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Old 10-20-2009, 10:18 AM   #1
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Battery Disconnect and Shore Power

While not new to trailers, I am a newbie Airstreamer so please bear with me. Or is it "bare" with me?

Batteries were toasted from PO who left the unit plugged in most of the time. I traded them out for two relatively new deep cycle batteries with a decent charge on them. I used a digital volt meter inside the coach and saw that they were reading something like 12.4 volts. I hooked the trailer up to shore power and this morning they are reading 12.9 so I am assuming the charging function is working. Now for the question.

With the shore power attached, when I put the trailer in "storage" mode, I am reading only 10 volts. My refrigerator is running on AC but the lights are dim in the cabin. I understood the storage switch would isolate the battery from any further charging but everything in the coach would continue to run off of the converter. Is my converter not working like it should?

Once I switch the battery back, everything looks good.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:26 AM   #2
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The connected converter voltage seams low. Should be over 13.

Check to see if y9ou have a "World Friendship" converter, Chinese junk, and see if the fan is running. These converters are not reliable. On my daughters trailer sometimes when plugged in the lights drop in less than an hour. If I remove one cable from the converter and reconnect it the converter comes on and thinks work.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath View Post
While not new to trailers, I am a newbie Airstreamer so please bear with me. Or is it "bare" with me?

Batteries were toasted from PO who left the unit plugged in most of the time. I traded them out for two relatively new deep cycle batteries with a decent charge on them. I used a digital volt meter inside the coach and saw that they were reading something like 12.4 volts. I hooked the trailer up to shore power and this morning they are reading 12.9 so I am assuming the charging function is working. Now for the question.

With the shore power attached, when I put the trailer in "storage" mode, I am reading only 10 volts. My refrigerator is running on AC but the lights are dim in the cabin. I understood the storage switch would isolate the battery from any further charging but everything in the coach would continue to run off of the converter. Is my converter not working like it should?

Once I switch the battery back, everything looks good.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
Does you trailer's manual have a 12 volt wiring Diagram?
My trailer has a different switching arrangement (a manual battery on/off switch), but I imagine the operation is probably the same. When the battery switch is in the off position, the loads, except for the LP alarm, are disconnected from the battery. However the charging sources (converter, tow vehicle cord, solar panels) are left connected to the batteries.
I would suggest checking to see if there is a diagram of how the store switch operates in your trailer.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:38 PM   #4
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On my trailer the owners manual specifically warns against isolating the batteries with the storage switch. The battery in addition to storing power is also a dandy resistive load that makes the converter happy happy happy.

If you have a three stage converter, I would not turn it off unless the trailer is unplugged and in storage mode.

mike
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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...Any thoughts? Thanks.
the kill switch on MODERN safaris functions differently that simple 12v disconnects on the MODERN classics...

and still differently than systems on OLDER traylas...

your 411 is here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ore-55193.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ing-46398.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f468...eck-43069.html

and assumes the p-lax C/C is operational, if not read these...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...wer-44977.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...gms-29833.html

its all related or disconnected somehow.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:10 PM   #6
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Depends on the make of your converter my old one would only put out 10.5 volts with the battery disconnected my new 3 stage converter puts out 13 V with the battery disconnected per the manual it is OK to use the converter with the battery disconnected.

I think the one I have now is an Intellitic PD 7265 not sure I have that spelled correctly.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath View Post
While not new to trailers, I am a newbie Airstreamer so please bear with me. Or is it "bare" with me?

Batteries were toasted from PO who left the unit plugged in most of the time. I traded them out for two relatively new deep cycle batteries with a decent charge on them. I used a digital volt meter inside the coach and saw that they were reading something like 12.4 volts. I hooked the trailer up to shore power and this morning they are reading 12.9 so I am assuming the charging function is working. Now for the question.

With the shore power attached, when I put the trailer in "storage" mode, I am reading only 10 volts. My refrigerator is running on AC but the lights are dim in the cabin. I understood the storage switch would isolate the battery from any further charging but everything in the coach would continue to run off of the converter. Is my converter not working like it should?

Once I switch the battery back, everything looks good.

Any thoughts? Thanks.


I think that if your trailer is wired in a manner similar to our 2005, you will find that the charger is still charging the coach batteries as long as you have shore power attached no matter what teh position of that large isolation switch.


I first thought like you did until I looked into it further.

This is not good for the batteries if you leave the trailer on shore power for a long time, because unless AS have changed in the last few years, they have not seen fit to install an "intelligent" charger that will cut ack to a float charge once batteries are up to snuff.

I am planning to eventually change the charger in ours.

In the meanwhile, any time we plan to be at a campsite for more than a few days, I will just disconnect my coach batteries after a day or two on charge. To maker this easier, I am going to buy a couple of quick disconnect terminal connectors - they cost a few dollars each, (I believe Harbor Freight has them) and install in place of your ground clamp. They have a screw knob on top and you need only loosen it by hand a turn or two in order to isolate your battery. You'd need one on each battery. It just saves having toe a wrench out and disconnect the battery terminal clamps

I just put a couple of new AGM batts in the trailer and want them to last! I ruined the batteries in our last trailer because I wasn't aware of this situation!

Brian
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:53 PM   #8
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Thanks

I appreciate all of your replies. I have a Parallax series 7300 converter which is a single stage thing that will toast batteries if left unattended. I was hoping to avoid this problem by simply isolating the battery as the owner's manual suggests. Place it in "store" and you isolate the batteries from the converter. The shore power will not charge the batteries but it will run the converter to power all 12 volt appliances. Well, it doesn't seem to be working that way. I will have the Airstream guys take a look.

I have been reading information about changing these out on the "best converters" web site. They have some pretty good information there.

This weekend we are going out. I will check a few things then.

The season is nearing an end. UGH!
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