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Old 08-25-2017, 08:18 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect

I have a 17 Classic with solar option, unfortunately the wrong batteries were put in from the factory. Airstream and the dealer have corrected the problem and the correct Lifeline AGM batteries are in so I marked all the cables and took pictures of setup and took the batteries out. I also taped up all the connections. My question is from what I have read I should be able to have shore power hooked up and get 12v from the converter without the batteries installed. After hooking up to shore power nothing worked until I put the battery disconnect in the use position. Shouldn't I get 12v from converter on shore power with disconnect in store position. Made me nervous so just unplugged shore power and cleaned fridge out and installing new batteries tomorrow.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:47 PM   #2
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You should. Check the main 30A or 50A breaker - it's probably off.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:48 PM   #3
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Hi

On the 2017 Classic, the switch works this way: In the "store" position, you have no 12V to the stuff in the trailer. In the "use" position the stuff in the trailer gets a 12V feed. It does not seem to matter if the 12V is from the batteries, the converter, or the solar. Yes, AS does this a lot of different ways. It's hard to keep up with them all.

Bob
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Old 08-25-2017, 11:23 PM   #4
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Ksteve06, on Monday, call AS and ask Customer Service, Craig preferably, to email you the actual schematics for your trailer vice looking at the ones in Section 8 of your owners manual. The description of the battery disconnect switch is also wrong in the operations section. Your disconnect switch effectively kills power to the G6 module, that panel where all your DC push button fuses are. Uncle Bob is correct. If I could find my email or the printed drains I'd share what I have.
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Old 08-25-2017, 11:47 PM   #5
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Oops, my bad, just checked the manual and found the schematics they sent. Manual is correct, schematics were outdated. Page 8-15 is your DC distribution. Page 5-9 is incorrect about the disconnect switch. 5-10 is also outdated about the 12v fuses on the converter. Also on 5-10, it discussed you might never hear your converter fan; I never did and about two months of full time winter use with tank heaters and Alde running near non stop, my converter quit. I got a replacement under warranty from Parallax, and the fan kicked on whenever I turned on all lights and the heaters. Found some loose parts in original. Quite a few chargers were failing in early 17s.
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:27 AM   #6
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Battery disconnect

Thanks for the help, very confusing and I'm not an electrical person either, lol. Here is a picture of how my batteries were set up. As I said I'm swapping these this morning for the correct group 27 lifelines as these are group 24 Dekas. The bottom of the picture is curb side and I was wondering if the red cable with fuse is the solar cable.[ATTACH]
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Old 08-26-2017, 09:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ksteve06 View Post
Thanks for the help, very confusing and I'm not an electrical person either, lol. Here is a picture of how my batteries were set up. As I said I'm swapping these this morning for the correct group 27 lifelines as these are group 24 Dekas. The bottom of the picture is curb side and I was wondering if the red cable with fuse is the solar cable.[ATTACH]
Hi

I think you will find that the red cable at the bottom of the picture with the fuse goes to the power jack. Without seeing the rest of the wiring it's a bit tough to really know. The solar plug is right by the battery box so it's pretty easy to see what goes where.

Group 24's should work fine for most things. You just will not get as long a run out of them. Swapping flooded cells for AGM's is a bit of an issue. There is a setting on most of the solar charge controllers to match up with the battery type. Your guess is as good as mine in terms of it actually being set one or the other way from the factory

Bob
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:20 PM   #8
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I have the same red fuse in the line from the solar plug on the outside of the battery box, for the portable solar panel they want you to buy. Here's a picture of my box before I removed them for storage.

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Old 08-26-2017, 12:24 PM   #9
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Battery disconnect

Red wire with fuse goes to the zamp power Inlet for solar that is mounted to the exterior of the battery box. There is a black wire on the positive terminal of the other battery that goes to the jack.

The largest red wire (4ga I believe) goes to a fuse block inside the trailer then to the inverter. The slightly smaller red wire (6ga I believe) goes to the hot terminal bus inside the trailer and then to the soloniod battery disconnect switch and then onwards to the 12v fuse panel for main 12v distribution throughout the trailer.

Note that at the 12v terminal bus the trailer brakes and LP are connected to the bus prior to the disconnect solenoid - so they will always draw power (specifically the LP detector).

So even if you "disconnect" your batteries when you store your trailer know that they will still get drawn down to dead in 2-3weeks by the LP detector.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

On the 2017 Classic, the switch works this way: In the "store" position, you have no 12V to the stuff in the trailer. In the "use" position the stuff in the trailer gets a 12V feed. It does not seem to matter if the 12V is from the batteries, the converter, or the solar. Yes, AS does this a lot of different ways. It's hard to keep up with them all.

