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Old 11-01-2017, 04:46 PM   #81
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eradikate,

I have not been posting about it, but Backcountryguy and I have been going round and round and round with SMB, Lithionics, Underwriters Laboratories, and RVIA. I had hoped to get the matter resolved without going into all the problems, then simply post a positive outcome here. As it is, though, I'm going to ask you to join the email salvos in hopes of strengthening our cause.

RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association) is not a government regulatory agency. It is just a membership of RV makers who voluntarily agree on safety standards. Building to their standards and passing their certification inspections allows most buyers of members' products to get better insurance rates. They require interior batteries to be inside a sealed box, vented to the outside. For lead-acid batteries inside a vehicle, this is an absolute necessity.

Lithionics now actually builds one of their 600Ah Lithium batteries inside a battery box. It has one small vent hole for a vent tube to the exterior. This particular compound of lithium batteries do not, in fact are not even capable of, outgassing, toxic or otherwise (see two attachments of this battery). Many motorhome builders who don't care about RVIA legally install lithiums without the box and without venting. The same is true of yacht upfitters. Many RVIA approved RV upfitters are installing the Lithionics 600Ah battery that is prebuilt into a box with no repercussions thus far from RVIA. The SMB quality control manager and engineers believe this battery still to be out of compliance with RVIA standards; it is their belief that two holes are required of larger diameter, one below and one above, to allow for air circulation within the box, for the sole reason that an RV owner MIGHT POSSIBLY AT SOME FUTURE DATE decide to replace the lithium battery with a lead acid battery. Lithionics believes the box to be in compliance with RVIA standards and has asked RVIA to clarify the issue. I made the initial inquiries with Lithionics, but they did not finally contact RVIA until Backcountryguy also let Lithionics know that he was having the same problem.

I think that the more people who let Lithionics know that they are missing out on tens of thousands of dollars in sales (just from this handful of us discussing the issue on this board), the more urgent it will become to them to get RVIA approval. If nothing else, since this particular battery is already inside a proprietary box which takes up little more volume than the battery inside (most generic battery boxes have flanges and extrusions which greatly increase the required space within the RV) they could probably just give the box the two larger holes for vent tubes.

You could assist us in this endeavor by contacting Lithionics' chief engineer, Stephen Tartaglia, at <lithionicsengineering@outlook.com> and letting him know that you are another customer experiencing this same issue. In fact, Backcountryguy and I invite anyone and everyone else with this concern to do the same. The more they are aware of the issue, the greater will become their motivation to gain explicit RVIA approval, or to modify the box such that RVIA declares compliance. Thanks for helping us.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:35 PM   #82
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eradicate,

Attached is my latest floorpan revision. We have one platform bed between two Flarespace bump-outs. The battery is to be on the marked platform above the wheel well. A smaller bunk is perpendicular to that one, running linearly with the van. Not shown in this particular schematic are:

-upper cabinets above kitchen counter area
-pop-up shelf behind driver
-air compressor under carriage below passenger front seat
-Air Head composting toilet inside water closet
-Bi-fold doors which extend and reconfigure to give leg room when water closet's in use
-Upper bed extends into both Flarspace bump-outs
-Seated on shown battery platform at wheel well height, battery has plenty of clearance between itself and bed.

I have no front or rear Aluminess bumpers nor battery box due to driveway length and HOA rules re. extending into sidewalk. Even Aluminess tire carrier added too much length, but tire carrier on door did fit.

Agile will add Aero aux tank and Warn front winch set inside OEM front bumper. Van Compass will add lift and skid plates. SMB will install Van Compass rock sliders and ladder. SMB will also install Aluminess roof rack and rails with AC, Max Air, 2 solar panels, and roof box. I have to go with stock wheels tires at first, but after lift will hopefully change to BFG KO2 195/75R16.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:01 AM   #83
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Thanks,Tom. Appreciate your explanation of the issues and where things now stand. Will definitely send the email to Stephen. I thought the Winnie Concept Adventure vehicle was going to be for me but when the Revel was finally released they had dropped the whole dual alternator/lithium setup, which is a deal breaker for me. I spent a lot of time crawling in, around and under one at Overland Expo East recently and didn't like the build quality or all the stuff hanging down underneath the chassis either. So now I'm trying to take all the best parts of Fitz's, BCG's and your builds and tweak them to fit my needs to result in a great vehicle I can keep for a long time. Even though I live next door to Indiana I'll probably do the build in Texas. Which reminds me, what do people who live east of the Mississippi do without access to Aluminess, Agile, Van Compass and all the other great shops on the west coast and PNW? Maybe when the time comes I'll have to pick up in Austin and head west!
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:53 PM   #84
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Thanks, everyone, for bird-dogging this! I just sent supporting email to Lithionics...hopefully we will get a solution soon!
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:22 AM   #85
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I got a few emails on this subject from Stephen, the Lithionics engineer, over the weekend. Just wanted to make sure you guys got them as well.
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:00 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eradikate View Post
I got a few emails on this subject from Stephen, the Lithionics engineer, over the weekend. Just wanted to make sure you guys got them as well.
I didn't, but I sure look forward to hearing what he told you! Hopefully, it's promising!
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Old 11-06-2017, 02:50 PM   #87
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Hi Tom,
We have developed a formal technical reply to the new RVIA standard. If the lithium ion battery is in a sealed or inside box to contain the module, and the BMS (battery management system) is located in another box, there is no need to vent the box with the module. If the lithium module is pulled out and lead-acid batteries are put in their place, there is no way for the lead-acid batteries to connect through the electronically controlled BMS cable route. I gave highly detailed answers to eradikate over the weekend, and also sent our formal reply to all Sportsmobile locations. Feel free to contact eradikate and she can give you my email address.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:10 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Lithionics Battery View Post
Hi Tom,
We have developed a formal technical reply to the new RVIA standard. If the lithium ion battery is in a sealed or inside box to contain the module, and the BMS (battery management system) is located in another box, there is no need to vent the box with the module. If the lithium module is pulled out and lead-acid batteries are put in their place, there is no way for the lead-acid batteries to connect through the electronically controlled BMS cable route. I gave highly detailed answers to eradikate over the weekend, and also sent our formal reply to all Sportsmobile locations. Feel free to contact eradikate and she can give you my email address.
Stephen,

Thanks for joining the forum and thanks immensely for your work on all this. I think we could form a fan club for all the people this will make happy.

Tom
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:00 AM   #89
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Lithium Ion Battery Installation and RVIA

I am new to this forum and will attempt to upload 2 attachments that show how to install a lithium ion energy module with no terminals, using a special connector. The module is located in its own compartment, and connects to the BMS mating connector located in another compartment (you want easy access to the BMS as this is where the control switches are.) DC loads are then connected to the terminals on the BMS box. In this way, removal of the lithium module leaves no way to connect lead-acid batteries in that same box, thus complying with RVIA and eliminating the need to support lead-acid vapors and fluid leaks with vent tubes or vent drains. Lithionics Battery. By all means contact our factory in Clearwater Florida for further personal support.
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