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Old 12-13-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
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2014 Interstate 3500 Electrical Issue

I am a newbie on your site. I just purchased a 2014 Interstate 3500 coach/van. When parked I use 30 amp trickle charger. When I disconnect and go camping I cannot get my new home gel batteries to get enough juice to crank my generator on - only 10 volts, although when charging it says 12.2 volts and 100% charged! If I try to crank the generator up when engine running- no problem.

This unit is only 6 months old- why am I not able to crank generator?

I took my coach in and shop said batteries tested fine and are holding charge. By the way, I turned off all appliances including refrigerator and charged for 2 days when I was unable to crank my generator up.

ANY SUGGESTIONS?
ANYONE ELSE EXPERIENCING ELECTRICAL ISSUES ON 2013 OR 2014 INTERSTATE 3500?

Thanks,
Troubled Texas Judge
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:14 PM   #2
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A 30 amp trickle charger? Do you have the battery switch on if it has one? Someone with an Interstate will chime in. Jim
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:30 PM   #3
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Airstream Interstate 3500 House BATTERY PROBLEMS

I may not have stated this too well...I keep unit plugged in with shore line to a 220 volt 30 amp outlet and house batteries show FULLY CHARGED 100% however when I disconnect and hit the road, literally, just two hours later when I try to use house batteries to start my generator, not enough juice and battery level drops to 50%- I am thinking that one of these new LIFELINE AGM Batteries must have a dead cell that is causing power loss in battery.

Thanks
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:45 AM   #4
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Do not use 220 volts. You may have already done damage! Jim
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:22 AM   #5
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It can't be 220 volts, or lots of electrical things in your camper wouldn't be working (blown up).

I think you're right - the battery is bad. Or you have a HUGE drain somewhere...it'd have to be almost a dead short, though.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasJudge View Post
I may not have stated this too well...I keep unit plugged in with shore line to a 220 volt 30 amp outlet and house batteries show FULLY CHARGED 100% however when I disconnect and hit the road, literally, just two hours later when I try to use house batteries to start my generator, not enough juice and battery level drops to 50%- I am thinking that one of these new LIFELINE AGM Batteries must have a dead cell that is causing power loss in battery.

Thanks
AGM batteries don't survive rapid draw-down or low voltages. I've, unfortunately, just experienced the cost of this. Because I use a CPAP machine at night, it is critical for me to have sufficient power. Last week, while dry-camping in the Mojave Desert, I stupidly decided to warm up a bowl of soup in the microwave (I have 4 AGM batteries, 225-w solar & a Xantrex Freedom 3000 inverter/charger). So I switched on the inverter, and ran the 1000-watt microwave for 3 minutes. The Xantrex could easily handle this, but I noticed that the net draw-down on the batteries was 134 amps. The solar panels recharged the batteries and I thought all was well. At 11:00 pm, I was awakened because I couldn't breathe - the CPAP machine had stopped. I checked the Xantrex control panel & found that the voltage had dropped to the point that there was insufficient voltage to power the inverter. By 3:00 am, the voltage dropped so low that all 12-volt items topped working - no lights (all LED), no power to the controls of the refrigerator. I hauled out and fired up my generator, but the voltage was so low that the Xantrex control panel wouldn't switch over to charge the batteries (it read 3.7 volts). I had to back my truck up to be able to plug in the Bargman umbilical cord to bring the batteries up to 12-volts so that the generator would power what I needed. Since I was on a course, I had to wait 4 days until I could get back to Interstate of Las Vegas and buy a new set of 4 batteries - $1,200! Lesson learned: AGM batteries are NOT made for rapid draw-down, but for sustained low draw (does fine for grinding my coffee each morning).
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:12 AM   #7
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I have a 2013 Interstate with 140 miles on it. I too am struggling with power issues, but working through it with a lot of help from these forum postings. Several parasitic loads identified. Situation improving,but still cannot go more than a few days without needing a charge.......even with 12v disconnect switch thrown.
My unit sat a long time on the dealer lot, so I anticipate it will take some time and an "equalization" charge to get up to spec. In a nutshell, you are not alone....check all the threads related to house batteries...
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:23 AM   #8
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i've read threads here on interstate drawing down the batteries due to the inverter? not being switched off or something like that. try using the googlr search for more info.
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasJudge View Post
When I disconnect and go camping I cannot get my new home gel batteries to get enough juice to crank my generator on - only 10 volts, although when charging it says 12.2 volts and 100% charged!
While charging, the display does NOT show the battery voltage. It shows the charging voltage instead.

If you're looking at the solar panel display, it's showing the output of the solar system, not the actual battery charge. Problem is, the solar charge controller is powered by the house batteries; if voltage drops too low, regardless of what the solar panel produces, the charge controller doesn't function and no charging takes place. A solar panel will keep a battery topped off if it already has a charge, but will not charge a dead battery.

12.7vDC or higher is 100% charged.
12.5vDC is "Low battery cut-in" voltage. Your Magnum inverter/charger should begin charging when your batteries drop to this level, assuming you have a source of 120vAC power to charge from.
12.2vDC is approximately 50% charge. If your charger is only putting out that much, it cannot charge the batteries beyond 50% so you're starting off in the red, right from the beginning.
11.4vDC is 0% charged. The batteries are dead.
10.0vDC is "Low battery cut-out" voltage. If your batteries drop to this level or lower, your inverter/charger shuts itself off within one minute of reaching this voltage to save itself from brown-out of its own computer chips. In other words, at 10.0vDC, your batteries aren't charging even if you have shore power connected because the charger temporarily quit working.

Your only viable option at that point is to remove the batteries and resurrect them by bench-charging them, because neither the solar panel nor the inverter/charger is providing a charge.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:40 AM   #10
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Talking 2014 Interstate Battery Problem

Well, first of all THANK YOU GUYS for chiming in, I appreciate your comments. My bad when I said I had 220 volts...brain infarction I guess, my last Airstream Land Yacht had 220v. This Interstate is 30a and 120v. The point I was trying to make is that these 6 month old AGM LIFELINE batteries were not holding a charge for even 2 days, even when I had been trickle charging with 120v shore power.

Took vehicle back to Thor repair shop (2nd time in 2 weeks) and I had to tell them to check batteries again and especially under a load. Well, well, guess what these new Lifeline AGM top of the line batteries were showing borderline charge so they replaced both house batteries with brand new ones (same make) and now I am good to go. Can hold charge even after parasitic drain for about 3 days when not plugged in to shore power.

THANKS GUYS!!
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:42 AM   #11
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TexasJudge: Glad all's well that ends well.

Most people don't know this, but when an AGM battery drops beyond it's low point, it is no longer useful, as it will not retain a charge - the fix is replacement.

Protagonist: you're right about the various voltage levels - however, while a regular lead acid wet cell may rejuvenate if it drops low, and AGM dropping beyond 10.0 volts is ready for the graveyard.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:45 AM   #12
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I had problem with batteries drawing down quickly too. The dealer said there was nothing wrong with my new 2014 interstate. However, calling Airstream tech support, I discovered there was a recall on defective inverter relay. Had replaced and problem solved
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