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Old 01-14-2021, 07:15 AM   #1
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2020 22' Bambi
2019 27' Globetrotter
Seacrest , Florida
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Exclamation Used 2019 GT, Converter, Battery and other issues

Hi all,

I am about to go look at a pre-loved 2019 GT 27' from a dealer. I asked them to provide me with a warranty repair list. I confirmed the unit had the flooring issue (it has been stretched with everything removed and re-attached). Other items seem minor and have been fixed except for this:

Converter Replace BATTERIES ARE NOT HOLDING CHARGE. BATTS NOT HOLDING CHARGE DUE TO CONVERTER NOT WORKING. REQ TO REPLACE FAULTY CONVERTER WITH NEW CONVERTER AND TEST OPERATIONS.

This repair was not completed yet. They say they have the parts in-house to fix it and will do so when they prep the unit. Not sure what "fix" means since it says it should be replaced. I will address this in person with the dealer but wanted to get your feedback.

Aside from the converter, I am worried about the health of the batteries. I know these are not covered by warranty. Should I ask the dealer to replace the batteries since the converter likely caused them to be discharged beyond an acceptable level? Do you think this is reasonable?

Is there anything else I need to look out for with this particular model/year? I bought my first Airstream brand new 6 months ago so I am a little apprehensive buying used. I will still have a year left of Airstream warranty, so I am feeling good about this. I will be doing a walk through in a couple days.

Thanks for your prompt feedback!
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:55 AM   #2
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Driftless Area , Wisconsin
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I have the same trailer (FBT floorplan) and my converter died as well. Batteries were and are still fine. The converter was replaced in JC under warranty though I had them install a new converter rather than swap out for OEM.

It's hard to say on the batteries for this trailer—they may in fact be fine. You can try to get them to replace them with new or do so at some low cost or have the batteries replaced through a dealer for the battery manufacturer dealer if they are in fact damaged (at the very least they'd be able to tell you).

All in all, though, given the scarcity of trailers these days, if this was the trailer I really wanted, I wouldn't let batteries alone derail the purchase.

As for other things that should be looked for—regular fit and finish things. Plumbing/heating/cooling, appliances, etc. All of these will be inspectable on the lot. The ones that will be challenging are the ones that will only manifest while traveling, but we all get some of these anyway. If you do purchase the trailer, I'd book a service appointment in JC or at a reputable service center as soon as you can because I'm pretty sure they are booking more than several months out at this point. You'll want to take advantage of that last year of warranty service. Keep a running list.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:32 AM   #3
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2020 22' Bambi
2019 27' Globetrotter
Seacrest , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nryn View Post
I have the same trailer (FBT floorplan) and my converter died as well. Batteries were and are still fine. The converter was replaced in JC under warranty though I had them install a new converter rather than swap out for OEM.
Thanks for the feedback. What is OEM and what converter did you get them to install? Did you have to pay extra?
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:48 AM   #4
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I also have the 27' GT (2018 model). We love it and I think you will as well.

OEM is an acronym for Original Equipment Manufacturer (the one supplied as original equipment by AS). AS uses the WFCO brand. Many like and feel as though the Progressive Industries converter is better. Do you know if it is a 30 AMP or 50 AMP trailer?

And regarding the batteries, have them show the results of a check of them. If any question, I would ask them to throw in two new batteries as part of the negotiations. But as was said, if this is the AS you want, don't let two batteries get in the way of making a deal.

BTW, we have had very few issues with our GT.

Best wishes!
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:59 AM   #5
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2020 22' Bambi
2019 27' Globetrotter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
I . Many like and feel as though the Progressive Industries converter is better. Do you know if it is a 30 AMP or 50 AMP trailer?

And regarding the batteries, have them show the results of a check of them. If any question, I would ask them to throw in two new batteries as part of the negotiations.
Thanks for clarifying! I wonder if the Progressive Industries converter is something they have available and how much an uncharge would be. It is a 50 AMP trailer.
I will definitely ask to have the battery tested before I sign on the dotted line. Knowing what a good vs bad result is will be a topic for another thread lol.

This is definitely the rig I want and the price is fair so I am not letting the deal fall apart over the batteries. But I will push for a replacement if they are bad...
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:21 AM   #6
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Hi

It is doubtful that they stock any charger / converters that fit in these trailers. When they need one, they order it in and install it. There are simply to many variables and inventory is *not* something the want to have sitting around.

