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Old 03-21-2022, 06:24 PM   #1
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LiFePO4 Battery Poll

Moderators, how would we get a sticky post and which area might be best for this?

I am very curious with a lot of various talk on here and other forums it might be good to have some info on experience people have had with the different brands etc... I know I am pondering and wondering about this question right now. i.e. is a battle born or lion energy worth the high cost for the size or are the middle of the road batteries a better buy or are the much cheaper ones an even better option? My hope the pole might help identify a brand or size that is just great and ones that we all might just want to stay away from...

Questions for the poll, for those who have taken the leap to LiFePO4 batteries:

1. Which brand did you go with (not why it was chosen, just which brand)?
2. Size 100ah, 170ah, 200ah, 300ah or other?
3. How many batteries?
4. Would buy same again, i.e. good experience (Yes/No)?
5. Have you had other LiFePO4 batteries and changed brand? (this time you can provide the why)

If you would want you can also share good/bad experience with them.
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Old 03-21-2022, 06:53 PM   #2
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Your best bet is to watch Will Prouse’s videos on YouTube. He tears apart, inspects and tests just about every brand that comes out and a majority of the time, he buys them with his own money and rips them apart for an honest review. I read and researched a lot and decided my option was to build my own from raw cells. I built four 280ah batteries for about the same cost as three 100ah Battleborns, but building isn’t for everybody.

1. I built mine from Grade A EVE cells and used a JBD BMS.
2. 280ah
3. 4 batteries for a total of 1120ah
4. Yes I would do it again
5. Never tried any others
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Old 03-21-2022, 06:59 PM   #3
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Yep, Will does a great job and watch all of his videos. There are a few others out there as well. But even Will no longer lives in a RV and doesn't focus on real world exp with them. While he points out bad workmanship (and very appreciative of that!) and the low temp sensors (which may or may not be needed) are what he has mainly focused on lately with smaller batteries, like what we use in RVs. He has and continues to move on to the rack mount batteries like the new SOK that he reviewed in the last couple days. Those make him money and earn him money (with his solar miners and endorsements that he does have).
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Old 03-21-2022, 08:05 PM   #4
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I agree to watch Will Prowse. He talks about more than just batteries. My fourth setup. Always bigger.

1. SOK batteries.
2. 204 amp hours.
3. 4 batteries total 816 amp hours.
4. Yes, I would do this again.
5. Lion and Battleborn.
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Old 03-21-2022, 08:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
Your best bet is to watch Will Prouseís videos on YouTube. He tears apart, inspects and tests just about every brand that comes out and a majority of the time, he buys them with his own money and rips them apart for an honest review. I read and researched a lot and decided my option was to build my own from raw cells. I built four 280ah batteries for about the same cost as three 100ah Battleborns, but building isnít for everybody.

1. I built mine from Grade A EVE cells and used a JBD BMS.
2. 280ah
3. 4 batteries for a total of 1120ah
4. Yes I would do it again
5. Never tried any others
Will has had me thinking about building my own also.
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Old 03-21-2022, 08:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TomC_AZ View Post
Yep, Will does a great job and watch all of his videos. There are a few others out there as well. But even Will no longer lives in a RV and doesn't focus on real world exp with them. While he points out bad workmanship (and very appreciative of that!) and the low temp sensors (which may or may not be needed) are what he has mainly focused on lately with smaller batteries, like what we use in RVs. He has and continues to move on to the rack mount batteries like the new SOK that he reviewed in the last couple days. Those make him money and earn him money (with his solar miners and endorsements that he does have).
Iíve been wondering how those rack mounted batteries would work in an RV. Sine they are higher than 12 volts they would have to be stepped down to 12 some how.
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Old 03-21-2022, 08:48 PM   #7
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First, thanks for those who have responded so far!

Some of the rack models for batteries also come in 12v versions, if you go with 24 or 48v versions you would need a DC to DC step down like a Victron Orion. You would want to make sure that you get a decent one however so that it can fully run any/all DC items in the trailer.
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Old 03-22-2022, 06:06 AM   #8
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Here are my answers to your questions:

1. Which brand did you go with (not why it was chosen, just which brand)?
SOK
2. Size 100ah, 170ah, 200ah, 300ah or other?
100 Ah
3. How many batteries?
2
4. Would buy same again, i.e. good experience (Yes/No)?
Absolutely
5. Have you had other LiFePO4 batteries and changed brand? (this time you can provide the why)
No

I'm not sure why you don't want the whys, but I'll be happy to provide them if you change your mind.
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Old 03-22-2022, 06:13 AM   #9
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If this is just a battery replacement for a travel trailer, simply buy one or two 12V LiFePO4's and be done with it. The costs have come way down.

