All posts by redbaron73

2022 – Newmar Quality Call to Action

I am writing this post regarding the quality of Newmar coaches, and how the lack of quality control is currently affecting production.

In this post, I am going to show several examples of current production coaches being delivered to actual owners. I am intentionally not naming the dealers and or owners of the coach, as it is not my intent to get involved with a specific issue, but rather to discuss the overall quality of Newmar, and to make other new owners aware of poor construction. If you wish to name your coach, that is fine. Please do not name other people’s coaches. Also please refrain from naming the dealer, as the dealer is not responsible for the build and construction of the coach. This is a Newmar Corporate issue, and we need to all work together to get Newmar to listen to its owners.

Just like my campaign in 2019 to force Newmar and Freightliner to acknowledge a serious safety issue, I am once again calling on owners to act. Unless owners speak up, Newmar will have no incentive to correct the quality on the production line. Once enough owners bring up the same issue, and real costs are associated with the corrective repair, Newmar will make changes on the production to prevent future issues. This applies to all production lines of Newmar coaches, and all owners within their one-year warranty. It is especially important for those that are taking new delivery to bring this up at the time of delivery.

Do not expect Newmar or your dealer to notice this or to have resolved the problem. You are the only one that will look for quality issues and only when you bring it to your dealer’s attention will Newmar be made aware of the problem.

Why? The answer is simple economics. Most people do not notice the quality. They are looking at the coach with “rose colored glasses” and feel very intimidated by all the technology and luxury.

Newmar is balancing the cost of correcting all coach’s vs correcting only the ones that notice the quality issues and take the steps to get it corrected. You will likely be told things like “This is how they all are” or “this is acceptable”. I am giving you the information you need to push back against this, and to be armed with what is the expected quality.

It is my intention to educate the buyers of Newmar motor homes so that with one united voice we can make it very clear that poor quality will not be accepted.


Matt Miller says it best, on the main page of

Newmar is proud to continue a half-century tradition of building motor coaches by hand, one at a time, with help from the people of Nappanee, Indiana. Individuals to whom superior craftsmanship is not a goal, but a way of life. Their obsession with quality and passion for innovation is what makes our competition feel like a compromise, which is why we say that when you know the Newmar difference, you know our people.”
– MATT MILLER, Newmar President & CEO

Hand Built Coaches built one at a time implies superior quality and craftsmanship. In fact—Matt said that in the second sentence

“Superior craftsmanship is not a goal, but a while of life”

So now we have the standard that Newmar promised us. That is why we purchased a Newmar. Newmar is responsible for all aspects of the coach it delivers. Newmar does not manufacture every component used in their motor homes. Items like electronics, air conditioning, appliances, etc. are not under the direct control of Newmar and are beyond the scope of my call to action.

I am focusing on the three areas that represent the craftsmanship and skilled labor of the Newmar coach: Exterior Paint & Body, Interior Woodwork, Tile flooring, backsplash and showers.

Exterior Paint

Newmar has a full section of their website dedicated to Paint & Exterior. You can find this on their main website by navigating to the “Why Newmar” and choosing the link “Paint and Exterior”. The page is found here:

Newmar uses an automotive paint process. Those that have worked in auto body understand that there are 3 major steps. Prep – Paint – Finish.

Paint Prep

Prep is when the surface is cleaned, all foreign objects have been removed, surfaces are sanded smooth, and non-painted surfaces are taped off and protected.

This crucial step is often left to unskilled labor, or cheap labor, because it is so time consuming. All body shops use the least talented person for this prep stage. A good painter will inspect the work done in a very detailed, intense inspection covering the entire painted surface. The inspection time on a small corvette can easily take an hour if it is a full paint job. This inspection is always done by the person that will be doing the painting because “EVERY INCH MATTERS” – taken again from Newmar’s website.

When surface prep is not done properly, dust particles end up under the paint. The coaches I have inspected from Newmar are littered with dust below the paint. These are referred to as “dust-inclusions”. Each of these should be marked and identified.

You may decide that a small percentage of dust inclusions is acceptable. I recently inspected a 2022 Luxury line coach that had 17 markings noticeable below the slides on one side. This is a 45 ft coach. That represents 37% based on linear footage of that small section—below the slides. To me, this is beyond acceptable and warrants a repair. Getting on a ladder and inspecting higher areas would give a more accurate representation of the defect rate.

Info Source:


The process of applying paint takes a lot of skill to properly balance between not enough paint and too much paint that causes a run. My observations of many 2022 Newmar coaches are showing a drastic increase in running paint near lighting holes, corners, and other areas of the body that have a curve to them. These are spots where the person holding the spray gun, with the attached hose is having to change an angle to get paint on the surface. That change of angle is restricted by their equipment and location. Unlike automotive where chassis are dipped, or a robot with a fully articulating arm is applying the paint, humans are very limited. A skilled painter knows how to time their paint pass for these areas, and to plan the steps for each surface. The paint jobs for I have seen for 2021 and 2022 show a lot more runs than is normal. It is never acceptable to have a run in your paint and must be dealt with. This will require sanding, and additional clear coat to properly fix.

BASF describes paint runs, with a few examples in this article:

The best way to find a run is to examine every inch of your paint surface in daylight. Especially around areas where lights, doors, and other accessories attach to the surface. Cutouts for taillights, headlights, and around the curves.

Runs are a costly mistake to fix once the coach has been clear coated. The run was noticed by the painter during paint. That was the best time to correct the problem. The coach would need to dry, then the area with the run wet sanded and repainted. This takes time and stops a production line.

Newmar has made the decision to not stop or delay production to fix the problem, and to ship it as-is.

With a Newmar full body paint, there are multiple paint layers. Each layer is done with a very large template that is applied to the surface to make the tape lines easier to deal with. The process Newmar uses is very good, and I have not seen any examples of razor blade damage to the surface paint.

The final layer is the clear coat. This layer is responsible for the shine as well as protecting the paint. A proper application of clear coat will make the difference between a dull coach and one that shines. When clear coat is sprayed, it is usually put on thicker than the paint. If the painter intends to “cut and buff”, then there will be multiple layers of clear coat sprayed to add thickness for the final detailing step. A coach that does not get the cut and buff will have a very thin layer of clear coat.

The cut and buff process is also referred to as paint correction. This process is done in 1 or more stages where a compound is applied to the clearcoat and polished using pads. The number of stages determines the types of polishes and pads, and how much shine the product will have. A king Aire will always look deeper than a Dutch star due to the number of stages performed by the factory.

This is an area that Newmar has always struggled with. The cut and buff process is intended to make the coach look better, but often leaves a coach full of swirl marks that will destroy the overall appearance.

100% of all Newmar coaches are affected by this problem. It takes a trained eye to spot a swirl mark, and the correct lighting. When the lighting is correct, you will see what appears to be spider webs in your paint. Darker colors show it more than lighter colors do, but all the colors have it. I have never seen a factory painted coach leave Newmar without these swirl marks.

