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Old 07-03-2012, 03:17 PM   #57
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It has nothing to do with the campground supplied amperage but the designed load of the Airstream trailer. Most of the RV parks and larger CO State Parks (Cherry Creek, Chatfield etc.) we stay at have a minimum of 30A with most offering 50A. If it is an amperage problem then it would pop the breakers at the trailer or service. By design the trailer has electrical appliances that we use. Again by design they should all operate simultaneously on adequate shore power or blow a breaker if the shore power is not adequate. Most shore power issues are dropping voltage conditions which makes the current go up and trips the breaker. When connected to 50A service the only difference is current available with the trailer 30A breaker being your control (if too much current is drawn it trips). The 50A service should allow for a more constant voltage as the drop on the heavier service (larger gauge wiring) is less.

Yes if everyone in the park has everything come on all at the exact same moment voltage would drop, the current would spike and the 30A breaker would trip as it should. I check my load and reset the breaker. All should come back on but it does not because that is not the issue.

None of the breakers were ever tripped. The ATS is just failing under what would be by design the normal current draw of the trailer electrical appliances at the “reported 38.7A”. The last time it failed and would not come back on was 50A service and no curling iron, but yes all the other electric appliances were on.

I don’t believe the 38.7/47.7 or should it not trip the breaker before the ATS fails? I do not have a good current clamp for any of our Fluke test equipment but will get one on order. I could break out some of the old 50 amps shunts I have buried somewhere but do not want to wire it in. If this is a continued issue I could do a 24 hour load monitoring test but why the heck should I! when the factory should have!!!!!!

I assume that we new owners with ATS equipped trailers are the factory testers/Guiney pigs and guess what an issue has been presented that needs to be addressed.

I am waiting to hear what Airstream does to fix the problem, but will most likely wire direct and bypass the generator connection (Lew’s suggestion) or put a manual transfer switch in as other’s have suggested.

The ATS is the proven weak link at this point.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:34 PM   #58
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Yes, I agree, but if overloaded and the atshad not blown then the breakers would have . Thus the system was overloaded. The ats may be inadequate, but only if pushed beyond its limits. AS should have realized that owners tend to overload the electrical system and put in a better switch. But then, we would overload that also, so where does it stop. Jim
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:49 PM   #59
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The ATS device is a switch. It is not a current protection device. It's purpose is singularly to switch inputs to the load. It is not supposed to act as a circuit breaker, or a fuse, or a current protector. It is a switch only.

The ATS is located ahead of the breakers. Whatever load you apply inside the trailer is connected to the circuit breakers. If you draw more current than the circuit breakers are rated for, they will trip and cut off the current. Switches installed ahead of these breakers are not intended to act as current limiters or fuses.

The ATS is a device added for convenience. It means you don't have to manually throw a switch to change power sources. As with all conveniences, there is an attending penalty of either: cost; reliability; or both.

As trailers get more complicated with the addition of convenience, it is very likely that MTBF will fall. I consider such devices like this as "land mines." And the more you have, the more likely you will experience failure. It is a pure statistical problem. Add one weak link and MTBF will be X. Add three and the MTBF will be worse by MORE than triple.

I am learning very fast here by reading these experiences of new trailer owners like myself. My goal will be to identify all these "land mines" and remove them. I want my MTBF to be as high as I can afford to make it.

I certainly don't mind throwing a manual switch. I will find a suitable one and throw my ATS in the garbage can. I hope by reading these forums to find all these weak points and improve them before they fail.

I put lots of stock in "reliability."
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:00 PM   #60
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Yes, I agree, but if overloaded and the atshad not blown then the breakers would have . Thus the system was overloaded. The ats may be inadequate, but only if pushed beyond its limits. AS should have realized that owners tend to overload the electrical system and put in a better switch. But then, we would overload that also, so where does it stop. Jim
It stops at the 30A breaker where it always has. Its really that simple.

I spoke with Jim at IOTA to see if the DLS-55/IQ4 (this is what I am planning on replacing the Parallax with) came with a built-in ATS like the Parallax and he said no but recommended the Lyght Power LPT-50 as he had heard good things about it. Given the discussion I think 50 amps for the ATS is where it should be, then the breakers can do what they are designed to do. It is physically larger but I have plenty of room since I can now move the under the bed panel assembly forward about 6 inches.

