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Old 06-15-2018, 06:45 AM   #41
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Alex's debacle brought back memories of the criticisms we received upon deploying our own lithium system. Some of those criticisms were polite, some of them were condescending (not from people on this forum).

"How could you risk your life on a DIY electrical job?! Don't you realize that you could be killed by [blah blah blah]..." This was the common refrain.

I'd then point out that:

(1) a company called Parallax almost burned us to the ground previously by selling us an electrical converter that they admitted was defective (Air Forums reference again here) and

(2) Airstream itself had done such wonky electrical work that we were constantly struggling with our original house power system shorting out and leaving us in the dark (Air Forums thread here, with the locus of those woes eventually being identified as this arguably-undersized component here).

When I'd tick off those two facts, critics were just nonplussed. They seemed so willing to assume that, in the electrical context, anything Airstream and its suppliers did must have been pure magic, and anything we did was pure delusion, WHEN IN FACT, the truth has proven to be closer to the other way around.

I knock wood when I say that. We could have a failure no matter what we put in our van or how carefully we installed it, and it would be arrogant and stupid of us to believe that it's not possible. Our Xantrex inverter could fail with results similar to the Magnum. But I was struck by the attitudes that were out there, that RV manufacturers could do no wrong, and we could do no right. Consumer paradigms.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:06 AM   #42
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Thank God you checked. I would not leave my dog unattended in airstream in the driveway with the motor off and the ac on connected to shore power. Never a child!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:13 AM   #43
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Back when I was working TeleCom. Any new radio or other associated component (including direct methanol fuel cells) we would burn-in for as long as possible. Often weeks to months.
Since many of the remote sites are not safety accessible in the winter (mountain peaks, helicopter, 50+ feet of snow and ice) AND quite expensive to visit (around $4k) PLUS these repeaters can be critical for LE, maintanence, admin and the public safety...everything had to be as reliable as possible.

Something like the converter/inverter I would have rigged it up on the bench to have a load/input and run it thought he paces as much as possible.
Certainly with it under warranty etc you canít really do that. But I think if the unit on mine had a failure like that Iíd be doing it.
I replaced the converter/charger on my older AI- mainly due to the lack of a three stage battery charger (it would cook the battery over longer storage). But seeing IBís failure I was glad to replace it with something else anyway. (Hopefully more reliable). So far it has been quite good.


I like the idea of leaving it at the dealer for as long as possible- if it is going to burn down, let it happen at their place.

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Old 06-15-2018, 11:43 AM   #44
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Glad Airstream is taking this very seriously. Airstream should always put safety over profit. This story will be a ''wake up call'' for corporate.
STREAMINWILD - jury is still out on how serious they are taking it. This is actually the easy part. The tough part is how they want to address the detectors not working and my minimum ask of redundancy detector as close as possible to electrical compartment with ability to slave either wired or wireless remote outside the unit. It isn't like an unrealistic ask. My 18yr. old home automation system has all the smoke, CO2, heat rise sensor, all slaved to each other, so when 1 unit senses a problem all the others respond too.

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t makes it kind of hard to relax and enjoy the experience when you don't know if you are going to have a camper full of smoke in the middle of the night or if you can leave your pet while you take or hike or, as in your case, a loved one quietly sleeping. I think you are right to press them and see if a recall is warranted...this is truly a safety issue.
MANSDERM161 - This is the biggie. Peace of mind. I am pushing for a safety bulletin or recall or whatever the different levels are. I am pushing this as close to the edge as possible and see how they respond with reasonable asks. Not discounting legal action yet, but that's a tough one since the response from dealer & AS was good, as compared to my previous experience. Plus having averted major damage & injury may require some tough choices before taking legal action. Though no thanks to them but only due to my diligence in checking comfort of grandson & curiousity of why AI was not behaving as expected that injury was prevented. Besides, I have learned a lot from my lawsuit against MB - that is even if you win, you lose - the judgement I won covered all my expenses but I lost 2 yrs of time and gained 2 yrs of stress & headaches.

