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Old 09-10-2015, 06:31 PM   #43
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Chattanooga , Tennessee
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 59
Dave is the owner? Cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Dave is THE MAN when it comes to all things Lifeline. He should be..... He owns the company!!!!!!


Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357
Wow, I had no idea I was talking to the owner. Although he took great pride of ownership in the company and its product line, so I guess he was talking like the owner. Just surprised that he's the one who answered my call. Nice.

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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
For inquiring minds.....JC is Jackson Center....the center of all things Airstream...the factory at Jackson Center, Ohio.

Maggie
Yeah, that would be for me. I've seen "JC" in several threads and had no idea who/what it meant. Now I know. I was thinking that maybe the Airstream CEO was "JC" but now I know it's just referring to corporate...
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:28 PM   #44
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2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
Maybe the 2014 AIs are different but the solar panel on mine keeps the batteries fully charged w/ everything turned off except the BIM and the solar charge controller. It averages is about 2 amp hours per day, even with cloud cover.

A bad battery can show 100% charge until you put a load on it and then that drains that charge very rapidly. I believe that's called a surface charge.
Same here, with 2015 AI. 100w solar
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:42 AM   #45
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Chattanooga , Tennessee
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Lifeline

I had another discussion with Dave at Lifeline. I really appreciate his insights into his company's product and how it is working with Airstream. He mentioned that he will be scheduling a time to talk with Airstream again to hopefully get the battery charging issues resolved. So please feel free to post any issues you may have had with the battery charging so that he can get more examples for discussions with Airstream. Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:17 PM   #46
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Madison , Alabama
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Provide external electricity to AS AI

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianKrueger View Post
I have been trying to get the generator started and have only had it started successfully two times--once at delivery in March and once in August after being on shore power for 18 hours. I have not been able to start the generator on its own without shore power . We store the AI in an open lot with plenty of direct sunlight, but no power available.

I know that the recommendation is now to put the AI on shore power for 24-48 hours each month, but that's simply not practical for us (and apparently many others, from reading the forum threads).

I'm willing to try just about anything to avoid paying $800 for batteries I have never used. In looking at the batteries, they are slightly bowed out on the sides. Is this what the service tech was referring to as being "swelled" (which is not covered by the warranty)?

Any suggestions on what I might do over the next 8-9 days before bringing the AI in for service?

Any help or advice to ..... would be appreciated.
Brian, you are experiencing the disadvantage of storing your RV in an uncovered lot with no shore electricity available. The storage lot industry does not understand the needs of the RV owner.

I have on occasion stored an RV in a covered facility that was always heated to above freezing (40 degrees +) & allowed powering the RV up to 10 amps. This is really deluxe living for an RV !

Presently, my RVs all have power available, with one stored inside, as well.

My advice is to search until you find a storage facility that offers inside storage, heated, and with power. It will be money will spent. If you are in the Atlanta area, there is a big co., National Indoor RV Centers, that has this type of facility.

In your present situation, I recommend that you obtain a stand alone portable genset. Harbor Freight has a 2 stroke 900 watt genset for about $100 that would be enough power to allow your on board converter/charger to recharge your batteries. It could possibly help your batteries start your genset, but don't let the AI's genset & the outside genset provide electricity to the coach at the same time. Turn the genset to AI breaker off until you shut off the outside genset. Harbor Freight also offers a 2500 watt 4 stroke inverter genset for $500 that provides 18 amps at 120 VDC or 8.3 amps at 12VDC. This genset can likely power everything in the AI just as though it was hooked up to shore power. After a couple of hours run time, a good set of coach batteries possibly could start your AI genset. Again, don't let both gensets provide power to the AI electrical system at the same time.

I mentioned the brand name not as an endorsement, but to illustrate the size of genset. There are a lot of 2500 watt gensets on the market. Not too many 500 to 800 watt sizes, but they are out there, too.

I recommend that you run either one of these size gensets hooked to the RV once per week for 2 hours or so. If you have batteries in the AI, that should be enough run time to recharge what the batteries lost since the last power application.

Power to RV's at all times is best: keeps the coach batteries charged, allows the owner to keep the refer turned on, allows the use of a dehumidifier, and also to possibly keep some anti freeze heat or air conditioning in use.

I have used small carbon disk heaters to keep the RV interiors above freezing. The 1500 or 750 watt setting provides an anti freezing setting. Not much heat but typically keeps the coach at 40 to 50 degrees.

I have one trailer at a leased lake side site. The thermostat is set to 89 degrees and keeps the trailer from overheating + reduces humidity which is one of the many enemies of RV's. I am seeing monthly electricity bills of around $25. A trailer stored outside on my property has a dehumidifier powered 24/7. The water drains via hose to the shower drain and thence to the 35 gallon gray tank. I drain that tank at least once per month although the dehum has never come close to filling the tank. The dehum draws 400 watts when it runs, but it's duty cycle seems to be about 15 or 20 minutes per hour, after the humidity in the trailer reaches the level set on the dial.

I've heard the term "lot rot". It's not my term but I think it means that RV's suffer when left on lots and the temperature/humidity is not controlled inside. I know the batteries fail when allowed to discharge and sit for very long in a flat condition. I baby my batteries, but I get 2 or 3 times the life most people report.

