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Old 08-31-2020, 03:54 PM   #1
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Smile 2015 Grand Tour electrical issues

Hello Everyone! We are proud new owners of a 2015 Interstate Grand Tour. We want to start enjoying it. It's been sitting in our driveway for about 2 weeks and we are trying to understand the beautiful beast and troubleshoot a few issues that we were disappointed to discover. I hope that someone here can advise us how to get on the road without a big initial expense. We think we may need to replace the magnum inverter, and if that's the case, is it feasible to upgrade to a 2000w or 3000w unit in same location or should we just replace with the same 1000w Magnum? I could do a simple replacement with the same item myself but anything beyond that I would need help. We are plugged into a 20 amp circuit in the garage and inverter seems to work to power all the inverter outlets, but the battery will just not charge. The A/C and other things will work off that circuit without issue. I have propane switch off, fridge and freezer set to 0, and I try to keep inverter powered off at door, but I still need to idle the engine daily to keep battery in the mid 12's. I reset main and inverter breakers without sucess but the two reset buttons on the top of the magnum do not budge with pressure, and I dont want to push too hard. I have confirmed the magnum settings with airstream and we have the dreaded "no AC in" message as i scroll thru the panel. I have a multimeter and I need to confirm that battery feed is hot, but I am unsure how to test. Additionally the flex solar panel never registers any solar input on the silver solar panel, but it does accurately measure battery. We are in San Diego area and we want to head to northern Ca to visit two of our sons and camp together. I put an internet request into AM solar a week ago for help, but they are backed up as are all the other specialists I have tried. I have read how helpful Lew is but I hesitate to bother him. I am tempted to order the same magnum on amazon and try to pop it in and hope for the best, but I know that there is much I dont know. I know that most people would want to get rid of that underpowered unit and upgrade. Perhaps someone has an old magnum unit that they removed and no longer want, and that could tide us over until we upgrade our system. We could just head out on the road as is, but we will surely ruin our batteries and also not be able to keep food in fridge cold. Any help would be welcome. Thanks in advance.
Susan and Cary
858-945-8073
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Old 08-31-2020, 04:06 PM   #2
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Someone who knows more than I will have more specific information, but my first thought is that maybe you need a 30 amp hookup.

There are always parasitic draws, as I understand it.

Might take a weekend field trip to a nearby campground with a 30 amp hookup, and see what that looks like after a couple of days.

You can otherwise play with your new rig while there, and get settled in.

Good luck!

Maggie
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Old 08-31-2020, 05:21 PM   #3
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The only thread I have seen on putting a larger inverter/charger/transfer in the same location is Schmitte’s post “2015 GT 300 Ah lithonics upgrade”. Doing the Magnum swap for the Xantrex involves some degree of craftsmanship and wiring.

As for further diagnosing what is your issue I defer to others for insight.
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Old 08-31-2020, 05:55 PM   #4
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Thanks Heckler, That thread had so much valuable information. It looks like it is more than I could do to replace the magnum with a more powerful unit. But if Schmitte still has that magnum inverter/ charger he removed, it would sure come in handy. Just name your price.
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Magic1820 View Post
Thanks Heckler, That thread had so much valuable information. It looks like it is more than I could do to replace the magnum with a more powerful unit. But if Schmitte still has that magnum inverter/ charger he removed, it would sure come in handy. Just name your price.


I’ll make you a heck of a deal
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:10 PM   #6
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I’ll make you a heck of a deal


Let me know when is a good time to call you tomorrow
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:00 AM   #7
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"but the battery will just not charge." "Additionally the flex solar panel never registers any solar input on the silver solar panel, but it does accurately measure battery." Any help would be welcome. Thanks in advance.
Susan and Cary
858-945-8073
A couple of thoughts, maybe you've checked this stuff already but I have a 2015 Interstate Ext and while there are some differences between your model and mine:

For the power issues, have you checked the battery's ability to hold a charge? Maybe replace them and add capacity while you're at it. I replaced my two group 24 batteries with 4 GPL-4CT golf cart batteries and went from 1/2 day off grid to 2 days off grid. Replacement with lithium power adds even more and there are lots of postings on this forum with paths to follow.

