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Old 04-09-2023, 02:55 PM   #1
CHS
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Model: 2019 Chateau 28Z
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THOR #22388
adding Lithium to 2019 Chateau 28Z Class C

Hey Y'all,
I am in the process of replacing my 2 AGM batteries with 2 Lithium. I read on the Battleborn web site that all will be OK with the chassis alternator recharging them.
Then I was told NO by others and that I need to add a dc to dc converter.
My question is, does anyone have any experience with this particular RV, or similar and could explain what I should be looking for if I already may have what I need from the factory.
FYI, I also ordered a new house panel converter, so that's taken care of.

I did order this (can return if I don't need it)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0?ie=UTF8&th=1

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Old 04-09-2023, 04:33 PM   #2
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THOR #20289
Two, hundred amp Li batteries “reportedly” won’t overload a chassis alternator. But to be sure, let your new Li batteries run down and then start your chassis engine. Using an IR gun, measure the alternator case temp. If it stays below 210 degrees after 15 minutes you will be ok.

A DC to DC charger has its own problems. Since it is not bidirectional, the aux start feature won’t work and neither will charging of the chassis battery from the coach battery work.

David
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Old 04-09-2023, 07:28 PM   #3
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THOR #22388
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Two, hundred amp Li batteries “reportedly” won’t overload a chassis alternator. But to be sure, let your new Li batteries run down and then start your chassis engine. Using an IR gun, measure the alternator case temp. If it stays below 210 degrees after 15 minutes you will be ok.

A DC to DC charger has its own problems. Since it is not bidirectional, the aux start feature won’t work and neither will charging of the chassis battery from the coach battery work.

David
I will do just that. I am not looking forward to navigate through the chassis wiring to pull out a new line. Also the DC to DC is not weather proof so I would now have to find a good dry location to install it.

THANKS SO MUCH!
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Old 04-09-2023, 11:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHS View Post
Hey Y'all,
I am in the process of replacing my 2 AGM batteries with 2 Lithium. I read on the Battleborn web site that all will be OK with the chassis alternator recharging them.
Then I was told NO by others and that I need to add a dc to dc converter.
My question is, does anyone have any experience with this particular RV, or similar and could explain what I should be looking for if I already may have what I need from the factory.
FYI, I also ordered a new house panel converter, so that's taken care of.

I did order this (can return if I don't need it)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0?ie=UTF8&th=1


Send the DC-DC charger back

Get the Li-BIM instead:

https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Born-B.../dp/B07DY8S815

You probably already have a BIM so it should just be a wire-to-wire replacement.

If instead you have a BIRD or IRD and Trombetta relay it still isn't a difficult replacement.
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Old 04-10-2023, 11:32 AM   #5
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The diagram doesn’t show it (Thor wiring diagrams are crap) but that isolation solenoid is triggered by a BIM of sorts, probably an Intellitec battery control center. You can replace the solenoid and the Intellitec BCC with a Li-BIM 225, but as you note it will take some wire chasing/pulling to do it.

David
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Old 04-10-2023, 01:28 PM   #6
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THOR #22388
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
The diagram doesn’t show it (Thor wiring diagrams are crap) but that isolation solenoid is triggered by a BIM of sorts, probably an Intellitec battery control center. You can replace the solenoid and the Intellitec BCC with a Li-BIM 225, but as you note it will take some wire chasing/pulling to do it.

David

I found the Isolator and the BCC. I looked at the wiring of the Isolator and the BIM and it looks like if I utilize the existing wires (2 positive cables from both batteries, Negative cable, and the Ignition wire, all I would need is the wire from the dash switch. Am I correct in my logic??
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Old 04-10-2023, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHS View Post
I found the Isolator and the BCC. I looked at the wiring of the Isolator and the BIM and it looks like if I utilize the existing wires (2 positive cables from both batteries, Negative cable, and the Ignition wire, all I would need is the wire from the dash switch. Am I correct in my logic??
Yes, you have an IRD/Trombetta solenoid combination as the chassis/house battery combiner/isolator. You replace that combination with the Li-BIM.

