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Old 08-08-2013, 04:14 PM   #43
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Technically, the BIM, depending on what type they used (mine is a Sure Power) is supposed to connect the two batteries if the level of the house batteries are higher than 12.6vdc. If the house batteries are at 100% they should be above that level, and the two batteries connected, which then would charge the chassis battery as well.
Near as I can tell on mine (and this is just a guess) the BIM disconnects the house and chassis systems when either one drops below 12.6vDC, not just when the house batteries do. I've got someone with more electrical savvy looking into it right now.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:17 PM   #44
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I don't know about everyone elses, but while the blue jumper should be clipped since the batteries are AGM's Airstream does not clip it. Or at least in mine, did not. I imagine they don't in anyones. Which means the AGM batteries are getting the wrong charge which could reduce their life.

I would suggest everyone double check that setting and be sure the blue wire has been clipped as required.

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This is all the info on charging voltages from the Atkinson manual:[/FONT][/COLOR]

SEALED BATTERY *Blue Jumper Clipped *
THRESHOLDS: @ Room Temperature 15-308C
On @ 12.4VDC, Off @ 13.9VDC
Accuracy +/- 0.1V DC

Best I can tell it operates according to these basic specs. My panels are clean, but I only get direct sunlight for about 4 hours a day when I normally park in my driveway. When I was in Key West I got max sun every day.

The Atkinson PVCM20D is only about a $65 unit so I doubt that is does anything like 3-stage charging or MPPT. I’d probably be better off replacing this controller with a better unit before I think about adding more solar panels.

- - Mike
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #45
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so as long as we are talking batteries, and I think this is purely a "guy" thing jus how do I get the lounge seat out of the way so I can look in the battery box, Please tell me it doesnt mean disassembling or removing the whole damn lounge
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:57 PM   #46
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From the rear of the van look under the couch and you will see two threaded studs attached to the lower seat threaded through the rail that supports the couch with bolts on the lower side. Remove the bolts. Next, move to the inside and move the couch so the lower seat moves forward about halfway to the side seats. On the same rail near the front are two more bolts with screws (unlike the rear both can be removed). Remove them all. The lower seat can then be pulled out being careful with the two studs not to catch them on the other seat or interior. Replace in reverse order. Be sure to note on the rear which hole the studs go through as there are more than one on the rail. Otherwise the seat won't be in the correct location.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:53 AM   #47
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It's a little more work, but removing and reinstalling the seat bottom cushion can be facilitated by removing the seat back cushion first. Which is simple; four bolts, easily accessible via the rear doors.

As a side benefit, if you need to remove the batteries to charge them on a bench or something, with the seat back removed as well, the batteries are easier to take out through the rear doors.

And finally, a word of warning: If you have to disconnect the battery cables, disconnect the negative cable from the box before disconnecting from the batteries. If you disconnect the ground from the top battery first rather than disconnecting both negative cables from the box at the same time, you can still get a nasty shock from the bottom battery that's still connected. Don't ask how I know…
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:03 AM   #48
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ok well there goes that idea

I just wanted to look in the box to see how it is laid out. Considering adding a second battery, I am told it only has one. I am told it is brand new so that is good but if I am going to add the second I would wan to do that while this one is still new.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:08 AM   #49
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I just wanted to look in the box to see how it is laid out. Considering adding a second battery, I am told it only has one. I am told it is brand new so that is good but if I am going to add the second I would wan to do that while this one is still new.
I think you'll find that it has two, one above floor level, one below floor level. The upper battery rests on a plywood false floor in the battery box. If you don't know that the battery box penetrates the floor, it's easy to mistake it for just having one battery; what you see only looks big enough for one.

So, despite the effort involved, it's definitely worth it for you to open up the battery box, and confirm if it's one or two batteries.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:32 AM   #50
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Yes I think it is according to the airstream web site 1 battery is standard two is an option, just like the solar panel. Those seem to be the only two factory options, The dealer, who by there own admission is not all the familiar with the airstream,as they are a Road Trek dealer, replace one battery but may have miss the fact that there could be two. I know a bit about batteries at least as the pertain to my boat. There I use 4 six volt "golf cart" style two in a box. Inside the box the two 6 volts are in series to produce 12vdc at the rated apn hours of the battery, then the two boxes are in parallel to produce the combined Amp Hours. I have , over the years, become convinced that weight=amphours but when what you are putting then in weght upwars of 18 thousand pounds and carries 200 gallons of fule your are not as concerned as you might be in the Interstate. But what I have learned that is important here is if you have a pair and the are of any age they should be replace together.

All of this is to say I guess I will be taking out the back seat to take a look soon. I wonder if Airstream sells the cables and part to add the second one if its not there ?
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:29 AM   #51
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I forgot to hook up the shore power a couple of nights ago. Also inadverently left the Kenwood, the propane and the inverter on (antenna amp stays off all the time now since we don't watch broadcast TV in the coach, but of course the fridge was running too). Next morning (not more than 12 hours later) the house batteries were completely flat. Charged it for 48 hours now and it has come back to life, but I am sure my already weak house batteries are pretty much toast now. Is this the right time to try that restorative charge function (not sure if that's the right terminology) that the inverter/charger has? Is there a device I could install that would automatically kill the house power when it hits 50% to prevent total discharge in the future?
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:20 PM   #52
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Referring back to my post on this thread from 07/06/13, where I mentioned my coach batteries do discharge over several days even though they are disabled…
I have further information which may be of use to anyone with the 2014 updates, i.e. Magnum Inverter and Panel, etc…

I have noted that with the batteries disabled, the Solenoid for propane is also off; the antenna amplifier is off (green light goes off), and the LP detector green light goes off.

