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Old 09-13-2004, 08:19 AM   #15
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Sent an email to my Airstream Service Coordinator this morning. I also copied the Director of Service, Parts & Warranty as well as the Customer Service Manager. I'll let you know what they say.


Also, the same night I got shocked and noticed this problem my hot water heater over heated and over pressurized. Additionally the flame would not turn off even when I flipped the switch inside. I had to turn off the gas at the source to get it to shut off. Could this be related to the trailer having an electric current running through it? Could it possibly of shorted something out in the hot water heater? Joe
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingspider
Also, the same night I got shocked and noticed this problem my hot water heater over heated and over pressurized. Additionally the flame would not turn off even when I flipped the switch inside. I had to turn off the gas at the source to get it to shut off. Could this be related to the trailer having an electric current running through it? Could it possibly of shorted something out in the hot water heater? Joe
Hopefully by now your unit is not receiving external AC power & no 'AC current' should be present, a possibility if ground, neutral, &/or 'hot' have been reversed or shorted. IMHO: Just unplug it, NOW!

It sounds more like the water heater thermostat is not working than an external electric problem, however unlikely, the thermocouple "could" have been damaged by 'stray current'. A lot depends on the type/model of H2O heater you have, any electric heat-rod options, the installation, etc. This is "IMPOSSIBLE" to diagnose without test equipment & a qualified technician at the trailer to do the testing. Please have someone with the proper knowledge & training look into your electricity problems.

Note: FYI - In Aug., while we were at the Terra-Port in JC, the electrical contractors were working on rewiring the burned out service center. That week, on Thurs., the AC digital monitor in our trailer indicated a 'neutral-ground' fault. We had been there since Sat. with no previous fault indication, & have not had one since leaving, verified with a DVM, my monitor is working! When plugged into the svc. ctr. it indicated the same fault. They tried another receptacle & finally it tested O.K., I was "told" one of the svc. ctr. circuits had been mis-wired, no explanation re. the Terra-Port.
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Old 09-13-2004, 03:38 PM   #17
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My total experience at Jackson Center was not good considerating the expectations I had, others have expressed satisfaction there. I believe if A/S wants to expand its current market it must understand the open communications the 'Boomers' use & provide consistancy in their product production & service. None of which I've seen since buying our '04 Safari in Jan.
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:41 PM   #18
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Talked to Airstream

All - Talked to Airstream today and I was very pleased with their response. I actually got a call from Dave Schumann, Director of Service, Parts and Warranty and he was very helpful. Said they would do whatever it took to correct the problem if it was in fact their fault. I will drop my trailer off at Camper Clinic in Buda, TX later this week and they are going to take a look at it and check out the installation of the Antennae and figure out if they think the water heater malfunction is related.

Now the follow through - I'm a little nervous about taking the trailer back to Camper Clinic but I called them today and told them I was willing to give them another chance and Tammy in their parts department assured me they would not let "Bob" work on my trailer again. If you want to know why "Bob" is not working on my trailer again read my horror story floor replacement thread and you'll see why. He comes prepared with tubes of caulk for the outside of the trailer and pine 2x6's for a floor repair!

Ed - While talking to Dave at Airstream, out of the blue, he also mentioned he was aware that you had a problem but thought it had been corrected. He said now that he was aware of the additional items he would work to get them resolved. Guess this proves they really do read the forum!

Joe
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Old 09-14-2004, 01:09 AM   #19
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Joe,

Let us know how the repair goes and find out for sure what the problem is and post so we can all be aware of what happened in your case.

The thing with your hot water heater and it not being able to be shut off even when you flipped the switch sound very much like it is picking up current through the grounded circuit. Not sure on that but the shock you are getting when you touch the trailer is for certain telling me that your bodies ground is making connection with a live wire. Not a good thing!

It is very possible that a screw may have worked into a wire when they did the install for you. I would think that they would have used rivets as well. Even if they didn't go directly into the wire the sharp threads could have cut into a wire if it is laying against the screw. All this is why you would place a rivet there and not a screw.

