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Old 01-09-2024, 08:38 AM   #1
Sunny Approach
 
2024 Interstate 24GT
Phenix , Virginia
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2024 Interstate with Volta E1 - Failures

TL/DR: no power in Volta FlexPack also means zero shore power. No way to resolve without going to get help from dealer. Cold weather makes problem worse, as temp sensors will prevent charging.

Starting this thread to share my experience, and hopefully positive outcome after the dealer / Volta get to fixing.

We use our Interstate 24GT 2024 model year at least every 3 days. Sometimes we are gone for 10 days at a stretch, other times just for a day trip.

We got this unit new in September 2023, and are close to 10k miles.

When not on the road, the unit is plugged into a 20 amp / 110v circuit. All the loads in our house run from solar, and through 4 Tesla battery packs. When on the road we use the Volta FlexPack (E1) system exclusively.

Since we rarely stay more than one night in a location, and drive 4-8 hours, when on the road, the secondary alternator brings the batteries to full charge, typically within 2-3 hours.

We’ve been able to run the AC in 100+ degree temp for most of a day, and then heater all night long in 20-25 nights. All without issue.

Until last Wednesday.

For whatever reason, the Volta system completely drained. Shore power was plugged in, and working. At 10:30 pm, Tuesday, I was in the unit and the heat was running, lights, everything just fine. 8am on Wednesday, no power.

I checked the smart plug. Glowing blue.

Pressed Volta ‘on’ and system comes back to life. Batteries low, but started charging again.

Sometime during the day it stopped charging, went to total zero, and no shore power at all.

‘No problem’, I thought. Maybe just not enough current flowing in. Take it for a 2+ hour drive. Nothing happening.

Now, of course, temp drops into the low 30’s. Flexpack is too cold to charge. No shore power, so the heaters cannot run.

Unit is not winterized because we use it all the time, and keep it at 50+ degrees.

But now it is cold.. and no heat.. or electricity.

I have run a power cord from outside into the unit to keep a space heater running 7x24 to keep things above freezing.

Tomorrow it goes to the dealer. They warned me that it will probably take a month to fix. They expect to have to ship the FlexPack back to Volta (in Europe).

I will have to pay them around $250 to manually winterize the unit.

Time to read through all the warranties, extended warranties, etc. to see if anything there will offset some of our loss of use, and unplanned costs to winterize.

Dealer is also fixing 3 other issues left over from initial delivery - lucky we had it scheduled to go in, or I expect we would have a long wait.
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Old 01-09-2024, 07:23 PM   #2
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. . . Tomorrow it goes to the dealer. They warned me that it will probably take a month to fix. They expect to have to ship the FlexPack back to Volta (in Europe). . .

. . . Time to read through all the warranties, extended warranties, etc. to see if anything there will offset some of our loss of use, and unplanned costs to winterize. . . .
That sounds like a real bummer.

Is your dealer in Virginia?

Volta is in Holland, Michigan, NOT Europe!!

You will be disappointed when you read the warranties as they only cover the item in question. From first page of owner manual section on warranty coverage:

"Airstream disclaims any and all incidental and consequential damages, including but not limited to expenses such as transportation to and from dealerships and Airstream repair facilities, loss of time, loss of pay, loss of use, inconvenience, commercial loss (including but not limited to lost profits), towing charges, bus fares, vehicle rental, service call charges, gasoline expenses, incidental charges such as telephone calls and facsimile transmissions, and expenses for lodging and moisture damage such as mold and mildew as well as rust and corrosion."

Good luck,
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Old 01-09-2024, 07:53 PM   #3
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That sounds like a real bummer.

Is your dealer in Virginia?

Volta is in Holland, Michigan, NOT Europe!!

You will be disappointed when you read the warranties as they only cover the item in question. From first page of owner manual section on warranty coverage:

"Airstream disclaims any and all incidental and consequential damages, including but not limited to expenses such as transportation to and from dealerships and Airstream repair facilities, loss of time, loss of pay, loss of use, inconvenience, commercial loss (including but not limited to lost profits), towing charges, bus fares, vehicle rental, service call charges, gasoline expenses, incidental charges such as telephone calls and facsimile transmissions, and expenses for lodging and moisture damage such as mold and mildew as well as rust and corrosion."

Good luck,
Yes, dealer is in VA. Good folks, been very happy with them.

