Motorized RVs give you all of the comforts of home on four wheels. Whether you’re enjoying a weekend at your favorite campground, traveling cross country, or using your RV as a permanent residence, Battle Born Batteries can help you optimize your RV experience.
Battle Born Batteries allow your appliances and electronics to stay powered without constantly relying on a fuel-consuming and noisy generator. Our powerful lithium batteries add peace and quiet while eliminating battery anxiety from your RV experience.
What Is a Motorized RV?A motorized RV has a motor vehicle chassis. It’s a recreational vehicle that you drive versus one you’d tow behind a vehicle. There’s a cab area that has a steering wheel and all the mechanisms like any other vehicle. Behind the cab, you’ll find a living space that can include a bed, bathroom, kitchen, seating space, and more. Sometimes they’re referred to as a motorhome, coach, or camper van. But most of the time, a motorized RV earns a category according to its size, which varies.
Classes of Motorized RVs and Their DifferencesThere are three main categories, or “classes,” of motorized RVs. Let’s examine what they are and how they differ.
Class A MotorhomeA class A motorhome is the largest of motorized RVs with lengths ranging from 25ft to 45ft. It has a robust and heavy-duty frame, such as a commercial bus chassis, truck chassis, or vehicle chassis. And it runs on either gas or diesel fuel, depending on the model. Thus, the fuel efficiency is low with an average of 8-10 miles per gallon at the high end.
Class C Motorhome
A class C motorhome is typically smaller than a class A and larger than a class B motorhome. Ranging in size from 22ft to 41ft long, there are various floor plans on the market. It’s built on a truck or van cutaway chassis, so there are gas and diesel options.
Similar to class A motorhomes, class C’s provide various living space options. But instead of the big front window, they have a cab that resembles a truck. They have a driver-side and passenger-side door in addition to the side house door. This is convenient for fuel stops or if the dog needs a quick walk at a rest stop.
What Is a Super C RV?
A Super C RV is a diesel class C motorhome more powerful than a regular class C. It’s built on a larger truck chassis, such as a heavy-duty Ford F-550. In comparison, class Cs are typically on a Ford E-450 or similar from other manufacturers.
Super C RVs also tend to be more luxurious like a class A. They can have more features or more weight due to the heavy-duty chassis.
Class B Motorhome
A class B motorhome is the smallest of the motorized RVs. It ranges from 17ft to 22ft long. The class B chassis is typically a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ram Promaster, or Ford Transit.
Class B motorhomes are also known as camper vans or conversion vans. They lack most luxury features on class A or class C motorhomes, such as large holding tanks, full-size bathrooms, and separate living spaces. But their minimal square footage means they’re easy to park and get into places that a sizeable motorized RV can’t.
What Is a Class B+?
A class B+ is a crossover between a small class B and a class C motorized RV. It has more room on the interior than a class B and doesn’t have a bunk over the cab like many class Cs.
Airstream’s Atlas Touring Coach is an example of a class B+ built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van chassis. The floor plan offers a full bath and a murphy bed.
Benefits of Motorized RVs
There are multiple benefits of a motorized RV–too many to count. But we’ve narrowed it down to our top three pros.
Combined Driving and Living Space
One of the most convenient benefits of a motorized RV is the combined driving and living space. You can move seamlessly from one to the other. Travel breaks are also more restful since you can just step back into your home.
If you’re traveling alone, this can be a safety feature. For example, if you sense danger, you can simply get in the driver’s seat and leave without potentially facing the dangers outside. Whereas, if you’re towing an RV, you’d have to move from your RV to your tow vehicle. You might even have to hook it up before you could leave–not ideal when you’re feeling threatened.
No Need for a Tow Vehicle
A motorized RV eliminates a tow vehicle. If you don’t already have a truck to pull an RV, it can be a significant expense. Any class motorized RV frees you from a truck purchase.
Some people tow a vehicle behind their class A or class C motorhomes. Even if you need to purchase a small car to pull behind, it’s generally cheaper than buying a truck. In some cases, an even better alternative could be bikes or e-bikes for transport when you’ve set up camp.
