Winnebago Power – Comparing it to Our 20k Electrical System

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If you’ve followed us for a while, you probably know that I installed a rockin’ 20,000 Watt-Hour electrical system in our Number one a few years ago.  And if you watched our video last week, then you also know that Winnebago’s new Revel includes their PowerMax electrical system, which is also pretty cool.  So when Winnebago asked us to help explain their Winnebago Power architecture, I couldn’t resist comparing it to our own 20k system.  How do they stack up?  Watch the video!


I love our 20k system, and I have complete confidence in it because I built it out myself.  But I have to be honest, there are some capabilities in the PowerMax system that I really wish I had.

Crazy Fast Charge Rates

Our 20k system is built around a 12 volt battery bank.  The PowerMax system is built around a 48 volt battery, which allows it to provide insanely fast charge rates.  How fast?  Like over 7,000 watts at cruise – which is literally twice as much as I’ve ever been able to achieve.  Basically, charging 48 volts at 7,000 watts requires about 150 amps of current.  That’s a lot, but it’s manageable.  To charge a 12 volt battery at 7,000 watts would require around 500 amps of current, which would require ludicrously large cables to manage safely.  So I’m sort of at the limit of what I can do with 12 volts.

Space and Weight Savings

The 20k system loses this battle.  The EcoFlow Power Hub Pro that’s part of the PowerMax system is one smallish box that takes the place of several boxes in Number One.  This nets a savings in both weight and space.  And I could always use more space in our RV.

Reduced Complexity

One of the things I noticed about the PowerMax system is that with fewer components and connections… there are fewer places that things can go wrong.  Fewer points of failure is always a good thing!


I won’t say I’m on the verge of selling Number One or anything like that.  But after getting to know PowerMax a bit better, I won’t completely write off the prospect of a 48 volt conversion project somewhere down the line…


James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    28 thoughts on “Winnebago Power – Comparing it to Our 20k Electrical System

      1. James - Post author

        Not sure what you’re asking here. On our own 20k system, yes, I could mount a DC to DC converter box in any number of places. The Winnebago PowerMax doesn’t need one, because it is already included in the EcoFlow unit.

    1. Richard

      Exciting times in power indeed. So, this looks like the first step in Lithionics, now owned by Winnebago, in offering a complete 48V solution. I’d have to believe that Lithionics R&D budget includes the development and testing of a replacement for the EcoFlow unit. Thus, allowing Winnebago/Lithionics to offer a complete solution.

      What I don’t remember being discussed in the video was the size and location of the 48V Lithionics battery. We did see your 12V system, which BTW, is seriously impressive (pardon me, a bit of drooling envy to clean up).

      I think you have opened an opportunity for another video and discussion. What would it take right now to mod a 12V system to 48V. Would EcoFlows home 48v system even be a viable solution?

      Will EcoFlow be allowed to sell the unit they are providing Winnebago to the public? Is it a special design only for Winnebago?

      Thanks for another great video. Very well done.

      1. James - Post author

        In the Revel, the Lithionics battery are on the drivers side, in the rear, underneath the bed.
        As far as EcoFlow offering the Winnebago-developed unit to the public, I have to think Winnebago would have guarded against that.
        And as far as a 12 to 48v conversion. If I decide to do a video on that one, you can watch it happen!

      1. James - Post author

        We don’t have any information on that. Given the redesign the EKKO electrical system has had, I’d expect it to stay stable for at least a little while. But I would not be surprised to see a system like this in the EKKO down the line.

    2. Rob

      I can see where higher voltage systems can be more efficient in many ways (size of wiring just to name one thing!), but I also see a potential issue. Since so many components are 12 volt in an RV, you would need a DC to DC converter on all the time to power pretty much anything, which I assume uses power, which means all those “watts’ you have are really not being used to power your appliances but instead to power the converter.
      In our RV, everything is 12 volt except for the outlets and anything plugged into them (the TV antenna and the microwave). Everything else is 12 volt, including TV, fridge and the power hog air conditioner. We rarely need the inverter on to go from 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC, so save a huge amount of power not wasting it on having the inverter on all the time.
      The only real advantage I can see in higher voltage systems is how long it takes to charge the battery. Since we have a separate alternator for that, each time we drive, we charge up anyway so are always at 100% whenever we stop for the night. Is there some other real advantage I’m missing in higher voltage systems that offset the wasted energy powering converters? Thanks for any info!

