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Old 09-24-2019, 10:46 PM   #1
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New Lithium option for Thor B's

Today during Thor's live stream of the dealer open house while doing a walkthrough of the the new Sequence 20K they mentioned that the Sequence line now has a Lithium option which ditches the generator for two "5500Watt" Lithium Ion batteries and an extra 200 amp alternator on the engine for charging. In addition to that they said the main engine has an autostart (similar to the ones for generators) when the batteries get low. (Also included is 190watts of solar.)

I'm guessing they mean 5.5kWh batteries for 11kWh total.

Very interesting, here is the video:
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:49 PM   #2
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Interesting... Thanks for posting about it!
I wonder how long you'd need to run the engine; in order to fully charge a couple of those big suckers?
A couple of extra alternators, some solar panels, perhaps something from the regenerative braking department... This could be fun!
I like their take on a ladder; but I wonder where you'd hide the trash bin in the kitchen?
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:29 PM   #3
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Iíve been looking at the Sequence for several months and I wondered if they would match the Winnebago Travato 59 KL model with lithium batteries. Thor announced a second floor plan for the Sequence today 20K with a couch, larger fridge and more inside storage. They also announced another new B van model on the same chassis. In the video they said both the 20L and 20k would be offered with the lithium package and no generator. After 6 years of owning a Vegas and Axis, I am thinking of downsizing to a smaller van.While we used to stay out 2-4 months at a time, we are currently using our Axis primarily as transportation between Florida and Nova Scotia twice a year for three weeks or so a trip. A Class B makes a lot of sense. Our first RV was a Pleasureway B van. The new Thorís look like a big improvement. Iím looking forward to actually seeing one on our trip south in two weeks.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:42 PM   #4
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How does their 11K worth of "Lithium power"; match up to the Winnie?
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:47 PM   #5
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Travato 59KL reports 11.6K.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Today during Thor's live stream of the dealer open house while doing a walkthrough of the the new Sequence 20K they mentioned that the Sequence line now has a Lithium option which ditches the generator for two "5500Watt" Lithium Ion batteries and an extra 200 amp alternator on the engine for charging. In addition to that they said the main engine has an autostart (similar to the ones for generators) when the batteries get low. (Also included is 190watts of solar.)

I'm guessing they mean 5.5kWh batteries for 11kWh total.

Very interesting, here is the video:




You can find a bit more information on the lithium system in this thread:

Thor collaborates on lithium battery system.

The alternator was mentioned as a 280-Amp unit, but charging at a realistic 200A is probably more like it. The mentioned 160A charging from Inverter/Charger is good info to have.

Iím interested in this system, so had done a little research. My guess is that the batteries are something like these 400 Ah units rated at 5.5 kWh each. Iím mostly wondering what this lithium option may add to total cost. No doubt 11 kWh of battery capacity can run most things for many hours, including the air conditioner, but if itís in range of $20k like Winnebagoís Travato, thatís a bit much. Weíll have to see on lithium pricing.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
You can find a bit more information on the lithium system in this thread:

Thor collaborates on lithium battery system.

The alternator was mentioned as a 280-Amp unit, but charging at a realistic 200A is probably more like it. The mentioned 160A charging from Inverter/Charger is good info to have.

I’m interested in this system, so had done a little research. My guess is that the batteries are something like these 400 Ah units rated at 5.5 kWh each. I’m mostly wondering what this lithium option may add to total cost. No doubt 11 kWh of battery capacity can run most things for many hours, including the air conditioner, but if it’s in range of $20k like Winnebago’s Travato, that’s a bit much. We’ll have to see on lithium pricing.
Ah missed that thread--by the dates I see that I was camping at the time; go figure ! LOL

Interesting looking at the specs. The RV application for Li-Ion is a bit different than the EV application (just look at the max current draws, EV limits are much higher).

I would imagine those differences mean RV's will get a different chemistry mix and that the batteries will last a bit longer.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:49 PM   #8
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.....cut......

I wonder how long you'd need to run the engine; in order to fully charge a couple of those big suckers?

......cut......
As usual the Devil is in the details, and fortunately in this case itís simple math so shouldnít surprise too many buyers.

ďIFĒ it is indeed 11,000 Watt-hours of useable capacity, and you drained them down completely (and thatís a lot of battery energy), it would be approximately 800 Amp-hours (estimated at the assumed 13.2/12 Volts). Therefore, it would take at least 4 hours of driving to recharge at approximately 200 Amps from alternator. Hopefully, itís a beefy unit to keep it from overheating over such a long period.

If charging from converter (or inverter/charger) at 160 Amps as marketing guy stated, it would take at least 5 hours to do the same. One concern would be that that requires over 20 Amps from shore power, so there isnít much left for other items (unless charging rate is reduced).

Finally, if charging depleted batteries with 190 Watts of solar, which would make about 600 Watt-hours daily, it would take over 18 dayís provided nothing was being used in motorhome.

The bright side is that if using very little electricity while boondocking, it may be very easy to go for a week or two without having to charge batteries. Iíd guess that other than air conditioning, battery capacity would be something one doesnít have much to think about (again, assuming itís actually 11,000 Watt-hours).
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:50 PM   #9
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I see that the Sequence will be carrying about 250 pounds worth of batteries (and the extra alternator). I wonder how that compares to a set of conventional batteries and a generator?
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:01 PM   #10
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Ah missed that thread--by the dates I see that I was camping at the time; go figure ! LOL

Interesting looking at the specs. The RV application for Li-Ion is a bit different than the EV application (just look at the max current draws, EV limits are much higher).

