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Old 10-24-2011, 10:56 PM   #309
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Phillipsburg, MT. On the way to the Balloon Festival
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:08 AM   #310
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This is the view one week ago today:


We were on our first trip ever. We spent our 9th and 10th nights in our new Airstream in the Fort Collins Colorado KOA, with the temperature outside down to 17 degrees. We got just under a foot of snow. We are tropical people. This was one heck of a shakedown cruise from Dallas to Fort Collins. This was when we had no power or water from the campground, so it didn't matter that much if the door was open or not. We had just discovered our batteries will not hold a charge. The furnace will not run if it doesn't have plenty of 12 volt power. I figured out that if I just hooked up the tow truck and plugged it in, we could run the furnace as long as I idled the diesel. Which I did. Saved our butts.

I gotta tell ya, when you roll over in the middle of the night and your arm falls against the inside surface of that aluminum when it's 17 degrees outside, you will wake up.

I'd show you some more nice airstream in the snow photos, but those views are not out the door.

We left the KOA on Thursday at noon, and they still did not have power restored.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:30 AM   #311
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Your future trips can only get better! Glad you survived the shakedown with no frostbite...

Here's a thought based on my first (learning) experience: Make sure your battery switch is ON when you are towing or plugged in, or your batteries will not charge.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:55 PM   #312
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really? I am confused on this. I had tried a couple times in the past to turn the Use/Store switch to off, and the light would never go out no matter what I did. so I have no easy clue whether it was in Store or Use mode.

I read in the manual that the batteries would always charge if plugged into the tow vehicle. Is this not the case?
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:20 PM   #313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo
really? I am confused on this. I had tried a couple times in the past to turn the Use/Store switch to off, and the light would never go out no matter what I did. so I have no easy clue whether it was in Store or Use mode.

I read in the manual that the batteries would always charge if plugged into the tow vehicle. Is this not the case?
The light can be confusing. When plugged into shore power the light will be on whether the switch is in Use or Store. The switch does operate the relay and in Store, the batteries are disconnected from the converter regardless of the state of the light. Without shore power, the light is is off in Store and on in Use.

I've not explored what happens with the light if connected to the TV and its alternator is providing power to the trailer.

As to your question about charging from the TV, my short answer is Yes, No and Maybe... If this is the factory harness provided as part of the towing package, it is typically fused with a 30A fuse or better and hopefully it is at least 10 gauge. There is often a relay on the line that provides the charge current only when the engine is running, this is to prevent accidental drain of the starting battery when parked should the trailer continue to put a load on the TV electrical system. The fuse and relay are possible failure points that can go unnoticed. In some cases, the relay isn't installed on the assembly line and the user doesn't understand why the batteries are not taking a charge going down the road. Since your truck was giving you power to run the furnace, you're good there.

Primarily due to the wire gauge and length, the charge current available to the batteries from the TV is limited. The bottom line is that if you ran your house batteries down then headed down the road for a few hours, there would be some charge on the batteries, but I wouldn't expect them to be fully charged.

In my case I discovered after I bought my trailer used, the charge line from the the trailer plug was not connected to the batteries! The trailer came from JC with the ActiBrake actuator. It was replaced with a Dexter actuator under warranty when the PO owned it. I have to assume there was a change in the wiring at that time and the needed wire was omitted. The schematic for the Dexter unit showed a connection to the umbilical that wasn't there. After I put one in, everything worked as advertised.

The best way to verify that your TV is charging the house batteries is to connect a voltmeter to them then start the TV and the voltage should go up.

A fully charged Group 24 battery in excellent condition can provide about 70 Amps of power (double that for a pair). My furnace draws 7.6 Amps while running. The circuit boards for the fridge and water heater also draw from the batteries, and there are the lights, water pump... All the little things add up. In cold weather the furnace runs a lot.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:41 PM   #314
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I gotta tell ya, when you roll over in the middle of the night and your arm falls against the inside surface of that aluminum when it's 17 degrees outside, you will wake up.

That is a quote for the thread on why people buy classics.

Mouse Fur Walls

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Old 11-03-2011, 08:37 PM   #315
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Just got back from a four-day weekend of hiking and camping (and mostly relaxing) in Ionia State Recreation Area. Here's the full view from outside the Airstream:

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Old 11-04-2011, 06:48 AM   #316
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That is a quote for the thread on why people buy classics.

Mouse Fur Walls



Ken

Or why people who bought an International CCD never planned to be stuck in the snow in October.

Try doing a laser light show late at night in a fur lined airstream. Just not the same thing at all as inside an International with shiny walls.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:27 AM   #317
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Colorado last week...
Arkansas river out your door?
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:28 AM   #318
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Phillipsburg, MT. On the way to the Balloon Festival
One of my favorite places! I fly fish Rock Creek - thanks for the photo. Brings back nice memories. What a beautiful place.

Sandy
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:45 AM   #319
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one of my best friends since high school runs the Blue Damsel lodge in MT. Ever try that out?

He's been after us to come up and visit. I don't have the heart to explain that we typically buy ballyhoo bait that's bigger than freshwater trout. But I am sure the experience is great.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #320
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Hibby, nice pictures. Noticed you are from MI. and the photos taken at Ionia Rec. area. Is that Ionia MI? If so, didn't know there was one there.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:48 AM   #321
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Dowpells, yes! Just take 96 East to exit 64 and head north until you're there. It will only take you about 45-50 minutes and you can probably find a faster way. Maybe over 57 and down 66 from Rockford?

Sessions lake is excellent for fishing, and there is a 3.5 mile hiking trail around the lake.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:47 PM   #322
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LOVE this thread...
here's ours from Hallowe'en weekend at Niagara Falls...we closed the KOA there and almost came home with a feral mom and her 4 black kittens~
PS The campsite's not occupied 'til all four corners have been marked!

Jojo and Rick WBCCI 3587

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