      1. James - Post author

        I won’t tell you you’re wrong, because every time you change energy from one form to another, there will be losses.
        I think you’re putting too much on emphasis on the losses from converting to DC, and not enough emphasis on the benefit of faster charging.
        Although, in your case, if you have a 12 volt air conditioner, then I can understand your concern.
        Very few people are in that boat with you, though.
        For most people, even a wildly inefficient DC-DC converter wouldn’t be noticed due to normally small DC loads.

        And with our own system, which is 12v, literally the only thing I wish for would be faster charging.

        1. Rob

          Thanks for the prompt response. Makes sense and I can see if there are a lot of 120v appliances it wouldn’t really matter that much. My concern was leaving converter/inverters on all the time. My inverter, with everything else off, uses about 1.8 amps just being on. Not a major concern with 782 usable amps, but still… power is power.

    3. Joe McGuire

      I’ve been slowly replacing Volta components with Victron, and it’s taken a lot of reverse engineering to do it piecewise while maintaining Volta’s controls and safety. I want something I can maintain myself, as things seem to always break on Friday and there’s never support over the weekend. The Ecoflow is great for those that aren’t going to troubleshoot electrical issues. I’d be curious to know the standby power specs as the stock Volta inverter drew over 100W compared to 9W by the multiplus-ii I replaced it with. I’d personally prefer commodity off the shelf components that I can troubleshoot and get quick replacements. Surprised you don’t have a cerbo and nerd out on VRM telemetry data.

      1. James - Post author

        The standby load (which we also clocked at 100W) was one of the main improvements we wanted during our time with the Volta system. I don’t have the standby power number for the EcoFlow, and I couldn’t find it, but that would be great to know.

        For us, the Cerbo would be fun, but I just don’t see it being anything other than a toy for me. (Not that that’s not cool… I have lots of toys.)

    4. Ara Kasarian

      Hi James

      Have you heard any rumblings that maybe in the future Winnebago may use this battery system in the Ekko?

    5. carlos armas

      somebody might have mentioned this already, but when it comes to wiring you forgot to compare the actual size of the wiring of 12v system vs a 48V system, the actual gauge as you know is a lot smaller on a 48V system

      1. James - Post author

        I didn’t mention it specifically, but I did touch on it when I was under our van. 12v cabling capable of safely handling 7000 watts would be unmanageably large, so you’ll not ever likely see a 12v 7000W alternator.

    6. Justin Christie

      Was very surprised to see the Winnebago PowerMax system not being used on the 2025 Sprinter EKKO 23B, which I assume is coming next year. I also wonder if they will drop Volta in favor of this on the Travato lineup next year. I do miss ~9,000 watt charging on my Travato GL, but I actually prefer the self serviceable and upgradable options on the 12v Lithionics system in my EKKO

    7. jeff

      I have some thoughts regarding 48v ecostructure and was wondering what your thoughts might be regarding it too. The first is charging. 48v is nice as far as being below the low voltage threshold and being able to use significantly smaller wiring but once it needs to be charged then we have now gotten above that threshold and are using high voltage. I haven’t yet taken a trip down the rabbit hole but with 48VDC and reduced current needed to reach wattage for a high power inverter like the unit you are using would you still need to use class T fusing to reach ampacity ratings? ALso I agree with one of the other comments regarding a preference for seperate equipment – MPPT charger, DC/DC chargers, etc. rather than everything contained in a single unit. Especially once everything is out of warranty.

      1. James - Post author

        Fusing for safety is still required, and in the Revel we saw, there was a large fuse block underneath the passenger seat (didn’t see what it went to though).

