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Old 07-17-2005, 09:47 PM   #1
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1992 25' Excella
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Thumbs up Excella-ent with a few glitches

Thank you for the encouragement- we are enjoying our new Excella!
We do have some "newbie" questions-
We replaced the existing batteries in April with new ones. But when we went camping this weekend, we camped at a place without external electricity for one night. The interior lights faded rather quickly. After towing to another camping spot, the lights were bright again but dimmed quickly.
Could there be a problem with the univolt, whatever that is?
Or are we letting the batteries sit in storage too long? How long can you run the interior lights without outside electrical hook up?
Should we take out the batteries when we store our unit?

The refrigerator has a mind of its own, its lights go off even when we are connected to outside electricity. What's with this?

Do the batteries recharge when towing? When connected to external electricity, should the lights have been bright? We could run things plugged into the wall.

We also filled the fresh water tank and it ran out slowly onto the ground. It appears to be leaking out of the region of two things thatr looked like big straws sticking out the bottom.

Other than that, it is great. We appreciate any and all help...
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:04 PM   #2
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wow, where to begin? I would guess that your water leak is from the tank drains, you should be able to screw them closed. As for your electrical issues, I'd be heading back to the dealer who sold it to you and asking them for a nice slow walk through on how everything is supposed to work. i'm assuming this is a new unit.
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:33 PM   #3
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Thank you for the quick help.

No, unfortunately a used unit so I am pretty much on my own.

Where would these drains be located to tighten? When I look underneath, I see a small metal plate screwed into a big tank with 2 hoses protruding, but don't see any plugs. Do I remove this plate from the underneath or is there a plug on the interior?
Thank you!
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:36 PM   #4
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Do you have all the lights in the house on, running the fans, the refrigerator, the water pump, the electonic ignition water heater, the furnace blower, a 12v Television or CD player?
They pull more than you might realize. Think about sitting in your car with the headlights on, the radio/CD on, the fan on, the doors open and the dome light on, rolling the windows up and down....how long does the battery last?
When boondocking, you cannot pretend that the battery will perform like shore power, it won't. Boondocking is just that...minimalizing. Only the light you must have is on. You do other things besides those activities that require battery power. You sit at the campfire, and not reading a book inside with lights on. When you come in, you go to bed, when you wake up, you find things to do outside. If you want to cocoon inside the trailer, you might have to consider hookups at a campground.
Under the metal plate, you will find the water tank and a drain plug that may be leaking. Remove and teflon tape the threads and reinstall if the tank is not cracked. You will also be able to inspect the pitcock valve tube and other plumbing on a limited basis in that area for leaks.
---just my 2 cents---
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:48 PM   #5
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Thank you David!

We only ran a few lights for a few minutes- and the refer indicator lights. What I am wondering about is if the univolt(?) could be aged, and needing replaced. What would that look like? It seems that driving did not recharge things. Could I find this out with a volt meter? The next night when we hooked into electric power the lights did not work, and the refer ignition wouldn't work so we had to connect the tow vehicle into the trailer.
I will look forward to looking for the plate you suggest. May wait til daylight!
Thank you-
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:15 PM   #6
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Butch-
Regarding your water leak: My '92 Excella has two similar drains on the streetside between the wheels. These drain the fresh water tank. Two valves (handles) are located in the drawer/compartment on the streetside near the pull-out pantry in the middle of the trailer, closest to the floor. (Check your owner's manual.)
I'm unsure of the age of your trailer - if close to 1992, you may have a similar setup, and your water leak might be easily remedied.
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butch parkins
Thank you David!

We only ran a few lights for a few minutes- and the refer indicator lights. What I am wondering about is if the univolt(?) could be aged, and needing replaced. What would that look like? It seems that driving did not recharge things. Could I find this out with a volt meter? The next night when we hooked into electric power the lights did not work, and the refer ignition wouldn't work so we had to connect the tow vehicle into the trailer.
I will look forward to looking for the plate you suggest. May wait til daylight!
Thank you-
The refer has indicator lights, but also has a power requirement of thermostat, so it does in fact have a power draw that is more than you might realize.
There should be a charge line from the tow vehicle to the trailer. you might check continuity from the alternator to the charge line at the plug on your tow vehicle, and from the plug to the battery on the trailer.
If you are hooked to shore power, your lights should work. Check fuse block for fuses to be solidly connected and in good condition, also check output of Univolt.
If you are hooked to shore power, then your refer should work off electricity and not propane. If it won't work on electricity, then your heat unit on the refer has a short or has gone bad, or the Univolt is bad.
Lastly, it is possible that your new battery may be defective. Sometimes they sit for minths in warehouses and then when put into service fail very soon. Also, it is possible that if you were plugged into shore power for several days while in storage your batteries could be boiled dry by the charger. Battery water should be checked at least monthly, and more frequently if the trailer is plugged in a lot. Fill batteries with distilled water to maintain fliud levels and don't let batteries go dry or they cook and don't last at all.
---more free advice worth every dime you paid for it---
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:53 AM   #8
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fresh water leaks

