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Old 02-24-2016, 01:59 PM   #1
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Lemon Law Ė 2014.5 Airstream Interstate

You may remember from postings last year that I am having so much trouble with my Airstream Interstate that it qualifies as a Lemon under my stateís Motor Home Lemon Law. In Washington state, the Lemon Law was enacted to help new motor home owners who have substantial continuing problems with warranty repairs, as I have had.

Itís been a long, slow, unpleasant process, and itís still dragging on. The Interstate was with the dealer for two weeks in November, to diagnose and fix a number of things. The repairs then were not successful, so I put Airstream on notice in a letter in November that I would be using the Lemon Law.

My local dealer applied SB-164 to my Interstate on January 19, and I had brand new Lifeline batteries installed. Airstream hoped SB-164 would fix the persistent battery draw my van experiences while parked unplugged.

It didnít. I parked the van on January 21st, with the batteries fully soaked to 12.8V. After 12 days, the batteries were down to 12.5V. On February 3, I charged the batteries for 9 hours on 110V, back up to 12.8V. On February 19, two weeks later, the batteries were again down to 12.3V or 12.4V. Thatís losing 25% or more in 2 weeks. So, the truck still cannot be parked for more than a month without damaging its batteries.

I am well and truly screwed, and so discouraged. If I do anything to change the truck, such as adding my own battery disconnect, I literally lose the protection of the Lemon Law. I can pull my batteries out and pull the wires off with a wrench whenever I park the truck. Anyone whoís done that can tell you what a hassle it is, and Iím always afraid Iíll leave something hanging wrong and start a fire after Iíve left.

Iím going to have to take the truck to a marine or RV electrical specialist and have the entire electrical system checked out and fixed. Itís going to be expensive, and itíll void my Airstream warranty and screw me on the Lemon Law, but the Airstream warranty is worthless (they havenít been able to fix anything so far) and at least Iíll have a working truck at last.

I loved my Airstream trailer. This truck, not so much.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:13 PM   #2
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The reason it draws current is because there are devices that use power if left on even with the battery disconnect in the off mode. What these may be are hard to ascertain. One could be the propane solenoid. If you leave that in the On mode, it will certainly drain the batteries in two weeks. I believe the carbon monoxide detector may also be hard wired and draws power. If the inverter is on, it will also drain the batteries.

It's an easy fix. Just rewire every positive lead from the house batteries so it can be disconnected. No more draw.

If that's your only problem with a new Interstate, count yourself lucky.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by gmillerok1 View Post
The reason it draws current is because there are devices that use power if left on even with the battery disconnect in the off mode.
The propane solenoid is disconnected when the house battery disconnect switch is set to OFF, or it should be. The carbon monoxide detector draw is tiny, or it should be. I'm not leaving the Inverter set to Invert. I even switch the Inverter to SEARCH OFF, fat lot of good it does. I and others have counted up all the devices that should be running and how much they should use. I should be able to park the truck for a couple of months with no problem, and the Airsteam owner's manual explicitly states as much. The truck has been serviced 5? times now to try and fix the battery drain.

And, the battery draw is not my only problem with this 2014.5 Interstate.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:34 PM   #4
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Give us the details of the Washington Lemon Law - do they need to buy it back? Depreciation? I hope you get this resolved.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:38 PM   #5
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Should be is the key. I've learned that how things should be, and are, in an Interstate, are not necessarily one and the same. There could be many suspects in your case causing the issue.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:47 PM   #6
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Give us the details of the Washington Lemon Law - do they need to buy it back? Depreciation? I hope you get this resolved.
Yes, if they cannot fix the Interstate, Airstream gets to buy it back for what I paid originally. It's a long, slow, unpleasant process. Working with Airstream on repairs has been pointless and aggravating.

http://www.atg.wa.gov/motor-home-lemon-law
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:52 PM   #7
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Should be is the key. I've learned that how things should be, and are, in an Interstate, are not necessarily one and the same. There could be many suspects in your case causing the issue.
Airstream has had plenty of time and chances to figure out what's wrong. The nice thing about living in a state with an actual Motor Home Lemon Law is I don't have to argue about how many times I have to send the truck in to be repaired before I can officially say they are not able to fix it. It's set by the law.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:53 PM   #8
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Not many states have a lemon law for RVs. That is the ultimate consumer weapon we all should have access to when all else fails.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:29 PM   #9
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coder - may this be your problem?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ml#post1753974
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Old 02-24-2016, 04:13 PM   #10
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Question

Ok I admit...I'm 'lectric challenged, but is .3v in 10 days/.5v in 14 all that bad?
A lot of stuff never sleeps on todays vehicles.

Bob
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Old 02-24-2016, 04:40 PM   #11
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That's my post. In November, when Service Bulletin SB-164 was released, there was a discussion here in the forums whether this service would fix the battery drain problem. Many of us hoped it would. I'm more than 30 days past the service, and my truck's batteries are still draining. My problems with the Interstate go beyond the battery drain, though.
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:13 PM   #12
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Sorry for your troubles. I was hoping they would find the problem both for your sake and also because the rest of the ownership community would certainly benefit from the knowledge. It's a troubling issue because of the immediate hardship it places on owners, but the thing I worry about is what might be next down the pike because of it. Today it's an unexplained parasitic draw, but might it also be associated with unknown future sequelae as the vehicle ages? Not a pleasant thought.
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:40 PM   #13
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Ok I admit...I'm 'lectric challenged, but is .3v in 10 days/.5v in 14 all that bad?
Yeah, a half volt in two weeks is bad. That's almost half the bank's capacity, just sitting around doing nothing.

The Interstate includes Lifeline batteries. Voltage is a good, quick indication of state-of-charge. For Lifelines at 77F,
  • 12.8V is full
  • 12.5 is 75%
  • 12.2 is 50%
Voltages at 40F might be a tenth lower. Dropping to 12.3V is losing a a huge amount of energy in two weeks, enough to damage the batteries before the end of a month. Did I mention that the solar controller reported 40 Ah added during that month?

According to my owner's manual, that's broken.
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:55 PM   #14
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Lemon Law Ė 2014.5 Airstream Interstate

The sad truth is an Interstate (2012-2014) by design must stay plugged in to keep the batteries charged when left parked - even for just a few days. Some parasitic drains remain even with the disconnect turned off. The poor solar charging system just will not keep the batteries topped of in real world conditions.

The addition of SB-164 stops the Magnum Inverter/Charger parasitic drain, but the Kenwood radio standby drain remains. I understand why Airstream wired the Kenwood that way. After rewiring my van and adding a total disconnect switch I realized the Kenwood enters the setup mode if totally disconnected from 12v power. It retains the settings in memory, but it's a minor inconvenience to have to go through the setup screen to get the radio functions back.

I like the layout, utility and interior styling of my Interstate. I didn't like the electrical system design so I changed it to better suit my needs. With 400 watts of PV solar panels and a Blue Sky MPPT controller, combined with a 440AH battery upgrade my Interstate is now a go anywhere, stay anywhere camper that can also haul 6 people when needed.


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
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