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Old 09-29-2018, 07:46 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by TayaraTravel View Post
Could you please expand on the way the GZ is connected? I'm presuming it produces120 A/C that you somehow feed into the van circuits. What is the physical connection, and the transfer switch you mention.
The additional transfer switch is an ATS 301 from Parallax Power Supply. I got the impression it is the same as what is stock in the Interstate because the dealer called it "another transfer switch" and what else would the have on the shelf ? They packaged it in a black fur lined box and screwed it next to my stock txfr switch. I nice professional job. Pic attached... the black box hiding the 2nd txfr switch is just to the right (er... ahead of) the Goal Zero box.

The new switch receives power from a beefy 110V cord if I manually plug it into the GZ 110V outlet or it receives power from the on board Onan generator. If either of these is powered up, then that juice is passed on to the original txfr switch and says here I am, take me instead of the 110V shore power. So it's a way for three different power sources to be utilized, whereas the normal setup is for two sources: Onan generator, or shore power.

Sidenote: I have found a slight problem sometimes when plugging in the GZ. Sometimes it causes the Magnum to sense an overvoltage fault with red light and it prevents the new source of power from becoming live. I have to either cycle the 12V house power switch and/or unplug/replug the 110V cord into the Goal Zero and then it works. It takes about a full minute for the GZ power source to be recognized... kind of like how the Onan generator runs for a while until things are stable and the actual switch over takes place.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:45 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
August 28, 2015.

Ordinarily I'd call this a useful wizard, but the Battle Borns are not available on Amazon right now, and so it won't price them or add them to your cart. But for future reference...

https://faroutride.com/electrical-system#wizard
The Battle Born Batteries are on Amazon now, search Battle Born.

Thanks for the link.

Matti
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:30 PM   #63
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Have anyone heard of this WATT system, using propane to generate electricity without combustion, The Holy Grail for boondockers, sounds too good to be true?

https://youtu.be/naQk7RrWUdI

https://youtu.be/9r7qQWhB-zY
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:02 PM   #64
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Have anyone heard of this WATT system, using propane to generate electricity without combustion, The Holy Grail for boondockers, sounds too good to be true?
url]

Been following WATT webpage for some time now. The unit’s 500 watts (IIRC) could definitely recharge a battery bank overnight.

They’ve got MY attention.
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:24 PM   #65
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That is really cool. 1/3 lb of propane for an hour of use. I am not a fan of the current generator noise.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:17 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by MLWilcox View Post
Tronadora - thanks for the update. I was curious how your system was working. I am an REI member with an REI credit card so with my annual dividend and 20% off coupon every March, I can pick up a GZ Lithium 3000 very reasonably. In talking with Goal Zero a couple of days ago, they should be releasing the ability to daisy change to AGMs by the first of the year. We shall see.

Robert Cross - I have been thinking a 200ah lithium setup would meet my needs nicely for a reasonable price. I would need to add in installation. Thank you.

Since I am not a do it yourself type person, I just need to find someone who can install for me in the Southeast.
Following. Also in the SE (FL).
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:24 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Just a reminder to anyone adding more loads to a stock Sprinter alternator. Daimler has always limited the added charging load for extra batteries to 40A as mentioned in their upfitter manuals. Copy of page attached below. There is no detailed explanation why, but it does say exceeding 40A may result in damage. I think this is why many builders are now adding second alternators for Lithium coach/house batteries. Also note that the Interstate system delivered from Airstream does not satisfy this requirement or the limit of adding more than 100AH battery to the vehicle charging system.

I have an upgraded 440AH Lifeline AGM battery system with 400 Watts of solar. I also have a current meter on the charging line going to the coach batteries. When my coach batteries are down about 20% from a night of dry camping I see a initial surge of about 40A going to batteries when in daylight with solar adding to the charging. This quickly tapers to about 10A. My conclusion is that the Airstream system charging AGM batteries seldom exceeds the 40A limit, which is why the stock system has not caused problems.

Adding Lithium batteries is a different situation that likely needs a separate second alternator.

Attachment 323953
"400 Watts of solar"
I'd be interested to read about and see photos, as people have a pretty anemic solar setup.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:07 AM   #68
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Watt deserves its own separate discussion thread, because a lot of people are going to want to learn more about this thing. Therefore I created this:

Watt fuel cell potential for Interstates?
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:46 AM   #69
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Does Lew at AM solar address the alternator issue?
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:04 AM   #70
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Does Lew at AM solar address the alternator issue?
To my knowledge he does not, AND, on Sept. 23, 2018 I sent him an email with a link to my clutch pulley blog post. I haven't heard back from him. (I rarely share info with him directly, and I typically do hear back when I do.)

We got our alternator out of the shop this weekend. They charged about $65 for the work, but they were not able to repair it in the way they had first hoped, probably because Bosch re-jiggered it so that the function of the original pulley could not be defeated.

Bosch and other manufacturers must (might?) be up against some kind of liability issue here, but I cannot infer what that is.

The logic escapes me:

-- They have a problem with their high-capacity alternator breaking down, but they don't want shops to fix it with an aftermarket solution.

-- But UNfixed, it could strand a vehicle in the middle of the freeway, a very dangerous situation. And in fact, that has happened repeatedly with some lithium users.

