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Old 04-08-2007, 09:38 PM   #1
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Kingwood , Texas
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Electrical Question

We were camped in a state park when the park lost power (a freak snow storm in central Texas was the culprit). With no shore power there was no power in the trailer. We thought we could run on battery power until shore power was restored, but could not figure out how to turn the battery. We checked the control panel earlier in the day and the battery showed a full charge. The battery storage switch was on. BTW we were in a borrowed 2000 Safari SS. Is there a switch located somewhere in the trailer that specifies shore or battery power? The manual did not indicate so. The owner never boondocks and had no idea. We ended up packing up an leaving 2 days early as the thought of staying in a dark and cold trailer was unappealing. BTW the entire trailer was devoid of power including the refer and heater and all lights.

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Old 04-08-2007, 10:17 PM   #2
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First of all, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your electrical problem. In an Airstream the are component that run only on 110 volt AC power. These are your air conditioner/heat pump, microwave, refrigerator (usually), television, and the household type outlets. The other electrics are all powered by 12 volt DC. This is true even while on shore power. the shore power powers the converter which turns 110v AC into 12v DC. The interior lights, furnace fan, Fantastic Fan, etc. all run on 12v DC only.

The problem you decribe may have been caused by the master switch remaining in the store position. This switch should switch out of store position when the system is hooked up to shore power. Try this switch when not hooked to shore power. The red indicator light should come on, and your 12 volt stuff should work. This is all assuming that the batteries are good.

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Old 04-09-2007, 08:37 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I did neglect to mention that it is a 25' named Sylvie. There is a 12V switch behind the couch that has an on or off position. Next to it is a sticker basically saying that when using the trailer it is imperative for the switch to be on. Off, I assume isolates the battery so there is no parasitic drain. I cannot locate the red light you referenced.

Turning this kill switch on and off has no impact.

I guess the next step is to the repair shop.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:44 AM   #4
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my 2 cents that may worth nothing but have you check the 12dc fuses, you might have a main one on a panel as I do on my old unit.
I can't tell where it could be located as I don't know how new units are built.
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:20 PM   #5
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Locate the 12 volt panel, generaly on the front wall below the window, and test for 12 volts on the panel main bus to ground, any good body metal should do for ground for this test. If you do not have 12 volts on the panel bus, and assuming the isolation switch is on, check the battery voltage at the battery and if good look for a main fuse in the battery line to that panel.
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick and precise feedback. I did locate the 12v fuse box as described under the front window. The problem was a bad battery. The battery was checked by an RV service center last week and said to be good.

They say that the cold weather caused it to crater. Had the battery not been checked so recently, I would have suspected it immediately.

My wife and I really enjoyed the Airstream and hope to join the ranks of ownership soon and also move from a lurker to participant.

Thanks again for the help.

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