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Old 06-11-2022, 03:17 PM   #1
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 177
Why did we go down or is it an Up-grade rabbit hole?

I figured that I would start a thread on our updates to our 2015 AI GT as we have done many.

Again, many ideas were from this forum and some of the creative minds here so thank you all. Some others were my ideas, trying to find solutions, or some found on the inner webs.

These have been done since July 2015 when we purchased our AI new so please forgive me if I donít have pictures of the installs or can vaguely remember where we got the parts, info etc.

Our first upgrade was to find a solution to those stupid side window covers that Airstream provides. What a joke! Takes two people to have them stay in place and cheesy looking.

On our previous Winnebago B we had these accordion style shades that were so simple and easy to set up. They also had one that closed shut together for the front windshield window.

I went looking and found a pair for the side windows on Amazon sold separately of course but unable to get the one for the front windshield window. They had them but for the older sprinters as the airbags on the pillars would obstruct the installation and they did not recommend them due to interference or possibility of a malfunction with the airbags.

These were pretty straight forward and easy to install. All you have to do is line them up and screw in the stainless steel sheet metal screws.

Have had these on for a while now and no issues yet.

Only downside is that you do loose a little of your visibility on your driver side mirror due to the center bar coming down the center of your window. Iíve adjusted and not a big deal for me. Love the ease of and the quickness to open these up.

For the front we just went with a sunshade from WeatherTech. Folds right up and easy to put in place and remove. We just store it with some straps hanging off the back shelf.

Update: I just checked on Amazon and these are no longer available. This is the product name and maybe you can do a google search to see if they're available else where if you're interested.

Remis 10021162 Driver Cab Window Privacy Blind

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Old 06-11-2022, 03:29 PM   #2
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 177
Central Vac

Yes, I know central vac right? Well, we do hit the beach quite often and all that sand eventually ends up in our rig no matter what we do and it drives me crazy.

Doing research online I found this small vac and though that I could make it work somehow. Fit perfectly under the passenger seat as there are not a lot of wires under there.

Install was pretty straight forward and the hardest part was cutting a rectangle sized hole to fit the vacuum. Fit right in with plenty of room to spare.

I ran the cord under the rubber grey mat and then under the black housing under the side entrance step and through the bottom of sink cabinet and plugged in to the outlet where the microwave is. I redid the outlet with a standard double outlet instead of if I remember correctly a single plug outlet.

This thing is awesome. Draws about 850 watts when running. Works flawlessly and have had no issues.

While under there I decided to add an outlet to that recessed area that holds the fire extinguisher and along side the window next to the coffee maker. The plug in the fire extinguisher area is great for a small heater during the winter to blow heat toward the back. The plugs next to the window were added because at the time I was using Pahaska’s & Trandora’s method with a Goal Zero to power everything up through the 12volts and 120. That work flawlessly and I even added an additional transfer switch for the goal zero. I was using one of those plugs for the coffee maker or microwave when we did not want to use the loud generator. One plug was tied to the Goal Zero and the other to the coach battery. I just kept them there and now tied to the coach batteries. Pretty handy where they’re located for our Air Fryer and coffee maker instead of having cords hanging from the regular outlet above. At least we sold our Goal Zero 3000 and all it’s accessories to at least pay for one of our two 300Ah LifeBlue Low Temp. lithium batteries.
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Old 06-11-2022, 04:10 PM   #3
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Alpine Halo 11

Yup, this was our third crack at it. We initially replaced our stock Kenwood with another Kenwood drop in replacement and it sucked just like the first one and conked out on us last year just like the first one did. We decided that we did not want another Kenwood and went all out with the Alpine Halo 11 - wow, what a difference. Worth every penny we spent on it. Love the Car Play along with using Waze and all the integration.

However, as others have mentioned there is no on or off switch or button so we had to add a cutoff switch to turn it on and off to reduce battery drainage.

