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Old 07-22-2015, 11:05 AM   #1
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1991 30' Airstream 30
San Francisco , California
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Electrical help please

I hate to ask for ideas before digging through everything, but I'm heading out on a long road trip on Friday and need this fixed!
I was working on my floor the night before last, and left some of the interior lights on as I worked my way out the door thinking that I could just disconnect the house batteries to turn off the lights when I finished up. When I went to do this, the lights states on...odd, but I was tired. I disconnect the main batteries, lights still on, then the house as well...lights off. I think the relay that connects the two must have been on- it's an on off switch on the 94 diesel dash, not a momentary- better check that one.

Last night I had to move it, and when I turned on the lights, the headlights go on, but the dash and front marker lights cycle on for a couple seconds and then foo for a longer time and I can hear a relay click. The rear marker lights do not come on at all.

Last odd thing- the air parking brake was not fully on? When I turn it on, I hear the usual hiss, but it was not being consistent.

Any ideas? Thanks, Sebastian
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:18 AM   #2
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Sounds like you ran down your engine battery. Apparently some of the interior lights are wired to that instead of the coach system. In my B190, the lights that were originally dome lights in the Ford van were still wired to the engine battery.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:22 AM   #3
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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I imagine you've probably already done this but items 2 and 3 sound like funky ground straps somewhere. Have you gone through and cleaned up your straps to the frame?
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:07 PM   #4
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Electrical help.

The aisle lights are on the chassis batteries and switch on from the switch on the dash. They are intended to provide low floor lighting while driving. I put Led bulbs in them so they can be on for a long time without drawing down the batteries.
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:13 PM   #5
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Electrical help.

All the chassis electrical goes through the panel in the front left. There is a hot bus and a key on bus. A solenoid turns on the key on bus. It's located at the top of the panel. All of the chassis electrical goes through breakers on that panel. They auto reset. You probably have a short that is tripping a breaker.

Re torque all of the nuts on the breakers. At some point you will probably want to go through them and clean up the connections.
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:20 PM   #6
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Electrical help.

The parking brake is pretty simple. It's a spring actuated safety brake. A large spring applies the brake. Air pressure releases the brake. The parking knob on releases air pressure causing the brake to set. With the parking brake knob off, air pressurized the cylinder retracting the spring. If you loose air pressure the brake is applied regardless of the knob position. Lubricate the pull cable from the air cylinder to the brake on the rear of the transmission.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the ideas team! I had a look at it with a clear head and found the issue. When you have the dash rocker switch for connecting main and house for starting with a low main battery in the "on" position, it causes all kinds of problems! First thing I did was touch the solenoid...warm. Check voltage and it was on. Turn it off, and turn the lights on...problem solved.
That really freaked me out!
I will install a relay and direct power to run the AC condenser fans before my trip- that is what was heating up the wires behind the dash.
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:16 AM   #8
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Speaking of warm solenoids, I replaced my coach battery solenoid with one of these:

http://www.bestconverter.com/BR100-B...0MIX8oR.mailto

Zero draw when it's on.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SebasSF View Post
Thanks for the ideas team! I had a look at it with a clear head and found the issue. When you have the dash rocker switch for connecting main and house for starting with a low main battery in the "on" position, it causes all kinds of problems! First thing I did was touch the solenoid...warm. Check voltage and it was on. Turn it off, and turn the lights on...problem solved.
That really freaked me out!
I will install a relay and direct power to run the AC condenser fans before my trip- that is what was heating up the wires behind the dash.

Both mine have a relay that powers the fan and compressor clutch.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:19 AM   #10
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Thanks Kota, I found the wire that ran the condenser fans was spliced in just upstream of the thermostat. Not good, so it had a relay now. Ready to hit the road on Friday for several thousand miles.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:17 AM   #11
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Have a fun and safe trip!
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:14 PM   #12
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Thanks Kota, I found the wire that ran the condenser fans was spliced in just upstream of the thermostat. Not good, so it had a relay now. Ready to hit the road on Friday for several thousand miles.

Keep us posted. We are still in Michigan at my folks. Going to park at a local campground so Ann can escape for a few days. Pretty primitive. Beach, Hot tub, pool, cable, wifi, 50 amp, sewer, club house, and golf cart rental...
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Old 07-23-2015, 04:39 PM   #13
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If you don't own one, a Powerprobe is a must have thing for dealing with this stuff!
I have the 3, but they just brought out a 4..
You can find new Powerprobe 3's for under $100 on Ebay... couple that with the ECT2000 short finder and you have a suite of electrical diagnostic tools that will pay for themselves over and over!

Power Probe, Inc.
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:01 AM   #14
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Hey Kota, can you adjust the parking brake? Mine is skipping and scared the crap out of me...moved forward till it hit the curb after I got out and closed the door. Good thing I curbed the tires!
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