Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-13-2018, 04:14 PM   #1
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar

 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,396
Electrical burning, heavy smoke w/ 3yr old grandson sleeping in AI

I am posting this not to ask for help in troubleshooting this problem. So please save any hypothesis on what the cause may be. As I always appreciate advice and help and ideas, it will not help at this stage. I have already done as much troubleshooting and problem mitigation, but not to repair the problem. I troubleshot to mitigate the issue from getting worse and to be sure that there are no hidden flames or small embers inside the electrical compartment that could ignite a full-blown fire. That could've burned down the AI or my daughter's house right next to it. I also needed to make sure I could drive the unit back from GJ, CO to LV, NV (550 miles) without risking my family even more during the return trip. I am already in contact with local Las Vegas, NV dealer and AS Jackson Center. This is now in their hands to fix.

I am posting my experience to make the AI owner's aware of this in case it happens to them. Here are some general details of how it happened. I will not be publishing certain aspects of the problem due to potential legal actions I am considering taking. In a previous thread (I forget which), I had mentioned that I am in a select 'club' of MB owners who had sued MB and won against MB. INTERBLOG commented that she would've had to be really peeved-off to sue MB. Well, this situation has put me in that "really peeved-off" condition to consider suing for only the 2nd time in my life. It is not going to take too much more of a nudging from dealer or AS to push me over the edge. So I have placed dealer and AS on notice that they have 1-shot to fix this right. Then all hell breaks loose.

Details if you want to read on:
1. AI parked 3ft. from house & porch.
2. Hooked up AI to shore power to run A/C.
3. Grandson was still asleep, strapped in his carseat.
4. Side slider door partially closed to keep A/C cold air in while allowing me to hear grandson.
5. Family was gathered around house, porch, and right next to side slider door.
6. After 15-20 mins, noticed A/C did not kick in (glad now I have gotten to know the loud A/C noise).
7. Wanted to check why no A/C & also if interior was getting too warm for grandson.
8. When I open slider door, to my horror, I saw thick smoke coming out of the electrical compartment underrneath the R/S rear jump seat and smelled the strong irritant odor of PCB burning (not wood, not paper, not insulation, not organic). Anyone who has worked with PCB for 40 yrs. knows this distinctive burning smell.
9. Immediately removed grandson and took him to safety .
10. Unplugged from shore power.
11. Turned off battery disconnect switch near slider door.
12. Turned off main battery disconnect next to house fuse box.
13. Turned off all breakers.
14. Turned off LPG switch.
15. Turned off chassis battery disconnect.
16. Opened all doors & windows to air out, screens on, left open 24hrs.
17. This entire time - smoke detector, CO2 detector never activated.

18-30. Will not disclose these many extra but necessary steps that I took inside & exterior of AI in order to make sure there are no lingering fires, flames, embers inside that could potentially re-ignite and burn down the AI or the structures next to it.

31-40. Will not disclose these next steps either, but after being satisfied with 18-30, took more steps to make sure the problem was isolated to house side and AI chassis is functioning & is drivable so I can bring to dealer asap.

41. Contacted dealer. Due to previous negative experience with my local dealer (on what was a minor problem), I am very hesitant to have them work on this much more risky side of the house. But service manager has given me some very 'personal' assurances that it will be handled well and that he & I will be involved every step of the way. I will even have a pre-repair meeting with him, shop foreman, and their electrical expert to discuss the game plan and for me to lay down on the table my expectations of them. Did not sugar-coat the fact that I am now in "Zero Tolerance" mode.

42. Contacted AS Jackson Center. Discussed everything from Steps 1-41. Again - Did not sugar-coat the fact that I am now in "Zero Tolerance" mode. All options are available to me, going to dealers further away or going all the way to Jackson Center, if that is what it takes to make me happy. Will also have separate discussion on why detectors did not go off, and possible alternate and/or redundant locations when the time comes. But for now priority is finding/fixing source of burning/smoke. Regardless, those detectors are getting yanked regardless of whether they still test ok or not. Will be sent to Jackson Center for analysis. Jackson Center assures me the entire troubleshooting, repair, and testing process will be controlled by them. I insisted that I am not confident letting the local techs make any decisions. I want ALL decisions to be done by the factory. They agreed 100%. Happy with response from AS.

