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Old 06-30-2022, 10:27 PM   #41
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 606
Solar Wire Run

Wow, what a day in this hot weather and beaming sun. Believe it or not but it took me all day to get the wiring on the roof done along with the combiner box. Lew - hats off to you and you’re worth every penny that you charge under that hot Florida sun.

I did start early right around 9am and didn’t finish up until about 7pm. My legs and feet are killing me as I work off the ladder instead of trying to walk on the roof. Besides with the solar panels up there, not much space to stand or work up there.

First thing was to shut off the the cutoff switch to to the solar panels and cover all of the solar panels up there. Then I removed all the old spaghetti wiring along with all those darn MC-4’s and splitter connections. I got side tracked trying to remove all the old 3M zip tie connectors but way too time consuming. Another project for another day. Removed a bunch of them with 99% alcohol and the heat gun but still a bunch to go.

I then started by installing the combiner box. I made sure to cut out the cutouts before installing it as that would be a pain in the butt to do after the fact as the plastic is really hard. Before I installed the liquid tight connectors, I installed a bead of SikaFlex as it was easier to do without those in place. Prior, I pulled the sleeve of the 3M tape and laid it down. Man, I forgot how much I hate to work with SikaFlex or Dicor. Not one of my strongest suits for sure - I actually hate it!!!!

I first started with cutting a small piece of the AMSolar wire and removing the guts for my backup camera. This way I could tie it into the the combiner box without a worry about water getting in and it turned out pretty good. I caulked the entry into the camera just in case I ever need to replace it. However, If I did, it would probably be a wireless one. I actually thought about it and am considering it. Caulk is easier to come off than SikaFlex but I may be wrong as they’re both a PITA to remove. I then I installed the two 6 AWG wires using wire ferrules. Actually, I used ferrules on all the connections in the combiner box for ease and a cleaner look. Then I went panel by panel installing the new AM Solar bought wire and splittler connections. I really like this wire as it provides a cleaner look instead of the old wiring that was all over the place. I also checked and tested every panel one by one as I connected it to make sure that all was good. I cleaned the areas using 99% alcohol before installing new 3M zip tie connecters.

Then I went to butt tie the camera connection that I cut. That turned out to be a total royal pain in the butt. Turns out that when I cut it it, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a solid wire but but a 4 way multi core one with like 24 GA wires. I ended up spending about 2 hours splicing and adding wires for this connection in a tight area so be forewarned.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the finished product and glad that I did it. Easier to troubleshoot, add or remove panels and cleaner look overall. I’ve thought about adding some type of flexible solar panel on top of the AC shroud but trying to see if it’s worth the cost/benefit.

Never got a chance to install the IRVWPC pump control. I started to work on the relays for the generator but I bought 14 AWG solid wire and its way too big for the relay. Off to HD in the am to instead get some stranded wire 18 AWG wire. Never got around to installing the cutoff switch for the LI-BIM 225 either.
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:30 PM   #42
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Completed box.
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:36 AM   #43
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Cerbo GX Generator Autostart Relays

As I mentioned before, I was interested in a generator Autostart for my rig but I came s across this work around and it actually works better IMHO. I can view it and works off my Victron Cerbo GX display and will turn on my generator automatically if my batteries are running low and a bunch of others features too. So today I tackled the relay switches project. I was not looking forward to it as I knew that I had to take things apart and play some Tetris in the process to make room for the relays and another cutoff switch that I added for the Li-BIM.

I first started by wiring up the relays and used the attached diagram. Man, what a pain as there are bunch of wires going in very direction. I ended up using some 14 THHN stranded wire as the opening slots were tiny in the relays. I also used some push in wire connectors which made it easy instead of trying to shove in two wires in one slot and even three in one spot. Once I got everything wired up, I took into the AI for testing. I pulled off the remote generator start display from the front locker and pulled out the start (Red Wire GN1) and stop (White wire GN1b).

I set up the relays next to the Cerbo Gx that is under the driver side jump seat along with all my connections. I wired it up to the Cerbo, tied it into power and ran two wires and attached them to the wires that I pulled out on the front display. I got the generator started but would not shut off. I had to unhook and reconnect the wires to shut it off. Started troubleshooting with this first problem. Turns out that I had the two red wires crossed on the relay going into the Cerbo. Fixed it and rewired it to the front and tested it. Again, started with no problem but would not shut down. Second time around troubleshooting and this one was easy as I wired a wrong wire on the relay when I was troubleshooting the first time around. Fixed it and rewired it again to test it. Bingo - generator started and stopped from the Cerbo GX panel. Tried it a few times to make sure and all worked. So I removed it and set it it aside knowing that it was working.