-- What liability scenario could they be circumventing by disallowing aftermarket hardening of the device when the alternative is a stranding in active high-speed traffic?!

Obviously there is information missing in this analysis.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:28 AM   #71
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"400 Watts of solar"
I'd be interested to read about and see photos, as people have a pretty anemic solar setup.
Many of us have done the upgrade to 400 watts of solar on the roof of our Interstates. Here is link to my original thread when I did the first two 100 watt panels. I later added two more behind the A/C unit for total of 400 watts as seen in attached photo.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ks-153337.html
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:46 AM   #72
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Ours is not an EXT Sprinter, so here below is how we did 300 watts. As more time passes, I'm increasingly seeing vaulted solar panels on Sprinters.

We have an additional 2 panels in storage, so we could go to 500 watts. But I've told LB_3 that we have to have danged good demonstrated need for all that. So far, even with a dead alternator and no charging mechanism in use other than solar, we've done just fine with 300 watts plus 300 AH of lithium. And that's with an electric fridge and me working on my oversized computer. But no a/c run in that scenario, of course.

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Old 10-02-2018, 09:21 AM   #73
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To my knowledge he does not, AND, on Sept. 23, 2018 I sent him an email with a link to my clutch pulley blog post. I haven't heard back from him. (I rarely share info with him directly, and I typically do hear back when I do.)

We got our alternator out of the shop this weekend. They charged about $65 for the work, but they were not able to repair it in the way they had first hoped, probably because Bosch re-jiggered it so that the function of the original pulley could not be defeated.

Bosch and other manufacturers must (might?) be up against some kind of liability issue here, but I cannot infer what that is.

The logic escapes me:

-- They have a problem with their high-capacity alternator breaking down, but they don't want shops to fix it with an aftermarket solution.

-- But UNfixed, it could strand a vehicle in the middle of the freeway, a very dangerous situation. And in fact, that has happened repeatedly with some lithium users.

-- What liability scenario could they be circumventing by disallowing aftermarket hardening of the device when the alternative is a stranding in active high-speed traffic?!

Obviously there is information missing in this analysis.
Hi

.... ummm.... errrr ... with the standard setup the alternator does not catch fire and burn the vehicle to the ground. Modified it just might do that ... just guessing ....

A lot of this gets down to the difference in continuous duty (CCS) and intermittent duty (ICAS) ratings. Alternators max output specs are very much intermittent duty numbers.

Bob
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:59 AM   #74
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...
.... ummm.... errrr ... with the standard setup the alternator does not catch fire and burn the vehicle to the ground. Modified it just might do that ... just guessing ....
...
I don't recall anyone postulating an increased fire risk. Unless I missed something.

The issue is with the alternator giving out suddenly and catastrophically in which case the rig just stops dead wherever it happens to be (e.g., with an 18-wheeler approaching from behind at 70 mph). The diesel engine needs electricity to keep running because of the cooling fan and computer and other peripherals.

Of course an alternator failure risk exists with every motor vehicle. Mine failed on my last daily driver (Toyota Sienna) but luckily for me, I was able to get off the road in time before I got smashed. And that alternator was about a decade old at that time, not 17 months old as this Bosch of ours was.

The OEM alternator was a 90A unit installed by MB. We did not overburden a standard alternator - we upgraded to 200A with the specific objective of avoiding this failure scenario.

But there's more going on here than what's visible on paper or in theory. They are wearing out prematurely due to operational factors that are inferred but still not well-understood.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:01 PM   #75
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I do not have lithium but this thread is providing me with lots of lithium related info. I do not boondock, so I may never need lithium. But being a techie, I just drool over all the bleeding edge technology being discussed and implemented here. Lots good expensive stuff.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:15 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Ours is not an EXT Sprinter, so here below is how we did 300 watts. As more time passes, I'm increasingly seeing vaulted solar panels on Sprinters.

We have an additional 2 panels in storage, so we could go to 500 watts. But I've told LB_3 that we have to have danged good demonstrated need for all that. So far, even with a dead alternator and no charging mechanism in use other than solar, we've done just fine with 300 watts plus 300 AH of lithium. And that's with an electric fridge and me working on my oversized computer. But no a/c run in that scenario, of course.

WOW, that is one heck of a rack and the sturdiest one I've seen! Will keep in mind if I can upgrade to a custom class b. My challenge is getting the panels I need not so much on tiny real estate, but once installed, how can I left my pop-top! Apparently it takes a strong guy...I have a hard enough time lifting the top with no added weight. Geez though, that's a nice, solid setup and you could always add your others as portables when parked. Even find a way to incorporate them as a part of the awning for additional shade.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:23 AM   #77
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WOW, that is one heck of a rack and the sturdiest one I've seen! ....
Credit goes to Airstream for that little embellishment on the 2004-2007 Interstates. It's stainless steel, so it wasn't a cheap add (it appears to be the same tubing used in ADA-compliant restrooms as grab bars for those who must hoist themselves out of wheelchairs and the like).

I suspect that Airstream assumed it would be mostly decorative, given that the roof a/c pokes up above it and partly negates the storage capacity. But we put ours to far better use, obviously.
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