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Old 05-18-2005, 05:42 PM   #1
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New battery switch - 2003 Classic

I have to replace both my batteries, so I'm going to upgrade the battery disconnet switch at the same time to a marine switch that will allow me to select either single battery, both batteries, or off. The switch was about $20 in the marine aisle at Academy. The RV dealer had the same switch for about $35!.

That will allow me to better judge my battery use when dry camping and also better charge up the batteries. A single battery on line will charge more efficiently than two in parallel.

I had to remove the legs from the marine switch with a hacksaw to fit it into the space behind the sliding sofa front. I simply revolved the red plastic switch body against a sharpie pen on a wood block to get an even line all around and then applied the hacksaw. A little trimming with the belt sander and the switch is ready to install.

I'm tired of having to slide out the sofa front to turn the batteries off and on, so I may put a trimmed opening in the sofa front to access the switch.
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Old 05-18-2005, 05:51 PM   #2
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Sounds like a very good idea. Is there a web-site address for Academy and what is the part #? How about posting some pictures when you get it all done? Thanks,
Ernie
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
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Old 05-18-2005, 06:00 PM   #3
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Ok

Quote:
Originally Posted by aztlanco
Sounds like a very good idea. Is there a web-site address for Academy and what is the part #? How about posting some pictures when you get it all done? Thanks,
Ernie
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
As far as I know, Academy is a central Texas chain that started out selling military surplus years ago and now have dropped the "Surplus" in the name. Most any marine store should have similar battery switches; Academy had two similar switches by different manufacturers at about the same price. I'm sure West Marine has similar switches, but they are further from home.

My switch is a Blue Sea Systems 9000e series, PN 9001e.. It is rated at 300A continuous, more than adequate for an Airstream.

I will post photos when done.
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:11 PM   #4
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Some photos

Here is the modified switch with the sawed-off legs next to it. The second photo is the connection side of the switch. The red material is Lexan.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:13 PM   #5
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Thanks John, that was very helpfull .
Ernie,
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:35 PM   #6
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I am trying to do the same thing, but have questions regarding the charging set up. I dont have a converter, and am using a regular deep cycle charger, I also have a charge line coming in from the tow vehichle. I have two batteries in parallel.

You mention it is best to charge them invividually. How do you wire that into the switch configuration? Where do I put the charge line coming in from the TV?

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old 05-19-2005, 01:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mbatm01
I am trying to do the same thing, but have questions regarding the charging set up. I dont have a converter, and am using a regular deep cycle charger, I also have a charge line coming in from the tow vehichle. I have two batteries in parallel.

You mention it is best to charge them invividually. How do you wire that into the switch configuration? Where do I put the charge line coming in from the TV?

Thanks,

Kevin
By the way, my trailer was not wired quite like the diagram in my manual. I scanned the manual page and am using Photoshop to make a modified diagram to fit the new switch configuration for my manual. That way, if I ever sell the trailer, the manual will be correct.

I'm sre all years of Airstreams are not alike, but here's what I am doing.

My two batteries were originally wired into a bus bar that has 3 circuit breakers coming off of it. The batteries will be wired to the battery terminals on the new switch. The common of the new switch will be wired back to the bus bar where the batteries were connected. The charge line from the TT and the charge line from the convertor stay just where they were.

That leaves the problem of the propane detector which should be constantly powered on. I could simply run it off of either battery, but I'll use two diodes in a "Y" configuration from the battery terminals of the new switch to the propane detector line. That way, it will run off of the battery with the highest charge. There is already an inline fuse in the propane detector line.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:10 PM   #8
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Auto Charging Relay

It might be worthwhile to look at the Auto Charging Relay at West Marine (or their website) for A/B dual battery systems. The Relay is connected between the positive terminals of two batteries (and a ground wire to ground). The tow vehicle charging line is connected to one of the battery positive terminals, say battery "A". When the "A" battery is fully charged the relay connects the "B" battery in parallel then it charges. The beauty of this design is that you don't have to worry about switches to maintain the tow vehicle's charging of your batteries. The same would apply using A/C and a DC converter.
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:45 PM   #9
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Power box

Here is the power box under the couch with the front panel removed so that I can cut a 3 5/8" hole in the panel to mount the new switch. The bus bar where the battery cables first attached is at right while the ground block is at left. The silver box is the Intellepower and the black box above it is full of circuit breakers.

The DC distrubution panel is temporarily stowed to the left of the Intellepower. By tilting it, it can be removed from the front panel after removing 6 screws.

The red item at left is a 750W inverter that will be permanently wired in. The inverter will ride where it is now stowed while not in use. When in use, there is enough loose wire to lay it out in front of the couch on the floor.
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:02 PM   #10
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Switch mounted

Here is the switch in the modified front panel. If I later decide to reveal it through an opening in the front of the couch, I can remount it on the front of the panel to bring it out even with the couch front.
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:08 PM   #11
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Another thread

I just noticed another thread that uses a slightly different switch to accomplish the same thing. There were never any answers to that thread and I noticed it only in the list of related threads shown at the bottom of this thread. The other thread was posted several years ago.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:21 PM   #12
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John,

Thanks for the reply, but I still have a question. Your comment - "The charge line from the TT and the charge line from the convertor stay just where they were." - I am building my from scratch and dont have a reference...where are those charge lines attached? to the bus bar or direct to the batteries?

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbatm01
John,

Thanks for the reply, but I still have a question. Your comment - "The charge line from the TT and the charge line from the convertor stay just where they were." - I am building my from scratch and dont have a reference...where are those charge lines attached? to the bus bar or direct to the batteries?

Thanks,

Kevin
They both connect to the bus bar, that hasn't changed. The converter connects directly while the charge line from the TT connects to the bus bar through a 30A breaker which is an integral part of the bus bar.
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Old 05-20-2005, 09:01 AM   #14
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Thanks, John!!!

Kevin
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