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Old 01-01-2012, 08:48 AM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Fredericksburg , Texas
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Rotary switch

New guy again. I am looking to purchase a 1986 345. It's quite nice with many upgrades but the owner says that it will need a new rotary switch, the electrical switch that selects between the A/C units, the microwave, etc. He says it gets hot and trips a breaker. So first, where can I buy a new switch, and second, has anyone ever re-wired this area to install a fuse panel instead? What if I wanted to run an A/C unit and the microwave? It seems foolish to have to switch back and forth. I live in Texas where it gets hot. In my old GMC I sometimes ran both A/C units at once but this does not seem possible with the Airstream. Surely someone has solved this issue.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:03 AM   #2
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
boca raton , Florida
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My rotery switch is only for the air units. I have modified my power so as to run an extra 20 amp cord so both air units can run as they do with the generator running. (About a hundread dollars in parts from Power Solutions) My guess is that the switch is ok, and one of the air units is drawing to much power. Check the unit with a meter that will show amperage draw. Had to replace one of my units. Before my 345, also had a 77 GMC Palm Beach. Loved it, but the bed was to confined. Remember the GMC was set up to need 40amps when plugged in. The 345 is a great upgrade from a GMC!
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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With a 30 amp service you just don't have enough capacity to run the AC and the Micro at the same time. This is a fact not because of the current draw of those 2 alone but rather the total current draw of the rig. The frig, converter, and general ac load that may also be on while attempting to use the AC and Micro at the same time is just too much.

You could put in a 50 amp service and new panel to overcome this problem but there is not much you can do with the present system and retain a safe system.

As for the switch you could replace it with a 20 amp single pole double through common wall switch that you can get a any electrical supply. That switch may be available with a "off" position but you do not need the off position just an either or switch.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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That sounds like the solution, to install a fifty amp service and eliminate the rotary switch. My wife and I looked at a really rough 345 in San Antonio just to see the floor plan and begin to familiarize ourselves with the Airstream. This unit had a built-in blender that was also on the rotary switch.

So someone must have done this 50 amp upgrade and can share some info.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:05 PM   #5
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vonprum,
There's been quite a bit of discussion here on the Classic forum concerning switching to a 50 amp service, from a 30 amp service. Sure that your thread will get quite a bit of advice one way or another.
Personally, when I can afford the change, I will be doing just that. Like you in Texas, it can get quite warm her in Central Florida. Having the ability to run both A/C's, as well as use the other appliances without having to turn off the A/C would be a nice change.
But, I feel certain that changing from 30amp to 50 amp will involve a lot of rewiring, as well as a new circuit breaker panel.
When I'm ready to get this done, I'll be heading right to an RV Electrician.
Just my opinion.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:28 AM   #6
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Derek, You are right in wanting a qualified electrician to do this work but aside from a new 50 amp panel, I think all the wiring is right there at the old panel and will just need to be sorted out and hooked to the new panel. There there is the need for a 50 amp power cord. I'm not sure what would need to be done to eliminate the rotary switch. Anyone?
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:21 AM   #7
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As mentioned above get a single pole double through wall switch and replace the rotary. Look at any 1991 or newer Airstream to see one.

If you wire for a 50 amp service and want to eliminate the switch you will have to run a new wire from the panel to the switch location to feed either the AC or the microwave. That will be a job fishing the line forward but it should be easier in a MH than a trailer having the chassis rather than a belly pan to work with.

I would not have an electrician attempt this but rather someone more familiar with RV construction.
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:46 PM   #8
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[
When I'm ready to get this done, I'll be heading right to an RV Electrician.
Just my opinion.
Thanks, Derek[/QUOTE]
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:14 PM   #9
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Where would this rotary switch be located? What does it look like? Is it labeled? I don't know that I've ever seen one on my rig. Thanks.

Charly
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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My rotary switch is located above the stove, in the overhead cabinet area. LOTS of space used to contain all of the wiring up there too! Anyone with a 325 that has their rotary switch someplace else???
Thanks, Derek
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:04 AM   #11
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1983 30' Airstream 300
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I live in Tx with the heat as an issue, I did not want 50 amp service as many places have limited no. of 50 amp spaces to none. my switch to change from the ac to micro is a switch like my house lights. I find no problem with switching ac off as it is only for a few minutes. I fixed mine so I have a 12 ga cord from the rear ac that plugs into 20amp and the main cord into the 30 amp at the campground or at my homedock so I can use both ac's. It was not expensive and fairly easy if you have electrical knowedge. With the generator running it is all powered. We each make them like we want to use them . This has worked great for me. There are things on all of them that we have to repair or upgrade as rhe old parts wear out and break. Best of luck in finding what you want and making it yours.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #12
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carnetie1935, love to know if you've posted a detailed description of how you did this wiring set-up on your moho.
If not, would you consider a description, as this is something that I'd really like to do on my moho before the heat rolls in this summer.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:46 PM   #13
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My kohler 7000 can run both airconditioners no problem, therefore the wiring can handle the load going into the coach from the generator. Is this wiring two hots, a ground, and a neutral like 50 amp service, or just heavier gauge wire running the one hot that gets split later? Could you not simply wire in 50 amp through this source if there are two hots rather than mess around with the main 30amp wiring? how would this affect the rotary switch too?

Just curious!
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