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Thread: Fulltime Campervan dweller, battery selection for headlamp.

  1. #1

    Default Fulltime Campervan dweller, battery selection for headlamp.

    Hello Everyone,

    I plan to retire to fulltime living in a campervan traveling North America shortly. The rig will have plenty of house/coach battery capacity charging off the alternator as well as the solar on top of the roof to recharge my headlamp and various other electronic accessories when needed.

    I currently have a Black Diamond ReVolt that accepts alkaline and also rechargeable batteries. In fact the headlamp can recharge NIMH batteries as well. The Black Diamond branded batteries that came with the lamp were absolute crap and now they will not take a charge so they need replacing.

    I've read multiple reviews on batteries and have narrowed it down to the tried and true Enloop vs. Enloop Pros.

    For a headlamp that currently part of my EDC and doesn't get much usage, but perhaps will once I am living full time in the campervan in a year doing some hikes and needing a light to fumble around my campervan or the campfire, which battery would you recommend?

    - On one hand the Pros will have higher capacity to power the headlamp longer if I get in a pinch during a long hike and need the extra juice/runtime.
    - On the other hand the regular Enloops have more charge cycles. I figure my usage patterns these days are occasional/emergency use, and once fulltiming in the van it will be a 1/2 hour while getting ready for bed in the van, maybe a hour or two of reading with the headlamp on low power or using the red LED, maybe no use at all some nights, and if I'm hiking and I overdue it I may be hiking back to the van at night where run time would be beneficial.
    - On someone else's hand, I've read NIMH only lasts ~5 years anyway. So perhaps the PROs are the way to go if I'm not going to rock a million full charge cycles before they age out anyway?

    Also, what is the best way to ensure long life with NIMH? With my lithium powered cell phones I always only use them down to 20% and recharge to only 80% capacity. Do NIMH react well the same variables or is there a better way to longevity with them?

    Many thanks for any advice!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fulltime Campervan dweller, battery selection for headlamp.

    You're overthinking it. Pro and regulars are both great. Either one will do fine. Personally I prefer the regular Eneloops. How many times per week are you recharging your batteries?

    I'm not sure where you got the "5 years" number from but that isn't the case. NiMH will last pretty much forever. Lithium-ion will fall apart after 3-5 years though.

    You also don't have to worry about depth of discharge. 100% is fine. Going over 100% or below 0% isn't the greatest idea though.

    What are you using for a charger? I'm guessing it will be something 12V compatible?
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Fulltime Campervan dweller, battery selection for headlamp.

    Hrmm... maybe all the reading I've done today is blurring together between lithium and NIMH w/ regards to the 5yr mark.

    As for the charger I was hoping to use the Black Diamond ReVolt flashlight itself for charging. It seems to have some smarts built into it where it will do a reconditioning/"resurrection" cycle if it determines the batteries need it: https://www.blackdiamondequipment.ru...Volt_instr.pdf



    Quote Originally Posted by parametrek View Post
    You're overthinking it. Pro and regulars are both great. Either one will do fine. Personally I prefer the regular Eneloops. How many times per week are you recharging your batteries?

    I'm not sure where you got the "5 years" number from but that isn't the case. NiMH will last pretty much forever. Lithium-ion will fall apart after 3-5 years though.

    You also don't have to worry about depth of discharge. 100% is fine. Going over 100% or below 0% isn't the greatest idea though.

    What are you using for a charger? I'm guessing it will be something 12V compatible?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fulltime Campervan dweller, battery selection for headlamp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bster13 View Post
    As for the charger I was hoping to use the Black Diamond ReVolt flashlight itself for charging.

    One of the annoying things with the Black Diamond Revolt I found was that the battery compartment and the charging system is designed so you have to use the Black diamond branded AAA batteries (without modifications to normal NiMH batteries).

    The difference between normal NiMH batteries like Eneloops and the Black Diamond rechargeables, the bottom negative terminal continues up the side of the BD revolt rechargeables meaning that if you use normal NiMH like Eneloops, the case on the NiMH battery stops it being charged in the unit.


    If you lookup Black Diamond revolt battery on you tube you'll see ways to get normal NiMH batteries to charge in the BD revolt.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fulltime Campervan dweller, battery selection for headlamp.

    Yes that is right. You have to cut off a bit of the wrapper. Use the old cells as a template for where to cut it off. Youtube does show it. Just get some regular eneloops. I don't know which version of the revolt you have but I dont have the newest and mine runs for quite a long time and also has a battery meter on the side with the little led giving you the green yellow red approximation of remaining capacity. I've found it ok in everything but real cold weather where it goes to yellow even fully charged but still runs for quite a while. Just check it befote you go out on a hike and if its in the yellow then charge it while you are prepping your stuff and you'll most likely be just fine. You can always keep a back up pack of aaa's around just in case.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fulltime Campervan dweller, battery selection for headlamp.

    I bring along a dedicated charger even on weekend trips. Though that is for my camera usually

    Living out of a vehicle without a real charger sounds like a bad time. What if you want to use the light and charge at the same time? There are a lot of very inexpensive but decent quality chargers that operate from 5V USB too. Liitokala is my favorite budget charger brand. Car USB adapters are common and you probably already have one.
    Try the largest, fastest, most flexible flashlight search engine: parametrek.com
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