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Old 04-17-2018, 08:16 PM   #1
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2018 interstate TB Firefly a/c issue

Just took delivery of 2018 interstate TB Ext tour. Dealer provided a good orientation all systems including a/c seemed to work however we only ran the a/c long enough to feel cold air at delivery. A few days later we started the a/c, the compressor came on ran for about 3 minutes and shut off without satisfying the thermostat, the fan continued to run. Issue repeated on shore power and generator and from each control panel and after multiple restarts. Currently working with Airstream tech support and dealer who both say problem is with firefly system.
Is anyone else having this same problem? Heat and other systems seem to be working correctly however the dimming feature on the ceiling lights is difficult to activate. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and advice.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:32 AM   #2
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Is it similar to what ScottP experienced?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ot-176371.html
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:47 AM   #3
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This probably is not the problem but was the power control system set up for 30 amps when on shore power? If not it might have shut down the AC.
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:55 AM   #4
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Not as bad as Scott P and I tried with 20 amp and 30 amp setting
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LewK View Post
Not as bad as Scott P and I tried with 20 amp and 30 amp setting
Uuughh! Just experienced this problem over the weekend, since it is the 1st time we have had to use the a/c on a hot day while out at Lake Mead National Park. Happens with shore power or generator, 20A or 30A setting makes no difference. I am supposed to bring my unit to dealer tomorrow. Really interested in what Airstream said about yours as it seems identical symptom. Compressor only runs about 2mins on average, shuts off, fan stays on trying to satisfy thermostat. The only way to get compressor to kick back on is to turn up thermostat so a/c shuts down, then turn thermostat back down and compressor kicks in again for 2mins.
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:56 AM   #6
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On April 13th, I reported the a/c problem to my dealer and Airstream tech support John 877-596-6111 ext 7245

Airstream tech said it was most likely a Firefly issue and he would get with Firefly for a solution.

Now 11 days down the road no answers and they stopped returning my calls.

Please let me know how it goes with your dealer today.

I am not a betting man but I would wager a few dollars ourís are not the only 2018ís with this issue.
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by LewK View Post
On April 13th, I reported the a/c problem to my dealer and Airstream tech support John 877-596-6111 ext 7245

Airstream tech said it was most likely a Firefly issue and he would get with Firefly for a solution.

Now 11 days down the road no answers and they stopped returning my calls.

Please let me know how it goes with your dealer today.

I am not a betting man but I would wager a few dollars ourís are not the only 2018ís with this issue.
LEWK - Thank you for info. Will keep this thread posted. And I will call AS Tech Support too. I agree that if 2 units delivered almost in same month with same identical problem down to the number of minutes compressor runs, there are others probably still sitting on dealer's lots waiting to pop-up
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:30 AM   #8
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Alex AVI

I found a number for Firefly on another post.
574-825-4600
I called and asked for a return call from a tech rep.
I will update with any ifrormation I get if they call me back.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:53 AM   #9
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I'm watching this tech with mild interest (mild). We don't have it in our rig, and I wouldn't want it, EXCEPT for the fact that it does have the potential to eliminate some labor associated with wiring (e.g., in a DIY build). But as I understand it, the only potential savings are in the switch-related wiring - everything must still be wired back to multiple power sources in a conventional manner, of course.

I wouldn't have named any such company Firefly, though. Some kinda Freudian slip in there. Fireflies energize only when they choose to, in a pattern that is known only to other fireflies and is unpredictable to the rest of us.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
I'm watching this tech with mild interest (mild). We don't have it in our rig, and I wouldn't want it, EXCEPT for the fact that it does have the potential to eliminate some labor associated with wiring (e.g., in a DIY build). But as I understand it, the only potential savings are in the switch-related wiring - everything must still be wired back to multiple power sources in a conventional manner, of course.

I wouldn't have named any such company Firefly, though. Some kinda Freudian slip in there. Fireflies energize only when they choose to, in a pattern that is known only to other fireflies and is unpredictable to the rest of us.
I've seen claims that multiplex wiring, regardless of the controller used, reduces the amount of wiring needed by up to 40%.

With that said, while this is a nice benefit in terms of cost, weight, and a reduced number of connections, I'm not a fan. This tech seems to be inconsistent at best, and introducing a single point of failure for the entire electrical system just seems like a really bad idea to me. If the Firefly (or Silverleaf, or any other multiplex controller) craps out for any one of a dozen reasons, you're done. Nothing works.

EDIT: I monitor the Facebook Airstream group and another owner just reported a dead Firefly controller that needs to be replaced. I realize this likely isn't Airstream's fault, but if I were in their shoes I'd be having a conversation with their supplier on how to improve reliability of their controller. There are too many reports of dodgy/dead controllers......
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:13 AM   #11
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I am knocking on every piece of wood... no issues so far... and by now we have tested all systems in our AI...

