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Old 01-06-2015, 02:57 PM   #421
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2004 22' Interstate
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We added a Tri-Metric battery monitor (white gizmo photo left), which gives much more detail than the simple lighted bar scale (how accurate is it?) that our 2007 was born with. The brand was chosen based on the recommendations of the well-known RV blogger known as "Handy Bob". This addition will definitely help my husband to relax while boondocking.
I found Handy Bob on the Internet and he helped us solves some crazy wiring problems. We were headed to Montana anyway but added a couple of hundred extra mile to have him go through the wiring and help is figure out our mess. When we got home we installed the Trimetric meter. We thought we had all in order but we have another vampire that we can't identify. I highly recommend Handy Bob. He is grumpy cause people want quick and dirty and he likes to do it right--and he is not grumpy when he can do it right.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:25 AM   #422
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I found Handy Bob on the Internet and he helped us solves some crazy wiring problems. We were headed to Montana anyway but added a couple of hundred extra mile to have him go through the wiring and help is figure out our mess. When we got home we installed the Trimetric meter. We thought we had all in order but we have another vampire that we can't identify. I highly recommend Handy Bob. He is grumpy cause people want quick and dirty and he likes to do it right--and he is not grumpy when he can do it right.
Handy Bob clearly does not take any crap. Our installation of the Trimetric is the first step in figuring out how to optimize our electrical system. Our Interstate is older and was born without solar. Plus it only has one coach battery. Once we get a better feel for our power use, hopefully future improvements will become self-evident.

My husband (an engineer) is concerned about unnecessary bleeds on the sole battery. By virtue of the age of our Interstate, our original TV system was not 12 volt and was a rather screwy assemblage awkwardly incorporating a DVD player, factory-installed. When we upgraded the TV/antenna/amplifier, we did insert an extra physical switch (on/off) between the system and the battery, because we knew that it would be siphoning at least some power unnecessarily.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:00 AM   #423
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My husband (an engineer) is concerned about unnecessary bleeds on the sole battery. By virtue of the age of our Interstate, our original TV system was not 12 volt and was a rather screwy assemblage awkwardly incorporating a DVD player, factory-installed.
Yes, our 2005 had the same kludgy sound system (including a subwoofer that hummed so loudly that we disconnected it.). Your husband doesn't need my help, I'm sure, but here is the list of parasitic loads that iI can recall:
--Stereo system
--Subwoofer (I think)
--Propane detector
--propane solenoid

That last one is often overlooked. Also, the propane detector was upstream of the master switch.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:46 AM   #424
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Handy Bob clearly does not take any crap. Our installation of the Trimetric is the first step in figuring out how to optimize our electrical system. Our Interstate is older and was born without solar. Plus it only has one coach battery. Once we get a better feel for our power use, hopefully future improvements will become self-evident.

My husband (an engineer) is concerned about unnecessary bleeds on the sole battery. By virtue of the age of our Interstate, our original TV system was not 12 volt and was a rather screwy assemblage awkwardly incorporating a DVD player, factory-installed. When we upgraded the TV/antenna/amplifier, we did insert an extra physical switch (on/off) between the system and the battery, because we knew that it would be siphoning at least some power unnecessarily.
We have a 2004 with front sleeping and kitchen in the rear. We also had old TV and a huge sub woofer which we took out. We do have nice blauplunkt speakers but since we took aout the JVC radio/cd/DVD player we can't use them. My husband, a mechanical engineer, has spent a lot of time on the electrical but after we re-worked the entertainment center taking out the TV and putting in very useful drawers (maps, cell phones, iPads, gadgets, my purse) the Trimetric tells us we have an energy drain of between 1/2 and one amp again. This adds up over 24 hours and really limits the time we can go between charging the batteries. We have a solar panel but it's stores on the back of the van because my husband does astrophotography and it works to keep batteries charges when we are camped. We plan to put a small collector on the roof eventually. We know the fridge draws a bit of current but everything else should be zero and it isn't. This is an ongoing problem we really want to fix. On this blog, I have been told there is always a small drain but I beleive when everything is off there should be no drain on the battery at all.
Our van also had only one house battery. When we got it, the wiring allowed the car battery to be drained by the house. The wiring was crazy! We added a large battery under the front "lounge" which is now a platform single bed. The way Rv's are designed, they expect you to plug them in every three days at the most. Mit is just sloppy shoddy design. Then we go to great lengths to make it work the way it should have been designed. It's not just airstream--it's the industry standard as far as I can see. is love to know if you find your vampire! The propane detector is a good tip!
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:32 AM   #425
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The propane detector is a good tip!
As I said, in addition to the propane DETECTOR, don't forge the propane SOLENOID. It is a major current consumer, and often overlooked. Some folks put a second (indoor) switch in series with the outdoor cutoff. That way, you can more easily turn off the propane when you are not using it.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:44 AM   #426
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As I said, in addition to the propane DETECTOR, don't forge the propane SOLENOID. It is a major current consumer, and often overlooked. Some folks put a second (indoor) switch in series with the outdoor cutoff. That way, you can more easily turn off the propane when you are not using it.
For those who weren't around on the Forums the first time this came up a couple of years ago, there's a good reason for adding a second switch instead of moving the existing switch.

