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Old 07-16-2012, 09:44 PM   #1
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1964 24' Tradewind
Wausau , Wisconsin
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No power to Excella

I have a 1974 Excella 500 we recently purchased. I have had it plugged in for 3 days in the drive way with the A/C running. The first night all the lights worked on the inside and outside. The second night only the plugged in lights worked as well as the A/C. Tonight while sitting outside the A/C shut off and I have no power at all to the unit. I have the power plugged in to an independent breaker so I am sure that't not the problem.

Does the 12v battery need to be charged for the unit to run?

I am a very new member of the community and do appreciate all the help this forum is bringing.

Tim and Jodie Sharkey
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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Sounds like the first thing to go were the batteries. That was the source for the lights. The convertor may not have been plugged in or not connected to the batteries.

The lose of the AC is a 120 volt issue. You can not assume anything when it comes to power. Yu have to test the power with a meter or by plugging something else into it. You may have just blown a fuse in the trailer or a fuse at the source.

Once you establish power to the trailer you can then check the output of the convertor and charge the batteries.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:54 PM   #3
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The fact that the unit is plugged in should charge the batteries, unless you have a battery disconnect switch behind the couch. If the AC worked last night the thing should work tonight. If you have it plugged into a 15 amp circuit, you could have popped the breaker on start up. Easy to check at the plug with the $1, circuit tester.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:01 PM   #4
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you might need 12v to operate the air cond. circuit board if you have one. my 94 34 had a switch on the curbside wall near the couch. it looks like a light switch and turns on/off the converter. do you have one of those?
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:46 PM   #5
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I figured out that I have some sort of short in the automatic reel for the cord. I had power going to the plug but not making it to the junction box. I pulled the cord in and out a couple times and the power came back on. Now I need to take that apart to try to fix it. Wish me luck and thanks for the all the help!
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:53 PM   #6
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You have an open not a short. A short would blow the fuse on the source end of whatever you are plugged into.

If you are using a reel type carrier for you wire it is most likely the WIPER inside the reel that is not making contact some of the time. This could be due to a dirty spot on the armature or a relaxed contact finger.

In general I would question a reel type carrier as having the capacity to carry the current necessary to power a trailer. Check the current rating if less than 20 amps I would get a regular extension cord.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:05 PM   #7
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I agree with HowieE. That cord is not heavy enough. It's probably a good thing the reel cord failed. You can ruin the AC by burning up the motor(s) or capacitors or both by trying to run it with too small of cord. Too much voltage drop.
The absolute minimum circuit requirement is 20 amps for the AC. 30 amp power source being the preferred size with at least #10 gauge wire in the cord. #8 gauge if it is more than 50' from the panel, including the length of the shore power cord.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
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I agree with HowieE. That cord is not heavy enough. It's probably a good thing the reel cord failed. You can ruin the AC by burning up the motor(s) or capacitors or both by trying to run it with too small of cord. Too much voltage drop.
The absolute minimum circuit requirement is 20 amps for the AC. 30 amp power source being the preferred size with at least #10 gauge wire in the cord. #8 gauge if it is more than 50' from the panel, including the length of the shore power cord.
Yep, heed the warning from these people, Do not use power cords rated less than 30 amps, and not less than 30 amp 110 volt AC connections. Your air conditioning unit will burn out, and cost big bucks to replace. Get a power meter, plug it inside the TT and monitor voltage. If it is not 110+ volts when AC is on, turn it off.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Thanks for all the insight guys. I will get the power meter and monitor. With the unit being a 1974 do you really think it is imperative to remove the cord thats been powering the unit all these years? Also, completely different subject, when owner use these as park models, is the water hooked up directly to the plumbing? Is that why there is a lonely line hanging in the back?? Being so new to this I trying to learn what I can. I have the original owners manual and the service manual. I found this out because I hooked up the water and found out the line by the regulator was cut.

Tim
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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Not sure what the lonely line is, maybe a picture would help.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:32 PM   #11
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A quick reply- If I remember correctly, the early Excella 500's had a factory cord rewinder rated to operate the entire trailer.

Having said that, 35 years later it is very likely that the cord has flexed and opened in a spot OR like Howie said, the wipers have finally worn out.

I'd dig in and see what broke before dumping the whole thing in the trash and installing a regular cord that is hardwired to the system.

You milage may vary...
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:29 AM   #12
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A quick reply- If I remember correctly, the early Excella 500's had a factory cord rewinder rated to operate the entire trailer.
That's my recollection, too - my parents had a mid- or late 70s Excella 500 that had this rewinder.

Airstream seems to enjoy coming up with bizarre solutions to power cords. They all seem to fall into the category of, "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time..."
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