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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious how much battery capacity the typical Transit camper carries. I am thinking of 200-300 Ah depending on if I go AGM or LiIon. I will have 650 watts of solar on the roof. I do not want any propane for cooking or heating, all electric.
 

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420 AH of battery and 320 watts of solar. Though I don't have everything plugged in yet.

No plans for propane.

Electrical load will be lights, large fridge and diesel heater fan. Plus charging phones and laptops.
 

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Single 300 watt of solar panel with MPPT solar controller and single 255 amp-hr. 8D AGM battery.

Use propane for cooking as well as a 6oo watt microwave powered by a 1000 watt inverter/charger/transfer switch.

Combination works very well for my application and climate.
 

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I have 105ah, for basically just lights, fan and small chest refrigerator - 18L. It's generally sufficient, but, this summer there were several two-week stretches where I had the refrigerator running continuously, and used the fan on high, heavily, where the limited capacity did become noticeable... even plugging in several nights a week. So, for boondocking, I'll probably get around to adding another battery... hard to do without wasting the current battery, since the set should be matched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow thanks for all the great feedback. Looks like I should try and fit at least 3-400 Ah for an all electric build. I am looking at lithium packs and I need to remove the passenger seat and see exactly how much I can fit under there. I hope I can fit 3-400Ah. Since lithium can reliably got to 80% discharge that will be much more usable charge than an AGM.

There are a couple off the shelf 12 volt lithium packs that are the same size as a stock battery. I know 2 of those will fit under the seat. I think by going to individual cells I can fit a bit more capacity.
 

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Where are you batteries located?

It's nice to see so many responses to this question in one place. I'm curious whether you end up with lithium batteries under the passenger seat, so please keep us posted.

I'm curious where people have located their batteries in their vans and how they're secured. Just by being contained in a cabinet? With a hold down bolted through the floor?
 

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If you go with Lithium (LiFePO4) batteries you need about half or less battery capacity. AGM batteries shouldn't be discharged below 50% capacity. To get the rated battery life you shouldn't discharge it below 80%. Lithium doesn't suffer from discharge %. AGM batteries also suffer from Peukert effect (look it up). Basically AGM battery capacity is measured at a low constant current. When you measure it at heavy loads like a heater or other heavy current appliance you see a significant reduction in capacity. Lithium doesn't suffer from Peukert effect. So if you planned for 400Ah of AGM capacity you can get by with 200Ah or less of Lithium capacity.
 

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If you go with Lithium (LiFePO4) batteries you need about half or less battery capacity. AGM batteries shouldn't be discharged below 50% capacity. To get the rated battery life you shouldn't discharge it below 80%. Lithium doesn't suffer from discharge %. AGM batteries also suffer from Peukert effect (look it up). Basically AGM battery capacity is measured at a low constant current. When you measure it at heavy loads like a heater or other heavy current appliance you see a significant reduction in capacity. Lithium doesn't suffer from Peukert effect. So if you planned for 400Ah of AGM capacity you can get by with 200Ah or less of Lithium capacity.
At two to four times the cost of AGM...
 

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i bought the best money can buy Trojan AGM for 1800 dollars for the AH i wanted, the best lithium money can buy at half the AGM AH capacity recently cost 9,000 plus dollars! http://www.invertersupply.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=517_519&products_id=3120
Lithium has at least 2000 cycles of use while AGM has around 300. So about 6-7 times the battery life. However, if you discharge AGM below 80% the battery life can go down significantly. So you could get 10 times the use from lithium. Overall, lithium is about half the cost of AGM per cycle.
 

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My 8D AGM is located inside just in front of the left rear wheel well under a 80/20 framed bench seat. Hold downs are bolted to the 80/20 framework.

Pictures:

http://www.ortontransit.info/electric.php
Hi Dave, your web site is a great resource and I wish I could see the photos better! Even when I enlarge the page several times over I can't make out the hold downs. What kind of hold down did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Lithiums are coming down in price every day. You can get a 400Ah with BMS for about $2500 from this site. This is a reputable supplier and Winston are one of the best brands. https://www.ev-power.eu/Winston-40Ah-200Ah/

With 400 Ah lithium for $2500 you have 320 Ah usable for 3-5000 cycles at 80% DOD. In addition this battery weighs only 119 lbs.

With 3 Trojan Reliant J185-AGM for $1704 (http://www.invertersupply.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=5925&cPath=0_664&gclid=CNvRqPeR5c8CFYOGaQodPwoAIA

You will have 636Ah of which 318Ah usable for 1000 cycles at 50%DOD. This battery will weigh 375 lbs.

So long term the lithium is at least half the price of the AGM, not counting the fuel savings from being 256 lbs lighter.
 

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3 Lead Acid 200EA=600ah, 4 100w Panels Solar, Starter engine dual 12v heavy duty, w/ Sterling 60a 12v Bat to Bat charger from engine batts to house batts. Land line 120v, and Onan Genset 3200 propane. 4000w Inverter and charger combo.
 
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