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Old 09-25-2020, 09:02 PM   #1
mjz
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Medina , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 2
Electrical issue...

Hi all!

We purchased a 4yo 2016 Tour Ext. Previous owner was not the gentlest but we've gotten most of the issues resolved except electrical issues.

Symptoms:
1. New house battery. Two days of success:
a. Driving, all 12v items powered successfully. Inverter was online
seconds after engine started and successfully powered 110v system
b. Shore power at RV site successfully powered all 110v and 12v system.
Inverter remote showed battery on "float"
2. Day three...
a. While driving, radio would periodically shut off and within five
minutes restart. During time off, no information displayed on inverter
remote. When inverter remote came back, was able to turn on (get
green light) and power items in the rear compartment.
b. Shore power (after letting the vehicle cool down)
i. Engine off, inverter showed red light and "FAULT, No Comm". No
12v services worked. Power control panel will not show amp load
or service (30a vs 20a vs ...)
ii. Engine on, inverter showed red light and "FAULT...". After 20 sec
or so, heard click from driver's side rear and 12v sources came on.
The red light and comm failure still are displayed

Dealer originally found that the breaker on the line from the house battery (underneath, behind driver's side rear wheel) was tripped. I've verified that it is not tripped with the symptoms above. So I'd like to get as much data as I can so the dealer "can do the right thing". I'm not afraid of using a voltmeter, but crawling underneath and disconnecting cables violates my insurance policies.

So, I'm thinking...

2(a) seems like a thermal breaker issue with the off and on. But, the vehicle had cooled down.
2(b) seems like the shore power is not being detected by the inverter and is preventing it from functioning.

Thoughts? Avenues to explore?
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Old 09-25-2020, 11:49 PM   #2
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2012 Avenue Coach
Corpus Christi , Texas
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Welcome to the forum mjz!


I have a rare '2012 Chevy Express-based Avenue, so many things may be different. But in regards to your radio going blank at the same time the other glitches were occurring, I found Airstream had wired the Kenwood radio/navigation unit to the coach batteries. I would have guessed it would be wired to the engine battery, but that is not so on mine and may not be so on yours. So that could explain the effect on the radio if coach power goes out.


Good luck.
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Old 09-26-2020, 07:27 AM   #3
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Giving your thread a bump. Many other members are out there with Sprinter-based Interstates & GT's like yours. And it seems I read something similar posted not too long ago. Don't know what to search for, however.
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Old 09-26-2020, 08:31 AM   #4
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
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I agree your problem, is with a resetting thermal breaker between the house battery and the load center. The dealer, I think discovered the same thing. I believe problem 2b is the same problem, same breaker. the inverter uses 12V power for its control functions so it will not work on shore power (transfer shore power to appliances) when it has no 12V power as it would not if the thermal breaker is tripped. When the engine is running, alternator charging system will kick in and power the 12V systems and attempt to charge the house battery, but it will not power the inverter, it requires high current through the subject thermal breaker.

The thermal breaker uses heat buildup due to excessive current to trip an internal relay and will then reset when it cools down. Ambient heat from the surrounding will have a slight effect on it so it is possible it is slightly more sensitive when the engine is warm.

See if you can determine the current rating of the house battery thermal breaker. It will at the very least exceed the capacity of the inverter. then see if you can estimate actual current load when it tripped. Perhaps it is bad and tripping at too low current. If it does , replace it. If you can't determine current but you're confident it was modest, replace it. Then go from there.
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:27 AM   #5
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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We are also new owners, (2015 grand tour) and we have had a difficult time getting the electrical sorted out. We received incorrect electrical information from the airstream help line multiple times. They have been helpful for more simple systems, but not for electrical. I recommend you buy a multimeter, take the cushion and large lid off of the rear drivers side jump seat, and realize its going to take some time. Read up about your electrical system and a faulty part called SB 164. Its a silver cylinder that you may have in your van and could be causing your problems. Call the magnum help line to get advise and help with troubleshooting. They have been very helpful to me, and never given me incorrect info. This forum has been great as well.
susan
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Old 09-26-2020, 05:48 PM   #6
mjz
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Medina , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 2
Thanks, all...

Thanks for the bump, @rowiebowie! I figured the radio is on house battery as it is not on when I turn the ignition switch

@BayouBiker -- Note that 2(b) i and ii are more or less a permanent situation, not subject to cooling off (like a thermal breaker). 12v is off all night. Gotta figure out where all the thermal breakers are...

@Magic1820/Susan -- thank you for the pointer to SB 164. When I get home, I'll be pulling things apart.

I'll probably generate a more human-readable circuit diagram than what's in the owner's manual... and verify that it's what I have actually installed
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Old 09-26-2020, 05:59 PM   #7
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
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Still could be the breaker is the issue, I could be wrong but some have manual rests so it could be your situation. Interstates are not my thing so I'm out on a limb here.
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Old 09-27-2020, 11:08 AM   #8
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Cedar Rapids , Iowa
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You might explain a bit more about the new house battery. You should have two and replace in pairs. Some batteries can be faulty right off the bat. Have you checked the voltage on it/them?
I think you should still have the Kenwood radio and it is prone to reset on its own. I think the no comm comes on when your house batteries get to low to power the inverter. Someone might want to chime in if I am correct.
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