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Old 04-25-2015, 09:56 PM   #1
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Newbie..... Feeling silly..... may be feeling cold....

My first true camping trip is coming up, it is going to be cold and now I'm feeling silly.... I figured that when we finally get to "plug in" that the furnance will be powered by the electricity... I have read the owners manual a couple of times and after reading some posts I now have the sneaking suspicion that the heat only runs off the propane? And... that the furnace needs electricity to run. Is this true?

I'm hoping that summer shows up soon, and when it does will the air conditioning run off the electricity or does that need propane?

And...what does that darn generator do? I know it should give me electricity when I'm willing to wake the dead, but will it give me heat or air conditioning in a pinch? I'm positive this greedy thing loves propane!

And... (yes I'm needy -sorry).... last week we de-winterized her and I took her out solo for a weekend of dry camping (in my friend's driveway (aka - plan B, a house with all the comforts if I totally screwed up)). I have now experienced the wonders of running water along with hot water in my Interstate! I also know a lot about what I don't know... Thank God for this forum!

About that hot water.. I figured out to flip the gas (looking) switch in the white box to get hot water.... but what is the lightening bolt switch for?

Thanks all for the help, I should have my girl all figured out by the end of the year
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:27 PM   #2
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The Generator is basically) for AC off grid. The AC needs 2.5KW constant or at least available and probably a surge on start up. I don't know how much cooling(or heat) you can get from the front vents off the sprinter but that's the way to go unless you really need.

Propane is great for heat but the P generators eat fuel. A better design choice might been a diesel gen, but they weigh more and seem to occasionally require expensive overhaul. Then again,on a shared tank some moron would probably drive to the middle of the desert run the gen for a week or 2 run out of fuel and complain about not getting home.

Your furnace runs on propane but draws 12V for the fan at 4A from the 12V battery/system.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:38 PM   #3
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For heat make sure propane turned on. The switch is in the black box behind the passenger side rear wheel.

Turn thermostat mode to FURN. Set temperature and turn Fan to AUTO

Yes the generator will give you enough "juice" to power AC

The lightning bolt switch is used for hot water when connected to shore power to save your propane. Use the flame switch on the road or boondocking for hot water.

You can find most answers here by doing a quick search. Have fun on your trip.
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:32 AM   #4
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Be sure to turn on your tank heaters if you're going to be in below freezing temperatures. They will use a lot of energy out of the batteries however. since the macerator pump is not protected from freezing, it would be a good idea to run some RV antifreeze through it before taking off. The rest of the RV will be protected with the tank heaters and as long as the internal temperature is maintained above freezing.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:48 AM   #5
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Thank you everyone for your comments.

I'm on the right track.

Now to figure out why I'm running out of electricity at 4:00 a.m. nightly when dry camping. The engine is off & the inverter is on. The heat and bathroom light were on. Firing up the engine solves the problem, but I don't think any neighbors that I might have would like that. I would like to make it thru the night.... Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong? I think I'll be OK while plugged in - right?
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by X New Yorker View Post
Thank you everyone for your comments.

I'm on the right track.

Now to figure out why I'm running out of electricity at 4:00 a.m. nightly when dry camping. The engine is off & the inverter is on. The heat and bathroom light were on. Firing up the engine solves the problem, but I don't think any neighbors that I might have would like that. I would like to make it thru the night.... Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong? I think I'll be OK while plugged in - right?
If you're using the tank heaters, that's your answer right there. The heaters for the fresh and gray tanks to keep them from freezing will suck your house batteries stony dead overnight unless you're hooked up to shore power or running your generator. An Airstream Interstate is not the ideal vehicle for winter boondocking. For below-freezing temperatures, you really need to camp where there's shore power available.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:23 PM   #7
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the inverter is on. The heat and bathroom light were on.
Why?
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:41 PM   #8
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Hi I am worse off than you--I am new Airstream owner--I get these posts but I do not know how to post something--How did you get this post on the Forum--any help appreciated.
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Old 04-27-2015, 02:12 PM   #9
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All people can read the "Airforums" forums but only those logged into the forums can post in a thread. Upper right hand corner. Pick your user name with the thought that it becomes part of your Airforum identity.
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Old 04-27-2015, 02:55 PM   #10
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All people can read the "Airforums" forums but only those logged into the forums can post in a thread. Upper right hand corner. Pick your user name with the thought that it becomes part of your Airforum identity.
If you want to know how to start a new thread, go back to the Sprinter and B-van forum section and near the top of the section there'll be a block that says new thread. Click on that and you can start your own thread that way.
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:50 PM   #11
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Cause it was really cold on Cape Cod and really, really dark in my Interstate.. The bathroom light is my night light. Was I supposed to turn the inverter off? I thought that is what gave me power.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:11 PM   #12
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The lighting, frig, furnace, propane valve, and water pump is operated off the 12 volt DC system. The inverter powers the AC circuits.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:14 PM   #13
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Tip: buy a small battery powered nitelite. AA or AAA batteries are cheap. That's how I do it. I also bring along two small led lanterns, just in case, also small flashlites. I like to see what's around me!
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:18 PM   #14
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And you can pick up one of those small 9 LED flashlights for free at Harbor Freight with a coupon. They are very bright.
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