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Old 02-09-2008, 07:40 PM   #1
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1984 31' Airstream310
Wichita Falls , Texas
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Running rear air when docked

Hello from the sunny state of Texas,
I was out replacing the screens and putting limo tint on the windows of my '84 310 today (it is going to take awhile, but I think it will really help with the UV and summer heat). I would like to know if anyone has rewired their rear air to run while plugged in. Both of my air run while on generator, but only the front runs once I plug into a campsite. To make matters worse when I use the microwave/convection oven, I flip the selector switch, and I have no AC at all !! It is not uncommon for the daytime temp to be 100 plus, with temps in the 80s during the night. The old motor home starts to feel more like a pressure cooker, then a rec. vehicle. I have read in some of the post about people having a plug in the generator area. I have looked high and low but it appears unless I do some rewiring I am stuck with only the front.
Any help would be appreciated.
Fred
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:27 AM   #2
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1984 31' Limited
1983 31' Airstream310
Oriental , North Carolina
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Hi, Fred -
You get a 50-ft extension cord that is #12 wire with ground. You find the breaker box for your rear air (on the 310 it's under the curbside clothes closet - it's separate from the main box) and wire the extension cord in so that you can have power to the rear air when plugged in. The plug goes into a regular 20-amp socket. The standard 30-amp plug will never support both A/C.
Above all, have fun!
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:49 PM   #3
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1984 31' Airstream310
Wichita Falls , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 23
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Thanks, The idea sounds like it might just work. I did find a 50 amp. circuit breaker under the curbside twin a few weeks ago, have not looked under the closet on that side. There is a storage drawer and a fold open storage door under the closet I wonder if the 50 is the connection I need. I will check it out and let you know.
Fred
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:02 PM   #4
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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dual cords

my 345 'Silver Bullet' is an oven with the one a/c. I found the auto-change over box relay and breaker box and wired into the relay output to the rear air with a double-pole double throw 30A switch molded under the dinette set. Ran 10 ga wire back to the back, installed another breaker box, then put a 30 amp pigtail in the cord/hose reel compartment. If the site has 2- 30 amp plugs, or a 50 amp plug, or 1- 30 amp and 1- 20 (duplex) amp, I plug both cords in, flip the switch and run both a/c.
This only effects the rear a/c. New switch UP, normal operation with power selector switch. New switch DOWN, rear a/c works off added power cord.
A lot of old parks have a 30 and 15 amp but have a 30 amp main. It don't work in them. I've installed a new Carrier a/c this last year, but haven't tested it on any old park electric setup.
mel
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:39 AM   #5
Jamie
 
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Oriental , North Carolina
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Hi, Fred - Welcome to the ranks of the '84 310 Limiteds. We're few in number but right up there in everything else! Is yours gasoline or diesel? Do you have the coach (Airstream) serial number as well as the VIN? You'll need both sometimes to find parts. The '83-manufactured P-30 chassis has some peculiar faults that make life 'interesting' and the Airstream wiring is always a problem in itself. Above all, enjoy!
Jamie
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:16 AM   #6
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1983 30' Airstream 300
Plantersville , Texas
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use caution

we have an 83 300 motorhome and had the same needs for cooling. The PO had installed an extention cord in line to run the back air when parked in an rv park. In checking the rv out to prep it for our purchase he discovered that the Onan didn't work. rather than fix it he reduced the price of the purchase. We had a old onan on hand that ran good. We converted it to Lp as we have a deisel motor. we left the extention cord wired as it was and were able to use both air condioners off rv park power. We discovered that the auto change over wasn't working properly one day when we were running off gen only. we didn't have 110 at the wall plug as we should have. then the newly installed gen smoked one day while running for back air while plugged into shorepower on the main line.

We were talking about the gen to a friend that had a SOB and he said BACKFEED was our problem. Due to the auto change over not operating properly and the Po had not installed a breaker to isolate the gen from his extention cord it had gotten back feed that ruined it.

Now we have a new genset and I have had it wired properly. Installed a new auto change unit plus put a new breaker switch for the extention cord between cord and genset. If I am boondocking I can run everything off the genset and then when I am in a Rv park with a 30A and a 20A plugs I switch off The 2 breakers that are installed between my cords and the genset and have no worries about backfeed.

