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Old 06-10-2007, 10:55 PM   #1
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1989 Airstream Mtrhm 345LE coach batteries

Just purchased '89 345LE Airstream Mtrhm and can't get coach batteries (2 new 12V) to pick up where city electricity and generator stop. We have the orig. manual and think we've read everything but can't work it out. Any ideas? thanks
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:46 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.
Are you saying the 12volt stuff stops working when you disconnect shore power, or that 12 volts doesn't work at all?
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:24 AM   #3
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Check your battery drawer for a disconnect switch. It sounds to me like the batteries are disconnected.

The switch is intended to stop battery drain while the unit is being stored.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:51 AM   #4
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I agree with Fred, sounds like the cutoff switch. Also, welcome to the forum...nice coach
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:00 PM   #5
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reply to overlander, 1985air 345 & swebster = the 2 12V batteries don't appear to work at all. I don't find any kind of a switch in the battery drawer. There is a kill switch for the coach inside at door but it doesn't light up when pressed. It only lights when the city power or generator is working. Thank you. We're new to this type of conversation as well as new to our coach which is giving us fits.
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:19 AM   #6
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I'm back to Terry's question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Welcome to the forums.
Are you saying the 12volt stuff stops working when you disconnect shore power, or that 12 volts doesn't work at all?
The 12v stuff works with shore power and gen set?

I'd still look for a disconnect switch or an in-line fuse somewhere. Maybe someone with your year and model can chime in. These unit sometimes vary from year to year. Mine had a disconnect switch in the battery drawer. Look inside the locked compartment on the battery drawer. It might be in there.
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:29 AM   #7
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My standard reply to someone with no 12volt when not hooked to shore power, check you connections, especially the grounds. It may look good, and be tightly bolted up, but there may be corrosion between the terminal ends and the cables. To check this theory, simply use a set of automotive jumper cables, and hook one end to the frame (or even the skin) and the other end to the negative (-) terminal of one of the batteries. If things start working, you have narrowed your prolem down to a couple of wires and connections. If not, at least you have eliminated that as a source of problems.
You may also have a bad relay where the batteries are hooked to the vehicle's charging system, if it is burned out you may get no 12 volt to the interior. I have forgotten what it's called, it's still kind of early here, and I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet...
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:00 AM   #8
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I found that the strap that grounds the batteries to the frame was very corroded on my unit. Removing it and cleaning it did wonders for the electrical system on the coach.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:39 PM   #9
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We have an '89 345 LE. Our electrical began to intermittently fail, and finally quit, altogether. During this period, the 12 V system was not reliable, and the lights on the disconnect switches would not always stay lit. The disconnect switches(inside the door on the curbside wall) were connected to a circuit board which was...short circuited. we found a fellow in Durango, CO who overrode the short with a bobby pin, and that got us to Farmington, NM, where a fellow there was able to repair the circuit with some innovative soldering. Both solenoids behind the battery drawer(mounted to the chassis) had been fried, so they were replaced. So far(5,000+ miles), we have not had any further problems with the electrical(knock on aluminum). We have had quite an education in our 1 1/2 years of occupation, but the positives far outweigh the speedbumps. The forum has been an invaluable tool for learning, sharing, and sometimes just venting.
Welcome to the enchanted land of aluminum. Michael of michael&tracy
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:20 AM   #10
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First I should say that we had no training on the coach. The people who sold it to us knew nothing as it was a gift to them and they never used it.

Tried to locate a kill switch in battery drawer, no luck. Tried jumper cables, no luck. Cleaned battery ground strap on frame and no luck. How do you know if the solenoids mounted behind battery drawer are fried? They look o.k. Is there a test?

When we have had the house electricity connected and then disconnect it, a high-pitched noise comes from the area under the stove for about 1 minute. The disconnect light (or kill switch?) for the coach (inside door on right) remains on and the light at the statpower switch to the right of the stove on the wall remains on. We cannot find instructions as to whether we are to push the statpower switch (flat pushbutton) or leave it as it is, on. When we push the statpwer button, the light goes off on the panel and we then have lights inside the coach onl, no t.v. (not that we care about t.v. - just to tell you what works and doesn't) If we push the statpower button a 2nd time, all the lights go off as well as the disconnect switch at the door. And the only way to get the battery power back is to connect to the house power and then disconnect again starting the process over.

Is there a "drill" to convert the coach to battery operation? We have read and read and cannot find a "drill." We get from our reading that the process is automatic.

Thanks for support and help. Van
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle1
First I should say that we had no training on the coach. The people who sold it to us knew nothing as it was a gift to them and they never used it.

Tried to locate a kill switch in battery drawer, no luck. Tried jumper cables, no luck. Cleaned battery ground strap on frame and no luck. How do you know if the solenoids mounted behind battery drawer are fried? They look o.k. Is there a test?

