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Old 03-23-2015, 02:21 PM   #43
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You use jumper cables smaller than battery cables? I've never heard of such a thing! And you should see the alligator clips on professional-quality cables. You could damn near amputate a finger if you accidentally let one snap closed on your hand. Them suckers can grip!
We were at a property we were renovating when the electricians van would not start. Nobody had jumper cables so we used a piece of Romex wiring. Worked like a charm.
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:59 PM   #44
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Looks like you have found the only other good use of Romex other than wiring houses!!! :-))


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Old 03-23-2015, 03:58 PM   #45
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Looks like you have found the only other good use of Romex other than wiring houses!!! :-))
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:32 PM   #46
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Update on our "situation."

Tow truck came out today. Chassis battery is so dead, it wouldn't jump start. We hooked up a battery charger to charge overnight and see if we can start it tomorrow.

There are two messed up wires that both run to the inverter. One of them has a hole in it, as if someone put a screw through it. (see photo below). The other wire looks like it was accidentally pinched and ruined when someone put the cover back on the compartment.

Ahem...the last time this compartment was opened, was when our local dealer/service department was in there to fix a non-working battery disconnect switch!!! I'm pretty pissed off right now, so I will go so far as to say that they are to blame for at least part of our problems.

We still have questions about how this could all go so bad....

How and why would the chassis battery be so freakin' dead after just 4 weeks of non-use?

Jim Parrett at Airstream, says there is no connection between the two events (house batteries dead AND chassis battery dead). But we keep thinking there must be something that's gone wrong due to the damaged wires, etc. Just too big of a coincidence, in my mind.

Is it possible the BIM would be effected and fail, and therefore when the coach batteries drained, it then also drained the chassis battery?

Since the local dealer seems to have messed up the wires to begin with, you can imagine how thrilled we are to have to take it back in there for repair.

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Old 03-24-2015, 07:28 PM   #47
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I think that the 2 events are unrelated. Engine batteries can easily self-discharge in 4 weeks while in storage, especially when you consider all of the parasitic loads that are placed on them when Airstream builds the Interstate on the Sprinter chassis.

The screen shot from the Magnum remote that you sent me via text said 'no comm' to the inverter. The remote was obviously getting power from the inverter, but the screw hole in the connecting cable prevented the transfer of data necessary to operate the charging section of the inverter. This resulted in the batteries not getting any charge, even though your were plugged in.

The parasitic loads in the house portion of the coach were probably still on because you thought (rightfully so) that your house batteries were getting charged while plugged in. IF THEY WERE (which they obviously were NOT), the BIM (if it was functioning properly) would have 'seen' the charging of the house batteries and when the engine battery was reduced to 80% depth of discharge from it's parasitic loads, would have closed the solenoid at the back of the rig underneath the rear lounge and also would have charged the engine battery.

The failure of the inverter to be able to send signals to the remote (think of it as the inverter's 'brain') then caused the failure of BOTH batteries.

The Lifeline AGMs may still be OK, depending on how the voltage got discharged and for how long. The only way to definitively ascertain this is to have the batteries fully charged, then find someone with a conductance meter that will provide an accurate picture of the battery health.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:51 PM   #48
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Lew, thanks for the easy to understand explanation.

I would argue that, though it's possible for the chassis battery to deplete that much, it would NOT have, had the coach batteries not gone dead, therefore causing the BIM to not function properly.

And that brings us back to the idiots who last worked on our rig and accessed that compartment, and must have damaged both of those cables. That was a very careless and expensive mistake.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:00 PM   #49
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Hopefully, they are capable of placing new RJ-45 plugs onto the comm cables leading to the inverter. be sure that the orientation of the colors with respect to the release tab on those plugs IS IDENTICAL to the ones they remove, or the inverter still won't talk to the remote.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:12 PM   #50
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OK. Will definitely double check this. Thanks for the heads-up.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:25 AM   #51
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Sometimes I read threads such as this one, and I just want to say, sorry for your troubles. There's no way you should have to face the likes of all that and it's obviously eating a chunk of your life and your wallet.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:38 AM   #52
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Agree! Poor and/or incompetent service work should not be tolerated. If someone spends a considerable sum to get custom systems installed by specialists in their field and those systems function as designed after the installation is complete, it is extremely frustrating to have to deal with untrained or incompetent techs who should not touch those systems if they are not trained to do so!!!!


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Old 03-25-2015, 09:07 AM   #53
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Interblog & Lew....AGREED!!!
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:49 PM   #54
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Storage manager hooked up battery charger and let is charge all night. He just called to say battery will not hold a charge. &^*** (worst swear words you've ever seen).

I do NOT want to put a new battery in yet, because until the whole system is fixed, I assume it's gonna drain out just like the existing one.

Any words of wisdom here?

When I replace the battery, what should I buy?
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:09 PM   #55
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Storage manager hooked up battery charger and let is charge all night. He just called to say battery will not hold a charge. &^*** (worst swear words you've ever seen).

I do NOT want to put a new battery in yet, because until the whole system is fixed, I assume it's gonna drain out just like the existing one.

Any words of wisdom here?

When I replace the battery, what should I buy?
You'll need a Group 49 AGM Starting Battery. AGM because your battery box is inside the van under the driver's footwell, and Group 49 because that's what was in there before. I don't know if you can get Lifeline in that configuration, but if you can, that's the brand to get.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:15 PM   #56
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side note: this forum is a real life saver. can not express how grateful I am for all of you who try to help out your fellow streamers.
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