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Old 11-12-2020, 11:50 AM   #1
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Chantilly , Virginia
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No power even when plugged into shore

Hello, yes.. noob here,

2018 AI Lounge. I have new house batteries on order, as I believe they are dead, but shouldn't I have power to the coach when plugged into shore?

Dead house batteries have not been removed yet, but there is no power to the (stock) inverter either when I am plugged in.

Nothing showing on the Solar Explorer either.. I would think it would at least show a zero reading? The firefly system is dark and the only thing that comes on when plugged is the red 'Fault Comm' message on the magnum controller and the microwave clock.

Thanks
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:22 PM   #2
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Have you checked your circuit breakers? Also, there may be a fuse on your inverter that you need to check. And don't forget to check to see if your power source is actually active. The final (and least likely, I think) thing to check is whether or not your cord is actually good.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:22 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for the suggestions.

I did check the circuit breaker - flipped it off and on again. I tried to flip the switch on the 2 circuit breakers on the inverter itself, but it feels like you just have to press it? I didn't see anywhere in the manual diagram where the fuse is located. I'll check again.

As for the cord, I see a blue light on the cord, but if it was bad, would I still see the microwave clock come on and the 'Fault Comm' message appear on the inverter remote?

Thanks again!
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Old 11-13-2020, 08:06 AM   #4
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If you're getting an indicator light on the power cord and the microwave is coming on, that clears the source power and cord, so now it appears to be something at the inverter. You may or may not have a fuse on the inverter - some have circuit breakers and a fuse; others don't. At this point, I would try to get a charge on the battery or put in a new battery just to eliminate it as a possible cause.
I did run across another thread somewhere and the person was having similar issues. It turned out that they had a 12v cutoff switch on the passenger side of the cab somewhere, and it had accidentally been turned off. I'm not familiar with the AI, but we used to have a Sprinter-based Class C. It had a bank of breakers, fuses, and switches mounted in the base of the seat. Do you have any 12v cutout switches anywhere up front? Might be a long shot, but worth a look! The Fault Comm indicator is saying your remote can't communicate with the inverter - so either something is preventing the inverter from powering up or else your inverter is dead (motherboard?). Personally, I'd rather it be a switch!
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by djb75 View Post
If you're getting an indicator light on the power cord and the microwave is coming on, that clears the source power and cord, so now it appears to be something at the inverter. You may or may not have a fuse on the inverter - some have circuit breakers and a fuse; others don't. At this point, I would try to get a charge on the battery or put in a new battery just to eliminate it as a possible cause.
I did run across another thread somewhere and the person was having similar issues. It turned out that they had a 12v cutoff switch on the passenger side of the cab somewhere, and it had accidentally been turned off. I'm not familiar with the AI, but we used to have a Sprinter-based Class C. It had a bank of breakers, fuses, and switches mounted in the base of the seat. Do you have any 12v cutout switches anywhere up front? Might be a long shot, but worth a look! The Fault Comm indicator is saying your remote can't communicate with the inverter - so either something is preventing the inverter from powering up or else your inverter is dead (motherboard?). Personally, I'd rather it be a switch!
If the old batteries are still hooked up another possibility is that one of the cells is shorted in the battery and pulling the 12V system low. The converter then may not be able to get the voltage high enough to power your 12V coach stuff.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:07 AM   #6
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OK, first off this post IS NOT being made by Goin Camping. I hacked his account.

Had the same problem so I towed it over to Area 63 and Uwe went over it and found no problem. Towed it back home and in checking everything again. I found the 30 amp plug into the outlet had pulled out. *Insert facepalm emoji here*

Not a noob here. Just a dumbbell.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:44 AM   #7
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I guess the methodical approach would be to get out the multimeter and start working through the system.
Is there voltage at the inverter input?
If no, figure out why you have no voltage going in.
If yes, is there voltage at the inverter output?
If no, your inverter has a problem.
If yes, proceed to the next point in the circuit -- etc, etc.
But I would still get a battery back in place first - it may just be a case of an open circuit because there's just air where there's supposed to be a battery.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:55 AM   #8
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Check the fuses

In our FC trailer, the combined charger/converter will not operate if the batteries are dead. By loss of power, I assume you are referring to lights and fans.

