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Old 07-09-2017, 01:13 PM   #1
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1983 27' International
Brooklyn , Wisconsin
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please explain.. AC run on 12V only?

I'm trying to figure out why my new to me (1977 International) the new RV battery goes dead within hours when running Air conditioner (lights run it down too)- even when trailer is plugged into AC outlet? Is their a switch I need to do something with to run the AC off house current rather than 12v or is it 12v only? When trailer is plugged into 110 house current shouldn't the battery stay up when AC is being run.. via a charger? my old coleman pop-up had a converter that converted ac to 12v to run things... thank you for any help!
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:23 PM   #2
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Silver, a couple of things:

Your AC runs only on 120 volts. That your battery seems to run down at the same time would indicate to me that either your converter is not charging your battery, or, more likely, your battery is shot (not capable of holding a charge).

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Old 07-09-2017, 01:30 PM   #3
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If somehow you are running the air conditioner off of the inverter, the converter may not be able to keep up. I didn't know that was possible, it may have been wired so that the inverter can run anything in the trailer, and you will have to use discipline to make sure you don't have too much load. The air conditioner draws around 15 amps. Multiplying that by the voltage ratios 120/12 is 10 times, or about 150 amps from your 12V system. I doubt that your converter has that much capacity. If you have an inverter/charger, it may have that much capacity, but I doubt it. The Magnum Hybrid 3000 watt unit only has 125A charge capacity.

I'm guessing here since I have no idea how your trailer is wired but I suspect that, when on shore power, you should turn the inverter off and this will operate all 120V loads from shore power, not the inverter.

You may have damaged your batteries by too much deep discharge, as well.

Al
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:58 PM   #4
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Hi

On an AS that is around 35 years old, lots of odd things may have been done over the years. Guessing based on the stock configuration may not be the right thing to do. You may have some sort of re-wire that cuts out a bunch of stuff when the AC is turned on. If so, some "quality time" with a multimeter is called for. Even if that's not the case, there is still poking around to do.

1) Is the converter getting 120V?
2) Is the converter putting out 12V (or 13.5 or 14.2)?
3) Is the converter output the same as the battery voltage?
(if not is what is the use/store switch set to?)
4) Are any fuses blown?
5) Is the inverter on when you are on shore power?
(if so why?)
6) How old are the batteries? If > 6 years, that's likely a problem.

Yes this list keeps going on and on. A lot of where it goes depends on what you find to this point.

Bob
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:19 PM   #5
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Let's not confuse inverter with converter. I doubt that vintage trailer has an inverter.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:51 PM   #6
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Is the converter turned on? Many Airstreams have a dedicated switch to turn the converter off and on.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
Let's not confuse inverter with converter. I doubt that vintage trailer has an inverter.
OP's comments sound like the AC will run without shore power. If that is the case, then someone has added an inverter, but wired it to supply the whole trailer, not just specific outlets as is done in more modern trailers that are supplied with inverters.

Maybe OP just assumed that the AC was running down the battery, and says the battery is new. Lights shouldn't run the battery down in a a few hours.

Bob's questions are a good start. I'd suggest a couple first questions to clarify the problem:

1. Does the air conditioner run when shore power is not connected?
2. Do you have an inverter, and is it just an inverter, or an inverter charger. If just an inverter you should have a converter somewhere.

Al
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:47 PM   #8
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thanks.. everyone- guess I need to dig deeper

I don't know how to switch the inverter/converter or whichever it is off? I do know that it is in a sealed area inside a box under the front couch. only thing I can reach is the cord plugged into a outlet way down under there (bit warm too when camper is plugged in for awhile)- I don't see where you can switch it on/off? I only have one RV battery- it slides out the front of the camper when door is open. As far as I can tell as of now without any other checking the only thing that works when the camper is plugged in is the wall outlets- nothing else (AC or lights do not when battery goes dead). I just put the battery in 2 weeks ago. I also noticed when I got it the big 50A fuse was blown in panel but that was replaced. If anybody that has a 31ft 77 Int.and knows where the on/off is for inv/conv please let me know- but I still need to see why battery isn't charging on shore line- I'm at this time thinking inverter is toast? does all ac power go through it before going to it's designated location? I imagine outlets not as they still work on ac.
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:50 PM   #9
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*update* on please explain..

upon further checking- and my neglect in remembering- The Air Conditioner does run when shoreline power is used and no 12v. It did knocked out a breaker in garage first time I used it after few minutes but hasn't since (it sat 6 years not used) It is the lights that run the battery dead I think. whether AC is able to run on 12v or not I don't know.. I'll try it next time battery is charged and shoreline power is unhooked. I'd never camp anywhere where no shoreline power was available anyway and if I did just not use AC. It appears the issue is the converter/charger isn't charging battery when plugged into shoreline power. Haven't checked the condition of battery yet as brand new- but guess could still be bad. I'm only getting 12.72 on tester at battery when fully charged and the shoreline power is plugged in. The Air Stream has not gone nowhere yet as only owned few weeks. sorry if terminology is wrong.. new to AS.
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:30 PM   #10
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Hi

If you have the original converter/charger from back in 1977, it may be past it's "use by" date. That's not a terribly uncommon issue on any 40 year old electronic item. If indeed it's putting out a max of 12.7V that's a good indication it has issues. There are a lot of replacement units on the market for not a lot of money.

To re-emphasize some points made earlier:

Converter/ charger takes 120V shore power to 12VDC. That gizmo came with your trailer when new. It also charges your batteries.

Inverter takes 12V DC to 120V AC. If you have one, it was added at a later date. The trailer did not come with one when new.

With a converter, you get 12V when on shore power and it charges the batteries.

With no inverter, you have no 120V when you unplug from shore power (unless you have a generator).

Bob
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

If you have the original converter/charger from back in 1977, it may be past it's "use by" date. That's not a terribly uncommon issue on any 40 year old electronic item. If indeed it's putting out a max of 12.7V that's a good indication it has issues. There are a lot of replacement units on the market for not a lot of money.

To re-emphasize some points made earlier:

Converter/ charger takes 120V shore power to 12VDC. That gizmo came with your trailer when new. It also charges your batteries.

Inverter takes 12V DC to 120V AC. If you have one, it was added at a later date. The trailer did not come with one when new.

With a converter, you get 12V when on shore power and it charges the batteries.

With no inverter, you have no 120V when you unplug from shore power (unless you have a generator).

Bob
Important terms to know and understand when describing electrical issues!
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:40 PM   #12
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There is sometimes a switch in front of the gauche on the left side that cuts the converter off. My first guess is you need to look for this switch. If that is not it the breaker that the inverter is on could be blown. And it could be a blown inverter. Another thing it could be is that the use/store switch is in the store position.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:06 PM   #13
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Look for a switch on the street side behind the curtains...
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Old 05-16-2021, 11:44 AM   #14
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Your Couch should lift up, look underneath on each side if you see metal bars and sometimes 1 large spring the couch will lift up. Replace that Converter! get a multi-stage replacement!
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