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Old 01-15-2018, 05:24 PM   #1
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Weird charging in storage with heater

Our van is kept in enclosed storage, hooked to shore power, with the power panel set to 20amp source.

Today, in anticipation of freezing temps in Houston, I attempted to place a small electric space heater in the van, plugged into one of the high-capacity A/C outlets in the rear of the van.

When I turned on the heater (about 900 watts), I noticed the Magnum switch to "Off", no charging amps, and battery voltage 12.6v. Only a few minutes before it was cycling normally between Absorb and Float, and battery voltage was 13.+ When I turned off the heater, Magnum went back to normal.

OK, so maybe I was overloading the van circuit. I removed the heater to outside the van, and plugged it into the storage unit A/C outlet, the same one the van is plugged into. Turned it on and SAME THING HAPPENED! Magnum switched to Off, etc. Turn off heater, Magnum returns to normal charge behavior.

(I also turned on/off the van's tank heater during these trials, but it didn't make any difference other than adding an amp to the A/C load.)

So how is the Magnum sensing the presence of the heater? I can only speculate that perhaps the A/C line in the storage unit is marginal, and the extra load causes the line voltage to drop, triggering the Magnum load-shedding function.

Weird?
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:55 PM   #2
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The heater is probably causing the voltage on the circuit to fall below what the Magnum inverter will accept. If that 120VAC circuit in your storage unit is at the end of a line or shared by many other users this can easily happen.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:06 PM   #3
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If your storage facility is like mine, you might think about winterizing (as I did last week). One circuit is probably shared by several units (as in our case). Therefore it's a distinct possibility that a number of bubbas are going to get the same memo at the same time, probably because school's closed tomorrow so that memo is hard to miss, and X number of them will feel the need to run heaters for one reason or another. If they all do it at once, the breaker trips and voila - no more heat for anyone until the owner manages to scurry back to the site to re-set the breaker. Which (s)he probably won't get around to right away, with kids unexpectedly home from school, and all (as in our case).

Short version: I wouldn't trust the on-site electrical supply in that scenario. Not when there's a possibility of damage to the rig if it fails.
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Old 01-15-2018, 09:06 PM   #4
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I'm almost positive that is a voltage drop issue. Don't trip the breaker otherwise mine will go off-line. Given that the forecast has us below freezing for over 12 hours, I'd at least drop the water out of the system. I did this after returning from McKinney Falls. I did put a little RV antifreeze in the Gray and Black tanks to get it into the macerator. Drained the hot water tank and galley lines, but no AF in the lines. Fingers crossed all makes it through.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:09 PM   #5
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I'm almost positive that is a voltage drop issue. ...
I agree that it is likely a low voltage dropout issue as I said in my first response. To be sure I checked the manuals. The default VAC DROP is 80V, but it can be set to 60, 80 or 100V. See attached manual page for details. I don't know if Airstream changes the default from 80V to 100V, but worth checking. A heavily loaded AC circuit can easily drop to below 100V. Dropping below 80 is also possible.
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:45 PM   #6
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I think my VAC dropout is set to 100
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:04 AM   #7
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I hope you got that stuff sorted out, and the winterizing done. Here below is a sight for sore eyes. If it's this cold at 7 a.m. in Houston, then it definitely fell into the teens overnight on the north side of town. I heard that it was predicted to be the coldest night in 20 years, but my husband thinks it's more like the 1980s since this kind of thing happened.

The sleet piled up on the ground prior to nightfall last night. Or dog, with zero experience in freezing conditions, steps on the grass, hears it crackle, and interprets that it's the sound of the gnashing of teeth, such that the lawn is maybe trying to bite her. So she stances herself to bite back, facing it down with expectation of having to strike.


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Old 01-17-2018, 09:23 AM   #8
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My trailer is in an enclosed storage facility in Fulshear. I didnít winterize and am hoping for the best.

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Old 01-17-2018, 10:48 AM   #9
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Hi TayaraTravel,

Please call our customer service and technical support team at*1 (877) 596-6111, option 2 so we can learn more and help with your 2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext.

Thanks.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rocket53 View Post
My trailer is in an enclosed storage facility in Fulshear. I didnít winterize and am hoping for the best.

Mike
Depending on the configuration of your facility, you might have gotten lucky -- so far. We just got back from checking our rig, and all three of our thermostats agree that we are still above freezing (confirmed by the visible presence of residual liquid water, unfrozen, in sink, toilet, on the floor beside hot water heater which I had previously purged). This despite the exterior temperature still being 27 degrees at 11 a.m.

The thing is, though, our building is 200 feet long, and our bay is located approximately in the middle of it. That's one heck of a thermal mass. Even though it's not insulated, it takes a lot to lower that slab temperature enough to get freezing temps inside.

That might occur tonight, though, as we are going back into the lower 20's, after being at near record-setting cold to start with. Hence my "so far" comment above.

This is our lithium yellow alert scenario, as the lithiums can't receive any sub-zero charge. I'd previously thrown the physical switches to cease all possible inputs to the battery bank. There's not supposed to be any inputs while garaged of course, but I'm neurotic about the potential for minor sneak pathways as yet undiscovered.

On this Electrodacus battery management system display, you can see "+01C" in two locations right above the green status bar. That means that both the unit itself and the batteries it controls are at one degree Celsius.

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Old 01-18-2018, 07:52 AM   #11
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I hope you got that stuff sorted out, and the winterizing done. ...
We drained the fresh tank and put RV antifreeze in the gray & black, ran macerator until pink.

Then with with McRider's help we drained the hot water tank and opened low point fresh valves.

Hopefully that was enough.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TayaraTravel View Post
We drained the fresh tank and put RV antifreeze in the gray & black, ran macerator until pink.

Then with with McRider's help we drained the hot water tank and opened low point fresh valves.

Hopefully that was enough.
You should make sure outside shower is drained. Best way is to insert the hose, turn hot and cold on, and use air to purge the system. You can buy, at RV stores,a tool with hose-end threads and a tire-valve like end to screw in to your city water inlet. Any small compressor will do. I hook mine up to my shop compressor and set the pressure at 40 psi.

I bought my AI in January, used, and the outside shower had been cracked by ice and leaked. Replaced by the dealer at no cost to me, but spoiled our first use of the coach.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:31 AM   #13
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Should have ... past tense. Too late now. I did pack the area behind the door of the outside shower with fiberglass insulation. Not much help in this situation, because the van was sitting in ambient temperatures with no interior heat.

We never use the thing, anyway. We'll find out if any damage when we get ready for next trip.
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:24 PM   #14
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Should have ... past tense. Too late now. I did pack the area behind the door of the outside shower with fiberglass insulation. Not much help in this situation, because the van was sitting in ambient temperatures with no interior heat.

We never use the thing, anyway. We'll find out if any damage when we get ready for next trip.
Best use for the outside shower, for me, is to fill the fresh water tank when we are hooked up to city water. I take the spray end off of the shower hose and plug that end into the fresh water inlet. I turn on the cold tap until the fresh tank is full. That saves me fooling around with another long hose and the flow is well controlled. If you use an external filter on the city water hose, the flow is filtered by default.

Lots better than my former trailer where the tank inlet was on the other side.
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