Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-12-2015, 08:32 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Boxster1971's Avatar

 
2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,486
Battery and Inverter Upgrade

Starting a new thread on my battery and inverter upgrade to post incremental progress rather than telling the story when I'm done. There is just enough room under the Sprinter XL of my Interstate to install two Lifeline GPL-4CT AGM batteries on each side. This is the same area that Airstream now installs the batteries on all new Interstates. I'll have 440 AH of capacity with four 6 volt batteries in series-parallel arrangement. My goal is to use the microwave when camping without hook-ups. A battery and inverter upgrade was always part of my long term plan when adding 400 watts of solar. I looked at using large lithium batteries but concluded that I'd have to add even more stuff to make a lithium upgrade work. I didn't want to give up any internal storage space so putting the batteries under the van seemed the best place. I'll remove the original battery box under the lounge seat and install the inverter in that location.

Here is a photo of a battery rack on the floor of my shop.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1444658989.549089.jpg
Views:	220
Size:	96.7 KB
ID:	250229

A view of a rack installed without batteries during one of my many fit checks. The clearances in this void under the van are less than 1 inch on either end.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1444659192.828444.jpg
Views:	243
Size:	103.2 KB
ID:	250230

I have to use a small floor jack to install the batteries as seen in this photo.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1444659386.719014.jpg
Views:	194
Size:	93.0 KB
ID:	250232

I did a road test yesterday with batteries installed and it works as planned. Photos of both racks with batteries installed.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1444659429.226631.jpg
Views:	437
Size:	92.0 KB
ID:	250233
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1444659459.965078.jpg
Views:	231
Size:	91.0 KB
ID:	250234

That last photo also shows a new junction box I added to relocate wiring from the generator, which needed to be moved to make room for batteries on the driver side.

I'll post progress as I move forward. I removed the racks after the road test and will now paint everything before the final installation.

- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
__________________
- - Mike
--------------------------
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 01:25 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Ron_CA's Avatar
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
San Diego , California
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 666
Make mine Orville Redenbacher please

While I commend you on your efforts, Man that is a lot of work. Results should be worth it though.
Ron_CA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 01:35 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
73shark's Avatar
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Overland Park , Kansas
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,797
Looking good. Where did you move the generator? Or just shift a little?
__________________
Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

PM me for sale info on my 2011. SOLD!
Upfitted Transit 350 sitting in driveway.
73shark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 04:10 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Boxster1971's Avatar

 
2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_CA View Post
Make mine Orville Redenbacher please



While I commend you on your efforts, Man that is a lot of work. Results should be worth it though.

Yes - it has turned out to be more difficult then I thought when I started. Fortunately working on my Interstate is part of my a hobby to fix things. This last spring I installed 500 sq.ft. of solid oak floor on the bedroom level of our town house. That was even more work.


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
__________________
- - Mike
--------------------------
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 04:14 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Boxster1971's Avatar

 
2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
Looking good. Where did you move the generator? Or just shift a little?

I just have to relocate the 120V AC wires from the generator. Also have to reroute the generator control cable. They run right though the area I'm installing the new batteries. Generator staying in the same spot.


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
__________________
- - Mike
--------------------------
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 06:08 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Depere , Wisconsin
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 28
you are amazing
summerwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2015, 07:00 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Rockwell , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 308
Good job!
jerhofer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2018, 11:42 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Boxster1971's Avatar

 
2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,486
I'm resurrecting this old thread since I never posted photos of the final project.

Here are some additional photos that show the complete bracket I made before I painted it. Also photos of the Magnum 2000 Inverter/Charger installation and the batteries on each side in final form.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0751LR.jpg
Views:	63
Size:	180.5 KB
ID:	319177   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0752LR.jpg
Views:	60
Size:	195.7 KB
ID:	319178  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0760LR.jpg
Views:	62
Size:	138.5 KB
ID:	319179   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0770LR.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	132.4 KB
ID:	319180  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0799LR.jpg
Views:	57
Size:	111.0 KB
ID:	319181   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0800LR.jpg
Views:	59
Size:	76.1 KB
ID:	319182  

__________________
- - Mike
--------------------------
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2018, 04:35 PM   #9
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar
 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 2,460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
I'm resurrecting this old thread since I never posted photos of the final project.

