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Old 09-19-2020, 09:17 AM   #1
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2019 19' Flying Cloud
Mount Pleasant , Michigan
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Batteries Not Charging, Converter, Voltage Divider

2019 Flying Cloud 19CB (Solar w/AGM batteries that hold/take a charge well)
So my batteries are not taking a charge while plugged into 30amp yet all my 110 and 12 volt items are operational. I have been led to believe that the converter has a voltage divider so that when plugged in you don't have to drain power from the batteries to power 12 volt items. If this is true then I should be able to disconnect the battery and still have lights if I am plugged into shore power. This test failed so if what I have stated is true I think I have a bad converter.

Is this a logical conclusion or am I missing something? I have checked all know fuses and brakers.

Currently the largest draw on my batteries is the furnace as it has dipped into the low 30's the last two nights. As it gets warmer I switch to the heat pump. The past couple days I have charged the batteries an hour or so via the umbilical cord attached to my 2020 Ram 2500 Hemi which cuts off power to the umbilical cord when the truck is not running. In the short term would it work to used something like a 10amp battery charger that I could plug in to the power pole?

Thanks in advance for all the anticipated replies!!
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Old 09-19-2020, 09:39 AM   #2
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
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Originally Posted by TrailDude View Post
2019 Flying Cloud 19CB (Solar w/AGM batteries that hold/take a charge well)
So my batteries are not taking a charge while plugged into 30amp yet all my 110 and 12 volt items are operational. I have been led to believe that the converter has a voltage divider so that when plugged in you don't have to drain power from the batteries to power 12 volt items. If this is true then I should be able to disconnect the battery and still have lights if I am plugged into shore power. This test failed so if what I have stated is true I think I have a bad converter.

Is this a logical conclusion or am I missing something? I have checked all know fuses and brakers.
Beginning about 2010 or so, Airstream generally stopped wiring the converter to the load side of the Use/Store relay. Earlier converter designs did not have nice charge profiles so the tactic was to disconnect the Use/Store relay so the converter would not overcharge the batteries while on shore power for extended periods. New designs have largely eliminated this issue. So when you set the relay to Store, neither the converter nor the batteries will be connected to any of the loads and appliances. this is what you experience so it is consistent and good, and is not an indicator your converter is bad.

Quote:
Currently the largest draw on my batteries is the furnace as it has dipped into the low 30's the last two nights. As it gets warmer I switch to the heat pump. The past couple days I have charged the batteries an hour or so via the umbilical cord attached to my 2020 Ram 2500 Hemi which cuts off power to the umbilical cord when the truck is not running. In the short term would it work to used something like a 10amp battery charger that I could plug in to the power pole?

Thanks in advance for all the anticipated replies!!
I take it from your description, that although the lights and all work, while on shore power and with the USE switch active, the batteries don't charge. Can you confirm the house voltage while connected to shore power? If the converter is on and functioning, voltage will be north of 13.2 V.
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Old 09-19-2020, 09:53 AM   #3
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2019 19' Flying Cloud
Mount Pleasant , Michigan
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
I take it from your description, that although the lights and all work, while on shore power and with the USE switch active, the batteries don't charge. Can you confirm the house voltage while connected to shore power? If the converter is on and functioning, voltage will be north of 13.2 V.
The voltage is not staying in the 13.2 & above range while plugged into shore power and the USE switch in the active position. It is currently at 12.7 and has been down as low as 12.4. It was at 13.2 plus a short time ago while plugged into the TV via the umbilical cord.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:03 AM   #4
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Okay so then as you surmised earlier, indeed the converter is not doing its job. It has a dedicated breaker, one of the 8 or 9 in the power center. You said you checked them but maybe you didn't get it reset. If you are handy with a multimeter you can also do some simple tests of the converter. If you don't want to do that then sure a 5-10 amp charger will hold you over.
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:34 AM   #5
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I had the same issue with my 2029 FC 19. I did all of the normal diy troubleshooting and was unable to solve the issue. I returned the trailer to the dealer from whom I purchased, and they reconnected some wires things have worked fine since. I am still dealing with an issue of warranty coverage. As the dealer has claimed that the warranty may have expired on the inverter.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:02 AM   #6
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2018 26' Flying Cloud
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This one is easy. I had a converter fail while at JC having warranty work done. Airstream was pulled back into the shop in the morning and it was replaced. 6 months later it failed again. Talked with airstream and they let me put in a progressive dynamics converter I purchased on my own and they paid for installation. I had an airstream trained mobile mechanic install it in San Diego while we were there. Beware the death of a converter could lead to damaged batteries. I changed batteries to 220 amp 6 volts while in San Diego.
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