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Old 08-05-2021, 10:57 AM   #1
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2021 16' Caravel
Yucca Valley , California
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 4
Issues with new 21' Caravel 16RB

Itís been a few weeks since I picked up my new Caravel. Overall, the trailer is really great, but I have two issues.

1. The air conditioner has this loud metallic sound when it runs. When I first took delivery of the camper, it ran super quiet ó but this has developed over the last few weeks.

2. When Iím plugged into 30amp shore power, my inverter power outlets (tv, Blu-ray) donít work. If I unplug and run off batteries, they do work. So, there's no way to run the TV when plugged into shore power. (Air conditioner and non-inverter outlets work!)

Unfortunately I wonít be able to get an appointment back at the dealer until the end of the month to take a look. Any advice on things I could check?

Also, first post! Hi!
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Old 08-05-2021, 11:40 AM   #2
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Longmont , Colorado
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Welcome to AirForums! We are glad to have you with us.

Regarding number 2, when Airstream equips a trailer with a mix of "inverter" and "non-inverter" outlets, they expect you to move your move the cord plug of your TV or other device between the two outlets each time you switch between shore power and using your inverter.
Do you have non-inverter outlets within reach of your TV and blue-ray player?
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:29 PM   #3
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2017 30' Classic
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

The inverter / non-inverter outlet thing *should* have been covered in your walk through. If not, shame on your dealer.

If the metallic sound is like a fan rubbing, that could be what it is. The fan might be loose or something (debris of some sort) may have gotten sucked in there. Filters getting sucked in are one common thing. If the metallic sound is more like a rattle, the A/C is bolted to the roof. A bolt might have come loose. Past that, there isn't a lot you can do as a fix.

Bob
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:49 PM   #4
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2021 16' Caravel
Yucca Valley , California
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Thanks for the ideas.

On the interior, there are 2 sets of GFCI outlets (under the table, kitchen sink). There are 2 sets of inverter outlets (at the TV, at the Blu-ray player).

I don't think it was intended for these to be plugged into different outlets.

From the orientation, it's my understanding that the shore power goes into a converter. From the converter, it goes to the batteries and ac (appliances). Then there's an inverter that runs from the batteries to the wall outlets.

I'll get a ladder out to check on the bolts. It sounds quiet on the outside, but it's very noisy inside.
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:52 PM   #5
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2021 16' Caravel
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Here's some pictures of the inverter and outlets
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Old 08-05-2021, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NivenHuH View Post
Thanks for the ideas.

On the interior, there are 2 sets of GFCI outlets (under the table, kitchen sink). There are 2 sets of inverter outlets (at the TV, at the Blu-ray player).

I don't think it was intended for these to be plugged into different outlets.

From the orientation, it's my understanding that the shore power goes into a converter. From the converter, it goes to the batteries and ac (appliances). Then there's an inverter that runs from the batteries to the wall outlets.

I'll get a ladder out to check on the bolts. It sounds quiet on the outside, but it's very noisy inside.
Hi

A/C noisy on the inside / quiet on the outside sounds like something sucked into the recirculating fan.....

On shore power:

120V comes into the plug on the RV from the power post at the campground.

It goes from there to a breaker panel in the RV.

It branches out from the breaker panel to various outlets and appliances

Power is no different than your home in this respect.

12V stuff:

When on shore power, the converter / charger is powered up.

The converter charger turns 120V shore power into 12V to charge the batteries.

The voltage on the batteries should go up to > 13V when this happens.

Batteries should not be used if their voltage is below 12V.

If you are on battery power ( = no shore power ), the inverter can be fired up to turn 12V battery current into 120V. This is a power hungry thing to do and you will deplete your batteries quickly doing this.

Various appliances and devices in the trailer run on (or need) 12V. They always get it from the battery. If you are on shore power, that energy is replenished by the converter / charger.

If you are getting ready for a trip, fire up on shore power to let the batteries charge. Let them sit there charging for 24 hours. That way you can be sure they are "full".

The battery monitor that comes stock simply reads voltage. You use your lead acid battery between 50% of capacity ( = 12.0V ) and 100% ( > 12.6V). The gotcha is that the voltage does not change a lot between 80% and 100%. Making sure your battery is full is not easy if you simply look at voltage.

Yes there is a lot more, but that's enough for now.

Bob
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Old 08-05-2021, 01:36 PM   #7
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2021 16' Caravel
Yucca Valley , California
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If I'm understanding it right...

