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Old 04-14-2013, 01:15 PM   #15
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Well, that's what a " Shakedown" is for, to find issues to take care of. I put new multi-stage convertors in 2 different trailers, including our current one. Ours are easy to get to and are located below the front sofa-bed. You got nothing to lose by asking if the dealer will do it but don't be surprised with their response. Maybe you could ask them for a credit for what they would pay for the one they carry and put it towards a multi-stage one and put it in yourself. That is, if they were going to do it under warranty anyway. Whichever way you go you will be satisfied once it's done and installed.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #16
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The dealership where I purchased my preowned 2008 Airstream Classic 25 has determined the issue is with the batteries. Replaced the two old Interstates with two new Interstate Grp 24s and tested the charger over 24 hours. They are not billing me for their labor or batteries. What a nice surprise! I guess they felt the batteries should have been replaced when they took the trailer in trade. We are on the road next week to Roaring River State Park in Missouri to meet our college daughter. New tires, new batteries, what can go wrong, knock on aluminum

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Old 04-19-2013, 04:03 PM   #17
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If the batteries are old and failing would this cause the converter readings at the outputs to be this low? The readings should be 13.8v to 14.1v according to the AS manual.
Rarely, batteries will short out internally and pull down the voltage from a good converter. The converter should work fine without the batteries, and if disconnecting the batteries clears up the problem then, well, you've found out what was wrong.

The batteries will overheat, boil over, and sometimes explode when this happens. If when you disconnect the batteries you observe that they're in one piece and have the correct amount of electrolyte in them, then the problem is probably somewhere else.

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I noticed a few days ago when we were loading the rear 3 light dinette lamp would change intensity, lower then brighten occasionally. The 4 Thin-lite fluorescent lights where steady. Was this a symptom of converter failure?
It is common for the wiring to come loose, usually in the circuit breaker area. That would be the first place I would look, along with checking that the output wiring to the Magnetek is clean and tight.

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I think I have a Magnetek. If the dealership decides to replace the converter and batteries should I opt to spend the extra money and upgrade the converter to a 3 stage converter?
It's really rare for the Magneteks to fail. They're not bad converters, but the fan noise is irritating, and they take longer to recharge the batteries than a 3-stage converter. I haven't replaced mine -- the recharge times don't matter to me much because I don't use a generator and because I have shore power at my storage location, so if I'm charging from shore power, I'm doing it overnight anyway.

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I'll probably replace the batteries irregardless. I believe the batteries are probably the original batteries, Interstates.
See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ry-102788.html

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Driving the AS to the dealership was about a 90 minute drive and the batteries didn't seem anymore charged. How do you test if the tow vehicle is charging the batteries. If you hook it up can you measure the change in voltage on the batteries or on the converter panel.
Common problem and many tow vehicles require adding a fuse or some other minor change to charge batteries. If you do have a shorted cell in your trailer batteries you may have blown a fuse in the charge line from your tow vehicle.

I get reasonably good charging performance from my tow vehicle, and check it with a handheld ammeter from time to time. Mine is an old magnet-style, inaccurate but usable, these days they have electronic ones that are much better.

You can also wire in a DC ammeter in the trailer and check it before leaving, when stopping for fuel, etc. I've done this in my truck camper, because the charge line is the only source of charging -- the converter doesn't charge the batteries in that rig.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:37 PM   #18
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Good luck with the Interstate batteries. My Airstream appears to be eating them. One replaced after 8 months under warranty and it now the other 10 months old one is about dead and the 2 month old one is having troubles as well. They are normal 12v group 29 deep cycle. Trying to get some credit form Interstate for them to put towards 6v golf cart.

Not impressed.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:20 PM   #19
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Good luck with the Interstate batteries. My Airstream appears to be eating them. One replaced after 8 months under warranty and it now the other 10 months old one is about dead and the 2 month old one is having troubles as well. They are normal 12v group 29 deep cycle. Trying to get some credit form Interstate for them to put towards 6v golf cart.

Not impressed.
Batteries don't just die.

Are you leaving them sit while discharged? Have they had the electrolyte get too low? Have you checked voltages to see what's going on?
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #20
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This same thing happened to me on our shake down cruise. We had a bad battery and a bad converter. I had them put in a good 3 stage converter and it fit right into the space the old one occupied. It is an IOTA and as I recall it didn't cost a huge amount.

I would seriously suggest you get one of these(a three stage). People have a tendency to leave their trailers plugged in for a long time and a single stage will overcharge and eventually destroy a battery. I sleep much better at night now that I know my converter is working and is not a threat to the batteries.

