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Old 11-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #15
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Another tidbit of information is that 2 of the outlets are only powered when you are on shore power or generator power. One of the outlets is the one above the stove and the other outlet is on the curb side near the floor by the rear lounge if you have the lounge model.

I think maybe the reason that there is no operator's manual for the electrical system is that no one is really sure how it operates. I know I get different stories from different people that I talk to.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #16
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We were NOT plugged in...no hook ups at the campground.
..................
I agree, Maggie. Although it is amazing how you don't know what you don't know, and this makes it so much more difficult to figure things out!!

OK, so, no more videos when dry camping.

So glad to have found this forum. You all are a wealth of information and will surely help us speed up the learning curve a bit!
We were all newbies once upon a time.

Our first RV in 2002 was a 1977 24' Barth, with no owners manual.

We knew NOTHING, and learned from kind strangers in campgrounds. When we got rid of it in 2008, there were still buttons and knobs whose purpose was unknown to us.

However, we put 20,000 mostly-glorious miles on it, many with an aging dog and small grandchildren along. Had a blast, and so did they.

Don't hesitate to ask, even at campgrounds. You will rarely find someone unwilling to help you or to explain something, and this kind of learning is invaluable.

We wrote a lot of things down, as we learned, too.


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Old 11-13-2013, 11:08 AM   #17
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I think maybe the reason that there is no operator's manual for the electrical system is that no one is really sure how it operates. I know I get different stories from different people that I talk to.
haha!!

Hey, just found this post on another thread where someone else was asking similar questions about the inverter and electric and such...

"I suggest a few youtube channels and watch ALL of their videos and this will be helpful...RV geeks, long long honeymoon, airstream official youtube channel, and some others worth checking out....

Also this was provided to me the other day...I had already seen most of these but most of the channels i mentioned are represented in the links:

NorCal Airstream Club 30 tips for Airstream repairs, maintenance and operation"
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:27 AM   #18
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Just reading something on this other thread...

Am I supposed to turn off my fridge on my 2014 Interstate when I refuel at the gas station?

Someone mentioned this, but I don't know if that just applies to older models, or to the newer ones as well.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:31 AM   #19
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Maggie, I've been writing notes everywhere....pieces of paper all over my office with little "RV" notes on them...notes written all over my daytimer (if I have to actually write in an appointment, I might not have room). I'm gonna have to buy a notebook today and dedicate it soley to taking RV notes.

I'm counting on the kindness of other campers to help us out as we go!! I'm not shy about asking for help!!!
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #20
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Not sure but that may be true if you have a propane powered refrigerator. Ours is a 120 VAC/12 VDC model. Since diesel fuel is fairly non-volatile, I'm not sure it would be a problem even with a propane powered refrigerator.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:33 AM   #21
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Just reading something on this other thread...

Am I supposed to turn off my fridge on my 2014 Interstate when I refuel at the gas station?

Someone mentioned this, but I don't know if that just applies to older models, or to the newer ones as well.
No. Your fridge doesn't have a pilot light or spark igniter because it doesn't run on propane, and won't ignite fuel vapors. But if you're running your water heater or furnace, turn them off when you refuel.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:40 AM   #22
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OK guys, thanks. Fridge is 12v/120...no propane. Good...one less thing to worry about blowing up.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:46 PM   #23
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Weirdstuff,


It sounds like you are getting there! The systems in these rigs are complex and you will be learning forever! For me, that's part of the fun of ownership. The main things I would tell you:
  • This forum is your friend! There are a lot of really knowledgeable, helpful folks here. But, keep in mind that there IS misinformation here too. So, you have to do some sifting.
  • As AS Interstates have evolved over time there have been many changes, even within the same AS model year. So what may be true for any one owner may or may not be true for your van.
  • For the Sprinter bits, the Sprinter-Forum is excellent!
  • The book "RV Electrical Systems, A Basic Guide............." by Moeller is good even if a little dated. It will help you get your head around the basic concepts. $18 at Amazon.
  • If you haven't already, get a decent digital multimeter and learn how to use it. At least the basic functions.
  • Deeply discharging a lead-acid battery, even one time, is very detrimental to it's life and capacity. The damage can be essentially permanent. The common recommendation is that you should never discharge a battery below 50% capacity. Some manufacturers (Trojan for one) suggest you never discharge below 80%.
  • Understand and use your battery monitor. If you don't have one in your Interstate, get one. I like the Trimetric by Bogart Eng. A good monitor actually keeps track of current in and current out of the battery bank. This gives a much more accurate picture of your battery SOC (State of Charge) than you will ever get from voltage readings.
Good luck! Enjoy the learning!!
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:27 PM   #24
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OK guys, thanks. Fridge is 12v/120...no propane. Good...one less thing to worry about blowing up.
I unplugged the 110v on my fridge so that it always operates on 12v. This is easy to do if you don't have a Wardrobe version. You simply open the tilt-out tray under the sink, reach in and unplug it. (I have a 2013 Interstate Ext with the Tripp-Lite Inverter). I also turn on the inverter only when I want to watch TV (I don't know how Interstates equipped with Magnum inverters operates, however). Have fun!
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:57 PM   #25
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RV Electrics

You can get some basic info on RV electrics from this sites six online seminars:

RV Electrical Systems - Class
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:12 PM   #26
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I unplugged the 110v on my fridge so that it always operates on 12v. This is easy to do if you don't have a Wardrobe version. You simply open the tilt-out tray under the sink, reach in and unplug it. (I have a 2013 Interstate Ext with the Tripp-Lite Inverter). I also turn on the inverter only when I want to watch TV (I don't know how Interstates equipped with Magnum inverters operates, however). Have fun!
David
So basically if you're plugged into shore power, the inverter is converting that to 12 volts DC to charge the batteries that are running the refrigerator. That should work but it does put more charge/discharge cycles on your batteries.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:45 PM   #27
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So basically if you're plugged into shore power, the inverter is converting that to 12 volts DC to charge the batteries that are running the refrigerator. That should work but it does put more charge/discharge cycles on your batteries.
I upgraded my solar panels to 200w, so I rarely plug into shore power anymore (I actually plugged it in for one night in the last few months just because I was parked right next to an outlet). Also, I run my fridge 24/7 because my Interstate is a daily driver and I like to have cold water anytime I want. And when I do turn on the inverter to watch TV, I don't run down my batteries even further by the inefficiency of the inverter converting 12v to 120v just to have the fridge convert it back to 12v. Well, that's the theory anyway
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:14 PM   #28
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David, If you have 200w solar panels, don't they just store/convert the power into the 12v battery? If that's the case, then aren't you just limited by the 12v battery capacity?
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