Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-01-2007, 11:44 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Battle Mountain , Nevada
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
Images: 3
Send a message via Yahoo to mikeandbecky
Mystery battery drain

Hopefully I can figure this out with some help from some ' experts ' here on the forum? I have had problems in the past with drained batteries when I first bought the Airstream. First thing I did was to buy two new marine deep cycle batteries and after hooking them up with my old Univolt in place, I either boiled them ( as I have found out is a common problem with the older Univolts) or they were damaged electrically some other way. I couldnt figure this out, as my new 3 stage battery charger told me I had a " shorted cell" in the batteries. At first, I assumed it to be cheap batteries I had bought ( Sams club). I knew the Univolt was old, and it didnt put out the required volts like it should, so I pulled it out. ( I actually am awaiting delivery of a WFCO 3 stage converter ).
So, I realized I may have some sort of short somewhere. I have just checked all of my fuses in the power dist. panel. I did the check using a test light ( remove the fuse, connect the circut with the testlight ). Nothing unusual there. I had placed a new, fully charged battery on the batt. cables for the test. my battery tested with with the multi-meter at about 12.9 volts prior to starting. after I was done( maybe 30 minutes) with NO draw- everything turned off in the trailer- no lights, water pump, etc.) I disconnected the battery outside at the batt. box. and it tested at 12.29 volts. A healthy system wouldn't draw that much power that fast, with NOTHING switched on, right? So, obviously, something is seriously drawing power from the battery/s, and I could'nt find the circut in the main fuse panel.
Does anyone know of another possible source of my mystery power drain? Are there any other ( factory) fuses/ circuts that wouldnt be located at the fuse dist. panel? Any suggestions would be helpful,
Thanks.

BTW, my trailer is a 1979 Excella 500, 31 ft. in pretty good shape. The two previous owners took care of it, with the exception of it being caught in a minor flood, in which water rose up and flooded the interior by about 1 inch enough to ruin the surface flooring/ carpet.. According to the woman I bought it from, it had water on the floor for about a day. I examined the subfloor, and it is sound. I ripped out the old carpeting and parque flooring, and replaced it with wood laminate flooring throughout. The previous owner did not mention any electrical problem, other than with the old univolt, which is gone now.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Airstream fuse panel.JPG
Views:	81
Size:	181.4 KB
ID:	42273  
__________________

__________________
mikeandbecky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 12:16 PM   #2
Moderator
Commercial Member
 
eubank's Avatar
 
1967 30' Sovereign
Bosque Farms , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,428
Well, this is not an MG, where drains of this kind are legendary, but I'd get a little DC ammeter and start testing all circuits with all power-draining devices turned off. Sooner or later, you'll find a line leading somewhere with power surging through it.

Lynn
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 21043
eubank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 01:42 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Excella CM's Avatar
 
1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,061
Sounds like the leak is upstream of the fuse/distribution panel. Double check by putting the test light at the battery terminal and confirm current draw(or use an ammeter if you have access). The problem is probably a modification by one of the P.O's somewhere. Could be fun to find. Think about non-factory items, etc..
Check behind the fuse box for a wire/circuit hooked in upstream of the fuses., i.e. unfused.
__________________
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
Excella CM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 02:23 PM   #4
1 Rivet Member
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Chantilly , Virginia
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 16
I do not have much experience with trailers, but I just thought that it may be a leak at the emergency brake controller.
The other thing to check is that where all your wires go into or out of the trailer that there is no wearing through of the wires and going to ground.
You could put a cut-off switch on the Batteries if you wanted to be sure it would not drain while you are storing it.
One other thing to think about is did the batteries just come off charge when you tested them, you could have a low performing cell that drops voltage quickly, normally they say to wait for 5 hours or overnight to test if a battery is good after charging.
Also you can remove the cables from both before and after any tests and compare voltages as they should be basicaly equal, but give them a few hours to rest first.
Also did you check the electrolyte levels? if one cell is low it will affect voltage.
Cheers, Peace and Happy Trails!
__________________
PeterKnop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 02:39 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
TomW's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Huntsville , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,918
Images: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Excella CM
Sounds like the leak is upstream of the fuse/distribution panel. ...
I agree. In addition to the emergency brake switch Peter mentioned, check the power jack if you've got one (it runs off the same wire).

