Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-01-2014, 12:30 PM   #1
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar
 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 578
No 12 volt power at panel

My Airstream (2012 International) is in winter storage. No AC power. It has an active Solar system that maintains the batteries (4 AGM). The batteries register 13.9 volts on the controller and at the remote switch for the inverter. When I turned on the inverter, it provided 120 volts to the AC outlets. There is no 12 volt power going to the panel. The use/store switch (always in use position) does not appear to operate. Everything was operating correctly last Saturday. My guess is a stuck transfer switch. Any other ideas? Thanks Jim
__________________

__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 12:37 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar

 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 379
In my 2012 Intl the battery has separate connections to the inverter, but if your use/store relay is not working you would not have 12vdc to your breaker panel. The transfer switch should only affect AC power, between shorepower input or generator input. It should have nothing to do with DC to your breaker panel. Why don't you try a alittle rap on your use/store relay after you are sure it is supposed to be in the Use position?
Larry
__________________

__________________
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 12:45 PM   #3
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar
 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 578
Thanks Larry. My usual method of fixing? electrical items is to give them a little rap on the side. I tried that with the use /store switch, as well as disconnecting it, cleaning the contacts, and putting it back together. The little light did glow a bit but still no power. Jim
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 01:54 PM   #4
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
Metairie , Louisiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Flower View Post
My usual method of fixing? electrical items is to give them a little rap on the side.
Ah, percussive maintenance. Standard operating procedure of shade-tree mechanics everywhere. Remember, if violence isn't solving your problem, you're not using enough of it!
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

"In a perfect world, I'd be given enough time to wrap up one emergency before the next one starts." Freefall2013
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 02:02 PM   #5
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar
 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 578
My Airstream has 2 shore power inlets. My understanding is that there is a transfer switch that allows 1 of the inlets to be used for generator input as well as normal shore power. In my case, the generator input location is the location of the solar input. Maybe. My installation is from the dealer, not factory, and I was given some kind of instruction that I did not understand when I picked the thing up. So that is why I referenced the transfer switch. Also, my son installed an AM Solar kit on his Globetrotter and he also installed a transfer switch so it seems that sometimes the things are related. I also read that perhaps I may be having a malfunction in the solenoid associated with the use / store switch. Does anybody know where the solenoid may be located on a 30' Signature? I will use my usual "fix" of beating on the thing to see if that gets it going? If that turns out to be the problem, is there a US made upgrade available? Jim
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 02:07 PM   #6
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar
 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Ah, percussive maintenance. Standard operating procedure of shade-tree mechanics everywhere. Remember, if violence isn't solving your problem, you're not using enough of it!

Thank you for that. "Percussive maintenance" sounds much more genteel than " beat on the thing". I will keep trying to tidy up my act. Jim
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 04:52 PM   #7
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar
 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Why don't you try a alittle rap on your use/store relay after you are sure it is supposed to be in the Use position?
Larry
I think I get it now. Thanks Larry and thanks to all those who have posted previously with a similar issue. The use/store relay is the solenoid that is located some where that I have to find (most likely under the storage behind the settee) and it is controlled by the use/store switch. The solenoid should have two heavy wires and two smaller operating wires coming from it. So I will first introduce it to a little percussive maintenance :-) and if that doesn't work, I will add it to my small list of warrantee items that will be looked after shortly. Jim
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 05:56 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar

 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 379
10-4, my relay is all the way forward, stbd side, but I have a 25 FB.
Larry
__________________
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 05:55 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Skater's Avatar
 
