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Old 03-03-2023, 04:28 PM   #141
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 579
Blue Sea System Breaker Panel

Today the weather was decent before the storm that we’re getting later this evening. I took advantage of it and installed the remote 2nd breaker panel made by Blue Sea Systems. I also installed a back protective cover to keep the wires covered and installed a 20A breaker on the bottom position.

I wanted to do this because the Victron Multiplus 3K has two AC Out ports. The second AC Out is only active when you’re tied to shore power. If not tied to shore power or generator, it won’t produce power to it. I wanted to tie the Battery Minder outlet under the front passenger seat and the Heat Tape outlet under the van to his second AC Out. I only want these outlets to provide power when we are tied in to shore so this works out perfect for us. The Blue Sea Systems has three breakers so I swapped out the third position breaker with a 20A breaker just in case its needed down the road for a more power hungry appliance. The first two are 15A’s.

Installing this was a PITA as I had to make a cutout for it right next to the regular breaker panel. I grabbed the Milwaukee multitool and went to town very carefully until it was cut out. Working behind this new panel was also tough as there are a bunch of the 4/0 Ga wires back there along with the regular wires going into the breaker panel as well.

Prior to this, I already ran a new 12/2 Ga wire all the way to under the front passenger seat outlet for the regular BatteryMinder. Today I had to run two more 12/2 Ga wires the the Blue Sea breaker box. One is going into the AC Out of the Victron Multiplus 3K and the other going under the van for the Heat Tape for the tanks and plumbing pipes. So the Blue Sea breaker box has one incoming 12/2 Ga wire for load in from the Victron 3K and two 14/2 wires going out to the Heat Tape outlet and the BatteryMinder outlet.

I tied into the 12v for the back lights but still need to tie into the inverter when the weather cooperates. Waiting to do this as I’m also going to install the Hughes Autoformer while I’m at it.



Blue Sea Breaker Panel
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000K2IKQE...roduct_details


Blue Sea Back Protective Cover:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002UEPF4...roduct_details


Extra 20A Breaker
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000J0NLOS...roduct_details
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Old 03-13-2023, 08:36 PM   #142
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
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Havelock Wool Insulation

Ok, so we are trying some newer products that we’ll be using on our van build and one of them was the Havelock Wool Insulation. Took some time to remove all the previously installed insulation that we had access to and installed this Havelock Wool. Not cheap but IMHO worth it. It’s easier to use and it installs easy minus the fibers left over from regular insulation. I replaced all of the previously installed insulation with this as we have the van torn apart for some some upgrades of parts already ordered before we decided to build a van.

Sheep wool insulation is suppose to breath and contract in a van and is what you want it to do. You just do not want to shove it tight in place. I got it from the manufacturer and here is a link to their website. Many folks are using this for van builds or the 3M thermal insulation.. Links tooth are provided below:

https://havelockwool.com/van-insulation-products/

https://www.vanlifeoutfitters.com/st...0l-insulation/
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Old 03-13-2023, 09:03 PM   #143
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
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12v chargers

Iíve been meaning to do this for some time now but havenít had the time to get it done. I added some 12v cell phone chargers midway down the van and on the back doors of the van. I added them on the back doors of the van as this is a perfect spot to charge our cell phones and watches.

However it was a PITA to run the 12v wires through the back door and took some time. I eventually got a it done and glad that I did it. So in total I added four chargers - two midway van and two on the back door.

Now Iím waiting for the upper cabinet storage compartments the I ordered from Ebay. This should be a pretty easy install as Iíve already insulated the area and removed the Airstream provided panels.

These are the one that I ordered and should be here by Thursday.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/132001261454
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Old 03-13-2023, 09:11 PM   #144
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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I ran the 12v wiring through here which is a PITA! The grommet is hard to remove and put back together. You will break a couple of the clips for sure so be very careful.
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Old 03-14-2023, 11:16 AM   #145
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Foldable brackets

This one was a very easy mod. One of Airstreamís stupidest ideas in my opinion was that pullout frame bracket for the pull down extension head/foot boards rests.

That thing kept falling off and coming apart. After multiple trips to Airstream when under warranty, it just kept happening so I removed it and gave up. In place I just installed two aluminum angle brackets that worked out fine for a long while. You can find that info back on post # 12.

