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Old 03-06-2016, 07:51 AM   #1
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2016 30' International
Sewickley , Pennsylvania
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Posts: 47
NOOB - Brand new trailer and dead batteries

Hi guys,

Just took delivery of our trailer on Friday. Towed it home 4 hours to my parents driveway. Drove there yesterday to take a look at it and there was no power whatsoever. We assume the batteries are dead.. But unsure of why as they seemed to have a full charge the day before while connected at the dealer. And, if not, they should've charged on the trip home?? Seems crazy they'd be fully drained in less than 24 hours..

I read some of the threads on this and it's all Greek to me. I guess my question is, if we confirm the batteries are dead, how do we charge them? Can we plug into my parents house electric or no? Will we have to pull them out and hook up to a charger?

More Importantly, once they're charged, what do we do to prevent this in the future?

Sorry... I know these are really stupid questions. We have more mechanically minded friends coming with us to check it out later today. Thought your feedback would help us diagnose. Thanks!!


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Old 03-06-2016, 08:01 AM   #2
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Step one - check that the "use/store" switch is in the "use" position.


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Old 03-06-2016, 08:14 AM   #3
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Step two - read the manual for an overview of all systems.
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:32 AM   #4
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The same thing happened to me back in July. The use/store switch must be in the USE position to charge batteries when plugged in or being towed. The red light is ALWAYS on when plugged in so if the switch is in the store position your batteries are not being charged even with the light on. Check this by unplugging from shore power, push the USE button then plug back in & your batteries will begin to charge. Also your volt meter will alway read 13+ volts when on shore power as your actuarially getting that reading from the inverter not the batteries, when unplugged you get a true voltage reading. Charge batteries for 24 hours & hopefully they will be ok as mine were, if not take them to shop for a bench charge and see if that helps, if not you need new batteries.
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:48 AM   #5
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A paper manual? So 80's
AS should produce a DVD, heck they may have.
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:31 AM   #6
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Plug into shore power and check any of the lights to see if you are charging the batteries. If they are charging check to see if any other light in the trailer is on, this means all the storage cabinets. For the batteries to go dead overnight something was most likely left on.
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Seinbelld View Post
. . .
We have more mechanically minded friends coming with us to check it out later today. Thought your feedback would help us diagnose. Thanks!!

Hi Eric,

Welcome to the forum! Please report back after you follow the advice so far.

-- plug in trailer to shore power
-- make sure to hit the Use switch (not Store)
-- report battery voltage from control panel
-- unplug from shore power and leave Use switch on
-- report on battery voltage from control panel

When you have time you should definitely read the owners manual, which is also available as a PDF online. When I am back home I will link to it.

Curious to know what dealer you used, and whether they walked you through the trailer's systems thoroughly? You should also call them and have them provide feedback ASAP.

Good luck!


Edit -- Your 114-page owner's manual is available via the Download link near the bottom of this page:
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:55 AM   #8
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PM me, I live in Pittsburgh and if you are close I could stop by and take a look to see what is up.


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Old 03-06-2016, 10:11 AM   #9
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Download the PDF version from Airstream. I keep mine on my iPad.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:25 AM   #10
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Another thing to check is if the black 12 volt hot lead on your 7 Way Plug from your tow vehicle has power. I have a 2006 GMC Sierra and some do not come with the fuse installed in the engine compartment fuse box for power to go to the 7 Way Plug at the back of your truck.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:41 AM   #11
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A couple more things to check is make sure the inverter is off when you do not need it. It will drain you batteries in less than a day if it has been left on unnecessarily. Also the TV antenna booster can drain the batteries but much slower. Good luck
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:05 AM   #12
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My batteries will go dead in about 7 days in normal conditions and my pickup will not bring them up much in 4 hours running, plug in at home every week for a day or so and all is fine
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:13 PM   #13
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check battery with hydrometer

When my girlfriend and I picked up her new 2015 22FB Sport in September everything seemed good during the "walk-thru", although we were connected to "shore power". I failed to examine the was almost out of warranty. After our first "shake down" cruise in late October I discovered that the battery wasn't holding a charge for very long. Turned out that one of the cells was dead...and the warranty period had expired by that time. I upgraded to a new Group27 after that, and since monitor the battery more closely. I use a float charger and a good automotive/deep cycle charger to maintain. I don't trust the inverter...I think it "cooks" the battery and doesn't provide the proper "float". I suggest you invest in an inexpensive voltage meter to see what the charge rate is at the battery itself when on shore power or hooked to your tow vehicle. Can someone please tell me why Airstream does not put any 12v "cigarette lighter" accessory sockets inside or out? I like to plug in my XM "BoomBox" to 12 volt when were "dry camp/boon-docking". The inside radio works great, but all I see are a couple of USB ports for charging smart phones. Adios!
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:42 PM   #14
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Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your new AS!

Did you inadvertently leave your electric brake break away switch unplugged after un hitching? That will drain the batteries within a day and may damage the switch.

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