For the solar panel input, I found that the connectors on the roof were corroded and couldn't make a connection to the panel. You may need to replace the connector between the solar panel and the controller.
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:13 PM   #8
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What a nice phone call I just received from a fellow Grand Tour owner. He was so kind and helpful with his information and suggestions.
I wanted to clarify that our batteries are not the problem. They may not be in great shape, but they do hold a charge if I am very careful to turn absolutely everything off.
The problem is that I cannot charge them with shore power or generator. I can only charge up the batteries if I turn on the mercedes engine. This is why we believe we need to replace the Magnum Inverter/ charger. The inverter function of the magnum does seem to function because I am able to turn on the tv.
The gentleman who called me suggested I purchase an external battery charger, which sounds like a great idea.
I also look forward to hopefully purchasing the Magnum device that Schmitte removed when he upgraded his system. Perhaps that will fix our problem.
Thanks to Ryoungca for the suggestion of cleaning/ replacing our solar panel connections. We will get to that later this week.
I am thankful to be part of this wonderful airstream community and encouraged and hopeful that with everyones help, we can figure most of this stuff out. We drove to the beach this evening and enjoyed wine and a beautiful sunset. We received so many complements on our airstream!
Susan and Cary 858-945-8073
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:47 PM   #9
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Hi, Susan and Cary...welcome to the family! I also have a 2015 Grand Tour and have loved (almost) every minute of it! I am not a tech wizard by any means, but with the help of many on this Board I have solved most issues that owners of this great RV have to deal with. I did an upgrade of my electrical system a few years back and have been very happy with it. It is discussed at this thread:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f24...te-163221.html
I'd be delighted to try to help with any other issues that come up. Best of luck to you!
Tim
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:16 AM   #10
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Thumbs up Problem solved

I wanted to update this thread about our electrical problems on our new-to-us 2015 Grand Tour. Thanks to the kind and educated input of several forum members our electrical issues are now repaired. Everything had pointed to a bad inverter. Yesterday we swapped out our unit with an identical Magnum Inverter (thanks to schmitte) and now our batteries are charging from shore power for the first time!!! The solar system amp readings on the sunexplorer unit even kicked on, so in our van, the solar charging is also connected to the function of the magnum inverter. It looks like it's all working now just by swapping out the inverter. I'm not yet sure if we ruined our batteries while trying to figure this out, but at least now we can find out their status.

Next step on electrical improvements: inside propane switch install. This sounds relatively easy to do and help us preserve power so we can keep the fridge going.

Then possible install victron battery monitor bmv-712, and/or a new solar controller, victron smart solar mppt-100/30. Any advice on which we would get the most benefit from and opinion on ease of install? Is the temp sensor a feature we should also add when we add the battery monitor? Our goal is to get on the road within about 2 weeks to visit our kids, and then add 2 more solar panels over the winter.

Thanks to all who encouraged us. We are both doing the happy dance.
Susan and Cary
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:15 AM   #11
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Glad the magnum solved your problem!

I would add both the new solar controller and the BMV-712 while you have easy access. Solar controller is the easiest install
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:02 AM   #12
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Gotta say, I am 100% unimpressed with the Sunexplorer solar controller. It's going out with the bathwater in our planned upgrade.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmitte View Post
Glad the magnum solved your problem!

I would add both the new solar controller and the BMV-712 while you have easy access. Solar controller is the easiest install
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Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
Gotta say, I am 100% unimpressed with the Sunexplorer solar controller. It's going out with the bathwater in our planned upgrade.

I agree the original solar controller is junk. But that fact is partially obscured by the impressively beautiful wall monitor which is milled from a single piece of aluminum. Too bad AS didn't put their money into the controller instead.

