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Old 11-05-2007, 05:09 PM   #1
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Red face New 2007 Interstate Owner

We purchased our new Interstae in August. My wife and I are enjoying short trips. We have put over 6000 miles on it already. Live in Alabama and off to Ft Meyers Fl for Thanksgiving week. Only problem is my TV will not play a DVD when travelling (only 110 volt). Do I need a converter or am I missing something.
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
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Hi Cliff,

Welcome to the Forums! Lots of good stuff in here................

Your problem could be 3-fold, and it really depends on how Airstream did the installation.

Most motorhomes (and yours is considered one) have an interlock that will not allow the TV to operate while driving.....something about safety! Not sure if you have this set-up...but it is a possibility. Do any other 120VAC outlets work while you are driving?

Another possibility is that you do not have a power inverter, that is....one that takes the 12VDC from your batteries and inverts it into 120VAC to power things like you tele. You can solve this easily by getting the proper sized inverter (usually figure double the watts needed for your usage for sizing purposes) , connect it to your house battery bank and then plug the TV into it.

A third possibility is that you have to run your generator (assuming that you have one) in order to produce the 120VAC that you need to power your outlets and consequently, your TV.

Hops this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

PS: As you are headed my way, let me know if you need me to come up to Ft. Meyers and have a look at the problem if you can't get to the bottom of it. It's sort of in the neighborhood!
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:35 PM   #3
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I would try to make the inverter route work cause the generator is a little loud while you are running. Check with a dealer service manager at one of the bigger dealers (like Colonial in NJ) and they will advise. good luck and enjoy that Interstate
DC
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:41 PM   #4
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Inverter would be preferred

Our 2005 Interstate has the propane-fueled Onan. Indeed it is loud and probably would be annoying if I ever ran it while driving. Suggest you look up Lew and see what he can come up with.

I think a diesel genset might be a little heavy for this size of MH.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:32 AM   #5
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Hello,

A small percentage of LCD TV's Airstream used have an AC and DC adapter, this would depend on which brand they were using at the time your Interstate was built. If the manufacturer of the TV does not include or sell the DC adapter, a small inverter can be purchased from radio shack and plugged into the DC power port near the entertainment center. Once plugged in, you can plug you TV's AC adapter into it.

It is kind of silly that an LCD TV is DC native and they convert it to AC and don't sell or provide the DC adapter with the TV. This means you are going from DC to AC to DC again.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:06 AM   #6
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My LCD flat screen TV (Samsung) and DVD (Concept) in my Sprinter B camper van are 12V powered so will play while driving. I checked the Airstream specs and they do not say what the TV/DVD is specifically. Check your information to see if yours is supposed to run under 12V. If it is then there is some other problem.

Also, it is not advisable to run an LPG generator while driving. The LPG should be turned off when underway.

The only things on my B that operate on 110V are the microwave, electric coffee pot, 110V plug in outlets and the 110V option of the 110/12/LPG three way fridge.
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
My LCD flat screen TV (Samsung) and DVD (Concept) in my Sprinter B camper van are 12V powered so will play while driving. I checked the Airstream specs and they do not say what the TV/DVD is specifically. Check your information to see if yours is supposed to run under 12V. If it is then there is some other problem.

Also, it is not advisable to run an LPG generator while driving. The LPG should be turned off when underway.

The only things on my B that operate on 110V are the microwave, electric coffee pot, 110V plug in outlets and the 110V option of the 110/12/LPG three way fridge.
Davydd,

Could you explain your reasons for turning off the LP while under way? I know of many, many RV'ers who run their LP gen's, refrigerators, water heaters and furnaces while under way (motor homes). I run my fridge on LP while towing.

I know some think there is an inherent safety problem in doing so, but I am unconvinced.......

Thanks so much!
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Davydd,

Could you explain your reasons for turning off the LP while under way? I know of many, many RV'ers who run their LP gen's, refrigerators, water heaters and furnaces while under way (motor homes). I run my fridge on LP while towing.

I know some think there is an inherent safety problem in doing so, but I am unconvinced.......

Thanks so much!
Glad to see Lew support my opinion. The only time I had my propane off while towing was going through a tunnel in the Rockies, and they (officers) shut it off themselves to be certain.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:34 PM   #9
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Four reasons.

