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Old 10-26-2015, 09:26 AM   #43
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+1 on the poor Airstream manuals. The 2015 Interstate manual is a bit better than earlier versions.


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Old 10-26-2015, 09:35 AM   #44
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You may ask yourself, Why don't I just spend $60 and a couple of hours and bolt an Intellitec BD-01 onto the back of the battery case?

The answer is because I paid a pretty penny for this Airstream van, and I'm pretty annoyed that a basic, inherently-important feature doesn't work right. The van came with a warranty. This is Airstream's problem to fix, not mine, and I'm not modifying any part of the system until Airstream has found and fixed the problem.
Well, to each his own. Though from your several posts on this thread it may not be your own for very much longer as it appears you'll invoke lemon laws to get rid of the van rather than solve the problem yourself.

If it was me and I knew of a way to make MY van better at low cost, I'd do it, and say, "Screw the warranty." But that's just me.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:10 AM   #45
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Over the weekend I was able to get plugged in and fully charged. The invereter is definitely turned off now as is the main battery switch. I didn't turn off the 110 breakers. The Maxum screen says there is 0 Amps draw. If there is actually less than 0.5 amps being drawn, will the screen show 0 or does it measure in tenths of amps? The van is parked under a tree possibly limiting the effect of the solar panel. I'll check every day on the remaining charge. After unplugging it says the batteries are at 12.9 volts. Does this sound correct?
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:31 AM   #46
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After unplugging it says the batteries are at 12.9 volts. Does this sound correct?
What did it show before you unplugged?
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:49 PM   #47
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Sorry, I didn't notice that. It may have been 13.1 on Float??? I didn't pay attention because of thinking that was the charger output rather than the batteries.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:22 PM   #48
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After unplugging it says the batteries are at 12.9 volts. Does this sound correct?
Pretty close. The actual voltage for a 100% charge state is temperature-dependent, and it also depends on the brand of battery to a lesser extent.

The real indicator will be, what is the voltage after a few days of enforced idleness? If it's still in the vicinity of 12.9 volts then you're good.
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Old 10-26-2015, 05:27 PM   #49
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Definitely shouldn't go below the 12.7V charge controller kick in unless a heavy overcast.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:30 PM   #50
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After 3 1/2 days w/o much sunlight due to overcast sky my voltage has dropped from 12.9 volts on Monday morning to 12.5 volts on Thursday at 5:00 PM. The main battery disconnect switch has been off all this time. The solar panel couldn't do much due to the overcast, rain and being parked under a tree. How does this sound for voltage loss?
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:02 PM   #51
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After 3 1/2 days w/o much sunlight due to overcast sky my voltage has dropped from 12.9 volts on Monday morning to 12.5 volts on Thursday at 5:00 PM. The main battery disconnect switch has been off all this time. The solar panel couldn't do much due to the overcast, rain and being parked under a tree. How does this sound for voltage loss?
For Lifelines, 12.8V or greater is 100%. 12.5V is 75%. So you lost 25% of the capacity of the bank from Monday morning to Thursday evening. That's 84 hours. Your 2 Lifeline GPL-24Ts' capacity is 160 Ah. 25% of the pair is 40 Ah. So you're losing 40 Ah of capacity in 84 hours, or half your capacity in a week. That's a constant 0.5A draw, every hour, every day, all day long.

Sorry, but "been there, done that".

From the manuals, your Interstate's draw should be, worst case, closer to .03 A, or about 5 Ah per week. You should be able to park your Interstate for a MONTH, with no solar, and lose less than 10%, from 12.8V to, say, 12.7V (Lifeline doesn't publish a voltage for 90%).

Mine has been in twice to have this fixed, and the dealer has not been useful. You need to get yours fixed. You might find that you have to argue with the dealer, who will tell you that having to charge your system for a few hours every week is normal and to be expected. Good luck. I don't need to tell you that running down half your bank's capacity each and every week will dramatically shorten your batteries' life, even if you charge them back up for several hours every week.
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:37 PM   #52
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The most simple solution is to add a second, whole coach battery disconnect directly feeding from the positive output terminal of your batteries. You can leave fully charged Lifelines for a minimum of 90 days before applying a boost charge to them. Do not store Lifelines at less than 100% for maximum battery life.

In reality, I have seen fully charged Lifelines show 100% after 6 months in storage. A simple 300 amp marine disconnect switch will solve your problems quickly and easily until you find someone with enough experience and knowledge to effectively trouble shoot your parasitic load problem.


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Old 10-29-2015, 10:28 PM   #53
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The most simple solution is to add a second, whole coach battery disconnect directly feeding from the positive output terminal of your batteries.
I explained earlier why I was unwilling to install my own disconnect. This is a warranty issue, and I paid good money for that warranty.

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A simple 300 amp marine disconnect switch will solve your problems quickly and easily until you find someone with enough experience and knowledge to effectively trouble shoot your parasitic load problem.
I unbolt the batteries when I store the van. Since I've been doing it for most of a year, it goes pretty quickly at this point.

I'm not going to pay someone else to trouble-shoot this, and then pay to replace and re-install the same inappropriate component. We have three different owners just in this thread with this problem. This is bad design or poorly spec'd parts.

Personally, I think this is a design weakness in how the Atkinson solar controller and the Precision Circuits BIM interact. We'll see. You work on these vans. What do you think the problem is?
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:15 AM   #54
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The systems that I install on many new units don't have parasitic load concerns as they all have high quality, robust equipment in place that easily offsets any parasitic loads.

My clients have no issues paying for the upgrades to make their rigs fully boondock/storage capable, or to provide the features that they have determined will better enhance their RV experience.

Sorry to have intruded into your dilemma.



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Old 11-30-2015, 09:51 AM   #55
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I store my 2016 Interstate indoors without shore power. I use the unit every 10 days to two weeks for errands. The battery voltage never drops below 12.6 when I pick it up, but what is the critical minimum voltage I should be aware of to not damage the Lifeline batteries?
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:47 AM   #56
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I store my 2016 Interstate indoors without shore power. I use the unit every 10 days to two weeks for errands. The battery voltage never drops below 12.6 when I pick it up, but what is the critical minimum voltage I should be aware of to not damage the Lifeline batteries?

Lifeline have a very useful Battery Technical Manual in PDF form which has all this sort of information in it, how to store their batteries, etc.
Here's a quote from the manual:
While in storage, batteries should be boost charged every 90 days or when the open circuit voltage (OCV) drops to 12.5 volts for a 12 volt battery (6.25 volts for a 6 volt battery). This OCV corresponds to approximately 75% state of charge. Boost charge batteries using a constant voltage charger set at 14.4 to 15.0 volts for a 12 volt battery (7.2 to 7.5 volts for a 6 volt battery). The boost charge should be applied until the charging current falls below 0.5 percent of the battery’s 20 hour rated capacity (0.5 amps for a 100 Ah battery).
Hope that helps.


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