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Old 11-13-2020, 04:33 PM   #41
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Blissful, you will find that Airstream does not optimize most of the best options available so don’t fool yourself for long as most of us do thinking a six figure RV will have the best and greatest out there. Once you come to that realization, you might join the throngs of us who are upgrading components. Still love our Lounge, but the truth is Airstream falls a bit short on this fact.

They are not the only higher end RV supplier who does so though. Lithium is also a fairly new technology and that does not make an excuse for not installing the right equipment. You just need to search for it to make sure your system is working at the most optimum way. You’ll start to see patterns but even the best planned and probably most installed equipment right now is having some issues with float and absorption rates with the Lithium batteries. Everything I have read is the Magnum doesn’t provide the most optimum charge compatibility for Lithium batteries as most others have eluded to. Hope Airstream makes it right for you.
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:45 PM   #42
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hello and thanks to the original post for bringing up this topic.

We have a new 2021 Interstate GT, about 14 days old now.

I noticed that the Magnum controller was bouncing around quite rapidly between float and equalizing. As this was something new compared to the Super C we have recently moved out of I did some reading of the Magnum Manual which suggested that Equalizing was reserved for Lead Acid.

Not being an electrical engineer, I called Magnum support. They where great. I do not have the expertise to properly reiterate the details of my investigation, but would suggest that if you have a new 2021 Interstate with Lithium, you call your dealer, or Magnum, and find out if you have the proper equipment installed as it seems we do not.

Frankly, we expected more from the Airstream brand.
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Old 11-15-2020, 03:43 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Hoplite2021 View Post
hello and thanks to the original post for bringing up this topic.

We have a new 2021 Interstate GT, about 14 days old now.

I noticed that the Magnum controller was bouncing around quite rapidly between float and equalizing. As this was something new compared to the Super C we have recently moved out of I did some reading of the Magnum Manual which suggested that Equalizing was reserved for Lead Acid.

Not being an electrical engineer, I called Magnum support. They where great. I do not have the expertise to properly reiterate the details of my investigation, but would suggest that if you have a new 2021 Interstate with Lithium, you call your dealer, or Magnum, and find out if you have the proper equipment installed as it seems we do not.

Frankly, we expected more from the Airstream brand.

dealers are clueless. when i ordered my 2021 24GL, they offered the "tech pack (lithium upgrade)", then said the factory couldn't add it due to production timing. however mine came with lithium standard, but the dealer didn't know about it.

the battleborn batteries will work with chargers that have "custom settings", like the magnum.

check the settings on your Magnum, it's probably set incorrectly like mine and another forum member's.
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:54 AM   #44
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Here is my point in all this. For those of us who are not electrically inclined ( I did not even know inverter/charger/converter let alone float or bulk), we find ourselves at a loss when we wake up with a dead battery after having followed instructions on when to recharge our battery. With our local dealer closed, we had to resort making phone calls to BB, Magnum and finally Airstream Ohio to find out that there is a possibility of the wrong inverter installed (per Ohio) and that the current inverter installed is not meant for lithium batteries (per Magnum). BB was very gracious in advising us to plug in to 30 amps and the batteries recharged although not fully. I accept that there will always be minor issues with any new equipment like the Interstate but I do not consider this a minor one.
Yes, I am disappointed in Airstream sending out these units with this issue ( will there be a recall in all other units out there with the lithium pack?) burdening the owners to wonder what is wrong. In fairness to Ohio , they have been very helpful in acknowledging the problem and our AI is in the shop awaiting the correct invertor /charger to be replaced. We shall see how this resolves and hope that Ohio restores our confidence in their products.
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Old 11-16-2020, 12:35 PM   #45
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On this Forum, Airstream has a good reputation for fixing things when you take your unit back to Ohio for repairs. Everything else, including original construction, dealer support, and owner maintainability leaves much to be desired and Airstream has done little or nothing to build confidence in the product through those channels. It sounds like you have determined the solution and I hope that your repair path implements the fix. However, you have no reason to expect that everything else is perfect.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:11 PM   #46
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I have the exact same issues with my 5 wk old 2021 GT. Would you be so kind to let me know what converter/inverter your dealer installs? AS should notify all lithium battery owners of their plan to remedy. It could help avoid the dead house headaches!
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:25 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailfast View Post
This upgrade will not work with the Magnum MMS1012 inverter/charger which does not have the proper firmware to support lithium profiles.

