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Old 10-16-2016, 03:25 PM   #1
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Interstate Battery issues

Having a few miscellaneous issues/concerns with the house batteries on my '15 Interstate Lounge (which I just bought used) and would appreciate any advice available out there. I had both batteries replaced recently because the old ones weren't holding a charge. After replacement, the unit sat without being driven or started for four days, and both batteries were completely dead, even though I have a solar charging system. I realized afterward that I had the fridge on the whole four days, but not anything else. Is this normal or should the batteries have stayed charged longer? Any advice on other power drainers I should be sure to turn off if I'm not going to be plugged in? And finally, when I store the unit for the winter (will be at a location with no power) do I need to do anything with the batteries during that time?Thanks much!
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:41 PM   #2
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Consider upgrading your converter to a multi-stage model as a start. Your short battery life is very unusual. The fridge should not be enough to drain the batteries in a few days. Something strange is amiss. I would take it to a reputable RV service pro.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:05 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Jpinalaska!

You will reach a more focused audience in the Sprinter and B-van sub-forum IMO, as the Interstates have their own set of design parameters and problems:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240/

For instance, this thread about batteries near the top of the list:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...es-155168.html

Posting in this general repair forum may result in many trailer-related replies which do not necessarily apply to your Interstate IMO.

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:21 PM   #4
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Interstate battery issue

Having a few miscellaneous issues/concerns with the house batteries on my '15 Interstate Lounge (which I just bought used) and would appreciate any advice available out there. I had both batteries replaced recently because the old ones weren't holding a charge. After replacement, the unit sat without being driven or started for four days, and both batteries were completely dead, even though I have a solar charging system. I realized afterward that I had the fridge on the whole four days, but not anything else. Is this normal or should the batteries have stayed charged longer? Any advice on other power drainers I should be sure to turn off if I'm not going to be plugged in? And finally, when I store the unit for the winter (will be at a location with no power) do I need to do anything with the batteries during that time?Thanks much!
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jpinalaska View Post
Having a few miscellaneous issues/concerns with the house batteries on my '15 Interstate Lounge (which I just bought used) and would appreciate any advice available out there. I had both batteries replaced recently because the old ones weren't holding a charge. After replacement, the unit sat without being driven or started for four days, and both batteries were completely dead, even though I have a solar charging system. I realized afterward that I had the fridge on the whole four days, but not anything else. Is this normal or should the batteries have stayed charged longer? Any advice on other power drainers I should be sure to turn off if I'm not going to be plugged in? And finally, when I store the unit for the winter (will be at a location with no power) do I need to do anything with the batteries during that time?Thanks much!
Your experience in normal. The 100 watt solar provided by Airstream on the 2015 Interstate WILL NOT keep up with refrigerator.

Storing without power - you should completely disconnect the batteries. Remove them from the van if storage location will be below freezing.
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:46 PM   #6
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The fridge uses about 2.5 amps all the time. Times 24 hours and it will give you 60 amp hour. The best I have seen the 100 watt solar do is 5.6 amp for a few hours during mid-day sun. It has no prayer of keeping up with that fridge as Boxter mentioned.

There are other sources of power consumption (e.g. antenna amplifier, monoprice video switcher, LP solenoid, subwoofer, CO detector) which also draw power and should be disconnected. Alas, there is no switch for them so you need to remove the battery cable, again as Boxter mentioned.
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:59 PM   #7
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Your '15 may be slightly different, but in the post below, download the PDF and you can see an inventory of all the parasitic loads on the batteries.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ml#post1806655
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Old 10-16-2016, 11:52 PM   #8
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Much thanks for all the advice! So happy to have found a forum of others who enjoy these machines and are further up the learning curve than me. With my newfound knowledge I'm about to hit the open road this week on an adventure from Oregon to Colorado Springs. Will work on my battery issues and hopefully sleep warm and sound under the western stars. Hope to meet some of you down the road.
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:43 AM   #9
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If have a Grand Tour lounge and have a separate fridge and freezer and you are running stock batteries then the battery drain is very quick. The Grand Tour was not built for being disconnected from power for any period of time.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:02 AM   #10
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Jpinalaska: I too am a relatively new AI owner and also let the van sit for about a 10 days without shore power and did not disconnect the DC power. I too, found that my batteries had run down to about 35% during that time. One thing I did find out is that is that the inverter itself pulls power 24-7. From now on, I either plug into shore power or hit the DC disconnect if I'm going to let it sit for a few days.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jpinalaska View Post
Having a few miscellaneous issues/concerns with the house batteries on my '15 Interstate Lounge (which I just bought used) and would appreciate any advice available out there. I had both batteries replaced recently because the old ones weren't holding a charge. After replacement, the unit sat without being driven or started for four days, and both batteries were completely dead, even though I have a solar charging system. I realized afterward that I had the fridge on the whole four days, but not anything else. Is this normal or should the batteries have stayed charged longer? Any advice on other power drainers I should be sure to turn off if I'm not going to be plugged in? And finally, when I store the unit for the winter (will be at a location with no power) do I need to do anything with the batteries during that time?Thanks much!
Welcome!

Unfortunately, your stock 160 amp/hour battery bank (of which 80 amp/hours is actually usable) is woefully inadequate for the energy needs that are within your coach. Many have found this to be the case and have upgrades both the battery capacity (some up to monster 800 amp/hour lithium bank) with a quality 400 watt solar charging system, along with other electrical upgrades.

Your 100 watt flex panel based solar charging system also falls into this inadequate category, as it does not have either the capacity or operational characteristics to maintain ANY battery bank against the parasitic loads found in the coach, whether AGM or lithium.

There are many threads on this forum that discuss the types of upgrades owners have undertaken. The scope of any electrical upgrade also depends on exactly how you intend to use your coach, but you have definitely come to the right place to find answers and solutions!!
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:39 AM   #12
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Hey John, Lewster runs the business which I recommended to you.

Lewster, how much longer are you in this area before you begin your migration to warmer weather?


Scott / Bend OR
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Old 10-23-2016, 08:09 AM   #13
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Hey John, Lewster runs the business which I recommended to you.

Lewster, how much longer are you in this area before you begin your migration to warmer weather?


Scott / Bend OR
HI Scott,

The migration is already complete!!!

I normally hit Hood River around the middle of May and depart at the end of Sep't. The "Hood' is already engulfed in crappy weather....mid to high 50's and rain, rain, rain!!!!
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Old 10-29-2016, 01:45 PM   #14
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Well....it seems my "no bug" luck ran out. Had my AI in outside storage for about a month. Dropped by occasionally to see how the batteries were doing. Left chassis battery hooked up like always, if weather is good. Power center was showing that both coach and chassis batteries were doing fine. (12.8 coach-12.5 chassis). Went to get the coach to winterize, batteries still showed good.....went to start engine and the chassis battery dropped to 10.5 and would not turnover. Hmmmmmmm. Thank heaven for the battery assist.
Sitting at home now, on shorepower.
Checking connection after I finish winterize work, if nothing there sounds like a new battery is in my future.
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