By Katy Allen
5 minute reading time
Over the past seven years, we’ve honed our nomadic lifestyle to a science, thanks in large part to our 40′ Forest River Cardinal camper, powered by Dakota Lithium Batteries. This remarkable vehicle has become the linchpin of our “on the road” existence, streamlining our frequent relocations due to work commitments. It goes without saying, we’ve seen our fair share of issues and troubles. It takes a lot of moving parts and continued education to stay ahead of this non-traditional way of living, but we have made it our own and we love what we do.
Similar to the upkeep of a traditional home, maintaining a camper demands attention. For us, one of the top priorities is ensuring reliable battery power. Imagine this, it’s 10:30 pm and you find yourself traversing the seemingly endless stretches of I-59 in Mississippi. With minimal lighting and even fewer exits, and sudden tire blowout creating a nightmarish scenario. Inconvenient. We’ve experienced it firsthand, but thanks to our pre-planning and good fortune, we managed to reach the nearest truck stop and comfortably spent the night in our RV until we could address the tire issue the next day. Unexpected issues on the road are a pain, but with preparation and the backbone of our power bank, home is where the truck is. Pull in, park, and slides are out.
You might be wondering how it’s possible to be “comfortable” in a truck stop parking lot without RV hookups. Well, our careful planning and equipment selection didn’t happen by chance. Our camper is powered by what we consider one of the finest lithium batteries available—Dakota Lithium Batteries. These batteries offer double the power, half the weight, and a fivefold charging speed compared to traditional ones. What’s more impressive is Dakota Lithium offers an 11-year warranty!
Having this perfect battery bank of power in our home has transformed our RV experience. Now, we can extend our slides, watch TV, run the heater, and cook a meal without having the need to seek a 50-amp power source. This has greatly improved our comfort, whether we’re parked at a truck stop or in a remote campground.
Lithium battery power makes camping without hookups a breeze, providing all the amenities and comforts of home for you and your family to enjoy. The convenience we have experienced since having installed our Dakota Lithiums (4 – Dakota Lithium 12V 200Ah’s), its so, so nice and carefree. We can watch our favorite Netflix show while the spouse grills, without worrying about limited power or cramped living spaces. Its simply, bliss.
While there is a price difference between lithium and lead batteries, the performance gap is significant. Traditional lead batteries offer less usable energy and a higher rate of discharge compared to lithium, which utilizes 100% of its rated capacity regardless of discharge rate. This translates to more power without compromising battery life. In other words, you’ll be replacing lead acid batteries over five times more frequently than lithium batteries. Additionally, lithium batteries maintain a flat discharge rate, providing consistent power, unlike lead acid batteries that experience voltage drops.
The conversion process is relatively straightforward. Dakota Lithium batteries use the same connections as lead acid batteries, making the transition seamless. Selecting the right battery for your RV and seeking guidance from a local Dakota Lithium dealer are crucial initial steps. When replacing the battery, ensure that the power switch to the lead acid battery is off and the RV is unplugged from shore power to prevent accidents.
Consider relocating the battery to an interior, secure storage area to regulate temperature and prevent theft. This move also frees up outdoor space for useful additions, such as a tongue box. If you decide to move the battery, protect the cables by running them underneath the camper and shielding them with durable materials, like plexiglass or cut-up tires.
Extending your cables is a simple process involving stripping insulation, attaching terminals, and using shrink wrap for protection. After attaching the leads to your new lithium battery, switch on the power and confirm that your lights are functioning. Congratulations! You now have one of the most reliable power systems for all your boondocking adventures and beyond.
When it’s a frigid January night in Arkansas or you’re stuck at a Mississippi truck stop in October with no hookups, you’ll be grateful for your Dakota Lithium batteries powering your heater or air conditioner. These batteries keep you comfortable as you pull the blinds and indulge in TV entertainment while planning your next adventure.
Whether you’re new to RV ownership or a seasoned traveler, making the switch from lead to lithium is a game-changer. With Dakota Lithium’s exceptional warranty, you won’t find a better battery value on the market. Power your passion, whatever that is. For us camping is where the adventure begins, and Dakota Lithium leads the journey. So until next time, Charge up, hit the road, and stay safe!
Assistant Trainer – Tom Amoss Racing
CEO – Concierge Horse Transportation