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Old 04-16-2015, 12:42 AM   #1
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Electrical short

2015 ASI EXT. On shore power. Earlier this evening I ran a 110v ceramic heater, turned on lowest setting-it worked. Van got cool, turned heater up- no power. Checked another circuit-no power. Opened breaker panel, several breakers tripped. Reset all but GFCI when I tried to reset that instantly broke circuit again. Unplugged heater, tried again, same results. Unplugged from shore power. Only a few hundred miles from a dealer. Any suggestions meanwhile.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:59 AM   #2
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By the way I'm in New Mexico. Midnight. Going to bed.
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:41 AM   #3
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Ceramic heater probably draws too much current on HIGH (might be OK on low). This is especially true if you are connected to a 15 or 20 amp circuit (shore power). For 30 amp circuit, the heater might be OK. However, I think internal circuit breakers inside your Airstream are 15 amp.

Just guessing, but your heater probably draws 800-1200 watts on LOW and 1400-1800 on HIGH (1800 watts divided by 120 volts = 15 amps).

Strongly suggest you use propane furnace (that's what it's for), as the fan/blower motor draws significantly less current (and that's at 12 volts DC, not 120 volts AC).

Regarding tripped circuit breakers, reset ALL breakers -- Both, those on the RV outlets (outside on the power post) to which your shore power cable is connected, AND the ones inside your Airstream.

Also, tripped breakers must be "re-armed" after tripping. To do this, push the circuit breaker switch FIRMLY to the OFF position. When done successfully, you will feel a spring-loaded click as the switch moves PAST the normal OFF position. Then, move switch back to ON position. This should be done to ALL breakers, both inside your Airstream and in the power box outside.

Note: If you use any other 120 volt AC appliances that draw high-current (e.g.; microwave, hair dryer, iron, electric skillet, Keurig coffee brewer, etc.), you must turn ALL other devices OFF while the ceramic heater is ON. Total amperage must be less than 15 amps (1800 watts) per 120 volt AC circuit.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carver123 View Post
2015 ASI EXT. On shore power. Earlier this evening I ran a 110v ceramic heater, turned on lowest setting-it worked. Van got cool, turned heater up- no power. Checked another circuit-no power. Opened breaker panel, several breakers tripped. Reset all but GFCI when I tried to reset that instantly broke circuit again. Unplugged heater, tried again, same results. Unplugged from shore power. Only a few hundred miles from a dealer. Any suggestions meanwhile.
If a GFCI breaker trips, it can be for TWO possible reasons.
1 - Excessive loads, just like any other breaker; or
2 - A ground fault.
It's clear to me that since the GFCI circuit tripped again even with the ceramic heater unplugged that you missed a step in doing your reset..

One outlet on the GFCI circuit, behind the driver's seat, also has test and reset switches. I don't know which bright boy at Airstream though it made sense to put a GFCI outlet on a circuit protected by a GFCI breaker when common wisdom is to never have more than one GFCI on any one circuit. But they did. So before you reset the GFCI breaker, you have to reset that outlet. Otherwise the breaker thinks there's still a ground fault because the outlet is still tripped.

That's true even if you didn't have anything plugged into the outlet and it wasn't a ground fault that caused the trip in the first place. When the breaker trips, so does the outlet, regardless of the reason. I know from personal experience.

By the way, I like the acronym ASI for AirStream Interstate. Some people have complained in the past that using AI for Airstream Interstate was confusing. I'll have to start using ASI myself.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Carver123 View Post
2015 ASI EXT. On shore power. Earlier this evening I ran a 110v ceramic heater, turned on lowest setting-it worked. Van got cool, turned heater up- no power. Checked another circuit-no power. Opened breaker panel, several breakers tripped. Reset all but GFCI when I tried to reset that instantly broke circuit again. Unplugged heater, tried again, same results. Unplugged from shore power. Only a few hundred miles from a dealer. Any suggestions meanwhile.

If the shore power is believed to be 20 amps such as you might have at home, then you should really set the Precision Circuits Power Control System panel to 20 amps. That will allow the Power Control System to shed the circuits instead of the breakers.
Exactly the same thing happened to me with a ceramic heater, and I was able to watch the display show the amperage spike (up to nearly 28 amps if I remember) and then it shut off the circuits. They came back again after a while.


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Old 04-16-2015, 03:13 PM   #6
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Electrical short

I don't understand the hesitancy about using the propane furnace. We have used ours a number of times in the seven months of ownership and have found it to work very well. And I am always amazed about how little fuel it uses.

About a month ago we had to go to Indiana because my father-in-law had a health issue. I had the AI about 90% packed as we were about to go on our California trip. My wife's dad had bounced back from setbacks before so we took the motorhome with the intent of still going to CA. We ended up being there for nearly two weeks as his 93 year old body couldn't recover this time and he passed.

While we were there we plugged in the AI at my in-laws and slept in their house. The weather worsened and kept getting colder. I turned on the tank heaters and set the furnace at 55. It ran that way for five days plus we spent an overnight stay on the way. Daytime temps were in the 30's and 40's with nighttime temps in the mid 20's. It only took four gallons to fill the tank.
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:12 PM   #7
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+1 on using the propane furnace. It was great for taking off the chill while camping in Denali NP last year.


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Old 04-16-2015, 07:16 PM   #8
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Thanks, all good advice, I'm on a steep learning curve here. Drove this morning to our nearest dealer, Holiday travel Trailer in Albuquerque, they were booked but the first app't was late. All circuits were good, main breaker was fried. AS parts only shows the complete panel. Local sourced the breaker, we picked it up, they installed AS paid the dealer for his time. I can't say enough good things about Holiday. Andrew and Lucas fixed us right up. Everyone there were very friendly and even offered to take us to lunch with them. Our dealer is good also but it will be hard to beat today's experience.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:18 PM   #9
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By the way, I like the acronym ASI for AirStream Interstate. Some people have complained in the past that using AI for Airstream Interstate was confusing. I'll have to start using ASI myself.
Haven't seen these complaints but since Airstream (A) is one word, not sure how ASI makes it less confusing. Or an acronym.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:19 AM   #10
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Why not ACV? Airstream Camper Van. Or; AMV? Airstream Mini Van.
Kind of like the Minnie Winnie. Or;
MA? Minnie Airstream.
Just throwing out ideas.
I have always been confused with the AI designation. Thought it was Artificial Intelligence. Duhhh!


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Old 04-17-2015, 12:48 AM   #11
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Haven't seen these complaints but since Airstream (A) is one word, not sure how ASI makes it less confusing. Or an acronym.
And yet everyone with an Airstream trailer calls it an AS. So ASI for Airstream Interstate is a logical progression.
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:59 AM   #12
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