I have not watched the process of a Newmar coach to know when the swirl marks are getting put on the coach, and I have blamed the cut and buff for these as an assumption. It is very possible that the Newmar detail crew is responsible for these marks in their wash procedures. BASF clear coat is extremely soft and can easily take 3 months to harden properly. Washing a coach in the first 3 months should only be done with non-touch methods. Lambswool, microfiber, or any other material should never be used in the first 3 months after painting with BASF clear coats. This is where most coaches develop micro scratches and swirls.

If you notice these during your PDI— point them out and get them documented for correction. Once the swirls have been corrected, you need to make sure that only touch free washes are done until the clear coat has hardened, and you have applied a proper protection layer of either wax or ceramic coating. I will cover proper washing techniques in a separate post.

You will not be successful in seeking warranty coverage for swirl marks that you discover after your PDI. Your only recourse will be to have a 1-stage paint correction done. The cost of a single stage paint correction is between $3,000 and $6,000.

My 2019 Dutch star was factory delivered with swirl marks. I did not know enough about the issue at the time to make a proper case for warranty repair, although I did point them out. I left the factory with the understanding that they would be repairing the swirl marks but chose to have it done on my own. Here is an example of the paint swirls before repair:

After a single stage paint correction, not only did the swirl marks disappear, but the paint itself came to life. A proper single stage or 2 stage cut and buff will give the same results, but the paint will quickly become damaged after an improper wash. Here are the results of a single stage correction.

Paint – Exterior Summary

Inspect your paint. If you find runs or dust inclusions – report it to Newmar. During the first year of ownership, the warranty clearly covers these items. This will affect your resale value if your paint has these types of flaws, and it affects the overall appearance of the coach. Use painter’s tape to mark each area, and then take pictures. You can not have too much documentation.

DURING PDI – Inspect for paint swirls. Make sure you look at your coach in different angles of sun and from different distances and angles. Some micro swirls show up under direct light, and some from refracted light.

Any paint swirls found should be documented and put thru as a warranty item. If Newmar declines this work, then it is on your dealer to fix it, as they are the most likely to source of the problem and the reason Newmar is declining the repair. You will not have the option to get this corrected after you leave with your coach.

If you choose to ignore the paint swirls, be aware that it will cost a minimum charge of $3,000.00 to fix this in the future.

Interior Woodwork

One of the distinguishing features in Newmar is the custom cabinets and woodwork. This is a major reason people choose Newmar. I have always been very happy with the cabinets and overall quality of my Newmar RV’s and was excited to upgrade that experience with my 2022 London-Aire. We upgraded to the Glacier Glazed Maple wood trim to make the coach really stand out.

During my travels, I have had the opportunity to see a few 2022 Newmar RVs, both at dealerships and owned coaches. What has shocked me is the appalling quality that is being produced out of Nappanee at this time. Issues I have seen are inconsistent stain, miter joints that are not done properly, trim pieces cut too short, ceiling features not assembled properly, and nail holes lacking putty and sanding prior to finish.

If you have a Newmar coach under warranty, examine your wood closely. Look at alignment, color, grain, and overall craftsmanship. I am providing some examples of the problems I have noticed.

Here is a sample of wood for a crown molding that was cut too short. The only fix for this is to cut a new piece of wood. Anything else is patch work and should not be accepted.

This is an example of decorative wood that was not glued properly.

This is an example of trim that was not cut properly, and the stain does not match between the pieces. Further there is obvious damage to the wood itself.

Other examples are finish nails that are not hidden:

Cabinet doors not aligned:

Bad Miter joints on Cabinets:

Poorly designed Miter Joints – Wood grains are not matched.

If your coach shows any of these types of defects, this needs to be documented and sent to Newmar. The only solution for most of these defects is for Newmar to replace the wood. This is a major reason why Newmar coaches have held their value so well. If Newmar quality is allowed to drop unchecked, our future resale values will suffer. For new owners, there is absolutely no reason for you to accept this kind of poor quality. It is up to you to make sure your dealer and Newmar are aware of the issue.

Tile, Back Splash, Grout

Newmar does an amazing job with their tile work. This includes back splash, showers, flooring—it is amazing. My 2013 Dutch Star had a lot of tile issues, and at that time Matt Miller and team contacted me and not only fixed my coach, but they changed a lot of internal processes. The quality that comes out of the factory since then has been as near perfect as anyone could expect. I am happy to state that this holds true today, as all the 2021 / 2022 coaches that I have looked at have had excellent tile, grout, and backsplash installations.

Due to the way Newmar manufactures the floor, doing the tile floor as the last stage in the chassis shop before construction of the house—the grout should be perfect. If you see pitting or missing grout, this should be documented with Newmar for repairs.

The shower and back splash are applied during the construction of the house. Pay close attention to tile patterns to make sure that you don’t have misaligned patterns, and that the grout lines are consistent width.

This will take a close examination, paying attention to the details. Minor imperfections may not be a big deal, but some large mistakes can easily be overlooked without close examination.

Pay attention to the caulk in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure the bead is a consistent width, and fully covering the gaps.

Call to Action

We owe it to Newmar, the dealers, and to ourselves to make Newmar aware of the quality issues. The long-term damage that will come from acceptance of poorly manufactured RV’s will affect all of us. As owners of Newmar coaches, our investment will be lost if the product quality continues to drop. This affects us short term and long term.

Newmar has routinely increased pricing yearly, and recently multiple times per year. The justification for this increase is the additional hardships associated with labor and supply chain. For this reason alone, we must insist on the product that we are being delivered meets the very standard we have been promised.

There is a lot of power in numbers. I have personally proven this many times, most recently with the Freightliner Dash Recall that I was able to organize. It will not take long for Newmar to implement the very necessary quality control if they start seeing massive amounts customer complaints.

I think that most people have not taken the time to look for the problems that exist. Their assumption is the dealership or Newmar already did this, so it is not necessary for the customer.

The opposite is true. Only the customer is incentivized to complain. The dealer is in the middle, so they are not going to go looking for a problem. Newmar is already selling every coach they can manufacture, and they are behind on production due to supply chain. They are playing the odds game hoping that only 2% of all customers will notice these problems, and they are right. Many of the coaches that I have seen are owned by private persons already. They did not know they had a problem, and I was left struggling with how to handle the situation. Obviously, I want my coach perfect, but in the grand scheme, I want the overall quality of Newmar to remain superb.

This post is my solution to that dilemma. By documenting what you should look for, I am letting you find the issues for yourself. Once you find it, I implore you to document it and open a case with Newmar, not your dealer. Newmar needs to hear from its owners directly. They will coordinate with your local dealer for repairs.

Feel free to post your findings here. If you want information shared anonymously, send me a message and I can post additional findings. The goal is to make Newmar aware of the problems, so that it can be corrected.

2022 Newmar London Aire 4551 – The RedBaron73 Build

I signed the deal today with National Indoor RV Centers on my 4551. I am waiting for the specials to come back with pricing, but my build slot has been projected for run #20 with a delivery date of early December 2021.