I would imagine those differences mean RV's will get a different chemistry mix and that the batteries will last a bit longer.
Yes, chemistry is very different which is what makes it a lot safer as far as fires go. For RV use, this works great because power demands are relatively low, so the typical 1C charging and discharging rates are enough. For an electric car that would never be enough power. On hybrid cars Iíve seen 0.5 kWh batteries working at up to ~ 20 kW which is an order of magnitude higher than needed for RV use.

The biggest problem I see is that the cost of these RV lithium batteries is still a lot higher per kWh than what the auto industry is paying for theirs.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I see that the Sequence will be carrying about 250 pounds worth of batteries (and the extra alternator). I wonder how that compares to a set of conventional batteries and a generator?
On a practical basis it’s about the same. If cost wasn’t so high I’d take the battery system every time.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for Thor to offer this lithium option on larger units like Compass and Axis/Vegas.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:38 PM   #12
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On those rigs: I see the opening up of outside storage space, as a real positive benefit.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
Yes, chemistry is very different which is what makes it a lot safer as far as fires go. For RV use, this works great because power demands are relatively low, so the typical 1C charging and discharging rates are enough. For an electric car that would never be enough power. On hybrid cars Iíve seen 0.5 kWh batteries working at up to ~ 20 kW which is an order of magnitude higher than needed for RV use.

The biggest problem I see is that the cost of these RV lithium batteries is still a lot higher per kWh than what the auto industry is paying for theirs.
Yeah the cost will be an issue: Given that it is a different chemistry they can't take advantage of the scale of manufacturing for EV batteries and thus price will be higher.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:07 PM   #14
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I honestly believe that the price will come down as they become more "mainstream".
Do you remember how much the first kitchen microwaves cost?
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:33 PM   #15
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Itís interesting that the cost I saw quoted by Thor for the lithium Sequence 20K was only about $2-3000 more than the generator version of the Sequence 20L. I donít know if the 20L and 20K are the same price similarly equipped. If they are, removing the generator and putting in the second alternator, auto start and lithium batteries only adds a few thousand dollars to the cost. Would be worth it to me.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:42 PM   #16
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Actually looking at it again the 20K is only $1250 more than the 20L but it it is impossible to tell if that price for the 20K includes the lithium option. No info that I can find on total vehicle weight of the 20L vs 20K.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:54 PM   #17
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Travato comparison

Looking at Winnebago Travato to compare against, we can see the useable capacity is 8.7 kWh. That should still be enough to power a high-efficiency air conditioner overnight when cooling load is relatively low.

Another difference may be that Travato system by Volta uses the same battery chemistry as autos like Tesla and Chevy; which makes me wonder why itís so expensive. I suppose the low volume and custom items like a second alternator adds a lot of cost.

One advantage for Travato is that 58V alternator is nearly twice as powerful and can recharge in 2 hours of driving. To me personally, thatís a minor advantage because when I drive, itís usually for much longer than two hours. However, for those who boondock and want to recharge battery quickly after running A/C all night, the faster one can recharge the better.
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:27 PM   #18
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Regarding cost

I would like to see confirmation that the Thor/Mastervolt system uses Lithium Iron Phosphate battery chemistry as expected, but assuming it does, battery cost should be well under $1,000 per 100 Ah of capacity. And if it uses 800 Ah, then cost for battery should be less than $8,000.

If we assume deletion of Onan generator and traditional AGM house batteries saves enough to pay for larger-capacity inverter/charger (should be plenty), then cost of alternator is only other major component. For now that alternator has to be aftermarket, Iíd guess a cost adder for total system of ~ $10,000 should be enough based on present retail prices.

Once chassis manufacturers like Ford start to offer 2nd alternators for well under $1,000 (in a few months), and lithium batteries are purchased in volume, cost should drop to < $5,000, particularly if battery capacity is kept around 7.8 kWh like on Travato (~600 Ah at 13.2 Volts).

I like where this seems to be headed.
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:21 PM   #19
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......cut.....

I'm guessing they mean 5.5kWh batteries for 11kWh total.

....cut.....
Thor also introduced the similar Tellaro, which was covered by different person on video. It is interesting that he also said 2 batteries of 5,500 ďWattsĒ each, not Watt-hours. Thatís three different sources saying the same thing, which means either they donít know much about battery ratings, or are purposely being a little deceptive. Or maybe batteries are both 5,500 Watts and 5,500 Watt-hours.


Anyway, one of the two Tellaro floorplans is almost identical to the Hymer Aktiv. The one in the video is on extended ProMaster, which would be comparable to Aktiv 2.0. And the pop-top makes it the ďLoftĒ version. I like that it doesnít block the rear doors with the bathroom, although the bath ends up much smaller.

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Old 09-26-2019, 01:27 PM   #20
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You mention "Watts" verus "Watt-hours".
Can you explain how those two terms are referring to different things.
(Some of us have to check three times: before putting batteries in flashlights! )
Could they just be mistakenly contracting "Watt-hours", to "Watts"?

I don't know "watt" I am talking about...
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