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Old 06-11-2016, 09:20 AM   #113
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Just one more comment on my experience with SB 164. Since I don't have much time before I leave on my trip, I decided to wait until I'm back to start switching cables and disabling the solenoid. Meanwhile, when I plugged in to shore power to charge the house batteries, there was a distinct burning smell from the area of the inverter while the charge rate was high. This happened again the next day after I depleted the batteries and charged them again. I sent a note to AS about it, but their answer was not conclusive... "there might be some left over residue (burn off) from the installation...." I'm going to assume they are right, and the smell disappears after a few more cycles. However, I wonder if anyone else who has NOT reversed the solenoid installation has had the same experience with a burning smell?
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:25 AM   #114
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Just one more comment on my experience with SB 164. Since I don't have much time before I leave on my trip, I decided to wait until I'm back to start switching cables and disabling the solenoid. Meanwhile, when I plugged in to shore power to charge the house batteries, there was a distinct burning smell from the area of the inverter while the charge rate was high. This happened again the next day after I depleted the batteries and charged them again. I sent a note to AS about it, but their answer was not conclusive... "there might be some left over residue (burn off) from the installation...." I'm going to assume they are right, and the smell disappears after a few more cycles. However, I wonder if anyone else who has NOT reversed the solenoid installation has had the same experience with a burning smell?
Not at all. And I have even modified the settings on the Magnum inverter to charge at full 50 amps instead of 25 amps that is the default.

I would open the area where the inverter is (only four easy screws in mine), let it cook in the same way and use your nose to see where you think the smell is coming from. And also carefully, without wearing any watches or jewelry, feel all the thick cables. Try to tug them left and right. They must not move at all. Look for burnt insulation around the connector to make sure nothing is melted. If all of this checks out, the fault may be inside the inverter itself.

If you have an infrared camera, you can also use that effectively to see what is getting hot.

I say there are 9 chances this is something that needs to be repaired/looked at immediately and only one chance of it being "normal."
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:01 PM   #115
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Thanks, amirm. Please tell me this: do I have to remove the seat to get the screened cover off? It seems to me that the screws are nearly inaccessible without removing the seat, and that looks like a heavyweight job.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:40 PM   #116
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Thanks, amirm. Please tell me this: do I have to remove the seat to get the screened cover off? It seems to me that the screws are nearly inaccessible without removing the seat, and that looks like a heavyweight job.
I've removed the seat cushions before. Removing the seat back makes it easier to remove the seat bottom. The seat back is held on with four nuts. Remove them and the back lifts off. It's light enough for one person to handle, but bulky enough to make it easier for two.

The seat bottom is held on by two nuts at the rear, and two machine screws at the front. Remove the rear nuts while the seat is upright. Remove the front machine screws while the seat is partially reclined (about halfway reclined). As with the seat back, the seat bottom is light enough for one person to lift, but bulky enough to make it easier for two.

For both cushions, it's easier to lift them out through the rear doors.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:48 PM   #117
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I pull that bottom lounge cushion all the time.

With the back fully upright, there are 2 -7/16 nuts on the bottom of the frame that must be removed first. Be sure to mark the holes they use. It's easiest to access these thru the rear doors.

Next, move the bottom forward about a foot. This will reveal the 2- 1/4x20 flat head bolts that hold the cushion at the front. #3 Phillips and 7/16 wrench.

With the back about half way down, remove the cushion by lifting it so you lift the rear bride from the holes.


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Old 06-11-2016, 05:23 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by coder View Post
How about this instead:

Cole Hersee #48521
Solid State Electronic Relay, wired to be Normally Open
200A at 12V
2 mA quiescent
Splash & vibration resistant, low noise (SAE J1455)
5" x 6" x 3"
$95 on Amazon
Thanks to the new info from Lew, seemed like implementing this relay was the right solution. Here is the right setup in my 2016 with dual bunk beds:



Visible is the Magnum inverter (the larger box) and the offending unit, the shiny metallic object to its left. The darn thing was cooking so much that 10 minutes after disconnecting it, it was still too hot to touch the nuts!



I have a set of insulated Wiha sockets that allowed me to remove the connections without disconnecting the battery negative. I was super careful, as the red large cable remains fully energized as noted earlier even with the DC disconnect. So if you are a less lazy person than me, I highly recommend crawling under the van and disconnecting the wires there.

The relay Coder mentions above comes with four control wires. You only need two of them: the black for ground and purple for the switch. The Orange is only used if you have a momentary manual switch. The ones in our AS is toggle so we don't use that. And the white is an indicator for a light and such which we don't need.

Connection therefore will be the white wire from the old solenoid which goes directly to the ground, to the black wire on the new. And the old blue wire to purple on the new relay. I cut the ring connectors and put in Ancor marine butt spliced adhesive connectors. A bit of heat gun application makes the connections waterproof. Wish the new relay had connectors instead of wires but it does not. I will likely redo this when I switch to Lithium.

Mounting the new relay was problematic because it is much larger that the old solenoid:



I had to put it further back so that it would not cut into the messy wire bundle that Airstream has given us. I only had room to put screws on one side of the flange. As it happens, the wheel well rises on the other side and supports it. To make sure it did not cut into the insulation, I put in three strips of good electrical tape under it to make it non-abrasive and provide some cushioning. Using nice set of aggressive stainless steel screws, a washer and a locking one, it became more secure than I expected! Maybe LB_3 can come up with a better solution .

The large size means this thing cruises. With just a couple of hundred watts of load on the inverter, it did not even remotely change temperature. Voltage drop was non-existent between the terminals. And current consumption too low to be measurable by my DC clamp meter.