Unfortunately, we got it replaced last year around November and it was cold. We wanted the replace the crappy front speakers but it was too cold and our audio guy didn't want to do it in fear that he would crack the plastic door frames as it was way too cold and he could not fit the rig in his bay. He said to come back in the spring and I just made a call to him last week to schedule an appointment to replace the front speakers and might install a new amp as well while we're there.

In the front cabin area we also took out the carpets and replaced them with the WeatherTech mats, hard wired dash cam and Valentine One Radar. Yes, I'm a Valentine One Radar groupie. Have owned these in all of our vehicles since the 90's and have upgraded them often. With these new ones, upgrades are done via your phone so that they're always up to date with the latest firmware.

Lastly we added the TST TPM's as other have for a peace of mind.
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Old 06-12-2022, 08:47 AM   #4
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 177
SeeLevel II Tank Monitor

Alright, this one was a bit trickier as I had to go through all the Airstream wiring diagrams to find the the wire codes. As you know, their manuals are all over the place and not consistent except consistently messed up!

I really like these as the tank levels are given in percentages instead of quarter levels. The SeeLevel comes with a stick on long sensor board strips that fit the tank top to bottom in order to get the readings. What Airstream uses now are three sensors put at different sections of the tank - top, middle and bottom.

These are made to be cut to fit the tanks. Installation was not bad and SeeLevel's instructions are pretty straight forward. There are also a bunch of YouTube installation videos on it. Pretty easy to get to the black tank through the bottom access panel. I unhooked the black white from the harness and used but connectors. Rough up the area with some sand paper, clean it and stick it on the tank.

Fresh water tank is simple too. The wiring harness is located in the back of the tank and readily accessible. Don't have any pictures of the fresh or grey as I insulated the our pipes and tanks and these are covered up.

The grey tank wiring was probably the hardest to reach. The wire is located somewhere in the middle top area of the tank. I reached for it and pulled the wire toward the outside portion of the tank near the sliding door. I found that this was the best spot as the grey tank is not completely rectangle but has a bunch of angles and molded to fit the area. With Airstreams sensors this doesn't matter as the grey tank sensors are all in different locations of the tank. (Just an FYI) if you need to make a repair. On the outside edge of the tank there is a nice long strip from top to bottom that you can place the SeeLevels board on.

Wiring the monitor was what took me some time as I had to figure which wires were what. I unhooked the wiring harness that went to the old monitor and cut the wires that I needed to. I again butt connected them and then just wrapped them in electric tape to prevent the shaking around.

Grey, fresh and black are automatically calibrated but the propane tank is the only one that needs to be calibrated after a full fill. Pretty easy to do just follow the instructions.

We love this system as we can accurately know how much time we have to dump.
Pretty darn accurate too.

If you look to purchase this system make sure you pick the correct one as they're are bunch of different setups and most look identical. They also have a bluetooth model which would probably be helpful when your dumping.

The battery voltage is for the chassis battery. The original Airstream one read both coach and chassis. I have the Victron 712 so works for me.
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Old 06-12-2022, 08:50 AM   #5
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Additional Pics

Some more info:
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Old 06-12-2022, 12:57 PM   #6
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Tank & Pipe Insulation

All-right, this is one thing that we knew had to be done but I procrastinated because I did not want to do it myself. However, I tried many times to get it done at RV shops, service centers and any chance that it was on a lift for service and believe it or not - no one wanted to do it. Even when we got our VanCompass Stage 3 kit installed at an Overland Shop that included Falcon & Bilstein shocks, Sumo springs and Hellwig sway bar installed. You'd figure these guys would know how to do it but said no because of insurance reasons and us coming back complaining about a cracked tank and they wouldn't do it. So my wife and I did.

I'm going to be honest - this really was a pain in the butt and hard to do as you really don't want to miss anything and of course some pipes are just a pain to get to. On your back under a lifted 11lbs van - right, sign me up for that!

I first started with Radiants Solution Company 40 feet of heat tape that I got on Amazon and yes I used every inch of it! Did a lot of research on this and ended up choosing this one as it tied into 120 instead of 12v. I did not want to tie into 12v anywhere under there or undo the void that I foamed up for the new generator wire that I had to run when we did our Lithium upgrade. There was one company in Canada that did custom cut wires but I wasn't sure on how many feet we would end up using so I passed but would have been my first choice for sure as their quality was impeccable. And, it's Canada they know cold!