Comfortable Driving Experience
A motorized RV can provide a comfortable driving experience versus towing an RV. However, sway and turn radius are concerns of which you should be constantly conscious when towing an RV. Plus, backing up a motorhome or van can be much easier than a fifth wheel or travel trailer.
Cons of Motorized RVs
We’ve also identified three cons of motorized RVs. Again, it’s up to you to determine if the pros outweigh the cons for your travel preferences.
Engine and House Are Together
Traveling in a motorized RV means that your home on wheels and your engine are in the same unit. So if you have engine trouble, your vehicle and house will be in the shop. Having a tow-behind or truck camper means you can stay in the RV when your truck’s engine needs work.
Bad Gas Mileage
A motorized RV gets lousy gas mileage, even small class Bs. You can figure between 8-10 miles per gallon for a class A motorhome. A small class C or class B may be a little better.
One of the benefits of having a tow-behind car with a motorhome is that it could help you compensate with better gas mileage on day trips and errands. But if you’re thinking a truck pulling an RV will automatically get better gas mileage, think again. A truck pulling a fifth wheel is likely to get 8-10 miles per gallon.
Minimal Storage in Smaller Models
Small class C and some short class A motorhomes have minimal storage. Likewise, class Bs have very little storage space. Therefore, when shopping for a motorized RV, we recommend determining how much storage space you’ll need and prioritizing your search accordingly.
Upgrade Your Motorized RV To Lithium
Motorized RVs are a great way to make memories. Imagine road tripping across the country in a motorhome. You can camp along the ocean with your bathroom and kitchen along. There are endless possibilities with a home on wheels.
When building out your dream motorized RV, don’t forget your battery system. In addition to your motorized RV’s starting batteries for getting your engine running, you have house RV batteries that power your lights and electric appliances. These batteries are critical for operating your RV at the campground and between destinations.
Battle Born Lithium Batteries can supply two to three times more power and charge up to five times faster than a traditional lead-acid battery. With our industry-leading 10-year warranty and the ability to extend your time off-grid, you can focus on the important stuff, like planning your next adventure.
Last 10 Times Longer than Lead Acid
Even after 3000 – 5000 life cycles Battle Born Batteries retain 75 – 80% of their original capacity. For most users, it will take 10 to 15 years to reach this amount of life cycles.
2 to 3 times more power
Our batteries will supply you with two to three times the power in the same physical space of a lead acid battery.
Charge 5 Times Faster
With a high charge rate of half of your total bank and short absorption times, your batteries will charge in a fraction of the time of a lead acid. This faster charge rate allows you to use your generator less which means less fuel consumption, less noise, and less pollution.
High Discharging Capabilities
Our 100 Ah batteries provide a continuous 100 amps of power, surge of up to 200 amps for 30 seconds and even higher loads for a ½ second.
Efficient and High Performance
Our batteries have virtually no internal resistance and will not heat up or swell when charging or discharging. We also have a real power rating so whether you’re using 1 amp for 100 hours or 100 amps for one hour, you will receive the full amount of power your batteries are rated for. With a very flat discharge curve, power remains much more consistent with Battle Born Batteries even at a low state of charge.
Environmentally Safe and Non-Toxic
One lead acid battery can contaminate acres of municipal waste, but Battle Born Batteries are not toxic and are made with the safest lithium chemistry on the market. This allows you to place them anywhere in your rig whether it’s under a bed, a dinette, or even a small enclosed area without the fear of our batteries “off gassing” like lead acid.
Our batteries are ½ to ⅔ the weight of a standard lead acid battery with more deliverable power.
Battle Born Batteries have a built-in management system to help protect you and your investment in the batteries in any strenuous situations such as high/low temperatures, high/low voltages, current surges, and short circuits. They also can be placed in your system with zero maintenance, so you no longer have to worry about adding water to your batteries or cleaning corroded terminals. Our batteries also have a very slow self-discharge rate so they can be left in storage for over a year without requiring you to hook them up to a trickle charger.
We employ a team of USA-based experts at Battle Born Batteries to help with your customer service, sales and technical needs. Our industry-leading team utilizes clear communication via phone and email, along with product knowledge and problem-solving skills to assist with any questions you may have along the way. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your batteries, a complete power system or anything in between our team can provide the expertise needed to guide you through a lithium conversion. Feel free to contact our team at (855) 292-2831 or [email protected].
