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Old 05-06-2015, 11:26 AM   #1
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Hanscom AFB , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 36
Hot water heater question

My wife and I are the proud owners of a 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB. I'm confused about an aspect of the operation of the hot water heater.

In the bathroom, where the switches are for turning on the hot water heater, there are 2 switches: 1 for propane and 1 with a lightning bolt, which I believe is for electric operation. And the hot water heater manual I was given with the trailer seems to indicate that the hot water heater operates in 2 modes: gas & electric (electric if you are hooked to shore power--I presume similar to the refrigerator that operates off both electric while on shore power or propane while boondocking).

When I turn on the propane switch in the bathroom the hot water heater comes on immediately and the red indicator light comes on for a slit second (you can hear it burning the propane--it's loud!)

When I turn on just the electric switch, it does nothing. The light does not flicker on. I've left it on for up to 8 hours and it does not heat the water.

So either something is broken on my brand new trailer (first time ever using hot water heater!) or I've really misunderstood something about the operation of the hot water heater.

Can one of you more experienced folks give me a hand?

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Old 05-06-2015, 12:00 PM   #2
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2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2,870
You are correct in operating the lightning bolt switch for electric. Check all of the breakers in your AC breaker panel and make sure none of them are tripped. In my 25 FB, the breaker panel is under the side of the bed facing the rear of the trailer. If all breakers are closed and you are not heating with the top of the switch pushed in, you have a warranty item to address.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:06 PM   #3
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2019 27' Globetrotter
Missouri Valley , Iowa
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It seems like my '02 Classic had a secondary electric switch on the heater itself. The heater is under the bathroom sink in my unit. The red indicator light only works with propane to tell if the heater lights. If the red light stays on then the propane burner did not light. I think the red light flashes momentarily whenever the heater lights.

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Old 05-06-2015, 01:28 PM   #4
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
LaMarque , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 133
You might want to turn the switch off for a bit and then turn it back on. That seemed to work for me. I also labelled my switches off and on. Off being down or switch pushed in on bottom. I think the location of these switches is in a very poor location. Being next to the light switch its easy to hit the wrong switch when turning on lights.

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Old 05-06-2015, 01:50 PM   #5
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
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If the WH did not have sufficient water in it, turning on the electricity can burn the heater element out really quick. Let's hope it is only a breaker issue...!
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:26 PM   #6
retired USA/USAF
2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
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From under the counter you should be able to access the business side of the water heater. You will see the end of the electric element there and it should have 2 wires connected. First, make sure the wires have been connected and if not connect them and try it again. Second, remove the wires and using a multimeter do a continuity test to see if the element is good. If no continuity the element has burned out. Remove it and replace it yourself ( that is if your Airstream dealer is too far away) or take it back for them to look at it.
Roger in NJ

" Democracy is the worst form of government. Except for all the rest"
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:25 AM   #7
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2015 30' Classic
Sherwood , Oregon
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The lights only flash when turning on propane or electric. The tech doing our walk through said that AS doesn't document it but if you are hooked up to shore power you can also turn on the propane for faster hot water recovery.

If not a breaker then cwf may be right about turning on the electric before filling the hot water heater. Could have happened at the dealer during prep. When we picked up ours and doing the walk through, the batteries were dead as someone probably left the break-away brake plug out which will drain the batteries quickly so stuff happens.

Congratulations on your new AS!
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Old 11-18-2016, 03:25 PM   #8
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2017 28' Pendleton
Houston , Texas
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Posts: 4
How do you know when you have filled up the hot water heater? (new Airstream Pendleton). Got the hot water going but still would like to know the answer. I am on city water supply now. Does it automatically fill up the hot water heater?
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Old 11-18-2016, 03:53 PM   #9
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
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In order for the water heater to fill, you must bleed the air in the tank. To do this, open your faucets and showers to the hot position and let the water run until you get a smooth water flow with no gurgling or bubbles. To be more efficient, open the faucets and shower one at a time, starting with the one farthest from the water heater and working your way back. In my trailer that would be galley sink, shower, bathroom sink.

“You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"
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2002 Classic 30 Slideout -S/OS #004
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:41 PM   #10
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So to clarify - the red light should be off during normal, safe operation.
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:52 PM   #11
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Jupiter , Florida
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Originally Posted by joshjack View Post
So to clarify - the red light should be off during normal, safe operation.
That is correct.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:44 PM   #12
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Kensington , Maryland
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Minor hijack. What board do I need for a 2017 FC?
2019 26' U FC RBT "Buck"
Subforum dedicated to Airstreams and riding bicycles:
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:19 PM   #13
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,681
Originally Posted by Too tall View Post
Minor hijack. What board do I need for a 2017 FC?

I don't know which one but if you need a new board, it seems the best bet is to replace with one made by Dinosaur. They have get great reviews and seem to finally end the problems for people that have been having problems with their water heaters. Seems to be luck of the draw.
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