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Old 11-21-2022, 08:14 AM   #1
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Swift LI winter operations and boondocking

Something that all Swift LI (and probably Terrain) owners need to think about .
It has been a cold weekend and planning to head back out for my usual work related trip.
I've been monitoring my SOC and it got down to 55%. Figured, no problem. The drive to work (2.5 hour) will bring it back up.
What I didn't think about was the LI cell temp. The outside air temp has been around -1 C (30F) all weekend. This morning I tapped on the Firefly to check SOC...0%. The temp is 23F
No bueno.
Into the manual I go. Per Jayco (probably Renogy)
"If cell temperature drops below 10C (50F) the unit will need connected to shore power."
A self heating process will start which slowly warms the batteries to a point they can be reconnected to the charging circuit.
If you are a boondocker, this has just ended your fun unless you can find shore power and perform the cold weather recovery. I park in an airport parking lot and this isn't an option for 3 days.
The other option (and I want opinions) might be to run the Swift Timberline heater to maintain an internal temperature above 50F while I am gone and I'm not comfortable with that.
I am a boondocker and shore power hookups are not available.
Comments, suggestions? Anybody experience this and figure something out?
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Old 11-21-2022, 03:29 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with what you have, I'm curious as to what actually heats your battery.

"A self heating process will start which slowly warms the batteries"

If it's a 120VAC heater you're likely stuck.

When switching to Lithium, cold temps were a big concern for me. Found this info when I was thinking of adding heaters -
"10 watts total keeps an 800ah battery bank above 41F if ambient temperature gets down to -20F."

I use Facon 12vdc elbow heating pads and a digital thermostat.
Stick one heater on the bottom on each battery, and wrap your batteries in closed cell foam insulation. It's been working quite well. The facon elbow pads don't get extremely hot, no worries about things melting. One will draw .55A, so a 100 AH battery could run one for a long time if that is the only draw on it. Being well insulated and the thermostat will extend that time by only turning it on when needed. You'd have to stick the temp sensor on the battery in an area that's protected from the cold. My batteries have Bluetooth and they will display their temp on their phone app, then you could fine tune the thermostat temp setting as needed.

Facon elbow pads-

Facon 3" x 13" RV Elbow Pipe Heater Pad
Specifications
Model# GSHP-0313P
Pad size (Inch) 3 x 13
Foam Pad thickness 3.0MM
Volts 13.5 V DC
Power 7.5 W
Electric Current 0.55A
Lead Wire Lengh 18”

Thermostat- E-bay- Celcius. Use one with a case, some are bare boards.

DC 12V -50-110C W1209 Digital Thermostat Temperature Control Switch Sensor(with or without Acrylic Shell)
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Old 11-22-2022, 12:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARoamer View Post
I'm not familiar with what you have, I'm curious as to what actually heats your battery.

"A self heating process will start which slowly warms the batteries"

If it's a 120VAC heater you're likely stuck.

When switching to Lithium, cold temps were a big concern for me. Found this info when I was thinking of adding heaters -
"10 watts total keeps an 800ah battery bank above 41F if ambient temperature gets down to -20F."

I use Facon 12vdc elbow heating pads and a digital thermostat.
Stick one heater on the bottom on each battery, and wrap your batteries in closed cell foam insulation. It's been working quite well. The facon elbow pads don't get extremely hot, no worries about things melting. One will draw .55A, so a 100 AH battery could run one for a long time if that is the only draw on it. Being well insulated and the thermostat will extend that time by only turning it on when needed. You'd have to stick the temp sensor on the battery in an area that's protected from the cold. My batteries have Bluetooth and they will display their temp on their phone app, then you could fine tune the thermostat temp setting as needed.

Facon elbow pads-

Facon 3" x 13" RV Elbow Pipe Heater Pad
Specifications
Model# GSHP-0313P
Pad size (Inch) 3 x 13
Foam Pad thickness 3.0MM
Volts 13.5 V DC
Power 7.5 W
Electric Current 0.55A
Lead Wire Lengh 18

Thermostat- E-bay- Celcius. Use one with a case, some are bare boards.

DC 12V -50-110C W1209 Digital Thermostat Temperature Control Switch Sensor(with or without Acrylic Shell)
Thanks for the input. Your suggestion is interesting and something I need consider trying.
This system was designed by Dehco Renogy. I imagine the cold weather battery recovery is something they designed and is located with the battery.
I will be contacting Renogy for enlightenment. They have been pretty good guiding me through some of the LI issues.
This is a learning curve and Im sure we can figure out a solution.
There is a Service Bulletin that describes additional vents for the bunk that holds the battery. That might assist the movement of warm air into the battery.
In addition, I have a Timberline heater that I might have to run while Im traveling. Itll keep the cabin at or above 50.
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Old 11-29-2022, 10:41 AM   #4
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That’s great but I don’t see that as a fix for a battery system that is less than a year old and under warranty. Modification of the battery system will void the warranty.
There is a TSB which may help with some of the problem but only if a source of heat is available and can be pumped into the Lithium Ion battery compartment through the new vents.
The battery has to be kept at a temperature greater than 50 F.
A previous post described a heater that is applied to the battery. I’m not sure if the is viable considering the power that will be needed to supply the pads. Depletion of the battery just to keep it warm isn’t an option.
Question, are you a sales rep for Battle Born Batteries. Your “service director “ recommended? For what application? A Swift LI?
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Old 11-29-2022, 12:03 PM   #5
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Check with Renogy if your battery is from there. Mine is the unheated base model battery and it shows a discharge limits of minus 4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it's bms will not allow charging under 32F.