        As far as the separate components thing… I get the argument, but I wonder if it’s not just about EcoFlow in general. I mean, if Victron made an all-in-one inverter/charger/DC-DC Converter/MPPT… people would be all over it! It would be the greatest thing since alternating current! Right? They probably said the same thing when they put an inverter and a converter in the same box.

        It seems to me that if you trust the manufacturer to make a quality product, with reasonable controls in their factory, then you trust them. And whether they put 5 things in 1 box or 5 things in 5 boxes isn’t that big of a distinction anymore, because you trust they know what they’re doing.

        Time will tell on the EcoFlow. Will they have thermal issues under heavy constant load? Will the (somewhat odd) input and output connections be trouble free and reduce problems in the long run? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

    8. DB

      Victron is a low frequency inverter, while Ecoflow is a high frequency model. Volumetrically, 5-in-1 of high frequency design (smaller magnetics and capacitors) takes approximately the same volume as 5 separate boxes, you didn’t mention that Ecoflow is bigger than it seems in pictures. Points of failure are similar, just hidden all in one box, if solar part fails you’d be replacing the whole unit, including the inverter, possibly waiting or going without an important function while waiting for replacement, where with separate units you’d only replace what’s failed. Then there’s cooling issues, you cram 5 power conversion circuits in one box with limited air flow, not as efficient as placing 5 boxes around different places with more air around. For every PRO there is a CON.

      1. James - Post author

        There are pros and cons to every design, to be sure.
        If I had to take my RV to a service center though, I think I’d rather have them just replace one whole box, rather than try to do any sort of troubleshooting between multiple components.

    9. Ian

      I’ve been eyeing the Ecoflow setup for DIY van build and liking what I see. It’ll be awhile yet, so new things could show up. Hopefully that’ll include more options for 48V air conditioner units. Or better yet, a 48V heat pump!

      1. Kelly

        The 48 V AC option is already available! 🙂
        I have the ecoflow 15kWh kit in my van, and just had the new Nomadic Cooling X3 48 volt air conditioner installed on the roof last month. There is a proprietary cable that has to be purchased from ecoflow that is used to connect the AC unit to the power hub. It looks just like the cables that run from the batteries to the power hub. This cable displaces one of your battery cables when you want to use the air con. So in my case, I only have 10,000 watts of power available, instead of 15,000, when I have the air con plugged in.

    10. Claude Cartee

      Thanks for your detailed explanations about how things work.

      Could you comment about what happens when things don’t work and how to monitor operations?

      Specifically, what apps and remote access is available to owners and manufacturer to diagnose and isolate issues? Can everything be done from the app(s)? Or do you need access into individual components to observe LED status lights?

      And finally, will Winnebagos new power system be integrated into the Winnebago app?

      1. James - Post author

        I’m afraid I can’t answer your questions as well as I’d like. That would require us to take it on a test camp. (Not that we’re opposed to that, in case anyone at Winnebago is listening!)
        Based on the little bit of tinkering I was able to do, it seemed like all of the functions of the EcoFlow could be accessed from its panel. I didn’t see anything that would require access to the unit itself. Didn’t get to try the app, so I don’t know if it has feature parity with the control panel.
        Right now, the power system has a separate control panel. But I have to think integrating with Winnebago Connect will be a goal at some point.
        In order to integrate with the Winnebago connect ecosystem, the EcoFlow would, I believe, need to support RV-C, and it does not seem to right now.

      1. James - Post author

        Well, given enough time and money, I’m sure anything is possible.
        But it certainly wouldn’t be an easy swap, and certainly not plug and play.

    11. Gene

      Very interesting information. Tesla’s Cybertruck is 48v, if I’m correct.

      Does this mean that Volta systems may be on the outs for Winnebagle?

      I’ve toured Volta’s factory and they are top shelf, great people, too…

      1. James - Post author

        I don’t have any insider information on Winnebago’s plan for their Volta-powered coaches.
        But since Winnebago corporate now owns Lithionics Battery… I’d gamble there might be some changes somewhere down the line.


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