As I understand this, most of the items in the trailer are 12 volt. The converter changes AC to DC to service those items while on shore power. Failed batteries are still part of that 12 volt circuit and can cause the converter to blow the blade fuses on the front of the panel. Install new fuses and see if the batteries charge. If not, get new batteries to cure this. Of course you must also determine why the batteries failed.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:17 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone.
I'll see about getting my hands on a multimeter, and I'll check the fuses and breakers again.
I also read it might be a failed Auto Transfer Switch, but I have to find where it is. The schematic in the manual is not clear.

I think the batteries are shot. I've read that AGM batteries go bad if they fall below 50% charge. The AI is normally plugged in, but a contractor doing some work in the back unplugged it and never plugged it back in (he told me he was unplugging it and I completely forgot). So it sat unplugged for a few days before I remembered.

I never knew I needed to be an electrician to own an RV! Hahaha!
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:39 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone.
I'll see about getting my hands on a multimeter, .......
I never knew I needed to be an electrician to own an RV! Hahaha!

It sure can help some days to have some basic electrical knowledge. Using a multimeter is right up there.

Also consider a non contact AC voltage sensing probe. Hardware, home centers etc have them. It does not contact a bare wire it senses the AC and beeps lights up. It does not give values only lights and beeps. A handy pocket tool.

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Old 11-13-2020, 04:20 PM   #11
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I think if your batteries are dead (and toast) you will get a Fault Comm message. We have an older Interstate than you, is there not any way to get a reading off anything for your battery voltage? We have an switch and a display that shows the voltages.

I get all kinds of arguments but just speaking for a friend, which we do a lot on this forum it looks. We didnít know better last year after purchasing our AI. I mean, my friend didnít know better. Didnít plug in soon enough and our batteries were toast. Might have had an issue like that this year accidentally after not turning the breaker back on cause each one of us thought the other did it.

Iím sorry, Iím going to get all kinds of fire breathed down my throat for saying this, but I think they go under 50 percent for so long and from what Iíve seen, the AGM batteries are mostly toast. If anything, they donít hold a charge right after the event. (Sulfated). Let the arguments ensue.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:36 AM   #12
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Update

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Just wanted to include an update for anyone having the same problem on their 2018 AI EXT Lounge.

The new batteries arrived and were installed (same Lifeline Group 24 AGM's). Everything is on and running as normal, and yes -- paranoid to keep it plugged in now. Also got the non-contact volt meter.

But I'm still wondering why, with dead house batteries, there was still no power to the coach when plugged into shore?

My next post will probably be asking for ideas about possible lithium upgrade. Airstream quoted $3500 to start... ouch.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:57 AM   #13
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Generally, Inverters, converters and solar chargers have built in protection against damage when attempting to use dead shorted batteries so none of those will function connected to a dead battery. Same is true for all the other electronic managed systems including the A/C, refrigerator, water heater, furnace, lighting and entertainment controls. About the only thing I can think of that would still work is the microwave as was mentioned earlier.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:56 PM   #14
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Generally, Inverters, converters and solar chargers have built in protection against damage when attempting to use dead shorted batteries so none of those will function connected to a dead battery. Same is true for all the other electronic managed systems including the A/C, refrigerator, water heater, furnace, lighting and entertainment controls. About the only thing I can think of that would still work is the microwave as was mentioned earlier.
Bingo - great answer. With dead house batteries anything that needs 12VDC to operate will not work. Inverter/Charger won't recharge a dead battery. Only thing you get when plugged in is the 120VAC power for the microwave.
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:00 PM   #15
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Same issue

