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Old 07-02-2006, 03:44 PM   #1
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Help a Newbie with a 2007

Just took delivery Friday on a nefw 23' Safari SE. Managed to tow it home having never trailered before. Still unsure how to reconnect hitch but have another question first. Airstream provided the 110 volt shore line with a adapter so you can plug into your house outlet. I plan to have a designated 30 amp type service outlet installed by a electrician ASAP. Plugged the shore line in turned on the trailer A/C. Nice and cool, happy driveway campers. About an 1 hour later I went in the house for a few mintues. My wife lowered the fan setting from high to medium as it was getting to cold. Power went out. A/C stopped working. Half the house lost power. Reset all ciruit breakers in the house panel as none were in the off position. Reseting one by one the power returned in the house. So we have not used the A/C in the trailer as I figured it is drawing to much amps or something. Bottom line is I went out this afternoon and brought a small house fan. Plugged in to wall outlet and 'nothing'. I have been plugged in with shore line all weekend thinking I am using shore power and charging my batteries. I guess I am just using power from the batteries. Is there an indicator somewhere that will tell you if you are using shore power vs battery? Thanks, sorry never had an RV before.

Larry
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Old 07-02-2006, 03:53 PM   #2
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Welcome the forum. I can't tell you about the indicator on the newer models, but I can suggets a few things. You're certain that the house outlet is working? Have you checked the 110v breakers inside the camper? Check the power cable itself and make sure neither it nor the adaptor that the dealer gave you was damaged. I managed to overheat the adaptor in much the same manner you describe--it fried. Had to go buy a new one (about $5).

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Old 07-02-2006, 03:54 PM   #3
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If you pluggged it into a standard 15 circuit and turned on anything else in the house while the A/C is running you poped a breaker or blew a fuse in the house. Airstream/My dealer provided me with a polarity checker. It lights up when plugged in and lets me know if the camp groud is wired corrctly before plugging in my trailer. You can also try it in your wall outlet in your trailer. No Lights on the checker no power.
After reseting power in your house check the breakers in the trailer.
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Old 07-02-2006, 04:08 PM   #4
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All is well again

Thankyou folks for your help. I was in a panic mode as the trailer is brand new. I am green as can be. My VCR is blinking midnight and now I have to learn everything about this Airstream. There was another outlet in my garage that has the GFI reset button that must share the exterior outlet. Played with that reset button and things are back to normal. Still afraid to try the A/C again, but will use a fan. Thanks again.


Larry
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:14 PM   #5
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Hey Larry -- Congrats on your new baby! Cigar anyone?

But please don't try the A/C on house power again until you get your 30A circuit installed. Your thermostat cycles the compressor on and off. At compressor start-up it draws more than 15A. That may explain the house going out. But basically it is very hard on the compressor to try and start on 15A. You may damage it if you do it repeatedly.

Gotta think here -- but by the time my "lights" turn on maybe other folks will have the direction to head.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
After reseting power in your house check the breakers in the trailer.
I think you have fuses on your power convertor. Check those.

Saying you plugged in a fan -- inside the trailer I presume. Do trailer inside lights work when the outside umbilical is plugged in? Do they work when not plugged in; ie, on battery power? What is the response when you cycle the 'in use' or 'storage' battery disconnect switch by the door?
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:29 PM   #7
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It's not impossible that the home GFI circuit was tripped. I have a TV when connected to the trailer's antenna, trips the GFI in my home fuse panel. I know its not the fault of the trailer since it did this on my Safari also. I replaced the TV with the same exact model and it does it too. Just something about that TV with some voltage leakage across the antenna that causes this to happen.

I also used to have a small fan that we used in the bathroom of our Safari. It had a variable speed knob to control fan speed. I remember every time my wife adjusted it, the GFI breaker in the trailer blew. Happened on our maiden voyage and it took us a little while to figure out that it had something to do with that little portable fan.

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Old 07-02-2006, 06:30 PM   #8
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Larry, welcome to the forums and congratulations on your new Airstream. Plugging your beauty into shore power at home is the least of your worries. You will encounter many campgrounds with strange electrical phenomenons. Low voltage, low amperage, 30 amps that is really 20 or even 15, reverse grounds and so on and so on. There is a cheap way to protect your wonderful trailer and that is with a plug in meter you can buy from any good camping RV store. This meter will tell you the voltage and amperage and if you really are connected to shore power. I use one in Chummy and will check it frequently while plugged in at a camp site.
Again congratulations and welcome to the forums.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:28 PM   #9
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Great ideas

ThecatsandI and Chaplain Kent gave great ideas I would second -- we keep polarity indicator plugged in where we can see it from outside the door. When we hook up to campground power we immediately view the polarity indicator before we even touch the trailer. The indicator will tell us if open neutral or open ground, both dangerous conditions. Also tells other important info. We don't have the meter Chaplain Kent referenced for AC voltage, we use a digital multimeter. I have friends with the meter Chaplain Kent mentioned and they like it. Even more I want a $20.00 DC digital voltage indicator so I can readily monitor my battery's state when I am on battery so I don't draw it down too low.

Welcome to the Forum! A great place to learn and share. Sooo much to see . . .
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:46 PM   #10
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Until you get your meters and such you may just use a night light in the outlet to see if you are running on electric or battery.
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:25 AM   #11
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If you have a microwave in your trailer, you will know for sure whether you have power or not. Just look at the control panel and see if the clock is functioning or if it's flashing or scrolling a message.

Fastest way I know of knowing if you have power.

Jack
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Old 07-29-2006, 07:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Hey Larry -- Congrats on your new baby! Cigar anyone?

But please don't try the A/C on house power again until you get your 30A circuit installed. Your thermostat cycles the compressor on and off. At compressor start-up it draws more than 15A. That may explain the house going out. But basically it is very hard on the compressor to try and start on 15A. You may damage it if you do it repeatedly.

Gotta think here -- but by the time my "lights" turn on maybe other folks will have the direction to head.
Canoe stream is correct in his assessment of damage to your A/C if you use the 30 amp to 15 amp dogbone. I've seen one example of a standard 15 amp extension cord connected to the 30 amp power cord with the use of a dogbone and the A/C running. The house breaker tripped and a check of the extension cord revealed it was extremely HOT! That can't be good for your new A/C.
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Old 08-01-2006, 04:23 PM   #13
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extension cords

extension cords are a nono too. If you know what you are doing you can use them but a voltage drop can harm your Air Conditioning motor and burn the end of your shore line cord. They need to be rated at 30amp if that is waht the unit is and still as short a lenth as possible
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