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Old 02-09-2016, 08:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by chaseav View Post
This is definitely what I did wrong. When I was winterizing it I was off shore power but needed an outlet for something (dead laptop used to stream the "how to" video probably!) so I flipped the inverter on. It was the first and only time I'd done this and never would have guessed this could cause any issues.
Well, although it is too bad that it happened, I am glad you now have the cause of the problem. The USE/STORE switch has a whole bunch of limitations, and the fact that it does not disconnect the inverter is one of them, and not mentioned anywhere in Airstream manuals that I am aware of.

Because of the limitations of the USE/STORE switch, my recommendation is to always disconnect the negative wire (s) from the battery when you are in storage. Of course if you left the inverter on, the batteries would be killed in less than a week, even if it was a temporary storage. The factory inverter takes about 1.75 to 2 amps each hour it is on, even powering nothing. So, it is very critical it be shut off when not being used.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:48 PM   #30
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Unplugged in and store switch in off batteries on the average AS will be depleted in 4 weeks, 5 tops. I've done it on purpose several times in the past. As has been suggested take the batteries out, put them on a battery tender in your garage and charge them up. Also, if your battery disconnect switch is in the OFF position while towing your truck/car will not charge your batteries.

Two part question here Paiceman: First, I don't have an "off" position on my "battery disconnect switch." I have "use" or "store." This has always been very confusing to me because it leads one to believe they are choosing the position of the switch, not the battery itself. If I "use" the battery disconnect switch, would that not mean I was disconnecting the battery and therefore the battery was NOT in use?!? So, by saying "Unplugged in and store switch in off batteries on the average AS will be depleted in 4 weeks, 5 tops." Are you saying that best case scenario I've got five weeks without a charge?

Second, when you say "Also, if your battery disconnect switch is in the OFF position while towing your truck/car will not charge your batteries," are you saying the battery must be "on" and in "use" mode for the batteries to charge? I do not believe this to be the case on my unit.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:52 PM   #31
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Typo… should have been "here's a dumb person" Namely me.

Got it. It seemed so on-the-nose that I knew I was misunderstanding it.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:04 PM   #32
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Well, although it is too bad that it happened, I am glad you now have the cause of the problem. The USE/STORE switch has a whole bunch of limitations, and the fact that it does not disconnect the inverter is one of them, and not mentioned anywhere in Airstream manuals that I am aware of.



Because of the limitations of the USE/STORE switch, my recommendation is to always disconnect the negative wire (s) from the battery when you are in storage. Of course if you left the inverter on, the batteries would be killed in less than a week, even if it was a temporary storage. The factory inverter takes about 1.75 to 2 amps each hour it is on, even powering nothing. So, it is very critical it be shut off when not being used.

Well, in my limited and somewhat under qualified opinion, that inverter switch needs to be on the same panel as the battery disconnect switch. This is what happens when manufacturers outsource so much of their manufacturing.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:25 PM   #33
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Actually, the easiest modification is to install a marine battery disconnect switch into the positive power lead from the batteries. The inverter positive (if you have one) should also be tied into the downstream lug of this switch. This will provide a total battery disconnect simply by rotating the waterproof switch 90º.

Any marine switch will work, but my preference is the Blue Sea Systems M-Series. Small, durable and completely sealed and waterproof mechanism. Easy to mount on the outside of your battery box where the cables enter for ease of installation.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:32 PM   #34
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Actually, the easiest modification is to install a marine battery disconnect switch into the positive power lead from the batteries. The inverter positive (if you have one) should also be tied into the downstream lug of this switch. This will provide a total battery disconnect simply by rotating the waterproof switch 90º.



Any marine switch will work, but my preference is the Blue Sea Systems M-Series. Small, durable and completely sealed and waterproof mechanism. Easy to mount on the outside of your battery box where the cables enter for ease of installation.

Lew, as always, awesome advice. I don't mind spending $25 and a hour of my time to make something like this work. Is this the unit you're referring to?

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syste...ery+disconnect
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:52 PM   #35
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Lew, as always, awesome advice. I don't mind spending $25 and a hour of my time to make something like this work. Is this the unit you're referring to?

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syste...ery+disconnect
BINGO!!!! We have a winner!!!!

Those switches are totally waterproof. Simply attach to the frame or battery box (or any other close, convenient location) and add a cable from the switch to the battery positive. I have also placed them on the under side of the trailers so they are out of sight as well.

