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Old 10-27-2014, 07:51 PM   #15
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Yeah, the manuals are frustrating. There is so much change from model year to model year, seems as if they don't always bother with updating the manual.

I think the best in class self designation has more to do with features and not necessarily quality of build. I have been happy with the quality of mine thus far.

How disappointing that the screen was designed and built without fully functioning along with the side curtain. I am sure that you will be able to figure something out, but still
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:08 PM   #16
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I've seen my 50W panel putting out close to 4 amps in full sun. With everything off, it will keep the batteries fully charged. AFAIK w/ everything off, the only thing drawing current is the BIM and the solar controller and possibly the CO and smoke detectors.

Can't the curtain be closed and then the screen?
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:59 PM   #17
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I've seen my 50W panel putting out close to 4 amps in full sun. With everything off, it will keep the batteries fully charged. AFAIK w/ everything off, the only thing drawing current is the BIM and the solar controller and possibly the CO and smoke detectors.
Thank you 73shark, it suddenly dawned on me that I've had a problem with my panel or solar controller since new. "Solar Charge Amps" has never displayed anything but "0" (in the garage) and "chr", even in the Arizona sun. According to the pdf from Sunexplorer, that means it's never passed anything higher than 0.2 amps.
Another trip to the dealer. Getting very frustrating with these issues.
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:49 AM   #18
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Can't the curtain be closed and then the screen?
Nice thought, but won't work. The privacy curtain is attached to the sliding door, so when the door is open the curtain can't be reached. Once the door is closed, the screen is in the way. The screen is a split design; one panel is fixed, and the other one slides, like a residential sliding door. With the outer door closed, the fixed panel is in the way. You can close the privacy curtain half way, but then the fixed panel makes it impossible to slide it all the way closed and engage the Velcro tabs. If the fixed part could be slid, that would fix the problem, but it's not designed that way. IMHO, it was rushed out the door without proper testing just so AI could keep up with the competition. For now, I just ask my wife with the skinnier arm to do her best, and leave it that way. One other screen-door problem: The outer door can't be closed with the screen also closed, which is a situation that is fairly common. There was a tag that was hanging on the door that warns about this, but once it was removed there is a big risk of damaging the fragile screen with the heavy steel door.
There are also other obvious design mistakes. Here's just one more: There is a flip-up shelf that extends the countertop at the rear. When down, it sticks out about 1/2" too far so the seat under it can't be opened to form the bed without first lifting up the shelf. It was such a pain to do that each time that I finally just removed the shelf altogether. The countertop is long enough anyway, so I don't miss it, but you would think that a company like AI would have built a mock-up and tested all this stuff.
As for the solar output, if 73shark has seen 4 amps, that sounds reasonable, and so I'm on my way back to the dealer to get mine replaced.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:04 AM   #19
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My solar controller had me worrying this past summer. My Lifeline batteries were ruined by sitting on the dealer's lot...run down. When they were replaced with new ones my voltages were always much higher while stored. I had gotten accustomed to seeing a lot of solar output since my old batteries frequently dropped to below 12.6 volts. This doesn't happen that often anymore, and now I do not see a lot of solar output...until i let them drop (or load them up) to a voltage of 12.6 or less. Then the panel output kicks in until it gets the batteries charged up. That's the nature of the "shunt"-type controller. You can be sitting in full sun, but if your voltage is above the "cut-in" voltage you will not see any solar output.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:05 AM   #20
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The privacy curtain is attached to the sliding door, so when the door is open the curtain can't be reached. Once the door is closed, the screen is in the way. The screen is a split design; one panel is fixed, and the other one slides, like a residential sliding door. With the outer door closed, the fixed panel is in the way. You can close the privacy curtain half way, but then the fixed panel makes it impossible to slide it all the way closed and engage the Velcro tabs. If the fixed part could be slid, that would fix the problem, but it's not designed that way.
Thinking way outside the box, IF (and only if) the fixed portion of the screen is outside the sliding portion, there's a simple and elegant solution.

Remove the curtain from the tracks, but leave it connected at the front of the door. Then attach the rear of the curtain to the outside of the screen, so that when the door is closed, so is the curtain, and when the door is open, so is the curtain.

