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Old 04-06-2011, 10:54 PM   #1
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1983 34' Excella
Ridgefield , Washington
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Question Electrical mayhem, please help, need wiring diagram?

I have loved and lived in my Airstream Excella, title says 32 foot,it is an 83', and I have had the pleasure of owning for two years now.

Here is my quandary, my trailer is parked next to my parent's home, in the month of February my dad did some rewiring in the enclosed carport where my trailer is/was plugged in. For the nearly 2 years it has been plugged in I had no problems that I was aware of. After he rewired the carport 3 feet of my plug in fried and even the "dog bone" connector welded to the plug. So he created a box just for my trailer, it has power and tests ok, but here is the problem. Initially I discovered that the exterior of the trailer was hot to the touch, to the tune of 124 volts, and after I got shocked replacing my propane tank I pointed out to my dad who initially did not believe me. After a friend and him worked on the power again it reduced it to exterior hot of about 45 volts, power on the inside just fine, so?

So I have another person come in and without a diagram I am stuck. Essentially I have no idea where to start to solve this. At this point I now have power to the outlets and none to the 12 volt interior lights, and the refrigerator is no longer working, the whole thing is a huge mess. To compound it, I really have no way of moving it to a repair shop, and don't know of any reputable repair people near Ridgefield Washington. I checked a couple of sites and am unable to find a maintenance manual or service manual, no I don't think I need an owners manual since what I need is truly the technical heart of my sweetheart airstream I so dearly love to live in and want to continue to live in. Any and all help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:07 PM   #2
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Sounds like the common and hot legs in the carport were reversed. Do you have a polarity light at the rear of the trailer?

Purchase a simple outlet tester and see what happens when you plug it in. could have blown some circuit breakers in the trailer also.

I believe that you can purchase service manuals from Airstream.

I think your electrical problems started outside the trailer, fix them first.

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Originally Posted by starchild View Post
I have loved and lived in my Airstream Excella, title says 32 foot,it is an 83', and I have had the pleasure of owning for two years now.

Here is my quandary, my trailer is parked next to my parent's home, in the month of February my dad did some rewiring in the enclosed carport where my trailer is/was plugged in. For the nearly 2 years it has been plugged in I had no problems that I was aware of. After he rewired the carport 3 feet of my plug in fried and even the "dog bone" connector welded to the plug. So he created a box just for my trailer, it has power and tests ok, but here is the problem. Initially I discovered that the exterior of the trailer was hot to the touch, to the tune of 124 volts, and after I got shocked replacing my propane tank I pointed out to my dad who initially did not believe me. After a friend and him worked on the power again it reduced it to exterior hot of about 45 volts, power on the inside just fine, so?

So I have another person come in and without a diagram I am stuck. Essentially I have no idea where to start to solve this. At this point I now have power to the outlets and none to the 12 volt interior lights, and the refrigerator is no longer working, the whole thing is a huge mess. To compound it, I really have no way of moving it to a repair shop, and don't know of any reputable repair people near Ridgefield Washington. I checked a couple of sites and am unable to find a maintenance manual or service manual, no I don't think I need an owners manual since what I need is truly the technical heart of my sweetheart airstream I so dearly love to live in and want to continue to live in. Any and all help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
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I would get a Circuit Tester which will clue you into if the hot, ground, and neutral that he wired for you is correct and if it is then check in your unit to see if it is wired right
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:30 PM   #4
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I use the above tester plugged into a 30 amp/20 amp adapter. It's handy for checking camp ground wiring before plugging in. This setup will help you in your quest.
Ricky
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:59 PM   #5
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One Step at a time

Let's eliminate a few things first:
Did your Dad do anything inside the trailer?
When you read the 45 volts, where are you placing the meter? Hot leg to neutral: Hot leg to ground: Neutral to ground:
Is your trailer equipped for 30 amps? Since it is an '83, I will assume it is.
Is the outlet for your trailer a 120 volt 30 amp?
Have you tested the outlet with the circuit tester mentioned above?
If so; what did you find?
Are you sure everything was OK before Dad got his hands on it?
Can you post some photos of the outlet that provides power for your trailer? Also of the end of your shore power cord.
Do you know how to use a Volt/Ohm meter?
If you were getting shocked by the trailer it is not grounded properly, there could be some internal issues with the 120 volt wiring as well. But lets make sure the power source is wired correctly first.

The 12 volt system is a separate issue and we can tackle that once the 120 volt AC is working properly. Let's take it one step at a time.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:25 AM   #6
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1985 31' Excella
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Melting down your cord should have tripped a breaker in the outside wiring. Either the feed breaker is bad or too large. Should be 30Amp max. the wiring to the trailer plug should be at least #10 and if its a long run #8 or #6. Probably would be wise to feed with a arc fault breaker to the trailer.

There is a hot wired to Neutral somewhere, probably outside the trailer. Is it wired with a 220 plug ? You don't have a ground on the trailer. I if your new plug is 220 a hot wire is going to one hot prong and the ground prong with the neutral going to what should be a hot prong.

test your breakers with a volt meter see what you get from a breaker to the trailer skin and from the neutral and ground to the trailer skin. Get the wiring right to the breaker panel first. I would try hooking the trailer up to another house receptacle with a extension cord if there is one within 50' plus your trailer cord.

