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Old 11-29-2015, 11:43 AM   #1
Amg
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Additional battery

Besides the starting battery under the drivers area there is a battery described as an "additional battery" in the Sprinter manual. What is its purpose. We are installing an alarm system. should it be connected to the starting battery or can it be installed to the additional battery. Thanks
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:59 AM   #2
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It's a needed feature

Most if not all RVs with an engine have at least two batts.

While driving, both are being charged. When the engine is turned off they are separated by a solenoid. The starting battery doesn't get used so you don't deplete it and you still have starting power to start the engine and make it home

PS the other batt is referred to as the " coach " battery
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:02 PM   #3
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Protag might chime in here and correct me if I am wrong

I am thinking that the batt under the seat is the coach batt, and the starting batt would be in the engine compartment
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:05 PM   #4
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I am a little confused. Is the Coach battery you are referring to the battery's used to power the DC or house side or is it just a spare starting battery. Can or should this battery used for the theft alarm? Thanks
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
I am thinking that the batt under the seat is the coach batt, and the starting batt would be in the engine compartment
I have batteries in three locations 1 in the motor compartment 2 in the drivers seat area and 3 in the rear of the coach two batteries (they are house batteries). Just don't know difference in uses for batteries in front of coach
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:23 PM   #6
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Hmmmm where's Protag

One batt might be dedicated to start the genny
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
I am thinking that the batt under the seat is the coach batt, and the starting batt would be in the engine compartment
Okay, you're wrong.

Some Interstates have one starting battery, which is under the driver's floorboard, and no battery under the hood. Mine is one of them.

Others have one starting battery under the driver's floorboard, and an auxiliary battery under the hood. The battery under the hood is not connected to anything, it's just there. Airstream missed a golden opportunity with these Interstates, because there are RV systems powered from the starting battery such as the sliding step and the power awning, that could have been connected to the auxiliary battery, but weren't.

To avoid confusion, I usually refer to the battery under the driver's floorboard as the starting battery, the one under the hood as the auxiliary battery, and I don't even use the term chassis battery anymore.

An aftermarket alarm system should definitely be connected to the auxiliary battery under the hood. This battery is connected to the starting battery by a relay. When the engine is off, the two batteries are not connected, so any drains on the auxiliary battery do not affect the starting battery. When the engine is on, the two batteries are connected together and both will charge from the engine alternator.

Fair warning, though, that only applies if you routinely store your Interstate without hooking up to shore power. If you hook up to shore power, connect your alarm to the starting battery instead. The reason for this variation is that shore power does not charge the auxiliary battery because the relay is activated by the ignition switch, not by the BIM. If you hook up to shore power for storage— and leave the van parked for a long period of time— it becomes possible to run the auxiliary battery down while your house and starting batteries remain fully charged.

The auxiliary battery under the hood is a Sprinter cargo van option typically used as a house battery for ambulances, television news trucks, and other non-RV Sprinter conversions. Airstream hasn't yet figured out how to use it, because their wiring diagrams haven't been changed since they bought Sprinters with only one battery.
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:33 PM   #8
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One batt might be dedicated to start the genny
Generator starts from the house batteries only.

In theory, if you have an Interstate with the "Boost" switch on the dashboard, you could use the starting battery to start the generator if the house batteries have been drained too far, but it takes two people, one to press and hold the boost button, the other to start the generator. The boost button forces a connection between house and starting batteries even when the BIM has them separated, bypassing the BIM. Current can flow either way, either using the house batteries to jump-start the diesel engine, or using the starting battery to jump-start the generator.

My 2012 Interstate doesn't have a boost button; Airstream didn't think to add that until later, mainly due to customer feedback, including but not limited to my own.
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:47 PM   #9
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Protag

Thanks for the help. Now I understand. It should either be explained in the Interstate or Sprinters manual. Glad there is a forum with members like you.
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Old 11-29-2015, 01:54 PM   #10
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Do I make Protag look like a genius or what!!!!

But really?????? A batt that sits there and does nothing but die? A starting batt in an inconvenient place to jump, when there is already a batt in the engine compartment?

Yeah I understand the alarm system and versatility were part of the design decisions. I should stick to playing mandolin because, all this confuses me
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Old 11-29-2015, 02:03 PM   #11
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Additional battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
But really?????? A batt that sits there and does nothing but die? A starting batt in an inconvenient place to jump, when there is already a batt in the engine compartment?



Yeah I understand the alarm system and versatility were part of the design decisions. I should stick to playing mandolin because, all this confuses me

Protagonist nailed it!! I have a 2011 Sprinter and also gave the 'auxiliary battery' under the hood. It is charged by the alternator, but is there for OEM up fitters to utilize for things like sirens, alarms, aux. lighting and other uses that relieve the loads from the starting battery.

I have my aux. battery powering my aux. lighting, front LED off-road light bar and additional interior LEDs in the rear work section of the van.

In the AI, even the dash radio, along with all interior loads and generator start are powered by the 'house' batteries, which are usually a pair of Lifeline GPL-24T 80 amp/hour AGM batteries..........unless they have been upgraded.

Airstream would have done much better to place all parasitic loads on this aux. battery rather than the house batteries.

In addition, regardless of the presence of an aux. battery, there are 2 posts in the engine compartment specifically for jump starting, as the starting battery is under the floor below the drivers seat.


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Old 11-29-2015, 02:10 PM   #12
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If I connect an alarm system to the extra battery under the hood how long can I leave it with alarm on and not plugged in. At times I will park at the airport while traveling. The most I am gone is ten days. Thanks
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Old 11-29-2015, 02:33 PM   #13
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Question
If I connect an alarm system to the extra battery under the hood how long can I leave it with alarm on and not plugged in. At times I will park at the airport while traveling. The most I am gone is ten days. Thanks
My Viper alarm is hooked up to my starter battery, and I can leave the van parked with the alarm active for up to three weeks without running the starter battery down. Since the auxiliary battery is also a Group 49, it should have equivalent endurance, or more likely better since you don't need to keep reserve power for starting the engine if the alarm is hooked up to the auxiliary battery.

Point of interest, if you're not going to be around to check on an alarm signal, why bother parking the van with the alarm active? It's not like airport security will have any particular interest in checking out car alarms even if they hear them over the other airport noise.

But if you will have an alarm hooked up with the van unattended in an airport parking lot, I suggest putting in TWO alarm sirens, one outside the van in a hard-to-reach area (not under the hood, maybe under the van between the frame and transmission) and another one inside the van in a hard-to-reach area under the dashboard so that it will deafen anyone inside and drive them out before they can rob you blind.
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Old 11-29-2015, 03:34 PM   #14
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Thanks again for help

I will be having the alarm installed and it is with a drone system. Thus it communicates with my Smart phone with an App. I can control all functions with an App.around the globe. It is a self park lot by the airport and I can call their security or my family to check it out.

I am also installing a very small recording vidio camera inside the van connected to the alarm. I do understand nothing can prevent a thief from breaking in. But hopefully with all the bells and whistles he (or she) will choose some else's vehicle.
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