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When Stef started her Winnebago EKKO Owners and Wannabes group, one of the things I noticed right away was that not many people knew about the Lithionics system that Winnebago was offering in the EKKO. Everybody seemed to know about the Volta system though, and were trying to compare the two. Stef and I are unique. We have actually had a Lithionics system installed in Lance for about 4 years now, and we also camped in a rig with a Volta system for about 9 months. Since we’re the only ones I know of who have lived with both systems, I sat down and started writing and writing. The end result is this video. It came out kind of like a seminar!
The video is a bit long, at almost 40 minutes. But that’s OK. There’s a lot of information in it. I break things down topic-by-topic and try to make this information accessible to everyone, regardless of their experience level with RV lithium technology. I won’t put a transcript of the whole video here, but if there’s just one section you’re interested in, then you can find those below.
Battery Chemistry 3:07
Though the batteries are both “lithium” batteries, they’re chemically different. I break down the differences for you.
Battery Voltage 6:56
One of these systems is a nominal 48 volt system, and the other is a 12 volt system. Does it matter?
Battery Capacity 11:18
The systems offered by Winnebago have different capacities. How much do you need? Can you expand them later? Answers here.
The Alternators 17:42
The main source of charging for both of these systems is a second alternator. Learn about both of them here.
The Inverter/Chargers 21:53
Inverter/chargers handle both creating 120v alternating current AND charging the battery bank. How do these differ between the two systems?
System Management Software 28:20
Keeping all the components working together requires some programming. The two systems take very different approaches to this “traffic cop” software. Learn what those are in this section.
Only you can decide what’s right for you. But I try to offer a couple examples of our thinking and how our RV lifestyle relates to these systems in this wrap up. In the end, it’s not like you really have a choice – because certain systems are only available in certain rigs. But at the end of this video, you should at least know what you’re getting.
If I were to boil the whole thing down to just a few bullet points each, I’d summarize the main advantages of the Volta system like this:
And I’d summarize the advantages of the Lithionics system like this:
And Finally – the Links!
I mention in the video that I’d provide links for each of the spec sheets or articles I’ve referenced, in case you want to check them out yourself. Here they are:
Battery University Lithium Chemistry Comparison:
Volta Battery Module Sizes:
Lithionics Battery Data:
Volta Alternator Specs:
Balmar Alternator Specs:
Volta Inverter/Charger Specs:
Xantrex Inverter/Charger Specs:
So… questions? Comments? I’m sure there will be lots and lots of discussion on this, so sound off in the comments below.
Correction: Initial Travato models had a 6000W alternator. As of 12/02/2020, the alternator offered by Volta on the Travato is an 8000W alternator.