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Old 05-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #15
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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I wish it had been something as simple as a 6 v. circuit, but always start with the simple stuff.

I agree that something is creating a big load that is blowing the fuse. Call Progressive and ask them about places to test the converter to see if there is a fault in it. The information that came with it may tell you this or may be on their website.

Have you tested any other electrical things besides the lights? Look at all 12 v. receptacles for dead or partial shorts too; might as well check 120 v. ones too although they shouldn't the problem.

I think it is inevitable the trailer was rewired at some point long ago and any number of problems may have been created. Someone said your vintage didn't have converters, so there has been work done on it. Auto electric is unlike residential or commercial wiring in some important and confusing ways and many people do it without knowing enough to do it right (include me among the sometimes mystified). That includes mechanics. For example, what gauge wire is used for 12 v.? I think it is interesting the jumper cables become resistance heaters (probably thicker wiring would do the same thing) and like the other posters, this and other indicators say big load somewhere. Is there a short to the skin?

The 12 v. system is probably grounded to the frame and/or skin, but a hot wire somewhere may be touching it. It is hard to check that when the fuse blows and you are hooking up the battery, so you need a bucket of fuses, a multimeter and a friend. You probably have several 12 v. branch circuits and pull the fuses on all of them, hook up the battery, see what happens, then put in a fuse for circuit 1, see what happens, then pull that fuse, go to circuit 2, etc. This will help isolate the problem.

Don't sell any batteries yet, and when this gets solved, keep the best one and sell the other.


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Old 05-05-2012, 11:50 AM   #16
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Greetings SafariFaye!

Welcome to the world of 1964 Airstreams!

I agree with the prior posters . . . your problem isn't likely to be the battery unless it has shorted cells . . . it shouldn't be causing problems with your Safari's wiring. My '64 Overlander has the same basic electrical system as your '64 Safari, and I am running three AGM Deep Cycle RV batteries in parallel . . . one of the three is shown in the photo below. On my coach, there were large fuses in each of the original battery cables (rated at 30 AMPS) . . . the installer that I worked with upgraded the cables (primarily because I was relocating my battery bank as there wasn't room for three batteries in the one-stop-service compartment). The new cables each had a 50-AMP in-line fuse. Since I also have three solar panels, my rig has a modern Inverter/Charger that handles electrical chores on the 12-volt DC side.

Some additional sources of potential issues on a '64 Airstream include any of the original accessories that had their own electric transformers. Originally, there were electrical transformers connected to the roof vent fans, furnace blower motor, and water pump motor. All of these devices had already been replaced in my coach, but I know of owners who have had headaches related to these transformers when the 12-volt system has been upgraded with new power converter/charger systems.

My suggestion would be to take your battery to a shop with the ability to do load testing, and determine whether the battery has shorted cells or some form of dead short that might be causing your problem. If the battery tests as good, I would suspect one of the transformers may be causing a problem . . . if any are still installed in your coach's wiring. Your coach's battery cables may also be an issue . . . I do know that when my coach's 12-volt was upgraded the size of the battery cable was increased considerably . . . I don't have my notes regarding the actual cable size, but it is much larger than what came with the coach originally.

Good luck with your investigation!


P.S.: You might want to check the production date on your Optima battery. We may just have an unconcerned dealer, but when we purchased three Optimas for our Sound/Show truck last month . . . two of the three were more than 10 months old and the newest was 30-days. We returned the two 10-month old batteries and insisted on replacement with two batteries with production date during the last 30 days. Optimas are expensive to begin with, and we were determined to have the newest of the new when paying $200 plus per battery.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:20 AM   #17
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1964 22' Safari
Dearborn , Michigan
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All of those things (ceiling fan, furnace and water pump) have all been replaced. The ceiling fan and water pump work just fine. I haven't tested the furnace. The only thing that pops the 30A breaker on the fuse panel is the lights.

I did try another deep cycle battery. I'm really starting to think that there is some other issue with that circuit (short, bad wiring...???)

The instructions call for a 50A fuse between the unit and the battery (I have that) but they do not call for another fuse between the charge/battery circuit and the fuse panel (just following directions).
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:08 PM   #18
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1964 22' Safari
Dearborn , Michigan
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Spent the afternoon problem-solving and searching the 12V system for a short. After reading all of your posts (THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE HELP!!), I was convinced that the battery, 9245 and fuse box were all working properly. So, I tore into the wiring and checked all the connections and light assemblies. I found a loose wire-nut in the overhead (3-bulb) light fixture that was making contact with the aluminum skin. Bingo... There was the giant short that was pulling so many amps.

Working backward, I connected each of the light switches and wiring junctions and the fuses stopped popping. 2 weeks of racking my brain and it was a dang wire-nut.

The blue-top battery is working, the 9245 is charging and the trailer is no longer a rolling tent. Thanks again everyone, what a great group of people. I hope to be a help to you in the future.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:17 PM   #19
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1964 22' Safari
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9245 Doing just fine!

Originally Posted by airstream4 View Post
Have you tried asking Progressive what the 9245 puts out in amps max to recharge the battery? If jumpers are hot your getting a large currant draw from something! Have you tried adjusting the output of the charger with the remote pendant? The literature indicates only charge voltage. Could the new battery not be fully charged?
I have a 1963 that I will be connecting a 9245 shortly and will be watching for your solution. The 1963 didn't have a convertor originally. The jumper cables are bigger than the wiring in my trailer! I will check my installation literature for fuse size for battery. I would assume battery fuse would be larger than any circuit! On my 1978 the battery was fused at 50 amps going into the fuse panal.

I just wanted to let you know that the PD 9245 is excellent and is doing exactly what it is supposed to. I had never hooked one of these up, and the short in the system was making me question ANY new part of the install. I recommend ordering through Vintage Trailer Supply and getting the fuse box and 50A breaker they sell as well.

The directions couldn't have been easier to follow. If the loose wire-nut in the ceiling hadn't happened, this would have been a 1 afternoon job. Let me know if I can help in any way. The original wiring diagram was a big help, but LABEL EVERY WIRE BEFORE YOU DISCONNECT IT!!! I learned that years ago working on cars.


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