We believe in our batteries and we want you to believe in them too. That’s why we ship every battery out with a 10-year warranty. If you have a problem, we want to fix it as quickly as possible so you can go on your next adventure!
Excellent Solar Systems
Battle Born Batteries allow you to take full advantage of solar by creating fast charging and fully sustainable power systems with a variety of applications.
To determine whether your devices are compatible with BB batteries, take a look at the manual for each component and look at the specifications. If the specs in the manual match up with the Charging voltage: 14.2-14.6 V and the Float voltage: 13.6 V or lower, they are compatible with our batteries.
If you can adjust settings (such as a custom profile) on your devices to various charging and float voltages, then simply change the settings to match ours.
You are also more than welcome to give us a call at (855) 292-2831 or contact us at [email protected].
In some cases, you might have to replace the current converter/charger that come stock in the application due to the output voltage of 13.6 V. Some very common WFCO and Progressive Dynamics converters will rarely get to their higher boost of 14.4 volts when a lithium battery is connected.
Although these converters will charge your Battle Born Batteries (very slowly), they may never get to a 100% state of charge and will not trigger the passive balancing effect that starts at over 14 volts.
In addition to their standard models, many converter manufacturers now offer LiFePO4 chargers and most are highly compatible with Battle Born Batteries.
In motorized RVs, vans and skoolies, very often the alternator will charge lithium batteries at the proper voltage (14.2 to 14.6 V), but we recommend not to exceed a 50% charge rate, this means a max of 50 amps for each 100 Ah battery.
An example would be a high 220 amp alternator putting out its full charge to the electrical system. An alternator charging the starter battery, running the electronics in the vehicle, and if wired with thick enough cables, might have around 150 amps leftover to charge your Battle Born Batteries. In this instance, three of our batteries would be a good match for the alternator’s charge.
Some things to consider when connecting a starter (lead acid) battery to a lithium battery bank:
- 2 lithium batteries or less, you will probably want to use a battery to battery charger such as the Sterling product on our website:
- Higher amp units charge the batteries faster. These devices will not only regulate the charging current but also replace your existing isolator.
- For 3 or more lithium batteries connected to a starter battery we recommend our Li-BIM.
These are generalities, but if you give us the amperage of your alternator, the model of your isolator, and how many lithium batteries you are planning to use, we can give you a better suggestion as to what you may need. Call us at (855) 292-2831 or contact us at [email protected].
Battery Isolation Manager
The battery isolation manager (BIM) is typically used in motorized systems with 3 or more Battle Born Batteries. Lithium batteries tend to pull a lot of power off your alternator, which over time could cause it to overheat.
The BIM works on a duty cycle. It charges your house battery bank for 15 minutes, then taking 20 minutes to rest so your alternator can take a break and never has the opportunity to overheat.
Battery to Battery Charger
Battery to battery chargers are typically used in applications where you have 1 or 2 Battle Born Batteries. This is because our batteries have a recommended 50 amp charge rate per battery. If your alternator is applying a higher amperage to your batteries than the recommended charge rate, you will need to limit the amperage.
The battery to battery charger will limit the amperage coming off your alternator and will apply a safe charge to your batteries.
Both devices will properly isolate your lithium batteries from your starting battery.
Answering this question can depend on the amount of space you have on your vehicle and how fast you want your bank to charge.
As a general guideline we recommend 200 to 250 watts of solar per 100 amp-hours of battery. This will give you the ability to charge from nearly empty to full in a six to eight-hour time frame.
Many factors can change this calculation and you are invited to call at (855) 292-2831 or email us at [email protected] if you would like to discuss in greater detail.
Many RVer’s run into trouble in deciding which solar charge controller to choose and there are many specific models with different voltage and amperage ratings. Which one is right for your application?
Victron’s standard “Blue Solar” model is a set and forget controller without readouts or internal Bluetooth. If you would like a Bluetooth version with all viewable information via the “Victron Connect” application from your mobile device, then the “Smart Solar” version is your best choice.
Second, decide how many watts of panels you want in your solar array and take a look at our compatibility table to determine the product that best fits your system, here.