When they remove that bracket place some Vulkem or Sikaflex under it before you have it put back on. And tell them that you want the bracket installed with rivets too. (Insist on it)

Good luck - I know you have had your share of problems with AS Repairs. Makes me glad that I am able to do almost anything on the trailer myself.
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Old 09-14-2004, 09:11 AM   #20
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I think we have a new "trailer security system" idea here. Now just install Keyless Entry, and have the coach "electrify" when the keyless entry system energizes the locks. Bump up the ampreage, and feel sorry for anyone who tries to break in. HA! I kill me... ;-)
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:06 AM   #21
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Just a short followup on this thread. AS did a great job yesterday on the window. Dan (the man) took only two hours to replace the window, explained everything to me as he was doing it and the bill was for less than the estimate.
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Old 09-15-2004, 10:06 AM   #22
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Sounds like the repair or what ever has put the hot (or live) voltage on the body of the trailer. VERY DANGEROUS if you touch the body and or are standing in water you could be cremated. need I say more.
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Old 09-27-2004, 05:05 PM   #23
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Diagnosis

Ok, I need some help understanding what I've been told. The Airstream dealer I brought my trailer to says he thinks he's diagnosed and fixed the problem. He says he switched out the 30 amp plug on the back of the trailer and that it took care of the problem. What I'm being told is he thinks the neutral was corroded in the plug and wasn't functioning thus causing an electric current to flow through the trailer. Thoughts? Can that happen?
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Old 09-27-2004, 05:09 PM   #24
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Well, its not really a "he thinks". He either fixed it or he didn't. Sure a lack of a ground can be a problem although I'm not an electrician. I sure do know that when I was three years old I was barefooted on concrete and grabbed on to the basement metal support post that my dad was drilling with his old Skill ungrounded drill.

To say the least he said I filled my pants.

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Old 09-28-2004, 12:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingspider
Ok, I need some help understanding what I've been told. The Airstream dealer I brought my trailer to says he thinks he's diagnosed and fixed the problem. He says he switched out the 30 amp plug on the back of the trailer and that it took care of the problem. What I'm being told is he thinks the neutral was corroded in the plug and wasn't functioning thus causing an electric current to flow through the trailer. Thoughts? Can that happen?

Dubious at best!
I would check this out further. Have someone test the trailer's ground potential. Meter the trailer skin to ground.
It should be 0Vac if not it is not fixed.
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Old 09-28-2004, 07:21 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by jcanavera
Well, its not really a "he thinks". He either fixed it or he didn't. Sure a lack of a ground can be a problem although I'm not an electrician. I sure do know that when I was three years old I was barefooted on concrete and grabbed on to the basement metal support post that my dad was drilling with his old Skill ungrounded drill.

To say the least he said I filled my pants.

Jack
Well Jack, this anwswers a whole bunch of questions I had.

On a more serious note, we had a few issues when we picked up our 2004 Safari back in December of 2003. We had driven out to Piqua, OH (about 30 miles from Jackson Center) to the Airstream dealer there. When we got there, the dealer told us, there was a problem.

The long and the short of it is simply that we didn't sign the paperwork, left our Bambi (that we were going to trade in) at the Ohio dealer. The dealer committed to find and fix the problem and deliver the Safari for our inspection and delivery to our home here in the Chicago area which we could again fully refuse if not satisfied.

On the way home (btw, for us it is about a 600 mile round trip), totally bummed out and disappointed, we saw the Jackson Center exit sign. We looked at each other and said, why not, we can at least see the factory and take the tour.

Upon arriving at Jackson Center, we walked in and started to shop in the store they have in the main area. With that, we bumped into a familiar voice (over the phone) that had helped us with our 2003 Bambi. We talked a bit and mentioned the problems that had just happened. It wasn't going to be magically fixed, but this person listened, looked at the pics we took, showed us pics of thier Airstream and told us, not to worry, they would get to the bottom of it.

By the time we finished the factory tour, Airstream had already called the dealer and from that moment forward, was neck deep into the small list we had found and worked with the dealer. They sent a tech out to the dealer and spent the better part of the day working with the dealer. They also took the Safari back to Jackson Center and spent another day doing further tests and such to make sure the camper was in fact good to go.

