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Old 11-30-2020, 07:30 AM   #1
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 12
Chassis being powered by House

Hello. First post. I have a 2020 Interstate 19 Tommy Bahama. I am told it was one of the first builds. In any case I have had, since day one, issues with my house batteries running down past 50% within hours. I have owned this AS since Sept 2019 and it has been in the shop for service for over 6 months total time. Not being very savvy regarding what it takes to NOT destroy the batteries by running them down so much I have replaced both batteries now. My dealer has put in a Victron SC and shunt. Now I can actually see amp draw when using anything. What I have found is that when my house batteries are connected and I energize items on the chassis side( sliding door, overhead light, etc) I notice a large (over 20amp) draw from the house batteries. It will show a large draw at first then slowly go down to 10-12 amps. As soon as the chassis ‘goes to sleep’ my draw goes down to the usual 3.5 amps (from CZone and LP detector) This will last for quite a while as the Mercedes stays ‘awake’ for some time. So every time I open a door or the Mercedes wakes up I am drawing down the house batteries at an alarming rate. When the house batteries are disconnected this does not happen. I am thinking it’s the battery isolator. I would think that when the systems are not being charged they should be isolated? I know it’s designed to protect the chassis battery but shouldn’t it work both ways? Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:21 PM   #2
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2019 ​Interstate Nineteen
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 21
Ai 19 tb

Hello,

I also have an AI 19 TB and have struggled with the house batter drain problem. I have also replaced the batteries. I am having AS install lithium and and Victron SC. Not sure if they will also be upgrading the BIM but I assume they will have to since I have lithium. Has AS helped you with any of the costs or issues? Seems very defective to me
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:48 PM   #3
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 12
Draining the House

Sorry to hear youíre having this same issue. Itís obvious itís something that should not be happening. I am also planning to upgrade to Lithiumís but will not until this issue is resolved.
As Iíve said this AI has been in repair almost half the time since Iíve owned it! Itís an insane situation. I have bought it to the dealer over and over. (Sorry just venting)
I replaced the AGMs at a prorated cost with installation of 600 dollars. Thatís didnít work but I needed new batteries because I destroyed them by bringing them down so low. I was uneducated on the systems and by the time I realized how low the batteries were I had damaged them. I will surely argue with AS and the dealer over money when this is resolved.
My most recent repair was to swap out the solar control for a Victron and install the Victron Shunt. This the dealer did under warranty. Though it didnít fix the issue I was able to see that the chassis is drawing power from the house batteries. I can baby it along to make it a day or so but Iím basically going to have to lock myself in the van to avoid the Mercedes from waking and drawing my batteries down.
I have reached back out to the dealer and Iíll let you know what they say. Iím hoping itís either programming or miswired . I would sincerely hope itís not designed to work this way! If anyone on this forum has more info it would be appreciated!
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:13 AM   #4
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2019 ​Interstate Nineteen
Menlo Park , California
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Posts: 21
Tomatwell,

I am sure mine would also be in the shop all the time but I bought it from a dealer in Michigan and I am in CA! I probably have 2000 miles and have not been able to keep house batteries charged unless I am on shore power or driving it! I also had to replace the chassis battery as it was over heating. Tell me more about the Mercedes draw issue? Isn’t that just going to draw in the chassis battery unless you press the cutover button manually? Have you tried to unplug the chassis battery ground—it’s to the right of the gas pedal behind plastic panel.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:16 AM   #5
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2020 25' International
minneapolis , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2020
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I have a 2020 25FB. My brand new batteries were drained after sitting just 7-10 days from all the parasitic draw. ...new batteries!!! Interstate swapped out the original set with new batteries a month after purchase. The assumption is that the AS sat at the dealer during the first Covid shutdown. Anyway, I’m planning on installing a cutoff switch at the battery.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:21 AM   #6
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
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I am confusing myself even more now! I disconnected the chassis battery by pulling off the connector by the accelerator. It’s under an access panel on the pedestal. Obviously no power to the chassis from the chassis battery. When I operate the house disconnect and turn it on and open the doors the Mercedes magically awakens! So power is def going from house batteries to chassis. I’ve seen draws of over 30 amps which is not good for the deep cycle AGMs and from what little I know it’s even worse for LiFePO4s. I thought about putting a battery disconnect in but after this experiment I don’t see how that would solve the problem. It’s either a misconfiguration or defective component (dc/dc converter, inverter charger, battery assist) or improper wiring. I’m waiting to hear back from Colonial AS about some type of fix.
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:31 PM   #7
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2019 ​Interstate Nineteen
Menlo Park , California
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BIM Issue

Ok, that makes sense and I believe I have same problem. When I put a disconnect on the negative house batteries the chassis battery then went dead so I had some contention between ground across house and chassis. I think the BIM is faulty. Let me know what you learn.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:11 AM   #8
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
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Still no word from Colonial. I received an email from AS asking to check that the leads are not reversed on the Dc/DC converter. They’ve seen them come from production like that. �� I’m not going to get involved with that until I hear back from the dealer. I don’t think that’s it anyway because my batteries do charge from the alternator. More and more the issue seems to be a defective converter.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:40 PM   #9
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1989 32' Excella
Sharon Springs , New York
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I owned an SOB TT(built by Thor) that did the same thing, draining the batteries in days. The dealer couldn't/wouldn't fix it. I put a 12 volt test lamp on the frame and it lit up. The conclusion was that a hot wire was pinched during the factory build, was never able to find it. Lived with it, charging the batteries before each trip, disconnecting them over long periods of non-use. Hope its something simpler for you. Good luck and travel safe!!
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Old 12-04-2020, 05:17 AM   #10
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2019 ​Interstate Nineteen
Menlo Park , California
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Ok, I spoke with AS today and learned something new. The 2019 AI 19 had a precision circuit BIM but the 2020 began a Victron TS800 DC-DC Converter to isolate the Merc from House electrical. Link here https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-...verter-25a-50a
You might want to inspect this device and error lights if any under driver seat.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:01 AM   #11
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
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Buck Boost