NFPA 58, the propane tank standard, has been adopted by most of the 50 states, though which state uses which edition is something you'll have to look up; most states are one or more editions behind the current one.

Most of the recent editions of NFPA 58 require people who dispense propane into ASME tanks to verify that the propane solenoid valve is closed before filling the tank. It makes sense to have the switch right next to the fill port, so that the guy filling the tank doesn't have to go inside your RV to check the switch.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:35 AM   #427
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Right on Protag... I have the dual switches in series and it is very handy. This is something Airstream should do in the factory.


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:37 PM   #428
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Dual switches (series) for propane solenoid?...I would love a wiring diagram and a how-to video. Any takers?
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:11 PM   #429
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dual switches (series) for propane solenoid?...i would love a wiring diagram and a how-to video. Any takers?
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:06 PM   #430
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Dual switches (series) for propane solenoid?...I would love a wiring diagram and a how-to video. Any takers?
There is a lot of discussion on this topic in this forum. Best to read this for some details and how I did mine on about page 2 of the thread.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...el-109139.html

Forum member "gmillerok1" was the first one to move the switch from outside near rear tire to inside on control panel. But then we collectively realized it is best to just install a second switch inside that is in series with the outside switch.

I've attached a copy of Gerald's original guide to move switch. It can help you picture what is needed. But don't move the switch, just add a second switch. They both have to be on to get propane, but if either is turned off the propane is shut off. Some folks have had their dealer do the install if you are not up to the task.

Hope this helps,

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2013 EXT Lounge Interstate
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File Type: pdf Interstate Relocation of the propane switch.pdf (861.9 KB, 140 views)
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:20 PM   #431
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Dual switches (series) for propane solenoid?...I would love a wiring diagram and a how-to video. Any takers?
Perhaps this is a good time to remind that owners of older Interstates that still have the original refrigerators need to be very careful about jury-rigging the power to their propane system, lest they accidentally engineer themselves out of cold milk.

If you have an electrical refrigerator, you probably need much less frequent access to your propane than we typically do. Therefore a second switch might be more attractive as an option.
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:30 PM   #432
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I installed a weather band radio, as well as a ladder (aluminess.com) which ties into the frame of the Sprinter and the existing roof rack rails; in addition, I installed a Yakima roof-rack system so that I can take my kayak on trips. The ladder system really helps, I have a Diablo Paddle Sport kayak which I fly fish off of; using the ladder as a guide, I can load the unload the kayak by myself.

I'm looking to reduce the generator exhaust noise from the generator; anyone have any suggestions or solutions?
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:38 PM   #433
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I'm looking to reduce the generator exhaust noise from the generator; anyone have any suggestions or solutions?
Resonator. Onan makes one, but so do aftermarket manufacturers. Should reduce noise by about 3dB, which doesn't seem like much, but that's the same as cutting the volume in half. I have an Onan resonator on my 2012 Interstate.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:01 PM   #434
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By any chance do happen to have a part number? Does the resonator get installed at the end of the exhaust tip? Did you use an OAM part or an aftermarket part?

3dB - yes, we could all use a 3dB raise at work... Gotta love the Log function.. I'm a radio engineer, so my days are filled with dBm and dB calculations concerning RF Antenna Systems..

Thanks for the quick reply...
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