Here are some additional photos that show the complete bracket I made before I painted it. Also photos of the Magnum 2000 Inverter/Charger installation and the batteries on each side in final form.
MIKE - Your original thread was years before I got in this forum, so first time to see. Thank you for posting the final project pics. You did amazing work! While the oak flooring project is not an easy one (have done one decades ago & will never do it again, rather pay someone), doing any AI project is always a toughie due to limited space. And that's coming from a little short guy with small hands. I can't imagine how hard it is for normal sized people.
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2018, 05:38 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Boxster1971's Avatar

 
2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex AVI View Post
MIKE - Your original thread was years before I got in this forum, so first time to see. Thank you for posting the final project pics. You did amazing work! While the oak flooring project is not an easy one (have done one decades ago & will never do it again, rather pay someone), doing any AI project is always a toughie due to limited space. And that's coming from a little short guy with small hands. I can't imagine how hard it is for normal sized people.

Thanks ALEX. I should explain the attachments to the van under frame was done with clamping plates and use of a few existing holes in frame. No new holes were drilled to attach the battery trays.
__________________
- - Mike
--------------------------
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2018, 07:51 PM   #11
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar
 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 2,460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Thanks ALEX. I should explain the attachments to the van under frame was done with clamping plates and use of a few existing holes in frame. No new holes were drilled to attach the battery trays.
MIKE - that is forward thinking that way. A little harder to engineer, but the less new holes in frame, less worries about structural issues.
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2018, 08:08 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Muskogee , Oklahoma
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 749
Thanks for posting. Looks like it could be done any better by anyone. One option I have is the same Magnum inverter and I was wondering why you enclosed it inside a box. In my non extended van, space is a premium and I am trying to figure out a space for the battteries and inverter. No place under the floor unfortunately. I am considering moving the 110ac and DC panel to one wheel well and use the space behind for the inverter and the space where you put the inverter for the batteries. I can get 2 Lifeblue 200amps for a total of 400amps- but I am yet undecided how to proceed.
__________________
2011 Interstate WD/Lounge (since sold).
2020 Leisure Van WonderRTB
gmillerok1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2018, 06:40 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Boxster1971's Avatar

 
2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmillerok1 View Post
Thanks for posting. Looks like it could be done any better by anyone. One option I have is the same Magnum inverter and I was wondering why you enclosed it inside a box. In my non extended van, space is a premium and I am trying to figure out a space for the battteries and inverter. No place under the floor unfortunately. I am considering moving the 110ac and DC panel to one wheel well and use the space behind for the inverter and the space where you put the inverter for the batteries. I can get 2 Lifeblue 200amps for a total of 400amps- but I am yet undecided how to proceed.

The inverter enclosure is actually only a panel on top and back side to keep items stored in back of van from coming in contact with inverter. Since mine is an EXT the whole back behind the lounge seat/bed is storage area. The enclosure is fully open on side that faces center of van where the other wiring runs. There are also vent openings in front and back of the inverter. The plywood panels I used to enclose the inverter are covered with aluminum panels on inside. Magnum say surfaces near inverter should be non-combustible.

You can certainly mount batteries where I but the inverter. In fact the tray that holds my inverter is made from my cutting down the old battery box that was in this location. Lee Fabre mounts most of the battery mods he makes in this area.

Relocating the 110VAC and 12VDC distribution panels will involve significant re-wiring, but certainly possible.

