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Old 09-08-2017, 02:52 PM   #1
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Tracking down a short or??

2006 16' Bambi, stock.

Something is dragging my house battery down to zero. It feels like a total short maybe as soon as the trailer is parked? Things seemed ok on the trip but not so good as soon as we parked in the yard and tried to use the tongue jack.

My first question is where can I find a power schematic/layout of the trailer?

Second question has to do with the three wires on the positive terminal. One goes to the tongue jack. No question and does not seem to be the short. The other two go into bundles under/then into the pan. Is one of these coming from the battery charger and the other going to the house? If I hook up one the house comes up happily.

Third question: If the 'house line' is disconnected then re-connected to 12V the 'store/use' relay comes up as 'use' without any intervention and the house powers up. This seems counter-intuitive. It this the expected configuration?


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Old 09-08-2017, 03:32 PM   #2
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Can't help on some of this. But a true short would likely blow a fuse somewhere. Seems like either a large 12v load or dead(no longer good) battery.
Not positive on this but do the 16' Bambi 's come with 3 way fridges? If so check it's not selected to 12v, that'll draw down batteries pretty quickly. Check for other possible forgotten 12v loads like an inverter on.

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Old 09-08-2017, 03:52 PM   #3
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Short would - or certainly should - blow a fuse or trip a breaker. Is it possible that when unhooking you might have left the breakaway switch cable hooked up to your tow vehicle and so pulled the pin on the brake switch?

Trailer brakes applied by the emergency switch this way would draw about 15amps from your house batteries.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:28 PM   #4
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For a schematic, check your owner's manual. If you can't find it, you can download a digital version from the Airstream web site.

As others have mentioned, a short that will flatten the batteries quickly is one heck of a short. Some math:

Battery at 80AH fully charged
Goes flat in 15 minutes
Current drain 320A

No it's not quite that simple, but you would see smoke if a fuse didn't blow.

Far more likely answer:

Batteries have at best, a 6 year life. If yours is "stock" then it's well past it's use by date. It simply is dead and needs replacement. Even if it was replaced at 5 years, the replacement battery could easily have died by now.

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Old 09-09-2017, 10:15 AM   #5
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All of the above suggestions are great ones, and the first places to check. When troubleshooting electrical problems, I first try to figure the most likely culprits, and check those. Then I step back, stare stupidly, curse a little, and start isolating things. Getting a voltage from the batteries, then pulling all of the fuses, and waiting a bit while monitoring battery voltage should tell you whether or not your batteries are bad. Then put the fuses in, one at a time, and perform the same check. An ammeter also works well to discover where the power is going.

I once had a bad drain that would flatten my batteries overnight. I kept on isolating circuits until I found that it was an unnecessary incandescent bulb in an out-of-the-way spot that I couldn't see in the daytime.
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