Here are the specs of the build:

  • London Aire 4551
  • Curt Spectrum IBC
  • Sirroco Interior
  • Glazed Maple Matte Cabinets
  • All electric
  • Dishwasher
  • Extra Monitor
  • Rear Camera Prep for Stacker
  • Euro Booth
  • Winegard Auto Open Face + In Motion
  • Sleep Number Bed
  • LED under ODS slides
  • 30 Amp Connection for Stacker
  • Stainless Trim
  • Flag Pole
  • Bay 4 – Non-Power Storage
  • Kitchen Window
  • RV Sanicon Turbo

I made a lot of changes to the interior. All of these decisions where made on the phone with my salesperson, getting texts and emails to show the difference. It really was a very simple process.

  • King Aire Floor
  • Dutch Star Backsplash in Kitchen & Mid Bath
  • Dark Shower Floor ILO White
  • Single tone leather ceiling treatments
  • single tone leather couch, captain chairs
  • Removed Nail Heads on Furniture & Bedroom headboard
  • Adjustable shelves in rear medicine cabinet
  • Dutch star 4369 Dresser ILO standard dresser
  • (2) adjustable shelves in both sides of bedroom dresser
  • LED Lights in dressers & rear ward robe
  • GE Advantium Microwave – Vent to exterior wall
  • 110V USB outlet in rear wardrobe
  • 110V Outlet in Each dresser
  • 110V Outlet DS Bay 2 – NON Inverted (for power washer)
  • 110V Outlet – Freezer Bay
  • 110V Outlet – Non-Inverted – Under Microwave towards front of coach
  • 12v outlet Front drive – Non-ignition controlled
  • Conduit from Electrical Bay to Mid Bath Electrical
  • Conduit from roof to Mid Bath Electrical Cabinet
  • Conduit from roof to Front Drive Cab
  • CAT 6 from Front Driver Cab to DS Sofa OHC
  • CAT 6 from ODS Dresser OHC to DS Sofa OHC
Bathroom Materials
Flooring, Cabinets, Backsplash, Furniture colors laid out
2022 LADP Custom Colors

2022 Newmar London Aire 4551 – Purchase Decision

Just a few weeks ago I started the process of researching purchasing a new coach. The beginning of that process is found in this post.

Since posting, I have been running numbers on both the purchase price of a new RV and the sale of my existing 2019 Dutch Star 4369. After reviewing market data, price quotes on the discounts, and product lines, I decided to upgrade to the 2022 London Aire 4551.

With the 2022 London Aire, I will not have to add the HWH Active Air that I have installed on my prior Dutch Stars, as it includes the Valid air system. In 2017 I test drove a London Air with the Valid system and found it to be very comparable in performance to the Active air. This has the added benefit of being supported by Spartan and included in the chassis warranty coverage.

2021 has turned out to be a very demanding market for new RVs. Sales are at a record high, while supply chain is suffering, and employees are hard to retain. This has caused delays in the production line, and a reduced model run.

Of the dealers I contacted, all where within $5,000.00. I was able to get a 28.6% discount off MSRP, which is comparable to a normal year. I also was able to choose between several build slots. I ended up choosing National Indoor RV centers for my order based heavily on their service model.

With my prior Dutch star orders, I have always done a factory pickup, which allowed me to utilize the factory to fix problems that I identified. This has been a tremendous value to me, and has allowed me to plan trips with confidence.

The downside of the factory experience is the slow pace of Nappanee. The towns motto is “embrace the pace”, and they truly live it. A normal business would have the repair items completed within 1/2 the time that it takes to get things done in Nappanee. Add to this the time of year, projected December of 2021, and the additional cost of $6,000.00 for a factory delivery, it is easy to see why a different experience is welcome.

My expectation of National Indoor RV is that they will exceed the quality of the factory deliver experience, in shorter time, and less cost.

My next post will detail the build.

Is it time for a new motorhome?

I am very happy with my 2019 Dutch Star 4369. This is by far the best quality build coach I have had, the best performing, and best looking one.

When I discovered ceramic coating and paint correction, my world changed for paint care. Now everywhere I travel, I can quickly wash my coach and keep it looking better than factory condition.

We have traveled in summer and winter conditions, and have never found a time that we wished for something more than what we have. So why would I even consider a new rv?

The main driving force is the supply and demand of used motorhomes. I have owned this motorhome for less than 3 years, and can now sell it for a profit. This opportunity has never been available to me in the past. Further, pricing on Newmar coaches is set to increase in July of 2021. By placing an order before the increase, I will have further reduced my exposure to depreciation on the new rv.

The last part of the decision is the timing. We are currently traveling in the motorhome, with plans to return home in 45 days. After the conclusion of this trip, we don’t have any trips planned until early spring of 2022. This gives me plenty of time to sell my 2019

I am leaning heavily towards getting another Dutch Star 4369. The only hesitancy I have is the impending price increase may be a reason to upgrade to a higher line coach, and I have always had a desire for the 605HP engine in the London Aire.

I have calls to make to check on pricing and availability. The list of dealers I will contact is Steinbring, Midway, Coachlight, and NIRVC. These dealers are honest and reputable dealers, who won’t waste time or pull any of the typical tricks for the sale.

Once I have more details, I will post again.

How To choose your Newmar Custom Colors – Part 2

In my prior post, I discussed the option of custom ordering your Newmar coach. I am going to discuss how I use Adobe Illustrator to customize the prints as an aid in choosing my colors.


  • Adobe Illustrator for Windows. Mac may be slightly different.
  • A dealer provided print for your year, model and floorplan

I have provided a sample dealer template for a 2022 Dutch Star

Starting with original pdf named “2022-RB-DSDP-Template.PDF”.

  • Open in Illustrator
  • From Window menu select “Layers” – it may be already selected. Needs to have a checkmark
  • From same windows menu, select “Swatches” so it is check marked.
  • Open Layers Tab, and expand graphics
    • You will see 3 sections, Front, Rear, Side. Expand Side
    • There are 4 groups. Click the “eye” symbol on the left to turn the group on or off, to help identify the group you are on.
    • Top group is the skin. Highlight this group as shown in picture above
    • In the swatches, you will see that the “eggshell” is highlighted once you have the selection above
  • Click on a new color from the list. This will change the color.
  • Repeat this for each of the “groups”
  • Advanced Selection to make it easier
    • After you select the side graphics from step 4, expand out “front Graphic”.
    • Press “Ctrl” and click the circle to the right of the group. This adds the front graphic to the side graphic
    • Expand Rear Graphic, and again, press CTRL and click the circle to the right of the group for the skin.
    • Next You will see 5 groups under the graphics that are not labeled. As you expand them, there will be a sub-group and then a text. Find the one that matches “SKIN:” and add that to the selection using ctrl-click on the circle to right of group
  • This will now allow you to change all the colors at the same time.