When we have had the house electricity connected and then disconnect it, a high-pitched noise comes from the area under the stove for about 1 minute. The disconnect light (or kill switch?) for the coach (inside door on right) remains on and the light at the statpower switch to the right of the stove on the wall remains on. We cannot find instructions as to whether we are to push the statpower switch (flat pushbutton) or leave it as it is, on. When we push the statpwer button, the light goes off on the panel and we then have lights inside the coach onl, no t.v. (not that we care about t.v. - just to tell you what works and doesn't) If we push the statpower button a 2nd time, all the lights go off as well as the disconnect switch at the door. And the only way to get the battery power back is to connect to the house power and then disconnect again starting the process over.

Is there a "drill" to convert the coach to battery operation? We have read and read and cannot find a "drill." We get from our reading that the process is automatic.

Thanks for support and help. Van
You have two types of electricity in your coach: 12V DC, and 120V AC. The 12V DC power comes from your batteries or is made ('converted') from 120V AC by your converter. You get 120V AC by either plugging your coach into a source of power or running your generator.

If your batteries are good, you should always have 12V power. Either it comes from your batteries, or, when you are plugged in or running your generator, it is produced from the 120V power by your converter. The converter also recharges your batteries while you have 120V power available.

There is usually some switch which allows you to disconnect your batteries to prevent discharge when your are storing the coach. On my rig this is accomplished by a switch on the battery drawer. I suppose you might have a remote switch on your newer coach. If so, it is likely that it will use a solenoid mounted close to the batteries to actually open and close the connection with a smaller control wire to operate the solenoid going from the remote switch to the solenoid.

The other possibility for the solenoid on the battery drawer is for what is called a battery boost switch. The function of this is to temporarily connect the house batteries in parallel with the chassis battery to allow you to start the coach when the chassis battery is run down. This usually consists of a spring loaded switch near the driver seat and a solenoid near the batteries.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:49 PM   #12
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Thanks for taking the time to respond. Tonight after hours on our house electricity, we disconnected the power and the batteries picked up. We actually went around and tried lights, the door bell and a fan. The convertor "statpower" stayed lighted as well. We think your point was correct in that the batteries were charged by having the house electricity. We thought brand new batteries would have already been charged - we were wrong obviously. We can turn off and on the "statpower" with no ill effect now. We cannot find the switch you talked about near the driver's seat. Our manual tells that it should be in the glove box but it isn't.

Does anyone know where the city water inlet check valve is? Our manuel does not say where it is, only how to replace it! When the water pump is on, we get a dripping from the water hose on the reel.

There is something magnetic about our Airstream. We just can't get away from it. Even with all our challenges, we're excited.



We have made some headway in understanding and running the water system and the curbside awning. We would appreciate some help in identifying what the 4th water system valve is which is located under the bed near the 3 in a triangle. It comes directly from the fresh water tank and goes thru the flooring. We turned the valve several times and couldn't get it to drain ?? There is an outlet under the coach near the 3 other outlets which we did not get to drain. Thanks again.
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:46 AM   #13
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The extra water valve is probably the low point drain. I couldn't get mine to work either! I guess I never got the right combination of valves turned.

My hose always leaked so I just put a $1 plastic cap on it. The check valve you are referring to is designed to prevent the backflow. It was a cheap fix and it kept bugs and such out of my hose.

We also spent lots of funs hours trying to figure out how everything worked. It's an addiction they call 'aluminitis' here.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle1
Thanks for taking the time to respond. Tonight after hours on our house electricity, we disconnected the power and the batteries picked up. We actually went around and tried lights, the door bell and a fan. The convertor "statpower" stayed lighted as well. We think your point was correct in that the batteries were charged by having the house electricity. We thought brand new batteries would have already been charged - we were wrong obviously. We can turn off and on the "statpower" with no ill effect now. We cannot find the switch you talked about near the driver's seat. Our manual tells that it should be in the glove box but it isn't.

Does anyone know where the city water inlet check valve is? Our manuel does not say where it is, only how to replace it! When the water pump is on, we get a dripping from the water hose on the reel.

There is something magnetic about our Airstream. We just can't get away from it. Even with all our challenges, we're excited.



We have made some headway in understanding and running the water system and the curbside awning. We would appreciate some help in identifying what the 4th water system valve is which is located under the bed near the 3 in a triangle. It comes directly from the fresh water tank and goes thru the flooring. We turned the valve several times and couldn't get it to drain ?? There is an outlet under the coach near the 3 other outlets which we did not get to drain. Thanks again.

New batteries should be fully charged, where did you get the batteries? I wonder if you have a big load which is discharging them quickly? Do you have a hand held VOM (volt-ohm meter)? If so it would be interesting to know the voltage reading you get at the battery when you're plugged in and when you are not. I don't remember, do you know where your battery shut off switch is? If so, disconnect from shore power and read the battery voltage with the switch 'on' and 'off'. Any difference you get will indicate a draw on the batteries. (Of course you should turn off all lights and other electrical items in the coach before you do this).

I am assume that your coach is a classic motorhome, that is aluminum exterior with the rounded profile like an Airstream trailer? If so, you should ask a moderator to move this thread to the classic motorhome forum.
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