To use the air conditioner, the tv, and the blu-ray while plugged into 30a power -- I would need to run extension cords to the tv and blu-ray player from the non-inverter sockets and not use the inverter outlets.

Alternatively, the air conditioner can run on a 110v 20a (3-prong) plug. (The inverter outlets work fine in this situation.). But this will drain the battery (need to take battery voltage into account.)
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Old 08-06-2021, 08:09 AM   #8
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2017 30' Classic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NivenHuH View Post
If I'm understanding it right...

To use the air conditioner, the tv, and the blu-ray while plugged into 30a power -- I would need to run extension cords to the tv and blu-ray player from the non-inverter sockets and not use the inverter outlets.

Alternatively, the air conditioner can run on a 110v 20a (3-prong) plug. (The inverter outlets work fine in this situation.). But this will drain the battery (need to take battery voltage into account.)
Hi

Most 120V outlets are 15A. Finding one that is 20A is rare. Finding a 15A circuit wired with a 15/20A socket is *very* common. Finding a *true* 20A extension cord can be tough. ( it will have an odd looking plug on it that does not go into a proper 15A outlet ...)

The A/C may run on this or that outlet, but it's not likely to be "happy" on a low current connection. It's not just the current rating that matters, it's the voltage drop while the unit starts up. That wears out the A/C more quickly. Lower current circuits have smaller wires and more drop ....

If you are on shore power you do *not* turn on the inverter.

Since the converter / charger runs all the time you are on shore power, there is no way to know if it's pulling a lot of current *on top* of whatever the other appliances ( like the A/C) are using. If it's pulling 5A (unlikely, but it might ...) that's a pretty good chunk of a 15 or 20A circuit.

Circuits have breakers on them that are targeted at a certain current. They are designed to normally run at 80% of those numbers. A 20A circuit should normally be sourcing < 16A of current.

Again, all of this *should* have been gone over on the walk through when your trailer was delivered. Did they not do a walk through?

Bob
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Old 08-06-2021, 11:23 AM   #9
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
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I had a similar noise in my A/C. Took off the inside cover and noticed the squirrel cage was rubbing on the housing near the shaft bearing. With a #1 flat blade screw driver I pried it away from the mount. I has been noise free for a long time now.
guskmg
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Old 08-06-2021, 11:38 AM   #10
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2021 20' Caravel
Ventura , California
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Congrats on your new Caravel! I have a 2021 Caravel as well and love it. Said differently, you should be able to use both types of outlets (including inverter outlets) while on shore power without switching anything. You should not turn on your Inverter while connected to shore power. I am able to use all outlets when on shore power.
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Old 08-06-2021, 01:20 PM   #11
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From what I've read the newer trailers like yours have a circuit from the 120 volt breaker panel to the inverter (which has a built-in transfer switch) then the circuit continues to the outlets so shouldn't need to change outlets. There should be a fuse or breaker (10-12amp?) on the inverter, if the circuit is overloaded you could have tripped the breaker/blown the fuse.
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Old 08-06-2021, 02:08 PM   #12
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2020 30' Classic
Hubbard , Oregon
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Issues with new 21' Caravel 16RB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
From what I've read the newer trailers like yours have a circuit from the 120 volt breaker panel to the inverter (which has a built-in transfer switch) then the circuit continues to the outlets so shouldn't need to change outlets. There should be a fuse or breaker (10-12amp?) on the inverter, if the circuit is overloaded you could have tripped the breaker/blown the fuse.


Wazbro is correct that you use the same outlets. The WFCO inverter has a pass through that powers the outlets when on shore power. Make sure the inverter is plugged in to an outlet or this pass through feature will not work.
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Old 08-06-2021, 03:20 PM   #13
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2021 16' Caravel
Longmont , Colorado
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We picked up our 2021 Caravel 16RB at the end of May and left immediately for a 5 week trip to the Pacific Northwest. Our major problem was a water leak. We noticed that the water pump would blip occasionally and the occurrence became more frequent as time went on. I called the factory and was told there could be air in the lines or the pressure on the pump was set too high. We made sure there was no air and I looked to see if the pump could be adjusted. Unfortunately, you cannot get to the pump because an electrical box is installed directly above it. The wiring under the dinette seat looks like a rat's nest. You would expect the construction quality to be higher but this is a real shortcoming. I called the dealer in Denver to schedule a time to bring it in for repairs and was told the earliest appointment was in three months. We got it into a local RV repair shop in 2 weeks. There was a leak where the piping went into the water heater. We do a lot of boondocking so we installed a Victron shunt to monitor the battery charge. It works great and I highly recommend it.
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