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Old 06-29-2015, 01:42 PM   #1
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Airstream's responsibility

I have read numerous times in this forum and have been told by other AS owners that the stock converter charger in my 2014 FC27FB is an inferior piece of "outdated" equipment, and to replace it. Having just spent $70,000 on this trailer, I believed the warnings were overstated and would stick with the stock equipment. Unfortunately, after only three months on the road, staying 98% of the time in CG's with full hookups, I found that I needed to continually refill the bone dry cells of the battery with distilled water as the converter boiled off the battery acid. When we went to dry camp outside of Santa Fe, NO Battery power. I replaced the batteries, ordered and installed a three stage Power Dynamics converter charger (with charge wizard). To date, the only thing AS has stated is "we don't include batteries in our warrantee". As the charger was defective or of poor design, and obviously destroyed the two interstate batteries, I feel I deserve compensation for the batteries as well as at least a portion of the $209 upgrade/replacement. Suggestions?
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:04 PM   #2
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Batteries were probably still under warranty from the manufacturer, no?
I agree that it is ridiculous that AS continues to install old technology converters in their very expensive "high end" trailers, but until that changes all buyers would do well to replace them immediately. Unfortunately if the trailer has been sitting on a dealer's lot for several months while plugged in to shore power the damage may already be done.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:09 PM   #3
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Maybe have the converter checked to see for proper operation. Might just be defective.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:27 PM   #4
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You admit you were warned...now just pay the price. It was not defective, you just did not use it as designed, only brief charging. You could have left your battery in "store" while plugged in and all would be fine. Replace it with a 3 stage and stay plugged in all you want.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:34 PM   #5
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If it's been in dealer inventory for some time they probably did little to maintain the batteries before you got it.

We also recognize the poor charging section of the converter/charger. We still have the original converter/charger and original AGM batteries in good condition, but we never use the charger to charge our batteries. We isolate the batteries from the charger by placing the Battery Disconnect switch in "STORE" when on external power, and let the solar charge the batteries.

Yes it's an expensive trailer but most of the accessories are everyday RV stuff. Tires, batteries, charger, skylights, mattresses, seating are among the many items many of us replace for better performance. I usually wait until the factory product wears out then look for an upgrade.

I'm okay with it, if Airstream had installed these it would have been a $20 - 30,000 more expensive trailer. Our Airstream was $72,800 MSRP fully optioned. A new Classic with better stuff is $125,000.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgmhog1450 View Post
. As the charger was defective or of poor design, and obviously destroyed the two interstate batteries, I feel I deserve compensation for the batteries as well as at least a portion of the $209 upgrade/replacement. Suggestions?
I doubt that you will get anywhere with AS on the issue. That there is better equipment of any kind available (lets say it was a range, or AC unit or tongue jack) and should have been provided in the customers view will get nowhere when it comes to warrantee service.

Now, I also agree with you, but AS won't.

You might get something on the batteries, but only if AS or one of their dealers replaced them during the warrantee period, and were not asked to compensate you after for something you replaced on your own.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:40 PM   #7
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Forget it. I've had this conversation with the people at Airstream and their contention is that multistage chargers are not needed and that if you have problems it is because you failed to maintain things properly. Now if you have real deep pockets and are prepared to sue Airstream..........................

BTW the converter in the new Classic is the same one that is in your trailer.
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:38 PM   #8
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"Suggestions?" See a lawyer for legal advice.
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:58 PM   #9
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Hi, ten years of use and my Converter is still doing it's job. First sets of batteries lasted about three years and were replaced with Costco batteries. The currant set are over five years old and still going. I keep them on a Battery Tender Plus while in storage. Usually batteries and tires are warranted by the manufacturer, not the vehicle builder.
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:00 PM   #10
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The batteries in my 2007 lasted for 7 years. I replaced the batteries and a week later bought a 2014. When I traded the '07 in, I had them put the new batteries in the '14 because I'm sure they were newer than the ones that came with it. This is with the stock converter.
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:46 PM   #11
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If Airstream won't provide a warranty on the converter what about it's manufacturer??

I have to admit I really don't understand this stuff - our stock converter has been in the trailer since new (2002) - after a dozen years we're still on the second battery - have never had even a whisper of a problem from the converter - trailer is plugged in pretty much all of the the camping season - battery is removed for over-winter storage in the garage - no "battery minder" hooked up - battery has never read below 12.5V before re-installing in the spring.

I guess my question on these kinds of issues is why would one model of converter perform so dramatically different from unit to unit?

Too bad Airstream isn't holding up their end here - does sound so incredibly bizarre on such a high-end product - ridiculous.


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Old 06-29-2015, 05:58 PM   #12
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Blame it all on the bean counters at Thor. Outdated cheap converters and plywood floors.
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