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Old 01-04-2010, 08:29 AM   #15
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Having to internally jump start the motorhome battery, suggests that possibly the chassis battery is weak, or there is a small drain on the chassis battery.

I would check both of them out. Sometimes, an LPG leak detector, remains on, even though the engine is shut down.

Andy
All good possibilities. Most new CD systems have at least a clock that remains on while the main power is off, too. Many owners put a switch in that line, but the downside is that your clock is not set when you turn it back on. You may also loose your favorite stations, etc., depending on the unit.

A little clarification would help.

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Your CD player might belong to a strong union, and is simply taking a break, every once in a while????


I'll have to bring that one up at work.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:11 AM   #16
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A little clarification would help.
Clarification? On what part?

Andy
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:21 PM   #17
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Clarification? On what part?

Andy
Oops, clarification on my post I guess.

Your post was perfectly clear. I had intended to refer back to PD's original question where he referred to

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... Every so often, I notice my alt is only outputting 10 on the gauge and the new cd player w/gps kicks in & out. Then, after a few minutes it corrects itself. I do have to jump the start battery with the interior toggle from time to time...
, but I didn't get that part in.

I meant 10 what on what gauge? Amps, Volts? I also am not sure what "jump the start battery with the interior toggle" really means either. I'm just trying to make sure I understand what PD's problem is.

An Inteli-Power, or any converter for that matter, would have nothing to do with a start battery would it?

I suppose that a circuit to the start battery could be there if a battery isolater was used between the start battery and the other(s). Like the one used when I added a deep cycle battery for interior lights in my old Dodge van so I could camp without running down the start battery. (Airstreams are vastly superior to camping in a '77 Dodge Tradesman, trust me! ) Seems unnecessarily complex to me if the motorhome charging system and battery are in good shape. Is this done in motorhomes?

I guess I was still laughing about your reason for the CD player taking a break.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:11 PM   #18
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Vaughan: Sorry for the cryptic nature of my post. I promise I have nothing to hide!

Andy may be on to something. The gauge I was referring to is the dash gauge and at times it will read just under 10 volts. That is when the radio cuts in & out. and then; out of the blue, it will bounce up to a more normal reading around 12+.

I think my next move will be to get the battery checked.

There is a switch in the battery tray that (if I understand the literature) is supposed to totally isolate the chassis battery from the others. If this is true, Do most people choose to isolate the chassis battery from the interior batteries.

Thanks again for excellent info,

PD

PS: INRV Where is the LPG leak detector located?
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:20 PM   #19
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Vaughan: Sorry for the cryptic nature of my post. I promise I have nothing to hide!

Andy may be on to something. The gauge I was referring to is the dash gauge and at times it will read just under 10 volts. That is when the radio cuts in & out. and then; out of the blue, it will bounce up to a more normal reading around 12+.

I think my next move will be to get the battery checked.
Ok, we are talking about the vehicle charging system and not the Inteli-Power. (Or whatever converter you have. The original would be a Univolt like in my first photo.) I have never had a motorhome, so there are some systems in them that are different. However, I was a mechanic (industrial engines, farm equipment, and trucks) for a while.

You will not go wrong checking the battery. However, from your description I think you should also do a through cleaning and check of your connections. Not only can connectors loosen, they can corrode leading to intermittent voltage/charging drops. If any connections are not factory molded, that is crimped or replacement connections of any kind, the looseness and/or corrosion may be out of sight where the wire leads into the replacement connector. This includes replacement ends on battery cables.

Remember to check the connections at the alternator too. Even connections to an amp gauge can contribute since the current flows through the amp gauge. A volt gauge with bad connections should not contribute to the problem, just read incorrectly. The CD cutting out means that you really have a problem, not just a bad connection to a voltage gauge.

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There is a switch in the battery tray that (if I understand the literature) is supposed to totally isolate the chassis battery from the others. If this is true, Do most people choose to isolate the chassis battery from the interior batteries.

Thanks again for excellent info,

PD
This is one of those areas where motorhomes differ from trailers. The isolation systems I am familiar with (see the reference to my old Dodge van in my previous post) are diode based systems that automatically isolate the systems without any user interaction. The diodes are basically electrical check valves in this type of system. The current can flow from the alternator to either battery, but the current cannot flow forward from either battery. This way you can use the deep cycle battery for lights, or in my case for watching a small TV too, without the charge being drained from the start battery. See Victron Argo Diode Battery Isolators for photos of this type of system. They are usually available locally too. I think I got mine at an auto parts store, but that was a long time ago.

Check and clean these connections too! More stuff, more places to look.

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PS: INRV Where is the LPG leak detector located?
I'm not sure when they started intalling LPG detectors in RVs. My 1983 Excella did not come with one and I don't remember one in my brother's 1984 Excella, but I wasn't looking. It may be something you will have to add yourself.

