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Old 03-14-2015, 01:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Peter,

Nope, as a good friend from 'Nawlins' always says "it don't make no matta" what type of box you have.

The external vent gets sealed so no water can enter they it. Not required with Lifelines and the new Lithiums are incapable of gassing.

New Velcro tabs on batteries to hold the carpet. All positive terminals (2) are covered and insulated with red silicone boots.

I typically don't run more than 1 wire to the positive output terminal, preferring to use remote terminal blocks.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks Lew, and one of these days I'll be calling on you for a solar and battery upgrade!
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:37 PM   #16
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Just pick your vacation spot: Floruda


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Old 03-14-2015, 02:38 PM   #17
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Oops ! Damn phones!!!!

FL in winter and OR in summer. Tough choice!!!!!!


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Old 03-14-2015, 05:26 PM   #18
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Sorry I don't have a picture, but wait to you see where they put them now, should have a nice road debris/snow build-up on them very quickly.

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Old 03-14-2015, 06:46 PM   #19
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Here's the thread that I just used to replace the house batteries in my 2012 EXT

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...up-109319.html

Seems like battery box sizes are different even within the same models and year. I was just able to squeeze in 2 of the LifeLine GPL-4CT 6Volt batteries. I was hoping to use the 6CT's, however there was no way they would fit. On the bright side, access to my box was very easy; just pull back the vertical carpet and remove the screws on the cover plate.

As recommended by others on this forum, I got my batteries from Mark at Centex. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. The price was great, and he spent a fair amount of time before and after the purchase helping me understand things. I got the 2 batteries delivered for $598.

Everything is working well so far (they have only been installed for a week).

My biggest issue with the old batteries was that they couldn't sit thru a month of indoor storage. I'm pretty anal retentive with phantom loads that drain my batteries while in storage. Seems like my biggest culprit at this point is my solar panel controller. It always draws a load regardless of what is turned off in the rig for storage. Has anyone considered making that a 'switched' connection? Would that cause issues if it were off while parked in the sun? Where would the 'solar juice' go?

On that note, I have noticed that my solar charger is not always charging when parked in the full sun. At first I thought it was because my batteries were fully charged, but right now I'm at 85% and there are still no charging amps heading to the batteries. My setup is the TrippLite system with SunExplorer solar charger. The weird part, is that it seems to be intermittent; sometimes it shows charging. I thought it might be some of my TrippLite dip switch settings, but that does not appear to be the case.

In the big picture, my issue will be short lived. I'm about to buy a new inverter and 2 more solar panels (going to remove the TV antenna). I just need to put the time in to figure out what components to buy (inverter, panels, solar charger, etc). Looks like all of the needed info is here in the forums. I just need to spend some time digging thru them.

BTW, I also spent the time to wire a switch in a new switch for the propane. Once again the forum was a lot of help. It's a minor change, but something about having control of the propane from the inside really makes me happy....


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Old 03-14-2015, 06:57 PM   #20
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As a follow up to my above post, I just took off the cover in the back and gained access to my solar controller. The LED on it shows a full a full charge (versus partial or low). My actual battery voltage is 12.49; not exactly full. Anyone have thoughts on why this may be?

My guess is that since the controller is seeing a full charge, it is not supplying power to recharge the batteries.


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Old 03-14-2015, 07:50 PM   #21
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Did you ever think that your OEM solar controller is simply NOT up to the job of properly charging your batteries? Now that you have Lifelines, they need a very specific voltage profile for proper charging. Your TrippLite won't do them justice either.

I suggest that you find someone who knows what your expensive new AGM batteries require and what hardware you need to provide it.


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Old 03-14-2015, 08:19 PM   #22
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House Batteries Replacement

Check that all the connectors a tight and solid, especially the large lugs on the Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) relay. Mine were loose and gave me some really weird electrical problems until I tightened the 1/4" terminals on the relay to solve my problems.

I also agree with Lew. The solar controller provided by Airstream is not a good unit and the Tripp Lite charger is less than optimal. The newer Interstates now have Magnum inverter/charger, but Airstream has chosen not to include the battery temperature sensor for some strange reason.

I upgraded to a Blue Sky MPPT solar controller when I added new solar panels. I bought everything from AM Solar - they are the best source for what you need.

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Old 03-15-2015, 12:42 AM   #23
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Jim P. @ Airstream told me that the solar controller didn't kick in until the voltage dropped to 12.4V. That seems to be the way mine works most of the time.
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:12 AM   #24
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So that means that you MUST deplete your batteries almost 40% before the solar charge is initiated????

You will see a marked difference in the performance of your batteries with a quality 3-stage MPPT solar controller.


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Old 03-15-2015, 11:11 AM   #25
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Lew,

Do you have any other photos, such as without the seat in place and/or the roof where you added the three panels (it looks awfully familiar to me)?

How did you run the wires inside the cabin?

Finally, do you have a recommended controller?

Gerald

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Peter,

Nope, as a good friend from 'Nawlins' always says "it don't make no matta" what type of box you have.

The external vent gets sealed so no water can enter they it. Not required with Lifelines and the new Lithiums are incapable of gassing.

New Velcro tabs on batteries to hold the carpet. All positive terminals (2) are covered and insulated with red silicone boots.

I typically don't run more than 1 wire to the positive output terminal, preferring to use remote terminal blocks.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


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Old 03-15-2015, 12:29 PM   #26
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Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1426440466.564313.jpg
Views:	117
Size:	68.9 KB
ID:	234225

This is the three panel solar setup Lew did for me. Lew's work is fantastic.


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Old 03-15-2015, 12:51 PM   #27
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Gerald, I'll look for some shots later tonight. Panels run into a combiner box and then thru the only hole I put in the roof.......unless I add a Jack antenna. Then there are 2.........

Neil, thanks for the kind words, I'm blushing, but don't hAve an emoto-con.


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Old 03-15-2015, 09:41 PM   #28
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Gerald,
Here's some photos posted in another thread where Lew did a fantastic design and installation on my AI. It has some significant solar, controller, battery(440Ah), inverter, and additional AC/DC freezer. I've been using it for a year. I hope this helps. Steve.

Name:   ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1426473579.336855.jpg
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Name:   ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1426473593.436489.jpg
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Name:   ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1426473607.555116.jpg
Views: 288
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Views: 355
Size:  59.0 KB

Name:   ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1426473655.440351.jpg
Views: 287
Size:  97.7 KB


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