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Old 10-14-2015, 09:01 PM   #15
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Discussions like Mark's with the service manager can very often come down to a "Gospel according to....." meets Cynical Old Priest level.

As an AS buyer who has read the Gospel according to AS after having delved deep into your bank account for this lovely new toy, you are full of new knowledge, held with glowing pride. It's natural and we all do it. The service manager, on the other hand, is the old hand who has seen it all, and this one sounds as if he was a little too frank and insensitive to your new status.

In some defense of his statement though, the RV batteries are indeed deep cycle, that's why they are so damn expensive compared to other batteries the same capacity, and they are indeed designed and built to be drawn down without damage, in contrast to non-RV batteries.

As an owner, you will have the trailer, hopefully, for several rewarding years, and you will keep your batteries in better shape if you monitor their charge level, and (as I do myself) leave a trickle charger/battery maintainer on them over long periods of storage.

On the other hand, the service manager has your brand spanking new fully warrantied 2015 AS in his possession for a few days? A couple of weeks? Honestly there is no reason for him to make sure that your batteries are keeping their charge level over that period: he can assume that they will, and if they don't, then that means there is something wrong with either the batteries or the electrical circuitry, which would be a warranty issue. He was untactful, and not a good part of the AS Gospel Disseminating Team, but...... frankly not wrong!

This opinion may only be worth 1 cent.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:12 PM   #16
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Going back to the OP's concern about maintaining the batteries while the unit is at the dealer for service: this seems another great argument for having at least some solar on your unit. We have that, and as a result we don't worry about what will happen to our batteries at the dealer. They are always at 100% when we pick up our RV after it's been serviced.
Solar is one way to help. I've got an appt to increase my 100w to 200w next month. But it would have to be outside. I'm a bit worried about my dealer leaving it inside, unplugged, over several days while "in process"
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:02 AM   #17
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The problem could be alleviated if AS put a disconnect in that completely isolated the batteries. Then the fully charged batteries could be left alone 'til delivery. I believe Lewster said the Lifetime AGMs are good for several months if fully charged and disconnected.
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:44 AM   #18
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The problem could be alleviated if AS put a disconnect in that completely isolated the batteries. Then the fully charged batteries could be left alone 'til delivery. I believe Lewster said the Lifetime AGMs are good for several months if fully charged and disconnected.
With a full charge, totally isolated Lifelines will hold their charge for a minimum of 90 days, when the Lifeline manual says to boost charge them. I have had a set of 6VDC GPL-6CT Lifelines that were 'lost' in the back of a storage space show full charge after 7 months, when they were 'found' again!

Of course, YMMV!
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:14 AM   #19
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.... They said you can't get one in the US until next year some time, they're that popular. Not sure how much of that was BS/PR, or true. Just saying.
I would not doubt this where new vehicles are concerned, and yes, I bet it has a lot to do with reports of crappy service, because it does appear to be a seller's market.

The resale market offers a small but steady stream of Interstates (I have run saved searches for about the past year). The newer ones appear regularly, but the T1N's are very rare. RVTrader has about 133,000 RVs listed right now, and only one of those is a T1N Interstate. And I'm betting that it was sold the day it was listed (RVTrader makes sellers leave listings as live for X amount of time, even if the vehicles have already gone).
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:56 PM   #20
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Not surprised at all. The tech in the shop more often than not can give you better guidance. Mine did, but then proceeded to screw up my battery monitor......so I research before I visit now.
Update: talked to the service mgr today about my other repair and he weighed back in on the battery issue. He said he checked with the technicians and they confirmed to him the importance of not letting the charge go below 50%. he said he was surprised and that he "learned something new today."
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:55 PM   #21
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Going back to the OP's concern about maintaining the batteries while the unit is at the dealer for service: this seems another great argument for having at least some solar on your unit. We have that, and as a result we don't worry about what will happen to our batteries at the dealer. They are always at 100% when we pick up our RV after it's been serviced.
That is much of a disappointment with the AS Interstate. My test shows that the battery draws 0.4 Amp 24/7 with the main switch turned off. That is 9.6 A every 24 hours. The 50W or even the 100W solar panel AS installs wil hardly maintain a 200AH system in the greener parts of the country without plugging into shore power or completely disconnecting the battery.

So a solar upgrade is just about a must if you intend to have your buggy sit anywhere for longer than a week or two.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:27 PM   #22
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That is much of a disappointment with the AS Interstate. My test shows that the battery draws 0.4 Amp 24/7 with the main switch turned off. That is 9.6 A every 24 hours. The 50W or even the 100W solar panel AS installs wil hardly maintain a 200AH system in the greener parts of the country without plugging into shore power or completely disconnecting the battery.

So a solar upgrade is just about a must if you intend to have your buggy sit anywhere for longer than a week or two.
You need to find the parasitic current draws and turn them off. My 50W panel charge rate is about 2 AH to 4 AH per day. AFAIK, that is for the BIM and solar charge controller. Keeps the two batteries @ 100% 24/7.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:04 AM   #23
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73shark

Can you tell us what you disconnected to get to such as low parasitic draw (2-4 AH per day)?

Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2015, 11:53 AM   #24
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You need to find the parasitic current draws and turn them off. My 50W panel charge rate is about 2 AH to 4 AH per day. AFAIK, that is for the BIM and solar charge controller. Keeps the two batteries @ 100% 24/7.
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Can you tell us what you disconnected to get to such as low parasitic draw (2-4 AH per day)?
Keeping it succinct (for once!)… Shut off everything that can be shut off through the main disconnect or through its own switch.

I've said it before on other threads, the minimum size of solar panel to maintain house batteries by solar alone is to take the amp-hour capacity of your batteries, and get at least that many watts of solar panel. So for an Interstate with 160 amp-hours of house battery, you need at least 160 watts of solar panel, with an appropriate charge controller. The stock 50w panels on older Interstate or 100w panels on the latest models just aren't big enough to maintain the batteries by themselves if anything is left turned on.

Fortunately, you have an on-board Onan generator. And proper generator maintenance requires operating the generator at least once a month anyway, whether you need it or not, just to keep the moving parts lubricated so the generator doesn't seize up when you really need it if you try to start it after letting it sit for too long. So if you have to run the generator anyway, you might as well make it part of your normal battery charging routine by turning on the inverter/charger in charge mode every time you start the generator. Just make sure there's enough charge left in the batteries to even start the generator!
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Old 10-16-2015, 04:35 PM   #25
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73shark

Can you tell us what you disconnected to get to such as low parasitic draw (2-4 AH per day)?

Thanks!
First, I misread my data. It's more like 10-12 AH/day.

My battery disconnect basically kills everything that draws current even when not operating e.g., TV antenna booster and propane valve, except for, as previously stated, the BIM and solar charge controller.
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