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Old 04-16-2017, 07:56 PM   #1
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1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Electrical gremlins

Hey Folks,
So we're readying the motyho for a possible summer jaunt in the west and we've got numerous electrical failures that I'm attributing to grounding faults because I don't really know for sure and that sounds good based on what some have told me.

The dash lights, the 12-volt chargers and the spotlights in the cab aren't working, I think the microwave may have gone on strike. I know I'm forgetting some other failures. We checked the fuses and they aren't burnt.

I remember my friend Art, who lived in the coach for a while, telling me that when he looked under the chassis he saw a lot of rusty grounds.

So I guess I'm wondering what the plan here is. If these are grounding problems, is there a schematic that we don't have that maps all those grounds? Or do we just have to trace all the wires ourselves? And if there are grounding problems, does that usually mean the wires are fried? I dread your telling me it does.

Thanks!
Jenniflow
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:14 PM   #2
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Just clean up the ground connections. Disconnect each then remove the rust and oxidation and reassemble.
The microwave is 120 volt AC, thus not affected by poor DC grounds.
Check the outlet the microwave is plugged into. Check for a tripped circuit breaker.
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:26 PM   #3
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You probably know this, but there is a dimmer for the dash lights, the round bezel below the knob that you pull out to turn the headlights on. If it is turned counterclockwise the lights go out.
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:04 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Never assume

So Waipio Rim. I am embarrassed to say that I knew that. And I forgot! I will check that the first thing when I get back to the coach! Geez.

And TG Twinkle, thanks, we will do that too. I'm glad to hear that we have not necessarily shorted these lines out.

I hope that the ones we can easily see from lying on our backs under the chassis are all the ones that we need to reach, because if there are a lot of other ones that we can't see and reach easily, well, I'm afraid those will have to stay bad unless or until someone braver gets in there.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:10 AM   #5
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Again, sorry to state the bleeding obvious, but has the microwave ever worked? Do you have a switch above it which powers either the roof air con or microwave?
Check your 110v dist board and the fuses. I don't know your precise set up, but it will be described in the electrical section of your airstream manual. Are any of them tripped?
Check which appliances are run on the same 110v circuit as the oven - do they work? If they do, you've ruled out the gfci breaker as a fault.
Check wires going into 110 panel. Remove switch ( if you have one) above oven and check for faults.
Obviously, be careful, and switch off power where you can and need to. Get in a professional if you feel out of your depth. I think there may be some fault finding diagrams in your airstream manual.

Good luck

Nick


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Old 04-17-2017, 02:21 AM   #6
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On the 12v front. You can use a multimeter to check whether you have power to the cab spots and 12v chargers.
If both have gone on both sides, it does point to a ground or fuse issue, rather that bulb/wire failure. Identify the fuse which powers those circuits and check 12v readings. If you have power, then work from there, probably working backwards from the 12v sockets and light wiring. You can easily do some basic checks, but the wiring might be a pig to get to. You should be able to see the wiring loom/set up above the spot lights, if you remove the clock or indoor/outdoor thermometer (again, depends on coach and set up).
Just to check, have you checked that the fuses powering those circuits are actually present in the chevvy 12v panel?

Best wishes
Nick


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Old 04-17-2017, 02:26 AM   #7
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1991 25' Airstream 250
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One last thought. Your airstream manual should have the wiring diagram for much of your coach. If you don't have your original manual, have a look on Airstream.com, they recently uploaded almost all the coach manuals, so you should be able to download one.
If you look at post 94 on the sticky, you may well find a link to the full chevy unit repair and electrical wiring manuals for your year or choose the closest. Have a look in there in the P (motorhome) section which will give you more information.

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