GEAR TESTED: REMCO LITHIUM DEEP CYCLE 200AH
“The rich man looks at value, not price. The poor man buys everything twice.”
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Call it thermodynamics or just the brutal economy of the universe at work, but nobody rides for free. So it goes with batteries for touring. You can get batteries for your 4WD for $250, but I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be drinking warm beer at some point, and replacing that battery a few times before you get sick of it and finally upgrade.
Lithium batteries have revolutionised the touring market in a way that I don’t think anything else has in recent memory. I recently swapped out a massive AGM in Dunes for the Remco 200Ah lithium, and what it costs in dollars was swiftly recouped in performance and weight.
I picked that size for a couple of reasons: it fit into exactly the same footprint as my old 270Ah AGM, and it increased my useable amperage by over 40%.
In terms of the physical product, the Remco is solid. It weighs a mere 25kg. That’s a one-arm lift for me, compared to the whole body shaking 75kg lift to get the AGM out.
The threaded terminals were perfect for my long term install in a custom-built shelf behind the passenger seat in the troopy.
Inside is where things really stack up.
I’d had the new battery sitting in Qld for a couple of months while Dunes was in WA having adventures. When they finally met, I checked the Bluetooth app for the Remco, which is simple and runs flawlessly, and was pretty surprised to see the battery was still sitting at 98% power.
The Remco app basically lets me see not just the capacity and state of charge, but provides real time monitoring of battery temp, voltage, current flow, cycles and cell health.
After a few months on the road using the new battery, and I tried to give it a proper flogging, I have to say it is the most useable, plug and play lithium that I’ve used. In a world where Bluetooth still seems like a black art for many manufacturers, the Remco Lithium app always connects straight away and is super easy to use.
I pushed the charge state down to 1% a couple of times to see what would happen, running twin 95L fridges and my inverter for a day solid, and each time the battery let me go that low before disconnecting loads, and then charged right back up once I started the car or the generator. So I was getting legitimately over 99% of capacity out of this thing with zero issues. And after three months, the battery health is still perfect with the full 200Ah capacity.
I’ve heard that lithiums do lose some capacity after many cycles, but I’m not seeing that degradation yet.
Travelling up and down the Western Australian coastline, the lithium was subjected to some fairly extreme temps, from almost freezing down south to well over 50 degrees in the truck parked in the sun, with zero issues.
I have a storied relationship with 12V systems. I’ve somehow killed batteries of every description, from starters to AGMs to lithiums, particularly in their early days. And I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by just how invisible this new battery has been in my system.
The only problem I have now is deciding between running 50kg lighter in the troopy, or adding five slabs of beer to my packing list.