Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-19-2018, 03:14 PM   #1
New Member
 
2017 Interstate Lounge Ext
Brentwood , Tennessee
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 4
Buying a 2017 - what to upgrade?

Hi. Faithful lurker here! Came across a 2017 TB Lounge with low miles within our budget. Hoped for a pre-owned 2018 but short on $$$. Have a bit to invest in upgrades. Please cast your vote for what we should add, change, etc...

Who we are: 2 adults, a 90# Newfoundland and 5 kids (4-13yrs). Experienced tent and backpacking campers. Alternatively, the grandparents who are accustomed to a luxurious style and travel.

Intended uses:
1. People mover instead of our Nissan NV for monthly travel of 7-8 hours each way.
2. Weekend camping primarily in state parks, often without hookups.
3. Future "Explore America" trips of a week or more plus the "bucket list" month-long Western boondocking adventure.

*** We will be towing a TACA Tigermoth for our big kids "quarters", the gear, etc... ***

So where do I spend the upgrade funds of $10-$15k?
A. Air ride? not on the one we are looking at.
B. Add 2 batteries and swap inverter and charge controller?
C. Should we convert to the tankless water heater?
D. What would you change, add, replace? Make your dreams come true here.
__________________

lesliem34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2018, 03:34 PM   #2
Contributing Member
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,132
Images: 3
Add 2 more AGM batteries and 100w of solar to bring it up to 2019 level.

Leave the water heater as is. Tankless will cost you valuable storage space and buy you little.

Leave inverter as is.No need for larger.
__________________

__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2018, 03:59 PM   #3
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 4,231
Hi

If you are going to fiddle with the batteries, at least *consider* switching over to lithium's. For about $2,000 ( so inside the budget ) you can drop in a pair of 100AH units with built in BMS ( battery management system ) batteries that are roughly group 27 sized. The advantage is that 200AH of lithium gives you 200AH of usable capacity compared to 200 AH of lead acid which gives you 100 AH of usable capacity.

I'm by no means saying it's always worth the money. It is at least worth considering.

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2018, 04:00 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
txntravlr's Avatar
 
2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Small Town TX & CO , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 90
We have a 2017 GT 4x4, and if I could do upgrades (too lazy, not a DIY’er & long way from the mother ship) my priority would be boondocking kit or at least adding batteries & more solar (to include new controller). Next would be Sumo springs front & rear then moving the LP port as Wachuko outlined.
txntravlr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2018, 04:07 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Loma Mar , California
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 70
Air suspension- very pricey but from what I heard a major improvment in ride quality for passengers in the rear.

This is what I'd do: Test drive an Intersate with the air suspension. I have not, but I am curious. For us, no one ever rides in the back except the dogs, and so far they havent complained about the ride quality.

I would do the Sumo Springs, front and rear as suggested. I would additionally replace the front and rear shocks as well did with Bilstein B6 series shocks.
Haasman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2018, 08:07 PM   #6
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar

 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 664
Quote:
Originally Posted by lesliem34 View Post
So where do I spend the upgrade funds of $10-$15k?
A. Air ride? not on the one we are looking at.
B. Add 2 batteries and swap inverter and charge controller?
C. Should we convert to the tankless water heater?
D. What would you change, add, replace? Make your dreams come true here.
Welcome and CONGRATS on the new ride.

A. Air ride? - did countless hours reading about VB Air since we primarily use our AI in people mover mode. Hands down, the only option I would never give up. I have not driven a 3500 without VB Air but have driven 2500 without. The rear passengers will hate the ride without it. But that is a big chunk of your upgrade budget.

B. Add 2 batteries and charge controller? Mine is still stock 2018, but when time comes, yes. Swap inverter? - my 3mo. old Magnum inverter already burned up, averted near catastophy & bodily injury. Not going to comment further.

C. My 2018 has tankless. I like that it provides unlimited hot water when at full hookups. I like that it is just 1 small vent hole on side of rv. I hate the amount of space I have to give up. And it wastes certain amount of water unless you install a hot water re-circulating pump. Toss-up on this for me.