    Repeat this for each of the 4 groups. Before you start another group, go to the menu “select” and choose “Deselect”. This will let you start from scratch.
  • To add colors, you first need the color code you want to add.
    • Open one of the PDFs you found with a color you like in illustrator.
    • note: always import range page 1-1 when opening. This is the default
    • you may get errors, you can ignore by choosing “OK” or “Close”
    • Choose the eyedropper tool by pressing “I” on the keyboard, or clicking this icon on the tool menu
    • Go to window and choose color to open the color tool bar
    • Now move the eyedropper over the color you want to match. This is best done on the side view image.
    • My example was sampling what Newmar calls “64147A SALSA RED PEARL”. I have this view:
    • The 4 % values are what you are after.  Make note of these values
    • Return to your main document, and go to Color tool as shown in the above image.
    • Your color will have changed to another value. Update the 4% values to match what you documented in step 4.
    • Drag the color from the square shown below and place it on your swatches group, anywhere you like
  • You should end up with a name like shown below, with your different % values and a preview of the color. Double Left click this value and put in the name the way Newmar labeled it.

How To choose your Newmar Custom Colors – Part 1

I have custom ordered 3 Newmar RV’s, and each of them had a custom paint scheme. Newmar is one of the only manufacturers that will allow you to customize your coach color on a factory build. The only aspect they will not allow you to change is the graphic design. They will allow you to choose any color you want for each component of the graphic.

The process can be very frustrating if you do this with your dealer, as they have to go to Newmar and request prints, and the final print will be a computer representation that is close the the actual, but in some cases very different.

For example, compare the Newmar print of my 2019 DSDP 4369 to the actual here:

2019 DSDP 4369 Newmar Custom Paint Print
Finished Color

From the print, it is not possible to see the metallic or depth of the color. The Marina Black that I chose for pathway C has a lot of depth to it, and can look different with the sun. Here is another closeup of the paint

Understanding the limitations of the print is very important. I spent time looking at coaches that had similar colors when making my decision, which your salesperson can help you with. I based my color scheme off a 2018 London Aire caprice which used the same colors I chose in a different pattern. Here is the image my dealer sent me of the caprice paint scheme

In the Dutch star there are 4 colors you can choose. The Skin, which is the base color of the coach, and then 3 pathways labeled A, B, and C. I have seen some coaches choose to make more than one of the colors the same, and alter the overall appearance of the graphic. There are even a few that choose to go with solid colors, and choose the same color for all 4 paths.

In my next post I will detail how I use Adobe Illustrator to customize the print to help find the perfect color options.

2019 Freightliner Digital Dash Recall – Its Official

The original Call to action was a huge success!

It took a lot longer than I would have hoped, but today the recall campaign has become an official recall.

This entire experience should serve as a template on how the RV Community can work together to bring change. We have a huge voice, that once organized in a consistent manner, can bring major change to the industry.

More Details:

Newmar RSB# 556

NHTSA #20V 509

Affected Models:
2018 Essex, New Aire on Freightliner Chassis
2019 Ventana, Dutch Star, New Aire, Mountain Aire, London Aire, Essex on Freightliner Chasssis

2019 Freightliner Digital Dash Recall Campaign – Update

December 3, 2018 I started a call to action for owners of the Freightliner digital dash to contact the NHTSA to issue a recall of this dangerous dash. This was after my many attempts to get Newmar and Freightliner to take action on their own.

Today I was contacted today from the NHTSA.

The rep I spoke with said that there is a clear pattern, with a total of 3 reports of this issue. He is going to take it to the next level by contacting Newmar to get a response from Newmar. I asked if Freightliner would be more appropriate, but he said this had to go thru Newmar, since they are the finished vehicle builder.

He said that if more complaints are registered, it will be routed to him.

If you have a 2018/2019 Freightliner with a digital dash that will not dim safely at night, please fill out the complaint. This took over a year to get to this point, but they are finally doing something about it!

Simple Guide to Battery Life in your RV


Batteries exist in an RV because they are a necessity. Many of the systems simply cannot function without a battery. The 12-volt DC battery bank powers all interior lighting, climate controllers, exhaust fans, heater blowers, and many other areas.

My first RV was a 5th wheel, and it had a single 12-volt deep cycle battery. This battery powered the lift jacks, and I quickly discovered that it would not do so for very long. The battery was charged while the 7-pin connector was attached to the pickup, or while the RV was plugged into shore power.

My next RV was a 2008 Fleetwood Discovery with a much more advanced system, and one that I never fully understood. It had a flooded cell battery system and I learned after 3 years that they require water. I had to replace every battery because I had ruined all 4 batteries. I also had a huge mess in the battery bay from the corrosion caused by the off gassing. I spent a lot of time cleaning it up when I replaced the batteries, but was unaware of AGM batteries, and replaced it with flooded cell again. The problem reoccurred 2 years later, but at that time I was trading it in and didn’t care.

I custom ordered a 2013 Newmar Dutch star 4347. One of the specials I requested at the time was an upgrade to AGM batteries. During this time, I did a deep dive into the entire 12-volt DC power system and was amazed at what it could do, and how simple it really was, once it was fully understood.

I am writing this guide to share the knowledge I have gained. Most of what I have learned comes from others.

Ronnie F. Moller, Jr.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is written based on my experience with Newmar coaches utilizing the Magnum inverter/charger. It will also apply to any other manufacturer that has the same or similar setup. The Basics section will apply to 90% of RVs on the market, including the Newmar gas lineup.

Magnum ME-RC

The In Depth is more specific to coaches with a Magnum Inverter/Chargers ME2012/MS2012/MS2812, which includes the Newmar diesel coaches, but not the Luxury diesel line with the Xantrex chargers. The luxury line utilizes both depending on the year, so you need to know which system you have specifically. The simplest way to tell if this applies to you is by looking at the controller for your inverter charger. If you have one that looks like the one shown in Figure 1, then this document applies to you.

This document designed for those that are normally plugged into shore power, but on occasion will be using the battery power and want to be prepared. I use of my generator liberally and have no concerns about over usage of a generator, but there are times I want to limit the usage, such as when boondocking in perfect tent weather. Our family likes to camp on BLM lands near the Pyror Mountain Wild Horse Range. The night time temps in August are typically in the 60F range, and the skies are some of the darkest we have been to. This is true off the grid, and we will spend 2-3 nights camping out there. Nothing ruins the tranquility and peace like a generator running. We manage the generator to run during the day, often while we are out looking for the wild horses. At night, we run the entire coach on batteries. We can make coffee, heat water, shower, and charge cell phones without the need for shore power.

What this guide is not

This guide is not meant to apply to every coach or every situation. This guide does not address solar energy and is not designed for the unique needs for those on solar.

If your coach does not have a generator, or if your batteries do not charge while driving, then you will need to adopt different strategies than what this document outlines.


Battery Capacity / Amp Hours

From the day I started driving a car, I was aware of the size of the fuel tank and closely monitor the gas gauge. I understood how far I could drive before refueling, and never pushed the limits. While this seems obvious for a motor, I didn’t consider doing the same thing for my RV batteries when I first started. After continuously being disappointed with my batteries, I learned that there is an equivalent rating on RV batteries that tells you how much power capacity each battery has, Amp Hours, expressed as Ah.

The Ah rating describes the ability of the battery to provide power over a 20-hour period. If the rating is 100 Ah at the 20-hour rate, then the battery can supply 5 amps for 20 hours. (5×20=100).

