If you’ve been following the Truck Camper Adventure Instagram feed, it’s no secret that the Roadrunner is now sporting a massive, new lithium battery. Called the Expion360 VPR 4Ever Platinum 360, the battery boasts a whopping 360 amp hours in what is probably the smallest battery footprint for this rating in the market. The battery measures only 13.0 x 14.8 x 10.4 inches and weighs a mere 95 pounds.
How was Expion360 able to pack so much power into such a small package? By using 2650 high density, 4,000 milliamp hour cells. Simply put, these higher density cells offer more power than the standard density cell found in other makes of batteries. Putting these higher density cells into a single battery box also means more space for more cells.
If you recall, our previous installation consisted of two Expion360 120 amp hour group-24 VPR PowerMod batteries. These two batteries also featured 2650 high density LiFePO4 cells, but with the limited space under our dinette seat, we only had room for two group-24 batteries. With the new VPR 4Ever Platinum 360, we now enjoy a 360 amp hour battery bank vice a 240 amp hour battery bank, a 33 percent increase in total capacity. With the 100 percent usable capacity that most lithium batteries enjoy, our battery bank provides even more amp hours than six 6 volt golf cart batteries. Now you can see why we are excited to have this battery in our camper.
As you can see from the photos, our new Expion360 VPR 4Ever Platinum 360 battery is a perfect fit with very little wasted space under our dinette seat. During the installation, we also took the time to install a solar power cut-off switch.
Aside from having a bigger, more powerful battery, our new Platinum 360 battery features an improved Battery Monitoring System (BMS) that features a low-temp discharge and charge auto-shutoff to prevent damage in freezing temperatures. The temperature shutoff controls are controlled internally through a microprocessor in the BMS, which receives data through a temperature probe in the battery pack. Low and high voltage cutouts, short circuit protection, and overcurrent disconnect are also managed by Expion360’s BMS. Not only that, but Expion360’s BMS incorporates a bolted design that creates one cohesive pack internally.
Unlike other makes of lithium batteries, all Expion360 batteries feature a removable and serviceable Battery Management System (BMS). The BMS also been designed to be the protective link between the individual cells of the battery. If damaged, the BMS can be replaced more easily, and with less expense, than the lithium cells. This translates into a greater savings if a problem were ever to arise with the battery at some point in the future.
Why Go Lithium?
What makes the lithium battery so great for off-grid adventures? We already touched upon the biggest benefit—the 100 percent usable capacity—but the lithium battery offers so much more. Not only does the lithium battery weigh less than the lead acid battery, about 50 percent less, but it also provides a higher current and voltage output. It also charges faster because it can be bulked charged to 100 percent and isn’t constrained by the limitations of Peukert’s Law. It also lasts longer than a standard lead acid battery or AGM battery (between 2,000 and 5,000 cycles), and doesn’t suffer from voltage sag like a lead-acid battery. Better yet, the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry, now used in most lithium batteries, offers greater dependability and safety compared to the basic lithium-ion battery chemistry, which can sometimes catch fire when overcharged or when other problems occur.
Stay tuned as we provide a formal review of this battery in six months.