Weird that they said they would have to ship the unit freight to Europe. Likely will still take a while no matter what!

I’m not counting on anything much (other than getting it working again) from Airstream, but we have a number of extra warranties we purchased - so maybe one of them will kick in something for trip interruption. Not a huge deal, I’m sure it won’t hurt us to stay home for a few weeks.

We always try to have a Sunny Approach, no matter what.
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Old 01-09-2024, 08:51 PM   #4
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Your dealer spokesperson is just confusing Holland, Michigan with Holland in Europe.
The Netherlands (aka Holland) is one of the 27 member states of the European Union.
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Old 01-10-2024, 08:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Your dealer spokesperson is just confusing Holland, Michigan with Holland in Europe.
The Netherlands (aka Holland) is one of the 27 member states of the European Union.
that's hilarious and shows the apparent competency of the dealer. I'd get the rig into the mothership or road trip it to Volta's factory. the E1 volta pack and technology probably isn't well understood by RV techs, locally.
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Old 01-10-2024, 12:48 PM   #6
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Heck, my wife says that I’m hardheaded anyway and she is 100% correct as always. There is no way that I wouldn’t of opened this darn thing up regardless of warranty. Total BS that you have to count on the Airstream dealer or Volta to fix it every time you have an issue. I agree with vanderwielen on trusting Airstream techs to work on this thing. After hearing some of these Volta stories - I’ll pass on the whole Volta system and just add a Victron system with a bigger battery bank and a second alternator that I have full control of on fixing and troubleshooting. There is no way that I would be held hostage to Volta or Airstream to fix my unit every time it’s down.
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Old 01-10-2024, 01:16 PM   #7
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Heck, my wife says that I’m hardheaded anyway and she is 100% correct as always. There is no way that I wouldn’t of opened this darn thing up regardless of warranty. Total BS that you have to count on the Airstream dealer or Volta to fix it every time you have an issue. I agree with vanderwielen on trusting Airstream techs to work on this thing. After hearing some of these Volta stories - I’ll pass on the whole Volta system and just add a Victron system with a bigger battery bank and a second alternator that I have full control of on fixing and troubleshooting. There is no way that I would be held hostage to Volta or Airstream to fix my unit every time it’s down.
StogieMan - I agree 100% and can see myself opening up the Volta PDH at some point as it contains the Inverter/Charger, DC-DC converters, SmartSolar controller and numerous fuses. I would not open the FlexPack as it is at another level of complexity. I do plan to do a FlexPack firmware update soon. They have the firmware loader software on the Volta web site. It only requires a laptop connected to the internet and a USB-B to USB cable that I have in my collection of old cables. Image of loader start page attached - FYI.
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Old 01-11-2024, 05:43 PM   #8
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I’ll chalk it down to that kind of confusion we are all susceptible to at times when we’re multitasking. Had enough conversations with the team at the dealership to know they are nice and competent!

Update on progress so far. We dropped off the camper yesterday (note, is an all-day affair as it is a 3+ hour drive away from home .. each way; and we have to stop at a certain place we like for lunch over there!!).

They are going to find out if it is a quick fix. If not, they’ll manually winterize the unit, do the other repairs (window, electric blinds, fascia panel) that it was already scheduled for, and then address the Volta issue with the manufacturer.

Hopefully they’ll update the firmware while at it .. but if they don’t definitely will be something I’ll check as soon as we get it back.

Next update - when we hear something from dealer.

Thanks everyone for your input :-)
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Old 01-12-2024, 01:54 PM   #9
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SunnyApp - thanks for the update.

Now I'm having issues of my own with the Volta system in my 2024 Interstate 19/E1. I've only driven it about 3,000 miles since purchase last September. Only camped in it once right after I bought it and was on shore power. I've kept the battery at about 90% most of the time since I have 30A outlet in my driveway. Planning a trip to Florida later this month and will be doing some boondock camping at Harvest Host sites. Realized I never checked to be certain the Volta pack could be charged by the alternator.

Yesterday I did a test drive to verify the alternator will charge the Volta FlexPack. The pack must be warmed above 43degF, the SOC (State Of Charge) must be below 85% and rpm above 1,500 to enable alternator charging. I had the pack temp above 60degF and SOC down to 72% but the alternator would not charge while driving down the road with Sprinter engine above 1,500 rpm. I used the myVolta app on my iPhone to monitor charging while driving. I drove over 200 miles and never saw any alternator charging. By end of the drive SOC was down to 62% as it was using power to keep the battery warm.