What does bother me are the following:

1) The Magnum Remote Control panel still has power.
2) The SunExplorer panel has power (but may be OK)
3) The tank capacity display has power and does indicate the contents of all tanks. *It also displays the chassis battery volts but not the coach batteries.
4) Trying all the switches around the interior, the tank heater switch still functions with coach batteries disabled. This was another surprise.*

I flipped off all the fuses in the box under the rear seat, and that made no difference.

You may not notice this if you park outside since the solar change may be enough to compensate, but I park inside.

I think there's a wiring issue, and I'm wondering if it may be because my 2013 model was at the front of the line with the 2014 upgrades, and they didn't get it all right!

With the Magnum Remote Control panel having power it suggests the Inverter also has power, and that may be at the root of it.

I have been in contact with Dan at Airstream and frankly, not got very far. He has said Airstream will work with the dealer to resolve this.
A Corporate response if ever there was one.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:29 PM   #53
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Seeing same drain on our 2013

Hate it that my first post has to be a bit on the negative side but UKDude we are seeing the same exact mystery drain on our 2013 extended we purchased new in March (also updated with the Magnum). We park inside our garage and if I unplug from the wall socket the coach batteries are at 50% state of charge within 3 days - even though everything including battery disconnect is off.

There is definitely a drain somewhere, which makes me think that is why the solar panel was added as standard. We absolutely love our Interstate even with the flaws, but it is poor engineering for a system with only 200 amp hours to have vampire draws enough to kill the batteries this fast. AGM's are too expensive to roll off the factory floor with this kind of life shortening feature.

Does AirStream monitor these forums?
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:42 PM   #54
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Hate it that my first post has to be a bit on the negative side but UKDude we are seeing the same exact mystery drain on our 2013 extended we purchased new in March (also updated with the Magnum). We park inside our garage and if I unplug from the wall socket the coach batteries are at 50% state of charge within 3 days - even though everything including battery disconnect is off.

There is definitely a drain somewhere, which makes me think that is why the solar panel was added as standard. We absolutely love our Interstate even with the flaws, but it is poor engineering for a system with only 200 amp hours to have vampire draws enough to kill the batteries this fast. AGM's are too expensive to roll off the factory floor with this kind of life shortening feature.
Dumb question: You say you have the battery disconnect turned to the "off" position, and that's good. But what about your circuit breakers? The inverter/charger may be wired parallel to the battery disconnect, so shutting off the disconnect doesn't shut off the inverter. It would be that way so you don't have to turn on your 12v system in order to charge the batteries.

So, your parasitic draws could be on the 120vAC side. For example, the refrigerator automatically switches to 120v if a 120v power supply is available, so unless you shut off the fridge from the dial inside the fridge, it could be drawing. And of course the inverter draws power on its own. And the televisions draw power even when turned off.

I had this problem with the Tripplite inverter/charger on mine, until I figured it out. Now, when my unit is stored, and not hooked up to a 120v power source, I turn off the battery disconnect, the inverter, and all of the breakers. I also turn off the antenna amplifier and the propane solenoid switch that don't actually shut off from the battery disconnect like they're suposed to. With everything switched off, not only 12v but 120v too, the problem of parasitic drains has gone away.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:23 PM   #55
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Hate it that my first post has to be a bit on the negative side but UKDude we are seeing the same exact mystery drain on our 2013 extended we purchased new in March (also updated with the Magnum). We park inside our garage and if I unplug from the wall socket the coach batteries are at 50% state of charge within 3 days - even though everything including battery disconnect is off.

There is definitely a drain somewhere, which makes me think that is why the solar panel was added as standard. We absolutely love our Interstate even with the flaws, but it is poor engineering for a system with only 200 amp hours to have vampire draws enough to kill the batteries this fast. AGM's are too expensive to roll off the factory floor with this kind of life shortening feature.

Does AirStream monitor these forums?
At last - someone who can sympathize with me! Thank you AtlantaCpl - and mine was also built and purchased in March this year.
Protag - the Magnum appears to be quite different in it operation from the Tripplite and as far as I can judge, the wiring and what gets disabled when you disable the batteries with the remote switch are now different.
So I'm not sure you can compare them this way.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:24 PM   #56
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Keep in mind the updated models have a battery disconnect switch right by the sliding door. The way this was explained to me, it cuts power to everything but the propane (verified off), the solar panel, the fridge (turned off with dial on inside), and the CO2/propane sensors (very small draw).

If you also have to flip breakers to drop all drain then I submit it was useless to put a battery disconnect switch by the sliding door if I still have to go under the couch to flip breakers...not much extra trouble to flip the old manual switch.

You did help with a clue though. I just confirmed you can turn on the inverter even when the battery disconnect is off! I've always made sure this was off so nothing on the 120AC side should be the culprit, but the fact it still can be turned on from the remote Magnum switch in the control cabinet tells me there is without a doubt some kind of parasitic draw from that component. All it would take is 1 amp of draw for me to see the 50% SOC in 3 days. It could conceivably be the remote panel for the inverter alone causing this.

Why in the heck wouldn't you want a battery disconnect switch to also kill all juice to the inverter? I have to scratch my head on that one awhile to even guess.

Brian
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