Parallel vs Series connections

Using the battery for all 20 hours would result in a completely consumed battery. The life of the battery, or number of discharge/recharge cycles, is based on how low the battery is discharged prior to being full recharged. Each battery manufacturer provides data on life expectancy as it relates to depth of discharge. Generally, one should never discharge below 50% before fully recharging.  Using our above example, a battery with a 100Ah rating should only be used at 5 amps for 10 hours before being recharged.

To increase capacity, multiple batteries can be connected in parallel. This keeps the voltage constant while doubling the Ah. Four batteries rated at 100Ah connected in parallel will deliver 400Ah, or a usable 200Ah based on the 50% guideline. This could be 5 amps for 40 hours, or 20 amps for 10 hours.

Battery Voltages

Newmar coaches, as well as most other RV’s utilize 6-volt batteries because they provide a greater capacity.  In order to bring the battery voltage up to 12-volt, two batteries are connected in series. When two batteries are connected in series, the voltage is doubled while the capacity remains constant.

To illustrate why a 6-volt setup is preferred, consider these batteries:

Option 1 – 12-volt Batteries:
A total of 6  Interstate SRM-24  ($113.95 retail per battery providing 81Ah and weighing 46lbs.) would provide 486Ah, with 243Ah usable at a cost of $683.70 and a total weight of 276lbs.
Option 2: 6-volt Batteries
A total of 4 Interstate GC2-HCL-UT ($142.95 retail per battery, providing 210Ah and weighing 58lbs.)  would provide 420Ah, with 210Ah usable at a cost of $571.80 and a total weight of 232lbs.

Both batteries are similar dimensions, meaning that you need less space to with the 6-volt battery setup for similar power delivery. With the additional money savings, and weight savings, it is easy to see why the 6-volt setup is the way to go.

Battery types

It is important to know what type of battery you have. The most common batteries are lead acid type of batteries, and those are the ones we will be discussing. Less common batteries are the newer Lithium batteries. This document does not cover lithium batteries, but this is a topic you should explore if you are looking at the ultimate boon docking setup.

 Lead acid batteries are designed either for starting or deep cycle. This document is focused on the deep cycle type of battery, used for inverting 12v power to 120v house power. In this application, starting batteries should not be used or considered. Starting batteries have a higher plate count and deliver greater amounts of energy in quick bursts. The plates in a starting battery are much thinner and are subject to warping when fully discharged. Once warped, the plates can touch and cause a serious electrical short with thermal runaway. For this reason alone, one should avoid using a starting battery on the house side of RV electrical system. For more information, see this link:

Deep cycle batteries have much thicker plates and can handle the deep discharge without danger. As a result, deep cycle batteries deliver less instant energy but have a greater endurance.

Deep cycle lead acid batteries are commonly found in 2 types. Flooded (Wet Cell) and Absorbed glass mat (AGM).

Flooded Wet, serviceable

The standard battery Newmar includes with most coaches is the 6-volt flooded wet cell battery which is serviceable. A serviceable battery requires that the water levels be maintained. The advantage of this battery is the low cost and high amount of energy available for continuous usage. These batteries are typically used in golf carts and are designed to be cycled to a deep state of discharge.

Flooded wet cell batteries require a great deal of maintenance. The batteries also are highly corrosive and can be easily boiled if the charger is not setup properly. These batteries do not like to sit for long periods of times without a charge and do not recover well from a very low discharge.  The batteries remain popular primarily because of their high availability and low cost when compared to AGM batteries.


Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries are a non-spillable deep cycle lead acid battery. They may be mounted in any position and are maintenance free. AGM batteries do not expel hydrogen gasses like the flooded wet cell batteries do, and as a result there is no loss of either water or electrolytes.

The design of AGM batteries allows for additional plate surface area when compared to the same group size of a flooded wet cell battery, increasing both the burst energy as well as the overall capacity (Ah) of the battery in the same size.

Additionally, AGM batteries have a lower overall resistance, allowing for a faster charge and slower self-discharge. These batteries perform very well sitting at rest fully charged, holding their charge much longer than a flooded wet cell battery.

AGM batteries are generally maintenance free. All this benefit comes at a cost. When comparing similar batteries, the cost often approaches 80-120% more for the AGM vs Flooded wet cell.

Example Interstate Batteries for comparison

Wet Cell: Interstate GC2-HCL-UT ($142.95 retail, 383 Reserve Capacity, 210Ah, 58lbs.)
AGM: Interstate GC2-HD-AGM ($324.95 retail, 475 Reserve Capacity, 210Ah, 66lbs.)

Battery maintenance

All batteries require proper maintenance. Never discharge the battery below 50% capacity. Never store a battery discharged, always fully charge your battery.


All batteries have different lifetime characteristics based on cyclic usage, or the number of times the battery is discharged and recharged. This characteristic is affected by how much capacity is taken from the battery (discharge), the operating temperature, and the charging method. All batteries differ on the number, but all batteries perform better when they are kept cool and are not discharged too deeply. See Figure 5 – Source: for a chart that demonstrates how battery life is affected by discharge cycles.

In order to get the maximum performance, safely from your battery, a clean and tight connection is mandatory. Battery terminal connections should be inspected routinely. There is a lot of vibration that occurs when driving your RV down the road, and the batteries are often exposed to the elements. It is a good idea to clean your battery connections every time you wash your coach, which for me is at the end of every trip, and sometimes more often. While doing this, check your cables and make sure they cannot be moved. If they are loose at all, tighten them.

If you have AGM batteries, then you can stop reading, as your battery does not require any other maintenance.

Serviceable wet cell

Cleaning should be done monthly. If you do not clean them the corrosion will build up very quickly and spread. It does not take long for the cables themselves to become very corroded. Once this happens the only fix is to replace the cables, which can become very time consuming and is not cheap. A mixture of water and baking soda ( 1 Tbsp baking soda to 1 cup of water) is a great way to clean the battery terminals. Use an old toothbrush to apply the mixture directly. Rinse with water.

Serviceable wet cell batteries also require routine fluid checking. This should be done at least once per month, and only when fully charged. NEVER add water to a discharged battery. When adding water, distilled water is the best option. Tap water has other minerals in it that can affect the performance and lifespan of the battery. If you don’t have access to distilled water, tap water is better than waiting or ignoring it. Do not let the water level ever drop below the plates, but also be careful not to overfill. Remember that in the summer the battery will run hotter, causing the fluid to expand. When water overflows (called boiling over), you lose the electrolytes that are in the battery. Not only is this very corrosive, but it also is necessary for the battery to function properly.

Most of the corrosion is caused by the gases leaking from the battery. I have read different strategies for adding mineral oil to the batteries. The theory is the mineral oil will sit on top of the water and prevent the gasses from venting out.  I have never done this and offer no opinion on the subject. This is something you should research and determine if it is suitable for your use.


Most motorhomes will have a combined inverter and charger. Some RV’s will have a converter/charger and a separate inverter. Regardless of the design, the two functions are unique and controlled independent of each other. With a combined unit, a single controller operates both functions under different menu selections.

