When it comes to choosing the best batteries for your RV or camper van, Battle Born Batteries should be at the top of your wish list.
The age-old question of Lithium-Iron Vs Lead-Acid is a big topic in the van life world. Today, we’re proving unequivocally that Lithium is the only way to go, and that these Battle Born Batteries are worth every penny.
During the course of this article, we’re going to give you a full rundown of what these batteries can do, as well as how they work, their efficiency, and why Lithium-Iron trumps the cheaper alternatives on the market.
Getting To Grips With Battle Born Batteries
Who Are Battle Born Batteries?
Battle Born Batteries are based in Nevada, USA. They specialise in creating green energy solutions and harnessing the power of Lithium-Iron Phosphate. Their products are legendary, and their batteries pack more punch than Chuck Norris in a bar fight.
Designed and assembled in the USA, Battle Born Batteries are dedicated to bringing cutting-edge, eco-friendly technology to the masses. Their products are non-toxic and provide a safe, renewable energy solution that is built to last. They’re as hardy as the gnarliest off grid adventure, and they’re ready for the ultimate road trip.
What Comes In The Box?
The batteries come packaged securely and nicely wrapped. Each unit comes with screws and nuts for hooking your wires up to the terminals too.
The casing is nice, the colours look cool, and the whole product feels sturdy. All in all, it’s one epic piece of kit.
Are They Easy To Install?
Super simple. Even a complete novice could hook these up with ease.
If you’re replacing old batteries with new Lithium-Iron units, then it’s pretty much a 10-second job.
If you’re starting from scratch and need some help with all things camper van electrics, then take a look at our ‘How To Build A Camper e-Book‘ for more info on wiring, crimping, and power-hub set-ups!
The Benefits Of Lithium-Iron Over Lead-Acid
What’s The Difference Between Lead-Acid and Lithium-Iron?
Lead-Acid batteries might seem like a good idea due to their price, but Lithium-Iron batteries knock them clean out of the water.
What follows is a simplified version of the wizardry that goes on inside battery casings. We’ll leave you to do more research in your own time (there will be a test at the end!)
A Lead-Acid battery works via lead plates that sit in Sulfuric Acid, which in this case is ‘the electrolyte’. Lead and Lead Oxide on the plates react with the acid to form Lead Sulfate. These plates hold around 2.1volts each, and there’s usually 6 of them in each battery.
Lead Acid batteries are slow to recharge, the plates can become damaged and corrode due to sulfation, and they don’t work very well in cold temperatures. They’re ok for short trips to the beach, but real vanlifers need something more reliable.
You’ll find Lithium-Iron batteries in everything from your phones to your game controllers. These Battle Born Batteries employ the same technology but on a much bigger scale.
All Battle Born Batteries use LiFePO₄ cells. They’re the safest and most stable types of lithium cells around.
LiFePO₄ or Lithium-Iron Phosphate is the positive cathode, and the electrolyte is an organic solvent. Lithium ions pass through the electrolyte and attach themselves to the negative electrode while charging. The opposite movement happens when charge is being used.
Lithium-Iron batteries can stay charged for up to 1 year in ideal conditions without losing any of their power. They can be discharged up fully, and they work perfectly through all seasons.
Long story short – LiFePO₄ batteries rule!
Let’s Talk Power!
These 100Ah Battle Born Batteries are the same size as my previous Lead-Acid alternatives (albeit about 1cm wider), but they’re twice as powerful.
The LiFePO₄ technology inside has double the power of a wet battery while managing to stay the same size and weighs a fifth of the weight of the comparable capacity in lead-acid.
For those of you that only use your camper van once every couple of months, then you’ll be pleased to know that these batteries can hold charge for anywhere up to a whole year. As long as they aren’t powering a light or a tracker, they can sit there fully charged up and ready for an adventure.
These batteries provide 100 Amps of continuous power. They have a surge power of 200 Amps for a total of 30 seconds for kickstarting larger items like power tools, and a ½ second surge for even larger loads.
That’s the kind of thing that you might expect to see in an inverter here in the UK, but not in a battery! These things are next level!
Are They Safe For Indoor Use?
Battle Born Batteries are designed for off grid living, but that doesn’t mean that you have to install them outside. These batteries are perfectly safe to be used indoors. There’s no acid to spill out of them, no pesky hydrogen gasses, and no terminal corrosion.