I ran the wire under all the drain lines and under the grey and fresh water tanks where the heating pads didn't touch. From the grey tank to where the plug ended was 40ft. I also ran it under the macerator pump and under the added additional gravity fed drain outlet. Yes, we did that too as some here have as well. I know there are threads on this so let me know if you want me to add it here as well. Kinda went the Boxster1971 kinda way.

Next we got some pipe insulation and heavy duty ZIP tape that they use for outside insulation panels in newer homes. This tape sticks! Wrapped the pipe insulation on top of the heat tape and went to town taping.

Please now that there are two pipes that are impossible to get to but really won't freeze I think as they're down slope into the grey tank. They're tough to see but are way on top of the propane tank. One is the shower drain and the other I'm thinking is the stink pipe. What I did was purchase those white sleeve pipe insulation and pushed them through toward the passenger side of the van.

We used Reflective Heat Radiant Insulation for the grey, fresh and macerator hose housing. I know that the Reflective material doesn't have a high R value but there is also heat tape under it and very flexible to work with especially under the rig.

I also took down the macerator hose compartment and insulated that. While there I figured that I would install that macerator kit upgrade that others have to avoid the dreaded hose reel incident. Well, the 2015's don't have that same parts. I ordered it, took the macerator hose housing down and the kit does not fit our 2015. Sent it back but replaced the macerator hose for the second time. I initially replaced it before but had so much extra hose and the thing was down anyway so I ended up doing it again for a peace of mind.

I know others have asked about how hard the macerator hose compartment is to take down but it's really not that hard to do. A few screws on opposite sides and you're good to go.

While there I ended up changing the propane regulator. We always had a smell of propane when we turned it on. Watched a a few YouTube videos and really didn't need to adjust the settings on the regulator. Everything works fine even when running several propane based appliances.

I then ended up tying into the side 120 outlet on the passenger side and installing an exterior waterproof GFCI outlet to plug the heat tape. It turns on at 37degrees and shuts off at 50 degrees. So this thing is alway on standby and will only turn on at 37 degrees. It's a self regulating tape so it's safe to overlap. Please be aware of this as some are not and can cause a fire if you overlap them. Only draws about 100 amps or so as I have seen it. Funny thing is that the tank heaters rarely come on as this wire along with the insulation keeps them pretty warm.

Don't forget to insulate around the underside of the exterior shower as well.

So far so good. During the cold months I always try to keep the tanks empty anyway. Only fill them when we're heading south for some vacation time. I added drain valve on our fresh tank many years ago and just recently replaced it because it began to leak. That one lasted about 6 years and worth installing for sure.

Lastly, I kinda copied Interblog's and her husband's idea and built some ramps and so glad that we did. Very useful and necessary if you need to get under these rigs.

Did this have be done? - yes! Would I want to do it again? - NO! Would I pay to have it done? - 1000% YES!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-12-2022, 12:59 PM   #7
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Additional Pics

Additional Pics:
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Old 06-12-2022, 01:09 PM   #8
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Pics upside down

Sorry about the pics being upside down but I haven't figured out on how to correct them. If anyone wants to chime in and explain to me how to do it - go for it!
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Old 06-12-2022, 02:28 PM   #9
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Microair Easy Soft Start & Micro Air Easy Touch Touchscreen Thermostat With Bluetooth

Well this is one is a no brainer with a Lithium battery upgrade when it comes to the Microair Easy Start 364. It Reduces the initial spike when running your AC and a must have.

Pretty easy install under the AC Roof housing. Many installation tips here on this forum and YouTube videos on how to install it. Not a very big project or hard to do. Bonus is the bluetooth for ease of configuring.

We also installed the Micro-Air Touchscreen Thermostat with Bluetooth and Wifi.This one is is pretty much a drop in to the current thermostat that was currently there.

