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Old 04-12-2012, 07:10 AM   #1
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Question Interstate coach battery access

Interstate newbie. Coach/house batteries are under lounge electric sofa at right rear. It appears battery case has a hinged lid that opens to rear. How in the heck do I access battery box when it’s under the sofa? Airstream tech support MIA. Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:16 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome to Airforums.com, Airboy3!

I'm sure an expert answer to your question will come soon, but in the meanwhile, what does the Owner's Manual have to say about access to the batteries?
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
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Your owners manual should tell you. Also, there is a good writeup in post #16 of this thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ing-89504.html I'm sure there are many others if you do some searching in the Interstate and B-Van sub-forum.

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Old 04-12-2012, 09:14 AM   #4
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Your owners manual should tell you. Also, there is a good writeup in post #16 of this thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ing-89504.html I'm sure there are many others if you do some searching in the Interstate and B-Van sub-forum.

Good luck,
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Owner's manual is silent on that subject. It tells you where the box is, but doesn't tell you how to get at it. When I had to access mine (with dead house batteries, as described in the post Wayneskid cited) I also got no help from the Airstream factory tech line, but the dealer (Foley RV, Gulfport, MS) was very helpful, with their mechanic, Jason, patiently talking me through the process.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:15 AM   #5
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On the 2008-2012 Airstream Interstate 3500 Rear lounge models, the bottom of the lounge/sofa bench needs to be removed to access the batteries. Airstream uses AGM style batteries so they do not need to be maintained. The 2013's will have a battery tray that slides out the back of the lounge.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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Thank you Patrick, that certainly seems clear.

Hopefully the method of removing the bottom of the bench is either obvious, or is covered in the Owner's Manual.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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Thank you Patrick, that certainly seems clear.

Hopefully the method of removing the bottom of the bench is either obvious, or is covered in the Owner's Manual.
As Wayneskid said, it's covered in post #16 in this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ing-89504.html. I'd write the instructions again for you, but it's just as easy to refer to the cited thread.

It's definitely not in the manual. It's not no-brainer obvious, but when you know what to look for, it's not too terrible.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:56 AM   #8
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Thumbs up Thanks!

Thanks, everybody! I have printed off post #16 and have decided to take up drinking! What were they thinking at the factory??? Thanks, again!
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:11 AM   #9
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Thanks, everybody! I have printed off post #16 and have decided to take up drinking! What were they thinking at the factory??? Thanks, again!
I think it comes down to that which explains a lot with our units----things have to go somewhere.

If there were easy and/or outside access to everything, it would be a bigger, bulkier unit.

We have an onboard generator, but it is underneath the unit, and cannot be accessed for service without putting the Interstate up on a lift. Nice to have when you need it, but........

Things you accept and learn to deal with if you like to travel small. We do.


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Old 04-13-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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We have an onboard generator, but it is underneath the unit, and cannot be accessed for service without putting the Interstate up on a lift. Nice to have when you need it, but...
Yeah. Sometime in the not too distant future, I plan to lower the spare tire to make some room, then crawl up under my Interstate to check the oil level in the generator. I read on another thread that some people have experienced problems with the generator running low on oil after about 20 hours of use during the break-in period, and they needed to use a turkey baster to add oil about one ounce at a time. I'm hoping that (1) mine's not low on oil; (2) access to check and add oil isn't that bad with the spare tire removed; (3) my girth hasn't increased to the point that it would keep me from crawling underneath; (4) I can figure out an easier way than a turkey baster to add oil.

It was a tight fit on the side when I crawled underneath to tape up some dangling wires leading to the macerator pump, but the body-side molding doesn't extend as far down at the rear, so there may be more clearance for my torso coming at it from the rear.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:01 AM   #11
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On the 06 I think you can drop the gen down slightly to service, My memory might be off though. jim
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:23 AM   #12
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On the 06 I think you can drop the gen down slightly to service, My memory might be off though. jim
Doug, who does all the crawling under and on top of things, would say your memory is off.

There is simply not enough room to drop it down and service it yourself, says he, and he's been under there, laying on his back under our rig. Take a look at the clearance under one of these sometime.

We take it to the Onan dealer when needed, for something he would do himself if he could. Fortunately, but for the mud-daubbers that got in there and built themselves a lovely nest, we've had no problems. We also seldom use it, is the truth. Run it periodically for exercise, mostly.

Aah, well, we still love it.


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Old 04-13-2012, 09:47 AM   #13
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You are correct. I forgot that the dealer lifted the rear of the van to access the ac. jim
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:15 PM   #14
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(4) I can figure out an easier way than a turkey baster to add oil.
Probably could use a suction gun like you use to change differential lube. Looks like a grease gun w/o the pump, just a 10"-12" piece of tubing. Holds about a pint.
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