Both the dealer and AS know they are lucky to have dodged a potentially catastrophic property damage problem (thanks to my due diligence in not letting the thing just burn to the ground) AND a huge liability for personal injury or death.

Every major trip to date (3) has been interrupted by a problem with AI. The first 2 were just minor/annoyances, though still cut short our trip. But a life threatening safety issue raises things to a different level now.
I am not a happy camper right now!
__________________

Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 04:28 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
2013 Interstate Coach
Raymond , Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 808
To the extent possible could you advise/speculate on whether/not this issue might be somehow related to later (post 2013) model years? I have read about an SB164 solenoid that is a band-aid for some other problem. I don't have that solenoid. PM me if you'd rather.
__________________

Titus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 04:40 PM   #3
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar

 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus View Post
To the extent possible could you advise/speculate on whether/not this issue might be somehow related to later (post 2013) model years? I have read about an SB164 solenoid that is a band-aid for some other problem. I don't have that solenoid. PM me if you'd rather.
Not sure if related. Problem is I was able to see the smoke but can not (and would not) want to troubleshoot when smoke was coming out, for obvious reasons. And when things are shut-off and I can safely check on any small lingering flames, melting, source of smoke, I am unable to find any visual clues of burnt or melted damage. I have looked it over from many angles from the top and bottom panel removed as far forward as it will go (without having to resort to removing all the breakers) and still no luck on source. Smoke seems to clearly come from slightly below Magnum inverter. But doesn't mean it wasn't coming from Magnum. Smoke has a way of snaking around tight spots, so could be an optical illusion. And since my intent was NOT to repair, but to mitigate further problems, I was only checking for absence of further problems rather than spend time to fix the problem.
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 04:44 PM   #4
Contributing Member
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,306
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus View Post
I have read about an SB164 solenoid that is a band-aid for some other problem. I don't have that solenoid. PM me if you'd rather.
The SB164 solenoid was a poor quick fix for AI in the 2014-2015 range. It is not present in later models; a second disconnect switch replaced it.

My SB164 solenoid is long gone. I replaced it with a manual battery switch early on.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 04:48 PM   #5
Prof. of Pending Projects
 
wachuko's Avatar

 
2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,691
Alex, very sorry to read this. Glad grandson and family are okay.

Please, do share more once the legal aspects and resolution has been addressed. And this I ask only for awareness and ability to avoid such a situation.
__________________
Safe travels!
Wachuko
WBCCI #26769
2018 Airstream Interstate 3500 Lounge EXT Tommy Bahama w/ARS
wachuko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 04:49 PM   #6
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar

 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
The SB164 solenoid was a poor quick fix for AI in the 2014-2015 range. It is not present in later models; a second disconnect switch replaced it.

My SB164 solenoid is long gone. I replaced it with a manual battery switch early on.
Ahh, good to know. Learn something new every day. And I can confirm there is a 2nd disconnect switch once I opened up the entire compartment.
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 05:04 PM   #7
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar

 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by wachuko View Post
Alex, very sorry to read this. Glad grandson and family are okay.