If you're interested in building a complex solar-based system and/or elaborate battery banks, you're on the wrong forum. For this kind of expertise go to Will Prowse's DIY Solar Power Forum. There you'll find all the info you'll ever need.
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Old 03-22-2022, 06:43 PM   #10
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Here are my answers:

(I have a 2021 212QBW)

1. Which brand did you go with (not why it was chosen, just which brand)?
I did a lot of research and ultimately went with this one: JITA 300Ah

2. Size 100ah, 170ah, 200ah, 300ah or other?
300 Ah. Sounds like a lot for a small camper, but I run the furnace a lot when it is cold, I am running Starlink, running the TV in the evenings and am in the trees, so don't get a full solar charge.

3. How many batteries?
Just one.

4. Would buy same again, i.e. good experience (Yes/No)?
Yes

5. Have you had other LiFePO4 batteries and changed brand? (this time you can provide the why)

First one, so have not changed.


I mounted my battery in the storage space under bed and covered it with 1" XPS insulation board. I camp in cold weather and wanted to try to prevent the battery getting too cold. I did not buy the heated battery, because I found that even down to 14F you can still charge at 10% of capacity, which is 30A for my 300Ah. That is more than my solar puts out and I have disconnected the main charger that runs off 110V. Even below 14F, it will take 15A. Not sure I can take below 14F in the camper though....

Hope this helps folks worried about low temperature charging.
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Old 03-22-2022, 07:21 PM   #11
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1. Which brand did you go with (not why it was chosen, just which brand)?
ReBel
2. Size 100ah, 170ah, 200ah, 300ah or other?
100 Ah
3. How many batteries?
3
4. Would buy same again, i.e. good experience (Yes/No)?
Yes
5. Have you had other LiFePO4 batteries and changed brand? (this time you can provide the why)
No
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Old 03-22-2022, 11:37 PM   #12
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There are also thoughts on one large ah battery vs multiple lower ah batteries. If you have one high ah battery and it fails, you are out of power. If you have multiple lower ah batteries and one fails for some reason, you can isolate it and still have power off the remaining. I prefer multiple batteries.
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Old 03-23-2022, 10:07 AM   #13
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There are also thoughts on one large ah battery vs multiple lower ah batteries. If you have one high ah battery and it fails, you are out of power. If you have multiple lower ah batteries and one fails for some reason, you can isolate it and still have power off the remaining. I prefer multiple batteries.
That was my reasoning as well. I even took it a step further. Instead of choosing a fully sealed, unserviceable battery, I purchased an SOK where the cells and BMS are fully serviceable. You simply open the metal case and you have full access. The cells and the BMS can be purchased aftermarket.

Just one more option should something go wrong.

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Old 03-24-2022, 08:00 PM   #14
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1. Which brand did you go with (not why it was chosen, just which brand)?

Renogy

2. Size 100ah, 170ah, 200ah, 300ah or other?

100Ah

3. How many batteries?

4. (400Ah total)

4. Would buy same again, i.e. good experience (Yes/No)?

Yes.. Going on 2 years old, BMS capacity showing 399.86Ah.

5. Have you had other LiFePO4 batteries and changed brand? (this time you can provide the why)

No.

Renogy gets a well-deserved bad rap for having a flakey app, which I have dealt with several times. It seems there is a penchant for app updates that cause all discovered equipment to be forgotten, which requires a rediscovery of all devices. Not hard to do, just annoying.

The batteries are going on a few months shy of 2 years and working well. Had a successful 5 day boondocking trip last season... Everything worked well, except the propane fridge, which I ran the AC side off of the inverter for a 12 hour period.

With a lot of clouds and overhead trees, the batteries never topped off, despite 800w of rooftop solar. But after 5 days the levels were still in the upper 60% range. I've left them in the rig for two winters... They shut down when it gets too cold, and reactivate when it warms up. Certainly not the best battery out there, but they do offer an exceptional value for the cost.
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Old 03-24-2022, 09:12 PM   #15
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I bought two of the $399 and $350 100ah from Amazon and they are working perfect for me. I don't need anything better.
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Old 03-25-2022, 06:41 PM   #16
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I bought two of the $399 and $350 100ah from Amazon and they are working perfect for me. I don't need anything better.
Which ones? Links?
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Old 03-26-2022, 07:11 AM   #17
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Be extremely careful buying unproven batteries off of Amazon or elsewhere. There are way too many that are using lower quality cells, have very bad build quality, have no low temp sensor, and have poor or no warranties.

