Originally Posted by JKSophie
I am fairly new to the forum and have read numerous posts on the issue of ruining batteries when leaving the unit plugged into AC power for extended periods.
The issue seems to be related to the "stock inverter" installed by Airstream.
Something about them not being "Three-phase" inverters.
My unit is a 2015, Flying Cloud 23FB.
- Is this really an issue?
- Is this a problem that just relates to older Airstreams?
- Do I need to replace the inverter in my 2015, Flying Cloud 23FB?
- Can I trust a dealership to perform this "upgrade" (if needed)?
- Would this "upgrade" affect any existing warranty?
Thank you in advance for your feedback!
Hi Sophie, welcome to the forum
You're asking about the converter, not the inverter. A converter converts 115vac to 12vdc for use in the trailer and to charge the batteries. The inverter takes 12vdc and converts it to 115vac for powering small appliances.
The stock converter is not a smart charger. It continues to provide a charge voltage to the batteries even after they are charged, effectively cooking them. It can boil them dry of acid/water. A smart charger will provide higher voltages when the battery is low then drop the charge as the battery reaches capacity and eventually shuts off until the batteries need to be recharged.
Is this really an issue?
It can be a problem if you are hooked up to shore power and leave the power switch in the 'use' position, like when the trailer is in storage or for extended use, like staying at one campground for weeks. You can avoid the problem by occasionally moving the switch to 'store', then the converter provides 12vdc but doesn't charge the batteries. They will eventually drop their voltage so you need to switch back to 'use' to charge them... and so you become the smart charger.
As an FYI on warranties, normally if you do something to void a warranty it voids only that portion that you messed up. For example, if you use the wrong oil in your car (or failed to follow the maintenance schedule) it might void the warranty on the engine but it's still in effect for the other parts of the car like power windows, transmission, etc.
- Is this a problem that just relates to older Airstreams? No, it relates to all Airstreams. As far as I know, they still install only a 2 stage charger
- Do I need to replace the inverter in my 2015, Flying Cloud 23FB? I use Lifeline AGM batteries, which are expensive. For less than the cost of one Lifeline AGM I replaced the converter with a 4 stage smart charger. I consider it good insurance.
- Can I trust a dealership to perform this "upgrade" (if needed)? I did the upgrade in about an hour in the storage lot. The Progressive Dynamics PD-4655 instructions were very clear. I think I needed a Phillips screw driver, a pliers and wire cutters; no power tools. A competent dealership service area would have no trouble.
- Would this "upgrade" affect any existing warranty? The warranty for the original converter might be voided if you opened it up but nothing else is impacted.