DIY Lithium Battery Rack for Small RV Compartment – Full Build

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Full Build of Vertical Rack System plus lithium battery installation. Perfect for an RV, camper or van with limited space. BONUS: (1) Connecting four batteries in parallel with bus bars (2) Cutting and crimping large battery cables (3) Cool BLUE compartment lighting.

2:35 Building Rack System
9:30 Cutting and Crimping Battery Cables
11:20 Parallel Wiring of Batteries with busbar

TOUR OUR OFF-GRID RV SOLAR SYSTEM (Pre-Lithium battery install)

Temperature Switch:
Quick Release Clips:

I wanted to do something a little different while upgrading my 450Ah AGM battery bank to 400 Ah of Lithium (LiFePO4) batteries. My list of improvements included making the battery terminals more accessible, making more efficient use of the small space, adding thermostatically controlled heating pads and cool LED lighting. Of course, I needed to keep the batteries secure. For that, I built a custom aluminum frame. I also wanted to make use of spare parts and materials I already had on-hand (heating pads, LEDs, switches). I picked up the aluminum and acrylic from Lowes.

LITHIUM BATTERIES: The lithium batteries I purchased were Battleborn LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) drop-in replacement batteries from Dragonfly Energy. I’ll talk more about why I upgraded from AGMs to Lithium in a later video after I’ve used them for a while.

LITHIUM BATTERIES IN PARALLEL: To get 400 Amp Hours of reserve capacity at 12 volts, I needed to connect the 12 volt batteries in a parallel configuration. I used two 300 amp bus bars mounted on the battery frame with 8 cables of equal length.

All positive battery terminals were connected to one busbar. All negative battery terminals were connected to the other. A cable from the positive battery bus connects the battery bank positive to the RV. A cable from the negative battery bus bar runs to the battery monitoring shunt via the main battery cut off switch.

BATTERY CABLES: Thick #1/0 cable was used for all battery connections. I purchased bulk black and red cable, lugs, and heat shrink then assembled my own cables to the exact lengths I needed.

HEATING PADS and INSULATION: To keep the lithium batteries above freezing, I used heating pads left over from previous projects. I wrapped the rear and bottom with two pads left over from a heated car seat installation. The pads have a high and low setting which is very handy to make adjustments. I wrapped the heating pads in leftover fabric to dissipate the heat, eliminate any hotspots and create a sort of blanket. Between the batteries I used small pipe heating pads stuck to pieces of aluminum to spread out the heat. All four heating pads are powered by an adjustable temperature controlled switch I picked up from Amazon. When heating the whole setup draws only 4 Amps at 12V. Finally, I wrapped the bottom, sides, top and rear with heat shield insulation.

The opinions expressed in our videos are our own or from a contributor. Before taking on any project or making a large purchase, we recommend you do your own research and consult a professional for advice. We are NOT liable for any damage to your RV or injury incurred as a result of following our tips, advice or instructions. We are not RV professionals or certified technicians. We are simply RV owners who work on our own RVs and have a desire to share what we learn with others. Be responsible and know your limits.

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40 replies
  1. John Strasser
    John Strasser says:

    Hey Brian, did you have to change out your converter? I thought that lithium batteries had to be charged differently from lead acid and AGM and a typical RV converter was incorrect for an Li battery. Just wondering.

  2. scrippslarry
    scrippslarry says:

    You sir – are amazing! What a clever bunch of stuff and so beautifully installed! You could really make some money doing these sort of things for people. Sadly, Craftsmanship like yours is a rare thing anymore.

  3. ONEDAD369
    ONEDAD369 says:

    As always great workmanship and info. I have to say thanks, I am doing a battery expansion in my Class A. and its because of your videos and your sharing that I feel confident I can do it myself.

  4. Thomas Kilgore
    Thomas Kilgore says:

    Very impressed. I'm too cheap and lazy to do such a thing, and I'm more of a baling wire and duct tape kind of guy. If I ever decide to change my ways, I'll definitely use your videos as a guide. Keep up the good work. Thanks for the vid. I know how much work it is to shoot and edit, not to mention all the work on the project.

  5. Mustang 390
    Mustang 390 says:

    You do such great work. I have a question about the Battle born batterys. Will they be charging off the alternator ? If so, what kind of a isolator will you use? I just installed the same battery's in a 2019 promaster van and the alternator put out about 14.60 volts and the bim that I tried to use will only charge at 14 or lower volts. So I had to install a D.C. To D.C. Charger and finally got them to charge. In your video, you didn't talk about the charging. I would like you to do a video on that sometime . Thank you for all the great information.

  6. Chuck Potter
    Chuck Potter says:

    Outstanding video as always! I think you should drive around with the cargo hatch open just to show off the blue lights! Pimp'in.. I like the idea of heat pads and auto controller for them. I was thinking of the same rack for my batteries …what do you think of adding some rubber as cushion on the frame? Would it be necessary or not?

  7. dcordero1
    dcordero1 says:

    Hi Brian, as always another great video and install! I don't think I have seen this covered in your other videos but how have all these upgrades affected your RV value when it comes to insurance ?


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