If you look here: http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...0&userid=17830 you can see an area below the radio and cassette deck with a couple of wires and a shelf sitting askew. Right next to the phone. My propane detector is there, still in its original packaging where I put it when I got home from the local Camping World, waiting for me to hook it up. That's not where I plan to install it, I just put it there so I wouldn't forget. A lot of good that has done.

Good luck, and keep us informed about what you learn.

By the way, there is a neighborhood in SE Little Rock named College Station near the airport. When I moved to LR and heard people talking about College Station I knew something was up. The only one I knew about was in TX and I could tell that wasn't what they were talking about.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:49 PM   #20
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Vaughan: Sorry for the cryptic nature of my post. I promise I have nothing to hide!

Andy may be on to something. The gauge I was referring to is the dash gauge and at times it will read just under 10 volts. That is when the radio cuts in & out. and then; out of the blue, it will bounce up to a more normal reading around 12+.

I think my next move will be to get the battery checked.

There is a switch in the battery tray that (if I understand the literature) is supposed to totally isolate the chassis battery from the others. If this is true, Do most people choose to isolate the chassis battery from the interior batteries.

Thanks again for excellent info,

PD

PS: INRV Where is the LPG leak detector located?
Typically the LPG leak detector, would be mounted very near the bottom of a cabinet, very close to the entrance door.

Andy
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #21
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Typically the LPG leak detector, would be mounted very near the bottom of a cabinet, very close to the entrance door.

Andy
As usual, Andy is right on target here. If you have to buy one, they come in flush-mount and surface-mount models so you have options depending on where you decide to mount it. They come with instructions that discuss the location.

When did they starting installing them in Airstreams, Andy? Was it an option for a while and then became standard?

I realize that making something safety related an option may sound strange now, but I remember when seat belts and front disk brakes were options on cars. Barely, of course...
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:35 PM   #22
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As usual, Andy is right on target here. If you have to buy one, they come in flush-mount and surface-mount models so you have options depending on where you decide to mount it. They come with instructions that discuss the location.

When did they starting installing them in Airstreams, Andy? Was it an option for a while and then became standard?

I realize that making something safety related an option may sound strange now, but I remember when seat belts and front disk brakes were options on cars. Barely, of course...
Airstream first started mounting the battery/batteries, up front, behind the front lounge, in the late 1970's, like about 1977 or so.

They installed one, and you could have added the second as an option.

They also mounted the batteries under the front window, then later changed it to be under the wing windows, then of course the wrap windows.

It's far better to mount a second battery, as Airstream originally designed the setup.

I think, the second battery, is still an option.

Installing a slide out tray, would severely weaken the front end shell, in several ways. Slide out battery trays are great, but for motorhomes.

Andy


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Old 01-04-2010, 04:40 PM   #23
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Airstream first started mounting the battery/batteries, up front, behind the front lounge, in the late 1970's, like about 1977 or so.

They installed one, and you could have added the second as an option.

They also mounted the batteries under the front window, then later changed it to be under the wing windows, then of course the wrap windows.

It's far better to mount a second battery, as Airstream originally designed the setup.

I think, the second battery, is still an option.

Installing a slide out tray, would severely weaken the front end shell, in several ways. Slide out battery trays are great, but for motorhomes.

Andy


Andy
Was that reply for this thread? http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ies-59913.html
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:19 PM   #24
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Yes.

There is not enough room under the front lounge for a slide out tray.

Andy
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Old 01-05-2010, 07:48 AM   #25
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Good Morning Fellas: Progress is being made, but it ain't cheap!

The batteries were certainly below average, so I replaced all three. There is certainly a small drain on them as evidence by a small spark when inserting the pos. cable end. This may be odd, but the drain seemed to pulse! Is that even possible?

After the first start, I am pretty sure the alternator is doing its job. The gauge read was way up there. Immediately I noticed a pulsing discharge on the gauge. I may have seen it before, but this go round it seemed to be much more obvious. Almost two ticks on the gauge. Very consistent.

Could that possibly be related to the apparent pulse at the positive battery connection?

Thanks again for all the help!

PD

PS: I am from College Station, Texas, but will be pulling for the Longhorns on Thursday!
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:11 AM   #26
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I just had to change out my Univolt in my 1991 Excella. The shop found it was only putting out 5 amps. When they removed it, they found a dead rat in it. Oh, so that's where that smell came from. I hadn't had any previous problem with it, and I'm on my second set of batteries, except one of them came up with a shorted cell, so I'm on half of my third set of batteries. Have not noticed any noise or heat from the Univolt. Has been a quiet reliable piece of gear.

About the rat. I store my trailer in a lot surrounded by a field, so mice and rats are a problem. I tried everything I could think of to seal up openings with no luck. Now I'm using a small ultrasonic mouse repeller, powered by a small inverter, and one of the batteries. I tried to find a DC repeller, with no luck. I have to swap out the batteries about every 10 or 15 days for charging. So far, it seems to be working. The rat obviously got in before I started doing this.
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