Please, do share more once the legal aspects and resolution has been addressed. And this I ask only for awareness and ability to avoid such a situation.
WACHUKO - Thanks, and I will share more once the air clears (definitely no pun intended). From a practical standpoint, even after they yank the existing smoke & CO2 detectors and replace with brand new ones, I am pushing for redundant ones installed near the mesh venting above the electrical compartment. AS already knows this and so far, no resistance to my idea. So, it's just a matter of finding the right absolute closest location.
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 05:11 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
Mansderm161's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
2018 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH , South Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 336
Interesting. I have a 2018 I bought in December. We had a pretty cold winter so before I winterized I bought a little ceramic space heater and ran it periodically along with shore power heat. One day when I went out to check and I smelled something burning and it smelled really hot. My first thought was space heater but after I unplugged it, I heard a motor running under the rear seat and the smell was coming from that area. I looked under the seat and could hear the motor sound but but not locate what was running. I turned off shore heat...it kept running. It did not stop till I disconned shore power. It has not done it again, but I havent really used any heat since. I have appointment coming up in JC and plan to ask what it was and to check it out.
Mansderm161 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 05:21 PM   #9
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar

 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mansderm161 View Post
Interesting. I have a 2018 I bought in December. We had a pretty cold winter so before I winterized I bought a little ceramic space heater and ran it periodically along with shore power heat. One day when I went out to check and I smelled something burning and it smelled really hot. My first thought was space heater but after I unplugged it, I heard a motor running under the rear seat and the smell was coming from that area. I looked under the seat and could hear the motor sound but but not locate what was running. I turned off shore heat...it kept running. It did not stop till I disconned shore power. It has not done it again, but I havent really used any heat since. I have appointment coming up in JC and plan to ask what it was and to check it out.
Pretty sure the Magnum MM Series inverters are fan cooled. Probably what you hearing.
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 05:25 PM   #10
Rivet Master

 
2012 Avenue Coach
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 601
Wow, how scary. Glad your diligence paid off listening and watching and your grandson is ok.

I get frustrated when minor things going wrong or break, but mine is a used '2012, and the problems you and others have on new models make my woes seem really insignificant. However, come to think of it, that's not a good thing.
rowiebowie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 05:29 PM   #11
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar

 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
Wow, how scary. Glad your diligence paid off listening and watching and your grandson is ok.


I get frustrated with minor things going wrong or break, but mine is a used '2012, and the problems you and others have make my woes seem really insignificant. However, come to think of it, that's not a good thing.
ROWIEBOWIE - Thank you, my biggest take-away with this is even if the Sprinter chassis is not running, I will never leave any of my family members alone in the AI, especially if they are children and/or asleep, even if just outside the side sliding door
Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 05:59 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Lily&Me's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 14,656
How absolutely terrifying this must have been.

So glad you were nearby and grandson is okay.

Maggie
__________________
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
Lily&Me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 06:01 PM   #13
Prof. of Pending Projects
 
wachuko's Avatar

 
2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,691
What sucks is that we buy these to enjoy and relax... not to have to be worried about someone's life being at risk while using it for its intended purpose.

Even after all is fixed, pretty sure it will leave a bad taste (and smell) in you...

I will shut up and keep looking for updates when those can be shared.
__________________
Safe travels!
Wachuko
WBCCI #26769
2018 Airstream Interstate 3500 Lounge EXT Tommy Bahama w/ARS
wachuko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 06:13 PM   #14
Wannabe RV'er in training
 
Alex AVI's Avatar

 
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
High Desert , Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
How absolutely terrifying this must have been.

So glad you were nearby and grandson is okay.

Maggie
MAGGIE - Thank you. Nothing near what you just went through and are still dealing with. Good to read news going in positive direction, especially Lily's condition. Machines are replaceable. Our children are not (I refer to my dog Belle as my granddog)
__________________

Alex AVI is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Electrical center in sleeping area slantflat General Interior Topics 6 08-12-2015 02:09 PM
HELP! Electrical system in a 1983 is down, and I am at Burning Man! scotdo Classic Motorhomes 9 08-29-2010 12:59 AM
Smoke, Smoke Everywhere ncbambi 2008 Safari SE 14 07-25-2010 07:28 PM
Monterey, CA Trip w/ 6 year old Grandson IrishRover2 On The Road... 5 06-14-2007 11:32 PM
I sold our grandson on Ebay flyfisher Our Community 4 04-27-2005 11:03 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.