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Old 08-26-2015, 02:47 PM   #1
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Internal Propane Switch Draw Down Battery Charge?

If I install an internal propane switch and still keep my external one, can I leave the external on all the time so when I need to use it, I just flip internal switch on? Does this method draw down battery since one of the switches is on? With just the external, I keep it off except when I need propane. But, I'm going to BM and would like to keep the external switch open all the time so that I can avoid going outside for turning propane on every time I need it.
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
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Yes, that is exactly what I do.

I found the red wire going to (or maybe it was from) the outside switch and spliced wires into it to go to/from my switch. Red wire is between my battery box and the wall. Long as the two switches are in series it doesn't matter if my switch is before or after the outside switch. They both have to be on for electicity - and propane - to flow.

Despite what some posts say, my switch is (switches are) controlled by the master cut-off.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:26 PM   #3
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As long as the two propane switches are installed in series, either one will break the circuit and close the solenoid valve.

Different model years of Interstates have their propane solenoids wired differently. Newer ones are wired so that the main disconnect shuts off the power to the propane solenoid as well. Older ones like mine are not. I'm not sure exactly when they made the change, but you can tell pretty easily if yours is or isn't.

Turn on the propane solenoid switch. Turn off the main DC power. Then light a stove burner and see how long the flame will stay on. If the flame goes out after just a few seconds and won't relight, then it just burned off whatever residual propane was trapped in the lines and the propane solenoid power is controlled by the main DC disconnect. On the other hand, if the burner lights and stays lit, the power for the propane solenoid bypasses the main DC disconnect.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
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On 2011, the battery disconnect kills the power to the propane switch along w/ everything else except the solar controller, BIM, generator starter, lounge motor, and tank level panel.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
On 2011, the battery disconnect kills the power to the propane switch along w/ everything else except the solar controller, BIM, generator starter, lounge motor, and tank level panel.
On my 2012, the main DC disconnect kills power to the lounge sofa motor, generator starter, and tank level monitor, but not to the propane solenoid, inverter/charger, antenna amplifier, BIM, or solar charge controller. I spent a lot of time experimenting to see what was and wasn't controlled by the DC connector when I was trying to track down parasitic draws on my Interstate after depleting the house batteries below 0% charge, twice, in the first month of storage.

It may very well be that there is no consistency on wiring with regard to the Interstate 12v house system, and even within a model year there may be differences depending on exactly who wired what at Jackson Center. I recommend that everyone experiment with their own Interstate to see what is or is not shut off by the main DC disconnect, and don't assume that just because someone's Interstate is wired a certain way that yours is as well. One size does not fit all in this case.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:14 PM   #6
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Consistency would imply quality and we all know where that goes.
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
As long as the two propane switches are installed in series, either one will break the circuit and close the solenoid valve.

Different model years of Interstates have their propane solenoids wired differently. Newer ones are wired so that the main disconnect shuts off the power to the propane solenoid as well. Older ones like mine are not. I'm not sure exactly when they made the change, but you can tell pretty easily if yours is or isn't.

Turn on the propane solenoid switch. Turn off the main DC power. Then light a stove burner and see how long the flame will stay on. If the flame goes out after just a few seconds and won't relight, then it just burned off whatever residual propane was trapped in the lines and the propane solenoid power is controlled by the main DC disconnect. On the other hand, if the burner lights and stays lit, the power for the propane solenoid bypasses the main DC disconnect.
My AI is the same year. So, how does one install the propane switches serially?
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:17 AM   #8
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Thanks

Thanks for the very helpful feedback. As always, I am constantly amazed at the breadth of knowledge of our group and appreciate your sharing. It's so helpful.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:00 AM   #9
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So, how does one install the propane switches serially?
Even though you quoted my post when asking this question, I'll leave that answer to Titus or others who have actually done that modification.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:15 PM   #10
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I think I understand your question but I might be off too? If you are wanting to disable/disconnect your propane monitor when you are not using propane (e.g. While in storage) to save your battery from not discharging, then a word of caution. I too wanted to do the same on my last AS. What I found out from the dealer was that it is by 'code' the propane detector has to be hard wired to the battery and can not be over ridden unless the battery is disconnected. Reason is fire codes. If this is altered and your Trailer burns up for some reason the insurance inspector will check for conditions to get the insurance company off the hook for paying for it. Looking for reasons of neglect by the owner, which nullifies the fire insurance. By bypassing or evidence of a propane detector could cause you a claims issue. Worse yet, you forget to turn it on and you have a leak.
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmama View Post
My AI is the same year. So, how does one install the propane switches serially?
gmiller posted a great DIY w/ pics on this over on the Sprinter forum. Might PM him for a link.

Someone also posted instructions here and actually found the wire in the bundle behind the panel w/ all of the monitors.

Basically you put another switch inside in series w/ the outside switch. That way they both must be on for propane to flow but either one can shut the valve off so when the tank is being filled, the operator can shut the valve off w/ the switch by the fill port which is a legal req't. It is a mod well worth doing if you want to start the generator while on the road.
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:17 PM   #12
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Here's the pdf file you refer to to save anyone the trouble of going over to the Yahoo group. Note I changed how I did it by not removing the outer switch an moving it, but adding the second switch inside. Both have to be on to energize the solenoid valve on the LPG tank, and recommend this over my original method of simply moving it inside.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
gmiller posted a great DIY w/ pics on this over on the Sprinter forum. Might PM him for a link.

Someone also posted instructions here and actually found the wire in the bundle behind the panel w/ all of the monitors.

Basically you put another switch inside in series w/ the outside switch. That way they both must be on for propane to flow but either one can shut the valve off so when the tank is being filled, the operator can shut the valve off w/ the switch by the fill port which is a legal req't. It is a mod well worth doing if you want to start the generator while on the road.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf -switch1.pdf (1.03 MB, 46 views)
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:26 PM   #13
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Internal Propane Switch Draw Down Battery Charge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-B View Post
I think I understand your question but I might be off too? If you are wanting to disable/disconnect your propane monitor when you are not using propane (e.g. While in storage) to save your battery from not discharging, then a word of caution. I too wanted to do the same on my last AS. What I found out from the dealer was that it is by 'code' the propane detector has to be hard wired to the battery and can not be over ridden unless the battery is disconnected. Reason is fire codes. If this is altered and your Trailer burns up for some reason the insurance inspector will check for conditions to get the insurance company off the hook for paying for it. Looking for reasons of neglect by the owner, which nullifies the fire insurance. By bypassing or evidence of a propane detector could cause you a claims issue. Worse yet, you forget to turn it on and you have a leak.

1. We are not talking about the propane monitor/detector. We are talking about the electrically activated propane valve. On a trailer you have manual valves on your bottles. On an Interstate there is a solenoid operated valve buried deep user the van. The is a common setup on B-van motor homes.

2. Disabling the propane monitor can't be too illegal because it is disabled when you turn off the house power switch on an Interstate. That's the way Airstream built it.


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