The very capable tech support at Magnum can confirm this.

What will work with the MR RC is the Magnum MS2000 or the MMS1012-L-U

That's interesting response from Magnum's tech support considering the company's document contradicts his comment.

https://www.magnum-dimensions.com/si...9_RevA_web.pdf
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Old 11-18-2020, 06:28 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by jhayesas View Post
That's interesting response from Magnum's tech support considering the company's document contradicts his comment.

https://www.magnum-dimensions.com/si...9_RevA_web.pdf
Hello, The document posted relates to the Magnum Remote. It is the charger/inverter that is at issue.
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:04 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by jhayesas View Post
That's interesting response from Magnum's tech support considering the company's document contradicts his comment.

https://www.magnum-dimensions.com/si...9_RevA_web.pdf
Good point .......

Magnums literature (to my finding) does not state that the MMS1012 inverter/charger is not compatible for Lithium charging, rather it says;

• Battery Profile Presets – Using the ME-RC, ME-ARC, or ME-MR
Remote Controls, easily choose from and set standard battery
profiles, including Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) – only available
via the ME-RC and ME-MR, Gel, Flooded, AGM1, and AGM2.

Ambiguous language to say the least, i.e. it would indicate that the newer remote controllers work with LFP.

OTOH Airstream (Thor) is a large enough company that one would think they research high value components installed in their products. Simple charge/discharge bench tests of the MMS1012 would have revealed the problem. After all this particular item is or has been in about every AI since 2014 and just dropping in LFP batteries without researching all components related to charging will not do it. So there is no simple easy switch, caveat emptor.
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:20 AM   #50
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Compatible=14.2-14.6v charging for BB. I just made sure our converter/charger had an output adjustment, it's set at 14.4v
Are other lithium's any different?

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Old 11-18-2020, 07:34 PM   #51
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SOK batteries say 14.6V. My Magnum can dial that in.
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:10 AM   #52
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Quote:
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SOK batteries say 14.6V. My Magnum can dial that in.
Why would we switch to Lithium batteries in an RV? Higher power density, (therefore lighter use less room), considerably quicker re-charging, minimal voltage drop almost to the end and most of all, almost unlimited life cycles if treaded right.

Lithium is very expensive, so we want a system that works. We all know by now how fast AGM batteries beat the dust if you just let them sit without charging. There is enough information out there that a lead-acid battery charger will not work right for LFP. (that includes the Magnum MMS1020)

Voltage by itself does not mean very much. A lithium battery at 20% still holds around 13V. Typical lead-acid algorithm to return to “bulk” is 12.5 – 12.7V, by then LFP is dead.

In short, LFP charging requires a different algorithm than LA, AGM, etc. Yes you can put a lead acid charger on a lithium battery, likely it won’t fully charge it or quickly degrade it, what a pity.

The reality is that the Magnum MMS1020 is not suited to charge LFP and Sensata Technology Tech Support makes that statement. The replacement model for the exact same inverter charger is MMS1012-L, just out. However, there are other ways to solve the problem and less costly.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:17 AM   #53
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With the advanced remote control and the Magnum MSH 3012M, I can program the charger to bulk/absorb charge at 14.6V and float at 13.5V. That all you need. The internal BMS of the SOK battery will shut down the charging at 14.6V even if your charger does not and the low limit around 13.1V. There is no further magic to it.

If your current Magnum inverter charger is not programmable, you will need to replace it with a lithium compatible charger.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:52 AM   #54
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NEED?

We didn't, our IOTA did fine for the first Season, we just couldn't 'fast' charge and get that last 10%.

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Old 11-19-2020, 09:33 PM   #55
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The reality is that the Magnum MMS1020 is not suited to charge LFP and Sensata Technology Tech Support makes that statement. The replacement model for the exact same inverter charger is MMS1012-L, just out. However, there are other ways to solve the problem and less costly.
That's not exactly what the Magnum tech guy told me. I got the impression that if you have the Magnum remote controller that supports LFP, you can choose that option vs having to go through the custom menu. The LFP option will automate the process for you. The manual way will require you to research the lithium battery and get all the parameters from the vendor and use the custom option.
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:00 PM   #56
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I was considering the Lithium "upgrade" when I purchase a new Atlas. However, after reading all the posts in this thread, I have to say I will reconsider. My observations:

1) Airstream is pretty much the last one to the party as it relates to Lithium batteries. While fairly new technology, other manufacturers have had this option for some time.