One thing I must say is that once it's set up - pretty much trouble free. The hard part was hooking it to WIFI for the updates and initial configuration. Customer service was very responsive in getting back to me and helping me set it up. Can pretty much be controlled through Bluetooth when near you're rig. The better part is that you can control the thermostat when you're not close to the motorhome and the reason that we got it to able to control the thermostat remotely when away from the rig and our dog inside.

Both items are pricey but worth it I'm my opinion and both have functional apps.
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Old 06-12-2022, 03:05 PM   #10
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Minor Upgrades.

Here are some of the minor upgrades that we've done. As mentioned we enjoy the beach so now have a dedicated spot for a beach umbrella with a simple strap. It's been there for a while and not fallen off or giving us any time of trouble.

On the other side I set it up for an umbrella holder - those always come in handy!

Trying to reduce road noice and decided to do ALL the cabinets with some nice cork material. Has reduced the noice but not all. Very nice material and rugged. Ordered online from Home Depot.

During the Lithium upgrade, I decided to install a new SmartPlug. While doing this, I replaced the cord all the way to the transfer switch with some heavy duty stranded 10 GA 10/3 stranded cable. Same cable was used from the SmartPlug to the transfer switch from the transfer switch to the Victron 3000 and from the transfer switch to the Airstream breaker box. Figured that I might as well since already deep into the system.
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Old 06-12-2022, 03:17 PM   #11
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Some More Minor Upgrades

Yup, got this one from Wachuko. Pretty easy install and a necessary evil with 400 watts of solar panels to clean or there is always some reason to get up there.

Another one and compliments to Wachuko - the infamous propane MOD. Definitely a must with these rigs and sad that Airstream didn't pay Wachuko for his idea

Another Airstream Forum fav and not sure who I copied but the necessary indoor propane switch.

This one was mine - an outlet with 120 plug and USB ports to charge our phones and watches. Ran a hidden double split extension cord all the way to the outlet next to floor on passenger jump seats.
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Old 06-13-2022, 02:48 PM   #12
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Custom Mattress

Love the Interstate but not so much that uncomfortable so called bed. We were unable to get comfortable sleep in that from day one. Middle bumps and valleys - no way!

Looked online but most people were using smaller foam toppers, thicker tops etc. Couldíve put a full mattress in but didnít want to loose the space in front of the jump seats.

I really wanted to convert it to twin beds like Pahaska did but the wife said no way. She loves to cuddle.

I also hate having the jump seats down as itís so uncomfortable to get up and use the bathroom without disturbing each other. Quite the process to get up from that bed any which way any how.

First thing that I did was remove that stupid pullout frame that holds the extension headboards. That thing kept falling off with all its bearings too. Took it to the dealer a few times to get it fixed but to no avail. They replaced it and it kept doing the same thing so out with the bath water it went.

I installed two angled aluminum bars from one side to the other on top of the small storage cubbies. I removed the tops and added them to our top shelf that we built to hold our cell phones.

Next we had a custom 6 inch mattress made 67x53 which fit the current area without the jump seats. Had some custom fitted sheets and covers made as well by the same company. Michigan Discount Mattress that i found online. No - no discount here as custom mattresses are not cheap!

What we did for the tops of the the jump seats was to order some 6 inch foam material and cut them to fit the seats so that they are the same height as the mattress. Covered them with some vinyl looking seat covers to kinda match the seats. So we basically made a U shaped sleeping area.

Now we have the option of either resting our legs on these as we sleep on opposite sides or sleeping on the them with our feet toward the back doors.

We also now donít bother each other as much when we need to use the bathroom as the open space between the jump seats is still there. This makes a world of difference not having the jump seats down. We have access to the storage area next to the wheel wells and underneath the mattress.

The mattress is always down full time. The foam squares just rest on the seats while weíre moving and only take them out and put them on top of the bed when we want to sit down or just sit then on the sides on the seat.

We also added a Lagun Table and attached the base with a solid hardwood block to the side of the bottom cabinet using some long bolts and stained it. The table swings out so that we can eat and in for storage while weíre driving or during the day. We take it off for storage when going to bed.

