharger faster. Very important for us as we scoot down the road just trying to get there.
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Old 07-03-2022, 11:53 AM   #11
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You can always just add the "Lithium Ready" option and just get the two 6V batteries (or stick with the single battery that is standard) and see how that works for you. Use them for a time and see if they work for you. If they don't and you need to upgrade, all you have to do is switch to a Lithium battery and you don't have to worry about installing a different charge controller, etc. Of course, the decision if the Lithium Ready option is worth it is up to you.
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Old 07-03-2022, 04:48 PM   #12
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Given that the lithium system with an inverter is about $2500 we will just stay with two 6v batteries and one panel. We have that on our 17B and it has worked well for us for 3 years. Besides, I doubt that one would recover the cost upon resale...make it easier to sell, but that is about it.
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Old 07-03-2022, 06:04 PM   #13
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We're typically out 5-6 weeks just before Memorial and just after Labor Day. The 2 6V Interstates have always been charged up full by noon with one 160W panel.

It's pretty obvious there are a lot of people here buying new trailers that don't care about the cost and probably order the Whole Nine Yards just to brag IMO.
Right, we just go bragging all over the place. LOL. That reminds me, weíre in Michigan camping right now. Gotta get this posted so I can go brag about my whole nine yards.
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Old 07-03-2022, 06:54 PM   #14
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... Besides, I doubt that one would recover the cost upon resale....
Gotta admit I've never understood the 'recover cost upon resale' line of thinking / logic when it comes to decisions like this

In my naÔvetť I've never purchased or specified anything for my own use and enjoyment with resale in mind, I must be missing something
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Old 07-03-2022, 07:39 PM   #15
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Gotta admit I've never understood the 'recover cost upon resale' line of thinking / logic when it comes to decisions like this

In my naÔvetť I've never purchased or specified anything for my own use and enjoyment with resale in mind, I must be missing something
You're not alone. I mentally write off the cost when I buy something. I look at it as: I went to the store and bought something that I wanted and could afford. Once that decision has been made and done I never give it another thought.

Who knows when the trailer will be sold in the future or even if it might be part of my estate and then it really wouldn't matter to me.

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Old 07-03-2022, 10:03 PM   #16
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I went lithium ready with the single lead acid battery. Iím looking around for a lithium battery or two to get it installed before our big trip in the fall.

I weighed all the options and decided to install the lithium batteries myself. I doing lithium because I do plan on boondocking some nights on long trips, and we do have the microwave, coffee maker, radio, and want heat in the morning.

I am someone who calculates my exit cost now. After spending 20k on a sea doo that I gave away in the end, and spending more than that on a Harley that sits. I understand both sides of that fenceÖ. When we signed up for this trailer in 2020 I didnít know how much weíd use it, nor even had a vehicle to tow it with. I have no plans to sell the truck/trailer, but all of us on this forum made a pretty financially sound decision buying Escape/ fiberglass trailers.
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Old 07-04-2022, 03:39 AM   #17
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According to the June questions video ETI is substantially changing the components in its Lithium package. I am not sure I understand all of the changes and benefits, though the shunt sounds like a real improvement.

Still filling out Build Sheet and had decided to not get lithium, primarily due to cost. Do not know if the new package will have the same cost, but, if it does, should I reconsider my decision due to the new components?

Related: Opinions on recovery of added cost upon resale?
Regarding recovery costs, you should consider what will enhance your camping experience. This trailer is for your own enjoyment.

Just finished viewing the video. The new lithium battery package will be available in the fall. Are it’s components listed on the build sheet yet? I’m most interested in the lithium battery they will be offering. I’m guessing/hoping it will be the SOK.

If you buy a lithium battery, you’ll need a Battery Voltage Monitor (BVM). Period.

Looks like ETI will be pairing the battery with Victron 710 or 720 BVM. Victron is the gold standard. The 720 includes Bluetooth, and worth the extra cost.

I’m particularly curious about the new converter.

Marant, what is your camping style? If the majority of your trips will be at camp grounds with electrical hookups, you won’t need a lithium battery. You definitely won’t need an inverter.

On the other hand, if you plan to mostly dry camp, and think you’ll be boon docking for more than a week at a time, and cannot bring along a backup generator, seriously consider getting a lithium battery. In the long run, lithium will save money over lead acid batteries, and is far more efficient. It’s a cleaner technology.

