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Old 02-02-2015, 10:34 AM   #15
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Fish,
When present, a transfer switch automatically switches between shore power and gen power when the gen comes on even if still plugged into shore power. Its purpose is to ensure you're not getting power simultaneously from both sources.

If you have a front receptacle, you're supposed to have an AS installed transfer switch also. I believe the front receptacle feature is an option.

Mine has the receptacle, but my gen wouldn't power my trailer from the front receptacle therefore my quest to find the transfer switch. Turns out the factory never installed it and left bare wires in the rear compartment.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:52 PM   #16
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Transfer Switch in My 2012 International

Ours is located under the double bed behind the power inverter (the box with circuit breakers & fuses). My understanding is that it automatically disables the unused power port (the 30 amp receptacle) when the other is in use. So, if you're powering the trailer with shore power through the rear port, for example, the front port won't accept power from, say, a gen-set.

Hope this helps.

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Old 02-02-2015, 03:27 PM   #17
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Transfer

AC,
Thank you for clarifying. I don't think my front receptacle has ever been used. I will definitely try it, just as soon as I can to insure I'm not in the same boat.
When I saw your post, I was thinking in terms of a Guest manual selector switch used in most boats today. I always thought that would be automatic in an AS.
Thank you again for settiing the record straight. Does anyone have a picture of what theirs looks like or know who the manufacturer is? I sure would like to find mine so I'm not cursing like AC. What did AS say if/when you called them AC?
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:17 PM   #18
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The transfer switch is most likely required by code, for safety reasons. If the trailer has two inlets for 120v, they can't just be hooked up in parallel. If they were, and a shore cord was connected to one, the prongs of the other one would be hot, and that's an unacceptable shock hazard. When either inlet is connected to 120v, the switch senses the voltage and isolates the other inlet.

I notice that, in this case, the inlet receptacles are different brands. One appears to be a Furrion, the other a Marinco. This leads me to believe the second AC inlet wasn't a factory install. I'd guess the selling dealer installed it as a DO (dealer option) and screwed it up. If you're not the original owner, good luck getting any satisfaction. Bite the bullet and get it connected safely.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:49 PM   #19
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Fred,
Was an onboard generator an option on your AS and you have it or are you using a portable? If not an on board, everything makes sense unless you got charged for a transfer switch that didn't need to be installed.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:07 PM   #20
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The transfer switch's job is to prevent a meeting of both generator power and shore power in the trailer. It creates an either/or situation. When the generator provides power, the switch breaks the connection to the rear power plug to prevent shore power from coming into the coach while the generator is producing power. Turn the generator off because shore power is now available, then the front power inlet is isolated.

For five more dollars, the factory could have installed an actual contractor from the same vendor instead of a cheap solid state device that tends to fail.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:18 PM   #21
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The ATS is a automatic switching relay that is prioritized to one circuit or the other, usually the generator depending on how its wired. Gen is usually selected as priority simply because most would not run the genny unless it were needed. If that circuit is lost, the automatic feature switches to the non-priority side in a few milliseconds to avoid loosing power. Conversely, there is a 30 second delay when powering back up the genset to let it get up to speed. Pretty simple device.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:49 AM   #22
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A quick word about inverters and transfer switches. Most 'quality' inverter unit ( like Magnum) already contain a fully integrated transfer mechanism that allow you to energize all of your 'inverter circuits' while on shore power.

These will be the same circuits that get energized while off-grid with the inverter 'on'. I'm not sure if the 1000 watt WFCO inverters that Airstream in now using have a transfer switch feature, as my only interaction with them has been removal and upgrade.

I did notice that they do ave a 120 VAC cord set and plug that are bundled but not used.


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Old 02-03-2015, 02:46 PM   #23
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Well the verdict is in from AS and it is that there was once a transfer switch installed, but has been removed by someone for some reason.

But that's okay because now I have reason to upgrade and replace it. The original one would have been for switching between shore power and gen power. The one I intend to replace it with will automatically switch between shore power, gen power, and solar/inverter power. I like the one shown here:

AIMS 3-Way Auto Transfer Switch

Anyone own one of these or one they feel is better for 30 amp circuit?
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:51 PM   #24
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:17 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishinHatteras View Post
It IS normal to have to turn a transfer switch inside of your rig if you are to use the front 30 amp male receptacle?
The transfer switch is important. It could be manual, but it is automatic in my 2010.

Its main purpose is to protect your generator from being exposed to the utility grid. If you were plugged in to the grid, and there was a power failure, you might start your generator. If there was not a transfer switch, your generator would attempt to re energize the entire grid.

A transfer switch is not necessary if your trailer only has one power inlet. If you have to unplug from the grid to plug into the generator, everything is cool.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:43 AM   #26
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Mine is behind a panel in the rear under bed compartment, left side
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:03 AM   #27
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Most automatic transfer switches (ATS) that I find in Airstreams are located directly behind the circuit breaker panel, and is an integrated part of the Parallax AC/DC power center. It is a steel box about 4" on each side.

An ATS is not required by code, as a manual device like a switch can be used, including a plug that you physically move from out receptacle to another (many older motor homes with generators used this plug-switching method; one plug from shore power cord and another from the generator that you simply connected to the receptacle that led to the breaker box.). The idea is to not allow shore voltage input from 2 source points into the power center at the same time.

If you research this Forum a bit, you will find several threads about the failures of these ATS devices and how many were left stranded with not 120VAC input power while camping. On some of my projects, I have removed the front power inlet from the power center and also removed the transfer switch at the owner's request while for others, I have upgraded the ATS to a 30 amp unit made by TRC.

Just be aware that if you have dual shore power inlets on your trailer that you WILL have the ATS and that it might be prone to failure.
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