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Old 11-30-2015, 10:18 AM   #15
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This solenoid should correct the problem I have been having. The explanation makes sense for why the drain has been difficult to find. My van falls in the date range of the SB, but the VIN does not look anything like mine. Is the VIN an Airstream number rather than Mercedes? Where does it appear on the vehicle?
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:24 AM   #16
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Is the VIN an Airstream number rather than Mercedes? Where does it appear on the vehicle?
Yes, it's an Airstream number. You should be able to find it on the data plate attached to the base of the driver's seat, visible through the open driver's door, though you might have to lift the seat's skirt to see it; I can't remember if it's behind the skirt or below it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:44 PM   #17
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Well, this service bulletin is certainly interesting. My 2014 Interstate is one of those with the problem of excessive battery drain. The dealer did not apply this to my van, though, when it was in for service this month. The bulletin was published while the dealer had my van, and the van was in for service specifically to look at the excessive battery draw problem. (The dealer found nothing wrong with my batteries or charging system. But the Interstate still loses a half-volt of charge in a week. That's hard on the batteries.)

This service bulletin calls out the Magnum inverter as the source of a "Battery Draw" problem. Since it is trivially easy to make sure the inverter is off, I wonder what else about the inverter might be the culprit.
My charger/inverter is set up the way Airstream recommends, and the dealer has checked my inverter more than once, but I wonder now about the "Search Mode" feature.

Anyway, whatever is wrong with my van, it must not be this, since my van was in for service and they didn't feel this
service bulletin was important. I'm working my way through all the steps I've got to follow to use Washington's Motor Home Lemon Law.


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Old 12-01-2015, 02:16 PM   #18
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Lewster, with the ME-RC controller can the inverter be shut off to avoid the parasitic 0.5 amp drain in the same way the SB 164 added solenoid will?
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:13 PM   #19
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Yes, there is a button in the lower left marked 'Inverter'. This should always be off until you need 120 VAC power from your batteries when off-grid, then turned on.

It should be returned to 'off' when finished using that appliance.


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Old 12-06-2015, 10:14 PM   #20
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Yes, there is a button in the lower left marked 'Inverter'. This should always be off until you need 120 VAC power from your batteries when off-grid, then turned on.

It should be returned to 'off' when finished using that appliance.


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Interesting, our AS is one fitting the SB 164 with a current draw of around 0.4A or 10A per 24 hours. This is with the inverter switch on the lower left in the OFF position, rarely using 120AC.

250W of solar sort of takes care of it for outdoor winter storage so far (what winter?) However, still curious as to the source of the draw.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:15 PM   #21
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The current draw for the BIM is about 0.4amp. Cannot be isolated.....


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Old 12-07-2015, 03:26 PM   #22
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The current draw for the BIM is about 0.4amp. Cannot be isolated.....


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I always thought that too. But that's not necessarily true. I'm in the process of doing some tests now on my new system to unilaterally the parasitic drain. I suspect it's actually the Kenwood radio unit. I'll post more details later once I'm sure.


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Old 12-07-2015, 06:09 PM   #23
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I'd be curious on what you learn about the last 0.4 W of parasitic load. I was chasing every last W until I upgraded to 200W solar. I called the BIM mfgr who just laughed at me when asked about its current draw. I would still consider shutting it down if I knew which wire I needed to run through a switch. I don't need it A) being ready to charge the chassis battery if the generator is not running and b) if I'm not plugged into shore power. And I don't need it being ready to C) charge the coach battery if the engine is not running. And I understand that the 11W of solar does not feed through to the chassis battery. So I would only activate the BIM via the switch whenever I am running the generator, plugged into shore, or running the diesel engine. Please advise if any of you see faulty logic in any of the preceding.

For the radio - I could see it being 0.4 W if turned on, but seems unlikely to pull 0.4 W in the standby mode. All 'standby' does is keep the channel and time memory going - correct? All vehicles have the chassis battery providing this power and it takes many many months for this to drain the chassis battery - correct?

But I stand to be corrected by your data...
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:09 PM   #24
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The iPhone spell checker got me again. I'm trying to identify the sources of parasitic drains.


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Old 12-07-2015, 06:26 PM   #25
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Service Bulletin 164 - Battery Draw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus View Post
I'd be curious on what you learn about the last 0.4 W of parasitic load. I was chasing every last W until I upgraded to 200W solar. I called the BIM mfgr who just laughed at me when asked about its current draw. I would still consider shutting it down if I knew which wire I needed to run through a switch. I don't need it A) being ready to charge the chassis battery if the generator is not running and b) if I'm not plugged into shore power. And I don't need it being ready to C) charge the coach battery if the engine is not running. And I understand that the 11W of solar does not feed through to the chassis battery. So I would only activate the BIM via the switch whenever I am running the generator, plugged into shore, or running the diesel engine. Please advise if any of you see faulty logic in any of the preceding.