Upon request we will program your Victron solar charge controller for the number of Battle Born Batteries in your bank at no charge.
A few years ago, it was very difficult and unlikely to run your air conditioner from a measure of batteries and inverter in an RV. Today it’s no longer a possibility but a reality, and many customers are experiencing the convenience that lithium batteries bring to your power system.
If you plan on running your air conditioner, Battle Born always recommends an EasyStart. The EasyStart can reduce start the current by 65-75% compared to a compressor’s LRA (locked-rotor amperage). These devices offer a solution that allows an air conditioner to operate on a generator, inverter, or limited utility power when it would otherwise not have functioned.
When considering cable sizing there are a few factors to consider.
First, what is the size of the load you are powering with the battery bank?
Second, how far away from the battery is the load? You can do voltage drop calculations to see if you need to step up your cable size.
Here is an easy reference chart:
As a rule of thumb, you can use these numbers as a guideline.
-4 AWG wire approximate max rating is 157 amps DC
-1/0 AWT wire approximate max rating is 291 amps DC
-4/0 AWT wire approximate max rating is 456 amps DC
Battle Born Batteries will hold a charge for up to a year without the need of a trickle charger. We recommend bringing the battery bank to a full state of charge then disconnecting all power coming or going to your battery bank.
If you prefer to leave your batteries connected to a charger when in storage and the charging device has a float voltage of 13.8 V or lower, it is acceptable for use in long-term storage applications and will not harm our batteries.
Many inverter manufacturers recommend that you have some space around inverter sides and the top or bottom for air flow. This will allow the internal fans to circulate air within a compartment and properly cool your inverter when necessary.
Please check your specific manufacturers recommendations and user manuals for further details.
Yes, in most cases solar charge controllers have compatible battery settings such as a LiFePO4 or even an AGM mode that works well.
To determine whether your solar charge controllers are compatible with Battle Born Batteries, read through the manual under the charging voltage tables. If the specifications match up with a charging voltage of 14.2-14.6 V and the float voltage of 13.6 V or lower, then it will work perfectly with your Battle Born Batteries.
The Current Surge Limiter CSL500 is a field-effect transistor (FET)-based current limiting device. The device is to be used with Battle Born Batteries LiFePO4 battery packs when they are used in conjunction with large (4 KW or larger) inverter chargers.
The device is mounted permanently in series between the negative pole of the battery bank and the negative (direct current) DC input terminal of the inverter charger. The device protects the battery management system (BMS) from damage caused by the initial current spike that is created when connecting directly to the large capacitors (>5 milliFarads) that are typically on the DC input side of the inverter chargers.
The device allows the batteries to slowly charge the capacitors (within 1 ms). This soft start avoids the high-current shutoff inherent to the BMS of the batteries.
Sizing a battery bank for an off-grid or mobile power system can get complicated if you don’t have all the information you need to make the right calculations. You will need some basic information to get started.
You will need the maximum and continuous draw – in amps or watts – of the devices you want to power. These are usually found somewhere on the device on a sticker or plate that shows the amps and volts of that device or the power in watts.
As an example, let’s just say that our system needs to run 10 amps at 120 volts for 3.5 hours.
10 amps x 120 volts = 1200 watts of power.
1200 watts x 3.5 hours = 4200 watt-hours of energy.
Next you need to convert 4200 watts-hours to direct current (DC) amp-hours. For our example, we will use a 12 volt battery bank.
4200 watts-hours / 12 volts = 350 DC amp-hours of battery energy needed for our sample application.
Also, the battery needs to be able to deliver 1200 watts/ 12 volts = 100 amps of power.
We will use the 100 amp-hour Battle Born battery to build this system.
350 amp-hours / 100 amp-hours = 3.5
We would need to use four 100 amp-hour LiFePO4 Battle Born Batteries to power this system.
Yes, you can mount your battery in any position. There is no acid inside of the battery, and the small amount of liquid electrolyte is contained within each sealed cell.
You can decide what is best for your application. Our lithium technology gives you the flexibility to put the battery in places you normally would not have placed a lead acid battery.
Please watch the video above for more information on winterizing your Battle Born Batteries.
