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Old 06-26-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Upgrading the 110V Electrical System on a Classic?

Lets get down to the business of upgrading the Electrical System on the Earlier Classics.
Many of us are struggling with running the both AC's unless we have the Genset running, selector switches set right etc....
I am reading that it can be done.

JTB Manufacturing make or made a kit, but I heard they went out of business...
Their website is still up at this time tho...
http://jtbmfg.com/main5030.php

I want to be able to plug into the more common 50A sites and run both AC's.
I would prefer one cord, and would prefer to loose that selector switch above the kitchen and be able to run both AC's and the microwave without issues.
Electrics are not my strong suit, so I need lots of help!
Lets get it all in one place...
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:22 AM   #2
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1983 31' Airstream310
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Don't know about doing it the way you describe. Everybody I know who does that uses a separate 20amp (#10 wire) 3-wire cord wired directly into that selector switch above the kitchen. If you want tp do it that way, I can give you the step-by-step.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Lets get down to the business of upgrading the Electrical System on the Earlier Classics.
Many of us are struggling with running the both AC's unless we have the Genset running, selector switches set right etc....
I am reading that it can be done.


I want to be able to plug into the more common 50A sites and run both AC's.
I would prefer one cord, and would prefer to loose that selector switch above the kitchen and be able to run both AC's and the microwave without issues.

Electrics are not my strong suit, so I need lots of help!
If Electrics are not your strong suit, it would probably be best to have a professional do the job. To convert a classic MH to a 50 amp service is going to take a lot of changes, new panel, generator setup mods, transfer switch changes, a much larger electrical cord with some storage issues, and quite a lot of money. It is a not a simple re wire that can be described here on the net in words. I had a 310 and made some changes so I could run the rear AC or the front AC unit on the original 30 amp line power, but even that change took a lot of head scratching and thought. Now that I no longer have the unit, I can't tell you specifically what I did.

Anything can be done, of course, but you will need someone who understands RV electrical systems very well to make this modification.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
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My electrician buddy had said he could install a switch with a seperate 20 amp cord to give us rear roof air, no big deal. Wrong, where he needed to get to would have required removing the rear curbside closet to get at the gen-set connection that AS had dumbly hidden.I'd still love to have roof air from the stern, but tearing out the closet is not in the cards, yet. The other lag with dual cords is the newer camgrounds no longer have a 30 amp and a 20 amp connection in the boxes.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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I'll take a look at the schematics on my 95. It has 50 amp service. Both A/C run fine with no selector switch. I could post a picture of the 50 amp wiring if anyone thinks it would help them.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:56 PM   #6
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50 amp

Hi Dakota,
Anything you're willing to share, I'm certain that several of us would appreciate.

Thanks, Derek
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:38 PM   #7
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Hi Dakota,
Anything you're willing to share, I'm certain that several of us would appreciate.

Thanks, Derek
The 50 amp system is really simple. Its a standard 4 wire 220/240 volt hookup. It and the generator go directly into a automatic selector switch so you can power the coach with either ground or generator power. (second and third pictures) The selector switch posers a standard 50 breaker box with a 2 pole (220V) main breaker. There are 2 20 amp breakers (one on each pole) for the A/C units. A ground fault breaker for outlets in the kitchen and bath. A 15 amp for the DC power supply (50 amp) and a 15 amp for the other outlets. We can use a 30 amp converter but have to remember not to turn on both A/Cs. It will trip one of the breakers if you forget.

I'll copy the schematics when I get a chance.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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I think for now, my plans are to run a second 20 amp cord to operate the rear A/C. A severe case of 'fundsislow' prevent me from converting to 50amp service. Who knew that owning a Classic Airstream would be such a $ drain our your bank account.......lol
Thanks, Derek
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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I changed my 30A 110VAC to 30A 220VAC. Put a 50A male plug on the original #10-3 cord on the reel. Put a 30A breaker box under the bed(above the reel box). Pulled a #12-3 wire up to the auto changeover switch between the gen to the rear A/C. Found the 'shore in' 110VAC from the rotor swt, removed it, insulated it, and hooked my new wire to the 'shore in' post, wired ground and neutral appropriately. Now, with a 50A RV park plugin, I can run both A/C's.
Haven't got the microwave/front A/C off the rotor swt yet, but it's time is coming. Note: for the 50A plugs 4th prong (earth-ground), I have a single wire I clamp to the frame inside the reel box and to the pigtail coming out of the plug.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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50 amp service

I replaced our old wimpy 30 amp auto system after it burned up. I was able to use the same breaker box that came in the coach. They are set up for the 240 single phase. AS just tied both legs together. The GE box made it easy to place the 50 amp double breaker for each leg. I used a manual Blue Sea Systems switch. After having a house boat and with a manual switch, liked bringing the Gen-set on line myself after its ready. The old AS system brings it in way to soon when its a cold start for me.

I had a 50 amp cord already and mounted the transfer switch in a box to run the lines in, and now have all the power we need to run the whole coach. No switching the microwave! That did not work anyway, I had already moved it to the other side of the coach.

Here is a photo of the old wimpy transfer switch and one of the new Blue Sea transfer switch.


More Power is nice when its available!
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:09 AM   #11
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Found this interesting and informative.
Not an Airstream, but a P30 chassis.

50 Amp Wiring Modification
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Found this interesting and informative.
Not an Airstream, but a P30 chassis.

50 Amp Wiring Modification
Steve,
Thanks for this post. Seems like something I could even begin to try.....
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