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Old 07-06-2016, 09:29 PM   #281
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Evelyn,

Sorry to hear of your family problems. Hopefully they will work themselves out!

I just read the last few pages of this thread and there is a lot of well-intentioned yet erroneous information posted here. I have done major solar/battery/inverter and electrical upgrades on over 20 Interstate vans over the last couple of years, and here's my take on your situation.

• your new Lifeline batteries have been compromised due to the fact that they have never received a full charge to 100% after being discharged. They will accept a full charge to between 12.8-13.2VDC, but may not retain that charge for the proscribed period of a new battery that has been treated properly.

When running your generator, the charging section of your Magnum inverter/charger should be putting 50 amps into those batteries. You should not shut the generator off until they have reached 'float' stage as indicated by your Magnum ME-MR remote panel.

You should also be getting a significant charge when running your van on the road thru your BIM (Battery Isolation Manager) system. This links the chassis battery and house batteries together when a charging source is present (solar, inverter of alternator) and will send charge either way to charge the more depleted battery bank. This should help with your charging problems and might not be functioning properly!

• Lifelines use an alpha code to designate the manufacturing date. It is comprised of 2 letters on a white disc decal located on the side of the battery. The first letter designates the month of production with A=1, B=2, etc all the way up to L=12. The second letter indicates the year of production using the same format.

•*as for the readings from your battery meter in the control panel, the 'Main' battery usually indicates the voltage of the Sprinter Chassis battery. Even though you have a second 'auxiliary' battery under the hood provided by Mercedes (I also have one in my Sprinter), that voltage does not read out on your panel. The Aux. battery is only connected to the alternator for charging when the engine is running and in stock form, receives no other charge and is generally not used for any other purpose. The 'AUX.' battery reading is for your house batteries comprised of the 2 Lifeline group 24 AGM batteries.

•*In order to attain an accurate voltage reading from your batteries at rest, they should be isolated from the electrical system AFTER A FULL CHARGE TO 100% for approx. 4 hours so that you will get a true picture of the open circuit voltage of the batteries. A 100% charge reading for a Lifeline AGM is 12.8-13.2VDC open circuit voltage (OC).

• DO NOT RELY ON THE FACTORY SOLAR CHARGING SYSTEM!!!! It is comprised of a very poorly mounted flexible panel which has a fraction of the usable output that a solid glass panel has. The only time they even approach the performance of a glass panel is during 'solar noon' or when the sun is directly overhead. I have 5 on the roof of my van and they are coming off as soon as I can get our new replacements. In addition, your TV antenna will cast a shadow over the corner of the panel due to Airstream's poor mounting position, and the wavy placement of them panel (see photo below) is also an output killer, as is the slop of the sealant that Airstream installers placed over the edges of many cells in the panel.

Add to this the horrible solar charge controller that Airstream provides and your solar charging system is essentially worthless for keeping even a 160amp/hour AGM battery bank fully charged.

• There is no problem in drawing your batteries to 50% on a regular basis, which will show as 12.2VDC on your meter. There is absolutely no truth that a battery should not be drawn to 12.5VDC and then re-charged!!! . Don't know where that one came from?!?! It is true that the deeper you discharge an AGM on a regular basis, the fewer charge cycles you will get, but Lifelines are rated at 1000 charge cycles for a regular 50% deep discharge to 12.2VDC.

Unfortunately, you won't find a tech at Windish who will know of what I just posted. This is a major problem that many Interstate owners face and almost no Airstream dealers have the technical ability to properly address it. EVEN AIRSTREAM DOES NOT PROPERLY ADDRESS IT!!!!!

If you intend to be off-grid for extended periods, you might consider an enhanced solar charging system with a QUALITY solar charge controller that will actually fill your batteries on a sunny day. A single 100 watt flexible panel coupled to a dubious single stage solar controller with bizarre pre-programmed on/off voltage settings that do not match those of your Lifelines will essentially do NOTHING to help solve your predicament.

