Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-12-2016, 10:03 PM   #1
New Member
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 3
Advice on Storage Procedures/Batteries 2015 Interstate Ext.

Could someone please advise on the questions below. We have a 2015 Airstream Interstate Ext and have received conflicting information from 2 dealers and are no wiser from reading the manual. Our coach is stored in a heated garage some distance from our home.

We were told it should always be plugged in (the manual says otherwise)? Is it Ok to have it continuously plugged into shore power?

If so, should the main disconnect be disconnected? We were told to store in main disconnect so there is no load on batteries. The recall on main disconnect was recently addressed so that it actually fully disconnects.

Are the lounge batteries being charged when plugged into shore power if the mains disconnect is engaged?

We were told by one dealer to disconnect the battery located near the drivers seat area / near accelerator. This battery was recently found to be dead and had to be replaced. Not sure why that happened.

Should the engine compartment battery be placed on a trickle charger? If so, using the red terminal and grounding to frame?

What should the Magnum inverter settings be?

Feeling very ignorant. This is our first RV and it has been a nightmare with very inadequate delivery instruction and seemingly poor generic instruction manuals. Thanks in advance for any advise!
__________________

__________________
JAdams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2016, 10:14 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
73shark's Avatar
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Overland Park , Kansas
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,748
Welcome to the AirForums.

Try searching the forum as there are a couple of threads w/ advice on storage req'ts for the newer models.
__________________

__________________
Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

PM me for sale info on my 2011. SOLD!
Upfitted Transit 350 sitting in driveway.
73shark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 06:08 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 260
Store with the camper connected to shore power. This will keep both the house and coach battery fully charged. You only need to turn off the main switch or the battery disconnect near the accelerator if the unit will be sitting for a long duration. Do turn the inverter off. No reason to have that operation.
__________________
Mcrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 06:44 AM   #4
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAdams View Post
We were told it should always be plugged in (the manual says otherwise)? Is it Ok to have it continuously plugged into shore power?
A 2015 model has a Magnum inverter/charger, which is a "smart" charger. It is okay to leave the van plugged into shore power all the time. However, I have to disagree with Mcrider. The inverter/charger has to be left on in order to charge the batteries. Otherwise the incoming 120vAC power is not being converted to 12vDC power to charge the batteries. As long as there is incoming power, the inverter/charger will remain in "charger" mode.

Side note, not all Magnum inverter/chargers came equipped with temperature sensors to measure battery temperature. But as long as you store in a heated garage, a temperature sensor isn't essential.
Quote:
If so, should the main disconnect be disconnected?
It doesn't matter in this case.If you were storing the unit without being plugged into shore power, then it would be important to shut off everything.

For future reference, the 12v disconnect does not shut off the inverter/charger, so if you were storing where you couldn't plug in, you'd have to shut off the inverter/charger separately because it would remain in "inverter" mode without a source of 120vAC power.
Quote:
Are the lounge batteries being charged when plugged into shore power if the mains disconnect is engaged?
Yes. Both the inverter/charger and the rooftop solar panel can charge the house batteries with the house batteries shut off. They're wired separately, not through the disconnect.
Quote:
We were told by one dealer to disconnect the battery located near the drivers seat area / near accelerator. This battery was recently found to be dead and had to be replaced. Not sure why that happened.
I don't know enough about the circumstances to even speculate about why the chassis battery was found dead. But as long as you're plugged into shore power and the inverter/charger is in charger mode, the Battery Isolation Module should detect the charging current and connect the house and chassis systems to keep the chassis battery charged as well.
Quote:
Should the engine compartment battery be placed on a trickle charger? If so, using the red terminal and grounding to frame?
The battery under the hood doesn't actually do anything. It is an auxiliary battery. The main battery is under the driver's footwell in front of the seat. The under-hood auxiliary battery is only used by upfitters as a house battery to run equipment that has to remain powered when the engine is off. So it sees use on ambulances, television news trucks, police surveillance vans, and other Sprinters. Airstream installs their own house batteries in the rear, and doesn't even touch the auxiliary battery. It charges from the engine alternator only, and only self-discharges at about 5% per month just like most batteries.
Quote:
What should the Magnum inverter settings be?
I'll let someone else handle that one. I still have a TrippLite inverter in my 2012 Interstate so I've never researched the required settings for a Magnum.
Quote:
Feeling very ignorant. This is our first RV and it has been a nightmare with very inadequate delivery instruction and seemingly poor generic instruction manuals. Thanks in advance for any advise!
The learning curve is steep, no doubt about that. And the manuals aren't "seemingly" poor. They are poor quality. Go to the Amazon Kindle Store and get a copy of Rich Luhr's "Airstream Life Guide to the Airstream Interstate." Although specifically meant for the Grand Tour model, it is very applicable to other Interstates as well, and explains most things better than the manuals do. http://www.amazon.com/Airstream-Life...eam+interstate