I did some research on other brands and these seem to standard. So not sure why yours has a 50F cutoff.

Please post your actual brand and model battery so others will be able to avoid this clinker.

On another note, I moved my battery off the tongue to inside under the bed and since I don't like to try to sleep in very cold temps I ran my furnace all night and it's temp did not get lower than 45F. My MPPT from Renogy has a temp sensor on the battery so it won't even try to recharge the battery under 32F.
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Old 11-29-2022, 12:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input and you are correct on the battery limitations.

However, per the Jayco Swift LI manual and, I imagine Renogy:

Cold Weather Recovery
“Note that in cold weather, when the cell temperature drops below 10C (50F), the unit will need connected to shore power. The self-heat process may take 15-20 minutes to activate and begin warming the cell temperature enough to re-charge the battery bank. The warming process could take up to one hour or longer.”

An RV sitting in a parking lot exposed to 25F for 3 days will have a battery that is DOA upon my return. The only remedy is to apply heat to the cabin to maintain a warm battery. My battery is located in my passenger bunk. Vents will soon be installed per a TSB so maybe heat can be pumped in through the vents.
If you have access to 30 amp service, you have a way to recover. I do not.
Thanks again for your help.
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Old 11-29-2022, 01:00 PM   #7
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BTW… Thanks for not trying to sell me something ����
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Old 11-29-2022, 04:14 PM   #8
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this is off the Renogy website. Wonder if whoever printed yours didn't read it correctly. for the standard ( not heated) lithium 100 amp battery.

Temperature Parameters
Standard Operation Temperature: 25℃5℃
Storage Temperature: -13~149℉ / -25~65℃
Charge Temperature: 32~131F/ 0~55C
Discharge Temperature: -4~140F/ -20~60C


see it at https://www.renogy.com/12v-100ah-lit...y-w-bluetooth/

by the way, if your battery is Renogy it may have bluetooth that will tell you it's temperature.
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Old 11-29-2022, 07:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerR View Post
Check with Renogy if your battery is from there. Mine is the unheated base model battery and it shows a discharge limits of minus 4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it's bms will not allow charging under 32F.

I did some research on other brands and these seem to standard. So not sure why yours has a 50F cutoff.

Please post your actual brand and model battery so others will be able to avoid this clinker.

On another note, I moved my battery off the tongue to inside under the bed and since I don't like to try to sleep in very cold temps I ran my furnace all night and it's temp did not get lower than 45F. My MPPT from Renogy has a temp sensor on the battery so it won't even try to recharge the battery under 32F.
My battery is under my bed as well. Ever see a LI battery cook off. Its quite a show. Airlines wont carry them in there cargo compartment and passengers have to remove them from their e-bags if they check them below in cargo bin.
My battery compartment and inverter had no cooling vents to allow ventilation.
There is a TSB out now that requires vents to be installed.
If you have not completed, you may want to consider.
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Old 12-01-2022, 03:14 PM   #10
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I own a Entegra Ethos Li 2022 (same as the swift) and I was wondering if you're not using your Timberline heater while driving. I think what Jayco might have thought in cold weather, that the user would have that running all the time. I live in Texas so we are not getting to cold yet, but I was planning to do this since (I believe) would keep the back of the van warm including the battery. Just a thought or question.
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Old 12-02-2022, 08:10 PM   #11
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I own a Entegra Ethos Li 2022 (same as the swift) and I was wondering if you're not using your Timberline heater while driving. I think what Jayco might have thought in cold weather, that the user would have that running all the time. I live in Texas so we are not getting to cold yet, but I was planning to do this since (I believe) would keep the back of the van warm including the battery. Just a thought or question.
I have not run the Timberline heater while driving. The heat from the Promaster is adequate to keep the rig warm.
I do run it while Im camping and it keeps me comfortable.
I have one issue with the Timberline and it is being put to the test as we speak. The cabin interior and battery temperature has to be maintained above 50 F otherwise plugged into shore power. Shore power is not an option when Im on the road. I have been running the timberline to maintain a temperature while I have been away. Its unattended, which makes me nervous.
Hopefully, it has been working as advertised and the battery SOC will be sufficient to sleep through the night tonight.
It is cold in PA, so the Timberline is getting a workout.
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Old 12-03-2022, 11:11 AM   #12
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When I speaking to Timberline cause I was concerned about my van MPG this is what they told me

"so the rule of thumb is 1 gallon for every 8 hours. So if the Binar is running for 8 hours straight it will use a gallon of fuel. But on a cold night the Binar heater might only run 3-7 times for about 20 minutes the first run to heat the glycol then once the glycol temps drops it will reheat it but this time it might only run for 10 minutes. So it might only run for an hour total a night."

Now this is specific to the gas only, I know that there is an electric element for heating too, but when I only use that it takes awhile for water to air heat to get warm. I haven't tried both cause the gas option seems to work so well. This is what I hoping will work when I do travel in colder areas that I can keep the battery warm.
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