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But I was struck by the attitudes that were out there, that RV manufacturers could do no wrong, and we could do no right. Consumer paradigms.
INTERBLOG - I am with you. I admit in the beginning, I thought they could do no wrong, especially the high end manufacturers. But fast learned that the end users (especially those in this forum) are the ones fixing what the manufacturer did wrong or sloppily. Although in this case, from what I have been told by dealer shop foreman (he was the only one doing the work, no green newby was even allowed to come in the unit), damage shown, and my own independent personal analysis (whatever that's worth) it was clearly contained within the Magnum enclosure. I did my own diligence in checking wiring before dealer laid eyes on it. They were either surprised or not too happy that I had everything 75% apart when I first showed them. I was almost wanting them to say the magic words "you voided your warranty" so I have a legit excuse to unleash the hounds on them, but they did not even try to get close to that line. I think it helped that I had prepped them in advance of my technical creds. As off-putting as that can be if used under normal service requests, this situation warranted they know who they are working with. But I have not pulled the legal card yet

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Thank God you checked. I would not leave my dog unattended in airstream in the driveway with the motor off and the ac on connected to shore power. Never a child!!!!!!!!
Yep. I always have ears & eyes on our grandkids. With just the sliding door separating me from grandson, I thought we were good. But not even that is safe. If they are in there, don't care if everything is off & disconnected, I need to be in there. We are now taking the same approach as our Pool Rules. Whenever we have pool parties, distractions abound, so a pool whistle gets passed around to adults like a baton. Whoever has it has to have both feet in the water at the deep end of pool where the suction drains are. Period, end of story. I have yelled at my own sister & mother for not taking the pool whistle rule seriously decades ago. Now, it's SOP for everyone. Helps to be an SOB once in awhile for safety's sake.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:58 AM   #45
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I like the idea of leaving it at the dealer for as long as possible- if it is going to burn down, let it happen at their place.

mark
MARK - one of my best friends who also owns an rv suggested leaving inside their showroom. Unfortunately, AI is too tall for showroom. So it is inside service bay and then at some point going outside in the heat but next to building. If it burns down, it will still burn their house down. Having been in the service sector my entire life, I have gotten good at reading customers & service providers & just people in general. Thus, I am noticing the dealer's approach has dramatically changed from my prior experience. The sense of urgency & liability is more apparent. Whether the realization happened on their own or by mandate from Jackson Center, it matters not. Just good that it is happening.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:25 PM   #46
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I pulled out my Magnum and removed the cover. I can see absolutely no evidence of overheating. It is a real hassle removing the Magnum. There is no way to reach the bottom bolt heads. I had to lever the Magnum away from the wall with a screwdriver to get enough friction on the washers and nuts to get them to back off.

In my 14.5 Lounge, the Magnum was in a crowded box under the couch. When I removed the couch and installed twin beds, I kept the electronic box and installed a big vent to make sure it stayed cool. Since then, I have installed a new solar controller and a new BIM.

I'm now installing the Magnum on the rear of the box where I can get at it easily and it will have maximum ventilation. I simply reversed the bolts through the back of the box and remounted the Magnum at the same place, pointing the opposite direction. I can now get at both ends of the bolts easily. I drilled holes through the back of the box in line with the several wires that feed the Magnum. I will need to make a cover over the reset button to insure it doesn't get bumped accidentally.

I'll mount the Magnum and see what happens when I fire it up. Chances are, I'll need to order a replacement, but then everyhing will be in place to easily remove the old one and install the new one without the hassle I had in getting the old one out.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:36 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
I pulled out my Magnum and removed the cover. I can see absolutely no evidence of overheating.