Thanks for that Info. I have looked at that and are discussing this converter with my Dealer. They are reaching out to Victron today to see if this is wired incorrectly or there is a problem with the unit itself. I have looked at it but without removing the drivers seat itís fairly inaccessible.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:04 AM   #12
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
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Thanks for that info. Another, albeit not a good, cause to rule out. I’m sorry for your electrical loss. ��
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Old 12-10-2020, 01:43 PM   #13
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
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I think I have resolved my issue posted above. Connect to your Victron Buck Boost Converter using the TS Config software. This is available on the Victronenergy.com website. Search for the Buck Boost converter and select downloads. While there go to Manuals and download the Manual. You will need a Windows or higher PC and a usb printer cable (squeare end) to connect. You may also need to follow a link to Slicon Labs to downlaod the UISB driver for your Windows laptop.I needed to remove my front seat (actually just unbolt it so you can lift it a bit) to access the USB port. Plug in you laptop using the USB cable, open TSconfig and automatically search for a connection. It should show the current status and config. I had ti check off the radio button enabling the engine vibration sensor. Save your settings to the converter. Voila! Problem solved. No more draw from the house batteries when the chassis is energized! I literally quadrupled my battery run times. I am upgrading to BB LifePO4 (heated) in the near future. I have already upgraded the solar controller to a Victron MPPt unit as well as Victron Smart Shunt. The smart shunt is key to understanding whats going on with your system. The only other item I am ugrading is the Magnum inverter/charger remote. Its much easier to apply needed settings for Lithium batteries using this remote. Good luck to all who have had this issue. Im going to call AS and let them know what the problem was/is.
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Old 12-10-2020, 04:12 PM   #14
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
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More info

I have just received an email from AS saying that my fix was not the cause of the issue. They are reiterating that i should check to make sure the house and chassis connections are not reversed on the converter. I am going to recheck but I don't see how this is possible.
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Old 12-13-2020, 11:14 AM   #15
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
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Problem fixed with a workaround. If anyone is interested let me know.
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Old 12-14-2020, 06:46 PM   #16
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
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Fixed

Have my 2020 AS Shorty since 9/19. Been in for service over 6 months time. Many minor issues but what kept bringing me in was rapid discharge of the house batteries. After much research, discussions with the dealer and Tech Support at Jackson Center I endeavored to fix it myself.
After installing a Victron Smart Shunt I was able to finally see where this power was going! To the chassis battery! When the house batteries are connected and the Mercedes is awake, but NOT running, I was getting discharges of 15-20 amps. Turn the house master off, 0.1 amps discharge. To further confirm I disconnected my chassis battery, turned on the house, opened the driver door and the chassis powered up pulling power from the house. So now I knew why my batteries drained in 5 hours too!
DISCLAIMER: Iím not a mechanic, electrical engineer or any other expert. (Not with Airstreams at least). So my advice is advisory only and use it at your own risk. In no way am I liable for anyone using this advice.)
So what was causing this? Under the driver seat is the Victron buck boost DC/DC converter. There are two lights on it. A simple way to see if anyoneís issue are the same as mine is to look at the status of those lights. With engine running you should get a green and purple light. Engine off only green. Try turning on the master disconnect with the engine NOT running and see if you get a green and purple light. If you do youíve got my problem. Without getting into detail about why, your house batteries are turning on the converter allowing power to pass to the chassis. Open the door and the chassis starts sucking amps from your precious house capacity. Camp off grid and at night youíll be without juice in hours.
So how to fix it? I came up with a workaround because to fix it correctly requires a lot of work which Iím not doing. (Iíll make the dealer do it but for now I can go camp) After swapping wires, changing configs in the Victron Buck Boost Converter I finally discovered the problem and a relatively easy fix.
If , from from the above observations, this is your problem youíll need to remove the seat. Just the 4 torx bolts. Shift the seat forward and youíll be able to see the input and output cover for the buck boost. Remove the 2 tiny screws and youíll see a purple wire. This provides a signal to turn on the buck boost. Again you can verify this is your problem by pulling this connector off, turn on your house batteries and see if you only have one green light. If you do my fix should work. Put inline a simple 12v low amp on/off switch on that purple wire.
When you have your house on with the engine NOT running turn it OFF. Buck boost stays off. No more chassis drain.
All other times , engine running, shore or generator power i switch it on allowing all normal charging functions to occur. This includes charging the chassis batteries.
Good luck. PM me with any questions.
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Old 12-15-2020, 05:17 AM   #17
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2019 ​Interstate Nineteen
Menlo Park , California
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Posts: 21
Hi Tomatwell,

I thought you fix involved connecting to the Buckboost with a computer and reprogramming? What do you mean when you say your fix is: “ . Put inline a simple 12v low amp on/off switch on that purple wire. ”
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:27 AM   #18
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2021 Interstate 19
West Gilgo Beach , NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csb333 View Post
Hi Tomatwell,

I thought you fix involved connecting to the Buckboost with a computer and reprogramming? What do you mean when you say your fix is: “ . Put inline a simple 12v low amp on/off switch on that purple wire. ”
Hi. Please read the thread above. Yes programming fixed one problem but didn’t allow the chassis batteries to charge when on shore power.
My fix for that is described above. That’s where the purple wire came into play. Leave the TS config (the buck boost programming) alone and if you have the same indications as described above putting in a switch should work.
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