2) It is clear that rather than a "plug and play" system, the Airstream Lithium upgrade is a "plug and paste" option. It seems they simply used the existing hardware for all their motorhomes and dropped the BB batteries in. It would seem that a company viewed by many as the "elite" RV manufacturer, they would have designed the Lithium upgrade from the ground up, from both a functional standpoint and long term reliability standpoint. Maybe they have purchase requirements from their suppliers and had to use their hardware rather than going with suppliers who build their components around Lithium batteries.

3) Unfortunately, Airstream missed an opportunity to 'reimagine" their electrical supply systems and build the future around a platform that can be expanded and improved upon with emerging innovations. Electrical systems are the achilles heel of any motorhome and this would have been an opportunity to break out from the other quarter of a million dollar competitors.
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:57 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Mikemdd View Post
I was considering the Lithium "upgrade" when I purchase a new Atlas. However, after reading all the posts in this thread, I have to say I will reconsider. My observations:

1) Airstream is pretty much the last one to the party as it relates to Lithium batteries. While fairly new technology, other manufacturers have had this option for some time.

2) It is clear that rather than a "plug and play" system, the Airstream Lithium upgrade is a "plug and paste" option. It seems they simply used the existing hardware for all their motorhomes and dropped the BB batteries in. It would seem that a company viewed by many as the "elite" RV manufacturer, they would have designed the Lithium upgrade from the ground up, from both a functional standpoint and long term reliability standpoint. Maybe they have purchase requirements from their suppliers and had to use their hardware rather than going with suppliers who build their components around Lithium batteries.

3) Unfortunately, Airstream missed an opportunity to 'reimagine" their electrical supply systems and build the future around a platform that can be expanded and improved upon with emerging innovations. Electrical systems are the achilles heel of any motorhome and this would have been an opportunity to break out from the other quarter of a million dollar competitors.

I agree with everything you said but I would still take the lithium upgrade. If you plan to boondock, you really need the lithium upgrade because the AGMs will not get you through the night when running things like TV, refrig, laptops, heat and etc. Can you shutdown everything (inverter and all DC appliances) get through the night yes but then what's the point imo. Also, if you don't plug up to shore power to keep the AGMs topped off, that is another issue you'll have to deal with all the time.
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Old 11-21-2020, 03:17 PM   #58
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I think the severity of the power issues may depend upon which direction you are coming from. I spent the first 55 years of my life tent camping. Did not sleep in a hotel room until I was in college. I spent over one year of nights in my two-person Timberline tent. So anything more than a flashlight for light, campfire or backpack stove for cooking, or a sleeping bag for warmth is a luxury for me (and a necessity for my wife!). Those 'moving down' from 5* hotels with mini-bars, room service, heated toilet seats, robe, slippers, wi-fi, etc. might find these issues a huge problem. (Some youngsters think that the amphitheater symbol at a campground means a wi-fi hot-spot.)

BTW, this in not to excuse poor design or execution on a $150k + MH.
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Old 11-21-2020, 03:22 PM   #59
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Airstream as always...late to the party. It would not be so bad if they would provide you with the proper charging sources required for your trailer/van...which they don't. 200 amp/hours is below the threshold that we use for determining battery usage. We regularly place a minimum of 300 A/H of lithium batteries into the work that we provide, along with a minimum of 400 watts of solar (more if you have the space!).

Coupled with the very reliable Victron inverter/charger and their solar control module, my folks have a ready to boondock package. Many folks use the 400 amp/hour lithium package for their needs.

And always remember...you get what you pay for!!
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Old 11-21-2020, 03:28 PM   #60
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Following this thread since we own the AI-19 LiFePO4 prototype vehicle, which we have not used boondocking yet.

Pictured is our control panel with Precision Circuits Control System, Victron MPPT Controller and Magnum Energy Panel.



I haven't looked at our settings yet, but I will per the advice given above.

Be aware that the CZone panels use a cable for programming that not all AS dealers have, and that our model, as I'm sure others have, shipped with older firmware that needed to be upgraded (now done, thank to our dealer). We were getting low voltage indications for the start battery (11.9V) that we believed were incorrect.

Thoughts and comments welcome!


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