I've already called my dealer, Colonial, and talked to one technician who went over the basics trouble shooting steps. Is the belt on the alternator, is SOC below 85%, is temp above 43degF, was I driving with rpm above 1,500 and was green alternator symbol showing on Volta display (it was). I'll probably have to take it to dealer, hopefully next week. I'm also a 3-hour drive from the dealer.
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Old 01-13-2024, 06:51 AM   #10
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Oh Boxster1971 - sorry to hear you are also having issues. Curious - when you plugged back into shore power did it recover charge there?

Mine wouldn’t recharge with alternator power either after it went weird on me - but had no issues prior to that.

Unfortunately it also stopped taking a charge on shore power so depleted everything. At least that is what it seems like - until I get actual diagnosis back from dealer.

Colonial puts out nice videos on YouTube - they seem like decent people; hopefully they can quickly fix it and your Florida journey won’t be interrupted.
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Old 01-14-2024, 09:41 AM   #11
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Following, In negotiations on a new unit 19E. Do you think the Lithonics package is more robust>
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Old 01-14-2024, 11:36 AM   #12
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Oh Boxster1971 - sorry to hear you are also having issues. Curious - when you plugged back into shore power did it recover charge there?

Mine wouldn’t recharge with alternator power either after it went weird on me - but had no issues prior to that.

Unfortunately it also stopped taking a charge on shore power so depleted everything. At least that is what it seems like - until I get actual diagnosis back from dealer.

Colonial puts out nice videos on YouTube - they seem like decent people; hopefully they can quickly fix it and your Florida journey won’t be interrupted.
Mine is taking a charge from shore power. I have an appointment to have it looked at on Jan 22nd. I plan to travel later that week and will adjust after I know more.
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Old 01-14-2024, 04:13 PM   #13
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Mine is taking a charge from shore power. I have an appointment to have it looked at on Jan 22nd. I plan to travel later that week and will adjust after I know more.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. Not sure yet when we might get ours back, but will keep this updated if I get any news.

Glad yours is staying charged (and hopefully heated) while on shore power.
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Old 01-15-2024, 05:03 AM   #14
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Following, In negotiations on a new unit 19E. Do you think the Lithonics package is more robust>
There are a number of us who have had problems. On YouTube, you can look at the WanderLocal family who have a 2023 Tommy Bahama. They had a similar failure to ours. You can see some video of our challenges too (@SunnyApproach). That said, the E1 package is well worth putting up with some teething troubles! No propane or generator is amazing. Plus, no matter what you have there will be problems at some point. Usually when it most inconvenient.

My most serious concern with E1, though, is that you cannot bypass when it has failed and use shore power. That is a purposeful design decision, but very wrong in my view. If we were not under warranty, I would be getting someone smarter than myself with these kinds of things to put some other switching unit in so I could get power even if batteries are dead.

On balance, I don’t think I have seen enough reported issues to say ‘don’t buy’ - but definitely know that it is not a system you can ignore checking its health … got to monitor it just like you would propane levels :-)
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Old 01-15-2024, 05:11 AM   #15
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Following, In negotiations on a new unit 19E. Do you think the Lithonics package is more robust>
In addition to my more general reply, I am not familiar with the specifics of the Lithionics setup on the 19E - but I would definitely be asking about serviceability if there are problems. Are there things you can do if you run into difficulties or is it a closed system requiring dealer support each time?

Best of wishes making your decisions. Happy camping!!
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Old 01-16-2024, 05:52 PM   #16
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Following, In negotiations on a new unit 19E. Do you think the Lithonics package is more robust>
By 19E I assume you mean an Interstate 19 with the E1 package. What vehicle with the Lithionics package are you looking at? It think the main users of Lithionics are Winnebago and Grech RV.

The non E1 Airstream models use Battle Born batteries since 2021.
https://www.airstream.com/blog/best-...uring-coaches/

The Battle Born are 2 – 100 Ah Deep Cycle Lithium Batteries (LiFePO4). That is about 2.4 kWh of energy. The Volta FlexPack has 13.2 kWh. The E1 package is a $24,700 option. I was willing to pay to have an RV free of propane and able to support off-grid camping.

