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Old 10-16-2016, 02:25 PM   #1
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Interstate Battery issues

Having a few miscellaneous issues/concerns with the house batteries on my '15 Interstate Lounge (which I just bought used) and would appreciate any advice available out there. I had both batteries replaced recently because the old ones weren't holding a charge. After replacement, the unit sat without being driven or started for four days, and both batteries were completely dead, even though I have a solar charging system. I realized afterward that I had the fridge on the whole four days, but not anything else. Is this normal or should the batteries have stayed charged longer? Any advice on other power drainers I should be sure to turn off if I'm not going to be plugged in? And finally, when I store the unit for the winter (will be at a location with no power) do I need to do anything with the batteries during that time?Thanks much!
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Old 10-16-2016, 02:41 PM   #2
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Consider upgrading your converter to a multi-stage model as a start. Your short battery life is very unusual. The fridge should not be enough to drain the batteries in a few days. Something strange is amiss. I would take it to a reputable RV service pro.
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:05 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Jpinalaska!

You will reach a more focused audience in the Sprinter and B-van sub-forum IMO, as the Interstates have their own set of design parameters and problems:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240/

For instance, this thread about batteries near the top of the list:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...es-155168.html

Posting in this general repair forum may result in many trailer-related replies which do not necessarily apply to your Interstate IMO.

Good luck!

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Old 10-16-2016, 05:21 PM   #4
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Interstate battery issue

Having a few miscellaneous issues/concerns with the house batteries on my '15 Interstate Lounge (which I just bought used) and would appreciate any advice available out there. I had both batteries replaced recently because the old ones weren't holding a charge. After replacement, the unit sat without being driven or started for four days, and both batteries were completely dead, even though I have a solar charging system. I realized afterward that I had the fridge on the whole four days, but not anything else. Is this normal or should the batteries have stayed charged longer? Any advice on other power drainers I should be sure to turn off if I'm not going to be plugged in? And finally, when I store the unit for the winter (will be at a location with no power) do I need to do anything with the batteries during that time?Thanks much!
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jpinalaska View Post
Having a few miscellaneous issues/concerns with the house batteries on my '15 Interstate Lounge (which I just bought used) and would appreciate any advice available out there. I had both batteries replaced recently because the old ones weren't holding a charge. After replacement, the unit sat without being driven or started for four days, and both batteries were completely dead, even though I have a solar charging system. I realized afterward that I had the fridge on the whole four days, but not anything else. Is this normal or should the batteries have stayed charged longer? Any advice on other power drainers I should be sure to turn off if I'm not going to be plugged in? And finally, when I store the unit for the winter (will be at a location with no power) do I need to do anything with the batteries during that time?Thanks much!
Your experience in normal. The 100 watt solar provided by Airstream on the 2015 Interstate WILL NOT keep up with refrigerator.

Storing without power - you should completely disconnect the batteries. Remove them from the van if storage location will be below freezing.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:46 PM   #6
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The fridge uses about 2.5 amps all the time. Times 24 hours and it will give you 60 amp hour. The best I have seen the 100 watt solar do is 5.6 amp for a few hours during mid-day sun. It has no prayer of keeping up with that fridge as Boxter mentioned.

There are other sources of power consumption (e.g. antenna amplifier, monoprice video switcher, LP solenoid, subwoofer, CO detector) which also draw power and should be disconnected. Alas, there is no switch for them so you need to remove the battery cable, again as Boxter mentioned.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:59 PM   #7
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Your '15 may be slightly different, but in the post below, download the PDF and you can see an inventory of all the parasitic loads on the batteries.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ml#post1806655
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:52 PM   #8
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Much thanks for all the advice! So happy to have found a forum of others who enjoy these machines and are further up the learning curve than me. With my newfound knowledge I'm about to hit the open road this week on an adventure from Oregon to Colorado Springs. Will work on my battery issues and hopefully sleep warm and sound under the western stars. Hope to meet some of you down the road.
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:43 AM   #9
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If have a Grand Tour lounge and have a separate fridge and freezer and you are running stock batteries then the battery drain is very quick. The Grand Tour was not built for being disconnected from power for any period of time.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:02 AM   #10
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Jpinalaska: I too am a relatively new AI owner and also let the van sit for about a 10 days without shore power and did not disconnect the DC power. I too, found that my batteries had run down to about 35% during that time. One thing I did find out is that is that the inverter itself pulls power 24-7. From now on, I either plug into shore power or hit the DC disconnect if I'm going to let it sit for a few days.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jpinalaska View Post
Having a few miscellaneous issues/concerns with the house batteries on my '15 Interstate Lounge (which I just bought used) and would appreciate any advice available out there. I had both batteries replaced recently because the old ones weren't holding a charge. After replacement, the unit sat without being driven or started for four days, and both batteries were completely dead, even though I have a solar charging system. I realized afterward that I had the fridge on the whole four days, but not anything else. Is this normal or should the batteries have stayed charged longer? Any advice on other power drainers I should be sure to turn off if I'm not going to be plugged in? And finally, when I store the unit for the winter (will be at a location with no power) do I need to do anything with the batteries during that time?Thanks much!
Welcome!