One is simply safety whether you buy into that or not.

Second just cited by vswingfield, it is illegal to go through a tunnel and other posted areas with propane on and there area lot more tunnels than the Rocky Mountains that do not have officers around to shut you off.

The third is insurance. You'll have fun explaining damage from propane being on underway. I doubt you will collect.

Four. The manufacturer's printed manual says not to probably for all of the above and their own warranty issues.

But getting back to the original question about the TV not playing while underway. It would be ridiculous to run a propane generator underway just to power a TV/DVD in my opinion especially when such options are readily available in 12V. I have no interconnect preventing watching my TV. It is in the back of the van and only viewable by someone sitting in the back, not the driver. As I mentioned before, Airstream does no specifically say what they provide in the TV/DVD but I thought most converters provided 12V power.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:22 PM   #10
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A fifth reason occurred to me. In a motorhome such as the Interstate you are sitting in the box as you go down the road where the propane is actively engaged. Maybe those with trailers don't have those concerns since trailers are generally unoccupied when moving. Does that make a difference in the attitude about using propane while moving?
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
A fifth reason occurred to me. In a motorhome such as the Interstate you are sitting in the box as you go down the road where the propane is actively engaged. Maybe those with trailers don't have those concerns since trailers are generally unoccupied when moving. Does that make a difference in the attitude about using propane while moving?
Nope,

I full-timed in a 40' Monaco Dynasty diesel MoHo for 5 years and the only time I turned off the LP was going thru a tunnel or fueling. The fridge ran on LP the entire time I was on the road, as did the range and furnace. Most of my MoHo buddies did the same thing.

If the OEMs were that concerned about using the LP while running or there were serious safety issues, they would have installed a solenoid operated gas valve at the LP tank that would only allow LP to flow when the engine was off......similar to the locked circuits you find on MoHos that will not allow the front TV on while the ignition is on.

Plus, when you full-time, what are you supposed to do with your fridge and all of the food in it? No modern MoHo has a 3-way fridge anymore that runs on 12VDC, plus, the huge amp draw is a great drain on the batteries. That leaves running on 120VAC from the generator, or LP while running. While I would run the gen in very hot climates to power up the roof A/Cs to keep the coach cool, I never did it to run the fridge.

I do know folks that are so worried about LP that they don't even have any tanks on their MoHos and opted for all-electric coaches. They have huge battery banks and run the gen almost constantly to power the 120VAC-only fridge and electric range and oven, or the use their 3000 watt inverters and give their batteries a regular workout, requiring them to run the gen anyway after a while to re-charge the batteries.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:51 PM   #12
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LP or not LP, that is the question

Sorry, Will.
Believe it or not, my 2005 Interstate has a full-time Propane Leak detector built-in. I bless it each time I fill on propane, for it has a piercing whistle.
Unless Airstream deleted this safety feature in the 2007 IS, this should alleviate some of the anxiety about leaving the Propane on while driving.
Personally, I don't give it a thought until I get to a fuel plaza where the diesel and gasoline are in the same dispenser. Then I shut the LP down and relight after driving off the pad. And I do obey the tunnel restrictions.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:12 PM   #13
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This subject will never be settled.

You can turn your fridge off in the AM and it will be cold when you arrive. I do it all the time.

With all of the vibration and possible movement of gas lines while travelling, I elect to turn my gas off while moving. If you are going to have a problem, during transit will be the time. The possibilities for a gas system failure are many, including fittings loosening and hoses or tubing abraiding or cutting on a sharp edge.

When I arrive at my destination I turn it back on, pretty simple.

Because you've never had a problem is no reason that you never will.

My viewpoint.
Dave
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:40 PM   #14
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Dave, I agree that this subject will be worse than the ole "404" thread.
Probably have to drive a stake through its heart to kill it, like Dracula.
But, my fridge barely keeps things cold, UNTIL I want to keep the lettuce crispy, then it freezes it solid. I'm not thrilled with it, but that's another story.
I know somebody must have statistics on things like this, but I never gave it a thought until now.
How many RV's have had a propane-based explosion or fire caused by a leak underway? I've not been made aware of any in the 10 years that I've been back in the States, but I could have missed one or two.
I think LP gas is dangerous, sure, but so is gasoline.
No sarcasm intended.
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