During the Autoformer install, I decided to remove those to have additional top clearing space and installed two foldable brackets instead. Theyíre hefty and should hold up well. I might need to install maybe some type of bracket in between both brackets that slides out and back under the frame. Iíll know for sure when I put everything back together along with the mattress to see but I donít think that Iíll need to.

The folding shelf brackets that I got from Amazon are these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 03-15-2023, 09:32 PM   #146
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2016 Interstate Lounge Ext
Green Cove Springs , Florida
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I may remove those bed-head floppers altogether. We use a foam topper on the lounge because otherwise it's a bruise-inducing nightmare, and we leave the headrests in the lounge, which support head of the mattress to an acceptable degree. As a result, we almost never use the floppers for sleeping. If we got rid of the floppers and the yank-out-shove-in bracket thing, we could claim that space back. This is worth considering for our usage scenario.
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Old 03-16-2023, 12:49 PM   #147
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
I may remove those bed-head floppers altogether. We use a foam topper on the lounge because otherwise it's a bruise-inducing nightmare, and we leave the headrests in the lounge, which support head of the mattress to an acceptable degree. As a result, we almost never use the floppers for sleeping. If we got rid of the floppers and the yank-out-shove-in bracket thing, we could claim that space back. This is worth considering for our usage scenario.
Yup, it will give you some top clearance space so that you can get more items stacked or just taller items back there.
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Old 03-16-2023, 02:44 PM   #148
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Hughes Autoformer

It took a few days but the Hughes Autoformer is installed. I ended up moving things around to make this fit and easily accessible so that took additional time. Since everything was powered down, I also took the time to re-install my previously installed heavy duty solar DC isolator shutoff. Somewhere along the way I lost the right side wire entry gland and I ordered a new one for it. I removed it because I needed the space and installed a smaller breaker type one. This time around I relocated it next to the new shore power outlet.

I also moved the Victron Multiplus near the back next to the Surge Guard ATS. I cut a piece of birch plywood to use as a backer board to install the Victron 3k and ATS to it. Now the incoming shore power goes to the new shore power outlet. When I want to use the autoformer, I connect its cord to the shore power outlet and plug the ATS power cord to the autoformer. When I donít want to use the autoformer, I plug the ATS power cord to the shore power outlet. The power cord for the ATS is wired to the shore power side of it.
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Old 03-16-2023, 02:57 PM   #149
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Old 03-16-2023, 03:21 PM   #150
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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I installed a new GFCI outlet underneath the van next to where the battery tray is. Now the plug for the heat tape is plugged into this outlet. About two weeks ago, I installed a Blue Sea System small breaker box which I wired to the Victron AC Out 2. The Blue Sea breaker box has 3 breakers which are only active when I tie in to shore power. One for the Heat Tape outlet under the van and the other for the Battery Minder under the passenger seat. I did this because both of those items draw a lot of power and I only want them on when tied to shore power. After, I powered everything back up and tested them. The breaker becomes active after two minutes when tied to shore power and immediately shuts off when untied to shore. Worked as expected. Iím still not sold on the location of the shore power outlet and might move it in front of the ATS. This will be very easy to do and I still have to do some wire clean up work to do.

So I still have a few items to complete before weíre done with upgrades for the new season and ready to sell it in the fall. Those include:

- Repair back leaky window on the passenger side.
- Bring down the generator and replace the two hoses.
- Install 2nd Remote SeeLevel II monitor somewhere outside in the macerator hose compartment.
- Install the new flooring which Iíve had for a while. We ordered this one:
-
https://www.recpro.com/rv-vinyl-floo...-campfire-ash/


I hope someone appreciates this AI when we sell!
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Old 03-18-2023, 02:42 PM   #151
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
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Upper Back door Storage

This is probably the easiest pop in mod that I've done to our AI. These just pop in. Color is not a 100% match but we'll take the extra storage space and not complain. I could wrap the outside with the mouse fur fabric material from the original ones that are already cut to fit but not worth the aggravation.

We got it here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/13200126145...f0c3eac30e1b77
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Old 03-18-2023, 05:51 PM   #152
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2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StogieMan View Post
This one was a very easy mod. One of Airstreamís stupidest ideas in my opinion was that pullout frame bracket for the pull down extension head/foot boards rests.

