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2017 136” HR
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My recent cold weather trip was tame in comparison to what ur dealing with. But two things worked for me. 1. A throw rug on the floor. My Floor is FREEZING, no matter how much heat the heater throes out. And 2. a heated mattress pad. I kept that on all night. The heater made the cab too hot so I kept getting up to turn it off. So finally I just left it off:
Can’t you just crack your skylight or roof vent and leave the heater running if it gets too hot?
 

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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Thermostat is a Webasto option, but bad things can happen if it's not run full on. I made sure the rheostat was accessible from the bed.

We encountered bitterly cold weather on the way home from Kip's this week. On the way up, we stayed at a rest stop and an Applebees, so I covered windows. On the way back, we found a little secluded empty park, so I didn't cover anything. We were able to plug in our nominal 1500w electric heater—I say nominal because it is >30 years old. 18° outside, 56° inside overnight, which was perfect sleeping. Webasto when we were up and about could only maintain 67°.
It's freezing here now. Luckily I emptied the water. The batteries are "smart" and supposedly have heat protection. The van is closed down until after the holidays. Fingers crossed everything survives.
 

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2021 Silver ProMaster 159
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398 Posts
The batteries are "smart" and supposedly have heat protection. The van is closed down until after the holidays. Fingers crossed everything survives.
If it is going to be below 23 degrees for a week or so, I'd disconnect the batteries and bring them inside the house.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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If it is going to be below 23 degrees for a week or so, I'd disconnect the batteries and bring them inside the house.
Hi Dennis,
I suspect this is going to start a discussion :)
Seems a bit conservative, but I'm guessing you have a good source.

My new Li batteries just went through a couple weeks of night lows down to -8F sitting out in the van.

Gary
 

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Hi Dennis,
I suspect this is going to start a discussion :)
Seems a bit conservative, but I'm guessing you have a good source.
My new Li batteries just went through a couple weeks of night lows down to -8F sitting out in the van.
Gary
Thanks Gary! No evidence of any issues?
Dennis
 

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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If it is going to be below 23 degrees for a week or so, I'd disconnect the batteries and bring them inside the house.
His is what Renogy said:

The 12V 100Ah Smart Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery you purchased does not have a self-heating feature, but it does have a low temperature protection feature. If you keep the battery in your van in winter, the battery will not be damaged if you keep the storage temperature from -13 to 149°F / -25 to 65°C.


How to keep a Lithium-iron Phosphate battery healthy at low temperatures?
A Lithium-iron Phosphate battery will not charge and enters a low-temperature protection stage if the charging environment is below 32°F(0°C ). If you buy
this Renogy Lithium-iron Phosphate battery without a self-heating function, please pay attention to timely charging it at the appropriate temperature to
prevent the battery from overdischarging. Safe charging requires battery temperatures between 32°F and 131°F (0°C and 55°C). By minimizing exposure to
conditions that accelerate degradation, Lithium-iron Phosphate batteries can last longer.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Thanks Gary! No evidence of any issues?
Dennis
Hi,
I've used them a little bit after the cold snap (which set a couple of daily records), and no problems, but I'll give them a little more of a workout in the next few days when temps get back up to 40 ish.

When I was looking online to see if I should make the batteries easy to take out in cold weather, I saw lots of opinions.
Some saying don't worry about it, I saw 4F mentioned several times as the point where one should take them in. A couple of mentioned that the ill effect was that the ABS case might crack in the cold - which was a bit hard to believe?

I guess I've made myself a test case?

Agree 100% with @Lolaeliz that Li batteries should not be charged below 32F. I'm just wondering about storage.
I'm a bit sorry I did not wait just a little longer to get my SOKs, as they came out with the heated ones just a bit after I bought mine .

Gary
 

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Van #2 2021 EXT
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5,760 Posts
Hi,
I've used them a little bit after the cold snap (which set a couple of daily records), and no problems, but I'll give them a little more of a workout in the next few days when temps get back up to 40 ish.