Here's the PDF for the IRD:

https://intellitec.com/wp-content/up...-00629-120.pdf
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Old 04-10-2023, 03:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Two, hundred amp Li batteries “reportedly” won’t overload a chassis alternator. But to be sure, let your new Li batteries run down and then start your chassis engine. Using an IR gun, measure the alternator case temp. If it stays below 210 degrees after 15 minutes you will be ok.

A DC to DC charger has its own problems. Since it is not bidirectional, the aux start feature won’t work and neither will charging of the chassis battery from the coach battery work.

David
I have a 2020 (2019 build date) Ford E-350 cutaway chassis with the legacy V-10 engine.

Just for reference, I am also in the process of upgrading to lithium batteries... starting with 200Ah. The instructions for my SOK batteries was to drain them to the point of BMS cut-off (10.5 volts), then charge up to 100%. This is evidently to calibrate the BMS.

The problem was the battery BMS "went to sleep", and chargers wouldn't recognize they were connected... so no charging. A crafty YouTube "Aussie" had the solution... hook the battery to your chassis battery with jumper cables... then start the engine. BINGO! It started charging.

At this point I used a clamp ammeter to measure the amps being delivered by the alternator. It started at nearly 70 amps, the slowly crept down to around 55 amps. I only let it charge to about 3%, which took about 5 or 6 minutes. Then I hooked it up to my new Sungoldpower 3k inverter/charger to finish charging.

I also got the Li-BIM 225, and will be replacing the existing isolator during the install. Point is, with the alternator constantly charging the chassis battery AND "high amperage draw" lithium batteries, the alternator is overworked and likely will shorten it's life. The Li-BIM cycles in 15 minute intervals to give the alternator a break.

Also note what Battle Born told you about "drop in" is only partly true. Your existing lead-acid battery charging setup WILL NOT fully charge lithium batteries. You either need a dedicated charger with adjustable charge profiles OR a DC to DC charger.
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Old 04-10-2023, 05:37 PM   #9
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I would have thought that 70 amps wouldn’t overheat a typical RV alternator which are typically rated at 150 amps or greater. But maybe at idle it would.

The on/off cycling feature of the Li-BIM should effectively cut it to 35 amps.

David
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Old 04-11-2023, 01:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
I would have thought that 70 amps wouldn’t overheat a typical RV alternator which are typically rated at 150 amps or greater. But maybe at idle it would.

The on/off cycling feature of the Li-BIM should effectively cut it to 35 amps.

David
Info I found states the alternator is rated for 175 amps, but typically can only supply 70% of that - or 123 amps.

Looking at those numbers I would think there's plenty of margin? For my use case I will be charging two 100Ah lithium batteries which will accept 50Ah. Add in the chassis battery and I suppose the amperage climbs pretty fast. I guess another reason to go with the Li-BIM.
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Old 04-16-2023, 12:22 AM   #11
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The DC to DC charger can be set to charge the lithium batteries at the charge rate they require, your alternator on its own will not do this unless your engine battery is a lithium and I doubt that it is, too many arm chair generals telling you it will be just fine but do the research and make your decision, I have that Renogy DC to DC charger and mine is the 60 amp unit, if you have an inverter charger it will also have to be compatible with the lithium batteries and same with a charge controller using solar panels, so many people out there just go out and start buying batteries, inverters, solar panels and controllers with out doing the research first.
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Old 04-17-2023, 05:40 PM   #12
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THOR #22388
BIM install issue

I recently installed 2, 100 amp lithium batteries.
I began changing out my Solenoid / Isolator with a BIM-225.
Issue is, I connect the house and the chassis batteries on the specific terminals.
Then when I go to reconnect the chassis battery ground terminal (after the positive is connected) it picks up an large amp draw and begins to short out.
Any ideas why. I reconnected the isolator origonaly installed and all is OK.
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Old 04-18-2023, 03:22 AM   #13
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There are numerous VERY knowledgeable YouTubers who have very detailed installation tutorials - one of the best IMO is explorist.life. His video channel is top-notch. He even has calculators for wire gauge, voltage calculations and such. He's recently started a store with pre-packaged components.