D. I happen to luck out and get one from the first batch of 2018 with E&P Hydraulic Leveling system. It was a want, not a need, not a deal-breaker on my list. But now that I have it, I can not go any other way. But between that & VB Air, that would be your entire upgrade budget.
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2018, 10:13 PM   #7
Prof. of Pending Projects
 
wachuko's Avatar

 
2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,426
Smile

Leslie!!! It was great talking to your dad!! Welcome to the forum and can't wait for you to share photos of your new rig! We are here to help to ask away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lesliem34 View Post
...So where do I spend the upgrade funds of $10-$15k?
A. Air ride? not on the one we are looking at.
B. Add 2 batteries and swap inverter and charge controller?
C. Should we convert to the tankless water heater?
D. What would you change, add, replace? Make your dreams come true here.
A. Yes. But that will take a big chunk of your budget
B. Add the batteries, leave the stock inverter alone, not much space to swap for a bigger one which means locating else where (which means close to 4K when all said and done)... Yes to the solar charge controller - get a Victron Smart 100/30 unit. 2017 has one solar panel, I would recommend adding two more solar panels (easy to do). All this will let you run your fridge all night without worries.
C. No. Leave water heater alone, no real need to change it.

I would add to the must-do/must-have list:

Blue Sea ACR-7622 to replace stock BIM
3m Crystalline window film in all front windows and windshield to cut down on the heat.


What would I change? lol... check link in signature

Great to have you here!! Happy travels!
__________________
Safe travels!
Wachuko
WBCCI #26769
2018 Airstream Interstate 3500 Lounge EXT Tommy Bahama w/ARS
wachuko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2018, 08:04 AM   #8
New Member
 
2017 Interstate Lounge Ext
Brentwood , Tennessee
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 4
Thanks for all the feedback! Here’s my list based on your suggestions, FB suggestions and hours on this very forum pouring through your experiences. Now on to pricing!

1. Ride improvement
Option 1: Sumo springs front and rear, Koni/Bilstein B6/Fox shocks, sway bar, and Firestone air bags/air ride option
Option 2: OEM is VBAir

2. Inverter - 2000w if there is room

3. Power upgrades
a. 400W total solar on the roof
b. new solar charge controller - Victron 100/30
c. Blue Sea ACR-7622 to replace stock BIM
d. Battery disconnect switch
e. go lithium…. 100Ah group 27 size (2) with BMS minimum, more Ah if possible

4. 3M Crystalline window film on front windows and top of windshield
5. Fantastic Fan bugscreen and vent cover
lesliem34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2018, 09:08 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
FlyFishinRVr's Avatar
 
2017 Interstate Lounge Ext
Northern , California
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by lesliem34 View Post
Thanks for all the feedback! Here’s my list based on your suggestions, FB suggestions and hours on this very forum pouring through your experiences. Now on to pricing!

1. Ride improvement
Option 1: Sumo springs front and rear, Koni/Bilstein B6/Fox shocks, sway bar, and Firestone air bags/air ride option
Option 2: OEM is VBAir

2. Inverter - 2000w if there is room

3. Power upgrades
a. 400W total solar on the roof
b. new solar charge controller - Victron 100/30
c. Blue Sea ACR-7622 to replace stock BIM
d. Battery disconnect switch
e. go lithium…. 100Ah group 27 size (2) with BMS minimum, more Ah if possible

4. 3M Crystalline window film on front windows and top of windshield
5. Fantastic Fan bugscreen and vent cover

Re. “E” above, be aware that this only works with something like the Battleborn (aka Firefly) battery due to their built in BMS to make it compatible with AGM charging sources. They run about $900 each.....
FlyFishinRVr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2018, 09:34 AM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Huntington Beach , CA
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post
Re. “E” above, be aware that this only works with something like the Battleborn (aka Firefly) battery due to their built in BMS to make it compatible with AGM charging sources. They run about $900 each.....
I was interested in Lithium batteries also and I email many Lithium-with-built-in-BMS manufacturers. There were conflicting answers regarding how to deal with the alternator as a charging source.

Lithium batteries are very hard on alternators with built in regulators. The alternators tend to overheat when charging lithium batteries (high amps). Also, what happens when the batteries are fully charged and the BMS disconnects them from the charging sources or alternator?

Just FYI.
Boom23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2018, 09:43 AM   #11
Prof. of Pending Projects
 
wachuko's Avatar

 
2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,426
I did look into the Magnum MS2012 2000 Watt puresine inverter with charger and interim solution... thinking that it would be easy swapping it with the one I have. But the dimensions forces you to move it to another location and I really did not wanted to take that project on...it was at that moment that I reached out to Lew for a quote on a Victron setup... if there was that amount of work to be done, might as well go big and go with an expert... but the wife found out and put the brakes on my...