For the radio - I could see it being 0.4 W if turned on, but seems unlikely to pull 0.4 W in the standby mode. All 'standby' does is keep the channel and time memory going - correct? All vehicles have the chassis battery providing this power and it takes many many months for this to drain the chassis battery - correct?

But I stand to be corrected by your data...

Wonder why the BIM manufacturer would not give your the current draw. I know the wattage needed to hold the relay. It's in the specs for the relay that's used in golf carts. But that's only when activated. The electronics draw very little.

Ahhh! The Kenwood radio is wired to the house batteries for both the ignition and main power requirements. So it never really goes fully into standby like it should since there is alway an ignition signal. Kenwood has internal relays that limit the current draw when the ignition signal is off - but that never happens because of the way it is wired by Airstream.

The BIM is still an issue and I'm working on some ideas to add an indicator light to tell when batteries are connected and add an on/off switch. So many ideas so little time. 😄


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Old 12-07-2015, 08:11 PM   #26
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My theory on the Kenwood being the main parasitic drain isn't correct. I measured it tonight at about 0.1 Amp continuous. This is still a major contributor, but drops to nearly nothing when the battery disconnect is off.

What I discovered is the house battery is still powering the radio because of the way Airstream wired the Kenwood entertainment, unit if you have it. This does not apply if you have a factory Sprinter radio. From what I can tell, from the various wiring diagrams I’ve found, Airstream started installing the Kenwood’s after 2011-2012 models.

I've looked closely at the wiring diagram and observed my setup since I have a shunt meter that measures all current leaving my house batteries. In normal conditions with battery disconnect switch ON the Kenwood continually draws 0.1 Amps from the house batteries, even when radio is switched off. There is a caution in the Kenwood installation manual not to wire it the way Airstream did, as it will then drain the batteries. See the information inside the red boxes on attached page 22 and 28 from Installation instructions.

Airstream supplies power to the Kenwood from two sources. One from the house power 15 Amp thermal Circuit Breaker (CB); always powering the yellow battery wire to the Kenwood. The Kenwood red ignition wire is powered by the house battery 7.5 Amp fuse #2; that also powers most of the lights. See attached annotated wiring diagrams.

Your Interstate is wired this way if when you turn off the house power disconnect the radio power is then controlled by the Sprinter key. Airstream wired it this way to allow use of the Kenwood radio without requiring the Sprinter key turned on.

Next I'm taking a closer look at the BIM and the Inverter when off.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf KW DNX7190 Installation warning.pdf (200.4 KB, 28 views)
File Type: pdf Airstream Installation of Kenwood Radio.pdf (284.8 KB, 33 views)
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:38 PM   #27
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There is a caution in the Kenwood installation manual not to wire it the way Airstream did, as it will then drain the batteries.
When my Interstate was burglarized the night after I bought it, the original Kenwood DNX7160 was replaced by a DNX7180. I never have been able to play the Kenwood stereo while the engine is off unless I put the key in the ignition and turn it to ACC. I always wondered if the installer wired it wrong since everyone else with an Interstate seems to be able to play their stereo with the engine off. Now thanks to Boxster1971 I find out the installer didn't wire it wrong, he wired it right! Learn something new every day…
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:46 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
My theory on the Kenwood being the main parasitic drain isn't correct. I measured it tonight at about 0.1 Amp continuous. This is still a major contributor, but drops to nearly nothing when the battery disconnect is off.

What I discovered is the house battery is still powering the radio because of the way Airstream wired the Kenwood entertainment, unit if you have it. This does not apply if you have a factory Sprinter radio. From what I can tell, from the various wiring diagrams I’ve found, Airstream started installing the Kenwood’s after 2011-2012 models.

I've looked closely at the wiring diagram and observed my setup since I have a shunt meter that measures all current leaving my house batteries. In normal conditions with battery disconnect switch ON the Kenwood continually draws 0.1 Amps from the house batteries, even when radio is switched off. There is a caution in the Kenwood installation manual not to wire it the way Airstream did, as it will then drain the batteries. See the information inside the red boxes on attached page 22 and 28 from Installation instructions.

Airstream supplies power to the Kenwood from two sources. One from the house power 15 Amp thermal Circuit Breaker (CB); always powering the yellow battery wire to the Kenwood. The Kenwood red ignition wire is powered by the house battery 7.5 Amp fuse #2; that also powers most of the lights. See attached annotated wiring diagrams.

Your Interstate is wired this way if when you turn off the house power disconnect the radio power is then controlled by the Sprinter key. Airstream wired it this way to allow use of the Kenwood radio without requiring the Sprinter key turned on.

Next I'm taking a closer look at the BIM and the Inverter when off.
Great detective work!!!

I've also noticed the wiring anomaly, but usually leave it in place, as all of the solar upgrades that I install are more than capable of overcoming any parasitic loads.

I don't see why Airstream would not simply follow Kenwood's directions about this draw (but then they seem to have better ideas about many things!) and not use the chassis battery, since it will connect to the house batteries and recharge anyway (once a power source like solar is present) thru the BIM once the lower voltage threshold is reached.
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