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Old 09-07-2008, 05:52 PM   #15
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it could even be just a fuse. :-)
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:39 AM   #16
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Southwest Coaches Quickly Fixed the Problem

Aaron of Southwest Coaches, in Irvine, CA., quickly checked the converter and saw that it was not putting out the correct voltage and he replaced it. The voltage reading from the new one is shown below.

The AGM batteries are now back to 100% and retaining the charge.

Thanks to Dwayne and Aaron of Southwest Coaches, “Where Dreams Come True”, our end of summer trip-to-the-beach dream eventually did come true, and we went on to enjoy camping at South Carlsbad State Beach.

See the full story and more: End of Summer Dreams

History Safari Express, Airstream Life Online Community
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverGate View Post
Aaron of Southwest Coaches, in Irvine, CA., quickly checked the converter and saw that it was not putting out the correct voltage and he replaced it.
[snip]
Wish I could say the same for me. Or perhaps not...

Ironically (predictably?) my Parallax 7355 just died the same way...and only two weeks from end of warranty.

Earlier this morning I talked to Aaron of Southwest Coaches (the nearest Airstream service facility to me) about my diagnosis and replacement. He said he had three replacement units...just put in other units. He has no spares available, so the best he could suggest was for me to bring my coach in next week (so it'd be in before the end of warranty) and leave it while waiting for replacement parts ("they're coming from China, however long that will take.")

No thanks. I've had zero success with leaving my trailer in the hands of any dealer, out of my sight. And I have no patience for more of the same cheap-o junk. I certainly don't want to miss days of work, traveling twice for something that is likely to let me down again.

So I just got off the phone with Randy at BestConverter, purchasing the Xantrex TrueCharge RV 60A XADC plus XADC 30A Distribution Center. I'm going to toss that junky 7355 as soon as I can!

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5cats View Post
Wish I could say the same for me. Or perhaps not...

Ironically (predictably?) my Parallax 7355 just died the same way...He (Aaron of Southwest Coaches) said he had three replacement units...just put in other units. He has no spares available, so the best he could suggest was for me to bring my coach in next week (so it'd be in before the end of warranty) and leave it while waiting for replacement parts ("they're coming from China, however long that will take.")... So I just got off the phone with Randy at BestConverter, purchasing the Xantrex TrueCharge RV 60A XADC plus XADC 30A Distribution Center. I'm going to toss that junky 7355 as soon as I can!
Cheers,
-jd.
So they are having difficulty keeping up with replacing faulty Parallax converters in relatively new trailers. That's not a good sign.

Thanks for posting your latest remedy and please keep us posted (with pictures) on how your new converter works out.

Good Luck!

-- Bill
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:22 AM   #19
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I don't mean to hijack the thread but could someone tell me how long I need to leave the trailer plugged into shore power to full charge the 2 original factory batteries using the 7355 charger?

I've had it on shore power for a week and the specific gravity doesn't go above 1.250. If I charge the batteries directly with a 10 amp automatic charger, the specific gravity goes to 1.275.

Thank you.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:11 PM   #20
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XADC Follow-up

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5cats View Post
[...] So I just got off the phone with Randy at BestConverter, purchasing the Xantrex TrueCharge RV 60A XADC plus XADC 30A Distribution Center. I'm going to toss that junky 7355 as soon as I can!
Here's the follow-up: I replaced the OEM unit with the XADC-60A.

Here's the most interesting pic:

While I had it all open, I plumbed in a new furnace duct behind the new power converter. The factory configuration had only the one furnace vent, which did a fine job blasting the bathroom door directly in front, but did a lousy job of actually heating the trailer. The added vent opens toward the front of the trailer, for more even (and thorough) heating.

One more thing: glad I replaced the power converter myself!
Not only did I get to clean out some more factory-installed trash and sawdust from back there, but I found four AC power lines badly pinched between the wheel well and cabinetry cutouts. Three of the four had insulation already partially sawn through, exposing bare copper. With that repaired, properly routed and loomed, I think I'm ready for a vacation

Cheers,
-jd.

PS - Apologies to Bill for hijacking your thread. Again.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:15 AM   #21
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Those pinched and worn AC lines are a good recipe for a bad fire.

Airstream should be ashamed, and horrified.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:34 PM   #22
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5cats (JD),
Very nice work. You will see a huge difference in performance with a multi-stage converter/charger like that and I am surprised Airstream doesn't insist on a better power center from their factory.
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:05 PM   #23
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Nice job, jd... thanks for posting the follow-up picture and story here.

I almost missed the picture showing how it finally looks with the faceplate panel in place, but found it through your posted link, "I replaced the OEM unit with the XADC-60A".

