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Old 09-11-2018, 05:33 PM   #1
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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Battery Drawer rebuild 350 1991 350LE

Following a catastrophic loss of the original battery drawer, I'm faced with building a replacement. The chap that is constructing the new box seems up to the task particularly as it appears that the front curved alloy is salvageable.
A couple of questions to Members who may have tackled a similar project:
1. the original drawer slides were puny and not up to carrying 300 lbs so I will upgrade. All available heavy duty replacements are "side or horizontally bolted" whereas the original slides were "right-angled" and bolted vertically to the frame. Unless I can locate right-angle mounted slides, I guess we will have to fabricate steel mounting brackets to mount the new slides. Any comment on slides and mounting arrangements would be appreciated.
2. Correctly, I was not impressed with the original drawer locks which may also be hard to find. Have any Members found another way to secure the closed drawer?
3. The Airstream manual shows the coach battery connecting circuit to be routed through a solenoid bolted to the back of the drawer but I cannot ascertain from the remaining wiring if the solenoid was indeed located there along with its connecting wiring up to the dash mounted switch. Similarly, the 80 amp circuit breaker wiring does not suggest that the breaker was ever located on the drawer. Is it possible that these two components and their associated wiring are "downstream" from both the coach and engine battery wiring and not, as depicted in the manual, part of the drawer?
All comments, suggestions, and corrections gratefully accepted. Thanks
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:06 PM   #2
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscraw View Post

3. The Airstream manual shows the coach battery connecting circuit to be routed through a solenoid bolted to the back of the drawer but I cannot ascertain from the remaining wiring if the solenoid was indeed located there along with its connecting wiring up to the dash mounted switch. Similarly, the 80 amp circuit breaker wiring does not suggest that the breaker was ever located on the drawer. Is it possible that these two components and their associated wiring are "downstream" from both the coach and engine battery wiring and not, as depicted in the manual, part of the drawer?

All comments, suggestions, and corrections gratefully accepted. Thanks
My Ď84 has the solenoid on the back of the drawer but no switch in the glove box or elsewhere to connect the batteries. Not sure why you would need the solenoid if you have the switch, both do the same thing.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:04 AM   #3
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
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3. The Airstream manual shows the coach battery connecting circuit to be routed through a solenoid bolted to the back of the drawer but I cannot ascertain from the remaining wiring if the solenoid was indeed located there along with its connecting wiring up to the dash mounted switch. Similarly, the 80 amp circuit breaker wiring does not suggest that the breaker was ever located on the drawer. Is it possible that these two components and their associated wiring are "downstream" from both the coach and engine battery wiring and not, as depicted in the manual, part of the drawer?
All comments, suggestions, and corrections gratefully accepted. Thanks[/QUOTE]

Not sure if this is any help and this may not be your exact set up, but from memory, this is the set up on my 1991 250.

There is a Cole Hersee switch on the inside of the rear of the battery tray which enables me to isolate the coach batteries. There is also a seperate solenoid or circuit (thermal?) breaker there on the back of the battery tray which that circuit runs through.

Both coach and starter batteries run through a solenoid which enables the batteries to be co-joined from the switch under the dash. I have replaced my stock version with a 200A Sure Power unit which seems to work well.

From there, I think the starter battery connects to the heavy duty connector block on the frame rail, which feeds the starter, steps and levellers etc. It must also go on to the isolator. The braided flat cord connects to the frame rail and is grounded on the rear of the battery tray. I think the 12v coach side either runs direct to the 12V distribution board or to the Isolator and on to the 12V distribution board. Shoot me down in frames if I am wrong!

I can send you some pictures if you like, but the coach battery isolating switch and the breaker or other solenoid are definitely both on the rear of the battery tray. The isolating switch is obviously switched from inside the tray.

Should I worry about my battery tray? You've certainly got me worried! How on earth did that happen?

all best Nick
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:11 AM   #4
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I've just dug out my wiring diagrams (attached) which shows the 12v kill switch and an 80amp thermal breaker inline before it hits the solenoid.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:20 AM   #5
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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Nick..thanks so much for your reply and attached wiring diagram. I'm back in Austin and although your 250 diagram looks similar, I need to compare it to the diagram in my manual which is with the Airstream in New Mexico. I also note for example that the coach battery isolator switch on my 350LE is located under the sink inside the coach. I also seem to remember that, although the solenoid function is the same, my manual has a separate description for the battery 12V supply for the 350 and 250 models. I will return to the Airstream at the end of October (to winterize) and will compare your description more closely with my diagram. Thanks for the layout description which helps. to allay your fears, I suspect that the battery drawer came loose simply because the remaining lock was not properly secured. As I mentioned, when I bought the 350, it was missing the rearmost battery drawer lock. For the past 3 years, I had become complacent and relied on the remaining frontmost lock. Extracting the 350 from its mountain hideaway was rough and I think the shaking and banging from the badly rutted road managed to rotate the remaining catch lever to the point where it allowed the draw to slide open. so to put your mind at rest, as long as both drawer catches are operational and properly locked, all should be well.
On the A/c compressor I will reply to your PM. Thanks and Cheers..Chris
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:15 AM   #6
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom Sounds View Post
I've just dug out my wiring diagrams (attached) which shows the 12v kill switch and an 80amp thermal breaker inline before it hits the solenoid.
My description was incorrect. It hits the solenoid, then the thermal breaker, then the kill switch, then on to the 12v distribution board. On my 250, they are all mounted on the rear of the battery tray.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:57 AM   #7
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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Correction noted

Nick..thanks for your correction. This now aligns with my understanding of the original "after-battery" connections. As the vehicle is about to be winterized, I'll wait until the replacement battery box is built before rebuilding the circuit. This will be in April/May next year.
did you see my PM re your compressor question?
Cheers
chris
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:46 PM   #8
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
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Originally Posted by chriscraw View Post
Nick..thanks for your correction. This now aligns with my understanding of the original "after-battery" connections. As the vehicle is about to be winterized, I'll wait until the replacement battery box is built before rebuilding the circuit. This will be in April/May next year.

did you see my PM re your compressor question?

Cheers

chris


Yes thanks, I need to work out whether mine has ever been changed over. I think it is the stock set up with original refrigerant. Iím loathed to spend loads on fixing the entire system as my priority is LPG conversion. Thanks!
Nick
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