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Old 04-22-2014, 06:16 PM   #1
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Battery Manual Disconnect

Hi All,
Please forgive me if this sounds so ignorant but for the life of me, I can't find the manual disconnect for the house battery. I didn't have the time to go through a proper walk through when I purchased my 2013…..I'll probably state the same for future questions….
at any rate……
According to the manual, it is "…..inside the rear lounge door on the rear lounge model." For the twin it's somewhere else so since I don't have a twin, am assuming it's inside the rear door.
I have looked and looked…..if it were a snake it would probably bite me….it might be that obvious but it isn't to me!!!
Help!
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:30 PM   #2
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Lounge model, there's a door under the front end of the sofa, hinged at the bottom so it opens onto the floor. Inside that door, it should be the control closest to the passenger side. On my 2012 it's a big red switch that turns clockwise to on, counterclockwise to off. Right beside that is the cover to the house 12v fuses, beside that is the breaker panel, and then on the driver's side is the inverter/charger.

Since Interstates tend to vary in particulars based on the phase of the moon when they were assembled, yours might differ slightly from that arrangement.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:06 PM   #3
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Thank you, Protagonist. I haven't checked if mine is in the same place as yours….hopefully will today.
You seem to be one of the local experts….at least that's what I have noticed. Glad to know there are experienced souls here who take their time to answer so many questions many have.
Another question…..and please, respond as if I were 6 years old….In my old Roadtrek, it took me awhile but got into the habit of turning the battery on and off….knew to turn it on Before plugging into shore power in order to charge it……that was something I didn't do for the longest time, the battery ran down quite a few times without my knowing why.
So! What the are the things I have to pay attention to as far as this battery? A battery that needs no water! That's great news! I read the manual and will do so again and again but the language isn't sinking in….kinda like when I was first learning about computers….a different language….so, learned by trial and error. But, I don't want to go through batteries again!
Also, is this true? If you completely deplete a battery more than once, you Have to buy a new one?


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Lounge model, there's a door under the front end of the sofa, hinged at the bottom so it opens onto the floor. Inside that door, it should be the control closest to the passenger side. On my 2012 it's a big red switch that turns clockwise to on, counterclockwise to off. .
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:06 PM   #4
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FYI on my 2013 Lounge model the manual battery disconnect is activated by the disconnect switch by the sliding door. When you toggle that switch it activates a motor that in turn rotates the manual battery disconnect switch off or on as appropriate. The user's manual implies they are separate switches but in fact they are effectively one in the same thing.

I no longer take anything in the Airstream owner's manual at face value, until I have verified what is actually installed and how it works. For example my user's manual also talks about the Tripp-Lite power management but in fact the installed system is the superior Magnum.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:36 PM   #5
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FYI on my 2013 Lounge model the manual battery disconnect is activated by the disconnect switch by the sliding door. When you toggle that switch it activates a motor that in turn rotates the manual battery disconnect switch off or on as appropriate....
Why don't they put a switch like that on the propane tank instead of the solenoid that constantly draws electricity?
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:30 PM   #6
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They do have a switch. Open the small door under the right rear corner and inside there is a toggle switch. Turn it off and the power is removed from the electric tank valve. But then you have to remember to turn it back on again. I and a couple others have added an additional, inside switch in series with that switch so we can do if from the inside.
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:52 PM   #7
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I think I read where the models w/ the remote battery disconnect still have a manual disconnect.

The house batteries are AGM and don't need water to be added. Drawing them down too low is not good for their longevity. Don't recall what the minimum voltage is to prevent degradation but it's here in the forum somewhere.

The solar panels or shore power will keep both the chassis and house batteries charged w/ the disconnect turned off.
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FromDad View Post
Another question…..and please, respond as if I were 6 years old….In my old Roadtrek, it took me awhile but got into the habit of turning the battery on and off….knew to turn it on Before plugging into shore power in order to charge it……that was something I didn't do for the longest time, the battery ran down quite a few times without my knowing why.
So! What the are the things I have to pay attention to as far as this battery? A battery that needs no water!
"Needs no water" is not the same as "lasts forever."