I then removed the Victron MPPT controller and the Cerbo GX. I did some cleaning up of some wires the best that I could as you all know that itís tight in there. I opened up the Victron Lynx box as I had to move some connections around to be able to reconfigure and make this work. I also took off the connection to the BIM as I installed the new cutoff switch. So from the BIM it goes to the cutoff switch and then to the Lynx box. After working some wires around I made the cutoff switch fit in the upper left side.

I bought two DIN rails and the DIN rail connectors for the Cerbo and MPPT. Thinking that I would be able to fit everything in one line using the DIN rails but of course seemed well in theory but not physically going to happen. So I cut a piece for the relays and the Cerbo and another piece for the MPPT. Makes it easier to remove them instead of trying to get a screwdriver in a tight spot.
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:43 AM   #44
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Before installing the the Cerbo and GX to the DIN rail, it came to mind that the wiring harness goes right under the jump seat and I would be able to tie in to the generator wires there which are right next to Cerbo instead of running wires from the upper locker back to the jump seat. This saved me a ton of time and aggravation. I opened up the harness and found both wires that I was looking for and spliced into them. From there I tied them into the the relays on their respective sides.

Next was putting back the MPPT and Cerbo. Prior I labeled all the cables and their respective entry spots to the Cerbo GX. I donít know why but if you donít put the cables back in the same spot on the Cerbo Gx or Victron 3K your panel might not work or it will not show incoming grid power. So now I always put everything right back in their spots. Itís crazy as it should not matter what input if they are the same but it does. I took me a long time to figure this out when I was troubleshooting one day and didnít put the cables back in their original slots. After digging around I finally found the solution in the Victron Community but I took me a while and letting you know so that you donít make the same mistake.
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:45 AM   #45
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Putting all the cables back this time was a bit frustrating as it was tighter than ever. Less than inch here and there and playing the cable management game but I finally got it put back together. It wonít win any Instagram picture contests but its functional, works and and given the amount of space to work with - loaded with a lot of accessories in there so Iím good with it.

Turned everything back on and retested the generator and all was good. Again, this was an all day project and I didnít get to install the pump controller in and after messing with those relays, Iím not going to putz around trying to make my SeeLevel monitors work with the Cerbo Gx. I think it could be done and I can probably figure it out but thatís something for another day.

It was late so I shut it down. Tomorrow Iíll clean up the wires a bit more and put all the seats back and lastly Install the IRVWPC Water Pump Controller.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:36 PM   #46
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Finished product.

Did the best that I could with the cleanup work.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:46 PM   #47
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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IRVWPC Water Pump Control

I was back at it again today. I put down the Bourbon and cigar and am enjoying my time with the tools again - lol. Another forum member thought that I was being facetious about all the crapy crafmanship that Airstream puts in these delivered products that I see first hand all the time as Iím crawling through it fixing things and upgrading it. But, no worries.

Actually, I now just came up with a signature line for my profile:

ď I donít want your worries - I have an Airstream too!Ē

Install was very easy. The manual has detailed instructions and it says that you can complete this in 15 minutes. Yes you can, if you have complete access to the area. This AIGT has the water pump under the refrigerator with little room to spare so it took me about an hour due to space constraints. I initially unscrewed the water pump thinking that it would be easier but itís not necessary so donít waste you time.

Wiring was very basic and easy. Positive and negative wires coming off the pump in the front which was actually nice not having reach to mess with it in the back. They have a spliced red positive cable that you donít need with our pumps to wire. I cut the connectors off and instead used one of those three way electrical connectors. There are also two spliced connections to the negative side. Worked out pretty good.

Once I completed the cable work, I moved on to the plumbing side. I did use their provided adapter and installed it vertically as they recommend due to winterization and water not being trapped in the valve. Went through the instructions with turn on and off process without installing the harness etc.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:50 PM   #48
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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I went through that whole process as the directions dictated. Moment of truth - Yup, definitely quieter. You have an initial loud quick burst at start up but then it immediately quiets down. I recorded a video before and after that I will try to upload and hopefully it works so that you can hear the difference. There is some background noice but thatís the refrigerator. Another project for down the road. Also keep in mind that I put my phone right next to the pump with the access panel off so when itís back on, it will also reduce the noice further.

