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Old 09-21-2016, 12:32 PM   #15
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I had the exact thing happen on our most recent trip. Voltage dropped to 8.9 and front a/c not working but rear still working , lights dimming, etc. Went to Walmart, bought a Stanley charger, hooked up to batteries and problem went away. Originally thought front a/c was on the fritz but began working immediately as well as all lights,etc. Voltage back to 13.+. While traveling, TV kept batteries up, arrived at campground, hooked up the charger. No problems and continued on trip for 4 more weeks.

Obviously, converter/charger failed and headed to Jackson Center next weekend for another list of warranty items to be corrected. Would encourage you to do the same. I have come to not trust local dealers and the factory service is second to none. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:53 PM   #16
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I'm not understanding why going to store mode kills the AC and outlets. If this is a trailer with two AC inputs, one for shore power and one for generator, and a transfer switch, and the converter is bad, and the transfer switch needs 12 volts, that could explain it. You could try to moving the shore power cable to the other (generator) connector; that might restore shore power to everything else.

This will not help the lack of battery charge from a failed converter. An inexpensive auto charger as previously suggested could keep your batteries charged until you can get into a dealer for warranty repair.

Al
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
I'm not understanding why going to store mode kills the AC and outlets. If this is a trailer with two AC inputs, one for shore power and one for generator, and a transfer switch, and the converter is bad, and the transfer switch needs 12 volts, that could explain it. You could try to moving the shore power cable to the other (generator) connector; that might restore shore power to everything else.

Al
The air conditioner requires both 12v (for the thermostat) and 110v (for the compressor and fan). If the converter is not functioning and providing the 12v, the batteries will take care of that until they run out -- or -- until you click the Use/Store switch to Store. At that point, there's no 12v, and therefore no AC.

Turning off the breaker to the converter, switching Use/Store to Use, and putting a charge on the batteries saves the vacation. Any qualified RV service center can replace the converter when the trip is over. Keep the trip going, and wait until you find a service center with a good reputation that will not require you to live in their parking lot for a week or more.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:18 PM   #18
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The air conditioner requires both 12v (for the thermostat) and 110v (for the compressor and fan). If the converter is not functioning and providing the 12v, the batteries will take care of that until they run out -- or -- until you click the Use/Store switch to Store. At that point, there's no 12v, and therefore no AC.

Turning off the breaker to the converter, switching Use/Store to Use, and putting a charge on the batteries saves the vacation. Any qualified RV service center can replace the converter when the trip is over. Keep the trip going, and wait until you find a service center with a good reputation that will not require you to live in their parking lot for a week or more.
Thanks, that explains the AC. The outlets must be a transfer switch issue. Moving the shore power cord might fix the outlets, but not the AC. The inexpensive battery charger is the best (and only complete) solution. I'm still getting used to the fact of 12V thermostats. My previous trailer had a thermostat built in to the unit and only required 120VAC to operate.

Al
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:42 PM   #19
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Thanks, that explains the AC. The outlets must be a transfer switch issue. Moving the shore power cord might fix the outlets, but not the AC. The inexpensive battery charger is the best (and only complete) solution. I'm still getting used to the fact of 12V thermostats. My previous trailer had a thermostat built in to the unit and only required 120VAC to operate.

Al
The 12v thermostat makes more sense if you consider that it's responsible for the AC/Heat Pump and the furnace. You cannot run the AC without shore power, but you can run the furnace on batteries alone. To have a single thermostat that runs everything, it needs a 12v source that does not require shore power. Not saying that's the only way they could have done it, much less the best way to do it, but that's what they did.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:50 PM   #20
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My wife and I would be so grateful for any thoughts anyone might have on this.
Hello YB.

It's notoriously difficult to diagnose electrical problems over the internet, so I'm going to try to steer clear of that as far as I can. However, I will offer several observations and suggestions.