That thing kept falling off and coming apart. After multiple trips to Airstream when under warranty, it just kept happening so I removed it and gave up. In place I just installed two aluminum angle brackets that worked out fine for a long while. You can find that info back on post # 12.

During the Autoformer install, I decided to remove those to have additional top clearing space and installed two foldable brackets instead. Theyíre hefty and should hold up well. I might need to install maybe some type of bracket in between both brackets that slides out and back under the frame. Iíll know for sure when I put everything back together along with the mattress to see but I donít think that Iíll need to.

The folding shelf brackets that I got from Amazon are these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
That is one of the best mods I've ever seen for the rather stupid Airstream design.
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Old 03-18-2023, 06:18 PM   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
That is one of the best mods I've ever seen for the rather stupid Airstream design.
Thanks Mike. They're getting better though and this is their new solution. However, it's dead smack in the middle!
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Old 03-19-2023, 02:48 PM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StogieMan View Post
Thanks Mike. They're getting better though and this is their new solution. However, it's dead smack in the middle!
When you posted that photo in reply to my question about the I19 E1 option in another thread I thought that was another stupid example of accommodating bed extension on the I24 models.

Having that post in the middle of the rear storage are is even more stupid then their past solution. Installing a vertical table post and a Lagun table mount is also a ridiculously expensive solution.

Your design is elegant, simple and inexpensive. You should send the idea to Airstream to get them to
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Old 04-15-2023, 09:30 AM   #155
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Individual solar panel circuit breakers

I got tired of covering the solar panels on the roof every time that I need to work on solar portion of our 12v system. Even though that we have a main cutoff for the solar, it doesn’t shutoff the power before the cutoff so when I need to work on that side of the wires, the solar combiner box or remove the main solar cutoff required a trip to the roof and covering the panels.

I got these individual circuit breakers and killed two birds with one stone. It’s been on the to do list to fuse each solar panel even though I don’t ever think that there will be an issue but “it’s the right thing to do” so I did it. Now I can shutoff every panel individually and can also isolate the panels to test them individually.

Overall pretty easy install but a bit tedious and I ended up installing five of them for the 500W’s of solar on the roof. I got these waterproof ones from Amazon however, I’m not seeing the 15A ones that I used. I used 10A under the passenger seat for the 25W panel chassis solar panel. Pretty convenient to have.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Old 04-15-2023, 09:50 AM   #156
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Flat Starlink Star-Mount

I finally got around to this. I was going to cutdown the Starlink dish stem and cut down the original Star-Mount bracket and said ďwhat the heckĒ and just ordered the new flat Star-Mount. I did not add the additional service of them cutting it down and did that myself with the help of my nephew that came for a visit.

The hardest and nerving part is cutting the dish down. We had to sand it down a few times in order for the dish to fit under the seal, the rest is pretty easy and Brandon has a link on how to do it. Now the Starlink dish sits just a bit higher than the solar panels but still low enough that you canít see it from the ground. I hooked everything back up and itís working like a charm.

If anyone is interested in buying the original Star-Mount bracket only on the roof for about 7 months for a very good price - PM me.

Overall very happy with the look and outcome. Next project is to remove that digital antenna and see if I can run some 12v wires through it so that I can install a light bar to put in front of the solar panel upfront.

Star-Mount also now has a complete all-in-one system with a built in router to make it easier for installation.

New Star-Mount that we installed:
https://star-mountsystems.com/produc...starlink-dishy



Original Star-Mount that we had:
https://star-mountsystems.com/produc...t-for-starlink



Star-Mount all-in-one system:
https://star-mountsystems.com/produc...tegrated-modem
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Old 04-15-2023, 11:55 AM   #157
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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12v USB Ports

I know that with newer vehicles and newer AIís you donít have worry about having enough 12v outlets and USB ports but ours is a 2015 and back then Mercedes or Airstream really didnít care. Weíre spoiled with our new vehicles and when we go into the AI is like stepping back into time.

