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Old 10-13-2023, 12:03 AM   #1
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
Windsor , Ontario
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Main power not working

I have a 1987 325 Motorhome. When I recently plugged the unit into the house power I am getting no power to the unit. When I trip the main breaker, nothing happens. Did a continuity check, using a light bulb/two wires, on the breaker. Seems to be no power coming to the breaker(if Iím doing it correctly). One wire on the white, one wire to the black inputs. Tried to the main bus as well.
I have a reel on this unit that gathers the power cord. Wondering if that part of the system has failed. I do not own a multimeter or know how to read one but maybe itís time I did.
Thanks in advance,
Chris
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Old 10-13-2023, 07:18 AM   #2
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Could be the reel, or the transfer switch between the generator and shore line.


The transfer switch is in the generator position be default. Does the generator run? Does the coach have power when the generator is running?






Regards.


JD
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Old 10-13-2023, 07:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realpank View Post
I have a 1987 325 Motorhome. When I recently plugged the unit into the house power I am getting no power to the unit. When I trip the main breaker, nothing happens. Did a continuity check, using a light bulb/two wires, on the breaker. Seems to be no power coming to the breaker(if Iím doing it correctly). One wire on the white, one wire to the black inputs. Tried to the main bus as well.
I have a reel on this unit that gathers the power cord. Wondering if that part of the system has failed. I do not own a multimeter or know how to read one but maybe itís time I did.
Thanks in advance,
Chris
Troubleshooting isn't always finding what's broke but eliminating everything that isn't broke.
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Old 10-13-2023, 09:40 AM   #4
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
Windsor , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
Could be the reel, or the transfer switch between the generator and shore line.


The transfer switch is in the generator position be default. Does the generator run? Does the coach have power when the generator is running?






Regards.


JD
Thanks Jeff,
The generator has been problematic and currently does not run. I had it to a repair guy who fiddled with the choke and it fired right up. I rarely use it but do test it once in a while. Last test it did not fire.
Where is the transfer switch?
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Old 10-13-2023, 10:27 AM   #5
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

First off, poking around 120V power can be dangerous. You can get injured. You also can do damage to things. Please study up on how to do this stuff safely.

A wiring diagram is going to be pretty important for tracking this sort of thing down. If you don't already have one, it's best to get one now. You may spend a bit of "quality time" figuring out how to read it. AS has a somewhat "unique" way of doing these drawings.

Once you know what you are looking for from the wiring diagram, it's time to go find everything. The diagrams are sort of a combo of parts location and parts interconnect. Unfortunately they come up a bit short on the "location" part of that. A lot of look here / look there / dig into this is going to be involved.

Now toss in the basic fact that it has been a *lot* of years since the factory built this beast. It may have been this way or that back in 1987. Unless you have owned it the entire time and nobody else has worked on it .... who knows what somebody might have "improved" over the years.

Thus the next step is a "verify everything" sort of pass. You know what might be there from the wiring diagram. It gets compared to what *is* there in real life. Fun things like a hard wired EMS or autotransformer might have been dropped in. The transfer switch that once was over here may have been moved over there. (sometimes they live with the generator .... sometimes not).

With anything like this, take your phone along. Take lots of pictures as you dig here and dig there.

Basic approach:

Start at the wall plug, make sure it has power.

Find the coach end of the power cord, check it for power

Track down the next step (likely the transfer switch), check for power there

You already know there's no power at the breakers.

That sounds easy, it is more involved than it sounds. It's a weekend's worth of effort to find everything and make sure there are no "extra" items along the way.

Stay safe !!!!

Bob
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Old 10-13-2023, 12:23 PM   #6
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Main power not working

Ok, I did manage to start the generator and all electrical systems are functioning.
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Old 10-13-2023, 07:35 PM   #7
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I opened the junction box past the take up reel and there is power going into it so it is not the reel. Thinking the breaker has failed.
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:15 AM   #8
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Main power not working

I have traced my power to the transfer switch and it appeared that it was not engaging(I pushed in the spring manually and the power came on)so, I got a new transfer switch, installed to specifications and this did not work. I have also replaced my d-link GFI breaker as a tab was broken and was not sitting securely.

When I plugged in shore power I heard a ďrumbleĒ sound from the rear of the coach and then it tripped my breaker in the house. I thought it might be my water pump engaging but I canít tell by myself.

Puzzled as to where to go next. Has this happened to anyone here? Appreciate any responses in advance.

Chris
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Old 12-04-2023, 07:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realpank View Post
I have traced my power to the transfer switch and it appeared that it was not engaging(I pushed in the spring manually and the power came on)so, I got a new transfer switch, installed to specifications and this did not work. I have also replaced my d-link GFI breaker as a tab was broken and was not sitting securely.

When I plugged in shore power I heard a ďrumbleĒ sound from the rear of the coach and then it tripped my breaker in the house. I thought it might be my water pump engaging but I canít tell by myself.

Puzzled as to where to go next. Has this happened to anyone here? Appreciate any responses in advance.

Chris
Hi

It's not quite clear if you have shore power to the breaker panel in the RV. If that's still an issue, the transfer switch and the wires from it to the box are what to check.

Assuming you *do* have power to the breakers in the RV:

Best guess: Something didn't quite get done right with the breaker or the transfer switch. That's only a guess. I'd check them first. ("Rumble in the rear" would be the generator on our van).

Is the house circuit big enough to run the A/C? Is the A/C on? Would be my next guess.

Assuming those things aren't it, what to do:

Turn off all the breakers in the RV (including the main).

Hook up shore power

See if the breaker in the house trips. If it does you have a problem ahead of the panel. If not, leave it on and proceed.

Flip on the RV main breaker (but none of the others). If the house breaker trips, you have a problem in the box.

Cycle (turn on, wait a minute, turn off) each individual RV breaker in the box. If the house breaker trips when any one of them is cycled, you have a problem on that circuit.

Fun

Bob
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Old 12-06-2023, 10:19 AM   #10
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Thanks Bob,
I have an electrician coming by this weekend to check on what i did wrong.
To clarify: my rumble is more like a loud hum(of which I’ve not heard before), the air conditioner switch is off so they cannot come on.
Will be sure to mention your recommendations tho.

Chris
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Old 12-09-2023, 09:38 PM   #11
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
Windsor , Ontario
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Good call Bob,
I was just a matter of switching some wires around.
Good feeling not having to take this in to the auto electrician.
Looking forward to first foray in May.
Cheers, Chris
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Old 12-10-2023, 07:41 AM   #12
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Hi

In a lot of cases "call in a pro" is a really good idea. We each have a skill set. What's easy for one is a challenge for another. That's true of all of us (myself very much included).

Glad you got it fixed !!!!

Bob
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