Bob


I have a new to 2016 Classic. I store it in a barn. Today I parked at my house to ready for trip tomorrow. The red 'in use' light was on and would stay on when I selected 'store'. Since I was not connected to any shore power I was concerned that my batteries would drain so I completely disconnected the batteries from the trailer and each other. I was sure the red 'in use' light would go out but it did not. Do I have a problem? Should I be concerned? If good reason for red 'in use' light to stay on, can I reconnect batteries without concern of draining them?
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:05 PM   #11
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When you are on shore power, that red light stays on whether batteries are connected or not.

Switch still functions correctly, but yes it is normal for the red light to stay on as it gets its juice from the converter/charger.
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Old 10-29-2017, 01:40 PM   #12
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"Use/Store" different on Classics?

I know on my 2014 FC that when the batteries are in the "Store" position, they are disconnected from the system (except for the propane detector), INCLUDING the converter/charger. So when plugged in to shore power, if switch is in "Store" mode, the batteries WILL NOT charge.

Do any of you late model Classic owners know...if indeed this is NOT the case on the Classic? According to the 2018 Classic Owner's Manual, if the battery switch is in "Off" position, batteries are disconnected from system EXCEPT they that will still be connected to the Charger and will charge when plugged into shore power. Not sure why this would be different just for the Classic, with no ability to take your batteries offline from the charger if on shore power to avoid the possibility of overcharging/damaging them (even though the new trailers supposedly have an improved multi-stage charger). When I'm on shore power with my 2014 FC, after a couple days I always put the switch in Store anyway when the batts are fully charged... just as a habit, even though I upgraded my charger.

Knowing that AS manuals can be incorrect in many cases, wanted to confirm if any of you have confirmed this to be the case in practice. If plugged in to shore power and switch is "Off", batteries will still charge? I sure wouldn't like that.

Helping a friend learn the systems in his new 2018 Classic. Had a dealer walk through but much of it went in one ear and out the other. On their maiden trip they indicated that after being on shore power at a campground all week, they towed all day with switch 'off', then that night when not on shore power and switch 'on', ran out of power quickly. They had to start the truck to have power. I presumed that they had their switch 'off' all week while on shore power and in fact never charged their batteries. Now it seems that shouldn't have made a difference and they might have another problem, including bad batteries (They have AGM batteries they upgraded to.)

Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2017, 03:18 PM   #13
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On the 2017 Classics with the disconnect switch in "store" the converter will still charge the batteries. I found this out by accident and confirmed with a technician at JC as well as two customer service people at JC when I was there. As someone said, Airstream does trailers different ways. I suspect the new Classics are this way as they use lots of 12v power.
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Old 10-29-2017, 03:33 PM   #14
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I suspect the new Classics are this way as they use lots of 12v power.
I wonder why though? If plugged in to shore power, the converter provides plenty of 12V output to run everything. Losing the option to take the batteries off the charger seems strange. Might call JC to see if they can tell me why they went this route with the Classic.

Thanks for the confirmation on this.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by paiceman View Post
On the 2017 Classics with the disconnect switch in "store" the converter will still charge the batteries. I found this out by accident and confirmed with a technician at JC as well as two customer service people at JC when I was there. As someone said, Airstream does trailers different ways. I suspect the new Classics are this way as they use lots of 12v power.
Hi

Turns out there are examples of 2017 Classics wired both ways. Some have the charger on the "battery" side. Some have the charger on the "stuff" side of the relay. If you don't happen to like the way yours is set up, it's a super easy change to make.

The logic for having the charger on the battery side is pretty simple: Plug in shore power and you charge the battery regardless of the switch setting. You can shut down everything and just keep the battery "up".

AS seems to change their mind about what is best in this regard on a pretty regular basis. The real answer might be a switch with a few more combinations on it. That would take some more explaining / training on each trailer. How you get around your legal department when doing a full disconnect on detectors .... that has got to be an exciting conversation.

Bob
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Old 10-30-2017, 03:05 PM   #16
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They are called "rolling changes". In the two operations I ran we did them often, usually to improve the performance of the product(s), but at times to not degrade the performance but to cut costs. The battery disconnect switch issue I can guess depends on who is installing it. Someone who knows the "new Classic" or someone who just finished installing the switch on a Bambi or something.

Makes it more interesting for owners.
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Old 10-30-2017, 04:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by paiceman View Post
They are called "rolling changes". In the two operations I ran we did them often, usually to improve the performance of the product(s), but at times to not degrade the performance but to cut costs. The battery disconnect switch issue I can guess depends on who is installing it. Someone who knows the "new Classic" or someone who just finished installing the switch on a Bambi or something.

Makes it more interesting for owners.
Hi

Any time we did a rolling change, there was paperwork to show what was changed. The "interesting" thing about these differences is that the paperwork path is a bit .... hard to find ....

Bob
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