Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-18-2012, 04:19 PM   #29
Rivet Master
 
Cracker's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Pittsfield , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,099
Ken:

Interesting comments! We were typing at the same time so both of our responses popped up after we posted. I may try to dig a little deeper and find out exactly what model converter I have.
__________________

__________________
Cracker

2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
Cracker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 04:42 PM   #30
Don't forget your cat nap
 
Ag&Au's Avatar
 
Port Orchard , Washington
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,464
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
I washed everything down with a strong soda solution. Hopefully I managed to neutralize the acid. The only wires in question are the support wires for the battery door - which I sprayed with WD40 after washing them. One thought I've had is to wire in a 24-hr timer at the service outlet on the house. That way I could set the timer to turn the power off at around 4 p.m. and not turn it on again until around 8 a.m. the next morning. That would cut the charging time by 66% while still allowing me to automatically run the A/C during the hotter part of the day. Can anyone else confirm that the charger runs continuously, as Gene suggests???
If you use a timer, make sure to get one rated to handle the all the current involved. The ones that I have seen only handle a few amps.

Ken
__________________

__________________
Ag&Au is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 04:58 PM   #31
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,139
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
Put the timer in the circuit for the converter 120 volt supply. If your converter is a plug in type it makes it easy. I don't see the need to put the timer on the whole trailer.
I have timers on the battery chargers I use for my farm equipment. 1 to 2 hours a day is enough in my case to maintain the battery.
With all of the electronics like clocks etc in new equipment, the battery is constantly being drained.
__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 07:07 PM   #32
Rivet Master
 
Cracker's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Pittsfield , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,099
I think that the converter is hard-wired - but I've never taken the couch apart to see it. For you experienced ones - just how do you get to the converter??? I'm sure that I can figure it out - but perhaps there's a shortcut? While I'm being lazy, does the converter have a separate breaker in the AC box? Last question for the evening - How easy/difficult is it to switch the converter for a more modern unit that would solve all of the preceding problems? Cost? Manufacturer and model number?
__________________
Cracker

2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
Cracker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 07:55 PM   #33
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Seems a timer that can handle the amps you will have cost me around $75 about 10 years ago and it quit working after about 5 years. I've had to replace those before and they aren't that reliable. I've used them for well pumps and electric water heaters and they can handle 120 or 240 v. and more amps than you'll need. They are sold at electrical supply houses and perhaps at big box stores like Lowe's and HD.

A good converter will cost a couple of hundred bucks, so it seems like a better investment. Go to the Iota website and check what they have and see how it matches up with your trailer.

I have no idea where your converter is—some are hard to get to, some less hard. I didn't think it was all that difficult to replace except for working in a small space, but you should have some basic electrical knowledge and facility with tools before you tackle this. There are other threads about converters and they may point you in the right direction for your Excella.

And I gotta ask this—you're in Maine. Why A/C?

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 08:10 PM   #34
Don't forget your cat nap
 
Ag&Au's Avatar
 
Port Orchard , Washington
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,464
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
I think that the converter is hard-wired - but I've never taken the couch apart to see it. For you experienced ones - just how do you get to the converter??? I'm sure that I can figure it out - but perhaps there's a shortcut? While I'm being lazy, does the converter have a separate breaker in the AC box? Last question for the evening - How easy/difficult is it to switch the converter for a more modern unit that would solve all of the preceding problems? Cost? Manufacturer and model number?
The only thing our trailers have I'm common is the length. However I will tell you how ours is. Our couch has a drawer under it. The front of that drawer is a panel that reaches the full length of the couch. When that drawer is fully opened a catch on either side allows it to be removed. On the left side under the couch is a wooden box with a drop front door. When that door is opened you are looking at the side of the converter. By lifting up the front of the couch like you are going to turn it into a bed, but stopping about half way there is enough room for me to work. The converter has an AC line cord that plugs into a socket in the front wall of the trailer. That socket and a couple of others in the front are on one circuit breaker. Replacing the converter is a matter of undoing 4 mounting screws and removing the wires. The new converter is put in the same place and the wires connect in the same way.

This is the converter I bought, but I did not buy it from Amazon

IOTA DLS-55/IQ4 12 VOLT 55 AMP 3 STAGE AUTOMATIC SMART BATTERY CHARGER / POWER SUPPLY : Amazon.com : Automotive

Ken
__________________
Ag&Au is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2012, 01:06 AM   #35
Rivet Master
 
2005 19' Safari
GLENDALE , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,440
If you install a Perko Marine Battery Isolator Switch, you can turn the switch to OFF, which will completely disconnect your batteries from the converter charging circuit. Then, with the shore power cord still connected to 110 VAC, you can continue to use the air conditioner, refrigerator, and all 12 VDC lights, fans, etc., which are powered by the converter.

