Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-14-2013, 02:12 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Excella CM's Avatar
 
1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,061
Retractable electrical power cord replacement

REPLACING THE CORD ON THE CORD REEL

NOTE: To avoid making this job any more unpleasant than it inherently is, DISCONNECT the shore power before you begin. If the unit is out of the trailer or you have good access to the reel side opposite the junction box, proceed to paragraph 3.

1) '70's Airstreams offered a self-retracting cable reel for shore power connection. These were AERO-MOTIVE (now owned by Woodhead) "POW-R-MITE" Model: RVA25 600V; 30AMP units. The reels seem built to last the millennia, but the cords which succumb to various modes of attrition, will need to be replaced occasionally. The reels hold 25-30 feet of 30 amp power cable.

2) Here is what I did to replace my power cord: First off, I purchased a 25 (you can use 30' too) foot extension cord with molded ends and cut-off the female connector to make a pig-tail(you can also buy pigtail cords ready to go, but they cost a little more, or you can buy just the cable and use a standard plug). Replacing the cord requires pretty much complete disassembly of the cord reel. So, cut off the old plug and gently (slowly) relax the spring tension on the cord reel by letting it unwind. Remove the pinch bolt on the cord guide and remove the cord guide after pulling the cable end through it. Remove the four screws holding the cover on the right hand side (you can leave the cord guide attached to this and remove both together also if you wish). Remove the four remaining screws on the terminal box body and remove it, too. Undo the three terminals coming out of the cord reel axle (note the numbered positions: 1 is black (hot), 2 is white (neutral), and 3 is green (ground). Remove lock nut and set screw from the stop collar for the reel axle. Pull the reel toward the front of the trailer (away from the wiring) and work the reel,axle, and 3 wires out of the frame. Now would be a good time to examine the ratchet mechanism on the frame to see how to retract it when offering up the reel to the frame upon reassembly. Having fun yet?

3) Remove the nuts and cover from the side of the reel opposite the axle stub; the spring motor on the other side can be left unmolested. You will see the cable end with a hose clamp, moisture seal, and the three "floating" brush holders. Remove the 7 screws that hold the cable reel halves together and split the cable drum. Unscrew the water tight fitting where the cable enters the reel hub, disconnect the three wire ends at brushes 1,2, and 3 and loosen the cable clamp. Then pull the old wire out of the reel.

4) Reassembly is just the reverse, as the manuals always say, but with some caveats. First: DON'T FORGET to reeve the new cable through the cable guide before you connect it to the brushes if you use a cable with a molded-on end!: Second: Make sure to re-attach the green grouind jumper from the brush holder to the reel half screw. Third: when fitting the reel axle back into the frame, the catch for the ratchet must be moved out of the way to allow the reel to fit fully into the frame. Access is through a cutout in the frame under the terminal box. I didn't worry about new gaskets to maintain water-proof integrity since the unit resides inside the trailer. The clearance to get the reel out of the frame is just barely adequate in my installation but the reel can be forced against the water hose reel. It never ceases to amaze me how little regard is paid to the plight of the repairman down the line when it comes to placing the two reel assemblies. It would be a simple matter to allow extra room between the reel units, but do they?

5) Replacement of the cord is quite a bit simpler if your installation allows good access to the side of the reel opposite the spring motor; if that is the case, then changing the cord is much easier because the axle does not need to be removed from the reel frame.

A curious discovery while doing this repair was that the molded plastic box that covers both my reels in the Excella is too shallow in the vertical dimension so that it was necessary for Airstream to add a crude frame onto the floor to lift it up an inch! Such a mixed bag these Airstreams.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2 REELS.jpg
Views:	142
Size:	140.7 KB
ID:	190902   Click image for larger version

Name:	BRUSH COVER.jpg
Views:	145
Size:	136.3 KB
ID:	190903  

Click image for larger version

Name:	CORD CONNECTION.jpg
Views:	222
Size:	143.4 KB
ID:	190904   Click image for larger version

Name:	CORD GUIDE.jpg
Views:	195
Size:	145.9 KB
ID:	190905  

__________________

__________________
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
Excella CM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2013, 02:34 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
A W Warn's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,571
I had one of those reels in a 78 Excella 30'. The brushes burned out due to a lightning strike where I was plugged in. I spoke to a tech at Aero-Motive before they closed their doors. He told me they no longer supported this product, but they could custom make the replacement parts I needed, but they would be VERY expensive. I could not find replacement parts elsewhere so I tossed the whole reel system and installed a fixed chord in it's place.

The hose reel has a drain for winterizing that I did not discover until after it froze and cracked the casting. Tossed that too.
__________________

__________________
Alan
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2013, 02:39 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Excella CM's Avatar
 
1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,061
Yeah, I guess lightning would probably exceed the 600 volt/30 amp rating
__________________
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
Excella CM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2013, 01:41 PM   #4
cwf
Rivet Master
 
cwf's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,935
Images: 2
http://youtu.be/f-77xulkB_U
__________________
Peace and Blessings..
Channing
WBCCI# 30676
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 12:30 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Excella CM's Avatar
 
1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,061
Here's a follow-up: I was able to get Woodhead, the successor to Aero-Motive to search their old files and send me the service information for our old Airstream cord reels. Be advised that they no longer support this model, but the info may certainly come in handy.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Service Manual R Series Pow-R-Matic Cable Reel.pdf (250.6 KB, 79 views)
__________________
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
Excella CM 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 03:34 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.