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Old 08-17-2011, 04:32 PM   #1
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Interstate check list

I will need to be away from this forum for a couple of months. Vacation time is
here! But, I'll try and sneak a peak & read your posts.
Thanks for all your input on my new member questions I really learned a lot
and appreciated the help.
I was wondering if any would be interested in developing with me, in a new
thread, a checklist similar to a pilots preflight check list.
Maybe, a checklist for short trips. Another for long trips, boon docking, long
term storage requirements, etc.
Perhaps major systems would be covered, electrical, plumbing, A/C, humidity,
Internet, water systems (grey water, black water ), etc.
Any ideas on this proposal are very welcome, any collaboration on this forum
would be appreciated.
I need to get ironing so I can pack my bags,
Peggy
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:31 PM   #2
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I agree and as a new owner (2011 MB Interstate, 2 weeks now), am surprised that this hasn't been done. First thing I did was label all of the interior switches since I won't be using the RV every day and probably will never learn all of them from one trip to the next.

Still trying to figure out how to turn off the rear speakers w/o cutting the wires.

Just ran across this thread.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
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Still trying to figure out how to turn off the rear speakers w/o cutting the wires.
The radio doesn't have a fade control?
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:22 AM   #4
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Apparently not. Just read thru the manual and the menu shows the Balance and Fade controls to come up on the same screen. Mine only comes up w/ Balance. It's the Audio 20 from Mercedes Benz according to the guy @ Airstream who sent me the manual.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:47 PM   #5
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Apparently not. Just read thru the manual and the menu shows the Balance and Fade controls to come up on the same screen. Mine only comes up w/ Balance. It's the Audio 20 from Mercedes Benz according to the guy @ Airstream who sent me the manual.
That's really bizarre. I haven't had a radio that didn't have fade control since I bought a 2-channel in-dash CD player long before they were popular (and I was told CDs would fail in a car ).
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:36 AM   #6
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Same here. I'm beginning to wonder if there's a mode switch somewhere that they forgot to switch since the Sprinter chassis doesn't come w/ rear speakers. Think I'll check one on the lot and see if it has a Fader.

I remember the early car CD players were a little sensitive to bumps.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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I am having the exact same problem. Did you get a solution. If not I may need to put an external fader on the rear speakers which will be a headache.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:36 AM   #8
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Apparently not. Just read thru the manual and the menu shows the Balance and Fade controls to come up on the same screen. Mine only comes up w/ Balance. It's the Audio 20 from Mercedes Benz according to the guy @ Airstream who sent me the manual.
Odd. My Interstate doesn't have the MB Audio 20. It came from Jackson Center with a Kenwood DNX7160 head unit, which DOES have a fade control to silence the rear speakers. And a nice remote control so I can change channels on the Sirius XM from the rear lounge area. Wonder when Airstream switched to the Kenwood system?

Anyway, I've found out by way of correspondence on the Forums with other Interstate owners that it really does depend on what year yours is, so there will not be a one-size-fits-all checklist.

On mine, the most important checklist item, bar none, is to shut off the propane solenoid switch when I'm not using the van. The switch bypasses the house battery cutoff switch, and draws 2 amps, round-the-clock, when left on. That runs my batteries down in less than a week, even with the solar panel recharging them at the same time. But where I park, I can't leave it plugged in to shore power all the time, either. Maybe you can and it wouldn't make a difference for you.

Also, on mine, the switch for the step lock for the power retractable step is wired backwards from all the other rocker switches. I have to leave that one switch up, and all the others down, when I'm not using the van. Leave it the other way, and it drains the main battery (the step doesn't run off the house batteries).
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:40 PM   #9
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I am having the exact same problem. Did you get a solution. If not I may need to put an external fader on the rear speakers which will be a headache.
I wound up putting a micro-sized SPST switch in the bezel of each speaker to shut them off. Not a perfect solution but usually the folks in the rear are either watching a movie or playing video games.

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Wonder when Airstream switched to the Kenwood system?
I believe Jim at Airstream said 2012 was first year. Mine's a 2011 and has the Audio 20.