I think the condition in your AGM batteries was caused by overpressuring the cases. What happened? We may never know, it likely happened before you got the AI. Possibly the batteries were hit by a charger that fed too much amperage into the batteries and caused gassing that could not be released via the tiny vent holes.

Hope you find my suggestions to be useful. Many other posters have given very good advice also. Battery maintenance is a very technical subject. Many RVers want to use only full hook up sites in order to avoid the distressing battery failures common to dry camping. It is improper battery maintenance that cause these poor results.

Let's Roll !
Wolf
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:04 AM   #47
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Wolf, a few comments on your reply if I may set the record straight.

My replies are in RED

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf Alaska View Post


Brian, you are experiencing the disadvantage of storing your RV in an uncovered lot with no shore electricity available. The storage lot industry does not understand the needs of the RV owner.

I have on occasion stored an RV in a covered facility that was always heated to above freezing (40 degrees +) & allowed powering the RV up to 10 amps. This is really deluxe living for an RV !

Presently, my RVs all have power available, with one stored inside, as well.

My advice is to search until you find a storage facility that offers inside storage, heated, and with power. It will be money will spent. If you are in the Atlanta area, there is a big co., National Indoor RV Centers, that has this type of facility.

In your present situation, I recommend that you obtain a stand alone portable genset. Harbor Freight has a 2 stroke 900 watt genset for about $100 that would be enough power to allow your on board converter/charger to recharge your batteries. Interstate vans use a very smart Magnum inverter/charger, not a converter. Your suggestion for using an additional generator is not at all necessary for an Interstate. If the house batteries are not holding enough charge to start the generator, a dash switch for the battery boost feature will link both the engine and house batteries while the engine is running to start the gen/set. It could possibly help your batteries start your genset, but don't let the AI's genset & the outside genset provide electricity to the coach at the same time. Turn the genset to AI breaker off until you shut off the outside genset. Harbor Freight also offers a 2500 watt 4 stroke inverter genset for $500 that provides 18 amps at 120 VDC or 8.3 amps at 12VDC. This genset can likely power everything in the AI just as though it was hooked up to shore power. After a couple of hours run time, a good set of coach batteries possibly could start your AI genset. Again, don't let both gensets provide power to the AI electrical system at the same time. You can't have 2 power sources simultaneously, as there is an internal transfer switch in all Interstates that allow either internal generator or shore power but not both.

I mentioned the brand name not as an endorsement, but to illustrate the size of genset. There are a lot of 2500 watt gensets on the market. Not too many 500 to 800 watt sizes, but they are out there, too.

I recommend that you run either one of these size gensets hooked to the RV once per week for 2 hours or so. If you have batteries in the AI, that should be enough run time to recharge what the batteries lost since the last power application. With an on-board generator, why do you recommend using an external generator? Simply run the AI's gen/set once every two weeks or so to keep the batteries replenished from the parasitic loads. And speaking of parasitic drains, simply disconnecting the battery negative cable will effectively isolate the batteries. Lifeline AGMs will easily retain full charge for up to 90 days .

Power to RV's at all times is best: keeps the coach batteries charged, allows the owner to keep the refer turned on, allows the use of a dehumidifier, and also to possibly keep some anti freeze heat or air conditioning in use.

I have used small carbon disk heaters to keep the RV interiors above freezing. The 1500 or 750 watt setting provides an anti freezing setting. Not much heat but typically keeps the coach at 40 to 50 degrees.

I have one trailer at a leased lake side site. The thermostat is set to 89 degrees and keeps the trailer from overheating + reduces humidity which is one of the many enemies of RV's. I am seeing monthly electricity bills of around $25. A trailer stored outside on my property has a dehumidifier powered 24/7. The water drains via hose to the shower drain and thence to the 35 gallon gray tank. I drain that tank at least once per month although the dehum has never come close to filling the tank. The dehum draws 400 watts when it runs, but it's duty cycle seems to be about 15 or 20 minutes per hour, after the humidity in the trailer reaches the level set on the dial.

I've heard the term "lot rot". It's not my term but I think it means that RV's suffer when left on lots and the temperature/humidity is not controlled inside. I know the batteries fail when allowed to discharge and sit for very long in a flat condition. I baby my batteries, but I get 2 or 3 times the life most people report.

I think the condition in your AGM batteries was caused by overpressuring the cases. What happened? We may never know, it likely happened before you got the AI. Possibly the batteries were hit by a charger that fed too much amperage into the batteries and caused gassing that could not be released via the tiny vent holes. Doesn't happen with Lifelines! They can accept very large amperages for charging and they recombine any gassing back into the battery. In the extreme case of over voltage (over 15 VDC @ 77ļF) or thermal runaway, the one way vents open quite easily to prevent any overpressure events.

Hope you find my suggestions to be useful. Many other posters have given very good advice also. Battery maintenance is a very technical subject. Many RVers want to use only full hook up sites in order to avoid the distressing battery failures common to dry camping. It is improper battery maintenance that cause these poor results.

Let's Roll !
Wolf
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