You have parasitic loads that eat away at your battery capacity, even with the disconnect switch in use as they are wired around this switch. The dash radio is a big one, as it is also wired to the house batteries (THIS is where the under hood Aux. battery would come in very handy as a power source!!)

As far as your fridge is concerned, you have 2 units. I have not looked closely at them, but they are a separate fridge box and freezer box, which would indicate that they are the TJ-42 and TJF-42 units that are stacked. The Tundra specification on power draw for these units is 19 watts/hour or 38watts/hour for both units measured at 90ºF ambient with w 40ºF box temperature. I would expect the freezer to be on more and increase the wattage use so let's call it 48 watts/hour.

At 12VDC, this is a draw of 4amps/hour. Over a 24 hour period, the fridge/freezer twins will consume 96 amp/hours which is MORE THAN 50% OF YOUR BATTERY CAPACITY!!!

My numbers may be off as I don't have the actual model numbers, but I took these right off the Dometic Tundra spec sheet.

SEE WHY YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS???????????????

OK, I'm done ranting! Hope you got something from all of it!

PM me if you have any other specific questions................
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AM SOLAR ...MAGNUM…VICTRON ENERGY...LITHIUM & LIFELINE BATTERIESMARINE REFRIGERATION
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:41 PM   #282
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Lew, thank you! This really helps to clarify things regarding my AI Lifeline AGM batteries. I will print this out and keep it for reference. I most likely will not be boondocking a lot, at most, a day or two periodically, perhaps while traveling between designated RV PARKS with at least having electric hookup, and I am keeping it in a storage lot with electric hookup near my home.

I must admit that as much as I enjoy the wilds of nature, I don't know that I will be heading out in the middle of nowhere in my solo travels. I will always place safety on high priority as I travel.

I think the new batteries (replaced under warranty) are proving they are better than I originally believed. I think now that I have given them a thorough charge, they should perform more reliably, as expected. (I will continue to evaluate their performance and log the results).
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Evelyn & Mikki,(chihuahua) or Nikko (Pomeranian mix) Near Denver, Colorado
2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:43 PM   #283
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OUR POLICE PROTECT US! WHO WILL PROTECT OUR POLICE?

I refer to the recent attacks on police across the nation.

"EVIL EXISTS WHEN GOOD MEN OR WOMEN DO NOTHING!"

We can do something:
1. Send a message to your local police department to express your appreciation for all they do to keep us safe.
2. Phone (on a non emergency line) to express your thanks and support.
3. When you see a police officer in a store or other relaxed setting...walk up to them and thank them for their service.
4. Give the same consideration to anyone you see in military uniform.

That is the least we can do...thank them for putting their life on the line to protect us....every day! Evelyn.
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2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
TV: 2015 Nissan Pathfinder 2015 BAMBI 16' Sport
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:37 PM   #284
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IT's BEEN A WHILE! Today...local trip to Chatfield SP....first time here. It's hot as hades here. 95F when I pulled in to my site. Nice enough,concrete pad, level,full hookup. No shade, though. After connections to water and electricity, I turned on AC....thank goodness for AC!

I thought I would be within site of the lake...but, no. I can see the foothills.

I forgot items...bread and crackers are home...so, there goes sandwiches for lunch or dinner. Today's dinner...fruit and cheese and water. 4 mandolin cookies for dessert. It served the purpose.

I am here till Fridaymorning,so I hope to do some reading...maybe figure out how some things work.

I left home at a time ....I thought to avoid rush hour traffic. West on E- C 470 should be an easy drive to Charfield SP, except for a bad wreck that backed up traffic to a crawl or standstill for miles. So, 1 1/2 hour later, I arrived.

A little at a time, I rearranged stuff, dug out the side seat, then the sofa. I did remove some things and left at home. I'm finding more stuff I need to leave at home before my PNW trip. This trip locally, is meant to get me ready for the month and a half trip...longer than I have done before. This will also be a nice break from the nonstop politics on TV.