When does it charge?

The charger requires 120-volt AC power in order to operate. This can be provided by either the generator or shore power cord. Once 120-volt power is present, the charger will engage, depending on the settings. All chargers require proper configuration for the type of battery they are charging in order to properly maintain the lifespan of batteries.

What does it charge?

The charger is responsible for maintaining the house batteries. In most motorhomes, the charger will also maintain the engine battery. This is controlled by an isolating relay that will swap between the chassis and house batteries.

Other Charging methods

While driving, most motorhomes will charge both the house and chassis batteries from the alternator. This will allow lights, heating, microwave, and other 12v items to be used while driving without depleting the battery. The ability to keep up with demand varies by coach. Both of my Newmar Dutch stars have been able to handle very large inverting loads including microwave, refrigerator, television, DVR, laptops, etc. and arrive at camp fully charged. 


The inverter is responsible for taking 12v DC power from the house battery bank and changing it (inverting) to 120-volt AC power. This allows for common household items such as hair dryer, microwave, coffee pot, residential refrigerator, etc. to operate without the use of the generator or being connected to shore power.

All inverters have a maximum rating, expressed in watts. The base 2019 Newmar Bay star sport has a 1000w inverter to operate the pumps, and an optional 1000w inverter for the televisions. The 2019 Newmar King Aire has two 3000-watt inverters and 16 6-volt batteries, allowing for one of the air conditioners to be run from the inverter. The size of the inverter determines how much AC electric power you can use. If you pull too much, the inverter will shutdown with a fault. Running it close to maximum will cause a lot of heat and load on the batteries and discharge them quickly. Typically, items like the coffee pot, microwave, or hair dryer will cause the most load, while TV’s will consume very little load.

When does it invert?

The inverter must first be enabled on the main control panel. Most inverters can safely be left turned on all the time. While turned on, the inverter does consume a small amount of battery even without a load. This is good to know if you are storing your RV without power or need to stretch the battery life. Turning the inverter off will ensure that it is not drawing any power from the battery.

You will need the inverter turned on in order to operate any 120-volt AC device when there is no external power source available, such as shore power or generator. My inverter is always on. I store it connected to 50-amp service.

If 120-volt AC power is present from either the generator or shore power, the inverter will not engage. Some RV’s, including the Dutch star, have a feature called inverter-assist. This will allow the inverter to supplement the power available from the shore cord or generator. This is commonly used when connected to 30-amp service and running the microwave along with the roof air conditioners. The startup of either takes more power than a 30-amp service can provide, and the inverter assist can provide that extra power. This is not an unlimited source of power though, and the batteries will eventually discharge to the point the inverter will shut off.

What is powered by the inverter?

This depends on how the coach was wired. Newmar uses an electrical subpanel from Precision Circuits Inc. This has a separate panel for the inverter circuits. On my Dutch star this supplies all the exposed outlets in the coach, all the outlets in the basement, refrigerator, and microwave.

It does not power the washer, dryer, roof air, electric stove top, basement freezer, or engine block heater. The basement freezer is a 12-volt DC and 120-volt AC device. It is more efficient to run 12-volt DC directly vs inverting to 120-volt, and Newmar wired it accordingly.

My 2019 Newmar Dutch star has a 2800-watt inverter, and on a recent trip I was able to overload it. The combination that overloaded the circuit was running the microwave along with the central vacuum while making coffee. Not the typical work load for most people, and this was the first time I had ever overloaded the inverter.

In Depth

The details provided here are specific to the Magnum chargers and the RC/ARC controllers. See Figure 1 for the controller that must be present. If you do not have this controller, then much of what is described in this section will not directly apply. For coaches with a computerized screen such as Silverleaf, the principals apply but the settings will require translation or interpretation.

One very important note regarding battery connections specifically with Magnum inverters. When disconnecting the battery cables, you must first remove all POSITIVE cables before removing any ground cables. The reason is that Magnum utilizes remote modules that are connected to a network power cable. These devices provide a weak ground signal. If the Magnum loses the primary ground, it will hunt for ground along the network control path and end up damaging all the remote devices. These are items such as the Auto Generator start, the Precision Circuits controller, and the RC/ARC controller. This is a very costly and expensive mistake, and one that is easy to make as it defies how most 12-volt DC connections are handled. When reconnecting the cables, the positive cable should be the last cable connected.

Battery connections

The battery connections must be tight and clean. The next step is to ensure the battery connections are at opposite ends of the battery. See Figure 3 for a proper connection. The positive cable should be opposite of the negative, allowing the entire battery bank to be utilized. Both of my Newmar coaches where delivered with an incorrect battery cable layout. See Figure 6 as an example of the incorrect wiring. Notice how 3 separate cables where connected to different battery cells for the ground, and the positive connection was in the middle cells. The result of this improper wiring is underutilization of the entire battery, as the electrical circuit would take the shortest path, often bypassing other battery cells. This would allow some batteries to discharge while other batteries remain unused. This is very simple to fix by simply relocating the battery connections to opposite ends. Be sure to disconnect the positive cable first and reconnect it last.

Battery Ah remaining / State of Charge

The remaining battery capacity is known as the state of charge (SOC). There are several methods to determine the SOC.  The most common ones used are specific gravity measurements, voltage-based estimation, and current-based estimation.

Specific gravity measurements are not convenient and very few people would use this method. It requires using a hydrometer and testing the level in each cell. This method is primarily used to test a battery that has been fully charged to determine how well the battery is performing.

Voltage based measurements are the most common method used, as it is the only method that is available from a stock RV.  The problem with this method is the measurement will vary based on load. When an inverter is under high load, such as powering a coffee pot or microwave, the instant voltage readings on a battery are unreliable. Using voltage-based methods often gives the appearance of bad batteries, and causes frustrations when boon docking, with short intervals between auto generator starts.

Current based estimation is the most convenient method for a very reliable battery state of charge. This method uses a value from 0-100% to show the amount of battery charge remaining, just like a fuel gauge. Power is measured in both directions to calculate the state of charge. Magnum inverters can use current-based data for AGS and Inverter settings once the ME-BMK and shunt are installed on the system.

Why you need a current-based estimation system

No RV should be without a current-based estimation system. Using voltage-based estimation is highly inaccurate and overly frustrating. To illustrate the difference between a voltage-based measurement and a current-based measurement I setup a test. My battery bank provides 840Ah of capacity with the 8 AGM discover batteries.

Starting with a full charge, I disconnected my shore cord and observed the status with only my residential refrigerator running along with my network and DirecTV equipment. The load was 20-amps DC, and the battery voltage reported 13.1-volts DC. After 5 minutes, the load remained constant as did the voltage. I then turned on my microwave, a GE Profile Advantium, using the convection oven to heat to 350F. The battery status immediately displayed 191-amps DC load, and battery voltage of 12.2-volts DC. I ran this load for 30 minutes. The battery status reported a voltage of 11.1-volts DC.  Many systems would have disengaged the battery by this time, and if AGS is being utilized, the generator would have started. To further stress the system, I engaged the central vacuum putting a 291-amp DC load on the battery bank, with a reading of 10.9-volts DC. I ran this for 5 minutes, with battery voltage readings fluctuating between 10.9-volts and 11.1-volts DC and power loads fluctuating between 178-amps and 291-amps DC. This was based on when the microwave was energizing the heat vs stable.