If you have an inverter, I would also take that positive lead and place it on the control side of the switch as well. this way, nothing will get past the switch when in the off position.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:40 AM   #36
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I do... hmmm... I know nothing about this electrical system works. No engine?!?!
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:37 PM   #37
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Any value to going with a key lockable switch? Or maybe a better way to ask is - has anyone ever had someone do an unauthorized power disconnect. Maybe pulling the battery cable is not that much more difficult, so why bother with the risk and hassle of a key? Pat
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:43 AM   #38
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Manual says your batteries should charge in tow regardless of the setting on the bypass switch.
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:41 AM   #39
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Manual says your batteries should charge in tow regardless of the setting on the bypass switch.
The black wire in the trailer's umbilical leads directly into there positive bus bar at the front of your trailer. The batteries are connected to that same bus bar, so in 'theory' your batteries should be receiving charge while connected to your TV and under way.

The sticky part is the amount of charge that your batteries are receiving from this charge line. I remove this wire from the bus bar when I install solar charging systems and lithium or Lifeline batteries, as a continual 14.2+ VDC charge from an alternator will result in overcharging the batteries with no float stage. This comes directly from Lifeline and the lithium cell manufacturers.

This charge line is either 12AWG or 10AWG (I have a trailer open now and I'll check it today), but the charge voltage from the alternator has to travel the entire length of the TV, then thru the 7-way plug, then into the trailer into the bus bar and more than likely (OK, less than likely) is not providing a really large amount of amperage for battery re-charge.

There have been some threads on this where folks have beefed up this charge cable and were getting a significant amount of charge to their batteries, but I would caution about this unless you also employ a 'smart' DC to DC charge regulator on that line that will detect battery conditions and regulate the charge voltage and amperage.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:28 AM   #40
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Two part question here Paiceman: First, I don't have an "off" position on my "battery disconnect switch." I have "use" or "store." This has always been very confusing to me because it leads one to believe they are choosing the position of the switch, not the battery itself. If I "use" the battery disconnect switch, would that not mean I was disconnecting the battery and therefore the battery was NOT in use?!? So, by saying "Unplugged in and store switch in off batteries on the average AS will be depleted in 4 weeks, 5 tops." Are you saying that best case scenario I've got five weeks without a charge?

Second, when you say "Also, if your battery disconnect switch is in the OFF position while towing your truck/car will not charge your batteries," are you saying the battery must be "on" and in "use" mode for the batteries to charge? I do not believe this to be the case on my unit.
First question: The store to me is off, but you are right in asking as it's not actually off. The detectors remain on and do draw down the battery. This is why prior to having solar in the winter I would take my batteries out of the unit and put them on a battery tender in my garage until we pull out again. A fully charged batter disconnected will last for months, in my old industry even in the New England area my dealers would fully charge the golf cars, disconnect and leave the cars outside. In most cases maybe out of 1,000 batteries in golf cars only 4-5 would freeze and be gone.

I've had three Airstreams all since 2010 and all new models. When traveling and hooked to the tow vehicle if the battery disconnect is in store mode the batteries will not charge, nor will they charge if hooked to shore power and the switch is in store. The only charge that can occur when the battery disconnect is in the store position is when solar panels are used and feed directly to the batteries, which the factory panels do. I questioned this and asked my dealer techs whom I have a great deal of respect for and I called JC, both answers were the same as outlined above.

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Old 02-12-2016, 03:56 PM   #41
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Along the lines. I too have had the dead battery syndrome. Maybe because they weren't properly charged before I stored. So I have new pd4655, but probably didn't get enough on the batteries. Seelevel read 12.4 and I added 5 watt solar on propane tank cover directly to batteries. AS in store mode. 2 weeks later, Seelevel reads 11.4.
Now on shore power for 4 straight days, water level checked all cells. I will be storing 4 weeks to next trip. I think I'd prefer to disconnect negative terminal this time. BUT,
I see 2 harnesses leaving the battery compartment. Each has a connection to one battery or the other grp24.
I assume one is inbound from PD4655 and the other is the one I need to disconnect. For the prize, which one.....
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Old 02-12-2016, 05:00 PM   #42
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Quick reply: My AS is almost never in "use" mode. Not on the road, not when hooked to shore power. Only when I go to pick her up out of the storage unit or putting her back in.

Am I being told that I'm never charging my batteries?
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