When I was looking online to see if I should make the batteries easy to take out in cold weather, I saw lots of opinions.
Some saying don't worry about it, I saw 4F mentioned several times as the point where one should take them in. A couple of mentioned that the ill effect was that the ABS case might crack in the cold - which was a bit hard to believe?

I guess I've made myself a test case?

Agree 100% with @Lolaeliz that Li batteries should not be charged below 32F. I'm just wondering about storage.
I'm a bit sorry I did not wait just a little longer to get my SOKs, as they came out with the heated ones just a bit after I bought mine .

Gary
Hi @GaryBIS

I for one appreciate all your testing of products. It is very helpful to read of the results & consider “the design”.

IIRC your SOKs have a metal case. My 2018 up in Whitehorse @ nearly -50C had the ABS skins shatter due to thermal contraction & no slip-joint/ fastener detail ,,, I just did not consider I would ever be in those extreme temperature swings (& I wasn’t). An ABS battery case cracking? Maybe.

I pulled my Rolls out of my cabin ,,, expect -20C ish ,,, but that is situational. The AGMs fully charged can handle colder than that, but they would rely upon Solar & the panels might not work under 2 or 3 feet of snow. If it was short term (1 month), I would not have any reservations, but 5 to 6 months, I’m not going to take the chance.

My Van AGMs never get taken out. The van also does not normally sit for more than a week, & never more than a month. If my van sat in extreme cold for months, I would probably remove them because I would perceive it to be safer for them.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi Gary, if you were buying batteries today, which ones would you get?
Hi,
I'd go for two the new SOK 100 amp-hr with heaters for cold weather

The ones I have are basically the same SOKs, but no heater.
They only added a few bucks to the price for the heater and (to us) it would definitely be worth havig.

We have been happy with them, and they get good reviews. There is a long thread on them on the forum: SOK Lithium Batteries
They have a contingent in the US and they answer email question promptly.

I like the metal case and the easy disassembly and very much like that the BMS can be replaced if it goes out. To me, the BMS is the most likely thing to go out, and if you can't replace the BMS, the battery is scrap.

Gary
 

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2019 Promaster 3500 Silver high top 159"
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From Renogy for their LiFePO4 batteries:

TEMPERATURE PARAMETERS
Standard Operation Temperature: 25℃±5℃
Storage Temperature: -13~149℉ / -25~65℃
Charge Temperature: 32~131°F/ 0~55°C
Discharge Temperature: -4~140°F/ -20~60°C

These are conservative numbers applicable to any LiFePO4 battery:

Don't overthink the issue. Storage at high temperatures is the primary calendar aging parameter. High SOC (i.e. high terminal voltage) is contributing, but unless you float the battery at 14.6v you are not going to notice the effect. Storage cool and anything less than 100% SOC (e.g. 13.3v) is going to be fine.

I don't know about charging when cold. My charger refuses to charge when it is 32 or lower. The batteries always report 4-9f warmer, but that makes sense since they are a large insulated thermal mass. That has only happened once Fun with Home Assistant and Renogy electronics
 

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My Van is reasonably insulated; however I sometimes find myself in zero temperatures in the Northeast. When this happens my furnace runs constantly. I have a curtain of warm window material separating the cab from the cabin that helps a great deal - although it was pain to make. I have two sleeping bags that I was thinking of hanging on the rear doors to add additional insulation. I also have a set of blackout curtains that I could hang instead of the sleeping bags. It seems obvious that the sleeping bags would be better...but I thought I would seek the wisdom of the group.
If you have 300 watts of solar on the roof, I wonder if a 200 watt electric heater would help. In sun, you'd break even for the most part. If you have a B2B charger, your batteries would recharge faster. You'd need some big batteries to make it through a cold night. For example, 600AH of batteries would be able to run a 200 watt heater for about 30 hours before killing the batteries.
 
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