Lithium batteries are all the rage and for good
reason. They weigh less than half as much as
an equivalent amp hour-rated AGM battery,
they can be discharged to low levels without
suffering any damage, and they give a nearconstant
voltage output, meaning all your 12V
appliances work at peak performance.
Unfortunately, a few cheap and inferior
brands have appeared on the market, making
the purchasing decision more difficult. We
installed a 200Ah ProPower lithium battery
over two years ago and it has performed
beyond our expectations.
It has delivered consistent performance
regardless of the conditions and has shown
absolutely no signs of degradation, which is
more than I can say for some expensive AGM
batteries I’ve owned previously.
Lithium batteries for RVs are much more
expensive at the outset than any AGM battery;
however, there is the potential to save you
money in the long-run. Buy a quality battery,
with a warranty, and you’ll never look back.
The author of this article uses a Pro
Power lithium battery.
Regardless of the type of battery you have in
your van, you need it to perform at peak
capacity, especially when free-camping.
Normal battery chargers and solar controllers
cannot accurately monitor all the power going
in and out of your batteries. This is why you
need a proper battery management system.
The Redarc Battery Manager 30, which is
what I use in my van, is extremely useful. It
manages power from three sources: solar,
240V and 12V DC to DC, and ensures your
batteries get the maximum charge available.
It also provides an instant, accurate indication
of the battery’s state of charge, and will show
how much solar watts are being generated by
your solar panels and chart this over time.
The load indicator reveals how much power
your 12V appliances are drawing, as well as
how many amps are going into the battery
from the charging sources. This enables you
to reduce power consumption and maximise
The Redarc 30 is a popular BMS.
There are a range of other battery
management systems, including from BMPRO,
that are also well-regarded, so shop around to
ensure you find the one that best suits your
needs and budget.