I'll mount the Magnum and see what happens when I fire it up. Chances are, I'll need to order a replacement, but then everyhing will be in place to easily remove the old one and install the new one without the hassle I had in getting the old one out.
JOHN - if you are still testing, you may want to consider what LOTUS54 mentioned about testing on the bench instead of inside your unit. That's what I would have done if I was at home and was not dealing with new warranty. Bench testing is just a lot less riskier than inside the confines of AI where it could catch on fire. OTOH - if your fan already stopped and smoke occured, a certain amount of damage has already occured. That is no longer in question. So the only point of continued testing is whether you plan on tackling a component level repair (i.e replace fan and/or whatever resistor/cap fried) or just sense of curiousity.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:58 PM   #48
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At the risk of sounding stupid again, would the magnum be replaced as a routine part of lithium conversion?
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:36 PM   #49
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At the risk of sounding stupid again, would the magnum be replaced as a routine part of lithium conversion?
Not stupid at all - no such thing as a stupid question.

Keeping the Magnum inverter/Charger with a lithium conversion would depend on how big of a battery pack you have. For lithium the settings of the Magnum would have to change, but doable. If you upgrade to a high capacity lithium pack, like 400AH, then a higher capacity inverter/charger would be best.

I didn't upgrade to lithium due to freezing temp complications of lithium. I did upgrade to 440AH Lifeline AGM battery pack. Then I replaced the Magnum 1000W inverter used by Airstream to a 2000W model so I can run the microwave off battery power.
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:04 PM   #50
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I can already see how this is going to end up, at least initially.


Airstream is going to blame Magnum and Magnum is going to blame Airstream.


Did the Magnum Inverter/Charger fail, it's possible.
Was the installation, by Airstream, to blame; it's possible.


Until a through RCA (Root Cause Analysis) is done, we will never know.


I am not fond of lawyers, especially ambulance chasing ones. But in this case, I believe you need one to force a comprehensive RCA to be performed by an outside party.


With a potential loss of life involved, I can only imagine what you are going through.


My prayers are with you,


Pat
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:50 PM   #51
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Not stupid at all - no such thing as a stupid question.

Keeping the Magnum inverter/Charger with a lithium conversion would depend on how big of a battery pack you have. For lithium the settings of the Magnum would have to change, but doable. If you upgrade to a high capacity lithium pack, like 400AH, then a higher capacity inverter/charger would be best.

I didn't upgrade to lithium due to freezing temp complications of lithium. I did upgrade to 440AH Lifeline AGM battery pack. Then I replaced the Magnum 1000W inverter used by Airstream to a 2000W model so I can run the microwave off battery power.
I'm thinking of doing a battery upgrade from the anemic 80 amp available in my 2011 AI. Where'd you end up putting 440AH Lifelines (and which battery).
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:06 PM   #52
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Thanks, great info.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:47 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by pdavitt View Post
I can already see how this is going to end up, at least initially.

Airstream is going to blame Magnum and Magnum is going to blame Airstream.

Did the Magnum Inverter/Charger fail, it's possible.
Was the installation, by Airstream, to blame; it's possible.

Until a through RCA (Root Cause Analysis) is done, we will never know.

I am not fond of lawyers, especially ambulance chasing ones. But in this case, I believe you need one to force a comprehensive RCA to be performed by an outside party.

With a potential loss of life involved, I can only imagine what you are going through.

My prayers are with you,

Pat
Hey PAT. Glad to hear from you. Thank you for your thoughts..

Yes, Airstream already is pointing at Magnum. But all evidence, including my own personal take apart and smoke chasing does support that too. I did not find any misconnected or loosely connected items. Short of doing complete tear-down of every connection in the compartment, I did not find anything. The Magnum did fail, with an obvious electrical induced hole on the side of it's casing. The Magnum, smoke, & CO2 detectors are supposed to be sent to Jackson Center. Then after, the Magnum is supposed to go to Magnum.

I am not fond of ambulance chasers either. But it so happens, I have friends who are (actually on phone with one as I type). I do have private time with another tomorrow who is with NV State AG's office.

