Now that I have installed and begun my review of the Lion Energy Safari UT lithium iron phosphate (LIFePO4) battery, there have been quite a few questions popping up from my LYRV readers and viewers. Rather than continue to answer the common questions over and over, I’ve decided to publish Q & A type post to consolidate the answers in one place.
First up is a video with me going through the various questions and below that the same in text form. I’ve consulted with the company to make sure my answers are correct. Going forward I’ll update the text portion as newer questions arise and once there are enough I’ll maybe add a second video. Cheers, Ray
*Fair Disclosure* I received the Safari UT batteries free of charge from Lion Energy in exchange for my reviewing them and I’ve become an affiliate earning a commission on sales. However, I’m not sponsored by Lion Energy and receive no direct monetary compensation for the videos and blog posts. Opinions are my own.
Safari UT Battery Q & A Video
*Update* Buy the new higher capacity model Lion Safari UT1300 battery
Save $100 by using the Love Your RV discount code LYRVUT1300
Are the Lion Energy Safari UT Batteries Safe?
Yes. The Safari Battery has a specially designed built BMS (Battery Management System) with safety features such as low/high voltage shutdown, low/high temp shutdown, and short circuit protection. It also utilizes one of the safest lithium battery chemistries called Lithium Iron Phosphate or LiFePO4. Many say the LiFePO4 batteries are actually safer than lead-acid types.
What does Drop-In or Plug n Play mean?
Generally, it refers to a design of lithium batteries can replace the OEM lead-acid type batteries used in most RVs. The Lion Energy Safari UT is near the same dimensions of the small Group 24 size batteries so easily fits into existing battery boxes and bays. Also, because of a sophisticated BMS (Battery Management System), the end-user doesn’t have to worry about things like balancing the lithium cells and carefully monitoring charging/discharging voltage for undercharging and overcharging. The plug-n-play battery will protect itself from any damage.
An example of not a plug-n-play lithium battery would be to buy your own raw lithium battery cells, build them into a pack, design a case, add your own battery management system, balance the cells and make the system safe. Many DIY folks go down this road to save money, but a certain level of technical proficiency is required. Lithium batteries store a massive amount of power. They can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing and if you aren’t careful easily damaged.
Do I Have to Buy Special Chargers?
Many modern inverter/chargers and solar charge controllers can be optimized for the lithium battery by merely adjusting their charging voltage settings. Some already have built-in lithium charge profiles making the task dead simple.
Because of the sophisticated BMS located inside the Safari UT can be charged by most existing OEM lead-acid charger converters. But, with the caveat that using a lithium specific charge converter will reduce charge times and maximize the battery useable energy and life. Most people will choose to upgrade the RV charge converter at the same time.
Can You Install the Battery in Any Orientation?
Yes, they can be installed in any direction, up or down or sideways.
Can the Lion Energy Safari UT be used as a Starter Battery?
No. The Safari UT is a deep cycle storage type battery and not designed for starting vehicles.
Can You Mix New Safari UTs with Older Ones?
Yes, but only in a parallel configuration not in series. Furthermore, all batteries must be of the same capacity, voltage, and chemistry.
Does Letting the Battery Get Too Cold Harm It?
The LiFePO4 cells inside shouldn’t be charged below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0C) or discharged below -4 Fahrenheit (-20C). The BMS inside the Safari UT will automatically shut down charging and discharging before these limits are crossed protecting the battery cells from damage.
Does Storing in High Temperatures Harm the Safari UT?
The Lion Energy Safari UT lists recommended storage temperatures of between -4-113 Fahrenheit (-20 to 45C) For best battery lifespan is advisable to follow the recommendation.
Are Lion Energy Batteries Available in Canada?
Yes, Lion Energy can ship their battery directly to Canada. Let them know you are a Love Your RV! follower for a special discount on the battery and shipping.
Lion Energy Safari UT VS Battleborn 12V 100AH. Differences?
These are the main differences as I see them:
- Lion Energy Safari UT is 20.9 lbs versus 31 lbs for Battle Born and Lion has smaller dimensions. Safari UT – 10.2” x 6.6” x 8.6” BattleBorn – 12.75 x 6.875 x 9
- The Safari UT is made from fewer large prismatic lithium cells versus many small cylindrical cells in the Battle Born.
- The Battleborn has a higher rated capacity at the 100 amp hours usable versus 90 amp hours for the Safari UT.
- Max continuous charging amperage is equal at 100 amps. However, the max continuous discharging amperage is higher with the Safari at 150 amps vs.100 amps for the Battle Born.
What Do They Mean by Lifetime Warranty?
The warranty isn’t the owners lifetime but the rated lifetime of the battery in charge cycles. Unlike some competitors, Lion Energy doesn’t put a time period on them, such as five or ten years. The Safari UT is warrantied for 3500+ full cycles. Meaning they can be 100% discharged and recharged over 3500 times.
What Happens to Warranty if Lion Energy is Out of Business?
Lion Energy and their former parent company have been in business for over 15 years. Lion has been building products for the past decade and has been selling Lithium Power Units for the past 7 years. They don’t intend to go out of business.
For more warranty and battery rating info check out this Lion Energy blog post – Making Sense of Battery Ratings
What’s Inside the Safari UT 1200?
Stay tuned to this LYRV YouTube channel Safari UT Review playlist for future videos. See Testing/Demos blog post and videos