Does the power step draw current when retracted and the Disable switch is on?
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:16 AM   #10
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Does the power step draw current when retracted and the Disable switch is on?
The step itself only draws current when it's moving in and out. The step lock, however, is an electromagnetic solenoid. When the step lock is off, the power to the electromagnet is off, and it draws no current. When it's on, the electrmagnet is energized, and it draws current constantly. Not sure how much. The propane solenoid draws about 2 amps when the switch is on, and I think the step lock draws less, but I'm not sure. I haven't been curious enough to crawl underneath and slap a meter on it.

I just leave the step lock off and ignore it. When the engine is running, the step is retracted whether the door is open or not. When the engine is off and the door is closed, the step is retracted. When the engine is off and the door is open, the step is extended. Since I typically travel solo, I don't have a horde of people opening and closing the sliding side door every couple of minutes, so locking the step in the extended position isn't necessary for me.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:18 AM   #11
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Still trying to figure out how to turn off the rear speakers w/o cutting the wires.
Hmmm. Folks are using the term "Audio 20" in this thread. Is that a different model than the Sound 20 I have in my 2010 Interstate?

With the Sound 20, there IS a fader control. The button the book calls "Sound Settings", the button with the two music notes, controls multiple modes: Fade, Balance, Bass, and Treble. Each push of this button moves you to the next mode.

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Old 05-24-2012, 01:17 PM   #12
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I can attest that my Audio 20 doesn't have a fader control.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:18 PM   #13
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The step itself only draws current when it's moving in and out. The step lock, however, is an electromagnetic solenoid. When the step lock is off, the power to the electromagnet is off, and it draws no current. When it's on, the electrmagnet is energized, and it draws current constantly. Not sure how much. The propane solenoid draws about 2 amps when the switch is on, and I think the step lock draws less, but I'm not sure. I haven't been curious enough to crawl underneath and slap a meter on it.

I just leave the step lock off and ignore it. When the engine is running, the step is retracted whether the door is open or not. When the engine is off and the door is closed, the step is retracted. When the engine is off and the door is open, the step is extended. Since I typically travel solo, I don't have a horde of people opening and closing the sliding side door every couple of minutes, so locking the step in the extended position isn't necessary for me.
I thought the step "Disable" switch was just that. Just prevents the step from going in and out. Wasn't aware of any lock. Does it lock in both positions?
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #14
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I thought the step "Disable" switch was just that. Just prevents the step from going in and out. Wasn't aware of any lock. Does it lock in both positions?
The owner's manual calls it a "step lock." The manual doesn't ever refer to it as a "Disable" switch. However, bark your shins on the step and see how fast you're disabled! Been there, done that.

The answer to your question is, "Sort of." It locks the step in the extended position, but not in the retracted position.

The safety feature is actually rather clever. When you start the engine, the step retracts automatically, even if you locked it in the extended position. Here's how it works; the step draws power from the chassis battery, and so does the step lock. When you start the engine, the step draws power from the alternator, but the step lock solenoid does not (thanks to some diodes), so starting the engine automatically unlocks the step, and forces it to retract.

Running the engine locks the step in the retracted position, that that's the only way to lock it in the retracted position. Engine dies or is turned off, and the step works normally again, if the step lock is off, of course.

Now, for the weirdness. If you have the step lock engaged, and turn on the engine, the step retracts anyway, as noted above. But if you leave the step lock engaged, the step will work intermittently, not at all, or in reverseó extending when you close the door, then staying extended until you turn on the engine. Turning on the engine always retracts the step. In order to reset the system after retracting a locked step, you must (1) turn off the step lock; (2) close the door; (3) start the engine; (4) shut the engine off again. Then, and only then, will the step operate again the way it's supposed to.

As you can probably tell, I went through this, the hard way. The Airstream owner's manual didn't tell me half this stuff, the step's owner's manual wasn't in my manual packet, and I could not find a step manual online.

Danged stupid piece of Italian engineering. Yes, the Project2000 step is made in Italy.
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