When we got the unit, it appeard to be 100% and for the most part, it was. It is true the main issue we had did appear again, but to be honest, there would have been no way that this could have been found. It took us several different senarios to duplicate the problem. Once we did, one call (or email) to the factory got us on the right track. They gave us great support over the phone. Shared some tips and tricks to further diagnose and offered to send us parts that we could have to get us by, some of which we did take them up on, and others we did not.

Thankfully, there have been few issues with our 2004 Safari, which was not the case with our 2003 Bambi. Nonetheless, there have been and are a few issues.

Now I haven't been through the "service center" per se, but I have had our unit in their hands for issues and had a few converstations with folks there and I find they have the same position as the folks at ABT Electronics have...."the answer to any reasonable question is Yes." The bottom line as I see it is this, if you are having problems with the Airstream Service Department, stay there as long as it takes to get your coach fixed. If you happen to get an answer that does not make sense, talk with someone else to verify the answer. They clearly have the tools and the talent. This forum alone has seen instances where we've seen the work they have done and all were impressed (JodynJeep feel free to jump in if you see this). I know that in some cases, it might not be realisitic, but keep in mind that if you are going to drive a good distance, you should not move out of Terra Port until you are a happy camper. When I eventually get to Jackson Center again, I will be sure to do a few things when I am there for service:

1) Take the tour again
2) Buy more trinkets
3) See some folks we know at Jackson Center and look forward to seeing
4) Have our coach serviced
5) Incorporate this into a vacation with lots of time to be at Airstream to have any and all issues addressed to our statisfaction and see some of the sites around Jackson Center

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Old 09-28-2004, 08:14 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingspider
Ok, I need some help understanding what I've been told. The Airstream dealer I brought my trailer to says he thinks he's diagnosed and fixed the problem. He says he switched out the 30 amp plug on the back of the trailer and that it took care of the problem. What I'm being told is he thinks the neutral was corroded in the plug and wasn't functioning thus causing an electric current to flow through the trailer. Thoughts? Can that happen?
Still looking for a definitive answer. Can the lack of a neutral connection in a 30 amp plug cause the trailers skin to become electrified? If not, then they didn't fix the problem. Thanks, Joe
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Old 09-28-2004, 10:28 AM   #28
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Joe, I'm not a qualified electrician, but pending a better reply from a Forum member with more knowledge, I will give my understanding of the situation. I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that the power supply grounding is similar in the USA to here in England.
Years ago, all houses supplied their own grounds via a metal stake driven a few feet into the ground. Power companies decided that it would be more reliable if the power company supplied high quality grounds down a wire. The power supply company neutral is used as the ground. This is used because it is at ground potential, and there is a low impedance between it and the live power line. Safety devices, such as GFI's, then work fast, which is good for safety. At the connection to the home, the home's ground and neutral are bonded together. So far, so good. In England, most homes use this system, known as PME, Protective Multiple Earthing. A pal of mine is a Florida linesman, and he tells me this is the same in his area.
However, this system has one dangerous aspect. It is known as "broken neutral", and this is what may have occurred with your trailer. A Google search on "broken neutral" will supply confirmation. If the supply company's neutral is broken shortly before the connection to the house, the house loses its grounding system, and, if an appliance is switched on, the neutral/ground in the home (trailer), becomes "live". Thus the trailer body is live. If you stand on the earth outside, and touch the trailer, you will be electrocuted. This may be what has happened in your case. It has killed people in homes, as they stepped out of the door. A broken neutral can be lethal.
You may understand why I choose to diconnect the Power Company ground at my home's swimming pool electrics, and use my own metal stake, with its resistance to ground properly monitored.
I repeat that I am not qualified as an electrician, but that I'm repeating what I have learned by study over the years. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can assist, as what I have described may not be relevant to your situation. You have to ensure there is no potential difference between the earth outside, and the trailer body. A good electrician must check this. Be careful, be very careful! Nick
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