butch

welcome to the forum!

first, give us a little more info on what year and length trailer you have. this will allow better advice! i'm guessing you have a early 90's excella because of the area you posted this to.

here is a link on how i handled my fresh water leak, before you go tearing into it please check your low point drain valves. they are connected to the two hoses you mentioned.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ead.php?t=5206

again, being more specific about what you have would be helpful...

your trailer will charge from the tow vehicle when you are traveling. however, it seems that you are not getting a charge from your univolt when on shore power.

start with the basics, check your 120 volt breakers. then find your univolt, and see if it is plugged in and operating. (it may be under the front couch depending on model) after operation is verified, and it is found to be actually making 12 volts we can help you trouble shoot the electrical system from there!

good luck, and fill out your profile so we can help you get your trailer working like it should!

john
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:24 AM   #9
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Your battery should recharge from both shore power and the tow vehicle.

Here is a simple test to get us pointed in the right direction... First use a digital voltmeter to check voltage at the battey without shore power or a connection to the tow vehicle. Then check the voltage again with shore power connected, and no tow vehicle. Then check it again with the tow vehicle connected and idling, but no shore power. Post the results of these tests.
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:05 PM   #10
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Have you checked the wall switch behind the curtain on the curb side. If it is off your univolt will not charge the batteries.
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:28 PM   #11
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Question Equipment failure or Operator?

Thanks to all!
It is a '92 Excella, and it is 25' in length.
I replaced the batteries in April and then it went into storage, took it out in July and ran it for about 2 hours on the tow vehicle and then boondocked. Ran it the next day another couple of hours and then plugged into shore power, and the interior lights were dim. They did not seem to charge up at all overnight.
Talked to a dealer today who said that it may not have been run long enough to charge the batteries, and that we should plug it into our power at home to see if the univolt would charge the battery and run the interior lights for 48 hours to charge it up. I seem to be confusing the CW folks to name this thing a "univolt"? Is it called something else too?

Has there ever been a thread for bonehead things people have done?

It seems my better half ran the water heater without water in it. which resulted in a lot of smoke, some marital drama, and even a gray pipe melting. How can we tell if this caused any serious damage?

Nothing caught fire, which is our new standard for a successful trip.

Thanks for your input...
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butch parkins
Thanks to all!

Has there ever been a thread for bonehead things people have done?

It seems my better half ran the water heater without water in it. which resulted in a lot of smoke, some marital drama, and even a gray pipe melting. How can we tell if this caused any serious damage?

Nothing caught fire, which is our new standard for a successful trip.

Thanks for your input...
Ah, I love your sense of humor. Don't worry, this forum is full of helpful people, and one by one, your issues will be sorted out.
do searches on all relevant areas of concern, and you will find a myriad of answers.
Buy a few essentials for successful Airstream ownership, like a digital volt/ohm meter, and plenty of the beverage of choice.
Sit back, read forum posts, have a drink and relax.
the grey ppe that melted is most likely somewhat impprtant. Have it fixed before you head out again. Your water heater might be on bypass.
Feel free to PM me for specific questions. RV's are not rocket science, but do require a few basic strands of common RV sense.
Best of Luck!
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:55 PM   #13
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I would also call not buring the AS down a good trip. We all do dumb stuff sometimes, live and learn.

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Old 07-19-2005, 08:07 AM   #14
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If the trailer sat for 3 months with the batteries installed they were probably dead. Even with the master switch turned off there is some parasitic load, so I usually disconnect the battery. Even then batteries lose their charge over time. It would take a LONG time to recharge two dead batteries off the tow vehicle. 48 hours on shore power should do it. Check the water level!
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