We all go though a phase of feeling ignorant. But ignorance is cured by experience, and with perseverance, it won't be long before you're giving advice to newbies instead of asking for it.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 09:07 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Ron_CA's Avatar
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
San Diego , California
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 665
I always have my van pluged in to shore power when at home. I always leave the inverter off. The inverter recognizes the 120 volts, charges the batteries and goes into float mode. Every once in a while, I leave the battery disconnect on and a few lights on to create a draw. Going on 2 years now and original batteries.
__________________
Ron_CA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 09:42 AM   #6
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_CA View Post
The inverter recognizes the 120 volts, charges the batteries and goes into float mode.
How does it do that if it's switched off?

Maybe it's a matter of semantics…

It's an inverter/charger. It automatically goes into charger mode if it detects an outside source of 120vAC power, and automatically goes into inverter mode if there's no outside source of 120vAC power. So by that token, the inverter is off and the charger is on, but it's all one machine, so the inverter/charger machine is on, but in charge mode.

So are we saying the same thing in different ways, or does your Interstate have a completely separate charger from the inverter/charger so that you can switch the inverter/charger off and still charge the batteries?
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 08:50 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 260
Protag, my '16 is a MMS Series Magnum Inverter/Charger. Rectifier/Charger functions regardless of the Inverter State. With the Inverter off, the only thing that changes is it uses no power to maintain Search Mode.

My As stays in storage, plugged to Shore power, with the Inverter Off and all chargeing circuits function as required. The only time I turn the Inverter on is when I'm boondocking AND need 120v.

From the Magnum manual:

ON/OFF Switch - The inverter can be turned on and off by lightly pressing and releasing the Power ON/OFF switch on the front of the inverter. When the inverter is first connected to the batteries, or when its automatic protection circuit has turned the inverter off, the ON/OFF switch will need to be pressed to start the unit. Once the inverter has been turned on, pressing the Power ON/OFF switch alternately turns the inverter on and off.
WARNING: The Power ON/OFF control switch does not turn on or off the charger feature. If AC power (utility or generator) is connected and qualified on the AC input, this AC power will also be available on the AC output and is not controlled by the Power ON/OFF switch.

Status LED Indicator - The status indicator is a green LED that provides information on the operational mode of the inverter. Watch this indicator for at least 10 seconds to determine the inverter’s operational condition from the information below:
Inverter Mode
• Off - Indicates the inverter is off; there is no AC power from the inverter, shore power, or generator at the inverter’s output terminals.
• Blinks On (once every second) - The inverter is on and is using energy from the battery. The inverter is either providing full power to the loads connected to the inverter, or it’s in Search Mode and ready to supply AC power to the connected loads.
__________________
Mcrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2017, 01:15 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
fairfax station , va
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 107
Just for the record

My 2014 had the "Dealer Special" dead on arrival batteries that are a Airstream specialty.

The May 2015 replacement batteries are X2Power Group 24 AGM sold exclusively by Batteries+ and made by Northstar.
They are unique in that they have a 48 month replacement warranty, not a pro rata warranty.

I store it at my house just as Mcrider suggests.
The batteries survived the first year, but somehow passed away quietly in their sleep between May and August this year.

I have no genius ideas of why the system failed me.

I'm about to find out if Batteries+ will be good on their warranty. The phone contacts I've had with corporate and the local store were filled with weasel words.

If the warranty is no good I am going to replace the batteries with 2-6v flooded lead cell golf cart batteries at $100 each and not cry so much if they only last one season like my $700 worth of AGM's.

I don't boondock much, but the house batteries are required to start the generator. You need something.

I did discover during my post-mortem that the 2014 Magnum doesn't have the "optional" temperature sensor, a problem that was resolved easily by Amazon for $30. We do have temperature ranges from -10 to +100, here.