Under that cabinet I removed that white board and made it our mini bar. Found these bottle holders that clip together and able to hold three bottles there with no issues with rattling or breakage. Perfect fit.

Now if I could only find a spot to to put in a small humidor.
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Old 06-13-2022, 02:55 PM   #13
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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More pics
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Old 06-13-2022, 02:57 PM   #14
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Few more
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Old 06-13-2022, 06:29 PM   #15
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StogieMan View Post
Sorry about the pics being upside down but I haven't figured out on how to correct them. If anyone wants to chime in and explain to me how to do it - go for it!
Help me please as it's driving me crazy
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:07 PM   #16
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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600 Ah's of Lithium

Ok, this one was another project that needed to get done. Also procrastinated with this one as I was always waiting for a better, easier drop in install or newer batteries/inverter. Well we waited long enough and I know for sure that newer and better ones will come out so what the heck - we jumped into it!

Like most we werenít happy with the stock batteries that barely kept the refrigerator running for one night, useless Atkinson controller, outdated BIM, not boondocking worthy and useless flexible solar panel. Sounds familiar on a pricey Airstream Interstate? Yup, and I hope someone from Airstream is reading this as weíre tired of paying top dollar for an entry level battery system at best. Címon Airstream step up your lithium game big time and at least give us the opportunity to choose a top notch upgrade if we want to pay for it instead of putting this somewhat borderline useless system together. Poll your existing and past owners on the features that we need, want and really care for and you will be surprised and save yourself a ton of money on research and happy customers. Right, I forgot they only post on here to say ďplease contact us so that we can resolve your problemĒ but the rest of us never get an answer on the resolution as if weíre not experiencing the same issues with our ďAIRSTREAMĒ rigs. Am I the only one that feels this way? Sorry for the long rant.

After a lot of research, we went with two LifeBlue Lithium 300Ah Low Temp batteries. We did not go the Battle Born route as we felt that many YouTube and online reviews were from folks getting free batteries from Battle Born and reviewing them - kinda tilted in my opinion. Iím not knocking Battle Born and there are a ton of happy customers out there but after doing my research, this is what I saw, read, my opinion and my conclusion. Again, I know that there are a lot of Battle Born battery fans and I have no issues with them or their product what so ever just not a fit for us. Another thing that I did not like about them is that to install their battery heaters there are too many extra steps, switches and wiring to go through and unlike the LifeBlueís which is automatic. LifeBlue also has an app that you can monitor your batteries with a bunch of useful information. To boot, I have the reps number on my cell phone and both times that I had questions during the install he picked up and graciously answered them. We did not buy the batteries from him but found his contact info on another forum. Iíve also read about the same raving reviews of Battles Borns great customer service as well.

These batteries are solid and big boys for sure so be prepared to loose some of that precious cargo space. We didnít want to do it but wanting to run our AC for prolonged times to take care of our dog trumped it and so glad that we did.

We also settled on the Victron Multiplus 3000 as its been a steady reliable and solid inverter for many people for a few years now. The 3K one would also be able to power our AC and everything else in our rig easily. The only downside is that I wish it was a bit smaller.

For the Monitors we went with the Cerbo GX and Touch 50 Monitor kit that included both the Cerbo Gx, touchscreen monitor and related wires. However, I did need to purchase the additional adapters extensions from Amazon for the longer run.

We also installed a Victron Digital Multi Control. I know that this is redundant but it allows us to turn the dial to whatever input weíre getting from shore and also allows us to turn on and off the inverter remotely. Pretty sure that you can do this through the GX Touchpad but we didnít want to go through menus to access simple tasks such as this.

We already had the Victron Smart Shunt Battery Monitor, Victron BMV-712 Monitor, Bluetooth Victron MPPT 100/30 installed so we did not have to purchase these.

Also purchased a solar power cut off switch online from the Explorist site. Nate is very knowledgeable and you can get pretty good info from his YouTube videos and blogs.

