Prevost motorhomes come with tons of luxurious features and options, but they still rely on traditional lead-acid batteries. Let’s take a look at what it takes to upgrade your Prevost battery system to lithium and what benefits you’ll reap along the way!
Battery Systems in A Prevost Motorhome
Unfortunately, there is not a standard battery system or setup in Prevost Motorhomes. You must understand your specific rig before you dive into upgrading your Prevost battery system. Generally speaking, Prevost motorhomes have two battery systems: the chassis/starting system and the house system.
The chassis system provides power to start the engine as well as auxiliary power for things like headlights. The chassis system usually consists of at least two 12-volt batteries wired in series with a parallel tap on one battery, allowing them to provide both 12 and 24 volts as needed. Like your car, the Prevost charges the chassis batteries using the alternator while the coach is running. Because of their unique wiring, the chassis system usually includes a battery equalizer to properly charge the full 24-volt bank while still providing 12-volt power off half of it.
Learn More About 12V Battery Types here.
The Prevost house battery system is responsible for powering everything else you need to live in your motorhome while your generator isn’t running. The house system typically consists of multiple 12-volt batteries that connect to an inverter to power 120-volt AC devices, like TVs and air conditioners, but can also directly power DC electronics like LED lights and awnings. Depending on your coach, the house system batteries may charge using the same alternator as the chassis system or may have a dedicated alternator for charging.
Power Requirements For Traveling In A Luxury Prevost Motorhome
Traveling and living in a Prevost motorhome is undoubtedly luxurious. However, living in luxury often requires a lot of power. Large motor coaches have more of everything, and at the same time, everything is more extensive. You have more lights, more slides, more air conditioning units, a bigger fridge, more and bigger TVs. You get the point.
Requiring more power isn’t necessarily bad. But it is something you need to keep in mind as you consider upgrading your Prevost batteries to lithium.
Why You Might Want To Upgrade To A Lithium-Ion Battery for Your Prevost Motorhome
Upgrading your Prevost motorhome battery system to lithium-ion offers some valuable benefits such as longer battery lifespan, easier maintenance, reduced weight, and increased efficiency. Let’s look at each of these perks a little closer.
Traditional lead-acid and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries typically have a lifespan of between 2-5 years, depending on how well they are maintained.
Lithium-ion batteries often last upwards of 10 years and require very little maintenance to achieve this. For example, Battle Born lithium iron phosphate batteries have a 10-year warranty and are designed to last 3,000 – 5,000 cycles.
Easy To Maintain
Lithium-ion batteries have an integrated battery management system (BMS) that essentially eliminates the need for periodic maintenance. The BMS also ensures that the batteries operate within safe limits to prevent damage and maximize their lifespan.
On the other hand, lead-acid batteries require a specific amount of acid solution to function properly and prevent damage. It’s critical to monitor and refill the acid solution to avoid damaging the battery.
Lead-acid batteries have lead plates in them that lithium batteries do not. On average, a lithium battery weighs about half of what a lead-acid battery of the same capacity weighs. While Prevost motorhomes don’t typically have strict weight restrictions, every little bit of weight savings helps.
Lithium batteries are significantly more efficient than their lead-acid counterparts. The main reason for this is that draining a lead-acid battery below 50% of its capacity causes damage. Lithium batteries can be deep cycled to 80% or more of their capacity without sustaining any damage or shortening the battery’s life.
Additionally, with the proper charge controller, lithium batteries charge significantly faster. Combining their reduced weight, fast charging, and ability to deep cycle to 80% or more of their capacity, it’s clear that lithium batteries are far more efficient than the stock lead-acid house batteries in your Prevost.
If You’re Travelling From Electric Hookup To Hookup, Is Lithium Worth It?
If all you do is drive from campsite to campsite with full electric hookups, it might be easy to think that upgrading to lithium batteries isn’t worth the cost or hassle. Most of the perks discussed above indeed become less relevant under these conditions.
However, the battery’s lifespan and lack of required maintenance will probably be the most significant benefits you see. After you complete your battery upgrade to lithium, you can basically forget your batteries exist. In fact, they will likely outlast your Prevost altogether and require no maintenance along the way.
How to Replace and Upgrade Your Prevost Motorhome Battery System
Do Your Research
There is not a standard battery system on Prevost motorhomes. Different years and models have unique designs and configurations. The first step in upgrading your Prevost motorhome battery system is to research your specific model and year. You’ll want to make sure you know what your upgrade will entail.
Talk To Your Prevost Motorhome Dealer/Service Center
Part of your research should be reaching out to your local Prevost dealer and service center. The professionals working there can help you identify your systems and have the best working knowledge of approaching a battery system upgrade. Additionally, if you have a new motorhome, they will tell you what modifications you can make without impacting any warranties you may have.
Figure Out What Size Battery You Need And How Many
After you understand your specific Prevost battery system, you need to figure out how many and what size batteries you need. The size of your battery bank is dependent on how you intend to use your Prevost motorhome.
Do you want to connect three air conditioners, your fridge, and a few TVs up to your batteries and run them for hours and hours on your batteries? Or, are you just looking to power some lights and a few small electronics for an hour or two without having to run your generator? Once you decide what you want to power and for how long, you can reach out to one of the experts here at Battle Born to have them help you size your lithium battery system.
Purchasing Batteries and Other Components
Upgrading your Prevost motorhome battery system to lithium means more than just buying new batteries. For example, to maximize your charging speed, you’ll want to get a proper charge controller as well. Or, to monitor the remaining charge on your batteries, you can add a battery monitor, not to be confused with the internal BMS. Many different accessories are available to help you optimize your new lithium battery system. Reach out to our team of experts to help you design the system that works best for you.
Installing Batteries in Your Prevost Motorhome
You’ve determined how many batteries you need, you’ve picked out all your accessories, everything has been ordered and arrived. Now, it’s time to install your batteries so you can get back on the road!
The electrical systems on Prevost motorhomes can be extensive and complicated. We recommend reaching out to the experts here at Battle Born Batteries for guidance. Or take your batteries and coach to a local Prevost dealer or service center.
Properly Dispose of Old Batteries
If you have a service center install your new lithium battery system, they will likely dispose of the old lead-acid batteries. However, if you plan to conquer the installation yourself, you will need to safely dispose of your old batteries. The easiest way to do this is to return them to anywhere that sells new batteries since they are also required to take old batteries and safely dispose of them.
Upgrade Your Prevost To A Luxury Electrical System
Prevost motorhomes are some of the most luxurious rigs on the road. They’re packed with premier electronics and accessories to make you feel like a king. However, their battery systems are an exception to this and still use outdated lead-acid batteries.
If you’re looking to eliminate maintenance and not have to worry about replacing your Prevost batteries ever again, consider making the upgrade to lithium. You own a Prevost, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best.
Want To Learn More About Electrical Systems and Lithium Batteries?
We know building or upgrading an electrical system can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help. Our Reno, Nevada-based sales and customer service team is standing by at (775) 622-3448 to take your questions!
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