I didnít get a chance to program some of the settings today except for the removal of the Truma tankless water heater setting that it comes automatically programmed with. I donít have one of those so I followed the settings to update that. I took a few minutes to complete.

Overall, initially Iím very happy with the noice reduction and as other members have mentioned that itís even better when tied to city water so I will see. Theyíre a bunch of installation videos on their website if you need help.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:51 PM   #49
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Having some trouble uploading the short video clips of the sound. I'll try to get this figured out and post them.
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Old 07-07-2022, 05:18 PM   #50
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Yakima EXO System

Finally got the final piece of the Yakima EXO system today. Iíve been waiting for the DoubleUp bike rack portion of it for quite a while now as it was on backorder for months. Since we did our lithium upgrade and lost some space, we needed some additional storage. I really didnít want to pull a trailer which is an option that we strongly considered.

The system is pretty nice. The cargo carrier can hold up to 100lbs and the bike rack can hold up to 40lbs on each side. If I put the bike rack on the bottom without the cargo carrier, then it can hold up to 50lbs on each side for the bikes. With everything on and cargo carrier filled - youíre talking about 280lbs total.

Pretty flexible and both sides swing out for ease. The bike rack on top can swing around 180 degrees. Without the bike rack on, I also purchased the BackDeck Camping table which is great for grilling when the bike rack is off.

When opened, the left side door opens fully and the right side door opens almost all the way and I just use a strap to keep it open. If you want to open all the way, you just have to unlock it and turn the bike rack portion 180 degrees and your good to fully open the right side door.

Overall, weíve used the cargo carrier for a few months now and pretty happy with it. Cost was not bad either right around a little over 2k for the whole system. Itís very flexible and you can use a few attachments including a ski/snowboard carrier as well. Very easy to put on and takeoff the attachments which is a real plus.

The license plate will get covered with the EXO carrier though. You could purchase a license plate and light kit but I opted to make my own bracket and attached a lit license plate holder.

Good video on its function and options here:
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Old 07-17-2022, 12:48 PM   #51
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dayton , OH
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OWL, VC, AO Upgrades

I was wondering if anyone had thrown the aftermarket catalog at their AI? Iím talking about suspension, tires and wheels, larger fuel tank and winch bumper, roof rack and light bar. Iím new to this so just trying to wrap my head around the possibilities. Thanks
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Old 07-19-2022, 10:01 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalamineGary View Post
I was wondering if anyone had thrown the aftermarket catalog at their AI? Iím talking about suspension, tires and wheels, larger fuel tank and winch bumper, roof rack and light bar. Iím new to this so just trying to wrap my head around the possibilities. Thanks
Theyíre probably some folks here that have done it. For us, we know our limitations with the AIGT and thereís noway that we would venture out deep in the woods with any type of upgrades on this rig but thatís just us. Ours is also a 2x4.

We have done the VanCompass Stage 3 kit upgrade witch includes Bilstein B6 camper van tune front struts, Falcon 2.1 monotube shocks for the rear, and front & rear Sumo springs. We also added a beefier Hellwig say bar.

For me, I would rather have a way bigger fresh water tank than fuel tank. At the end of the day whatís going to limit your off grid stay is your grey, black and fresh water tanks. You can extend your black and grey with different methods but the fresh is whatís going to get you IMHO.

Again, some others that have done it can chime in but we didnít feel the need for it. For us insulating the tanks was much more important to extend our camping season in the colder weather. I think the AI 24X was made more for this type of off grid camping but it too has its limitations.
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Old 07-24-2022, 06:56 PM   #53
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Home Dump Station

Ok, so this is not MOD for the AIGT but for the AIGT.

For a while now, we’ve been trying to get a plumber to come out and install some piping for a dump station to our house. Can’t get anyone to come do it as they’re either too busy or just too small of a job for them. Kept getting all type of excuses.

Woke up on Friday morning and took some measurements to do it myself. Not the prettiest job but it works and that’s the important part.

Tied it in to an area off a clean out section of a drain section. I still kept the clean out section and added it to the top just in case.

Tested it for leaks and used it to dump with no issues. I also added some pipe braces not pictured for support.

I’m not a plumber but it works and can easily be removed if we ever sell the house.