Expensive lesson learned.

kay
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:42 AM   #7
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
BACK WOODS , Minnesota
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Pat370 did a post on how he rewired his 370 so that he could run both ACs when parked. He did a really good job of rewiring and now I can't find the thread. Maybe he will see this and jump in.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:34 PM   #8
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1984 31' Airstream310
Wichita Falls , Texas
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I knew it wouldn't be as easy as I thought to convert the AC, but now I realize that I'm really going to have to plan this out in detail before I ever disconnect my first wire!! I really appreciate the feedback, I'm sure it will make the job easier. Good ol' Texas weather, yesterday it was 78 degrees and today we have freezing rain. The door to the MH is frozen shut and I don't want to mess up any seals trying to open it, so I will have to wait until it thaws to go any further. Fred
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:45 AM   #9
Jamie
 
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Oriental , North Carolina
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Fred - you MUST isolate the additional power source (extension cord or whatever) from your genset when it is plugged in. A big "knife" switch (manual) or an automatic switchover ... depends on the budget ... but you MUST isolate. Not complicated or difficult.
Jamie
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:02 AM   #10
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
boca raton , Florida
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Duel Air When docked

Contact Power Solutions - 704-398-0996
For about $100. they have a complete system to install. Not hard to install for the do it yourselfer. Works great on my 89 345
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:40 PM   #11
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Lafayette , Louisiana
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftbjc
Hello from the sunny state of Texas,
I was out replacing the screens and putting limo tint on the windows of my '84 310 today (it is going to take awhile, but I think it will really help with the UV and summer heat). I would like to know if anyone has rewired their rear air to run while plugged in. Both of my air run while on generator, but only the front runs once I plug into a campsite. To make matters worse when I use the microwave/convection oven, I flip the selector switch, and I have no AC at all !! It is not uncommon for the daytime temp to be 100 plus, with temps in the 80s during the night. The old motor home starts to feel more like a pressure cooker, then a rec. vehicle. I have read in some of the post about people having a plug in the generator area. I have looked high and low but it appears unless I do some rewiring I am stuck with only the front.
Any help would be appreciated.
Fred
How do you get them both to run off of the genset?
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:01 PM   #12
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Richmond , Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajuncruiser
How do you get them both to run off of the genset?
On our 310 (which should be about the same as your 345) when you start the genset there is a control box that has a time delay transfer relay that approximately 45 seconds after starting the genset will isolate the incoming shore line power from the motorhome (if you're still hooked to shore line) causing the motorhome to receive power only from the generator.

There is a second transfer relay that is located under a closet close to your genset. This relay is used to isolate the rear air conditioner from the circuit that feeds the rest of the motorhome 120vac wiring. Your genset has two separate power feeds each has its only little circuit breaker mounted on the genset.

What the genset isolation relay does is force the the second circuit from the genset to power only the rear air conditioner. When you are on shore power the isolation relay is de-energized and power to the rear air comes from the rotary switch in the kitchen. When the genset starts up 45 seconds later the rear air conditioner isolation relay kicks in and provides direct power to the rear air conditioner from the second generator circuit.

In other words when the rear air conditioner isolation relay is off (shore power) the rotary switch determines when the rear air runs. When the genset is running the rear air conditioner isolation relay sends genset power to the rear air conditioner isolating it from the rest of the motorhome.

This only works when you are running on the generator. If you turn the generator off an reconnect to shore power you can only run one air conditioner at a time.

I was told by the generator repair place the best way to run two air conditioners on one genset at the same time is to set one of the air conditioners to the FULL cool position so that it runs ALL the time. You then use the second air conditioner to modulate the temperature in the motorhome. In other words make sure one always has its compressor running (i.e. cooling mode) and set the temperature setting on the second generator to turn it on and off as required to keep the temperature where you want it.

If you don't use that method it can be real hard on your generator especially when both air conditioners turn their compressors on at the same time. The starting current for an air conditioner is a LOT higher than its running current.

There is actually more to it than what I'm describing but it would only confuse matters worse if I tried to detail them here .

Brad
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:47 PM   #13
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Lafayette , Louisiana
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I tried this weekend to run both a/c on generator power to no avail.
The indicator switch is dictating which a/c runs. Is there a certain sequence to follow?
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:15 PM   #14
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Richmond , Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajuncruiser
I tried this weekend to run both a/c on generator power to no avail.
The indicator switch is dictating which a/c runs. Is there a certain sequence to follow?
First question I have is has anyone done ANY rewiring on your motorhome? If so what changes were made.

If no changes were made are both small circuit breakers located on the generator turned on and actually working? One of mine was bad but you couldn't tell that without checking their output leads.


Brad
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