Unfortunately, your stock 160 amp/hour battery bank (of which 80 amp/hours is actually usable) is woefully inadequate for the energy needs that are within your coach. Many have found this to be the case and have upgrades both the battery capacity (some up to monster 800 amp/hour lithium bank) with a quality 400 watt solar charging system, along with other electrical upgrades.

Your 100 watt flex panel based solar charging system also falls into this inadequate category, as it does not have either the capacity or operational characteristics to maintain ANY battery bank against the parasitic loads found in the coach, whether AGM or lithium.

There are many threads on this forum that discuss the types of upgrades owners have undertaken. The scope of any electrical upgrade also depends on exactly how you intend to use your coach, but you have definitely come to the right place to find answers and solutions!!
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:39 AM   #12
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Hey John, Lewster runs the business which I recommended to you.

Lewster, how much longer are you in this area before you begin your migration to warmer weather?


Scott / Bend OR
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:09 AM   #13
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Hey John, Lewster runs the business which I recommended to you.

Lewster, how much longer are you in this area before you begin your migration to warmer weather?


Scott / Bend OR
HI Scott,

The migration is already complete!!!

I normally hit Hood River around the middle of May and depart at the end of Sep't. The "Hood' is already engulfed in crappy weather....mid to high 50's and rain, rain, rain!!!!
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:45 PM   #14
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Well....it seems my "no bug" luck ran out. Had my AI in outside storage for about a month. Dropped by occasionally to see how the batteries were doing. Left chassis battery hooked up like always, if weather is good. Power center was showing that both coach and chassis batteries were doing fine. (12.8 coach-12.5 chassis). Went to get the coach to winterize, batteries still showed good.....went to start engine and the chassis battery dropped to 10.5 and would not turnover. Hmmmmmmm. Thank heaven for the battery assist.
Sitting at home now, on shorepower.
Checking connection after I finish winterize work, if nothing there sounds like a new battery is in my future.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:22 PM   #15
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Dead Chassis Battery

2017 ASI Lounge

Just stopped by the hangar to check on our van and was shocked to find a dead vehicle.

How would the chassis batteries drain in just ten days while the coach is plugged in? Coach batteries are charged, but chassis batteries are dead and the battery assist does not "assist!"

This is our 4th interstate and have never experienced this before.

Guest Switch

Well, that's what you call it in a boat....left the main coach disconnect switch in the open / on position this time based upon feedback from Airstream. That's the only thing I did differently when I parked her.

Any ideas? Maybe I left the FUSION unit turned on?
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottP View Post
2017 ASI Lounge



Just stopped by the hangar to check on our van and was shocked to find a dead vehicle.



How would the chassis batteries drain in just ten days while the coach is plugged in? Coach batteries are charged, but chassis batteries are dead and the battery assist does not "assist!"



This is our 4th interstate and have never experienced this before.



Guest Switch



Well, that's what you call it in a boat....left the main coach disconnect switch in the open / on position this time based upon feedback from Airstream. That's the only thing I did differently when I parked her.



Any ideas? Maybe I left the FUSION unit turned on?

Sounds like there is something wrong with your Battery Isolation Manager (BIM). It should have kept your chassis battery charged if plugged in no matter what you left turned on. The battery assist switch is a momentary on and must be held on to get the battery assist to start the van. If that is not working with fully charged house batteries - something is wrong.


