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Old 07-19-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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2000 30' Excella
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How to run on battery power ?

1st time Airstream owner - just bought an Excella last night.

Question: I can get my interior electrical devices to run when I plug in to home power, but when I unplug - nothing works. Is there a switch I need to flip to cut over to battery Power ?

Any help greatly appreciated !
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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Which devices? No 120V outlet items will work on battery power, without adding an inverter to your trailer. You should have lighting, water pump, etc. with the umbilical unplugged from the wall....unless your batteries are kaput or converter is bad and not charging the batteries.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:14 AM   #3
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Rich thanks...

I can't get the Superjack or even interior lights to come on.
Am I correct in assuming that the trailer should just automatically switch over to battery power when i pull the plug ?

Thanks again
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #4
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I'm not sure if they were using this by 2k, but current models have a "Store/Use" relay that disconnects the battery, usually switchable somewhere near the entrance. I don't think it disconnects the electric jack, however.

Test your batteries first, to be sure they are charged and viable. If the batteries are good, check the cables from the battery for good connections at both ends, and look for fuses inline with those cables and any mechanical disconnects that a previous owner might have added.

When the trailer is plugged into shore power and/or your tow vehicle, do all the 12v systems work?
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
I'm not sure if they were using this by 2k, but current models have a "Store/Use" relay that disconnects the battery, usually switchable somewhere near the entrance. I don't think it disconnects the electric jack, however.

Test your batteries first, to be sure they are charged and viable. If the batteries are good, check the cables from the battery for good connections at both ends, and look for fuses inline with those cables and any mechanical disconnects that a previous owner might have added.

When the trailer is plugged into shore power and/or your tow vehicle, do all the 12v systems work?
When plugged into tow vehicle, the directional lights on the RV work, but no interior lights come on.

Does that sound like maybe a battery issue ?

Thanks !
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #6
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First test the batteries and make sure they actually have a charge, they are up front the two little doors at the front of the trailer. If they are original and are 13 years old, I bet they are dead.

Second there is a battery cut off switch, on our 1998 Excella it is on a little panel below the front couch, big red knob. That disconnects the batteries from everything.

Third the battery charger/converter also has a switch, it's charges and runs the trailer on 12V dc while your plugged into 120V AC. That switch is usually hidden behind the curtains, again on ours its behind a curtain on the left side of the trailer near the front. It's a normal looking house light switch.

You don't have to do anything to make it run off of batteries, you just unplug and everything should run from the batteries.

If you have the manual is should all be in there.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by windvale View Post
1st time Airstream owner - just bought an Excella last night.

Question: I can get my interior electrical devices to run when I plug in to home power, but when I unplug - nothing works. Is there a switch I need to flip to cut over to battery Power ?

Any help greatly appreciated !
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windvale View Post
When plugged into tow vehicle, the directional lights on the RV work, but no interior lights come on.

Does that sound like maybe a battery issue ?

Thanks !
It's not necessarily definitive, there could be a problem with the 12v charge line from your tow vehicle, either at the tow vehicle, in the umbilical cable or in the trailer.

If the interior lights work on shore power, though, and not without it, there's a problem "around" the batteries somewhere. It could be one or both of the batteries, or it could be wiring, fuses or a disconnect switch.

Do you have a multimeter? If so, have you checked the voltage across each battery? Make this measurement with the shore power unplugged, then plug in and check the batteries again. You should see higher voltage at the battery when the shore power is plugged in, indicating that the converter is working and that there's a good circuit.

Each battery, disconnected from the cables, should measure over 12.5 volts. (12.7v would indicate 100% charge, 12.5v is about 80% charge, anything less than 12.2v is probably toast (the battery has been discharged to the point at which even if you recharge it, its capacity will be diminished.)
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
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Most likely your disconnect switch is in the "store mode". Check that first. On my trailer it is located right by the door.
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