Then, once a month, turn the battery switch to ON overnight (12-24 hours) to top off the batteries via the converter battery charging circuit. This will maintain your batteries at full charge without boiling them dry.

While a multi-stage converter or separate battery charger are good alternatives, the battery isolator switch is a less expensive, manual solution.

As an added advantage, when your Airstream is in "dead" storage (shore power disconnected), turning the battery isolator switch to OFF completely disconnects your batteries from all phantom loads; and they will hold a charge for several months (and up to a year or more, depending on the type of batteries you have), instead of going dead for no apparent reason after a couple of weeks.

Most boats with multiple batteries come with a battery isolator switch installed as standard equipment; and RVs and travel trailers should have them, too. Personally, I'd add one of these before spending money on upgrading converters and/or adding chargers, which you will probably find unnecessary after installing this switch.

================

Amazon.com: Perko 8501DP Marine Battery Selector Switch: Automotive

Link provided for reference only. Other brands and/or sources may work just as well and cost less.

Also, see product reviews:

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Perko 8501DP Marine Battery Selector Switch
__________________
Phoenix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #36
Rivet Master
 
Cracker's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Pittsfield , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,099
All in all, a new converter/charger sounds like the way to go. The Perko battery isolator runs about $32.00, plus new wiring cost (minor), whereas the converter runs about $185.00 and is probably simpler to install. For the $150.00 difference it would eliminate my senior citizen mental lag and prevent me from wondering if I had turned the battery switch back on as I descended a long downgrade! As for Gene's comment about living in Maine, we're the 8th fastest warming state in the nation and the past few summers have confirmed it! 90 degree plus days are no longer uncommon although it does cool down rapidly in the evenings. Parking in the shade has it's advantages - but I don't have any shade at home and if I park the Airstream at my camp the roof quickly gets covered in leaves and it mildews. Using the air-conditioner is a cheap alternative to building a custom Airstream garage. The Airstream does just fine during the winter - in spite of the snow!
__________________
Cracker

2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
Cracker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2012, 09:59 AM   #37
Rivet Master
 
Cracker's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Pittsfield , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,099
I know! I know! Kindly ignore the remark about the long downgrade and the batteries being turned off! It was another senior moment that I waited too long to edit out.
__________________
Cracker

2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
Cracker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2012, 10:21 AM   #38
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Maine that hot? Never seen mid-90's in the Colorado mountains before and it doesn't cool off at night like it used to. Soon we'll have to park on Mars to keep cool.

I hope you found the converter. Ours is under the bed and you have to cut the face plate off it because the outer cover (covers the fuse and breaker panels also) screws to it.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 11:48 AM   #39
Rivet Master
 
mefly2's Avatar
 
2015 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Western , ** Big Sky Country ** Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,283
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
It can take a long time for sulphuric acid to eat through anything it hit. The wire to the jack was probably hit as well as other things. That wire will short out once the insulation is eaten and I'd replace it rather than trust the insulation hasn't been affected. Battery cables also could be a problem. Neutralize anything that might have been hit a few times to prevent future surprises.

Gene
Absolutely, the acid will "seep" for some time after an incident like this ... look at some of the roll over cars with signs of physical damage, but also with corrosion and burns from acid spills throughout. I am not sure that sulphuric acid will attack most wire insulation, however ... but it does attack the wire conductor, itself... usually from where the insulation has been stripped or nicked.

Flush, neutralize with baking soda, and flush until you tire of the process.
__________________
mefly2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 02:15 PM   #40
4 Rivet Member
 
drew05's Avatar
 
2011 25' FB Flying Cloud
Peculiar , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 488
Cracker, I had to replace my batteries about a month ago. I did not know what was wrong other than one (the street side) continously boiled it self dry. The other battery seem to charge. When I brought the batteries in to get checked and possibly replaced on a pro-rated basis I found out that the 'good' battery actually had at least one bad cell, and this was causing the other battery to over charge. In time this began to short some plates causing the battery to boil. Luckily for me, the battery that was boiling didn't explode, but the entire outter case did get very warm.

I am considering both alternatives suggested here; either the Ioata or Battery switch. I'm not sure exactly what I will do this late in the season. I do know that I will remove both batteries from the trailer when I winterize, (providing we get a real winter this year).

Good Luck
__________________
drew05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 04:06 PM   #41
Rivet Master
 
Cracker's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Pittsfield , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,099
Drew:

I'm sold on replacing the charger with a new IOTA. I like to keep the trailer plugged in over the winter as an emergency shelter, as well as during the summer, - and I never have bothered to remove the batteries. I've been lucky up to the explosion incident and it's just not worth worrying about it anymore. I'll probably wait until the camping season is over up here in Maine since it's beginning to cool down enough that I don't need to keep the A/C running.
__________________

__________________
Cracker

2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
Cracker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.