We bought our rig with the standard lead acid batteries and Trace inverter/charger, but we knew we wanted to upgrade to a lithium system ASAP. We went to Battleborn and ordered a bundle from there. We replaced the preexisting system with 6 100Ah LifPo4 batteries, a Victron Multiplus inverter/charger, MPPT solar controller, smart BMV, and color control GX panel. Sounds like a lot, right? We’ll break down each component as we go. We recently bought some solar panels to round out our system. 4 100 watt, monocrystalline panels from Renogy.
So, our old system didn’t hold a charge for long. Lead acid batteries only really give you 50% of what the charge says. Basically, a lead acid battery should never be discharged past 50%. So a 100Ah lead acid battery really only gives 50Ah. The LifPo4 batteries we bought can be discharged to 0% with no damage to them and doesn’t reduce their battery life. So we have a true 600Ah battery bank. The issue with lithium batteries is temperature. If the temperature falls below 40 degrees(F), they will not charge. To avoid this, we installed the batteries in the bedroom closet. We’ll never have to worry about them.
The Victron Multiplus inverter/charger can be preprogrammed at Victron before you buy it. We didn’t know this and had to program it myself. If you don’t get it preprogrammed before shipping, you’ll need to make sure you have a windows laptop or pc, an mk3 to usb connector, and a specific com3 wire. Battleborn sells these, with exception of the computer, on their site. They don’t, however, sell them in the bundle or tell you that you need them. If you need help with programming yours, let us know and we will be happy to help. Back to the inverter….. the Victron Multiplus 12/3000/120-50/120V is the model we settled on and fits our needs well. It does a great job of managing our power through our motorhome.
We weren’t too sure whether we wanted to add solar or not when we first bought our rig, but we entertained the idea a lot. We figured we should get the bundle with the solar charger just in case. This way, we wouldn’t have to cut anything to install a solar system. It would already be there waiting. The Bundle came with a MPPT 150/100 – MC4 solar controller. This thing is smart! Built in bluetooth, overcharge protection, easy installation, etc. It works with our BMV and shows up on the Victron app with specs that shows power coming in, state of charge, energy proficiency and more.
The bundle also came with a smart BMV. This looks like a basic battery monitor, but also has built in bluetooth accessible via the Victron Connect app. This will tell you your batteries state of charge, incoming power, outgoing power, how long you can keep running the appliances on battery power alone, alarms for overcharge states, undercharge states, energy spikes and dips, low battery(which you set at your preference), and more.
The Color Control GX panel doesn’t connect to the Victron Connect app, but it has a large screen that shows you everything your system is doing. How the solar is performing, your batteries, how much power is being used, how much is coming in, how full or empty your tanks are, and more. It’s a great addition if you want to just look at a panel and get all the information by pushing one button instead of pulling your phone out and logging in to the app.
Our most recent purchase is 4 100Watt, monocrystalline solar panels. Renogy has great reviews and great bundles. The panels are lightweight and energy efficient and super easy to install. I ran them in parallel, drilled a hole through the roof above the solar charger, cut the excess wire, plugged them in and BAM! We have solar!
We’ll edit this with pictures and links soon!!