Four Factors to Look for in a Lithium Battery RV

Better energy systems are the next wave in RVs. More owners want their AC and other appliances to run longer—long enough to keep pets cool for hours, and still provide hot showers while running other appliances. But they also want to untether from campground outlets and avoid noisy generators that compete with the sounds of nature.

That’s why there’s a buzz around lithium ion batteries—the kind that power electric and hybrid cars. Traditional lead-acid batteries like to be charged relatively slowly compared with lithium ions. The faster charge rate combined with much greater capacity for their weight is what makes lithium ions a true game-changer.

Black energy pack

A few RV “techies” are installing their own systems and posting DIY instructions online. But if you’re not that much of an engineer, you’ll be happy to know a few RVs now come with optional lithium batteries built-in. At Winnebago, we’ve started with one of our most popular B vans, the Travato, introducing the Pure3 Energy Management System in our 2019 Travato 59GL and 59KL. (See video here.)  These two models are fully engineered around the most advanced energy system available (see comparison chart).

If you’re seriously comparing RV battery systems, here are the main factors to keep in mind:

Available power

Think of power as three traits: charging speed, battery capacity, and how long the charge lasts. Most new RV lithium cells, including the do-it-yourself kind, are just 12 volts—a size that typically requires a long charge time and quickly depletes. If you want a rapid charge or several more hours of reliable juice, look for a more robust system, like the 48-volt Pure3.

The Winnebago system recharges from either a conventional outlet or a dedicated 58V alternator hooked up to the engine and a solar panel on the roof helps maintain the charge. During a charge cycle—whether manually initiated or requested by the battery—the Travato’s engine starts and ramps up to 1600 rpms, dramatically reducing recharge time compared with conventional batteries or smaller lithiums. You’ll quickly have 30 amps of 110v power for heating, cooking, or air conditioning.

Ease of use

Fewer RV owners are parking near a hook-up station for very long. They’re blazing out to the trailhead, exploring a National Park, or dry camping at an outdoor music festival. If this sounds like you, you need a system that restores battery power while you run the engine. Even short trips will do it.

And when you’re parked, the Travato 59GL and 59KL have an auto-start feature that starts the engine to recharge the battery. This feature extends the run time of the air conditioner beyond the battery’s fixed capacity. It’s a convenience that provides extra peace of mind when you’re gone from the RV for an extended period of time—for example, when you leave your pets for an evening out to dinner.

Ease of use includes keeping tabs on available energy. You shouldn’t have to scratch your head over the readout on a voltage indicator. The Pure3 system has a simple analog gauge that lets you know when it’s running low—like the gas gauge on your car.

 

Durability

Look for a battery that’s built to last. The best value and least hassle will be one that’s automotive-grade like the Pure3. You’d generally expect to replace a common lead-acid battery several times over the life of your RV, but the Pure3 is built to work as long as the Travato does, just like batteries in electric cars. To get a unit this durable, Winnebago worked with Volta, the leading name in vehicle energy systems.

Protection from the elements contributes to long life. For that, we mounted the Pure3 below the coach and inside a water-resistant, insulated steel housing. Cabin air circulates around the compartment when the weather gets too hot or cold. And the whole system is compact to provide ample clearance, even on rutty roads.

The ultimate test

Beyond tech specs, the key test is lifestyle. Will it enable the uncomplicated RV life you want? Our goal with the Travato 59GL and 59KL was to take lithium technology out of the realm of geek-dom and put it in the hands of the everyday RVer. For $20,000 above the Travato’s regular MSRP, the advanced Pure3 energy system is a practical solution when you average its cost and comforts over the entire life of your RV.

We’re pretty sure lithium ion systems are going mainstream in the not-too-distant future. So, when it comes time to shop around, look under the hood—or, in Winnebago’s case, under the coach. Make sure the energy system you choose has the capacity, durability, and simplicity you need for truly carefree adventures.

Post originally appeared on RVT.com.

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Winnebago Introduces the Lithium Powered Travato 59KL and 59GL

Lichtsinn RV’s Travato Tales Page

Lichtsinn RV, America’s closest dealer to Winnebago Industries, has been named Top North American Winnebago Dealer by Winnebago Industries for the last four consecutive years. We proudly sell New RVs manufactured by Winnebago Industries as well as Used RVs. See our Winnebago Travato inventory here

Winnebago Travato’s Pure3 Energy Management System

Winnebago released a lithium-powered version of the Travato available in the 59GL and 59KL floorplans. The Winnebago Travato 59KL and 59GL floorplans are equipped with the Pure3 Energy Management System the most powerful, durable and easy-to-use lithium energy system in the industry. This best-in-class system is built in the U.S.A in partnership with Volta Power Systems.

Features of the Pure3 System Include:

    • Full system design to ensure safe, reliable operation
    • Seamless switchover from shore power
    • Compact and light weight
    • Automotive-grade wiring and connectors
    • Charges while driving or from shore and solar
    • US-built. Same automotive-grade technology used in hybrid vehicle and EV applications
    • Temperature controlled battery compartment

Power Feature of the Pure3 Energy Management System in the Travato - Featured Blog

The most powerful 3600W pure sine inverter, bringing 30 amps of
power whereever you go! The MPPT solar controller provides best-in-
class solar absorption, up to 30% better than competitors, giving
you more off-grid performance. Travato comes standard with the
200W with ports to plug in additional panels.

Reliability Feature of the Pure3 Energy Management System in the Travato

The Winnebago and Volta team included the best
automotive-grade electrical connectors and
wiring harness
 to ensure trouble-free operations.

Operation Feature of the Pure3 Energy Management System in the Travato

Under 200 lbs. the three-module automotive-grade energy
pack provides 8,700 Whrs. Watertight and durable, the steel
housing is the safest in the market. Travato’s dedicated 58V
alternator is 2x as powerful as competitors. Its compact
design keeps it out of the way of curbs and road debris.

 

Sustainability Feature of the Pure3 Energy Management System in the Tra

 Winnebago’s Auto-Start and high-idle control
significantly extends air conditioner run time. One simple
analog 
gauge changes color to let you know how much
energy is remaining with just a glance.

Winnebago Travato Inventory with the Pure3 Energy Management System 

Call the Lichtsinn RV Sales Department at 1-800-343-6255 to find out more about the Pure3 Energy Management System and Pure3 Powered Travatos In-Stock.

Additional posts you may like:

Using the Volta Power Systems Pure3 Lithium Energy System in Extreme Conditions

Recharging the Pure3 Energy Pack

Pure3 Energy Management System Power Calculator