The project was part fun, part dissapointment. Fun in being able to improve something. Disappointment was having to fix a clear flaw that I should not have had to do.

By the way, I remeasured the power drop with the old solenoid that it was around 10 watts! Not sure why I measured less last time. Today I had the van out in a parking lot for hours and single solar panel had no trouble keeping both the fridge and freezer going. This relay was a big power consumer to be sure.

Thanks much to Coder for finding this solution. And again to Lew for helpful info on the Magnum.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:26 PM   #119
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BTW, notice the rats nest in there. Wires going everywhere, nothing labeled, wires not clamped to keep them from vibrating, etc.

I put in a couple more zipties and organized the wires a bit so that they would not chafe against the new relay. It was difficult due to short length of some of the wires. All of this could have been done so much nicer and better with not much cost.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:08 PM   #120
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do I have to remove the seat to get the screened cover off?
You do not have to remove the seat to take the screen off (at least on mine). Tilt the jump seat halfway up and what I found the screws were installed at a slight angle that allowed me to remove them with no problem. BE SURE TO DISCONNECT THE BATTERY UNDER THE COACH BEFORE WORKING IN THIS AREA.

When you get ready to remove the solenoid and extra wiring all together, you will want to remove the Jump Seat to make the chore easy. The are two bolts on each side. The rear bolts are very easy to get to. With the screen removed, the two front bolts (actually their nuts) can be easily accessed.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:14 PM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post
Thanks to the new info from Lew, seemed like implementing this relay was the right solution. Here is the right setup in my 2016 with dual bunk beds:



Visible is the Magnum inverter (the larger box) and the offending unit, the shiny metallic object to its left. The darn thing was cooking so much that 10 minutes after disconnecting it, it was still too hot to touch the nuts!



I have a set of insulated Wiha sockets that allowed me to remove the connections without disconnecting the battery negative. I was super careful, as the red large cable remains fully energized as noted earlier even with the DC disconnect. So if you are a less lazy person than me, I highly recommend crawling under the van and disconnecting the wires there.

The relay Coder mentions above comes with four control wires. You only need two of them: the black for ground and purple for the switch. The Orange is only used if you have a momentary manual switch. The ones in our AS is toggle so we don't use that. And the white is an indicator for a light and such which we don't need.

Connection therefore will be the white wire from the old solenoid which goes directly to the ground, to the black wire on the new. And the old blue wire to purple on the new relay. I cut the ring connectors and put in Ancor marine butt spliced adhesive connectors. A bit of heat gun application makes the connections waterproof. Wish the new relay had connectors instead of wires but it does not. I will likely redo this when I switch to Lithium.

Mounting the new relay was problematic because it is much larger that the old solenoid:



I had to put it further back so that it would not cut into the messy wire bundle that Airstream has given us. I only had room to put screws on one side of the flange. As it happens, the wheel well rises on the other side and supports it. To make sure it did not cut into the insulation, I put in three strips of good electrical tape under it to make it non-abrasive and provide some cushioning. Using nice set of aggressive stainless steel screws, a washer and a locking one, it became more secure than I expected! Maybe LB_3 can come up with a better solution .

The large size means this thing cruises. With just a couple of hundred watts of load on the inverter, it did not even remotely change temperature. Voltage drop was non-existent between the terminals. And current consumption too low to be measurable by my DC clamp meter.

The project was part fun, part dissapointment. Fun in being able to improve something. Disappointment was having to fix a clear flaw that I should not have had to do.

By the way, I remeasured the power drop with the old solenoid that it was around 10 watts! Not sure why I measured less last time. Today I had the van out in a parking lot for hours and single solar panel had no trouble keeping both the fridge and freezer going. This relay was a big power consumer to be sure.

Thanks much to Coder for finding this solution. And again to Lew for helpful info on the Magnum.
Ahhhhh!...........the Airstream 'Rat's Nest'!!!

So many wires........so little time to bundle and loom them properly!!!!!

I am in the final stages of a total electrical upgrade on a new 30 International and it had a similar nest of wires at the front where themes bars are located.

Here is the 'after' shot. I don't have the heart to take a 'before' picture....
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:05 AM   #122
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Lew, always a show-off setting the standard for the rest of us.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:38 PM   #123
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Service Bulletin 164 - Battery Draw

😄. Have to keep you guys in line!!!


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Old 03-17-2017, 08:52 PM   #124
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GOOD NEWS!!!

It seems that Airstream has finally gotten the message about the horrors of the SB-164

While tearing down a new (2016) Grand Tour EXT, I did not find the dreaded $7.95 solenoid that Airstream has been using for their 'update' to the inverter wiring. What I did find was a second automatic disconnect switch that was wired into the control circuit at the side door that had the inverter positive cable running thru it.

Interesting solution!!!!!

Of course, the rat's nest (must be the same rat that is doing all of this rummy wiring!!!! ) will be totally re-done once the project is completed. 2 Victron 200 Ah lithiums with 12/200 BMS, Twin Victron Orion DC to DC converters to allow for 60 amp alternator charging of the lithiums, Magnum MS-2012 inverter/charger, Blue Sky solar charge controller and 400 watts of solar, along with a host of other 'goodies' !

Just thought that the AI crowd would like to know that Airstream IS listening to the complaints posted here........at leads we hope so!!!

Here's what it looks like:
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:54 PM   #125
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That's good news!

While I am posting this, do NOT use the solid state switch mentioned earlier. It does not work in this application. Using a motorized switch as the new wiring Lew post is the right solution. Sans the rat's nest of course .
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:26 AM   #126
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And no......I didn't write this while inebriated! Auto-correct does like to have it's way on occasion though ......
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