There are countless, conflicting and confusing opinions on charging LiFePo4 batteries. We've boiled our advice down to some guidance that isn't too complicated:
• If you want a setup with all the bells and whistles, simply install a Renogy DC-DC charger. That single unit will quickly and properly charge our LiFePo4 batteries from either solar or alternator power, and it’ll also isolate your LiFePo4 battery from your starter battery. Because it’s an all-in-one box, it’s an unbeatable value.
• Traditional battery isolation kits like our AUX-70x kits and the original VW auxiliary battery system, which charge the auxiliary battery at alternator voltage, will charge LiFePo4 batteries relatively slowly and won't always charge them fully. With the state of the market these days, it's a better value just to buy a DC-DC charger than to save a few bucks by using a LiFePo4 battery with a basic isolator.
• Shore chargers with a "LiFePo4 or Lithium" setting work great with these batteries.
• Solar chargers with a LiFePo4 setting will work to charge our LiFePo4 battery.
There are some simple rules to follow for making battery banks with these LiFePo4 batteries:
• These batteries must not be connected in series with each other to create a system at 24V or higher. If an individual battery became unbalanced, its BMS would cause problems.
• These batteries must not be connected in parallel with lead acid batteries unless they're separated while not charging (for example, while using one of our Auxiliary Battery Kits).
• Multiple LiFePo4 batteries can be connected in parallel to make a larger LiFePo4 battery bank – a great option if you’re out camping for long periods of time without charging.
Finally, here’s some smart advice if you’re using a “smart” charger: The onboard BMS in our LiFePo4 batteries is a brilliant failsafe to keep your battery in good shape for a long lifespan. If your battery isn't charging it's likely the over-discharge protection has been engaged. We've seen rare occasions when the BMS's protective features prevented other "smart" electronics, like our ProSport charger, from recognizing the battery and charging it. If your battery seems stuck in a protected state, try using another source to recharge your battery until the protection is unlatched - we've never had problems getting a battery charged back up on a "dumb" 12V charger, or our Auxiliary Battery kits. Once the BMS protection is unlatched, the smart charger will be able to charge the battery again. Take a look at the "Battery Management System Specs" tab to see the set and release points for various protections.
Note: The original, built-in battery chargers in all Eurovan Winnebago Campers are not capable of fully charging this type of battery. Additionally, all Eurovans have a factory "smart" alternator that doesn't steadily put out a high enough voltage to charge a LiFePo4 battery.
Two options to allow LiFePo4 installation in a Eurovan are:
• Use a solar panel and charge controller to charge your LiFePo4 battery, or
• Add a Renogy DC-DC battery charger/controller.
This product incurs an additional handling charge: $6 hazardous material box fee & $35 UPS Dangerous Goods fee