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Old 06-24-2003, 08:17 AM   #1
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Battery problem or converter problem

My batteries on my 82 310 might be bad. The bigger question is do the lights inside the coach only run on battery power even when pluged into shore power? How do you check the converter to see if it is indeed charging? If it is not charging what next?

Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 06-24-2003, 01:56 PM   #2
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hi
i had my share of problems with the airstream charger . it would burn up a set of batteries in less than a year if left pluged in to power. first you can hear the charger humming and next you need to take a voltmeter and check the dc voltage with the converter plugged into ac. you will probably measure 14 volts . if not something is messed up with the carger. unplug power and measure the voltage of your battery bank.
i did my voltage checks at the cigarete lighter . but you can do it at the batterys. just go across on of the house batterys. should be 12.65 volts . if you suspect bad batterys wal mart, auto zone or advance auto parts will check for free. lol
al
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Old 06-24-2003, 02:02 PM   #3
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lights are dc only and should work with or without batterys . but you might need to look at the dc fuse panel . the fuses will get corrosion on them and give you a fit be sure and check the 50 amp fuses and the fuse clips. the clips get lose and go bad. lol
al
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Old 06-24-2003, 07:51 PM   #4
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I would put the voltmeter on the coach battery(ies) to what state they are in. On mine I have one dead soon to be removed, as it won't hold charge, and one that is ok. The lights will come off the one battery, but brighten considerably when my converter is plugged into the shore power.
Same when the generator is running. If you check on the battery state, then plug in the converter and check it again you can tell if it is getting the right voltage and decide if it is a bad battery or not. Seems like the converters hold up well from what I have experienced, mine is 20 yrs old and still going strong.
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Old 06-25-2003, 11:11 AM   #5
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When the batteries were dead there were no lights inside. I had to use a light that pluged into an outlet to see. The next day I charged the batteries and they worked for about three days and then died. Went and had them check yesterday, both were bad.
I bought two new batteries now have lights, but are you sure I should have lights inside even without batterise?

Thanks Paul.
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:10 PM   #6
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Paul...

I also have had battery problems as you are encountering on my 84 310, if the batteries are dead you will have no interior lights as they are 12v only, but if i connect to 120 shorepower I do have those same 12v lights working.

I changed my ignition switch after putting in new batteries and many of my dead battery power disappeared. The worn switch would not always be off even though the key would come out.

Check the draw a few times with the coach shut down and see if you are pulling more than the minimal power to clocks, etc.
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:00 PM   #7
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Well I don't have lights inside when pluged in to shore power. And now the new batteries I just bought are dead too. They only worked for about five to six hours. I think the charger in the converter is bad or something is not right.
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Old 06-26-2003, 09:06 AM   #8
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when you are pluged up to 120ac does your charger humm and also check to see if it is operating at the batterys. to do that check the voltage before plugging up to power and after . should have 14 volts dc or something close to that if not your charger is not working . check to see if the circuit breaker is not tripped . take a light and plug into same outlet to verify power is present at the plug the charger is pluged in to. also check the fifty amp fuses and clips. that might be yout problem. i have seen those clips go bad. lol
al
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:53 PM   #9
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I have what ever the voltage is at present from the batteries to the two 50 amp fuses in the fuse box. But when I checked the fuse if I go to one side of the fuse to the other nothing, but if I go from the top fuse across to the bottom I have power. The fuse(s) is good. Now how strange is that. I did this several times because I could not beleive what I saw.


Paul...

If my converter is bad what is the cost for a new one? I remember a guy in the fourm talking about a bad converter and figured out is was a bad diod and bought one a radio shack for two three dollars that took care of his problem. Anyone remember that post?
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Old 06-26-2003, 02:28 PM   #10
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Paul,

Airstream is weird.

They not only fuse the hot lead from the batteries they fuse the ground lead as well. It sounds to me like you are checking ground to ground and then ground to hot. This would explain why one fuse seems to not have power. Because it doesn't

It could be something else, but I think I am right.
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Old 06-26-2003, 03:18 PM   #11
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in your battery drawer you have a switch to turn off your batteries . flip this switch to off and plug the coach into 110 vac power and go back to the fifty amp fuses and check for 14 volts.. as brett says one fuse is groung and you will not read any voltage on this lead . the other fuse should have 14 vdc.
you have three wires coming out of the charger one is ground one is the charger out put and the small wire lights a light in the control panel.
in my previous post i ask you to take a lamp ,something and verify that you have ac coming out of the ac plug the charger is pluged into. did you do this?? no need to check voltage untill you verify ac is present and providing power to the charger. lol
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Old 06-26-2003, 03:47 PM   #12
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I had a similer problem in my '75 Tradewind. Almost the exact same symptoms. Finally, I pulled the fuses and checked them with an ohm meter. The fuse on the ground wire ended up being bad. I couldn't tell by looking at it because the plate inside of the tube looked OK. I replaced the fuse, and everything was fine afterword.

I know, from experience, that many symptoms that are hard to diagnose are often caused by a bad ground in some way or another. I would try replacing the fuse. If that doesn't work, try running a whole new ground wire from the batteries to the converter (easy on my unit, but may not be realistic on yours).

Good luck,
Patrick
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Old 06-26-2003, 04:39 PM   #13
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Al

My batteries are located in the step when you walk in the coach. I have never seen a swich in that area. I don't believe I have one.
I do have power going to the converter and it still humms but no charge. I did an ohms check on the fuses they all were good.

Paul.
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Old 06-26-2003, 06:08 PM   #14
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My batteries are also in the step area. There is a switch that disconnects the ground from the batteries, underneath on the ground wire. Mine rotates to shut off the battery ground. I also have owner installed blade switches on the positive side of the batteries to cut them off there.

I wired my stereo to a dash shut off switch so it would not draw at all when shut down. I also have my dash clock disconnected, so the draw is minimal when the coach is shut down/ stored.

With the new bateries and the shore power plugged in, you should check charging voltage at the batteries. I would then montor the charge state of the batteries to see if it drops over a few days or more. If it holds its 12.6 or more for awhile you should be ok. The charger can be used when they start to drop below while stored. I usually run my generator once a week or so which seems to do the trick.
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