I hope everyone is enjoying your travels. Travel safely. Evelyn.
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Evelyn & Mikki,(chihuahua) or Nikko (Pomeranian mix) Near Denver, Colorado
2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
TV: 2015 Nissan Pathfinder 2015 BAMBI 16' Sport
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:41 PM   #285
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Awoke this morning to an overcast sky, a bit more humid and cooler than yesterday.
While sitting out with Mikki on leash..... a doe antelope and 2 fauns ran thru campsite. Mikki was looking at dogs in next site over, apparently did not notice them. In fact, none of the dogs seemed to be aware of their presence.

Such beautiful creatures...graceful, leaping thru the brush. Camera was inside, of course!

As I have had a chance to look around a bit... The big concrete structure across the road....is a bathroom...shaped rather like an amphitheater.

I am not far from the lake, no lake view from my site, but, if I walk a bit, I do see a bit of water!

I bought a nice runner for my floor in Goliath. Too wide, so I turned one edge under and walked it flat, so it is working out well. Gives a bit of pizazz, as it is a ice burgundy color with a cream color floral pattern throughout.

I brought along, my electronics for my galley...Keurig, toaster, nutra ninjablender, and
Induction cooktop. I plan to try to find sites with, at least water and electric hookups and only dry camp when going between sites, (as needed). I am not really comfortable with a gas stove, but, will use one if I need to.

All systems that I have used seem to work well...except for my night shade by the sofa/bed...is off the track and is not functional. The sunscreen works, so, that is the only privacy I have currently. Lights off when changing clothes, etc. I hope to get it in to local dealer for repair before PNW trip, if possible.
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Evelyn & Mikki,(chihuahua) or Nikko (Pomeranian mix) Near Denver, Colorado
2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:28 PM   #286
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I took Mikki for a nice walk on a path down to the lake. She's having a blast ...running all over (on her long leash) checking out all the unfamiliar smells along the way. She has to stop and "mark" her territory....a few drops here and there.

I took my camera and got some nice shots of sunrays thru the clouds, lake, a few boats ( in distant shots). It looks like it may storm tonight...some very ominous dark clouds accompany the slowly setting sun. Just so it does not hail! Goliath could use a good bath.
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2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:58 PM   #287
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I posted a brief one yesterday, apparently, it was lost!

Anyway, it was an uneventful day...humid and hot, bright sun, so we stayed inside with AC most of the day. It rained a bit last night, cooled down some, a lot of thunder, which Mikki does not appreciate! Stuck to me all night!

Neighbors having a party somewhere close by, laughing, having fun, noisy...hard to sleep till they called it a night around 1:AM. Hazy and overcast today, a bit cooler, chance of rain this PM.

Spent some time rearranging cabinets, finding better places for a stuff. Organizing.

Had a little walk with Mikki. She was buzzed by hummingbirds...attracted by her bright pink harness, I guess. They startled her just as she found the "perfect spot" to do her business. Quite comical, her reaction...she jumped up, twirled around, as if ..."what the heck was that?" My main concern were the flock of 6 hawk patrolling for breakfast. I did not think hawk travelled in groups, but, there they were...and big ones, at that. I kept Mikki on a short leash, (her business had to wait till the they we're long gone!)
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2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
TV: 2015 Nissan Pathfinder 2015 BAMBI 16' Sport
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:20 PM   #288
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One last walk for Mikki down by the lake, hummingbirds visited her several times. She made a new friend, a little chihuahua about 1/2 her size. Mikki really wanted to play, but, her "let's play" invitation sounds like Chubaca...and her owner was not about to let them play.

We sat on a bench for a while, watching the speed boats and little sail boats. It's clouded over, temps have moderated, 40% chance for rain. Goliath still wants a shower! Home in the morning.

For dinner, we decided to try a pack of our emergency Wise dehydrated....creamy rotini and veggies. Not bad...a nice option, certainly would be appreciated if in a pinch, (I.e., emergency)! Mikki seems to think that when we travel, she should share my meals...refuses her regular dry food till I wait her out. (Occasionally she wins.)
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Evelyn & Mikki,(chihuahua) or Nikko (Pomeranian mix) Near Denver, Colorado
2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:24 PM   #289
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Worked in Goliath yesterday, reorganizing supplies in rear storage. Utilizing Airstream boxes, am able to really consolidate supplies beneath sofa/bed, using space not previously found. DUH! Amazing how much better it all fits. Now I won't need to stack boxes of hoses and electrical cords above the rear windows. So much simpler to access what I need.

