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Old 06-13-2020, 05:51 AM   #41
Rivet Master
 
2019 22' Sport
High River , Alberta
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 587
Quote:
Originally Posted by smsasf View Post
Boxite, I’d like to follow up on your comments and those of ghaynes755 two replies up with the hope of addressing my own confusion as a new owner of 2020 AS Bambi 20’ for just 1.5 weeks. Given I sent AS CS an email over month ago (before buying, with different questions) and have sent two emails to the dealer salesman and and sales manager within a couple of days of purchase, and all have gone unanswered I turn to this forum.



My 2020 Bambi Owner’s manual only references the detectors’ small batteries in regards to both the Smoke Detector and the Carbon Monoxide Detector. So I assume unless there is an error in their documentation then these two are not connected directly to the large trailer batteries. Your thoughts?



On the Propane Gas Detector that is a different story, although I am still confused. The Owner’s Manual states “Your LPG detector is wired directly to your trailer battery and incorporates a 1-amp, in-line fuse. It has no internal backup battery. In normal standby mode, the LED indicator will be green.”. I think this is whatis being referenced as parasitic drain on battery. Would you agree? However, the Atwood RV Propane Gas Detector cover plate states Warning: This alarm will not operate without power. The Green Light must be on. When I went to storage lot today I tuned on the main trailer battery disconnect switch and the stereo booted up and the Propane Gas Detector Light started flashing red for a few minutes and then turned to green. When I departed and turned off the battery disconnect switch the green light on the propane gas detector turned off. Seems that would imply if turning off the battery disconnect switch the detector is no longer a parasitic drain. Your thoughts?



PS,I do have the solar and that appears to keep batteries fully charged.

thanks, stephen


From your description, the propane alarm in your trailer is wired through the battery cutoff switch. You’re in good shape.

With my 2019, I installed a switch on the positive wire to the propane alarm.

Yes, the propane alarm will draw down a battery in short order. Wiring it separately defeats the purpose of the battery shutoff switch.

For RVs, we need propane alarms that are far more efficient. In my view, they are only usable when plugged into “shore power” or if the trailer has sufficient roof mounted solar.
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Old 06-14-2020, 08:23 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertF View Post
From your description, the propane alarm in your trailer is wired through the battery cutoff switch. You’re in good shape.

With my 2019, I installed a switch on the positive wire to the propane alarm.

Yes, the propane alarm will draw down a battery in short order. Wiring it separately defeats the purpose of the battery shutoff switch.

For RVs, we need propane alarms that are far more efficient. In my view, they are only usable when plugged into “shore power” or if the trailer has sufficient roof mounted solar.
Unless there is something really new here, (and there could be!) you still need a total disconnect (mechanical disconnect switch) to insure no draw...is it your subwoofer; is it your CO detector? is it hmmmmm something else? (or perhaps, I am disconnected?? and that could be also! Get the mechanical kill switch and move on...
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Old 06-14-2020, 09:15 AM   #43
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2017 28' International
Baileys Harbor , Wisconsin
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1. You must put the switch to "in use" for your shore power to charge the batteries. That's how it is on my AS. I would check your manual or call an Airstream dealer to make sure for your year. But how that switch is on mine is critical.
2. When you are not using your airstream, my recommendation is to use a trickle charger on your batteries while in storage. There is parasitic draw, but the trickle charger will take care of it. You don't need a disconnect switch with a trickle charger on. I store mine all winter without a problem using a trickle charger and keep batteries in the trailer. I have no problem. Now if for some reason you can't keep the trailer near electricity then you should remove the batteries, put inside, and keep a trickle charger on them.
3. Interstate batteries are best kept at full charge to maintain life. I would highly recommend you not let them discharge (unless you are boon docking) or this will destroy the batteries. ALSO regularly check the water levels and carry distilled water with you and a syringe to fill the batteries. If you are in hot climates the water will diminish. A dry cell will destroy the battery.
4. The first set of batteries I had I replaced in a year. My next set is still going strong. I think everyone that buys an Airstream off the lot should ask for new batteries. That's one oversight everyone makes.
5. Every once in a while use your batteries and let them drain down a bit. Then recharge them. That will also increase life.

Also there is a reason that propane alarm is on all the time, and why Airstream doesn't install a battery disconnect switch. If you should have a propane leak in your camper and then turn something on it could be disastrous. That propane alarm will be going to let you know there is an issue. Best to just use a trickle charger. Easy to put on and take off. I use mine all year. No problems.

This is an expensive lesson to learn. I know. But if you 1) Keep your power switch in the correct position while camping and hooked to shore power 2) Always have a trickle charger on when the camper is not in use you will be fine. (PS. When trickle charger is on then put switch to "store" mode.)

Good luck
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Old 06-14-2020, 01:34 PM   #44
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Sherwood Park , Alberta
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Originally Posted by Daquenzer View Post

Also there is a reason that propane alarm is on all the time, and why Airstream doesn't install a battery disconnect switch. If you should have a propane leak in your camper and then turn something on it could be disastrous. That propane alarm will be going to let you know there is an issue. Best to just use a trickle charger. Easy to put on and take off. I use mine all year. No problems.

This is an expensive lesson to learn. I know. But if you 1) Keep your power switch in the correct position while camping and hooked to shore power 2) Always have a trickle charger on when the camper is not in use you will be fine. (PS. When trickle charger is on then put switch to "store" mode.)

Good luck
The issue you point out related to propane is easily resolved by turning off your tanks while your trailer is in storage and, if you are really anal, disconnect the propane lines from the tanks. This take less than 30 seconds.

Having a trickle charger is a good idea but if you have power for a trickle charger, why not just plug the trailer in and let the AS converter/charger keep your batteries topped up.