Before heading out on our first trip I ran the heater enough time to get rid of the new smells that come from the first time it is used... We used the furnace every night while at the camp site... second trip we used the A/C all the time...

Water heater used on both trips as well (not too fond of how much water is wasted waiting for hot water to come out, but that is the nature of that heater)... all lights have been used... fan is kept on auto while we have it parked in our driveway...

I take that back... there is one outlet that has no power... the one on the passenger side at the rear... the one right next to the right rear wheel well... I just remember that I needed to see if it is just a loose wire or bad outlet...

I feel sorry for the OP... hope they get this identified and resolved soon.
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:14 PM   #12
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Get used to it folks, Firefly (or whatever name iteration they come up with) is the wave of the future. No turning back, unless of course we just don't buy the new products and buy 2017 or older. So yes the advantages of weight & cost savings is the biggie. But the single point of failure is the other counter-biggie. Savings are quoted as 40% min. to upwards of 75% reduction in wiring & harnesses. Not to mention fewer dimmers, switches, fuses, etc. So there are some very significant savings to be had with the system. And as FLYFISHINRVR alluded to, the tech is great but they need to figure out how to make it very robust.

Keep in mind, we are already using similar technology in the MB - the CANBUS system is basically a similar 2-wire technology (CAN Hi & CAN Lo) with slightly different implementation. It would've been nice if instead of using Firefly, the RV industry in general would've found a way to implement the house wiring using the CANBUS technology which has been thoroughly put through the wringer. And as a reminder again, if our CANBUS in the MB chassis fails on even the much older units, our entire vehicle is inoperable. So again, most of us are already living this risk, just not as extensive as the 2018s that have Firefly in the house

(INTERBLOG - the Freudian slip in the name is ironic, eh? )

OK, my update on my AI -
To my service manager's credit, he listened to my request to check with AS Tech Support if my unit is also having same issue on the existing problem LewK is having. And so happens his tech guru just came back from Airstream. He is fully aware of the issue LewK is having. So, it seems LewK's issue has made the rounds through the dealer techs. Spoke with the tech guru and plan was to go through the system to verify issue. Cut to the chase - even though my symptoms are IDENTICAL to LewK's, he has come to the conclusion that the cause is not the same and that they can fix it. All I know for now is it is not the comm issue that LewK's unit seem to be experiencing. They still believe the problem with my unit is a/c related and not controller related. Service manager understood that first thing to do is separate the a/c from the Firefly controller. They did that very quickly. I am just assuming they completely disconnected the Dometic a/c out from Firefly and just hooked up a mechanical controller or just plain switches to it. At least that would have been the easiest way to zero-in on which subsystem is failing.

This is obviously great news for me, and I will remain hopeful but guarded until I get it back in a few days.
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:20 PM   #13
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BUT keep in mind, we are already using similar technology in the MB - the CANBUS system is basically a similar 2-wire technology (CAN Hi & CAN Lo) with slightly different implementation. It would've been nice if instead of using Firefly, the RV industry in general would've found a way to implement the house wiring using the CANBUS technology which has been thoroughly put through the wringer. And as a reminder again, if our CANBUS in the MB chassis fails on even the much older units, our entire vehicle is inoperable. So again, most of us are already living this risk, just not as extensive as the 2018s that have Firefly in the house
Multiplex wiring for autos has been around at least 30 years. Firefly is just a new player focusing on the RV industry, and apparently they are like a lot of companies today and they're using the customer as the Beta tester, because given the number of failures we're seeing, I would hate to think that's going to be the long term performance of these units.

Best luck to both of you and hoping for a speedy resolution so you can get out there and enjoy your rigs worry-free. Summer is nearly here!
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:27 PM   #14
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I've seen claims that multiplex wiring, regardless of the controller used, reduces the amount of wiring needed by up to 40%.

With that said, while this is a nice benefit in terms of cost, weight, and a reduced number of connections, I'm not a fan. This tech seems to be inconsistent at best, and introducing a single point of failure for the entire electrical system just seems like a really bad idea to me. If the Firefly (or Silverleaf, or any other multiplex controller) craps out for any one of a dozen reasons, you're done. Nothing works.

EDIT: I monitor the Facebook Airstream group and another owner just reported a dead Firefly controller that needs to be replaced. I realize this likely isn't Airstream's fault, but if I were in their shoes I'd be having a conversation with their supplier on how to improve reliability of their controller. There are too many reports of dodgy/dead controllers......

I'm with you - sometimes simple things can get over integrated. Perhaps Firefly was not Airstreams best choice. I understand in the Advanced RV installations of SilverLeaf most all the discrete controls are retained and just mounted behind the central control panel. The SilverLeaf just ties them all together on a single control screen. If something goes wrong you can just flip up the SiverLeaf panel an use the discrete dedicated controls. Thing like the thermostat, solar controller and inverter control. Best of both worlds.
http://www.silverleafelectronics.com/?q=node/16
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