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Old 04-11-2014, 05:18 PM   #1
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Battery Question on the Interstate

We'll leave a campsite with the battery fully charged, drive home and have the RV idle for a few days with the battery disconnect off (not connected to shore power in our driveway), and when we hop back in the RV ready to take it on the road, the battery level is nil. Is that supposed to happen? Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:03 PM   #2
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It's not normal for either the house batteries or the chassis battery to be dead after just a few days. On a 2014, I believe that the main house battery disconnect also depowers the propane solenoid.

Check these items:
1 - Antenna booster. It may work independently of the main disconnect. If so, and you left it on, it will draw the batteries down very quickly.
2 - Circuit breakers. Those are 120vAC, not 12vDC, but the Magnum inverter/charger might be wired in parallel to the main disconnect, not downstream of it to allow batteries to charge from shore power while the disconnect is off. If so, that also means that it will invert even with the disconnect switched off, unless you kill the power to the AC circuits. I don't really know about the Magnums, but the Tripplite on my 2012 is definitely not shut off when the main disconnect is shut off.
3 - Refrigerator. If the circuit breakers are left on, and you didn't switch the refrigerator off at the dial inside the box, this will be a big parasitic drain just like the antenna booster.
4 - Propane solenoid. 2014 models are supposed to have the propane solenoid downstream of the main disconnect, not parallel to it, but it doesn't hurt to check and make sure.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ATE123 View Post
We'll leave a campsite with the battery fully charged, drive home and have the RV idle for a few days with the battery disconnect off (not connected to shore power in our driveway), and when we hop back in the RV ready to take it on the road, the battery level is nil. Is that supposed to happen? Thanks again for the feedback.
Just had the same issue in my new 2013. The issue was caused by not turning the frig knob all the way off (counter clockwise)..past the point where I thought it was off. Resistance, than a click of sorts. problem resolved. Same with the antenna boost. Made sure the green light is off. Jeff
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:48 PM   #4
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Is the solar panel putting out max current?
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:50 PM   #5
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Our 2014 model with 2013 chassis has the Magnum. Even when turned off at the control panel, the Magnum itself draws small current I was told by Jim Parrett. When you turn off true master battery disconnect your propane valve is off (no current draw) and the 12volts to the refrigerator is also off. Yes, check the amplifier for the tv (I leave it off except when using it). Make sure you have the radio turned off. It too draws a small amount of power to hold its memory. Several days should not cause what you are experiencing. Are you getting any solar power? Is the sun hitting the panel or are you parked in shade? If still wondering, I'd call Airstream and ask to talk to customer service, after you have read all the manuals first. Also, do yo have any idea of how long your unit sat at the dealer, possibly not plugged into shore power? If the batteries are discharged too low, they may not fully regain total storage capacity without doing an "equalization." But I'd suggest talking with Airtream before doing it and also call Magnum too about equalization charge.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:42 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the smart feedback- definitely need to deal with the antenna booster and the fridge switch. Also, will look at draw from inverter- but a little worried that the battery may be compromised from the rv sitting at the dealership for a long time. Will try the above and see what happens. I'll be excited when I get to the point where I can intelligently respond to other people's queries!
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:59 AM   #7
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One thing you might want to do, just to have a little more information at your disposal...on your solar readout panel....if it is the same as my 2013... scroll down to the amp-hr readout and zero the reading. Then watch each day to see if you have had much input from the solar panel. As others have said in earlier posts, the battery isolation manager will draw 8-10 amp-hr a day, and it cannot be shutoff. If you are not getting that or much over that, you might want to look further. The solar will not bring you back from a discharged state, but it should keep up with th parasitic drains.
I am new at this too....so if any of you vets out there see anything wrong with that let me know.
BTW....routinely idling for exended periods, to charge, is not a good idea...it is hard on the diesel exhaust system. You could get premature clogging of the diesel particulate filter...over time.... It is best to drive around to get the temperature and flow up.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:17 AM   #8
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Looks like solar not drawing anything- and sad but true, I cannot find where I am supposed to turn off the antenna booster. Help?
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:19 AM   #9
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BTW....routinely idling for exended periods, to charge, is not a good idea...it is hard on the diesel exhaust system. You could get premature clogging of the diesel particulate filter...over time.... It is best to drive around to get the temperature and flow up.
The technical term is "wet stacking," a holdover from semi's where the exhaust is a vertical stack. From Clifford Power Systems:
Quote:
When the diesel engine runs below its designed operating temperature for extended periods, unburned fuel is exhausted and noticed as wetness in the exhaust system, hence the phrase "wet stacking."
The generally accepted practice to prevent wet stacking, which can permanently damage your engine and turbo in time, is to load the engine to about 75% of its rated capacity. For your Interstate, getting the engine up to at least 2000rpm for about half an hour is enough to prevent wet stacking.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:25 AM   #10
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ON my 2013....the antenna booster is located in the compartment above the driver, behind the slide-panel, on the left outer wall. There is a small push button there that will turn it off. The pilot LED will go out when it is off.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:27 AM   #11
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Also...sometimes your solar panel will not be putting anything out, even in full sun. The controller kicks in when the voltage drops below a setpoint, then and only then, will you see a charge coming from the panel.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:29 AM   #12
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ON my 2013....the antenna booster is located in the compartment above the driver, behind the slide-panel, on the left outer wall. There is a small push button there that will turn it off. The pilot LED will go out when it is off.

That is where I was looking, but I will look again! Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:32 AM   #13
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The push button (on mine) is a SMALL black plastic thing. I did not realize it was a button until I pushed it in desperation one day.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:33 AM   #14
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Got it. Thanks. I need to be a tad bit smarter and less impatient!
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