The storage temperature range is -10°F to 140°F (-23°C to 60°C). We recommend bringing the Battle Born Batteries to a 100% charge and then disconnecting them completely for storage. After six months in storage your batteries will remain 75 – 80% charged.
Storing batteries in subzero weather (-15°F or more) has the potential to crack the ABS plastic and more importantly could cause a faster loss of capacity, in some cases drastically more than the typical 2 – 4% per month loss.
Battle Born Batteries protect themselves from charging in cold temperatures and won’t accept a charge once the internal cell temperature drops to 24°F. At this point they will continue to discharge even down to -4°F. At this temperature we recommend no longer pulling power to avoid damaging the batteries.
Insulated battery boxes, heating blankets, and placing your battery bank inside your RV will help keep the temperature stable. On the high end of temperature range, the batteries will shut down once 135°F is reached.
Our batteries allow a charge rate of 50 amps for each 100 Ah battery. For more than one battery, you can simply take the entire Ah of the bank and cut the number in half.
For example, three 100 Ah Battle Born Batteries total 300 Ah. Cut this number in half and you have your maximum recommended charge rate of 150 amps.
The length of time it takes to charge a li-ion deep cycle battery depends on the type and size of your charging source.
Our recommended charge rate is 50 amps per 100 Ah battery in your system. For example, if your charger is 20 amps and you need to charge an empty battery, it will take 5 hours to reach 100%.
We don’t recommend you exceed this charge rate as it can lead to a shortened battery cycle life. In an emergency situation the battery can be charged at a quicker rate if needed.
Our charging parameters consist of the following:
- Bulk/absorb = 14.2 – 14.6 V
- Float = 13.6 V or lower
- No equalization (or set it to 14.4 V)
- No temperature compensation
- Absorption time is 20 minutes per battery (if it’s an option)
Bulk/absorb 14.2 – 14.6 Volts (we usually recommend 14.4) float 13.6 Volts or lower
No equalization (or set it to 14.4 V), no temperature compensation and absorption time is 20-30 minutes per battery (if it’s an option).
Bulk/absorb 28.4 – 29.2 V (we usually recommend 28.8 V) float 27.2 V or lower
No equalization (or set it to 28.8 V), no temperature compensation and absorption time is 20 minutes per battery (if it’s an option).
To view the chargers in our Battle Born Shop, please click here.
If you need assistance with charging parameters or settings for a certain device, give us a call at (855) 292-2831 or email us at [email protected]
Our Battery Monitoring System, or BMS is rated to 3 different levels.
- 100 amps continuous (1200 watts at 12 volts) – this means you can pull 100 amps out of the battery when you need it until the capacity is all used up.
- 200 amps for 30 seconds (2400 watts at 12 volts) – if your device has a surge an individual battery can deliver 2400 watts for 30 seconds.
- ½ second surge up to the max capacity of the battery. If you have a high momentary over 200 amps the battery will handle this for ½ second.
*Keep in mind that when you have two batteries in parallel you will double these surge numbers. With four batteries in parallel you will quadruple these figures.
If your battery registers between 0 to 5 volts this means that it’s in low voltage disconnect mode. This happens if the battery has been drained of capacity and is protecting itself from further discharge.
At this point you will need to apply a direct 12 V source such as the alternator via the starter battery or by connecting it to your starter battery with jumper cables until you see the voltage reaches 10-10.5 V.
Some inverter chargers will also bring the batteries out of low voltage disconnect.
The best way to store our batteries for an extended period is to fully charge them and then disconnect them from everything. Removing the negative lead from the battery bank is also recommended.
The batteries do not need a trickle charge or maintenance while stored. They will only lose around 2 – 3% of their charge per month. If possible, we recommend storing them in a temperature above freezing.
Storing batteries in subzero weather (-15°F or lower) has the potential to crack the ABS plastic and could lead to a greater loss in charge. In some cases they can lose much more than the expected 3% monthly loss.
If you are storing your entire system, we recommend the use of a battery guardian, which will help protect your batteries by disconnecting them from parasitic loads once they reach a voltage of 11.5 V.
Yes, this is possible. We would recommend a minimum of three batteries, a 3000-watt inverter and an EasyStart as minimum requirements.
