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Old 08-01-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
airperson
 
2006 25' Classic
Ft Worth , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 207
Breakaway switch wires shorting together


There is agood article in this month’s Blue Beret on shorts caused by insulation rubbingthrough on breakaway switch wires. The wires go underneath the propane bottlecover. The cover bounce’s on the wires and in time it wears through theinsulation, this causes the propane cover to short the wires together and thatis the same as pulling the break away switch. Sure enough I checked mine andthe cover had made a dent in the insulation. I corrected the problem as theysuggested by using pieces of split tubing over each of the wires and tapingthem.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Thanks for bringing this up again, Airperson. Yes, this is a known and very important issue. One of our members actually had a fire because of this. My Safari has both breakaway switch and trailer jack wires under the edge of the tank cover but my Safari came with a 1" length of pipe under the tank cover wingnut to hold the cover up off these wires.

A friend bought an Airstream from a multi-brand franchised Airstream dealer. The salesperson didn't have enough time on just Airstreams and actually asked "What is this?" as he took out the spacer in front of my friend at delivery. I pointed out the pinch on the jack wire and we got a spacer put back in there right away!

I've found drilling a hole through a small piece of wood gives a more stable tank cover than using a piece of metal pipe for this spacer. Will get some pictures posted...
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:11 PM   #3
airperson
 
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Would love to see a picture...

Wow, it sounds as if you found a good fix. I would love to see how you did it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Best to also think of these switches as an item replaced every so often.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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Okay, here is my tank cover relationship to the jack & breakaway switch wires:
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And here is the simple 3/4" wood block that holds the whole tank cover higher and away from pinching wires between the A-frame:
Click image for larger version

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Airstream or my dealer originally had a short section of galvanized pipe in the same place instead of the wood block. Friction with the pipe was too low and I couldn't position the tank cover the way I wanted.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #6
airperson
 
2006 25' Classic
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I went to home depot and bought the plastic wrap to insulate the wires but I would never have thought of making a shim to lift up the bottle cover. My hat is off to you. Well done. CU, Airperson
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:10 PM   #7
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This also happened to me - and caused my brake controller to report a short condition. I had no trailer brakes until I corrected it. In my case just one of the wires had rubbed through and was grounding to the trailer frame underneath the propane tank cover.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:59 AM   #8
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New Airstreams now come with a semicircular hole cut in the bottom of the tank cover to avoid pinching these wires. I will try to remember to take a photo Monday and post it here, maybe others canretrofit the hole on their tank covers.
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:42 AM   #9
airperson
 
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Thanks for the update. It sounds like a great fix. CU, Airperson
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