This is another good example of your neat wiring as first shown here.

I take it that the voltage output from the converter is approximately 13.8 volts?

Feel free to post updates on how your Xantrex converter and power distribution center continue to work out for you here.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:45 PM   #24
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The converter went bad again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5cats View Post
Here's the follow-up: I replaced the OEM unit with the XADC-60A.

Here's the most interesting pic:

While I had it all open, I plumbed in a new furnace duct behind the new power converter. The factory configuration had only the one furnace vent, which did a fine job blasting the bathroom door directly in front, but did a lousy job of actually heating the trailer. The added vent opens toward the front of the trailer, for more even (and thorough) heating.

One more thing: glad I replaced the power converter myself!
Not only did I get to clean out some more factory-installed trash and sawdust from back there, but I found four AC power lines badly pinched between the wheel well and cabinetry cutouts. Three of the four had insulation already partially sawn through, exposing bare copper. With that repaired, properly routed and loomed, I think I'm ready for a vacation

Cheers,
-jd.

PS - Apologies to Bill for hijacking your thread. Again.
Hi JD,

Our converter that was replaced 8/08 under warranty is going bad with the warranty expired.

How is your new system working? Are you pleased with it? How easy was it to install and how much time did it take? Can a person with limited to no electronics knowledge do this project?

Please advise,
Larry
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:37 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenghuang View Post
Hi JD,

Our converter that was replaced 8/08 under warranty is going bad with the warranty expired.

How is your new system working? Are you pleased with it? How easy was it to install and how much time did it take? Can a person with limited to no electronics knowledge do this project?

Please advise,
Larry
*rats!* thought for sure it would last longer that this ...

I'm pleased with what we have, now that it's been in service for a while. It seems to do a terrific job of both charging and maintaining the batteries, and I'm comfortable with extended plug-in periods at home.

Given that this directly replaced an existing converter installation it was super-easy to reuse the existing wiring. If you don't need to replace the DC panel it should be even easier, and becomes a matter of getting your replacement to fit in the same space. Check out Randy's site for some very practical installation tips in this case for reusing the empty chassis of the existing converter box (depending on your specific replacement choice).

Also, I found there was plenty of excess wiring stuffed back behind my original unit, particularly for the AC. I recall that the factory used 12 gauge romex-type 2-conductor + bare copper ground NMI -- stiff stuff to work with.

Take your time. If you're anything like me, you might as well do a good job cleaning out back there while it's opened up. And it's a good opportunity to poke around and check out any other wiring routed back there, just in case it could stand a little attention like I found. I even too the time to tape up some of that foil sandwich "bubble-wrap" insulation to some of the exposed interior walls inside the cabinet space.

What different could I wish for? Well, these are (rather) small nits ...

DC panel:
Seems to me the common and neutral buses could have been better arranged, so they interfere with each other less. For example, I could have wished the ground bus was mounted on the top edge, all the way in the back, so the bare copper grounds could lay-up completely recessed in the enclosure -- and far away from all the neutral connections. But again, if you don't need to replace the distribution panel, don't bother.

Converter:
It's a feature of the converter unit, but if it had a top-mounted exhaust vent, rather than the forward on (side-by-side with the interior-facing intake) I think it would run cool with less fan. It's quiet, but not silent; and it must run to horizontally exhaust excess heat in response to the 12V demands, among others. To its credit, the old unit exhausted heat both vertically and inside the cabinetry, resulting in actually quieter operation.

Both:
I found the replacement converter is quite a bit less wide that the original, even with the cover panel in place, leading to some exposed filled-in screw holes on either side of the finished install. I've long-since stopped noticing this, so it's ok. BUT: the distribution panel is taller that the replacement, requiring the opening to be trimmed a bit -- be careful to trim just what's needed and no more. The new front screw locations are very close to that opening edge.

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:29 PM   #26
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Thanks, jd, for your very informative and useful reply concerning our converter failure and you experience with Xantrex.

I talked with Randy of BestConverter.com and ordered the Xantrex XADC-60A Converter Charger this afternoon. He also referred me to the article on his web page, Parallax 7355 Converter Replacement with Xantrex XADC-60.

Thanks for the details that you included and I hope it will be easy since I am replacing just the converter portion and not the power distribution center.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:38 PM   #27
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Bill...we're totally bummed that you are having converter troubles again. Luckily we haven't had any issues with ours thus far (knock on aluminum), but with/if we do we'll know where to turn for guidance for the best solution. Your experience and willingness to share your solutions are, as always, much appreciated. And you, too, JD! Thanks and good luck with it.
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:35 PM   #28
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Thanks, TB!

I posted a thread "Parallax Converter Replacement with Xantrex" here that contains details and photos.

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