So, first thing was to remove our replacement AGM batteries that we purchased in the summer of 2020. The initial stock ones lasted us about 5 1/2 years. I always took them off and put them on a battery tender during the off season so I was pretty pleased on how long the initial ones lasted. I remove the old batteries and all their wiring. Next was to take out the transfer switches. I had two because I had installed another one for the Goal Zero generator. Removal of all these items was pretty easy and straight forward.

Next step was to tear out and clean up that area where the existing Magnum Inverter was under the drivers side jump seat side. A bit of a project as I had to remove, cut, shorten, lengthen and rearrange some of the wires. Good news is that you can reuse the veneer board that is under there to redo your locker panel as I did. Same material and looks like they just used the scrap material for this. I then cut out a piece of plywood to fit the area as a base.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:11 PM   #17
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 177
600 Ah's of Lithium

Had to rearrange and relocate the main ground wire to the breaker box, remove the existing Precision Circuits Energy Management System (EMS). I donít think that I remember reading about anyone removing this thing from their rigs before but I may be wrong. After reading all about how it works, I felt that I didnít need it and removed it. I removed the EMS module and re-routed the microwave, GFCIís and hot water heater wires that ran through it to their respective breakers. For some reason the AC wire doesnít run through it even though itís connected via the EMS anyway. Pretty sure the connection is in back of the EMS control panel wiring harness just like the hot water heater had an additional connection there. I then also removed the EMS monitor from the front top locker and labeling the wires before cutting it off. If you go this route, please be sure to butt connect the wires of the hot water heater from the wiring harness in the back of the top locker in back of the EMS display or it will not work. Took me a few days to figure this out. Removal of the EMS is not something you need to do for a lithium upgrade and complicates things a bit but I just wanted the space for my Victron Digital Monitor up in the locker area. For the most part, the EMS is there to drop currents from the system to prevent an overload or breakers tripping. In a nutshell it tells the system that you canít run two major appliances at the same time and how many amps are coming in. What a surprise and many have us have figured this out already the hard way and donít need this big thing telling me this. But Airstream or someone please chime in if Iím wrong and the importance or need for it.

Then I removed the existing Romex 10 GA wire and replaced it with heavy duty stranded 10/3 wire from the the breaker box to to the Victron 3k.

From the Victron 3K I ran three 4/0 wires to the Victron Lynk. A positive and negative to one of the spots on the Lynx and the ground from the Victron 3k to the middle ground spot of the Lynx.

Took me some time to find a good transfer switch as I wanted one like the big boy 50amp rigs that have a built in Surge Protection. I found a Southwire Model 40430RVC 120v 30A 60 Hz model. These are hard to come by and found one on Ebay and yup a bit pricey. You can find the ones that are almost the same model and size but without the surge protection. I didnít want to have to carry another cord and since we were already spending the money whatís an extra few bucks to do it right. These are slightly bigger than the transfer switches that are currently there but fit right in to the area snugly.

I installed it in the same exact location as the stock one. Before installing the transfer switch, I first installed a new SmartPlug while I was at it. From the SmartPlug to the transfer switch I used heavy duty stranded 10/3 electrical wire. Pretty thick wire to work with though. Again while I was it at it, I ran the same 10/3 wire from the transfer switch to the generator electrical junction box right underneath the van which easily accessible and near the underbelly battery carriers. Then I ran the last 10/3 wire from the transfer switch was to the Victron 3K. So basically the transfer switch was an easy install as you have shore and generator power coming in and an output for power going out to the Victron 3k.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:17 PM   #18
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 177
600 Ah's of Lithium

From the generator to the Victron Lynx Distributor box, unfortunately, I had to run a new 10ft 2GA wire to the generator as the current one was short by about a foot - yeah, I know. I undid the foam job and used the same hole to fish a wire down to generator. Connection to generator is on the bottom toward the front side of the dually tires. Kinda pain to rerun this wire through the top of the generator though and had to lower my spare tire to get access. The hole is on the floor to the right of the hot water tank. Left it open when I removed the existing cabling to the old batteries.