If anything, I feel much happier knowing I have these under my bed!
All of the factors above (minus my bed comment) make these batteries a perfect choice for anyone who wants to leave their batteries unattended for long periods of time.
Battle Born Batteries last a whopping 10-times longer than Lead-Acid alternatives and come with a tonne of safety features. You can rest easy knowing that each battery comes with short circuit protection, high/low voltage protection and high/low temperature protection.
They’re pretty much sentient beings!
What Does Deep Cycle Mean?
In short, deep cycle batteries are designed to be used regularly and drained of power. They like it when you charge up laptops and steal their energy reserves, and they don’t throw a fit when they have to recharge back up again.
The great thing about these Battle Born Batteries is that they can be discharged to 100% and recharge perfectly afterwards. Lead Acid batteries should only be depleted to around 50% or they through a serious wobbly.
How Heavy Are They?
I said earlier that these batteries were 5-times lighter than Lead-Acid alternatives, and they really are! The difference when I was replacing my old ones was instantly apparent, and MAN are these Lithium-Iron batteries easier to lift!
It’s probably because there isn’t an ocean of Sulfuric Acid sloshing around inside, and the plates are much smaller too.
A lighter battery bank does more than just aid your shoulder muscles. Keeping the weight of your vehicle down will mean that you won’t consume as much fuel on the road, and you can use the extra grams to add a couple more shelving units into your conversion instead!
Can They Replace Lead-Acid?
With ease. All you need to do is whip your old batteries out of your system and connect your cables up to your new LiFePO₄ Battle Born Batteries. You should still double-check that your charging sources are lithium compatible before purchasing, however. Talk to the pros at Battle Born if you need any assistance.
Batteries in the UK tend to have round terminals rather than bolt terminals. If you’re replacing bolt terminal batteries, then Battle Born have a bolt terminal adapter that you can screw on to make the transition seamless.
Using Battle Born Batteries With Solar Panels
How Do I Set Them Up?
If you’re running on solar power, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can keep your Battle Born Batteries topped up via the sun wherever you go.
If you are making the switch from Lead-Acid to Lithium-Iron, then there are a couple of changes that you can make to your solar charger controller unit to optimise your battery set up.
Check out the video we found on the Battle Born Batteries YouTube channel which happens to give the exact parameters for our MT50 controller!
Testing In My Camper Van
I received these batteries a couple of days before writing this article. They’ve been installed for just over 24 hours as I write this sentence, and the difference is astounding.
Let me explain.
With the Lead-Acid batteries, charge would start to deplete at around 6.30 pm when the sun did a runner. We would be sitting on around 12.5V, meaning that charging of laptops and phones had to be done in the day, or with a power pack.
With these Battle Born Batteries, we were still on 13.5 at midnight, and the battery icon on our MT50 was still full.
That’s NEVER happened before.
As I’m typing, I’m charging a laptop, an iPad, and a phone. That would make the Lead-Acid’s scream with terror and drop from 13.5V (in the sunshine) to 12.5V. With the Lithium-Iron units from Battle Born, it’s barely using 0.2V.
The change has made alternative living so much easier. We’ve always had to be mindful of energy levels, but with double the power, we can relax a little bit.
Installing them was easy (they fit into the same space as the old batteries) and hooking them up was simple. I’m super impressed with the feel of the units, and they look so cool sitting in our electric box!
Lithium Iron batteries are more expensive than Lead Acid, AGM, and Gel Batteries. But are they worth the money?
Yes, absolutely. 100%.
If you’re serious about van life, living on the road, or alternative living in general, then these Battle Born Batteries are the perfect off-grid companions. They’re made for adventures and built to last.
Every battery comes with a 10-year warranty. That’s how confident they are that you’ll love these units.
Sure, you could buy a cheap Lead-Acid and spend time sitting in the front of your cab with the engine on in winter. But who wants to be doing that when you could be sat in your living area watching Netflix with the heater on?
We want to thank Battle Born Batteries for all of their assistance in sending these units over to the UK for us. The team are amazing, super knowledgeable, and go the extra mile to make sure you’re happy.
Oh, and the units are incredible too!
Click the link in the review at the top of the page to find out more and to build your own Battle Born Batteries power hub!