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Bingo - great answer. With dead house batteries anything that needs 12VDC to operate will not work. Inverter/Charger won't recharge a dead battery. Only thing you get when plugged in is the 120VAC power for the microwave.
We own a 2014 Interstate lounge ext, with 2 Discover ďsealed rechargeable valve regulated lead acidĒ house batteries, model D12750. I let them run down to 5 volts each, as I havenít plugged in for 2 months. Plugged in to house outlet, hoping to initiate the charger, but got the error message on inverter ď Fault- no commĒ. Spent 3 days searching for the answer. Found out the Inverter canít charge anything under 8 volts. Finally pulled the batteries out, charging now in the garage. If these wonít hold the charge (already up to 11.5 after 2 days) what would you suggest for replacement? Ideas anyone?
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:05 PM   #16
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since they are only at 11.5 after 2 days, they are shot unless you are using a trickle charger. At this point you need to charge them at 13.6 -14.2 volts till fully charged (12.8 volts) and then charge them at 14.8 volts to equalize and restore the cells.
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:27 PM   #17
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We own a 2014 Interstate lounge ext, with 2 Discover ďsealed rechargeable valve regulated lead acidĒ house batteries, model D12750. I let them run down to 5 volts each, as I havenít plugged in for 2 months. Plugged in to house outlet, hoping to initiate the charger, but got the error message on inverter ď Fault- no commĒ. Spent 3 days searching for the answer. Found out the Inverter canít charge anything under 8 volts. Finally pulled the batteries out, charging now in the garage. If these wonít hold the charge (already up to 11.5 after 2 days) what would you suggest for replacement? Ideas anyone?
A fully charged 12V lead acid battery should be just above 13 volts and be able to hold at 13 volts for at least a day after charging.
https://lifelinebatteries.com/faq-it...fully-charged/

If the batteries wont get above 11.5 they are no good. Then get new batteries.

Those Discover D12750 batteries are not appropriate for use in your Interstate. They are for UPS power and only 75AH.
https://www.upsbatterycenter.com/dis...v-75ah-battery

The best battery is the one installed originally by Airstream - Lifeline AGM batteries like those in this link:
https://www.batterystuff.com/batteri...r/gpl-27t.html

Good luck,
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Old 11-29-2020, 11:44 PM   #18
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A fully charged 12V lead acid battery should be just above 13 volts and be able to hold at 13 volts for at least a day after charging.
https://lifelinebatteries.com/faq-it...fully-charged/

If the batteries wont get above 11.5 they are no good. Then get new batteries.

Those Discover D12750 batteries are not appropriate for use in your Interstate. They are for UPS power and only 75AH.
https://www.upsbatterycenter.com/dis...v-75ah-battery

The best battery is the one installed originally by Airstream - Lifeline AGM batteries like those in this link:
https://www.batterystuff.com/batteri...r/gpl-27t.html

Good luck,
Thanks for your help! We have 3 lifeline dealers in Vancouver, BC, so I’ll give them a shout.
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Old 11-29-2020, 11:53 PM   #19
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since they are only at 11.5 after 2 days, they are shot unless you are using a trickle charger. At this point you need to charge them at 13.6 -14.2 volts till fully charged (12.8 volts) and then charge them at 14.8 volts to equalize and restore the cells.
I am using 2 trickle chargers, a Dellran “Battery Tender” on one and a Ctek “US800” on the other. I have an older more powerful charger that I will hook up to each, tomorrow. I’ll probably upgrade these to AGM batteries, either Lifeline or Optima, shortly.
Leaning towards Optima, as they are readily available locally, Lifeline a bit harder to get. Thanks for your input!
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Old 11-30-2020, 03:13 AM   #20
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Possible Solution to no power when plugged in

Hi,
I had the exact same thing happen with my 2012 Interstate. I was getting power to the end of the cord, but not inside. The magic trick I was shown was to locate the ďautomatic line/generator switchĒ located just inside the left rear door under a piece of velcroed carpet under the left side of the rear lounge. This metal box apparently has magic magnetic switches inside that sometimes stick. I used the handle of a screwdriver to give it a couple of sharp taps and suddenly everything was okay. I bought a spare one ($127) just in case that trick doesnít work next time. I would not attempt to replace it myself as the voltage/amp magic would probably kill me, but I figured finding a qualified installer might be easier than finding the right part. Iíve used the screwdriver handle two times in the last two years and it worked great.
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