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Old 08-02-2008, 07:56 AM   #1
rec
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problem with a relay in our 12-volt panel

We had a fuse in our 12-volt panel that started clicking earlier in our current trip (it was fine one day, and the next day after a full day of driving, it was clicking when we arrived at camp) – when we called the Escapees road assistance tech support while we were in Orlando (where it first started), and he said it was a relay (something trying to turn on and unable to). We went to Camping World in Ft. Myers Florida and they tested it, could clearly see that it was fuse #3 that was clicking, and that fuse went to our tank monitor / water pump / range hood area (including the ceiling lights around there). But they couldn’t find out what was causing it. They disconnected the fuse and told us to have you guys look at it when we got to the Airstream center (we were headed to Jackson Center to have a few other things done anyway.

When the Airstream guys reconnected the fuse, it was working find and wasn’t clicking anymore. We could use the water pump, exhaust fan, oven light, etc. just fine – and they said that it seemed fixed. Of course, we still couldn’t use the tank monitor, because they said there was a bad something in the panel that needed replaced, but they didn’t have the part to do it because the monitor is sort of obsolete.

Anyway, 2 days after leaving Jackson Center, after a day of driving, it was clicking again. And now, none of the stuff on that fuse was working again – the water pump, fan, lights, etc. We have again disconnected it (because it’s clearly affecting the rest of the system, making the lights dim when it clicks) and are again without use of our water pump.

I know this is going to end up being like the time that our car had a bad starter – it wouldn’t start for us, we would have it towed in to the shop, and then it would start fine for them – and they couldn’t tell us what was wrong if they couldn’t make it “not work” for them And we can’t come back to Jackson Center right now – we’re in Wisconsin on our way today to South Dakota and then eventually on to Oregon. If anyone has a suggestion about what to do, who to take it to, what to have them test or look for -- any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:08 AM   #2
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We need a little more info. What kind of AS is this? Is this a fuse or a resettable circuit breaker? What type of converter is installed?

Brian
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:06 AM   #3
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:19 AM   #4
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As noted above we need more info.

However my first guess is it is not a fuse but a circuit breaker that is clicking out against a short in that circuit. In which case I would not attempt to use that circuit until someone finds the problem.

Possible reason that it comes and goes is a wire may be shorting against the trailer frame and is moved during travel to points of contact and then none contact.

Has anyone done any work on the interior body of the trailer, re-riveting, screwing anything down, or changing the loading around the water pump that may have hit a wire?
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:43 AM   #5
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The idea that it might be a wire touching the trailer frame hadn't even occurred to me -- but it makes sense -- we have had some work done on the interior (installing some ceiling fans which, in one case, required cutting a bigger hole in the ceiling) -- the guys at Jackson Center also did some things with the water pump -- it's quite feasible.

So here's my question -- how would we hunt this down? We took the trailer to Camping World and they seemed at a loss as to how to fix this (clearly not familiar with Airstream wiring) -- and when it wasn't "not working" at Jackson Center, they couldn't help us. Is there something we can do ourselves to troubleshoot the problem when it flakes out on us to find the problem? Or do we just have to wait until the magical moment that a visit to an Airstream service center converges with it not working? Thanks so much!
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:56 AM   #6
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The first place I would look is around that new light. Remove the light and inspect the wiring for any sign a wire was crimped between anything when it was put in.

The water pump is generally in not in a confined space so while it is unlikely they pinched a wire to ground in that area it is worth a look see.

Let us know if you find anything.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:01 PM   #7
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we'll give it a try

we're on the road traveling at the moment, but as soon as we stop for a bit, we'll look at the newly installed lights / fans and see if there's anything wonky -- thanks for the tip!
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