Stock: 16.6"x8.4"x4.7"
MS2012: 13.75"x12.65"x8.0"

It is almost double the height (4.7" vs 8")... no way to fit it in stock location.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Magnum MS2012 2000 Watt Puresine Inverter with Charger.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	97.1 KB
ID:	314613   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2853.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	273.1 KB
ID:	314614  

__________________
Safe travels!
Wachuko
WBCCI #26769
2018 Airstream Interstate 3500 Lounge EXT Tommy Bahama w/ARS
wachuko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2018, 09:48 AM   #12
Prof. of Pending Projects
 
wachuko's Avatar

 
2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,426
Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom23 View Post
I was interested in Lithium batteries also and I email many Lithium-with-built-in-BMS manufacturers. There were conflicting answers regarding how to deal with the alternator as a charging source.

Lithium batteries are very hard on alternators with built in regulators. The alternators tend to overheat when charging lithium batteries (high amps). Also, what happens when the batteries are fully charged and the BMS disconnects them from the charging sources or alternator?

Just FYI.
In Facebook they pointed her to the same solution used by ARV and now Winnebago. Volta Power Systems. But I have no idea what their systems cost... Here is a list of their kits:

https://voltapowersystems.com/indust...orage-rv/#kits
__________________
Safe travels!
Wachuko
WBCCI #26769
2018 Airstream Interstate 3500 Lounge EXT Tommy Bahama w/ARS
wachuko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2018, 11:02 AM   #13
3 Rivet Member
 
2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Huntington Beach , CA
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by wachuko View Post
In Facebook they pointed her to the same solution used by ARV and now Winnebago. Volta Power Systems. But I have no idea what their systems cost... Here is a list of their kits:

https://voltapowersystems.com/indust...orage-rv/#kits
There are many ways to add Lithium batteries. My point is that they are not drop-in. They require a lot of planning and modifications to traditional charging systems. They also require user knowledge.

I installed a 700ah Lithium battery system on my now-sold boat. These batteries should have lasted close to the life of the boat. The buyer's captain manage to destroy them after few months, even with all the built-in failsafes.

Lithium batteries are not drop-in, yet...
Boom23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2018, 08:43 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Lotus54's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 594
I would suggest taking it out for awhile before doing any expensive upgrades and keep the money in the bank.
That way you can decide what you really need/want for YOUR uses.

I have an older AI, but for me, 2 nights on the 100Ah battery is just fine. BUT it depends on how much 12V power you use when off-grid. I would use more in the winter, running the furnace and longer time with lights on.
One thing that could help decide if you really need the battery capacity (at least until you start doing ‘future’ longer boondocks) is a battery monitor.
I was given a Trimetric monitor (thanks again IB/LB) and while I monitored voltage before I found this gives much more useful information on how much I’m using the battery. If you are consistently running the batteries way down then of course increasing capacity is going to be needed. But since you really want to match batteries, you would have to replace your current one anyway. So I suggest seeing how it works with just it for awhile.

I know I’ve gotten loads of ideas from people on here (including which model to buy). Some fit with our use, some don’t. But it could be you wont’ really know until you have it and use it for awhile to see how you really use it.
I personally do a LOT of day trips (I ride an ‘Observed Trials’ motorcycle and ride quite a bit) and we also do 2-3 day trips fairly often. Just got back from a 6 week 11,000 mile around the country trip.
So I’ve figured out what works for us pretty well, but I’m sure your requirements are different. Would I like more battery capacity? Sure! But it is adequate now. I don’t currently have any solar at all and that would help to some degree (depends on where we are, lots of places around here have thick canopy and solar is worthless).

On your hot water tank. At least on mine, it warms up very quickly and we generally don’t use a lot of hot water anyway. One- the propane tank is very small on the earlier models, Two- limited grey water tank size, Three- with that in mind showers are ‘navy showers’ and not much hot water is used anyway. So I’m thinking a tankless might me darn nice, the funds may be better spent on fuel and time off to enjoy the AI.

Wow- all that to say I suggest just using it and seeing what you personally need to upgrade.

mark
__________________

Lotus54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Now that I have a 2017 AI what to I upgrade first? sheakev Sprinter and B-van Forum 34 12-08-2017 04:02 AM
NorCal : 2017 Olema Spring Rally April 7-9, 2017 (formerly at Casini) HootMon-Frau Forum Rallies & Meet Ups 14 04-01-2017 12:46 PM
Buying sheets for 2017 26U Roxy59 General Interior Topics 13 02-25-2017 04:42 PM
Necessary to upgrade Parallax 8355 on 2017 International? interstateflyer Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 21 10-06-2016 05:42 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.