Good luck,
__________________
- - Mike
--------------------------
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2018, 08:24 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Muskogee , Oklahoma
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 749
I meant to say your work “could not” be done better by anyone! Thanks for posting-it helps me decide how to approach the next upgrade.
__________________
2011 Interstate WD/Lounge (since sold).
2020 Leisure Van WonderRTB
gmillerok1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2018, 03:59 AM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Lake Mary , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 449
Great gob, Mike.
Mr. B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2018, 10:14 PM   #16
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar
 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 2,460
MIKE - Forgot to ask, when you said you made the tray & brackets, was it from scratch or did you modify an existing AI bracket? Seeing the final tray & bracket pic, it does not seem too difficult to fabricate (given the right tools & having exact dimensions are already known) BUT given the tight clearances and design limitations of using existing holes and not drilling new ones, the design process (especially if from scratch) would have been the biggest challenge you had to tackle? I am faced with a similar challenge for something lighter I need to put in both the R/S & C/S sides between the battery trays and rear bumper. But even less existing holes in the area limits the design (almost impossible) if I avoid drilling new holes.
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2018, 10:33 PM   #17
van guru
 
1994 28' Excella
Hood River , Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 123
Great design and fabrication of some additional battery boxes. We do happen to offer a battery box for the 3500 and 2500 170WB Sprinter chassis. Ours mount just ahead of the rear wheels and will hold 2 GC2 batteries. Don't know if that space is available on an AS Interstate.

Here is couple photos of our 3500 battery box on our 2010 Sprinter van.
Below. Right side box. rear tires to right. Two FullRiver GC2 250Ah 6V



left side box showing how it's tucked up under the van.



Not sure if this allowed posting. Just trying to help. But understand if it's deleted.


All the best,
Hein
Hein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2018, 11:39 PM   #18
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar
 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 2,460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hein View Post
Great design and fabrication of some additional battery boxes. We do happen to offer a battery box for the 3500 and 2500 170WB Sprinter chassis. Ours mount just ahead of the rear wheels and will hold 2 GC2 batteries. Don't know if that space is available on an AS Interstate.

Here is couple photos of our 3500 battery box on our 2010 Sprinter van.
Below. Right side box. rear tires to right. Two FullRiver GC2 250Ah 6V



left side box showing how it's tucked up under the van.



Not sure if this allowed posting. Just trying to help. But understand if it's deleted.


All the best,
Hein
HEIN - Thank you for this info. I know I have seen this before but do not remember when and which forum. Anyway, I like your design too. That area that I was also looking into was the R/S (driver side) but I am pretty sure that space is not going to fit your dual batt tray because the macerator reel box occupies part of that area and LPG tank next to it. It may fit half your tray which is all I would need at minimum. I will still double check space dimensions, so would you mind posting the footprint dimensions, pls.? The C/S area would not be an option for me, regardless of whether my AI has space or not, and besides I just confirmed that whole area is ocuppied by grey tank. Fyi, it is not for a battery but something else related to my other hobby. So your trahy or MIKE's will not even feel it's weight.
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2018, 07:59 AM   #19
van guru
 
1994 28' Excella
Hood River , Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 123
The 3500 battery box is 20.375x10.75 outside dimensions.
The 2500 battery box is 20.25x13.25 outside dimensions.
Both will fit on either side of their respective van chassis.


All the best,
Hein
Sprinter build thread
Hein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2018, 08:12 AM   #20
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10,035
Hi

Ok, since this is "a while later" .... is there anything you would do different if you did it from scratch today?

Bob
uncle_bob is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Inverter Upgrade 1986 345 Docseuss Classic Motorhomes 8 07-19-2015 07:48 PM
Parallel non inverter generator with inverter generator? mtbguy Generators & Solar Power 3 07-15-2015 01:48 PM
Converter,battery and solar upgrade SilverSinbad Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 2 01-19-2015 10:57 AM
Inverter Use and Battery Level TouringDan Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 28 05-13-2010 09:09 PM
Battery and Univolt upgrade report - 1981 280 MoHo outofcontrol Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 5 03-22-2009 06:29 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.