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Old 04-17-2010, 08:49 PM   #1
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what's going on here?

When our 08 27ft Classic is connected to an AC power source the electricty goes on and off intermittently. There is a "clunk" sound in the electrical panel when the juice goes off and the same noise when it comes back on. The noise is similar to a contacter for a large electric motor. Yes, it restores itself.

The breakers (Cutler Hammer), seem to be alright, snap on and off without being slushy and I replaced the GFCI. The problem is worse when the AC load is increased. Any ideas?
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:57 PM   #2
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Do you have an inverter? Some inverters have a transfer switch that could be what you are hearing.

All power or just some outlets stop working?
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Are you connected to a dedicated 30 amp outlet? If you are connected to a standard 15 amp household outlet, you might be overloading the system causing it to react that way.

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Old 04-18-2010, 10:13 AM   #4
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Do you have a power monitor installed? It is installed prior to circuit breakers and will shutdown input current if certain requirements are not met like minimum voltage, bad ground etc....
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:46 PM   #5
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No inverter Garry. The power failure seems to be complete when it occurs. Everything is working fine this morning (20A garage circuit). I'll hook up to the 2000i Companion when I'm back from fishing this PM. Should replicate the prob. The system pops off everytime the 30A outlet from the generator is used after about 3 minutes. Paralleled to a second 2000i same thing. Puzzleing.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:58 PM   #6
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20A from my garage Brian. The breaker at the garage subpanel does not trip. I am aware this source is underrated for the airconditioner/heat pump. It should run the other systems without any difficulties, it's working right now. The problem is at it's worst when I go to Honda power.--------Will post progress rpts. Tx Sea
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:09 PM   #7
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I was not aware of such an animal Sir, but it meets all the criteria for prime suspect. I'll check it out this week. ------------Thanks
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:08 PM   #8
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I was going to suggest other things (frig or freezer) on the garage circuit may be a problem but you say it happens on generator power also.

That makes it sound as if the problem has to be in the AS so I would pull the breaker panel cover and make sure ALL screws on the main, neutral and ground are good and tight. If that checks out I would suspect the shore power cord.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:49 AM   #9
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Just finished tightening all terminations and the coverup plate removal inspection reveals disappointing findings. 1. The previous owner or unknown 3rd party has tighted the connections with an illfitting screwdriver 2. All terminations were tight 3. The vertical grounding bussbar on the lefthand side has been hot enough to melt point of contact on the plastic insulator that it is mounted on 4. The white insulation on some of the ground leads to the bussbar has been discolored from heat

The damage had to be prior to my owning this unit. I would think this would have had to produce smoke and excitement inside the trailer and we have not seen anything like that. Time to visit a pro and get this fixed. We're planning to tow the AS to Alaska next month and this won't cut it.

Thanks Garry and all. Will let you know what the culprit was when repairs are made. Sea
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:48 PM   #10
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has this trailer ever been under water?
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:29 PM   #11
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Sounds like it might have been plug into a 220 circuit sometime in the past.
You may need a new breaker panel.

Most electricians are very good at what they do but I have seen situations where the ground and neutral wires were bonded the same as in your house this is a no no for any camper.
The ground and neutral wires "must" be on separate bars.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:30 PM   #12
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Nothing to indicate that. Near showroom condition.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:51 AM   #13
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Ground and neutral are on seprate buss bars. Wireing was done in a workmanlike manner. Very clean job.

I've got an appt. with the dealer in OR next week. That's the nearest Airstream tech support for us.

Thanks, Sea
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:17 AM   #14
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Are the connections at the bus bar tight? A loose connection there would explain heat and a fluky system.

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Old 04-20-2010, 05:10 PM   #15
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Yup, tight and dry. I'm going to remove all the conductors and coat the skinned copper with noalox and reinstall same in the buss bars. Copper to Alum. or Alum. alloy connections without corrosion inhibitor brushed on will eventually degrade dielectrically. We are less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean so plenty of good cold salt air here.

Thanks for the reminder, Sea
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:42 AM   #16
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Hello from Alaska,
The techs at Sutton RV in eugene, OR could not find anything amiss w/the AS electrical system. After staying in parks in 6 states and 3 provinces w/no problems whatsoever I'm happy to say I agree with em.

Traveling the Alaska Highway (Alcan) is still a great adventure. There are a great many improvements to the road since I last pulled a TT over it in 95. The r/w's are cut back a couple of hundred feet on either side of the road now so visibility is excellent. Lot's of flora and fauna, including griz.

Roadside camping still attracts fellow travelers like a magnet; safety in numbers I guess. Many of the rock pits used for road construction have been closed but there are still good locations available. My hat's off to the bike guys and gals sleeping in the 3 mil nylon tents. (landlocked shark chum). Earlier this week a fellow was pulled off his bicycle and mauled by a brown bear in an Anchorage city park. AKF&G recommeneds the city close the park, go figger. All I'll say about that.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to assist me w/the electrical glitch and thanks to the Airstream Forums system admin. folks for providing this service.

Seacur
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