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Old 02-23-2008, 08:08 PM   #1
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Off to a rough start

Hi Folks,

First time airstreamer here. Just bought an 06' Bambi QuikSilver last week out of state, and the initial shakedown trip went fine. Camped with power overnight at a campground with no problems. Brought the camper home today though, and plugged it into the regular household outlet in the garage. Right away noticed a strong, funny smell (heated plastic?) coming from the fusebox in the Bambi, and a slight sizzle sound. Peaking between the cracks behind the fuse panel I could see something glowing orange (hard to tell if it could have been an LED or possibly a hot wire). All lights and electrical systems seemed to work, although I did notice some lights dimming off and on at times. Everything worked as expected when I unplugged and ran on battery power.

Any thoughts or suggestions here? I'll schedule with a repair shop soon to take a closer look. Is this likely to be expensive to troubleshoot and repair?

Thanks.

Tim
Boulder, CO
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:18 PM   #2
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I'm no expert. But things "glowing orange" between panels, smells of burning plastic, dimming lights and sizzle sounds all sound really, really bad. Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:28 PM   #3
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hi tim and welcome to the forums...

fuse box or breaker box?

one is 12v dc and the other is 110-120v ac.

when u plugged the 30 amp rv cord in at home did you use a 110-120v plug with a ground (15-20amp)

or a 220-240v plug (like for the dryer)

that would be a no no no oh no!

as for the orange glow, sizzle and smell....

is the cat missing?

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hi tim and welcome to the forums...

fuse box or breaker box?

one is 12v dc and the other is 110-120v ac.

when u plugged the 30 amp rv cord in at home did you use a 110-120v plug with a ground (15-20amp)

or a 220-240v plug (like for the dryer)

that would be a no no no oh no!

as for the orange glow, sizzle and smell....

is the cat missing?

cheers
2air'
The breaker box and fuse box seem to be side by side in my A/S. I opened the cover (breakers were on the left, fuses were on the right). None of the breakers had tripped, and the fuses looked okay. Also, I was plugged into 110-120v with ground (had to use the plug adapter) that came with the trailer.

Hmmm, where did my cat go? :-)

Tim
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:14 PM   #5
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important disclaimer.

the only true thing i know about electricity is what johnhd (the lineman) says...

"don't touch it, if you don't know what it is"

-your converter is behind the 12v fuse-110v breaker cover...

so IT could be toast. (model 7300? i think)

?-was the 12 v disconnect switch on or off?

this determines what source will provide 12v power while plugged into shore power.

?-was anything ON while plugged into the home ac outlet...

for example were you running the heat pump (heat strip) or a space heater inside the trailer?

in some cases plugging into the home outlet and using a high draw appliance (like a space heater, along with the fridge or furnace) ...

results in LOW VOLTAGE (which means the amps increase to keep the power flowing)...

anyway this can cook the wiring, although a breaker should flip in this case...

but u can check voltage with a multimeter... see the warning above

ok, that's it, i'm out of info,

except for more cat pix...

cheers
2air
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:22 PM   #6
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I would check the wiring of the outlet you plugged into. The polarity may be incorrect. I have a small tester that plugs into the outlet to verify the connection. It is plugged into the bottom outlet in the picture.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:39 PM   #7
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Hmmmmmmmmm..................



THIS SOUNDS VERY, VERY BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even though your rig is functioning now, it sure sounds like you have some type of electrical malfunction going on now. t's impossible to diagnose something like this without being there to test every connection, input and output for proper voltage. Could your converter be the source? I would test the voltage of the batteries and the converter output and see if they are in the prescribed range.

I would also have this checked by a trained professional since any electrical malfunction just might be the source of a high heat and possible fire situation!
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bocotim
Hi Folks,

First time airstreamer here. Just bought an 06' Bambi QuikSilver last week out of state, and the initial shakedown trip went fine. Camped with power overnight at a campground with no problems. Brought the camper home today though, and plugged it into the regular household outlet in the garage. Right away noticed a strong, funny smell (heated plastic?) coming from the fusebox in the Bambi, and a slight sizzle sound. Peaking between the cracks behind the fuse panel I could see something glowing orange (hard to tell if it could have been an LED or possibly a hot wire). All lights and electrical systems seemed to work, although I did notice some lights dimming off and on at times. Everything worked as expected when I unplugged and ran on battery power.

