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Old 10-07-2014, 05:08 PM   #15
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The use/store switch only disconnects the battery. It doesn't have anything to do with you AC side or actually your DC side as well. If you are connected to shore power with switch set to store you will still have full power to everything. Don't worry about unplugging tv's etc.
I would be more worried the batteries were fully depleted vs overcharged. If they have been fully depleted a few times (which it sounds like they may have) they are probably ruined. Same thing happened to me. I suspect batteries are not maintained properly by dealerships then confusion about the use/store switch caused me to deplete mine again. After that my batteries wouldn't last long at all.


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Old 10-07-2014, 06:03 PM   #16
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The use/store switch only disconnects the battery. It doesn't have anything to do with you AC side or actually your DC side as well. If you are connected to shore power with switch set to store you will still have full power to everything. Don't worry about unplugging tv's etc.
I would be more worried the batteries were fully depleted vs overcharged. If they have been fully depleted a few times (which it sounds like they may have) they are probably ruined. Same thing happened to me. I suspect batteries are not maintained properly by dealerships then confusion about the use/store switch caused me to deplete mine again. After that my batteries wouldn't last long at all.


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Hi Landrum

If it checked out at the auto parts store is my only indication for ruined batts the fact that they don't hold charge? I went this afternoon to the airstream and checked the batt. Just 22 hrs ago I was in the green, today it's down to amber and I was in store mode the entire time. I physically turned the fridge to off 30 min ago and unplugged anything that was plugged in as a precaution. Back in storage. I wonder if I need new batteries?
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:12 PM   #17
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I don't know about the newer trailers, but on mine the store switch disconnects the battery from the power distribution and fuse panel. The battery is still connected to the converter and can thus be overcharged by the older converters if connected to shore power and items like the propane detector and breakaway switch are connected to the battery directly (probably through an in-line fuse).

Charge your batteries up, disconnect the negative lead that feeds the power to the trailer (not the one that jumps to the other battery) and then come back in a couple of days, hook them back up, and check the charge status. If still green, something is discharging them.

It is likely that your major loads, e.g. refrigerator, lighting, furnace, TV, radio, etc. are fed from the distribution and fuse panel and are disconnected in store mode. You should not have to turn them off separately.

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Old 10-07-2014, 06:16 PM   #18
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Hi Landrum

If it checked out at the auto parts store is my only indication for ruined batts the fact that they don't hold charge? I went this afternoon to the airstream and checked the batt. Just 22 hrs ago I was in the green, today it's down to amber and I was in store mode the entire time. I physically turned the fridge to off 30 min ago and unplugged anything that was plugged in as a precaution. Back in storage. I wonder if I need new batteries?
When batteries are allowed to sit in a depleted state (uncharged storage for extended periods.......like on a dealer's lot for 6 months), you can be sure that the plates are sulfated. They will accept a charge and 'look' like they are charged but have no capacity to retain this charge. Relying on your red/yellow/green battery indicator is totally useless, as you will be seeing the surface charge after it has been disconnected and not the actual state of charge in the batteries.

The group 24 Interstate batteries that Airstream provides are bottom of the barrel in quality, and sitting on a dealer's lot in an uncharged state virtually assures that they are sulfated and will not retain any charge that is placed on them.

YES! You need new batteries. You also need a quality 3-stage automatic power converter to properly charge those new batteries. The single stage, constant voltage converter that Airstream still insists on placing in their 'premium' trailers is suitable only for the scrap heap. I wouldn't bother with new batteries unless you first upgrade the converter. A total battery disconnect switch that will isolate the batteries completely for extended storage periods is also a good idea. You can also simply disconnect the negative battery terminal to accomplish the same result.

Just a note about AGM batteries. When placed in storage with a full charge, they will hold that charge (especially Lifeline AGMs) for a minimum of 90 days in a no load situation. I have had batteries in my shop that were left unattended for 6 -7 months and STILL had 12.7 VDC when measured. Of course, YMMV!
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:01 PM   #19
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Lewster is Correct (of Course)

The first thing I have done for every Airstream I have owned is to install a new, state-of-the-art converter/charger.
During camping season, I disconnect my batteries between trips. One negative lead as Al has said)
During winter storage, I remove my batteries and keep them in my garage at a charging station.
Batteries require a great deal more operator involvement than some owners are inclined to give.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:33 PM   #20
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The original batteries in our trailer failed this spring. When I had our AM Solar system installed, I installed two pure lead Group 24 AGM batteries. They charge quickly via solar or plug-in, and do hold their charge well while stored indoors unplugged. One nice thing about the group 24 AGMs, they fit in the stock battery compartment perfectly. They came with full replacement three year warranty. They were approximately 250.00 each on sale.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:45 PM   #21
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My project for this weekend is to find where the LP detector is connected and move it downstream from the battery relay so it is shut off when in Store mode. I'm not in the trailers when in storage so why should it be on. I guess if I hit the Store switch and I'm using the trailer but that is rare.