Tom
TomW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 04:13 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Battle Mountain , Nevada
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
Images: 3
Send a message via Yahoo to mikeandbecky
Thanks for the good ideas! I'll check them directly, after work.
__________________
mikeandbecky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2007, 04:53 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
TomW's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Huntsville , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,918
Images: 2
Tony liked them

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeandbecky
Thanks for the good ideas! ...
They're not good, they're grrrrrreat!



Tom
TomW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2007, 11:28 AM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Battle Mountain , Nevada
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
Images: 3
Send a message via Yahoo to mikeandbecky
Yes,Tom, I stand corrected! Those were Great pieces of advice! Well, the good news is: I have narrowed it down to being a short/drain to the after-market electric brake wiring on the trailer! My power jack is OK, after I disconnected it from where it was spliced into the ( light blue ) trailer brake wire located underneath the tongue of the trailer. Thats as far as I could get this AM. Thanks for the help so far!
Now, does someone out there in the forum have a common-type schematic of an Airstream electric brake wiring system to share? I'm really not that familiarwith them( trailer brakes). I plan to trace the wiring back until I find the shorted spot.
__________________
mikeandbecky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2007, 11:57 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeandbecky
Yes,Tom, I stand corrected! Those were Great pieces of advice! Well, the good news is: I have narrowed it down to being a short/drain to the after-market electric brake wiring on the trailer! My power jack is OK, after I disconnected it from where it was spliced into the ( light blue ) trailer brake wire located underneath the tongue of the trailer. Thats as far as I could get this AM. Thanks for the help so far!
Now, does someone out there in the forum have a common-type schematic of an Airstream electric brake wiring system to share? I'm really not that familiarwith them( trailer brakes). I plan to trace the wiring back until I find the shorted spot.
is the breakaway switch activated?
__________________
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2007, 12:21 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Battle Mountain , Nevada
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
Images: 3
Send a message via Yahoo to mikeandbecky
Hmmm. I dont know. Ill have to look. First Ill have to find out what a Breakaway switch lookes like I do know my problem is in my electric brake system, om the trailer.
__________________
mikeandbecky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2007, 12:29 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Excella CM's Avatar
 
1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,061
The breakaway switch is on the tongue.It is a safety device. It has a pin with a cable that can attach to the TV bumper. If the trailer becomes disconnected from the TV, the cable will pull the pin out of the switch: this should activate the brake using the trailer battery.

The most likely culprit IS the switch. It may be corroded inside and conducting current. If the pin isn't installed that will be the answer right there. Looks like you're nearly there.

P.S. Something that we should have mentioned earlier. A good trouble shooting strategy is to pick a quiet time and have someone walk around the trailer while you (or vice-versa) alternately connect and disconnect the battery listening for a sound like a "click" or a "hum", or a flash, as the guilty party goes on and off.
__________________
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
Excella CM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2007, 12:42 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
do a search for "breakaway switch and you'll find lots of info.

it is located up front by the trailer tongue IF you have one.
__________________
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2007, 12:59 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Excella CM's Avatar
 
1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,061
Every trailer has a tongue, unless, of course, the cat got it. (I know, I know, I should mind my own!)
__________________
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
Excella CM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2007, 01:02 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
humor is always welcome :-)
__________________

__________________
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Battery Location uwe 1970-79 Tradewind 23 12-02-2015 08:41 AM
mystery battery drain FOUND Curtis-79MH Airstream Motorhome Forums 1 06-18-2003 10:03 AM
igniton switch and the mystery of the dead battery Curtis-79MH Airstream Motorhome Forums 3 10-25-2002 03:58 PM
Battery Dead/Power jack question jcanavera Jacks, Stabilizers, Lifting and Leveling 34 08-16-2002 02:51 PM
12 VDC Mystery roessler Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 3 08-01-2002 06:20 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.