Bottom line:
  • go lithium
  • put together your own lithium and solar package
  • SOK lithium batteries will give you the most bang 4 your bucks
  • start with one 100ah battery
  • add a second battery if you decide to get an inverter
  • purchase a backup generator

I highly recommend you include several 12V outlets in your build sheet. Have them installed in strategic locations throughout the cabin. This will definitely help with future resale.

Installing a lithium battery (and BVM) after you get your trailer will give you an opportunity to see if you’re dry camping enough to justify the additional cost. Plus, you’ll be able to customize the system to your needs.

If you want an inverter over 1500w, you’ll need two 100ah lithium batteries. But you do not have to buy an inverter right away, and can hold off getting a second lithium until you do.
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Old 07-04-2022, 06:35 AM   #18
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Given that the lithium system with an inverter is about $2500 we will just stay with two 6v batteries and one panel. We have that on our 17B and it has worked well for us for 3 years. Besides, I doubt that one would recover the cost upon resale...make it easier to sell, but that is about it.

Obviously different strokes for different folks.

Some years ago we purchased a new 32' fifth wheel stickey. After putting 50,000 miles on it over 8 years became too big to do what we wanted so it was sold for 25% of the original cost. Did we get our money out of it, yes. Did we know about depreciation when we bought it, yes.

We now have an Escape that will sell for what we paid for it. Is this a better way? Without a doubt. The (apparent) fact that an Escape minimizes the effect of depreciation is definitely a factor in our decision to order a new 21C. One never knows what the future may require, so it is best to plan as well as one can.
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Old 07-04-2022, 09:08 AM   #19
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I went lithium ready with the single lead acid battery. Iím looking around for a lithium battery or two to get it installed before our big trip in the fall.

I weighed all the options and decided to install the lithium batteries myself. I doing lithium because I do plan on boondocking some nights on long trips, and we do have the microwave, coffee maker, radio, and want heat in the morning.
...
Assuming that your use of the past tense implies that your build sheet is past the change date or you have the trailer in hand - then your only decision is how many batteries (or how much power) to purchase.

Read the specs carefully on the battery you are considering. Many (but not all) typical lithium batteries have a 100 amp discharge limit. And you have indicated your high power appliances are microwave & coffee maker, both of which likely require inverter inputs in the 100 - 150 amp range. So if you select two batteries with 100 amp limits and run them in parallel, then you can pull up to 200 amps. But if you plan on boondocking for many days in cloudy areas or shaded areas you might need more than two batteries. Plan your purchase to match your actual needs if you don't want to waste $$$. Or - and I hate to say this - consider a small generator, which might give you the flexibility to take it, or leave it home, as the camping trip dictates.
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Old 07-04-2022, 06:54 PM   #20
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Assuming that your use of the past tense implies that your build sheet is past the change date or you have the trailer in hand - then your only decision is how many batteries (or how much power) to purchase.

Read the specs carefully on the battery you are considering. Many (but not all) typical lithium batteries have a 100 amp discharge limit. And you have indicated your high power appliances are microwave & coffee maker, both of which likely require inverter inputs in the 100 - 150 amp range. So if you select two batteries with 100 amp limits and run them in parallel, then you can pull up to 200 amps. But if you plan on boondocking for many days in cloudy areas or shaded areas you might need more than two batteries. Plan your purchase to match your actual needs if you don't want to waste $$$. Or - and I hate to say this - consider a small generator, which might give you the flexibility to take it, or leave it home, as the camping trip dictates.
Thatís good advice. I was planning on a pair of SOK batteries, now thinking maybe just a single 300ah AmpereTime, as they are on sale and have a 200a current rating.

Itís nice to not have too worry about the extra connections to parallel a pair of batteries with a single large one, but the single large one does dictate where it can be mounted a little bit more than a pair (or three) of the 100a/ah batteries.

Iím curious how long I could run the stock evaporator refrigerator on a 300ah battery. Not that I would do it for days of boondocking, but i could run the fridge on DC while drivingÖ. As of now, I donít see us going multiple days without a hookup. A small generator could be in the future, but, no plans for one yet.
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