I said enough with this and added two sets up front in the lower compartment area. The one on the driver side I tied into the Alpine head unit which works to charge and control the Apple Car Play and the one on the Boss ladies side are two USB high rated ports. I also previously added a bunch to the coach side in the back and info can be found a couple of threads up.

Makes way more convenient than having wires fumbling around.
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Old 04-15-2023, 12:01 PM   #158
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Final Look

I finally got done with all the major rewiring and here is the final look. Nope, as Iíve said before - this wonít win any Instagram photo contests but Iím not trying to. Functionality and practically is what is important to me. If I had the space or designing the system from scratch with space then absolutely it would look better. The area that Airstream provided is what I have to work with as I donít want to move things and take up anymore space that I need to.

I moved the interior 30A power outlet toward the back next to the Surge Guard ATS for ease of use between the ATS and the Hughes Autoformer. I also put a strap on the autoformer to keep it from moving. While at it, I decided to add a 300A terminal fuse to our LifeBlue battery bank ďjust in case.Ē I actually ordered two and used the other one along with a 100A fuse to add a slot to our Victron Lynx Distributor in order to install an additional 100A fuse block. I went with Blue Sea all round just because they have great products that been tested for years now in the marine and RV world. The old disconnect switch from the chassis battery to the Victron Buck Boost broke while removing it so I replaced it with a Blue Sea one rated for 300Aís and better made too.

I tied the new terminal fuse along with a Blue Sea fuse block and put a Blue Sea 100A circuit breaker in between the new fuse block and new MFRB fuse in order to be able to shut down the fuse block for any maintenance or need to shut it off. Attached is also a video from Nate at Explorist Life that shows you how to do it. Again, adding all these extra items took a lot of maneuvering and honing in on my Tetris skills - not easy at all!


Blue Sea Battery Switch
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00445KFZ2...roduct_details


Blue Sea 300A Terminal Block Fuse
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BXS34MPK...t_details&th=1


Blue Sea 100A MRBF fuse
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0017SJOH4...t_details&th=1


Blue Sea 100a Circuit Breaker
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051P01BW...t_details&th=1


Blue Sea Fuse Block
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001P6FTHC...roduct_details





Explorist Lifeís Extra Fuse Hack for the Victron Lynk Distributor
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Old 04-15-2023, 12:04 PM   #159
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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While I was at it previously, I ran two sets of 12v wires to underneath the van just in case I need them for the future. Again, a lesson learned the hard way - future plan when making mods as you already have everything torn apart. I also ran two sets 12v wires toward the front locker for the same reason. These are now marked on the fuse block as open. One set of the 12v for the front was tied into the existing Airstream 12v fuse panel for a planned 12v dump valve. I have already ordered four 12v LED lights to install. Two are going under the van. One under the generator/spare tire general area and the other in between the fresh and gray tank so that I can have a lit area to work when needed. The other two - one is going under the garage area and the other on the top wood panel in between the back doors and panel of the rear locker that will shine down. I will also be installing a switch for both sets.

I have another motorized dump valve that Iím going to install upstream from the Airstream installed gray dump valve just in case there is an issue with the valve deciding to break or not cooperate. It will only be gray water being dumped when in a bind. The valve that I have is this one below ordered from Amazon. I already ran the wires for the switch and the valve. I just need to get under the van to thread the valve to the tank and finish up the wiring. Iím planning to do this when I put the AI on the blocks to replace the generator hoses that I also have on hand.

With everything installed and completed, we were still able to keep all the space under middle section of the garage open for storage which was great.
So yes Iíve been busy at it. Trying to get this all done before the Kentucky Derby. Weíre going for the first time this year and looking forward to it.


US Solid Motorized Ball Valve
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Old 04-17-2023, 06:55 PM   #160
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Garage and Back Door LED Lights

I got the LED lights in today and decided to install them. Initially two were going in the garage area and two were going under the van but after I received them and after testing them, they weren't too bright so I decided put them all in the back with a on/off switch. Overall very good light and happy with the outcome.

I wasn't to sure about the two on the outside and playing with their location to see what we like best. These are easy to move around as I installed them with some WAGO connectors my new found friend.

I'm going to order two longer and brighter ones for underneath the van.

LED Lightshttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B08YD73T2M?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1

WAGO 221 Lever Nutshttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BN6MBR7X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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