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Lion Energy Safari UT 1300: Complete Review + Pros and Cons

Lion Energy Safari UT 1300 Lithium Ion Battery

In this article we are going to go over the best budget friendly and high quality lithium battery to have hit the market in awhile.  Perfect for replacing old RV batteries, 5th wheel trailer batteries or marine batteries. 

They can act as the main power source for an off-grid solar system or if you need a lithium battery for your van conversion or skoolie conversion then this also a perfect option for you.  We have already gone over the differences between Lithium batteries and their AGM or FLA counterparts in an article that you can read here.  In this piece we will be going over what we believe to be the highest quality and best value for your dollar lithium batteries available today. 

Lion Energy is an American company based out of Utah that has been creating solar products and specializing in making lithium batteries since 2012.  In this article we are going to be diving into their new flagship product; the UT 1300.  A 105Ah lithium battery that is taking the place of their previous best seller the UT 1200.  

The Safari UT 1300 has been designed with RV's, boats, 5th wheelers & Skoolies in mind; that is to say bigger applications.  Since they kept larger applications in mind it has made this battery a perfect option for many types of off-grid solar applications as well.   In what follows we will go over some of the specific's of the batteries and the best ways to use them in the real world. 

Lion Safari UT 1300 Battery Pros:

  • 1. Cycle Life: 3500+ at 100% DOD
  • 2. Weight: 23 lbs
  • 3. Dimensions: 9.8” L x 6.6” W x 8.6” H
  • 4. Shelf Life / Charge Retention: Up to 2 Years
  • 5. Warranty Period:  Limited Lifetime*

1.  Cycle life

The UT 1300 has one of the highest rated lifecycles on the market.  Boasting 3500+ lifecycles at 100% DOD means that you could fully discharge your battery everyday for almost 10 years without a decrease in its capacity.  Most people won't work it that hard so if you used it as most people do, expect to have it last at least 5,000 cycles.  Even past 10 years of daily use or 3500+ cycles you will still retain about 80% of the battery's rated capacity.  The odds are that this battery will last longer than your RV! 

2. & 3. Weight & Dimensions

For the amount of power you get out of these batteries their weight and size is truly incredible. They weigh in at just over 20 pounds and are the same 24 Group Size as other batteries.  Their main competitor weighs 8lbs more, is larger in every dimension and costs nearly $100 more before shipping or taxes. 

4. Shelf Life / Charge retention

Something you will absolutely love about these batteries is how maintenance free they are.  You don't have to deal with fluids (since it doesn't have any) like you would have to with a FLA battery and you don't need to use it or even trickle charge it every 3-4 months either.  You don't even have to remove it from your vehicle to store it for next season.  In fact, the UT 1300 can hold its charge for up to (2) years and be recharged after that time as well.  Of course we recommend using it much more frequently than every (2) years but the option is yours, haha.  

5. Warranty period

One great way to get an idea of the quality of a product and brand is the warranty.   When a company know's they have put out a quality product, they are willing to offer a warranty to reflect that.  Lion Energy is so confident they have created the most reliable battery on the market that they are willing to offer a Lifetime Warranty on their battery.  That's right, a lifetime warranty.  They are so confident in the Safari UT 1300 that they guarantee the battery cells, even under the extreme use of maximum charge and discharge rates, to last at least 3,500 cycles.  That means it will have at least 80% of its cell capacity after all that heavy use and still have capacity to continue on.  The warranty isn't limited to "time" but rather the use and capacity of the cells in the battery.  The only way to void your warranty is to physically damage the battery itself.   

RV & Marine applications:

The most straightforward way to use these batteries is to simply remove the deep cycle batteries that your RV or boat came with and replace it with the UT 1300's.  This is about as plug and play as it gets.  

Van conversion application:

A single UT 1300 is most certainly enough power if you are planning on using minimal devices.  For example, you would be able to run a laptop, USB charger some LED lights and your camera gear no problem.  You could pair that with 100-200 watts of solar panels something in the ballpark of a 500-1000 watt inverter and a 20 amp MPPT charge controller and you have a very robust solar set up for your van.  

Large Boon-docking applications: RV's, Skoolies, Trailers etc

The UT 1300's are also perfect options for larger scale applications.  300+ amp hours of batteries (so 3 units or more) is more then enough power to supply your boondocking needs.  Paired with 750-1000 watts of solar panels a 1500 - 3000 watt inverter and an 80 amp charge controller and you have the perfect off-grid solar set up.  The UT 1300's are a fantastic option for whatever level of power storage you need. 

Lion Safari UT 1300 Battery Cons:

In early 2019 Lion Energy was at the centre of some controversy when a popular Youtuber tested out their previous model; the UT 1200.  He felt that Lion Energy was advertising their battery to be larger than it actually was.  He lamented the fact that the battery was rated as 100 aH but in reality closer to 90aH.  The product tester admired the quality of the battery itself but was dismayed at what he felt amounted to false advertising.  Lion Energy re-tested their units and corrected the mistake, but the damage was done.  Since then, Lion Energy took note everything and with the introduction of their new batteries (UT 1300) the amp hour rating is fully accurate and the batteries have been returning test results that are better than ever.   

Lion Safari UT 1300 Battery Conclusion

Anyone who is planning on using solar energy knows the value of lithium batteries.  There is no debate that Lithium batteries are the best option, the question becomes price point & reliability.  In our opinion, the UT 1300 is the best option on the market right now for both of these categories. 

For the price point of $899 you cant find a better 100aH lithium battery option.   It comes in about $100 cheaper even before taxes & shipping than the 100aH Battle Born & over $200 cheaper than the Re-Lion options as well.  For a battery that is of this quality, we havent been able to find a better option.

If you have any questions about lithium batteries or about the UT 1300's, feel free to reach out to us - info@shopsolarkits.com or by phone at 877-242-2792.

 


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