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Old 09-05-2017, 10:48 AM   #1
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2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Santa Barbara , California
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Help

I bought a 2015 Sprinter/airstream coach, lounge version and we love it. The problem we are having is management of the battery and all of the internal amenities.

As a matter of disclosure, we don't really use this for camping, at least not yet, and really use it to travel with our family.

We drive it most places on weekends that includes mostly local with once a month extended driving. The direction we got when we took delivery was to plug it in every so often if we were not going to be using it. Fast forward one year and 10,000 miles and everything is slowly dying as we travel.

My question is how do I prevent all of the great amenities from dying due to a lack of power? For instance, we spent 8 hours on the road from Santa Barbara to Henderson. Leading up to our trip I had it plugged in for a few days as we had been advised to from our sales crash course from the dealer. They had previously advised us to not utilize the generator while driving. As we drove slowly everything dropped off including the tv, PS4, and even the in dash radio.

Any direction as to the best way to travel and preserve the function would be greatly appreciated. One big time problem is also keeping the back of our coach cool, was 110 in Vegas the whole weekend we were there.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:21 AM   #2
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Battery management is covered in a lot of threads. The most common problem is running the inverter. Simple answer is don't do it. Next most common problem is running the batteries down below 12V on a regular basis, this wears them out quickly.

First suggestion: Get your batteries tested, they may be worn out.

Second suggestion: Charge for at least two hours a day (shore or generator) when not on the road.

Third suggestion: Run your heavy loads when the generator is operating.

Yes, this could be a bit more specific, a lot depends on exactly what you are running and when.

Bob
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:24 AM   #3
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2006 22' Interstate
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The coach batteries should charge while driving, correct?

Sounds like something is switched off or disconnected, to me.

Maggie
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Old 09-05-2017, 02:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Beauty View Post
For instance, we spent 8 hours on the road from Santa Barbara to Henderson. Leading up to our trip I had it plugged in for a few days as we had been advised to from our sales crash course from the dealer. They had previously advised us to not utilize the generator while driving. As we drove slowly everything dropped off including the tv, PS4, and even the in dash radio.

Any direction as to the best way to travel and preserve the function would be greatly appreciated. One big time problem is also keeping the back of our coach cool, was 110 in Vegas the whole weekend we were there.
House batteries should charge from the engine alternator while you're driving, and from rooftop solar as long as you're in the sun, including when you're driving.

If the house batteries are dying on the road, you may be running too much at one time, especially if some of it is 120vAC through the inverter. The alternator may be charging the batteries but not fast enough to keep up with the drain from the appliances in use.

It may also/instead be that the relay known as the BIM (Battery Isolation Manager) is not allowing the house batteries to connect to the chassis electrical system to charge from the alternator.

Your dealer is wrong about one thing: you can run the generator on the road, as long as you have enough propane on board and it has the proper amount of oil. The generator has a low-oil shutoff that can be fooled into thinking the oil is too low if you're driving a lot of steep grades, if the generator crankcase is even slightly low to begin with.

But if you run the generator on the road, the rear-seat passengers will need to use headphones to watch television or play videogames, because they'll be sitting right on top of the generator and it's LOUD when you're sitting on top of it.

Each new Interstate model has more electrical gizmos installed than the previous model, but house battery capacity never increases from one model year to the next. So the newer the van, the less time you have between battery recharges, all other things being equal.
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:04 PM   #5
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2005 39' Skydeck 390 SD
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If you in Nevada stop by at Battle Born Batteries and invest in lithium batteries the last longer don't get damaged if discharged and provide more power.
As Pro said running the generator driving is no problem and with a muffler the noise is acceptable but running the AC will be noisy.
Power Managment all depends on what you doing with your Interstate. I went through several batteries. If you have a Magnum inverter/charger you can leave it plugged in the charger will adjust. If you cannot keep it plugged in just get Lithium batteries.
Happy travels
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:58 AM   #6
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2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Santa Barbara , California
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Thank you

Just wanted to say thanks for posting all of your helpful comments. It sure is a bit frustrating to have very little direction about this from the folks I bought it from.

I will be testing my batteries as my next step as I suspect that is where the problem is but I also think being told to not run the generator while we driving has resulted in the biggest issue and a slow drain of the batteries to a point where now they don't take a charge, or only take a minimal charge. I did in fact run our generator on our most recent return trip and I did not find it too loud or overbearing. Case in point, one month ago we traveled about 200 miles but leading up to this trip I left it plugged in to shore power for at least a week. We started off on our journey and within the hour it threw us the low battery warning and then went on to knock out each of our amenities.

I'll repost after I have come to some sort of a solution but it sounds pretty straight forward, we killed the batteries and now they need to be replace and lithium batteries may be the way to go.

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Old 09-13-2017, 09:00 PM   #7
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Fulton , Maryland
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If you were not keeping your Interstate plugged into shore power when not using it the batteries are likely shot. The dealer comment to plug it in every so often is bad advice. In my experience you need to be sure to plug in every two days if you don't get full sun on the coach. The Interstate battery and solar is a lousy design for anything but constant connection to shore power. That is why so many of us have added more batteries and solar. I will never buy another Interstate unless Airstream improves the DC electrical systems.
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