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Old 04-03-2012, 01:41 PM   #1
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Airstream Interstate Camping

We are getting ready for our trip to Florida and plan to do some camping. I want to buy a gas cooker and need information on the LP hook up.

Will any propane cooker hook up the the receptacle that is available outside by the gas valve?
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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I'd call the technician at the dealership where you bought your Interstate for the answer to that question.

We've never heard of anyone doing this. And, it's one of those things you would want to get right the first time.

Have a great trip! We are at 5 years and 111,000 very happy miles.



Maggie
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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Hi BL

The low-pressure propane outlet on your Interstate is a fairly standard one however few grills and cookers are available that will connect to it without modifications. You will probably have to purchase a low-pressure LP hose separately and then modify your grill or cooker to use it. Usually, cookers that have a standard low-pressure tank-mounted regulator can be modified easily, by just replacing the regulator and hose assembly. There are a few that have a control built into the regulator that cannot be modified.

I had one of these setups on my stick house for a while. On my trailer I have a high-pressure connection instead.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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BL1996,

It have a small Coleman grill that normally runs off of a standard 16.4 oz propane bottle. I took my cooker and my Interstate to a local comercial propane dealer (Suburban Propane) and they used stock parts to build a hose setup that will connect to the control valve/regulator that came with the cooker. The other end has a fitting that will plug into the supply on the Interstate. They made the hose the length I wanted. Cooker, hose and everything fits into a small Rubbermaid Action Packer which I carry in the camper. I think Suburban charged me around $40 for the connecting hose & fittings built to my specs.

You get your battery issue solved yet?

Wayne
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:49 AM   #5
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When I store my unit I turn off the battery disconnect and turn off the inverter. Also turn off the gas valve. Is there anything else I am missing?

When I use the coach “at least once a week" and turn on the inverter it shows red or low battery on the display. I takes maybe two hours for it to cycle to green.

The dealer says this is normal.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #6
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When I store my unit I turn off the battery disconnect and turn off the inverter. Also turn off the gas valve. Is there anything else I am missing?

When I use the coach “at least once a week" and turn on the inverter it shows red or low battery on the display. I takes maybe two hours for it to cycle to green.

The dealer says this is normal.
We plug our unit in for a couple of days periodically, necessary we have been told to fully charge the coach battery.

We can then function 3-4 days off the coach battery if we are camping without hookups.


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Old 04-04-2012, 10:31 AM   #7
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When I store my unit I turn off the battery disconnect and turn off the inverter. Also turn off the gas valve. Is there anything else I am missing?
Question: When you turn the inverter off, do you do it at the inverter (under the sofa) or at the remote control panel in the curbside locker? If you presently turn it off at the curbside locker, you may want to try turning it off at the inverter instead. If the inverter is on "Auto/Invert"— which is necessary in order to even use the remote panel in the locker— then the inverter is probably still feeding power to the curbside locker control panel, which may result in a small but constant drain.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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Yes, I turn it off at the inverter underneath the sofa. Its not a huge problem as I can it plugged it in before we take off. I just don't think the battery should drain at that rate.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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With the Battery Disconnect off (I usually don't switch the inverter off for short term storage) I measure the voltage of the battery pair with a DMM then look at a SOC table (with temp. compensations) and find them right at 50% after 6 days. What I've been told is that you shouldn't let them go below 50% or you may damage the batteries.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:05 PM   #10
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When I store my unit I turn off the battery disconnect and turn off the inverter. Also turn off the gas valve. Is there anything else I am missing?

I almost forgot one other potential source of battery drain: The signal booster for the omnidirectional HDTV antenna. Look in the storage bin over the front seats (that has the sliding plastic doors) all the way on the driver's side. If you see a green LED lit up, your signal booster is on. Older-model Interstates have a different TV antenna and so may not have this signal booster.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #11
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I almost forgot one other potential source of battery drain: The signal booster for the omnidirectional HDTV antenna.
I forgot about that one as well. I think on my 2010 twin that the booster is without power if the Disconnect Switch is off but I'm not sure. Another thing to check when I get the van out of hibernation.
Wayne

PS. Did you ever do the little experiment we discussed?
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:32 AM   #12
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Thanks for the reminder. Just checked it.

On mine, the signal booster is wired through the disconnect switch, so turning the disconnect also shuts off the booster, as you said.

However, the propane solenoid switch is NOT wired through the booster. With the battery disconnect switch turned off, and using a barbecue grill lighter to light the burners, I was able to get a flame on both burners, and left them burning long enough to confirm that it wasn't just using up residual propane left in the lines.

Looks like the propane solenoid is NOT shut off by the battery disconnect. So, if you have an Interstate, it would be wise to include on your pre-departure and pre-storage checklists to turn off the propane, both to minimize the potential for propane leaks and to reduce drain on your house batteries.

I'm told that the drain for the propane solenoid is about two amps, which sounds high until you consider how strong is the spring that the solenoid is working against.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:22 PM   #13
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Interesting; I'll check mine when I get to Oregon in May and post the results. I have a DC clamp meter so I'll see if I can measure the current to the propane solenoid while I'm at it.
Wayne
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:02 AM   #14
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Just plugged the coach in and the batteries were flat. Haven't checked the antenna yet.
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