We went with Victronís Lynx 1000 Distribution fuse box for ease of installation and cleaner look. Before tying into it we relocated our existing Victron battery shunt to line up with the Lynx. We had to order copper brass plates and cut to fit both connections to the Lynx distributor box. All the negatives were tied into the shunt load side via the Lynx box and one wire going to the negative side of the battery using 4/0 wire. The Ground wire for the Lynx was tied to the open terminal right before it enters the Lynx using 4/0 wire as well. Other side of the ground was connected to an area that has a small ground bus bar in the same location of where the hole for the generator wire came through. Very hard to run 4/0 wire as you run out of space fast. I drilled two additional holes on the veneer next to the water heater to allow access to run the wires to the batteries, Victron 3K and transfer switch. There is a nice void under the hot water tank that you can run wires through to make it easier if youíre using the same location. Also added a Victron Temperature Sensor that was tied to the Victron Battery Shunt. You can only add two connections to it so one was for the 712 Monitor and the other was the the battery temperature sensor. Please keep in mind that Victron makes two battery temp sensors. One that comes with the Victron 3K and the other one is specific for the shunts. You want the shunt one. Everything tied to the Victron Lynx was also fused except for the Cerbo GX and generator wire as I tied it to the end portion of the Lynx. Generator wire is just to start it and no big deal. Please be sure to use the proper fuses. The Victron 3K requires a 400 amp fuse at the Lynx distributor box. We also added a 400 Amp Class T fuse in between the positive battery and main power switch.

A master cutoff switch was also tied into the positive side of the battery and then to the positive side of the Lynx. 4/0 cable was also used. You will want to make sure that your positive and negative 4/0 wires are the same length from the batteries to the the master cutoff switch and negative side of the Victron shunt. Take into account anything in between such as your main fuse to count toward your run.

We also kept the existing 12v master switch currently there. One wire came from the 12v distribution box into the 12V master switch and from here it went to the current fuse box on the left side of the switch. These are the square thermal fuses that are stock and have a few things tied to it such as the radio, tank heaters and motor for the bed. From the thermal fuse box, I ran a wire to one of the Lynx open spots using some of the existing wires that I removed along the way.

I replaced the existing Precision Circuits BIM with the lithium based LI-BIM 225 model as a drop in replacement. For the most part you use the same wires tied into the old unit and only cap off the Gen Set wire. Your battery assist button on the drivers side still works the same. Then you wire it to to the Lynx Distributor box and add a 200 amp fuse. No issues what so ever with this. Charges our batteries while driving and keeps the chassis battery topped off. I can monitor it on either the upper locker display or on the remote display on my phone.

So the Victron Lynx Distribution box had the following connections into it and fuses.

Victron MPPT 100/30 ground to a negative side spot - 60 amp megafuse as I also had the 12V positive wire connected to this spot.
Victron 3000 to a positive and negative side spot - 400 amp megafuse
Victron 3000 Ground to Lynx middle ground spot
BIM LI 225 to a positive side spot - 300 amp megafuse after my calculations due to alternator amp rating and length of wire runs. Info was from the Explorist site.
Victron MPPT 100/30 to a positive and negative spot - 80 amp megafuse
Generator Start Wire - to the end screw
Victron Cerbo GX - to the end screw

4/0 wire was used except for the generator wire, existing cable from the the chassis battery and I reused some of existing wires for the 12v master switch.

Next, we added a Solar Power cutoff switch which is really necessary when you want to cut off power to the solar panels when doing some work. From the solar panels we ran two wires to the the cutoff switch and then to the MPPT 100/30 charger. From the MPPT controller two wires to the Lynx box. From the MPPT 100/30 we ran a communication cable to the Cerbo GX. Unfortunately, I did this in January and didnít want to use Dicor or Sikaflex 221 in the very cold winter so I ran the wires temporarily through the roof stink pipe and down into the drivers side jump seat where this pipe runs through. I havenít had a chance to rewire these but I will when I get a chance. Iím going to use the same hole that the rearview camera goes through and reseal it. Then Iíll just cement and new coupling to the stink pipe to repair the hole that I made.