Using only the voltage-based system, the generator would have auto started, or the inverter would have cut out based on the sustained low voltage reading. When the load was removed, the batteries reported 12.7-volts DC, which shows that they were truly never discharged. In fact, using my current-based measurement, I still had 94% battery life remaining. This was a very high load for a very long time.

This is the reason I said in the beginning of this section, No RV should be without a current-based estimation system.

Documentation for the installation and setup of current-based SOC gauge is in the Advanced Setup section of this guide.

Document Your System

The components in your system will determine the required settings. It is important to have the following information documented. Take time now to fill out this information, as it will required to properly configure your inverter and charger.

Personal Settings Record

A. Battery Type (Choose One): _____Wet Flooded _____AGM

B. Number of 12-volt battery banks: ______________
If individual batteries are 12-volt, enter the total number of batteries
If individual batteries are 6-volt, enter ½ the total number of batteries

Example: For a battery system comprised of 8 6-volt batteries, the value should be 4

C. Battery 20Ah Rate: _________

D. Inverter Model: ___________

E. Charger Model: ____________

F. Max Charger DC Output (See Table 1) ___________

G. Battery Bank Capacity: __________Ah
Multiply value in [B] above by the value for [C]

Table 1
The common chargers used by Newmar are listed below. If your is not listed, you need to find this value before continuing.

Model Max Output (Amps DC)
MS2000/12, MS2012 (-15/ -20B) 100
MS2812 125
MS2024 60

Magnum Settings

Common ME-RC settings

The common settings are found under the Setup menu.

01 – Search Watt: 5 Watts

02 – Low Battery Cut Out: 11.0

This value is one reason why you should install the ME-BMK, since the voltage is measured under load, and false low readings are common. With a ME-BMK installed, this value can be set to a more reasonable 10.7 or lower.

03 – Absorb Time:  _______________

Magnum provides a chart for determining the best time, based on amp hours of the battery group. To keep it simple, compare your value in [G] to the values below

200-300Ah – 60 Minutes
310-500Ah – 90 Minutes
510-700Ah – 120 Minutes
710-900Ah – 150 Minutes

04 – Battery Type: _____Flooded   ____AGM2    ____AGM1 (Non-Newmar provided)

Newmar coaches will have either Flooded or AGM2.  Look at your value in [A] and choose the correct option above. All Newmar AGM batteries are made by Discover, even though they may have a different label. Discover batteries are type AGM2. If you replace these with Lifeline AGM batteries, that would be AGM1.

05 – Charge Rate: ________ (see instructions that follow to compute this value)

AGM batteries typically can be charged at 100% rate, while flooded need to be set to a value based on a formula. The formula is C/BMr, where C = the total amp-hour capacity of the battery bank and BMr=Battery manufacturer rate.  Follow the steps below to compute the proper value for charge rate.

C: __________ Total Amp Hours
                Enter your personal settings value [G] above

BMr: __________

Compare the value you documented in your personal settings [A].

For Flooded a value of 10-20 should be chosen. Interstate GC2-HD batteries have a charging current of C/10, so you would enter 10 for the BMr. If you do not know the value, then a conservative number of 20 should be chosen.

AGM batteries from Discover are a value of 5.

Max Charge Rate (C/BMr): ______
Divide the value in C by BMr
Example: If your battery bank is 840Ah with AGM batteries, then Max Rate is 168amps

Personal Settings –Max Charger DC Output [F]:  ______

Final Charge Rate %: _______ (Use this value for 05-Charge Rate above)

Instructions: Divide the Max Charge Rate by the value for your personal settings [F]. This will give you the proper charge rate. If the value is > 1, then 100% should be set. Otherwise set the percentage that is closest to your number without exceeding

Example: Your charger has a Max Charger DC Output [F] value of 125amps. Your battery bank is 200Ah flooded (C), with a BMr value of 10. 200/10 = 20amps. 20/125 = .16 or 16%.  05-Charge rate should be set to 16%

06 – VAC Dropout: 90 – 100 VAC

This setting is the minimum AC voltage that must be present on the INPUT side of the inverter before the Inverter will switch to standby mode. The default setting of 80 is too low for the residential refrigerator and many electronics. This value could be set even higher, such as 100VAC safely. It really depends on the quality of the electricity where you are camping, and how often you want the inverter to take over.

09 – Final Charge: ________ (see instructions that follow to compute this value)

If your value in [A] is Wet flooded, then you need to use the “MULTI” mode. This will prevent the batteries from over charging and reduce water consumption. The batteries will charge to a full charge and then stop charging until the battery voltage drops below 12.7V, then it will restart charging. The display will read “Full Charge” once it has entered the waiting state.

If your value in [A] is AGM, then the proper value would be Float. This will keep the batteries at a full state of charge.

Common Usage Scenarios

For normal operation, the charger and inverter should both remain turned on. This will allow the charger to maintain the battery bank anytime AC power is available, either from the generator or shore cord. When AC power is not available, the inverter will supply AC power to the residential fridge and other power sources by drawing DC power from the battery bank.

The inverter will consume a small amount of power even without a load. For this reason, if the coach is to be stored without electrical hookup, the inverter should be powered off by pressing the power button on the remote control labeled “inverter”.  When the inverter is disabled, the residential fridge will not be powered.

Hot Weather with 30-amp shore power

Connecting to 30-amp power can be problematic without proper planning. Newer coaches will have an automated energy management system (ems) that makes the experience much more enjoyable. The ems will borrow power from the inverter to help with burst energy, will automatically lower the charger rate, and will disable power to high load devices to prevent breakers from tripping.

Without an ems, the charger can be manually disabled or lowered. Disabling is not a long-term solution, as the 12-volt system will still be used for lighting and many other accessories, and the batteries will eventually drain. Disabling the charger for a few hours is generally safe.

Driving without Generator

When driving, the alternator will provide a charge to the coach batteries. This is generally enough to keep the batteries full while using the inverter to power the refrigerator, televisions, and even the microwave.

Auto Generator Start

While the inverter can supply some household devices the 120VAC, it does not have the ability power all the air conditioners. With the integrated Auto Generator start (AGS), the magnum inverter can start the generator based on a request from the air conditioner thermostat.

The AGS can also be used to trigger a charge on the batteries, starting the generator when the batteries reach a defined low point, and running until the batteries reach a defined high point.

AGS Setup options

AGS: 03 Run Time Hour: ________
                Recommended setting to match the value configured for 03-Absorb Time

AGS: 04 Start Temp F: Ext Input Setting this to Ext Input will trigger the AGS when the thermostat calls for A/C cooling or heating. Most Newmar after 2014 can use this Ext Input.

AGS: 05 Start Volts: 11.0 VDC

This setting will trigger the generator based on voltage. See the discussion for “02 – Low Battery Cut Out”, as these values are related. The use of a BMK is much more reliable here too.