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ScottP View Post
2017 ASI Lounge



Just stopped by the hangar to check on our van and was shocked to find a dead vehicle.

.
.

.
Any ideas? Maybe I left the FUSION unit turned on?


See my comments in your thread on the same topic.......
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:10 AM   #18
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Thank you


2017 4x4 Interstate
Bend, Oregon
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:36 AM   #19
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Problems with batteries solved.

My 2016 Interstate has had consistent coach battery longevity issues since purchase. Dealer checked it and said it was to specifications.
The batteries would discharge so low that the generator wouldn't start after about 8-10 hours of boondocking, which makes the unit mostly useless for many trips unless plugged in all the time. The solar panel was to small in output to be effective.Also the batteries would not last long when the unit was stored with the main disc on or off..you have heard all of this, so bla, bla, bla
I solved this issue by doing the following at a cost of about $800.
Solution: removed the original 80 amp hour agm batteries and replaced with 12v Universal Power Group 100 AH agm batteries ($170 each). This required about 1 1/2 hours of removal of the original battery boxes and altering them to fit the slightly larger 100Ah batteries. Then I placed 2 100watt Suaok semi flexible 12 volt solar panels on the roof ($169 each). Using MC4 connectors and MC4 Y connectors and 8 gage wire, I connected the original solar panel and the two new panels in parallel using the original roof wiring and original Atkins solar display and controller. (BTW-the solar controller is behind the coach fuse box if you ever want to upgrade it). Now with the main disc off, the batteries are 100% charged all of the time without using a external power source. With the refrig, vent fan, and radio on, the batteries are at 60% after 12 hours of boondocking. As soon as the sun is up, they go right back to 12.7v (100%) in a few hours. I have up to 9 amps of solar charging during the day and it isn't even summer yet. Even in the late afternoon, I get 2 amps of solar..
Anyway, this works for me. If I park in the shade, I'm screwed. For that I have a portable 160 watt Zamp unit that plugs directly into the batteries and works great. I have 80 feet of solar extension cord so I can put ther panels in the sun. And, neither my dealer nor Airstream was of any use whatsoever in solving this problem. Happy trails everyone.👍👍
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:13 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TheHoff View Post
My 2016 Interstate has had consistent coach battery longevity issues since purchase. Dealer checked it and said it was to specifications.

The batteries would discharge so low that the generator wouldn't start after about 8-10 hours of boondocking, which makes the unit mostly useless for many trips unless plugged in all the time. The solar panel was to small in output to be effective.Also the batteries would not last long when the unit was stored with the main disc on or off..you have heard all of this, so bla, bla, bla

I solved this issue by doing the following at a cost of about $800.

Solution: removed the original 80 amp hour agm batteries and replaced with 12v Universal Power Group 100 AH agm batteries ($170 each). This required about 1 1/2 hours of removal of the original battery boxes and altering them to fit the slightly larger 100Ah batteries. Then I placed 2 100watt Suaok semi flexible 12 volt solar panels on the roof ($169 each). Using MC4 connectors and MC4 Y connectors and 8 gage wire, I connected the original solar panel and the two new panels in parallel using the original roof wiring and original Atkins solar display and controller. (BTW-the solar controller is behind the coach fuse box if you ever want to upgrade it). Now with the main disc off, the batteries are 100% charged all of the time without using a external power source. With the refrig, vent fan, and radio on, the batteries are at 60% after 12 hours of boondocking. As soon as the sun is up, they go right back to 12.7v (100%) in a few hours. I have up to 9 amps of solar charging during the day and it isn't even summer yet. Even in the late afternoon, I get 2 amps of solar..

Anyway, this works for me. If I park in the shade, I'm screwed. For that I have a portable 160 watt Zamp unit that plugs directly into the batteries and works great. I have 80 feet of solar extension cord so I can put ther panels in the sun. And, neither my dealer nor Airstream was of any use whatsoever in solving this problem. Happy trails everyone.


Yours sounds very reasonable and cost effective I may do it too. Would really appreciate if you can take photos of all the major components and connections in your add-on system. Mine is 2014.5 and currently running on 4x80Ah 12v batteries that barely make it through second nights boondocking.
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