The E1 package is not perfect and, in my view, the solar system Airstream installed on the Interstate 19s with E1 is a joke. Fortunately, I'm able to fix the solar as I did on my 2013 Interstate.
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Old 01-17-2024, 08:44 AM   #17
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Thank you for the replies and looking forward to the resolution they come up with. Yes, the E-1 Package. We are also considering the Grech. We had a 2016 AS Ext Lounge so we are familiar with the engineering tradeoffs that AS makes with regard to capacity, charging, and monitoring. We addressed all those issues on that unit.
Good point on not being able to bypass the Volta system if it fails. I agree that it seems like a poor tradeoff if you can't continue your trip with shore power alternative. Hopefully, someone will come up with a workaround for that.

The Lithionics package on the Grech seems like a more convenient architecture 12V versus 58 volt that might allow more options if a failure occurs. Though I do not know if that is possible. That's what I am interested in.

We had 440 AH (AGM) in the 2016 and honestly this worked well for us. A standard AI unit with 200 AH (LiIon) might work for us although I would be considering upgrading to a 320 AH Lithionics and eventually upgrading the inverter, as long as I can find the room. I do not have enough experience with the 19 to know where I could put it. I would love to ditch the generator since we rarely needed it and do not consider the propane system to be a huge drawback.
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Old 01-17-2024, 09:43 AM   #18
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I watched the video of the Wonder Local experience. This does not seem to be a Volta issue but a chassis battery problem. I could not find the resolution to their problem. Anyone know what the cause and solution was? I have caused many issues by not following the "procedure" but a robust system should not allow the user to cause damage. My 2016 had a "BMS" that allowed the house battery to charge the chassis battery. Does the Volta 58 V system not have this feature? This would not be as straightforward as a 12V to 12V implementation but not impossible. I just wonder if AS has made the right tradeoffs or at least made the tradeoffs known so that they can be properly addressed through use.
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Old 01-17-2024, 04:09 PM   #19
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I watched the video of the Wonder Local experience. This does not seem to be a Volta issue but a chassis battery problem. I could not find the resolution to their problem. Anyone know what the cause and solution was? I have caused many issues by not following the "procedure" but a robust system should not allow the user to cause damage. My 2016 had a "BMS" that allowed the house battery to charge the chassis battery. Does the Volta 58 V system not have this feature? This would not be as straightforward as a 12V to 12V implementation but not impossible. I just wonder if AS has made the right tradeoffs or at least made the tradeoffs known so that they can be properly addressed through use.
That YouTube channel is actually "Wanderlocal Travel Family". It did appear that their main problem was with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter side of the Interstate. I've watched most of the videos about their problems and I don't recall them mentioning issues with the Volta system.

The Volta system can charge the chassis battery if you have the inverter on. All the new Interstates have a 120VAC powered battery tender.

The only issue I have with Airstream's design with the E1 package is the solar system on my Interstate 19. The three panels in series only produce a Voc of 65V. That is not nearly enough to charge a battery that normally runs at 55V.

The Interstate 24's have panels with Voc of 75V, much better for charging the Volta battery.
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Old 01-19-2024, 05:41 PM   #20
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BattleBorn Battery Pack 6500

I saw this video yesterday and it looks like BB is trying to do “some” competing with the Volta System and good for them. Not an apples to apples comparison for sure but good on BB for coming up with this system. These should be able to go into van builds or upgrades on some of our interstates nicely. At least they’re being upfront too on telling you what’s in the system which is BB batteries and Victron products.

I took a look at the video but not sure if you’re able to open it up to do work yourself or prohibited like Volta but just looks like some screws to open it up. I read the warranty and kind seems like a gray area to me and I would open this up in a heartbeat to change out things like that Orion for the new one that’s coming out.

Some warranty info:

WHAT DOES THIS WARRANTY NOT COVER?
This limited warranty does not cover any damage due to: (a) transportation; (b) storage; (c) improper use; (d) failure to follow the product instructions or to perform any preventive maintenance; (e) modifications; (f) unauthorized repair; (g) normal wear and tear; or (h) external causes such as accidents, abuse, or other actions or events beyond our reasonable control. We will not pay for shipping and handling fees to return the repaired or replacement product to you whether we elect to repair or replace the defective product; you are responsible for shipping and handling.

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