Measured sofa so I will cut excess off foam mattress pad today, to avoid fighting with "too much foam pad every night. Also, plan to buy another floor runner to fully cover entire floor, end to end. It will look and feel nicer.

Today, I called in and renewed my GOOD Sam club membership, also ordered their Emergency Medical Travel Assist premier plan. So, this will prepare for a worry free trip, as far as that sort of thing goes.

I need to call local AS dealer tomorrow and make appt for repairs: 1. Passenger side night shade off track. 2. Slide rack at rear of sofa, (that supports drop down rear extensions of
bed), off track, lost small ball bearings all over rear area. 3. Fridge does not cool well, even tho turned all way up to 7! Hopefully, this can be done in short order so it is done prior to trip.

2 weeks till I leave on PNW trip....time is getting limited.
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2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:33 AM   #290
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Repairs will need to wait till after my trip. Earliest appt I could get is October 5th. Leaving Goliath in front of my house to work on packing, reorganizing, etc, has served the purpose of testing my batteries, without electric connection. After I gave them a thorough charge, they are holding well. That should have been done before they installed the batteries.

I carefully packed my Lenox dishes in "hat book" style containers and they are safe in their own cabinet. Except for a few minor items, plus cold food, I am about ready for my trip! Yeah!
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2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:48 PM   #291
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Gearheart came by for visit yesterday and today, as he awaits his DW, Laura arrival at DIA, prior to joining the group at Wyoming boondocking adventure.

Thoroughly enjoyed meeting him, and hope to have a quick visit with Laura on their way to retrieve their Argosy from family member's driveway. Following Ray's thread, it appears the gathering is coming together nicely. Sounds like they are going to have fun.
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2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:20 PM   #292
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Getting final chores done today in prep for leaving Tuesday A.M. Catching up on laundry, selecting some clothes to pack to deal with cooler temps. Actually, I will end up with 2 bags, one for each type of weather conditions.

Had a dead tree removed from my front yard today. Will see my Dr. on Monday, for a good checkup prior to trip. He says he will inject my shoulders with steroids, to hopefully alleviate the pain I have experienced on long drives. (Aging body needs all the help it can get.)LOL!
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2016 AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE GRAND TOUR EXT. 24.5' "GOLIATH"
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:47 AM   #293
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Granddaughter was back in hospital again...3rd time since prior surgery. It appears she will require more surgery, perhaps in a few days, based on biopsy results. She has addressed some of her long term personal problems, has asked my forgiveness for her horrible behavior, requested visit with " her Nana nurse". So, this drama is resolved for now.

I am, of course, concerned for her health, with good reason. She has her Mom, Dad, and brother here to support her. They will keep me posted as I leave for my month plus trip to PNW coast.

Prayers for her recovery will be appreciated.

Everything is ready for final packing in Goliath. Departing early Tuesday A.M. Will post as I can get signal.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:34 PM   #294
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Hello All! I'm on my way! Drove 375 miles today...8 hrs, including stops for diesel, rest stop, etc.
I'm currently in Rock Springs, Wyoming and am overnighting @ Walmart. They have good reviews, well lit, safe, and with several other Rvers here. Large area out in front of the store, near restaurants, etc.

Mikki and I have had our dinner, just kicking back to relax B4 bedtime. Catching up to n emails,phone calls, etc.

Trip was Uneventful....some tough cross winds p, but, I'm getting pretty competent at dealing with that.

MD appt yesterday...my wonderful PCP steroid injected both shoulders ,so, the pain. Is almost absent. Yeah! He said it should be effective for 3-6 months. I like that! Also did labs,and a physical, and he told me to go and have fun! I think I shall!

Tomorrow, I go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, one day early,will finally meet Maggie and Lily, stay at KOA 4 nights, then, on to Oregon.

More later, as trip progresses.Evelyn.
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