For now, AS is supposed to keep me in the loop of findings once they have them. Doubtful they will keep their word, considering minimal property damage & no personal injury. My PI atty. buddy already said the same just now. Since no bodily/personal injury happened, it wouldn't fall into their court. But a product liability atty. may have some ideas, though usually product liability cases also involve injuries. This is where my friend in AG's office may be able to help steer me in the right direction, if there is sufficient cause to pursue further. My personal feeling on this is the best I can do would be to file the NHTSA report and if more reports come in from others, it may start a red flag.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:08 PM   #54
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How many OTHER brands of RV use the same Magnum? Airstream, being a niche brand probably represents 5% of the class C-s that use this model.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:29 PM   #55
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I know it does not make sense how the inverter could be related to A/C running on shore power. All I can think of (wild guess) is when AI is plugged into to shore power, the converter system automatically charges the batteries. But depending on how much power is being used by lights & appliances, only the surplus is used to charge the batteries.
What you say is logical and it is the way it should work. But it does not!

The Magnum has a configuration setting on how much charge it delivers to the battery. It will attempt to pull enough AC current to enable that charging no matter what. Airstream has configured that in the low setting. I changed mine to high (as it should be) and that caused the fuse to blow. You could not run the AC and Magnum at the same time as a result.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:38 PM   #56
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At the risk of sounding stupid again, would the magnum be replaced as a routine part of lithium conversion?
It depends. Some Lithium system need independent charge and inverter functionality. This is how IB/LB's system works (and mine when I tried to implement the same system they have). In that case, you can't use a combo inverter/charger like Magnum.

The main reason to replace the Magnum would be to upgrade to a higher power one so that you can run things like the Microwave. We have done that and it is wonderful to warm up dog's frozen food no matter where we are and without messing with the noisy generator.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:35 PM   #57
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What you say is logical and it is the way it should work. But it does not!

The Magnum has a configuration setting on how much charge it delivers to the battery. It will attempt to pull enough AC current to enable that charging no matter what. Airstream has configured that in the low setting. I changed mine to high (as it should be) and that caused the fuse to blow. You could not run the AC and Magnum at the same time as a result.
AMIRM - Interesting, and yes I see that now from Magnum manual Default Settings page - Charge rate default is 100%. I will have to see what the new one is set to. All my settings are what came from factory, which by what you just said is not necessarily identical for what default setting comes from Magnum and what Airstream set the battery charge rate for (10%) when they leave their factory.

It explains blowing fuse or tripping breaker, but still does not explain why it would burn up the Magnum (50A charger rating) even if set to 100% and A/C running. Still a mystery and Jackson Center Tech Support has no answer for me.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:45 PM   #58
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Just FYI, the Magnum on my GT was set to 50% Charge Rate from the factory.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:54 PM   #59
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Just FYI, the Magnum on my GT was set to 50% Charge Rate from the factory.
I think mine was too or even 100% (even though I can not confirm now). I think I would have noticed it to be very odd if it were set to 10% (as AMIRM was). It would've triggered the question "why is this set very low?" At the very least, mine would not have been that low. Plus it would've taken an awful long time to charge
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:14 AM   #60
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I think mine was too or even 100% (even though I can not confirm now). I think I would have noticed it to be very odd if it were set to 10% (as AMIRM was). It would've triggered the question "why is this set very low?" At the very least, mine would not have been that low. Plus it would've taken an awful long time to charge
At the risk of telling folks what they already know, the Magnum 1012 battery charger section is capable of putting out up to 50A.

That's a bit much for the typical 2 golf cart (GC) battery setup.

Using the C/5 rate (where C=amp-hour capacity) a typical GC battery is rated about 220 Ah (same for 2 in series) so 220/5 = 44A max charge rate.

If AS uses the common "marine batteries" as OE, their capacity is even less.

So AS may have set the 1012 a bit lower than 100%, but 10% would be ridiculously low.

80% would be good for 2 GC batteries.
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