Basic rule— Don't run the batteries down below 50% charge. Easy to say, also easy to keep track of.
Periodically, on your tank and battery monitor, check the house battery voltage. If it goes below 12.25v, you've depleted the batteries to 50% charge or less, and you're past due to recharge them.
If it goes below 11.9v, you've depleted them to 0%, and you're looking at pulling the batteries to test and bench-charge them. Your mileage may vary, but you can consider that each time the batteries bottom out at or below 0% charge, you've taken about a year off the battery life even if you're able to resurrect them with a good multi-stage charger with temperature compensation.

Now here's the trick— Your batteries will last longer if you don't even let them run down to 50%. If you recharge when they're down to 75% charge or so (12.45v), you'll get a lot more life out of them.

You also have to run your generator every so often if you want it to last, so it's a good idea to recharge your batteries— from the generator, not shore power— before the batteries get too low to start the generator. Generators suffer when they're run at idle for long periods of time— propane-fueled generators somewhat less than liquid-fueled generators, but even so— so pick a time of day to recharge the batteries when you're also running something else, such as the microwave/convection oven or the air conditioner, or maybe the water heater on electric, to load up the generator and increase its engine rpms. That way, you'll keep both your batteries and generator happy and ensure they'll last as long as possible.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:26 PM   #9
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One other word to the wise regarding how deep discharging (less than 75% or even worse less than 50%) batteries effects their life . . . the longer they stay discharged before you get them good and fully charged back up the worse the effect on their long term health will be. I left the tank heaters on overnight and forgot to plug into shore power a couple of winters ago and found them FLAT dead the next morning. I promptly plugged in charged them back up with no obvious ill effects .... though after a couple of additional bone head moves where I sucked them down below their happy point they certainly did fall off. $500 later I have new Lifelines in there. Anyhow letting them sit in a discharged state for an extended period of time is the worst thing ..... something about sulfating the plates in the battery ....
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:08 AM   #10
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To answer eric1514's question about the type of valve used on the propane.... The valve performs a safety-related function in that it protects system components while filling. The only way that can be "passively" done is if the valve is a "fail-closed" valve. The spring in the valve forces the valve closed, so you must overcome that spring "actively" to keep the valve open. To the tune of about 4 watts of drain.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:57 AM   #11
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To answer eric1514's question about the type of valve used on the propane.... The valve performs a safety-related function in that it protects system components while filling. The only way that can be "passively" done is if the valve is a "fail-closed" valve. The spring in the valve forces the valve closed, so you must overcome that spring "actively" to keep the valve open. To the tune of about 4 watts of drain.
I hadn't thought of the "fail-closed" aspect. Makes sense now.

I do know, however, back in the day when CCI was in business making propane detectors with propane shut off capability, the valve was using in the neighborhood of 0.168 milliamps, or about 4 amps/24 hrs. I have one on my Class C. The solenoid has a 9 volt coil and is maintained with 1.5-2 volts.

Thanks for the reply,
Eric
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Lounge model, there's a door under the front end of the sofa, hinged at the bottom so it opens onto the floor. Inside that door, it should be the control closest to the passenger side. On my 2012 it's a big red switch that turns clockwise to on, counterclockwise to off. Right beside that is the cover to the house 12v fuses, beside that is the breaker panel, and then on the driver's side is the inverter/charger.

Since Interstates tend to vary in particulars based on the phase of the moon when they were assembled, yours might differ slightly from that arrangement.
So when you are storing your Interstate should the switch be vertical or horizontal to avoid running the battery down?
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:24 PM   #13
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Vertical which to me is counter-intuitive. Should be labeled.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:39 PM   #14
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Vertical which to me is counter-intuitive. Should be labeled.
Well, on mine the switch has a battery symbol on it. When the power is on, the battery symbol is right-side up, and with the power off the battery symbol is tipped on its side. Seems intuitive, but it is backwards from what's shown in the owner's manual.
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