I really donít see an issue with using the stink pipe as there is no water except some moisture and rain water if it gets through. We havenít had any smells either. I found a PVC connection at Home Depot and siliconed the area. Iíve checked it after monsoon storms and no leakage so not in a rush to rewire and fix the pipe just yet.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:20 PM   #19
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 177
600 Ah's of Lithium

On the roof we have four 100 Watt Renogy Monocrystalline solar panels wired in parallel. Initially three went to the old system and I had one wired to the Goal Zero. Now all four are going into the Victron MPPT. Plugged and capped the old solar connection. I took Lewís advice from his posts and went with smaller gauge wire for our solar panels - 6AWG.

Now the fun part of running the wires from the jump seat to the upper locker. Depending on what display you have and what you want to use it as is all choice in my opinion. We went with a Victron 712 Monitor, Victron GX Touch display and Victron Digital Multi Control. Yes, I know itís redundant but I really didnít want to be tapping and going through menus. With the digital display there is a small knob that you turn to for the AC input. 30amps if youíre tied to it or 15 or 20amps if your staying at a relatives house. Easy peasy.

You will need to add some extension adapters as the wires that the GX display comes with are too short to make it all the way from the to the locker to the Cerbo GX. I got some high quality ones on Amazon. You need a USB adapter and HDMI adapter as these are whatís tied into the Cerbo GX. The Victron Digital Multi Control is tied into the back of the Victron 3k and and also from the from the Cerbo Gx to the Victro Digital Multi Control.

Next take the wires and run them under the bathroom floor and follow the drain pipe all the way to the front of the black tank and through the front of the the water pump. Then up the dresser and into the locker area. There is a wiring harness there that you can open and add these wires to it for a cleaner look. Yes, time consuming but worth it.

Once everything is hooked up youíll get some update notifications for your 712 and MPPT monitors. I recommend that you buy the batteries and Victron 3K from the same vendor as they will program it for you to the specific batteries. We used AM Solar and purchased everything from them.

With the Victron 3K it only has two input connections so you have to decide which ones you want. We went with the Cerbo GX and the Victron Digital Multi Control display. You can only choose two. Many people choose the Bluetooth Dongle function to access some information or connect to the Victron MK3 USB to make changes to the Victron 3000 settings. If you needed to add any of these just unhook one connection but be sure to connect it back to the same connection or your display wonít work. Ask me how I know this and the many hours on the phone and trouble shooting I spent to resolve this issue!

So far so good since we installed it in late January, the lowest the batteries got to was about 62% a few weeks ago when we were in Carolina Beach, NC. It was hot and we had the the AC at around 73 degrees automatically so it turned on and off and not consistently on. We left our dog in the van from about 11 am to a 4pm. Of course we checked on her and the temp was just fine. This past week we went camping at a state reservation park beach and ran everything down to to about 72% and the outside temp was a bit cooler. AC was set to about 75 degrees. Got to the site around 2pm and and tied into shore power around 8:30pm.

Sorry, I know it was a long thread and I probably forgot something or mis-communicated something so please donít hesitate to ask for clarification and hope this helps someone put a system together.

PS: As for wire I went through:

30 ft of Stranded 10/3 electrical wire
32 ft of negative 4/0 wire
20 ft of positive 4/0 wire
10 ft of positive 2 GA wire
15 ft of 6 AWG positive wire
15 ft of 6 AWG negative wire.
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Old 06-15-2022, 04:26 AM   #20
Rivet Master

 
2021 30' Globetrotter
Oviedo , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 1,296
We don't have an interstate, but this is a fascinating thread to follow. Amazing with all these skills you can't figure out how to rotate the pictures! Joking aside, my pictures are from my iPhone and I never know how the rotation will appear when I insert them. I used to convert them to jpegs and then keep rotating them with editing software until they showed up right on the forum. It's a pretty cheesy feature of the forum software that image orientation is not automatic. Keep up the great work!
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