If the trailer is in Store mode and the AS is plugged into shore power then the converter will provide power to the the AC and DC circuits, it won't charge the battery. The Use/Store light will light up so you can't tell if the AS is in Store or Use. You just have to remember or when you pull the plug the light will go off and your fridge will loose power until you put it in Use mode. I've swapped out my OEM converter because it failed and have the Progressive 4655 from Bestconverter so I can keep it on shore power without worrying.

Maybe Classic AS have bigger battery boxes because my Interstate Grp27 seem to fit fine with extra space on top. I might be able to fit 2 six volts batteries but they are so much heavier I don't need anymore weight on my tongue.

Purchase a multimeter so you can measure the batteries at the post and at the converter. You can also use it to test for AC volts if you suspect a campground has bad 30amp service. Mine can also measure amps.

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Old 10-07-2014, 08:07 PM   #22
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Kelvin, the group 27 and 31 AGMs that I looked at were a bit too long to fit in the moulded plastic holder in the bottom of the battery box in our trailer. The group 24 was 11 inches long, group 27 was 12 1/2", and the group 31 was 13". Height and width of the three groups was the same.

Close, but wouldn't quite go. May have worked if I'd taken out the plastic holder.

No idea whether the Classic has a different battery box from the Flying Cloud.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:12 PM   #23
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My project for this weekend is to find where the LP detector is connected and move it downstream from the battery relay so it is shut off when in Store mode....SNIP...
Kelvin
On my trailer the wire is easy to find. I have a front bedroom twin. The use/store relay is in a compartment at the front right, with an access panel that lifts off from above. There is a bit of a rat's nest of wires, but there is only one wire that has an in-line fuse holder on it. That's the one.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:40 PM   #24
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On my trailer the wire is easy to find. I have a front bedroom twin. The use/store relay is in a compartment at the front right, with an access panel that lifts off from above. There is a bit of a rat's nest of wires, but there is only one wire that has an in-line fuse holder on it. That's the one.

In 07 it was an orange wire with an in line fuse holder.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:44 PM   #25
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FYI The Interstate batteries Airstream installs only have a 12 month warranty from the manufacture date stamped on top.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:18 PM   #26
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You may want to contact the dealer and ask them to replace them at no charge. For the simple reason that sitting on the lot for 6 months probably killed them. Good thing to ask for if you buy a new trailer that has been sitting. Insist on having new batteries installed. And check the date stamp on the batteries for 'freshness'.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:37 PM   #27
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Oh my gosh, I am really thankful for all of your great advice and tips!! I really wouldn't know what to do without such a great group of dedicated Airstreamers. I will definitely check the expiration/manufacture dates on the batteries, then I will call Airstream and tell them of my issue with the hopes that they are going to treat me somewhat kindly. If all fails I suppose I check the currents on the batteries as suggested above and it seems to me that an updated converter may be something to look at installing in the future. Does anyone know if this is a simple task or something better done by an experienced technician? I may just have to bite the bullet and buy new batteries if all else fails, although I am nervous that these may fail again too due to some other defect such as a converter issue. Keep the great advice coming, I truly appreciate that!

Dunja
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:34 AM   #28
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You may want to contact the dealer and ask them to replace them at no charge. For the simple reason that sitting on the lot for 6 months probably killed them. Good thing to ask for if you buy a new trailer that has been sitting. Insist on having new batteries installed. And check the date stamp on the batteries for 'freshness'.
After 6 months of adding water to our "new" Interstate batteries in our 2014 ( factory order), we finally got the dealer to replace them with brand new at no charge. We also had them checked at Interstate and at the dealer who both proclaimed them to be operating within specs. 6 Months with our replacement grp24's shows no problems at all. Makes me wonder after reading about other people having the same issues with their new Airstreams that there isn't an issue with the Interstates that Airstream in installing initially.


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