AGS: 07 Quiet Time Menu: _______

Choose the appropriate value for quiet time. When a time range is selected, the generator will not auto start.

Enable Auto Generator Start

The settings for AGS determine what will trigger the AGS when the AGS is engaged to the auto mode. Press the “AGS” button on the controller and rotate the select knob to choose between OFF, Enable, Enable /w Quiet Time, Test.  When you have enabled the AGS menu, the generator will be triggered by the settings under “04 Start Temp” and “05 Start Volts”.

Advanced Setup


The Magnum ME-BMK is a single battery bank amp-hour meter that functions like a gas gauge for your battery bank, giving the exact state of charged expressed as a percentage value of 0-100%.

Newmar does not include the ME-BMK on any of their coaches and will not allow it as a special. Installation involves adding 2 additional 2/0 battery cables from the ground to the shunt. Typically, a length of 4ft is long enough for these additional cables. All original ground cables need to be moved from the battery to the opposite end of the BMK shunt. See Figure 7 demonstrating the wiring differences.

Although the ME-BMK will work with the standard ME-RC remote control, the support is limited as is the functionality. In order to utilize all the features, the remote must be replaced with the ME-ARC. This is a direct pluggable swap.


The Magnum ME-ARC is a direct replacement to the standard ME-RC that offers many advanced configuration options. The primary reason to choose this remote control is to fully utilize the ME-BMK and to properly maintain the batteries. This section covers the settings specific to use with the ME-BMK and assumes the ME-BMK is already installed.

Common ME-ARC + ME-BMK settings

Only the common settings are covered in this guide. Many of the settings will refer to your specific system settings that you documented earlier (A-G).

To enter the settings mode on the ME-ARC, start by pressing the button labeled “SETUP”, and rotate to find the sections 01 thru 06. To enter the desired section, press the dial in, and then continue to rotate thru the options under the section.

01D Max Charge Amps:  _______________
Instructions: Follow the steps under Common ME-RC Settings 05-Charge Rate.  Compute the Max Charge Rate (C/BMr) and use that value. This entry for ME-ARC expresses the rate in amps, so there is no need to compute the Final charge rate % here, but you will need it for 03E Max Rate Charge below.

02B LBCO Setting: 10.7
Instructions: This is a safety value in case the SOC meter for some reason has not been calibrated properly. The lowest acceptable value for a battery bank under load is 10.5-volts DC. If you are wanting to stretch the battery bank as far as possible, you can safely lower this to 10.5 and adjust the SOC to 20%

02E AC In – SOC: 80%
Instructions: This value is highly personal choice. It should never be lower than 20%. I keep mine set to 80% by default and adjust it lower if I am boon docking. Setting this to a lower value to use more of the battery capacity is safe, as long as it is not set below 20%. Read the note for 02B LBCO for the matching adjustment.

02F Power Up Always: On

03A AC Input Amps: 30

03B VAC Dropout: 90-100VAC

03C Battery Type: _____Flooded              ____AGM2         ____AGM1 (Non-Newmar provided)

Newmar coaches will have either Flooded or AGM2.  Look at your value in [A] and choose the correct option above. All Newmar AGM batteries are made by Discover, even though they may have a different label. Discover batteries are type AGM2. If you replace these with Lifeline AGM batteries the setting previously was AGM1 but unfortunately Magnum has not kept up with the changes at Lifeline. For Lifeline AGM batteries under the setting “Battery Type” use “Custom” and enter the following values. Absorb=14.3v, Float=13.3v, and Equalize=15.5v. The Custom setting also works for other battery types that do not fit the standard charge profiles of Flooded, AGM1 or AGM2.

03D Absorb Done: SOC

03E Max Charge Rate: ___________
Instructions: Follow the steps under Common ME-RC Settings 05-Charge Rate.  Compute the Final Charge Rate % and use that value.

03F Max Charge Time: 18 Hrs

03G Final Charge Stage: ________
Instructions: If your value in [A] is Wet flooded, then you need to use the “MULTI” mode. This will prevent the batteries from over charging and reduce water consumption. The batteries will charge to a full charge and then stop charging until the battery voltage drops below 12.7V, then it will restart charging. The display will read “Full Charge” once it has entered the waiting state.

If your value in [A] is AGM, then the proper value would be Float. This will keep the batteries at a full state of charge.

04A Gen Run VDC:  Start Volt: OFF / Stop Volt: OFF
Instructions: The voltage will not be used for AGS since a better option exists with the ME-BMK

04D Gen Run SOC:  

Start Gen SOC: 60% is a good balance battery usage/minimal gen run time. Increase up to 80% for max battery cyclic lifetime. Decrease as low as 50% for max battery usage.

Stop Gen SOC: 90% is a good set point to minimize generator run time. Setting it to 95% will add about 30 minutes gen run time and setting to 100% will add 1 hour of additional run time.

04E Gen Run Temp:  Set Gen Run Temp Start: Ext Input
Instructions: The voltage will not be used for AGS since a better option exists with the ME-BMK

05A Charge Efficiency: Auto

05B Amp Hour Size: ___________
Instructions: The voltage will not be used for AGS since a better option exists with the ME-BMK


Revision 4: Release May 29, 2019

  • Clarified that multi-mode final charge will stop charging until the battery voltage is below 12.7v.
  • Corrected/Updated the information on Lifeline batteries and the proper custom settings.

Thanks to Don (757driver) for these corrections.

Revision 3: Release May 3, 2019

  • Clarified that AGM batteries have a slower self-discharge rate. Previous wording incorrectly stated they had a slower discharge rate.
  • Fixed Figure 6 image of factory wiring, it had a missing jumper wire in the image
  • Clarified the maximum safe discharge of a battery bank
  • Added additional instructions for utilizing the ME-BMK and ME-ARC to maximize battery consumption for maximum boon docking per charge.

Revision 2: Release May 2, 2019

  • Minor typographical errors corrected.
  • The formula for Battery bank capacity under “Personal Settings Record” was corrected
  • Additional details where added for “Why you need a current-based estimation system”

Revision 1: Released May 1, 2019 – Initial release

Sanicon hose wetbay exit cover

I purchased my 2019 Newmar Dutch Star without the factory option for the sanicon. The primary reason I did not have the factory install it is their setup was not ideal, and I wanted a better solution.

One of the features that Newmar includes is a solid nylon disk that is pre-fit to the hose. This disk will block the 5 inch exit hole while the system is connected to sewer. Utilizing the factory exit hole allows for the bay door to be securely closed. With the Newmar provided disc, this hole is sealed.

I attempted to purchase the disc directly from Newmar, but after several months of unsuccessfully trying to even get a part number, I gave up.

I recently acquired a 3D printer, and my first design and print was cover that can be used to fill the hole.

I wanted the cover to be easily installed and removed, so I designed a slot that allows the hose to be inserted. Once the hose is installed, a small end cap is inserted that secures the openings, preventing rodents and other bugs from gaining access.

Here is some pictures that show what I came up with.

These are now available to purchase.