Many of us do not have power where we store our trailers, so a trickle charger is of little use. Or in my case right now, it has been sitting on a dealer lot waiting for parts and to get back into the service queue for the last 6 weeks. If I had only installed a battery cut off switch, I would have had an excellent chance at preserving a perfectly good set of Interstates. Now, not so much.
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Old 06-14-2020, 03:58 PM   #45
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Gold Canyon , Arizona
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Dead New Batteries

Read thru all of the posts and they provide a ton of useful information. Maybe I am old school but I did not see anyone suggest you take the AS back to the dealer you purchased it from and insist they find and fix the problem under warranty. Adding or changing the basic electrical system MIGHT void your warranty. In any case regardless of this factoid, having the dealer work on it is step number 1 IMHO.
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Old 06-14-2020, 04:57 PM   #46
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2019 ​Interstate Nineteen
Menlo Park , California
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Any ideas about replacing the lifeline AGM with Lithium Iron batteries to get more usable battery power
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Old 06-15-2020, 01:35 AM   #47
jayhawk1956
 
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Olathe , KS
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 28
I sent the Service Department and my Sales Rep an email but it has been ignored for more than a week. Tomorrow we are leaving for another short camping trip. I will try the batteries one more time. I completed an Airstream survey this evening in which I rated the Dealtership poorly. Upon return, I will call and insure the situation is resolved.

Thanks,



Quote:
Originally Posted by ewhitney45 View Post
Read thru all of the posts and they provide a ton of useful information. Maybe I am old school but I did not see anyone suggest you take the AS back to the dealer you purchased it from and insist they find and fix the problem under warranty. Adding or changing the basic electrical system MIGHT void your warranty. In any case regardless of this factoid, having the dealer work on it is step number 1 IMHO.
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Old 06-15-2020, 08:44 AM   #48
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2017 28' Flying Cloud
2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daquenzer View Post
1. You must put the switch to "in use" for your shore power to charge the batteries. That's how it is on my AS. I would check your manual or call an Airstream dealer to make sure for your year. But how that switch is on mine is critical.
2. When you are not using your airstream, my recommendation is to use a trickle charger on your batteries while in storage. There is parasitic draw, but the trickle charger will take care of it. You don't need a disconnect switch with a trickle charger on. I store mine all winter without a problem using a trickle charger and keep batteries in the trailer. I have no problem. Now if for some reason you can't keep the trailer near electricity then you should remove the batteries, put inside, and keep a trickle charger on them.
3. Interstate batteries are best kept at full charge to maintain life. I would highly recommend you not let them discharge (unless you are boon docking) or this will destroy the batteries. ALSO regularly check the water levels and carry distilled water with you and a syringe to fill the batteries. If you are in hot climates the water will diminish. A dry cell will destroy the battery.
4. The first set of batteries I had I replaced in a year. My next set is still going strong. I think everyone that buys an Airstream off the lot should ask for new batteries. That's one oversight everyone makes.
5. Every once in a while use your batteries and let them drain down a bit. Then recharge them. That will also increase life.

Also there is a reason that propane alarm is on all the time, and why Airstream doesn't install a battery disconnect switch. If you should have a propane leak in your camper and then turn something on it could be disastrous. That propane alarm will be going to let you know there is an issue. Best to just use a trickle charger. Easy to put on and take off. I use mine all year. No problems.

This is an expensive lesson to learn. I know. But if you 1) Keep your power switch in the correct position while camping and hooked to shore power 2) Always have a trickle charger on when the camper is not in use you will be fine. (PS. When trickle charger is on then put switch to "store" mode.)

Good luck
The trickle charger is a fine idea...assuming you have AC connection, right? If you have AC and a 4 stage converter, your fine also...trickle charge included along with decalcifaction stage...I still use the mechanical disconnect switch when plugged in for storage of 30 days or more, once charged. That way I can still use my furnace when it dips down in Texas winter...I do flip on the mechanical kill switch few days before using the AS...works fine. Not sure why a trickle charger would be needed if you have a multistage converter? Do tell advantages...
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Old 06-15-2020, 08:50 AM   #49
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Any ideas about replacing the lifeline AGM with Lithium Iron batteries to get more usable battery power
Which LI are you looking at? $$$ for sure...we opted for the 6V T105 Trojans a couple years ago, from the 12V Interstates...after 4 AS's and several battery issues, we changed out the converter for a 4 stage Boondocker from Bestconverter, and installed the 6V's...very happy...so far! Love to have the Li's when the price comes down...(forgot the; "IF" the price comes down) Also still looking a the portable Li options to augment our trips..lots of good info recently on the Yeti and other options...seems a better/more portable solution for our needs vs just getting 2 Li's only!
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Old 06-23-2020, 01:57 PM   #50
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2020 20' Bambi
Clayton , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2020
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Finally got to the bottom of the issue regarding propane detector, battery disconnect switch and the wiring after a cycle of emails with AS. On my recent purchase 2020 Bambi 20’ the green light on the Atwood detector goes off then the trailer battery disconnect switch is turned off. The Atwood detector states on the front panel the green light must be on for the detector to work. So I was confused as to whether the detector would drain the battery in storage as many of the posters here have mentioned. On first contact with AS the CS person stated the propane detector is wired directly to battery and there is a 1 amp fuse in lie and the drain on battery is small. I politely challenged, provided the info regarding the Atwood warning and even in the Atwood booklet it mentioned that the detector can be wired to the battery disconnect switch and will not be working when the switch is off. And they warn to not use the RV without the switch being on. So on third cycle with AS CS the fellow relied after doing some digging and speaking with the engineers that in fact on 2020 models the detector is wired to the battery disconnect switch and he apologized for not being up to date. I politely suggested he also inform their publications group so that they can correct the 2020 Bambi Owner’s manual before the next production run on it.
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