We’ve always had this type of setup in our previous homes and really convenient.
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Old 07-24-2022, 07:09 PM   #54
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Induction Cooktop Install

Well, I finally got a chance to install the induction cooktop that I received a few days ago. I didnít go with the e-trailer one but instead found this one on Amazon with the same exact dimensions as the e-trailer one and a bit cheaper. Finding a smaller induction cooktop with almost the same dimensions as the current two burner stove cutout turned out to be a project as most had bigger dimensions. We also ended up with a two burner one as I could not find a single burner that could fit in the current cutout.

The current dimensions of the current stovetop was 18 3/8 X 14 1/16. The induction cooktop cutout dimension required a maximum of 13 6/8 X 19 11/16 and a minimum of 13 3/8 X 19 3/8. Since the current cutout isnít exactly square in the corners, I used the corners to my advantage and cut those areas down to 13 3/8 to get a tighter fit for the four corners.

I was able to use a grinder tool with a diamond blade for the cutout without any issues but the corner near the sink was pretty tight to work around and that cut was a bit rougher but it worked out fine. There wasnít too much to cut and the diamond blade did a great job at cutting the countertop which is not really thick at all and about 1/2 inch thick.

I capped the propane line temporarily and tested for leaks and was good to go. I also move it down lower as not to be too close the cooktop. My plan is to pull out the entire line all the way to underneath the van but since I have some other projects to do under there, Iím going to wait until then to remove the propane line.

I had already previously replaced the microwave outlet to accommodate some additional plugs so there was no additional work to be done. Previously that plug only had one plug for the microwave only. The microwave will also be removed once I install the new refrigerator. Donít know when thatís going to happen though as I received an email saying that the refrigerator was on backorder - oh well.

Overall pretty easy project to complete. The hardest part was setting up the cut area as you only have one crack at it. Looking forward to getting some use out of it. Again, having 600 Ah of Lithium is the only reason that we did it. Weíre also glad to see that crumb magnet of a stove go!


Induction Cooktop on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VVXF4YL...roduct_details
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Old 07-30-2022, 10:36 PM   #55
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Flexible Solar Panel On AC Shroud

So I got a chance to install the 100w flexible solar panel on the top of the AC shroud for a total of 500 watts on the roof. Pretty easy install but again the hardest part was finding one that fit perfectly up there. I couldn’t find one like the flexible ones OWL van uses on the hood panel as the ones that I did see that were close in material where in the 50w range. The dimensions of the one that I got where 37.6 X 20.87. Ideally you would want about 19 x 33 to fit perfectly up there. I’ll continue to look and if I find one, I’ll replace it and use this this one as a portable add on. Of course if I added another 100 watts of solar, I would need to upgrade the MPPT controller too.

Install was pretty basic and I used 3M VHB tape. I cleaned off the area with alcohol and applied the the VHB tape and then used a heat gun to get it on there pretty good. I’ll monitor it for a few weeks to make sure that it’s holding up and not coming off. I took a drive up to mountains today on a nice decent day and saw up to 440 watts coming in from the Victron MPPT 100/30 controller. I’ll see what it does on a full sunny day.

I figured that it was wasted space up there and why not throw a flex panel on it. I tied it into our solar combiner box on the roof but used MC4 connectors to the panel in case we need to remove the the AC shroud for service.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:11 PM   #56
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Gulf Breeze , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2017
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IRVWPC Water Pump Control

StogieMan: Thanks for your detailed description for installing the IRVWPC. After reading it I ordered one and subsequently installed it. Definitely a positive difference in noise reduction. Installation was was fairly straight forward although I did to call company for a couple of minor clarifications. Great customer support if needed. My pump is oriented with the front of the pump facing toward the grill so access to the output connections was a bit of a struggle. I ended up removing the freezer and the wood shelf which made the job so much easier. Great upgrade if you use the pump frequently as we do. Also, if for some reason the IRVWPC fails for some reason it is easy enough to bypass it and use the pump as you did before the mod. Again, thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:53 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orlik View Post
StogieMan: Thanks for your detailed description for installing the IRVWPC. After reading it I ordered one and subsequently installed it. Definitely a positive difference in noise reduction. Installation was was fairly straight forward although I did to call company for a couple of minor clarifications. Great customer support if needed. My pump is oriented with the front of the pump facing toward the grill so access to the output connections was a bit of a struggle. I ended up removing the freezer and the wood shelf which made the job so much easier. Great upgrade if you use the pump frequently as we do. Also, if for some reason the IRVWPC fails for some reason it is easy enough to bypass it and use the pump as you did before the mod. Again, thanks for the recommendation.