Any thoughts or suggestions here? I'll schedule with a repair shop soon to take a closer look. Is this likely to be expensive to troubleshoot and repair?

Thanks.

Tim
Boulder, CO
Hi, I agree that you should schedule with a repair shop ASAP, for your garage wireing first; Then have some one check to see if the garage system damaged your trailer.
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:45 AM   #9
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Sounds like reversed polarity on the 115 volt. I would bet he did not check the outlet before he plugged in. There are a lot of do it yourself electricians out there that cause millions of dollars of damage per year by improper wiring.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:11 AM   #10
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I agree with Dwighdi.....

I had a brand new garage built and had the main panel at the house upgraded at the same time. I had them add a breaker box in the garage (thankfully) and had enough outlets put in the garage to handle machinery, yard lights etc.....

The electrician reversed the wires on a couple of the outlets and it caused quite a few problems until I figured it out.

Once I made the necessary corrections, everything works fine.

Check the outlet first....hopefully that's all that's wrong in your case....Good Luck!!
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:29 PM   #11
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Still no joy

Hi Folks,

Thanks all for the input and suggestions.

I went out and purchased an electrical tester similar to the one shown in Richard's reply earlier. Everything checks out on the household side of things. I was hoping the tester would indicate problems with polarity, but it didn't.

Also, to answer a couple of 2Air's questions. After we plugged into the household outlet, we immediately noticed a smell without having anything on except some overhead lights in the camper. Then we turned on other appliances (TV, stereo, etc.). In retrospect, this probably wasn't a wise move, but everything still worked. Eventually we unplugged from the outlet and ran on battery power for a while - In that mode everything was working (and smelling) normal.

So, at this point I am guessing I need to take it in to have an RV technician look it over... Not what I was expecting to do during my first week of Airstream ownership :-). I am bracing for a hefty repair bill too - any guesses on what this might run me?

Also, for you folks in the Denver/Boulder area, can you recommend an RV repair shop to use (or any to avoid)? How is Windish?

Thanks all.

Tim Scheitlin
Boulder, CO
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:06 AM   #12
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Things looking much brighter now

Hi Folks,

Just to follow up on my converter problems (I had just purchased a used '06 Bambi out of state, I camped overnight on the trip back home with no problems, when I got home and plugged it into my household 15 amp/110-120V outlet, I smelled something burning in the converter). Also, it turns out that the warranty had run out just 3 days prior (sigh).

Anyway, long story short, I took it in for diagnosis/replacement. The converter part comes in an enclosed box that is riveted shut, and there is no way to easily open it to check for loose wires or discover the real reason for the problem. So, they replaced the whole component, and about $400 later, I am back in business. The shop told me that on occasion, those converters just go out. So, I now have an extra '06 bambi converter if anyone is interested in the spare parts.

All in all, I am just thankful that the problem occurred in my driveway, and not while I was out camping.

I double checked that my outlet's polarity and voltage output were correct, and then with much hesitation, I plugged the trailer in again last night at home. Everything works (whew!), and I am really looking forward now to warm weekends and getting the camper out for its first real trip.

Tim
Boulder, CO
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:46 AM   #13
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Nice to have a good conclusion, other than the $$ spent.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:28 AM   #14
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Really really bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by bocotim
Hi Folks,
Right away noticed a strong, funny smell (heated plastic?) coming from the fusebox in the Bambi, and a slight sizzle sound. Peaking between the cracks behind the fuse panel I could see something glowing orange (hard to tell if it could have been an LED or possibly a hot wire). All lights and electrical systems seemed to work, although I did notice some lights dimming off and on at times. Everything worked as expected when I unplugged and ran on battery power.

Tim
Boulder, CO
Un plug the trailer and take it strait to the shop. A electrical fire is coming soon.
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