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Old 04-02-2014, 05:26 PM   #15
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The alternator should have kept the coach batteries charged. Might check your Battery Isolation Monitor (Manager?) (BIM) to make sure it's functioning properly.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
The alternator should have kept the coach batteries charged. Might check your Battery Isolation Monitor (Manager?) (BIM) to make sure it's functioning properly.
If the batteries go from 12.5v to 10.1v in just 10 minutes of no use, the BIM wouldn't allow the alternator to charge them; the relay cuts out when one bank is dead, so that the other bank isn't drained as well. Those batteries are toast, and until they're replaced, the BIM seems to be doing its job of keeping them isolated.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:39 PM   #17
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I just spoke yesterday with Dan at Airstream Cust Service. One discussion was about using the Equalization process on our Magnum inverter. His comment was whenever a 12 volt battery goes below 12 volts it is best for the life of the battery to enter Equalization mode on the inverter. And according to the Magnum control unit only do it when the batteries are in float and then step thru the remote control to Equalization. It should take 4-5 hours while plugged into shore power. I could go into the more technical description of "why" one needs to do this, but the average owner doesn't care or need to know. If you are interested in WHY you need to do it, I'd suggest using Google for the simplest answers.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:02 PM   #18
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If the batteries go from 12.5v to 10.1v in just 10 minutes of no use, the BIM wouldn't allow the alternator to charge them; the relay cuts out when one bank is dead, so that the other bank isn't drained as well. Those batteries are toast, and until they're replaced, the BIM seems to be doing its job of keeping them isolated.
But he said he started out w/ the house batteries fully charged, drove for 14 hours and they were down to 10.1V. That tells me that the batteries weren't being charged during the trip which is why I mentioned the BIM as something to check.

But if they die in ten minutes, I suspect like you said, they're toast.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:26 PM   #19
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Further update on Equalization or as Lifeline battery calls it CONDITIONING.

Spoke today with tech from Lifeline. Excessive Equalization will overheat and SHORTEN the life of AGM batteries. ONLY do Equalization if and when you determine that the battery-inverter run time is shortened “more than normal.” Discussed that I am plugged in or driving or dry-camping overnight then driving. Battery drops to maybe 45% overnight before driving the next day. Probably does not need equalization. Questioned the fact that from manufacturing to delivery to dealer to delivery to customer, unknown how often and how many times voltage is lowered below

directly form their online manual……
Conditioning should only be done when the battery is showing symptoms of capacity loss due to extended time in a partial or low state of charge condition. This could be caused, for example, by low charging voltage for an extended number of charge cycles, or by repeatedly charging to only 90% state of charge.
NOTE: Some chargers use the term Equalizing Charge instead of Conditioning Charge. An Equalizing Charge is generally applied to flooded lead acid batteries that are susceptible to acid stratification. However, an Equalizing Charge may be used to provide a Conditioning Charge for Lifeline® batteries as described below.
To apply a conditioning charge, first go through the normal charge cycle to bring the battery to full charge. The conditioning charge should then be applied by charging for 8 hours. At 77°F (25°C), the conditioning voltage should be set at 2.58 VPC (15.5 volts for a 12 volt battery). The conditioning voltage at other temperatures is shown in Table 5-2. By using the temperature- compensated conditioning voltage, batteries that are not in controlled temperature environments may be conditioned without bringing them to room temperature. If temperature compensation is not available, it is best to bring the battery as close to room temperature as possible before applying the conditioning charge.

Feel free to call 626-813-1234 in Calif for answers to question. They hopefully will call back in 24-48 hours. Review their online manual at http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/manual.pdf directly from the manual……
How can I tell if my battery is fully charged?
For a battery at room temperature, it can be considered fully charged when the charging current falls below 0.5A per 100Ah of rated capacity. The open circuit voltage (after at least 4 hours of rest) will be 2.17 volts per cell or higher (13.0 volts for a 12-volt battery), regardless of the battery temperature.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:57 PM   #20
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Great info THANKS. Will call when I'm able to get I shore power to recharge.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:13 PM   #21
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If you are in the market for new lifelines, I recently got a good price on 2 from power stride www.powerstride.com
They shipped them for free.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:05 PM   #22
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All I saw there was about hockey.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:08 PM   #23
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Batteries - Golf Cart - Marine - Deep Cycle - Motorcycle - RV - Powerstride
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:03 PM   #24
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Much better.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:12 PM   #25
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I've dropped my plans to add a 3rd Lifeline battery to my Interstate. Talking with various techs and looking on the internet for proper wire cable size for the length (about 24') to add the battery compartment under the hood left me quite concerned about the size of the wire. Well, I must say, calling Tech Support at Magnum Inverters was a blessing and an education.

Tech seem quite familiar with Interstate and what I wanted to do. Long story short. Even though a 1/0 wire WOULD carry the 12volts and possible 80 amps from the battery under the hood to the inverter: not a problem. Also the engine alternator which is fed to the rear of the Interstate also with 1/0 copper welding wire to charge the 2 existing Lifelines: not a problem. BUT, when the inverter/charger goes into the charge mode, herein lies the potential big problem. He explained in detail about the need to possibly have a 4/0, OR LARGER wire running from the back to the battery under the hood and needing possibly 500amp OR LARGER fuses at each end for safety. When he went into the detail, which I understood, it made sense. And I am not going to make the installation as it would require some electrical engineering expense to make sure it was SAFE. Undersized wire and fuses in that line COULD overheat and or melt down. So unless I decide to give up space under the rear couch, which we will not. No 3rd RV battery for us.

But we did discuss the possibly of installing the better models of the Magnum control panel and also the possibility of adding the Generator Auto Start Module. This would allow one to set a time frame, a low voltage setting, etc to autostart the generator. And I believe it could also be interfaced with the Dometic thermostat to automatically also turn on the generator to keep the interior cool. This may be the next move we make.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:30 AM   #26
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Thanks this is great information as I had the same thought. Maybe use the spare tire space for extra batterie location and move the spare tire either on the back or leave it in the garage.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:07 AM   #27
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My next thought exactly. Remove the spare. I'm not going to change it as I have road service. BUT weighing the cost of adding water resistant boxes underneath and the cost then of 2 AGM Lifeline, because I'd have the space and would WANT to vs adding autostart to the Magnum. Well that price would be less. Now I have to look at amount of propane stored vs runtime consumption of the genet.

We're never "happy" with what we have. We always want more.

On another note, since I now have what I call the 3rd battery (the extra one under the hood), the one under the hood, I'm probably going to add 2 12volt cigarette outlets on the back of the driver pedestal since the wiring is inside it from that battery. Add 2 circuit breakers at the same time and since we have an ARB 12/110volt portable refrigerator sitting in the space behind the driver seat (never thought much of the tiny fridge that Airstream uses) I can power it from the 3rd battery. This will then help exercise that battery too and "give it useful purpose." Then I'll have to add a "Trik-L-Start" from the engine battery to the 3rd battery to make sure it stays charged while dry camping. I already own one that I bought before I learned about AI's BIM charging system to keep the engine battery charged.

Always something to do on a motorhome and I'm lucky to have an inside heated garage to do it in.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:14 AM   #28
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Outside spare carriers are available fot the spare tire. Common sprinter accessory. Jim
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