I repurposed the old wall monitor spot into additional 12v/USB outlets using this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 09-17-2020, 02:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
I agree the original solar controller is junk. But that fact is partially obscured by the impressively beautiful wall monitor which is milled from a single piece of aluminum. Too bad AS didn't put their money into the controller instead.

I repurposed the old wall monitor spot into additional 12v/USB outlets using this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Good idea. I'll suggest that to Lewster who is scheduled to do our lithium upgrade in mid-December.
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:00 PM   #15
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I agree the original solar controller is junk. But that fact is partially obscured by the impressively beautiful wall monitor which is milled from a single piece of aluminum. Too bad AS didn't put their money into the controller instead.[/URL]
I looked up the original solar controller. It is actually pretty expensive for something that works so poorly. It actually costs more than the Blue Sky MPPT unit that I replaced it with.

I hated to throw out that beautiful aluminum display.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:30 PM   #16
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Good idea. I'll suggest that to Lewster who is scheduled to do our lithium upgrade in mid-December.
I know Lew doesn’t use the Balmar SC200 monitor, but I highly recommend it. It provides one of the most accurate start of health on the batteries, easy to use, and gives a countdown on charge time remaining to 100%.
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:17 PM   #17
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I am not sure of the charger in the 1000W vs 2000W vs 3000W Magnum, but your problems seem more related to parasitics and charging than they do the inverting power. 500W of charging power (in the 1000W invertor, assuming it works) should be plenty of power to charge your batteries. You may need 30A if you are trying to run your AC, but you don't need 30A to charge your batteries. Charging the full 500W (at 12VDC) is only 5 A (at 120 VAC)
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:36 PM   #18
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Problems continue...... Is this a Rubik's Cube?

This 2015 Grand tour- new to us- is not functioning again. We are determined to solve this. We replaced the magnum inverter and we initially thought our electrical problems were solved but they have continued. We still not are not able to charge our batteries from shore power. Some toubleshooting help from the magnum people has revealed a voltage change 12.4 to 14.6V across the 2 inch silver cylinder mounted at the upper left corner of the inverter. He said to replace it with a 150A class T fuse.
The airstream phone line identified the silver cylinder as a proprietary device made by airstream and called it a "Rubik's box", and said it could not be causing any problems. There is no information online except for plenty about the puzzle box called "Rubik's cube". Was this a joke?
Like the Rubik's cube, I feel like we are just spinning our wheels. This is a puzzle that we will need help to solve.
I hope that someone wise may have some insight to share.
Its getting difficult to remain optimistic, but we are hanging in there.

Susan and Cary
858-945-8073

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Old 09-22-2020, 03:12 PM   #19
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Since I get most of my valuable information from reading this forum. I read more and learned that the silver cylinder device has been referred to as SB164, service bulletin 164, and that it may be a parasitic drain that should be removed. I wonder?
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:11 PM   #20
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Since I get most of my valuable information from reading this forum. I read more and learned that the silver cylinder device has been referred to as SB164, service bulletin 164, and that it may be a parasitic drain that should be removed. I wonder?
Sounds like your Interstate has that solenoid from SB164 installed. I could be the source of your problems because if it is not working properly it will prevent the Magnum from charging the batteries.

The reply you received from Airstream is total GARBAGE!! That SB164 solenoid is basically a switch between the Magnum inverter and the batteries. If it isn't working correctly it can cause the problems you are having. Best thing you can do is remove it.

Another test you can perform - determine if the inverter is working to provide 120VAC to the televisions from the 12VDC batteries. The TV outlet is one of the few things powered by the inverter. When plugged into 120VAC external power the Magnum Inverter only passes the power to all the outlets. So the outlets all work when plugged into external power but the inverter is doing nothing but switch the external power. If the TV can't be powered by 12VDC inverted to 120VAC by the Magnum when not plugged into 120VAC external power it confirms that the solenoid from the SB164 installation is bad or not working properly.

Good luck,
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