One of his videos shows how to wire the Li-BIM 225 specifically for it's intended use with lithium batteries.
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Old 04-18-2023, 11:39 AM   #14
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THOR #22388
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
There are numerous VERY knowledgeable YouTubers who have very detailed installation tutorials - one of the best IMO is explorist.life. His video channel is top-notch. He even has calculators for wire gauge, voltage calculations and such. He's recently started a store with pre-packaged components.

One of his videos shows how to wire the Li-BIM 225 specifically for it's intended use with lithium batteries.
Thanks. I looked at the video on his channel. He showed it but did not actually show / explain the wiring. I did stop the video to look at the wiring.

One thing I am not sure of is the (delay relay) that is wired in along side the existing Isolator relay. From what i read is it is to delay the charging of the house batteries by the alternator for a specified time to give the alternator / engine to warm up first.
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Old 04-18-2023, 01:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by CHS View Post
Thanks. I looked at the video on his channel. He showed it but did not actually show / explain the wiring. I did stop the video to look at the wiring.

One thing I am not sure of is the (delay relay) that is wired in along side the existing Isolator relay. From what i read is it is to delay the charging of the house batteries by the alternator for a specified time to give the alternator / engine to warm up first.
My understanding is the Li-BIM 225 replaces the isolator relay. It's function is twofold: Control current (via it's internal relay) transferred from the alternator to the house batteries, and to allow connection of the chassis and house batteries (emergency start) via a momentary dash switch.

The ring terminals are labeled on the Li-BIM 225. Do a Google search for Li-BIM 225 wiring diagram and you'll get several results with pics... many even explain the wiring.
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Old 04-18-2023, 01:42 PM   #16
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THOR #22388
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Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
My understanding is the Li-BIM 225 replaces the isolator relay. It's function is twofold: Control current (via it's internal relay) transferred from the alternator to the house batteries, and to allow connection of the chassis and house batteries (emergency start) via a momentary dash switch.

The ring terminals are labeled on the Li-BIM 225. Do a Google search for Li-BIM 225 wiring diagram and you'll get several results with pics... many even explain the wiring.
I understand the Li-BIM. Its the delay relay I'm questioning the need for.
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Old 04-18-2023, 02:59 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CHS View Post
I understand the Li-BIM. Its the delay relay I'm questioning the need for.
I don’t think you need any delay relay with the Li-BIM 225. The BIM-160 on my 2021 Axis doesn’t have one.

David
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Old 04-18-2023, 07:28 PM   #18
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Did you read the instructions from this site? You don't need any additional delay or relays.
https://www.explorist.life/how-to-wi...tery-isolator/
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Old 04-21-2023, 09:19 AM   #19
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THOR #22388
I finished installing the Li-BIM 225. I left the delay relay installed. Figured while it may not be necessary, and was originally installed for a reason, It also could not hurt. Here is the description of the delay relay.

"Intellitec’s Battery Isolator Relay Delay/E offers a low cost, reliable approach to charging multiple batteries. Unlike diode isolators, this system provides an engine driven alternator with the opportunity to begin charging the main battery before connecting the auxiliary battery. This allows the use of self-exciting alternators and lets the engine briefly warm up prior to placing the load of a heavily discharged auxiliary battery on the alternator"
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Old 04-21-2023, 01:43 PM   #20
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THOR #27719
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHS View Post
I finished installing the Li-BIM 225. I left the delay relay installed. Figured while it may not be necessary, and was originally installed for a reason, It also could not hurt. Here is the description of the delay relay.

"Intellitec’s Battery Isolator Relay Delay/E offers a low cost, reliable approach to charging multiple batteries. Unlike diode isolators, this system provides an engine driven alternator with the opportunity to begin charging the main battery before connecting the auxiliary battery. This allows the use of self-exciting alternators and lets the engine briefly warm up prior to placing the load of a heavily discharged auxiliary battery on the alternator"
How did you do that? Didn't you install the LI-BIM? If so, did you put it in series with the Trombetta relay?
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