I really think these systems should be more reliable, understandable, easier to troubleshoot and predictable than they are; considering the initial investment and the horrendous cost of "disposable" batteries.
My chassis battery was of the "disposable" variety, too.

Still truckin' and still smilin'
__________________
VAtom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2017, 01:38 PM   #9
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by VAtom View Post
If the warranty is no good I am going to replace the batteries with 2-6v flooded lead cell golf cart batteries at $100 each and not cry so much if they only last one season like my $700 worth of AGM's.
Even though the house battery box is vented, I'd still recommend going with AGM batteries since the battery box is inside the coach. It's not just hydrogen vapors you need to worry about, but also spilled electrolyte.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2017, 05:40 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
fairfax station , va
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 107
Acid reflex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Even though the house battery box is vented, I'd still recommend going with AGM batteries since the battery box is inside the coach. It's not just hydrogen vapors you need to worry about, but also spilled electrolyte.
Thanks for the advice. I was about to do a hunt to see if the long EXT box is vented. It's not really clear to me looking into it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	batbox.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	178.5 KB
ID:	293520  
__________________
VAtom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2017, 08:28 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
73shark's Avatar
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Overland Park , Kansas
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,748
If it's like mine was, there should be a small, louvered vent on the exterior by the battery box.
__________________
Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

PM me for sale info on my 2011. SOLD!
Upfitted Transit 350 sitting in driveway.
73shark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2017, 09:23 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
2013 Interstate Coach
Raymond , Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 391
The hole that you can see in the upper rear corner of the right side of the box is the vent.
__________________
Titus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 02:39 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Boxster1971's Avatar

 
2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus View Post
The hole that you can see in the upper rear corner of the right side of the box is the vent.

Agree that is the vent hole but it's not very effective. If I were installing flooded LA batteries in that box I would add a second holes some where near the opposite lower side to provide better venting. But like Protagonist I'd recommend staying with maintenance free AGM batteries. Opening that battery box to service flooded batteries would be a real pain.
__________________
- - Mike
--------------------------
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2017, 08:58 AM   #14
3 Rivet Member
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
fairfax station , va
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 107
More budget AGM options..update

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAtom View Post
My 2014 had the "Dealer Special" dead on arrival batteries that are a Airstream specialty.

The May 2015 replacement batteries are X2Power Group 24 AGM sold exclusively by Batteries+ and made by Northstar.
They are unique in that they have a 48 month replacement warranty, not a pro rata warranty.

I store it at my house just as Mcrider suggests.
The batteries survived the first year, but somehow passed away quietly in their sleep between May and August this year.

I have no genius ideas of why the system failed me.

I'm about to find out if Batteries+ will be good on their warranty. The phone contacts I've had with corporate and the local store were filled with weasel words.

If the warranty is no good I am going to replace the batteries with 2-6v flooded lead cell golf cart batteries at $100 each and not cry so much if they only last one season like my $700 worth of AGM's.

First, I found out the "extra effort" way that 6v GC2 footprint batteries won't fit in the 2014 EXT battery box. Just about a half inch too tall because of the tray and the turn down lip for the cover plate.

Second, I found another budget option for my disposable coach batteries
$200 each less 10%. Maybe they'll be fine, maybe not, but they're available everywhere and have a fairly good warranty.
https://www.batteriesplus.com/batter...4m/sli24magmdc
(Deka/EastPenn mfg)

Third, the X2Power warranty was worth slightly less than the cost of the pixels in this sentence. Several issues, mostly that they were installed by the Airstream dealer (who sold out to Camping World) and can't be bothered.

Fourth, if you don't use Lifeline, the Magnum should probably be set for AGM-2, where the float is 13.5v instead of 13.1v.

Fifth, I've acquired the Magnum BTS and Air99's QUICKLYNKS Battery Monitor BM2​​. The monitor seems pretty slick and will also measure capacity after a fashion if you use the battery to start the generator.

Sixth, I put a BlueSea switch on the positive side cable so that I can easily shut off ALL loads, even the sneaky ones.

With proper hygiene, maybe my disposable batteries will have a longer life.
__________________

__________________
VAtom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2015 Grand Tour Ext bad batteries? Dalwyn Sprinter and B-van Forum 29 10-08-2015 01:14 PM
Concern About Buying 2015 Interstate EXT.. tlundell Sprinter and B-van Forum 8 09-14-2014 06:06 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.