Shunt based battery monitors are great tools to help you keep track of your battery system. Victron BMV series battery monitors give you specific information, such as how much power is coming into or going out of your battery bank at any given time from your devices.
They will also display how much time you have left at your current rate of use, total amp hours consumed, a live feed on a graph representing voltage and current as well as historical data from previous days. Some of the other features include programmable audible and visible alarms and a programmable relay.
One of the best things about the BMV monitors is that the information is easily viewed and configured from the “Victron Connect” app for any mobile device. In addition to this Bluetooth connectivity, each BMV comes with a highly visible, back-lit display that can be mounted anywhere within your system.
The option we sell on our website is the Victron BMV-712. You can find that listing here.
You can use all of the power out of your Battle Born battery without damage, but it should not be left in this condition for long.
The BMS will shut the battery off to protect the cells once it reaches a low voltage between 10-10.5 volts. This is referred to as low-voltage disconnect, and the battery can be brought out of this protection mode by being connected to any 12 volt source.
Any battery that is fully discharged should not be left in this state for long periods and should be charged soon after in order to avoid long-term damage.
Our battery is designed as a deep cycle storage battery and doesn’t offer the cold cranking amps most applications require for starting.
Multiple batteries connected in parallel can be used in an emergency situation, but prolonged use in starting applications can result in a diminished capacity or damage to the battery’s management system.
The continuous discharge rate of our batteries is 100 amps, 200 amps for 30 seconds and higher loads for ½ second. Cold cranking applications typically exceed 200 amps which will cause our batteries to shut off.
Our batteries are sealed and do not release gas or cause any toxic fumes, so there is no need for a ventilated storage compartments. This can allow the batteries to be placed inside an RV structure, allowing for better protection from theft and exposure to the elements.
Check out our Customer’s Systems!
Battle Born Systems
Marc and Julie Bennett have been living on the road, documenting every moment on YouTube and RVLove.com. They drive across the United States, inspired to accomplish their dreams and adventures! Check out our post on RV Love here.
- 6 – Battle Born 100 Ah 12 V Batteries (BB10012s)
- 1 – Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller 150/100
- 1 – Victron 3000 W 12 V MultiPlus Inverter/Charger
- 1 – Victron Battery Monitor with Built-in Bluetooth (BMV-712)
- 2 – Battery Isolation Manager
- 1 – Victron Color Control GX
Check out bundles similar to RV Love’s setup in our online store here.
*Schematics are an example for your own system, items may vary.
GeoAstroRV’s Brenda and John travel around the country to remote locations in various national parks giving free astronomy lessons! Their work requires the power to bring them to remote locations that are dark enough for their presentations. To learn more about where GeoAstro’s next location will be, check out our post here.
- 12 – Battle Born 100 Ah 12 V batteries (BB10012s)
- 1 – Victron Battery Monitor with Bluetooth Built In (BMV-712)
- 1 – 400 amp Fuse Kit
- 1 – Precision Circuits Battery Guardian
- 1 – Precision Circuits Battery Isolation Manager
- 2 – Magnum Energy MSH-Series 3000 W 12 VDC Pure Sine Hybrid Inverters
- 2 – Tri-Star MPPT45 Solar Controllers
*Disclaimer: We are not Electricians or Installers. We simply provide these Schematics as an example for your own system.*
Gary and Stacey Quimby from Pau Hana Travels are nomads who RV full time with their two dogs. Together, they travel through Alaska in their RV nicknamed “The Disco” and document their adventures on their website. You can read more about them in our blog here.
- 10 – 50 Ah 24 V LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Batteries
- 2 – Victron Multiplus 3000/24/70 inverters
- 1 – Victron Smartsolar 150/100 Solar Controller
- 2 – Battle Born Current Surge Limiters
- 1 – Victron Battery Monitor with Bluetooth Built In (BMV-712)
- 1 – Victron Color Control GX
- 1 – Sterling Power 12/24 DC to DC battery charger
- 2 – MicroAir soft starts for the air conditioners
- 1 – Victron Orion 24/12 DC to DC converter
- 12 – High Tec 200 watt solar panels
Shop our motorized bundles to find one similar to Gary and Stacey’s setup here.
*Disclaimer: We are not Electricians or Installers. We simply provide these Schematics as an example for your own system.*