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2012 LaPalma 32sbd Lithium Upgrade


JDPenn

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Looking for discussion on Lapalma gasser lithium upgrade, mounting options, disconnecting battery boost, WFCO lithium replacement, etc. I would like to use existing battery trays under the steps, but sizing options appear limited without modifying the trays. I've already installed a PD lithium WFCO replacement in another trailer, so that should be straightforward. Need more info on separating house and chassis batteries, bird, bim, whatever.

Thanks!

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Hello JD,

I can help you spec out the right components for your needs if you can answer the following questions:

- What is the rated maximum output of your current coach engine alternator in amps?

- What is the nominal voltage of your current coach engine alternator? 

- What is the nominal voltage of your current house battery system?

- What is the rated maximum output of your current generator in kilowatts?

- What is the rated maximum running output of your current inverter?

- What is the rated maximum surge output of your current inverter?

- Do you have soft-starters installed for your rooftop air conditioners

- How many rooftop air conditioners are installed on your coach?

- What is the house Amp-Hour battery capacity that are you seeking?

- What are the dimensions for the area that will hold your future LiPO4 house batteries (Length X Width X Height)?

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-What is the rated maximum output of your current coach engine alternator in amps?

- What is the nominal voltage of your current coach engine alternator? 

Standard 12 volt 130 amp alternator. But, I plan on separating house and chassis batteries, so alternator will only be charging chassis battery. I have a dcdc charger that I may add at some point to charge the under the steps lithium while traveling. I already have this setup in my truck and travel trailer. My travel trailer has dcdc from truck, 800 watts solar, 576 amps lithium, 2 solar converters, and 4000 watt inverter.

- What is the nominal voltage of your current house battery system?

12 volt. I plan on replacing the 2 house batteries under the steps with 1 or 2 lithium batteries and upgrading the GFCI converter to a PD lithium replacement.

- What is the rated maximum output of your current generator in kilowatts?

It is a 5000 on an gen

- What is the rated maximum running output of your current inverter?

- What is the rated maximum surge output of your current inverter?

This coach does not have an inverter. 

- Do you have soft-starters installed for your rooftop air conditioners

No, but I would like to add them.

- How many rooftop air conditioners are installed on your coach?

Two

- What is the house Amp-Hour battery capacity that are you seeking?

Appx 800

- What are the dimensions for the area that will hold your future LiPO4 house batteries (Length X Width X Height)?

I haven't determined which bay I will be using. What I would like to do is add the lithium under the steps and the upgraded PD converter and use this only for DC loads. Then add a separate lithium system in a bay for an AC feed. Maybe an all in one unit feeding the AC side of the coach. Will also add solar to support the all in one system. This will be an additional power source in addition to gen and shore power.

Under the steps lithium will be charged with gen, dcdc, or possibly separate solar setup.

Just looking for folks who have already installed a system and the options they chose. There are a lot of possibilities.

Thanks.

Correction - GFCI converter should be WFCO 

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JD,

 

One more question since you do not currently have an inverter:

- Do you plan on adding an inverter in the future?  If you do:

  • - What is the rated maximum running output of your future inverter?
  • - What is the rated maximum surge output of your future inverter?
Edited by CAT Stephen
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21 hours ago, JDPenn said:

All to be determined. What do you recommend?

Thanks JD,

 

Inverter:

  • I would strongly recommend the Victron 12V MultiPlus-II 3kVA 2x120V Inverter/Charger for your application:

DC to DC charger:

  • You may use any brand / model.  But, if you desire accurate energy measurements via shunts, the the DC to DC charger must be an isolated version.  Here is the isolated DC to DC charger that I recommend:
    • https://www.currentconnected.com/product/victron-orion-smart-tr-dc-dc-charger/
    • A DC to DC charger is only needed if you desire to charge your house battery band from your engine alternator
    • You may purchase multiple Victron Energy DC to DC chargers then wire in parallel for increasing the DC to DC charging capacity, but verify that you will not exceed your alternators rated output to avoid a very expensive alternator replacement

Shunts:

House Battery Bank:

System Controller:

 

What I did not Include:

  • There are many miscellaneous proprietary and standard cables needed for the complete installation.  I can help you with those details after you complete your selection of components above and after you finalize the locations for your inverter, house battery bank, DC to DC charger, and power distribution.
  • We will need to further understand your use case to determine if LiPO4 battery heaters will be required in cold weather
  • Like 1
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Thank you for your very thorough recommendations.

Victron equipment is highly rated, although expensive. There are many alternatives now such as EG4. I like some of the newer all in one units now coming out.

I already have some equipment on my travel trailer that I can reuse possibly, a Renogy DC DC charger, a 4000 Giandel inverter, lots of various gauge welding wire, a Victron Smart BMV712 which I love the Bluetooth monitoring, etc. I won't be reusing the 4 Valence lithium batteries but will upgrade to newer batteries, or the 4 Rich 190 solar panels, or the 2 EP Ever solar controllers.

I plan on phasing in the installs a piece at a time.

1. Get a new AGM chassis battery 

2. Get 1 or 2 new heated, or low temp cutoff lithiums to replace the 2 house batteries under the steps.

3. Figure out how to disconnect the chassis, house boost function.

4. Get a PD lithium replacement for the WFCO converter charger.

5. Add the dcdc charger and 712 shunt.

That will be the initial install. After that, I'll consider a separate lithium install to run the AC side of the coach, and eventually solar.

There's a YouTube and site out there called 5112 by Mike Mas that has the AC, DC systems separated, very interesting approach.

Anyhow, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post and for your recommendations.

JD

2012 Monaco LaPalma 32SBD gasser

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

JD,

 

The EP4 Inverters with integrated solar controllers are an excellent choice and are one of the most cost efficient combined systems on the market.  EP4 products are also very highly rated by Will Prowse (YouTube Solar and Electrical Systems SME).

 

Mike Mas is the undisputed expert in grid tied and off grid electrical systems, and has the best reputation in the RV electrical industry as a master of the trade.  So you are in the following the best source in the industry.  

I also used a Renogy DC-DC charger previously.  It is a great product that does the job.  Keep in mind that since it does not have an isolated ground, any shunts that you have installed will not see an accurate state of charge for Lithium batteries because the electrical flow between the house and the chassis electrical systems can't be accurately measured due to a lack of an isolated ground within the Renogy DC to DC charger.  This margin of error will only occur when you enable the Renogy DC to DC charger

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On 4/27/2024 at 1:48 PM, timaz996 said:

If sizing is an issue look up Lossigy 200 ah batteries. I have four for the last two years and love them full timing.

Thanks Tim.

17 hours ago, CAT Stephen said:

JD,

 

The EP4 Inverters with integrated solar controllers are an excellent choice and are one of the most cost efficient combined systems on the market.  EP4 products are also very highly rated by Will Prowse (YouTube Solar and Electrical Systems SME).

 

Mike Mas is the undisputed expert in grid tied and off grid electrical systems, and has the best reputation in the RV electrical industry as a master of the trade.  So you are in the following the best source in the industry.  

I also used a Renogy DC-DC charger previously.  It is a great product that does the job.  Keep in mind that since it does not have an isolated ground, any shunts that you have installed will not see an accurate state of charge for Lithium batteries because the electrical flow between the house and the chassis electrical systems can't be accurately measured due to a lack of an isolated ground within the Renogy DC to DC charger.  This margin of error will only occur when you enable the Renogy DC to DC charger

Thanks CAT.

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