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Old 01-21-2021, 11:34 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Lanesboro, MN, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
Trailer: 2018 5.0 TA
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AGM and SiO2/Lithium Batteries In Our 5.0

After eight days of minimal/no sun our 220 ah (110 usable) batteries are getting so low we are using our Weber catalytic heater at night. At my friend's place in San Antonio we had no sun, but thought traveling to Del Rio to camp three nights would charge up the batteries. Not so, three additional straight days of cloud cover at Del Rio we were below 11.8 v.

In 350 nights this is the first time for this scenario, but conserving electricity was not the reason we bought 110 useable ah's of battery.

Over the past two years we have easily taken out 100 pounds of needless crap (mostly tools), so we have room and weight for a second battery. We're probably going to go with SiO2 from Azimuth Solar at $550 delivered to our friend's place in Tucson. The SiO2 uses the same charging profile as lithium. We love to camp in cold weather, many times below 20F where Battleborn has issues.

For the time being I would install a battery switch to go between our AGM and SiO2. We would mainly use the AGM hooked to our 170 watt solar on the roof and the SiO2 connected to our 100 watt Renogy portable using our Victron 100/20 controller. In other words, two separate systems connected to our 5.0 with a Blue Sea battery selector. This will provide us two separate systems with redundancy.

Later on we would replace the ETI GoPower solar controller with a Victron 100/30 controller for the rooftop panel(s) that are hooked to our AGMs. Also at some time, we would add a lithium 110v converter charger to the camper for the SiO2.

Being dyslexic I sometimes miss something. I also have a tendency to write this stuff missing important data.

Am I on the right track?



Those who know everything use pens. Intelligent people use pencils.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:52 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Minnetonka, Minnesota
Trailer: Escape 15A
Posts: 82
I would think it would be cheaper and simpler just to accept a somewhat shorter battery lifespan and draw down below 50% if necessary. The difference in longevity isn't as great as people seem to think. Try to stay above 80% depletion though.

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Old 01-21-2021, 12:19 PM   #3
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Location: East of Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2005 Casita 17 Deluxe (original owner)
Posts: 783
FWIW, assuming you're talking about locating the selector switch after each battery's main circuit protection but before the rest of your (+)DC cable/bus feed to everything*** else, your plan strikes me as perfectly reasonable and suited to your needs.

*** Take care to carefully consider the feed to the E-breakaway brake 'lanyard switch' ... methinks you will want that after the selector to avoid a constant current-path between the batteries, but that means you'll need to ensure the selector switch is never set "OFF" (isolating both batteries from the rest of the trailer including the e-brakes) when underway.

IMO it'd be better if the selector switch only offered a toggle between 'battery 1' or 'battery 2' without an "OFF" position, but I don't see that Blue Sea offers that.
Alan E.
Prospective Escape 5.0TA Owner (deposit submitted 09/09/2020 for completion 08/18/2021)
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Old 01-22-2021, 03:13 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Houston, Texas
Trailer: Ordered 21'NE
Posts: 16
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
We're probably going to go with SiO2 from Azimuth Solar at $550 delivered to our friend's place in Tucson. The SiO2 uses the same charging profile as lithium. We love to camp in cold weather, many times below 20F where Battleborn has issues.

I just noticed something odd about the performance comparison chart here:

it shows 2800 cycles at 50% discharge for SiO2, compared to 2000-3000 cycles at 100% discharge for Battle Born. So.. 50% of the amp hours some reason?
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Old 01-22-2021, 06:58 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA (Little Elsie) Extensively Personalized
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YMMV, but if I, with I meaning me so don’t jump all over me for my suggestion, were going to spend that kind money to add an SiO2 battery (third battery) and later a converter just for it, and weight seems to be a concern, I would change out the current converter if it cannot be set for a lithium profile to one that can, and change the AGMs for lithium or SiO2s. That would reduce weight by another 60 lbs. And then I would purchase a Honda EU2200i or the previous model (EU2000i) or an equivalent (they fit nicely in a Rubbermaid Action Packer and can be transported inside the trailer or in the back seat of the tow vehicle), perhaps converted to run on propane, and carry it for just this type of weather situations. It would only add back the 60 lbs or so saved by making the battery switch. I know, generators are not appreciated by many, but running it on the Eco mode to power the converter every three days or so would keep the current AGM batteries in the voltage “safe zone.” No need to constantly run a generator; only Ben necessary to recharge.
What a long strange trip itís been!
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