1) I understand you have a new 27' FC. I believe that the converter is connected to 120v power in these models using an ordinary household cord and plug. Therefore, you can unplug it! That should address any concerns about fire safety while connected to shore power. (As an aside, if it's already unplugged, you might have found your problem. As another aside, you can plug it into an extension cord and a known good outlet as a troubleshooting measure)

2) As others have pointed out, you can use any ordinary automotive battery charger as a temporary interim measure.

3) You can also exchange batteries between your tow vehicle and the Airstream, although it is possible that the Airstream battery will be a little too large to fit physically in the available space in the tow vehicle (depends on vehicle). This is often the fastest way to get power to your Airstream for a night to buy some time and spousal happiness. (You may end up having to jump start your vehicle however and it can be a little tough on vehicle alternators to charge really dead batteries)

4) I would be very surprised if there will be a problem with warranty coverage as a result of you making the necessary repairs to get through your trip.

5) Most areas have someone in the "mobile RV repair" business. That is a service that is ideal for the situation you are on although obviously you will have to pay them unless you can somehow convince Airstream to do so (possible but unlikely, I'd try having that conversation with the dealer you bought the trailer from). If the converter has to be replaced, you're looking at maybe a $300-$400 repair all told.

6) Finally I will point out that while converters do fail even while fairly new, it is perhaps more common for the wiring to them to fail, either on the AC or DC side.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:00 PM   #21
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We had a similar problem with our 2007.when away from home during the winter. I purchased a battery charger and charged the batteries until I was able to find a new converter. If your concerned about the converter running and a fire hazard you should be able to shut off with its circuit breaker. The refrigerator controls are on the 12v D.C. System and may not have enough voltage to work. The control system for the ac, heat and fan on my 2007 Safari uses 120 v a/c and 12v D.C. So that may explain why the a/c is not working. I can't figure out why your outlets are not working when the battery switch is in the store position. The only outlets not working should be the one connected to your inverter. Changing the converter is not a big job but I would wait for a Airstream dealer to do it under warrantee. Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:00 PM   #22
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You could just buy a $35 110 volt 10 amp battery charger from Walmart (or similar) and back charge the batteries by plugging in through the 12 volt cigarette lighter outlets in the coach. It worked for me, until I could get home to really fix the problem.
x2 ...
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:46 PM   #23
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I didn't know rv and auto batteries sold /used in the U.S still had to have the water level checked. These are no longer sold in Canada only sealed batteries because of the danger of spillage, I remember the old car batteries and the damage the leakage or spillage could do to clothes and surfaces.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:49 PM   #24
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Converter failure in the middle of a big trip - advice needed

There are a wide variety of batteries available in the US still. I have noticed a trend away from fully sealed batteries for automotive use. All my current vehicles have batteries that do use little water, but it is still possible to add water if needed.

My AS uses golf cart style batteries that need water regularly. I find this a bit of a pain, but they are cheaper and more available in more places than sealed AGM style batteries. My stock charger needs to be replaced before I even consider AGM batteries. So I'm stuck with flooded batteries for now.


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Old 09-21-2016, 05:01 PM   #25
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As sgt. Shultz would say "I know nothing" but I sure learned a lot reading these messages. I would like to continue following any further posts but I cannot see any way to follow this thread. Can someone splain?

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Old 09-21-2016, 05:13 PM   #26
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Hi from AZ. . . don't know which way you're headed, but there's AS dealers in ABQ & Tucson, I'd give them a call and ask. . . In the meantime backcharging batteries seems like it would work , at least temperarily. . . good luck, Craig
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Old 09-21-2016, 06:16 PM   #27
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There is also an Airstream dealer in Phoenix (Mesa) called Desert Autoplex.

I look forward to hearing more details and hope that your trip gets back on track.
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Old 09-21-2016, 06:44 PM   #28
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I changed the stock converter in my 2014 25' to a multi stage model. I would be happy to ship the stock one to you if you pay the shipping. Easy install.

Good luck,
Tom
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