Orlik, Iím glad that it helped you out. Weíre happy that we installed it too as it does make a difference. Yup, itís also under the refrigerator and not the freezer like I mentioned in my post.

At least Airstream is consistent about being inconsistent and installed both of ours in completely opposite directions. But not surprising.

By chance, when you removed that bottom panel to get access to the pump, did you happen to see the exterior outside shower connection there or the other side of it?

I need to replace mine as itís leaking and I looked under there but canít see the the other side. It wasnít a thorough look as I didnít have it up on the wood blocks and we have bunch of insulation wrapped around our fresh water tank, etc. Almost looks like itís wedged in between the frame which is unlikely for replacement reasons so Iím assuming that I can get access when I remove the refrigerator. If not, it may be that I need to remove the whole housing from the outside.

If you didnít see it, anyone else have any insight on how to get access for removal?

Thanks
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Old 08-07-2022, 02:02 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StogieMan View Post
Orlik, Iím glad that it helped you out. Weíre happy that we installed it too as it does make a difference. Yup, itís also under the refrigerator and not the freezer like I mentioned in my post.

At least Airstream is consistent about being inconsistent and installed both of ours in completely opposite directions. But not surprising.

By chance, when you removed that bottom panel to get access to the pump, did you happen to see the exterior outside shower connection there or the other side of it?

I need to replace mine as itís leaking and I looked under there but canít see the the other side. It wasnít a thorough look as I didnít have it up on the wood blocks and we have bunch of insulation wrapped around our fresh water tank, etc. Almost looks like itís wedged in between the frame which is unlikely for replacement reasons so Iím assuming that I can get access when I remove the refrigerator. If not, it may be that I need to remove the whole housing from the outside.

If you didnít see it, anyone else have any insight on how to get access for removal?

Thanks
Yes, its all right there and fairly easy to access once you remove the lower refrigerator/freezer unit. Once the lower unit is removed and the shelf it sits on you can access lot of stuff that seems impossible looking at it through the vent.
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Old 08-07-2022, 03:17 PM   #59
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by orlik View Post
Yes, its all right there and fairly easy to access once you remove the lower refrigerator/freezer unit. Once the lower unit is removed and the shelf it sits on you can access lot of stuff that seems impossible looking at it through the vent.
Perfect - thank you!
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Old 08-08-2022, 09:36 PM   #60
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 606
Alpine Speaker Upgrade

We got our speakers, tweeters and amplifier in from Crutchfield a few days ago. I wasn’t looking forward to this project as the weather has been unbearable but our annual cigar trip to Westpoint, NY with a bunch of buddies is this weekend and of course I didn’t want them listening to music with those pathetic speakers for another year.

I ended up replacing the front speakers, tweeters and house speakers with Alpine ones to keep it consistent with our Alpine Halo 11 head unit. The back speakers where working and no issues with them but just wanted to have all Alpine speakers installed. I did not have a chance to install the amplifier as I really didn’t get chance to or have the time for as I need to take the head unit off, run wires to the battery etc. so that’ll be in the coming days or weeks.

I used this reference from someone that documented it perfectly and did a much better job than I would. His instructions were spot on!
https://sprintervanusa.com/2016/09/1...dash-speakers/

The back house speakers were an easy drop in replacement. The current speakers have an about 1/4 to 1/2 spacer to allow the speakers to fit. The Alpines that we chose were very close in size and I had no issues using the spacers that were in place.

The front speakers and tweeters were a different story. Not hard but just time consuming. The Alpine tweeters that we chose didn’t completely fit so I had to cut around the existing tweeter hole to allow the Alpines to fit. I was able to install them and then ran the wires to the side door through the wiring harness that is already there.

The side speakers were also easy to install with the adapter rings that we bought to allow the 6.50 speakers to fit. I added some Dynamat baffle material and some sound deadening material provided with our ring adapter order and put everything back together. All sounded great and really looking forward to installing the amplifier to hear the difference. This took me all day as it was just hot and meticulous work. After the first door was done, the second went smoothly.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Speaker-Ada...-/141887556531

Would I upgrade my speakers again if I had to do it all over again - absolutely. Not, sure why Airstream doesn’t do it and only installs the house ones as those house front speakers sound horrible. I also removed the that center speaker and taped the connection. Next will be the amplifier install.
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