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Old 04-27-2007, 07:54 PM   #1
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Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
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Another 'NEAR' Disaster ........

.............was averted today. The scene went like this:

I received an emergency call from a customer of mine who was ready to leave town today with his very expensive Country Coach MoHo. He said that he had no 12VDC power anywhere in his coach, couldn't get his slide rooms retracted, and had no generator, lights or other systems.

After trouble-shootnig the problem for about a half hour, I found a power solenoid that was extremely hot and only had 8.5VDC on one side, yet seemed to be trying to work. This was the main 12 VDC disconnect switch that powered all of the areas that were not working.

After tracing the feed wires, I found a binding post that had 4 -'0 guage' wires connected to it, but it seemed that it had pulled out of it's wall mounting post. It too was very hot. After getting all of the power disconnected from the batteries (which were at peak charge) and turning off any 120VAC coming into the coach, I found that the nut holding these very heavy wires had loosened to the point that there was little contact between the ends of the cables.

This was an extremely dangerous situation that left uncorrected, would have caused a fire directly in the middle of the coach, and probably would have destroyed it! The binding post had actually 'melted it's way' out from the plastic insulator that it was mounted to and held it firmly to the wall.

After tightening the stud and re-securing it back to the wall and adding a second nut for security, the 12 VDC returned to the coach and all functions were normal.

The point of this observation is this: whenever you deal with electricity, be it 12 VDC or 120VAC, be VERY SURE that ALL CONNECTIONS ARE CLEAN, TIGHT AND PROPERLY SECURED!!!! The result of a loose connection and it's tremendous increase in resistance and heat can be disastrous!!

Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:29 PM   #2
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Thanx for the tip, Lew. I'm always concerned about matters like this.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:00 PM   #3
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Stories like this purely give me the chilly willies. You can't see the wiring in an Airstream; it's all covered up. Who knows what might be going wrong in there? If I think about it, I'll not be able to go to sleep tomight and probably will get too creepy to go back out on the road! ARGHHHHHH! So, how do you know with some years and miles and jiggling on your Airstream if everything is still okay? Silly question? ~G
1995 Airstream Classic Limited 30' ~ Gypsy
1978 Argosy Minuet, 6.0~Minnie/GPZWGN
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:15 AM   #4
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This happened to me as well - I was showering and the lights went out. But the 120v stuff was working.

I tested stuff from here to there and finally found that the nut on the 12v block was loose (and hot!). What had happened was that the nut had loosened over time and the connection finally failed.

I tightened the nut and all was sweetness and light. I then went back and tightened everything I could find.

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Old 04-30-2007, 10:21 AM   #5
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Thanks Pat. I'll add that to my maintenance list. May even take my tube of Loc-Tite with me on my inspection!
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Never start anything before noon and always plan on being finished by 5.
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