I don't have a clue what a Magnetek is or how it works but I sense, from what I have read here, that it is a single charge unit. I would replace it some time down the road.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:53 PM   #21
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I get about 4 years out of a pair of batteries in my Classic. The original Interstates went 4 years. I replaced them with the Auto-Zone marine group 27 batteries. One failed with a dead short this spring after 4 years of use. The other still test out okay so I just purchased one group 27 Everlast Marine from Wal-Mart. I went with the Everlast since Auto-Zone only warrants their marines for 90 days. Wal-Mart gives you a year and the battery was $25 less. We will see how this one performs. Bottom line we always camp with power so in my case I'm not looking for the best performance at this point. I do make a point to shut the main switch to off when the trailer is not in use since there is enough parasite draw from the electronics to draw the batteries down in a few weeks. I pull the batteries when I winterize but do not keep them under a trickle charge over the winter. I might reconsider this year since I just bought a couple of trickle chargers. I charge the batteries externally with an intelligent 3 stage charger prior to installation in the spring.

If the converter ever fails, I will replace it with an intelligent converter.

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Old 04-19-2013, 06:05 PM   #22
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I heard batteries should be replaced in pairs if you ave two. Something about charging? Jim
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:53 PM   #23
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In the two weeks since delivery we have spent a couple of evenings with it in its covered storage with the electricity plugged in while we were there. The day before we left on this trip we had the trailer plugged in for 24 hours to run the fridge. When hitching up in storage to leave the power jack ran normal, unhitching at the state park it was normal. During the evening of the first night in the trailer we had the Thin-Lite ceiling lights on from about 7:00pm until about 10:30 when we went to bed. I didn't notice if the dinette light was fading in our out. None of this should've drawn done the two batteries.

I'm not sure I'm confident to attempt to swap out a converter to a 3 stage converter.

Do you have to make major modifications to the footprint of the existing space to switch to a 3 stage converter? I'm thinking get the current one fixed/replaced under the warranty to get me by then figure out what it takes to switch to a 3 way. In the mean time get a new set of batteries.

Kelvin
Kelvin,

The converter was an easy change out on our 03 Classic. I used an IOTA 55a DLS IQ4 from Best Converter. Plug and play, took less than an hour.

I would insist on a warrantee upgrade, and pay the difference over the OEM unit, plus two new batteries.(probably not under warrantee)

Bob
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:50 PM   #24
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Batteries don't just die.

Are you leaving them sit while discharged? Have they had the electrolyte get too low? Have you checked voltages to see what's going on?

We are full-timing so the batteries have had constant heavy use and a constant re-charge. Never below 10.5v. Water levels look fine.

It may be our solar, but I have no clue. It is impossible to get any information from Interstate on what a proper charge profile is for these batteries.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:53 AM   #25
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We are full-timing so the batteries have had constant heavy use and a constant re-charge. Never below 10.5v. Water levels look fine.

It may be our solar, but I have no clue. It is impossible to get any information from Interstate on what a proper charge profile is for these batteries.

A consistant discharge to 10.5v is way to low. 50% should be the maximum.



In my experience Interstates have been pretty reliable, 13.8-14.2v charge rate
A quality 3-stage,(float rate), converter improves battery life considerably, especially if on constant recharge.

Bob
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:03 PM   #26
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We are full-timing so the batteries have had constant heavy use and a constant re-charge. Never below 10.5v. Water levels look fine.

It may be our solar, but I have no clue. It is impossible to get any information from Interstate on what a proper charge profile is for these batteries.
I think you have enough solar capacity but inadequate battery capacity and a constant discharge to 10.5v will send your batteries to Boot Hill regardless of your converter type. (Or battery type) I have a similar charge system to yours but 4 group 24 AGM batteries and have never been less than 11.9v, and that was after a rainy,snowy, long week end with excessive furnace operation and a whole bunch of movie watching. We rarely see anything less than 12.2v.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:30 AM   #27
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Both our solar and converter are top quality 3 stage chargers.
We don't consistently go 10.5v, just once or twice and never below it.

Last night after using 25amp hours we were down to 11.6v. That should be 1/4 of our capacity and like the charge posted says, should be about 12.3v. That would happen the first couple months of our trip, but never lately.

I agree on needing more batteries, the problem is I have no where to put them. I already had to build a crazy platform to stack the 2nd on top of the first.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:40 PM   #28
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Both our solar and converter are top quality 3 stage chargers.
We don't consistently go 10.5v, just once or twice and never below it.

Last night after using 25amp hours we were down to 11.6v. That should be 1/4 of our capacity and like the charge posted says, should be about 12.3v. That would happen the first couple months of our trip, but never lately.

I agree on needing more batteries, the problem is I have no where to put them. I already had to build a crazy platform to stack the 2nd on top of the first.
You have a lot more experience than I have and I am guessing that your inclination to move to a 6 volt system is most likely the right fix for you given the space limitations. Since your batteries are not the same age, my guess is that the older one is sucking some of the performance out of the new one so you end up with a negatively compromised system. Again your charging system is top notch as has been demonstrated over time. Time for some Trojan 6v batteries.
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