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Old 11-17-2014, 09:19 PM   #1
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Battery charging

We store our AI (2014.5) connected to shore power. Should I put a battery tender on the chassis battery? I know it's a rather basic question, but the manual isn't overly clear.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:56 PM   #2
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If you are connected to shore power, the trailer batteries will be charged by the converter.

Brian
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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He has an AI. Shore power will keep both the house batteries and the starting/chassis battery charged.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:14 PM   #4
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No need for a battery tender on the chassis battery. Your Magnum charger/inverter takes care of that through the BIM (Battery Isolation Manager), as well as the coach batteries.


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Old 11-17-2014, 10:21 PM   #5
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Brian, I think he was inquiring about his Interstate coach. No converter. It has a Magnum inverter/charger and an internal connection that will charge the house batteries from the alternator while the engine is running.

The larger question is: does this process work in reverse? Will the house batteries being charged by the inverter/charger apply a sustaining charge to the Sprinter engine battery?

After just completing a full solar, inverter and battery monitor package on a 2013 Interstate, we found that if you leave the headlights on, there is a significant drain (20+ amps) on the house batteries. This situation was noticed after we saw a 9 amp mystery house battery drain with all of the disconnect switches OFF. This indicates that there IS a connection between the house and engine batteries while the engine is off. If this connection exists and allows the house batteries to show a load from the chassis headlights, then it follows that the chassis battery should also benefit from the house battery charging. This would be their battery isolation manager (BIM) system in use.

I would call Airstream in Jackson Center and get their definitive answer to be certain that they have not done any upgrades/modifications to their battery charging system wiring in your new coach that would indicate this is not the case in your unit.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:08 AM   #6
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I do recall reading on this forum that the new ones have the capability to use the house battery to charge up the chassis battery. I think it involves changing a switch position in order to do this. Not sure how the headlights could be connected to the house batteries though. Maybe a defective BIM.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:11 AM   #7
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New Interstates have four batteries.

One Group 49 starting battery under the driver's footwell. Charged by the engine alternator, andó through the Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) and the inverter/chargeró by the generator of by shore power. Not charged by the rooftop solar panel as far as I know.

One Group 49 auxiliary battery under the hood. Charged by the engine alternator only. There is a relay that disconnects the auxiliary battery from the starting battery when the engine is not running, so this battery is not charged by any of the "house" sources.

One bank of two Group 27 house batteries. Charged by the rooftop solar panel through its own charge controller, shore power through the inverter/charger, the generator through the inverter/charger, or the engine alternator through the BIM.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:48 AM   #8
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Just out of curiosity, what is the purpose of the Group 49 aux battery? I know that this is an option from MB, but it seems odd that AS specifies it. What does it power?

BTW: If anybody has a battery that is NOT being charged from shore power, this is easily remedied with a device called Trik-L-Start.

Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer

I recently installed one in our new GWV Legend. It's great.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
Just out of curiosity, what is the purpose of the Group 49 aux battery? I know that this is an option from MB, but it seems odd that AS specifies it. What does it power?
It's primarily intended for ambulances, television news trucks, and other commercial users as a house battery. On the Airstream Interstates that have house batteries in the rear, it's overkill. The only things that SHOULD be hooked up to the auxiliary battery (but probably aren't) would be the sliding step, the awning, your Kenwood head unit, and the always-on 12v power outlets, in other words stuff you might use with both the engine and house system turned off. And if you install an aftermarket alarm system, that should also go to the auxiliary battery so that you can still use the battery disconnect by the accelerator pedal to disconnect the starting battery without killing power to the alarm system.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:27 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the insights. I'll call Jackson center to get a final word and let you know what they say. Again, thanks for you help on this. Art
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Old 11-19-2014, 12:13 PM   #11
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Agree you will have to get answer on Auxiliary Sprinter Battery charging from Airstream. The wiring diagram that they now include with owners manual indicates the BIM, battery separator, is only tied directly to the starter battery. Screen capture of relevant part attached.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:26 PM   #12
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My question to Jackson Center: When my 2014.5 Interstate is hooked into shore power, are the two chassis batteries also being charged?

Their answer:

If the battery disconnect switch is in the “use” position both batteries are being charged.
Airstream Customer Relations
937-596-6111 Ext. 7401

Thank you all for your insights into this. I appreciate the Forum more than you'll ever know.
Art
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Agree you will have to get answer on Auxiliary Sprinter Battery charging from Airstream. The wiring diagram that they now include with owners manual indicates the BIM, battery separator, is only tied directly to the starter battery. Screen capture of relevant part attached.
Boxter,

There is a part of the schematic missing; and that is the continuation of Cable 1, which drops down the left side of the drawing from the isolator terminal marked 'coach'. What you don't see is the continuation of this cable back up to the coach battery positive connection stud.

The solenoid, when activated, will indeed connect the coach batteries with the chassis battery that is shown entering the solenoid from the right.

It would have been more helpful if they included the entire schematic and hadn't cut off the bottom!
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:45 AM   #14
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Here's a side question about battery charging, asking because I don't understand the physics involved, and maybe Lewster can explain:
If my coach batteries are down to 75% for example, and I start the generator or plug into shore power, my display usually tells me within minutes that I'm back to 100% charge. But I know that's not the case, because if I stop the generator or unplug from shore power, it will then display 80% (for example).
So with my lack of understanding of battery physics, I'm concluding there must be a superficial charge and a deep charge going on. And my question is when I have the generator charging the batteries, how do I know when they're fully charged and can turn off the generator?
Does my question make sense?


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