Really, I am the only one that never had this type of problem before? I am sincere in saying this is normal use for our trailers without any fuss other than an occasional tripped sub-circuit, but I have a new 2012 Airstream and I should severely de-rate how we use it based on what appears to be a poor ATS design?
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:02 PM   #61
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It's been a few years (45) since electrical power school but I don't think adapting to the 50 amp service provides anything but less overload protection for your cable, service entrance, transfer switch, and converter. Not a good idea.

doug k
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:09 PM   #62
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My 2011 27FB has labels under the front and side power hook up that says MAXIMUM 30 AMPs. Does 50 amp supply damage the ATS?
It's my understanding the purpose of the ATS is to prevent power backing up the grid. Say you are plugged into shore power on the side and for what ever reason the power goes out. You fire up your generator plug it in the front, side still plugged in. The ATS stops the power from traveling in the front through the trailer and out the side plugin. It's a safety issue for anyone working on the power system someplace upstream.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:18 PM   #63
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The Parallax ATS301 sells at some stores for $80 retail. That would make it the most expensive FUSE in my system. At the rate failures are being reported - under conditions just like we use - I can expect to go through half a dozen of these during the time we will own the trailer.

Why do we have breakers? We have them so that it will protect the power system if you turn too many things on at once. That's their purpose. In fact, a user - such as my wife - doesn't have to add all the currents together as she goes about using the trailer. That's not how it works. She can turn things on at will, but if too many, the breaker will open. She understand that. This process ought not EVER be the cause of a ruined appliance or component. Not more than it would be in the house. If we blow a breaker, it doesn't mean we should EXPECT the microwave to be destroyed because it was the last thing turned on before tripping the breaker.

This idea that users have to add up their power use as they go indicates a big misunderstanding of how electrical systems are designed. The appliance and switches are not fuses. They ought not blowup just because you caused a breaker to trip. People with knowledge of electrical power systems ought to know this.

Modern electrical power system design is "idiot proof." It comprehends that people will try to draw more power than is available in the system. It has a safety system built into the design. It's perfectly proper to have replaceable fuses, and or resetable breakers. This eliminates the need for the user to measure each device and keep a running tally of their total current.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:23 PM   #64
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KISS....boy I'm glad I have a good reliable 30a extension cord.

I refuse to use the appliances on anything but 'lectricity. No compromises, damn the electron's...full speed ahead.

Hope you all get your ATS's working....

Bob
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:25 PM   #65
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It's been a few years (45) since electrical power school but I don't think adapting to the 50 amp service provides anything but less overload protection for your cable, service entrance, transfer switch, and converter. Not a good idea.

doug k
With that said, going back to electrical power school you were taught that each power entry point should be protected at point of entry, then the change-over switch, then the distribution breaker. Right? I am not worried though, been doing it for as long as we have had trailers. I do not do use it routinely but on occasion I find the 30A service is low voltage, the sockets are wore out and the plug will not stay in or arc about, the 30A service breakers are worn out from repeated tripping and won’t stay on regardless of load or in this case for trouble shooting. So instead of being forced to move if available or do without, which is usually the case, I adapt to the 50A converter cord you buy from any RV shop. There is less safety in a bad 30A service than a less used more robust 50A service. My opinion of course and would not recommend it for others. Sorry if you thought I was. Thanks for pointing it out.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #66
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Does 50 amp supply damage the ATS?
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No absolutely not. It is apparently the current being drawn through it from the available standard electrical appliances provided in the trailer by Airstream. My first failures were on 30A. Third failure was on 50 to make sure it was not the 30A service.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:48 PM   #67
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Not a bad idea to put another 40amp fuse or breaker before the ATS on both the shore power and genny entry points. Now everything is protected.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:35 PM   #68
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Not a bad idea to put another 40amp fuse or breaker before the ATS on both the shore power and genny entry points. Now everything is protected.
Specifications ATS301:
AC Rating: 120 volts/30 amps
Generator Size: up to 4kw
Dimensions" H-6" x W-4.75" x D-4"

Putting a 40A fuse in front of a 30A device will not protect it.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:47 PM   #69
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"Third failure was on 50 to make sure it was not the 30A service."

Boy this ATS thing is a hard lesson to learn.

Bob
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:08 PM   #70
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I proposes 40 amp because that is what the ats contacts are rated at. This is suggested on the premise that the ats is not faulty to begin with and to address an earlier comment that they did not want the ats to be an 80 dollar fuse.
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