If the sliding portion of the screen is outside the fixed portion, this wouldn't work so well, because sliding the screen closed while the door was open would pull the curtain wrong-way-out, and it would look danged goofy with the curtain attached to the closed screen door.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBoy View Post
The privacy curtain is attached to the sliding door, so when the door is open the curtain can't be reached. Once the door is closed, the screen is in the way. The screen is a split design; one panel is fixed, and the other one slides, like a residential sliding door. With the outer door closed, the fixed panel is in the way. You can close the privacy curtain half way, but then the fixed panel makes it impossible to slide it all the way closed and engage the Velcro tabs. If the fixed part could be slid, that would fix the problem, but it's not designed that way.
If the modification in my previous post isn't doable because the sliding screen is outside the fixed screen, then if worse comes to worse, you could always use one of these tools to grab the unreachable part of the curtain to open or close it:

Not ideal, but better than nothing…
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:03 AM   #22
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Protagonist: I like the way you think, but the sliding screen is outside, so the first idea wont work. The second is also problematical because those pick-up devices are designed to pull things, not push them. A better fix might be some sort of small hand-sized "doggie-door" on the fixed part of the screen right where the Velsro tabs are located. You could push the swinging door open to reach the curtain, fix it in place, and the door would swing closed to keep the bugs out. An even better idea would be if the privacy curtain were completely reversed, with the bulk of it attached to the back end, and the smaller Velcro part toward the front. That way, it would be easier to reach in, grab the fabric, and then pull (rather than push) the curtain closed with the Velcro. I might try this mod someday.....
Meanwhile toskeysam had a good suggestion on the solar output, but I still think mine are not functioning correctly. Why then would the batteries continue to discharge, even in full sun? Seems to me the solar should at least keep them topped up in full sun.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:29 AM   #23
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My thoughts:

Y'all have paid big bucks for these new and tricked out models, and options such as the screen door.

If you have to go back to the dealer, or even make a trip to JC, I would insist while under warranty that Airstream make things functional and right for you. Likely they have already figured some of these things out and fixed them on the line......but, then again, maybe not.

I am really, really glad that we don't have all the gauges of the newer models....we have colors, rather than something digital or whatever. It would drive me 'round the bend, as it does some of you.

Life is too short for such frustration attached to a pleasure vehicle.


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Old 10-28-2014, 12:36 PM   #24
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You could push the swinging door open to reach the curtain, fix it in place, and the door would swing closed to keep the bugs out. An even better idea would be if the privacy curtain were completely reversed, with the bulk of it attached to the back end, and the smaller Velcro part toward the front.
You'd need a longer, one-piece curtain in place of the original two-piece, but that should work even better than my first idea. In fact, you could go with a thermal lined fabric to repel a bit more heat while you're making the new curtain…
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:09 PM   #25
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My solar controller had me worrying this past summer. My Lifeline batteries were ruined by sitting on the dealer's lot...run down. When they were replaced with new ones my voltages were always much higher while stored. I had gotten accustomed to seeing a lot of solar output since my old batteries frequently dropped to below 12.6 volts. This doesn't happen that often anymore, and now I do not see a lot of solar output...until i let them drop (or load them up) to a voltage of 12.6 or less. Then the panel output kicks in until it gets the batteries charged up. That's the nature of the "shunt"-type controller. You can be sitting in full sun, but if your voltage is above the "cut-in" voltage you will not see any solar output.
When parked in the sun, I can always hear the solar controller clicking, so it's doing something.
But here's a typical scenario: on a long trip with the coach electrics on and the fridge stocked and running; we stop for several hours to do shopping, etc, and we're parked in the sun, and I may even turn on the MaxxAir roof vent to help keep the interior cool. After a few hours we get back and I notice the solar display shows maybe 85% and "chr". Surely under these circumstances it should be charging at close to 4 amps, not less than 0.2 amps.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:16 PM   #26
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This is probably a newbie question, but what does "chr" mean?
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:20 PM   #27
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This is probably a newbie question, but what does "chr" mean?
It means the solar controller is charging the batteries, but the amperage is less than 0.2 amps, according to the solar controller manual.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:45 PM   #28
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Thank you, UKDUDE.
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