1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,930
Send a message via ICQ to Skater Send a message via AIM to Skater Send a message via Yahoo to Skater
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Ah, percussive maintenance. Standard operating procedure of shade-tree mechanics everywhere. Remember, if violence isn't solving your problem, you're not using enough of it!
Royce cracked me up a couple years ago with the related term "percussive repair." I love the percussive maintenance term, too!
__________________
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Skater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2014, 01:40 PM   #10
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar
 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 578
Follow up. I found the solenoid in the bow under the setee. I don't fit under the setee. However, I have ape-like arms so with the benefit of a long screw driver, I was able to unscrew the solenoid and move it a little closer where I could remove the fuses and confirm that they were ok. Next, I checked for power at the solenoid. No power. This was weird since the inverter was producing 120V. Next, I checked the batteries out side and found that they were dead as a door nail. Again weird since the previous Saturday all the 12v stuff in the Airstream was working. Again, confirmed the inside batteries were at 13.2V. So I connected the outside batteries to the Jeep with jumper cables and every thing inside worked. So some how I have a disconnect between the inside batteries, out side batteries, and the solar system. Now given that I normally use the percussive maintenance technique for "fixing" electrical stuff, I am clearly at a loss at what to do next and there is no Lewster hanging around in the snow and wind. So I took the two outside batteries home and tried to charge them with my "smart charger" and the charger declined to get involved. Back out to the Jeep and my trusty jumper cables where I shocked and threatened the batteries for about an hour until the smart charger figured it was time to go to work and after 2.5 days, one battery was up to 13.2V and holding and the other one is presently falling in line. So now what? I still don't know why there was a disconnect in the system and for how long there has been a disconnect in the system given that my method for determining if all was well was to just peer at the controller, which I have discovered, was only measuring the inside batteries. I will put the batteries back in and try a new fix. I have made an appointment with CanAm to have a go since they put the stuff in and will most likely fix it in 5 minutes. My problem solved. A trick I learned from trying to get help on the phone where each person solves the problem by handing you off to somebody else. Jim
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2014, 03:35 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar

 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 379
Your 30 footer has inside and outside batteries? I thought all newer AS had two outside batteries only. That is my configuration. If your AS was plugged in to shore power, your converter is providing 12 vdc to all dc loads, independent of your battery status, even with the Use/Store switch in store.
In addition, your solar controller is only measuring voltage from the solar panels and current through an internal shunt in the controller. If you did this after market, you may have a different setup. In a normal AS setup, if your batteries die and you are plugged in to shore power, you would never know it. Unplugged from shore power, you might not know it until it is dark and battery voltage has dropped enough to not power anything.
As an aside, if your batteries were so dead that you could not charge them from a smart charger, their capacity is now so reduced you should replace them.
If your AS was outside, it is hard to understand how your batteries totally died with them charging part of every day and with you not using DC at night, especially if you kept the switch in the Store position.
What ever you discover, I think it is good practice to leave the switch in the store position when you are absent and let the solar panels keep the batteries charged.
Larry
__________________
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2014, 04:06 PM   #12
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar
 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 578
Hi Larry. It is a dealer installed solar system. About 300 watts of panel, 4 group 24 AGM batteries at two inside and 2 outside plus a 30 amp controller. The controller measures amps input, battery volts, and %charged status. The Airstream is stored at a storage facility with no ac power. I only have gone to shore power when I need air conditioning while camping and power was available. The inverter is 2000 watts and is wired to provide power at all outlets. The one battery that I may have just rescued is holding a charge but it has had no load applied yet. I have left the Airstream in use mode since new because I don't like to fiddle too much with the thermostat, as in constant reprogramming. The other battery is now up to 75% after 24 hours of charging. I expect it to be at 13.2v later this evening. I am thinking it might be something as simple as poor connections at the outside batteries due to extreme cold, expand, contract, and my lack of checking the clamps since new. I still don't understand the failure of the controller to warn me of a problem. Jim
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2014, 04:28 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar

 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 379
I could make a suggestion if I had a better idea of how your batteries are wired up. If they are all in parallel your controller is only going to tell you solar panel output when there is sun and the battery voltage of the "good" batteries when there is no solar panel output. % charged is not a useful parameter as it is really a proxy for voltage. A more useful device is something like the Trimetric that will let you better explore battery performance, but with 4 in parallel I do not know how you would see a problem in one battery.
Larry
__________________
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2014, 08:55 AM   #14
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar
 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 578
I have made a schematic and have concluded that the negative terminal clamp on the outside battery that is connected to the negative buss bar that feeds the power panel, must have been loose. In other words, my sloppy maintenance of something as simple as a battery clamp, has lead to a system failure. My batteries are now fully charged at home and as soon as it warms up a tad and the blizzards are over, I will install them and test everything with my trusty thingamajig. Jim
__________________

__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
12 volt


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
AC Power Out in Rear of Trailer Ljsydney Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 5 02-01-2014 07:29 AM
12 volt panel location kmoore Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 5 08-24-2011 09:45 PM
Solar Power for Battery Maintenance Tumajin Generators & Solar Power 10 08-12-2011 06:10 AM
Newbie has power questions Czechitout Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 2 08-07-2011 04:20 PM
No Power To A/C (power at breaker) vhariable Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 3 06-28-2011 05:54 PM


Airstream Classifieds



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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

Airstream News Delivered to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with Airstream news in your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]