Hopefully you only blew fuses in the inverter power system. It should be in the front of the trailer under the sofa. I have schematics for 84,85,86 but would need to know what bath arrangement you have. There is a good chance the wiring will be the same.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:13 AM   #7
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Not 220

The trailer should not be wired with 220 volt hardware. Here is a pic of the correct outlet and shorepower cord configuration. The receptacle specifies "Travel Trailer Use Only". Here is a website that gives you complete info. www.myrv.us Just click on Electrical Service then 30 amp

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Old 04-07-2011, 10:09 AM   #8
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Its not supposed to be 220...as mentioned.\

First of all...and last of all on the things to do list. Tell your Dad thanks. Then call in a real electrician. Be sure to tell the electrician the connection is for an RV. I hope your system is salvagable....a 220 connection could have done major damage.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:11 AM   #9
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I'll bet your dad reversed the hot and common legs and also wired it up for 220 volts instead of 110. Most people who are not familiar with campers think that the plug shown in post #7 is a 220 volt plug, as it looks kinda like a stove or dryer plug. You also may have some fried wires in the camper that are bleeding voltage where it shouldn't be and causing the 45 volt leakage to the camper shell. Time to get an electrician who knows what he is doing before someone gets killed, or something burns down.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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In your trailer at the very back left end table(drivers side) there should be inside it ,if it is like mine. A black 110v (relay Box ).Check the wiring also going in it. It might have Burn't up.
I hope this helps!!
You can get a service manual from airstream.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:56 PM   #11
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What about:

AIRSTREAM ADVENTURES NORTHWEST
18203 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd
Milwaukie,OR, 97267

Apparently they are about 27 miles away.

Telephone: (503)496-3162
Website: Portland Oregon Airstream Dealer - Airstream Northwest

Does anyone know anything about them?

starchild,

You own what I think is the lightest 34-footer ever made. If it's a mid-bath it has a "dry" (unladen) weight of 5,500 lbs, and add 30 lbs if it's a rear bath.

There are many vehicles that could tow your trailer, assuming they have the correct hitch installed. All that to say, if you have to tow it to a repair shop, I wouldn't worry too much about finding a tow vehicle; I'm fairly certain that any 1/2 ton relatively new Ford or Chevrolet pickup truck should work without modifications.

Melody Ranch and several others have good ideas as to what to do. Don't panic, your baby will be right as rain before you know it
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:09 AM   #12
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1985 31' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
The trailer should not be wired with 220 volt hardware. Here is a pic of the correct outlet and shorepower cord configuration. The receptacle specifies "Travel Trailer Use Only". Here is a website that gives you complete info. www.myrv.us Just click on Electrical Service then 30 amp

Yes I was wrong. That is a standard 30A dryer plug before isolated ground was required. Not sure what I was thinking guess I shouldn't post in the wee hours of the morning. Heck I just wired a cord into the junction box. Getting struck by lightning sometimes has its drawbacks..

Thanks for the correcting post.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:25 AM   #13
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1983 34' Excella
Ridgefield , Washington
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A sad update

Well, yesterday my repair guy I have, started creating a new power pole separate from everything my stepdad did. He discovered that not only my airstream was hot, but the blue metal building where I was hooked up was hot as well. He was able to correct things and I now have a beautiful new plug for a fried airstream.

My 12 volt is out completely, I have correct power in the airstream now, but my living room light and refrigerator are now somehow linked and the refrigerator starts buzzing and/or quits if you try to switch on anything. I am so pissed at him that I haven't slept a wink since my friend left. I ordered a new plug, all 37 feet,from Inland RV and hopefully it will be here soon. I also talked to Airstream yesterday, and I did get a copy of an 82 with 2 axles, if someone out there has a better one. My setup is a full bed in rear, bathroom pass. side/closet (circuit breaker box)driver side, refrigerator passenger side, microwave driver side, table/bed pass side, sink/stove driver side, and living room is my front. Title says 32, but has 3 axles so I know is 34.

I suspect I will have to remove 12 volt today and possibly get tested and/or replaced today. Wiring diagram would be awesome if it could be emailed or linked or ? I'm not quite ready to un-skirt it and haul it to a shop, I really want to repair this myself if I can, plus I don't have a vehicle to tow with(Toyota Camry). As for my family, it is tough on Mom's couch right now-harder for her because she is in the middle of this mess. I had her come with me when I brought my burned up plug and wire to Grovers electric, they inspected it and told both of us it was not my fault that it burned up. He had me plugged into a 15 amp household plug with a dogbone, and when he "fixed the problem" is when he probably fried my trailer. I haven't told him thank you, yet.....

I want to extend my gratitude to those who have posted here to help me, thank you so very much. The guy I hired is certified and a full time RVer as well as me, plus a friend to boot.

Again thank you.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:33 AM   #14
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1983 34' Excella
Ridgefield , Washington
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My full size bed is in rear, bathroom on pass side, fusebox/closet driver side, refer pass side, micro driver side, and so on. It has 3 axles. 1983, 34 foot,oh and also has solar panel above bathroom-it seems to be fine in this whole mess. Any help is greatly appreciated. can you send to my email here?
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