Always buy a proven battery, many are now available at low cost.

Go to Will Prowse's YouTube channel. He tests a lot of these batteries and even disassembles them. You would not want to own some of the bad ones he's discovered. If you buy a battery he's tested and approved, you'll be far better off.
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Old 03-26-2022, 07:17 AM   #18
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MichaelO.... I won't mention any brand names... I'd just get negative comments why my choice won't work if I did.
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Old 03-26-2022, 08:37 AM   #19
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I appreciate everyone's post so far, please keep them coming. I wish there was a way to do a selector type poll similar to the Travel Trailer Poll... As I think that would be more effective.

Anyway I didn't want to make this a post about Will or others, my desire was simply to ask and try and find out what our Jayco people are actually buying and maybe share some of that info with others. Along with some short statements on their experience with that product.

Will is very knowledge and everyone can learn from him, however he is not the only view point and I think he would totally agree with that statement. For sure use YouTube and learn from him, and others, and make your own more educated decisions on where/how to spend your money.

From what I have seen ALL battery brands (just like non battery brands) change components and other methods of manufacturing etc. Some of the higher end brands dont change things as often but they do still make changes. Usually to better the product, but sometimes to lesson mfg cost just like any other corporation out there.



Here are 5 simple things I have used and learned to keep in mind when looking at LiFePO4 batteries and you should be ok.
1. ALL LiFePO4 CELLS (all types cylindrical, prismatic, pouch) are made in Hong Kong/China!! (This is a fact, not sure why but it just is, if you want you can read more here and do your own internet searches https://diysolarforum.com/threads/li...e-in-usa.7385/ )

2. Taking into account the first statement there are some VERY shoddy built batteries (and cells) out there so be very careful. If you can, try and find a video on a teardown of the brand you are looking at prior to buying. If you cant find the teardown it is very subject unless you buy an extra and do the video :-)

3. There ARE some VERY good cheap options out there and that will hold their own against any of the "big boys" at half or less the cost. They last just as long and totally live up to their specs. (and yes even Will has tested some of these and agrees)

4. While Will and others do tout the low temp cut off even they usually say (and Will does) that it may not be important for it to exist. Look at your own use case and make that determination on your own. i.e. are you putting the batteries under the bed or are they sitting outside in a plastic or metal box? Does it normally freeze where you live and store them? Do you keep them hooked up to a charger (solar or otherwise) when its freezing outside? For me here in the Phx AZ area the low temp is not as important as it maybe for someone say in MI especially if the battery is inside my trailer (which it is).

5. Look at the BMS specs when buying any of the batteries. Look at the continuous charge rate and continuous discharge amp rate. Make sure those fit into your requirements. I.E. a battery that can charge at 100amps will charge up in half the time a 50amp battery can if you can max out charging. For inverters or discharge rate, a 2000w inverter will need the ability to pull/draw at least 200amps up to 250. A 3000w inverter will need 300-400 amps. BTW both of these sized inverts will do what 90+% of us need including running AC (for sure on 3000w). The other 10% will need a different setup and would need to determine how to solution for that, the battery spec will allow you to figure that out.

Examples of amp draw and number of batteries -
Most decent 100ah batteries can push 100 amps continuous, some can do more some can do less. To get 200 amps you would need two batteries, 300 amps would be three batteries etc.

Some 170-200ah batteries can do 200 amps continuous, so you could run a 2000w inverter off a single battery if you want.


Anyway I will get off the soapbox and stop :-)

I really am honestly interested in what people are using and real world experience with them. I think others are as well and might help if any stand out. So far it looks like SOK.
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Old 03-26-2022, 10:14 AM   #20
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I agree with nearly everything you said. You have done excellent research.

But please just keep in mind that if you buy a LiFePO4 without a low temp sensor, then one charge below 32 degrees F might ruin it. Even in FL, this can be a concern. There have been several nights here this year where the temperature has dropped low enough and long enough to possibly make it a concern. I've been monitoring the battery temperature if my SOK LiFePO4s with this excellent Thornwave Labs Bluetooth monitor and the temperature has come very close to freezing. Mine are stored in the storage compartment inside an insulated battery box. The SOKs have a proven low temp charge cutoff, so for me, it doesn't matter, but if I owned one of the many LiFePO4s that don't, it could have been bad.

The LiFePO4s with a low temp sensor can still be had for a low cost. I, for one, would never buy one without this vital feature. There's not a lot that can destroy a properly installed LiFePO4, but charging below freezing can. If you don't have a low temp charge cut-off, then you have to be 100% certain that you will never charge the battery below freezing.
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