The bigger question would be - do they have any experience with anything other than the AS stock part? I'm not sure you want to be the first one they try this or that out on. You might do better switching it out yourself.

If the batteries have been sitting there for a while in a discharged state .... yikes. "Batteries won't hold charge" suggests this pretty strongly to me. Sitting discharged for weeks / months is *not* a good thing for lead acid batteries of any sort.

If you have a solar option on the trailer, it will have AGM batteries. If you don't have solar, it will have flooded lead acid's. If they are AGM's they are pretty pricey / pretty fancy items. If they are flooded cells they are in the "nothing special" category. Are they in warranty from the battery manufacturer? That might be worth looking into.

In any case, you do *not* want them to put batteries in until just before they prep the RV for delivery. Having them sit on the lot (likely discharging) is never a good idea.

If you have any interest in converting to lithium, don't even bother with the converter / charger or existing batteries. Work out an "allowance" for them being defective and put that towards the (very different) lithium stuff ....

Bob
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

It is doubtful that they stock any charger / converters that fit in these trailers. When they need one, they order it in and install it. There are simply to many variables and inventory is *not* something the want to have sitting around.

This is a good point. They said they had the parts to "fix" so I am thinking they don't have a replacement but will attempt to fix it even though the warranty repair list says it needs to be replaced.

The bigger question would be - do they have any experience with anything other than the AS stock part? I'm not sure you want to be the first one they try this or that out on. You might do better switching it out yourself.

They say they are the largest Airstream dealer in the world, so they probably have experience doing it...I am not that handy and wouldnt attempt something like this on my own.

If the batteries have been sitting there for a while in a discharged state .... yikes. "Batteries won't hold charge" suggests this pretty strongly to me. Sitting discharged for weeks / months is *not* a good thing for lead acid batteries of any sort.

Agreed. This is my main concern. and I do have the solar option on the trailer. But with a bad converter it wouldn't charge them anyways right? I am sure they are going to want to avoid giving me new AGM batteries.

In any case, you do *not* want them to put batteries in until just before they prep the RV for delivery. Having them sit on the lot (likely discharging) is never a good idea.

Thanks for the tip!

If you have any interest in converting to lithium, don't even bother with the converter / charger or existing batteries. Work out an "allowance" for them being defective and put that towards the (very different) lithium stuff ....

I have been thinking about this...but their service price for Lithium batteries on their website is over $5K. Seems pretty steep unless I can buy batteries on my own and have them replace the converter? I am not even sure where to start here. Is this a good opportunity to bite the bullet and go Lithium? I don't have a lot of knowledge on these matters.

Bob
Bob,

Thanks for the insightful response. I made some comments to your points above in italics.
I will have the battery tested while I am there...It remains to be seen if they are under the manufacturer warranty or not. Considering the converter is bad, would that even be covered?
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:03 PM   #8
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Wildwood , Missouri
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I agree with what Bob said about the batteries. We had friends that bought a 2020 27GT, and their converter went out last week. A couple of other things to look in to would be the kitchen sink and the cabinet above the sink. When the GTs were first introduced they had issues with the sink coming loose and dropping down beneath the counter top. Apparently it wasn’t glued in properly. I’m not 100% sure this problem doesn’t still exist. The cabinet above the sink and stove has fallen off on a few GTs. It crashes down on the glass top of the stove and destroys it. I’m not 100% sure this issue is resolved either. I haven’t read about either of these situations occurring lately though. The other issue is the flooring. Sounds like it’s been addressed. Good luck with your purchase. We love our GT. We are getting ready for a 4 week trip to the southwest.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:23 PM   #9
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Driftless Area , Wisconsin
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One thing I’d say is that if the trailer has solar and was parked outside (as most are at dealers), you probably don’t need to worry too much about the batteries (assuming the charge controller wasn’t turned off or whatever).

But really, I wouldn’t worry too much about the batteries. If they are dead, see if you can get a deal on a new set or have them covered by the manufacturer in some way.

Per the recommendation of many on this forum, I had my converter replaced with a Boondocker model from bestconverter.com.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GettinAway View Post
A couple of other things to look in to would be the kitchen sink and the cabinet above the sink. he cabinet above the sink and stove has fallen off on a few GTs. It crashes down on the glass top of the stove and destroys it. I’m not 100% sure this issue is resolved either.
Yikes! Thanks for the heads up. From the maintenance repair log I received, it looks like the cabinet above the sink was reinforced once and tightened because it was coming loose a second time. I will have a look to see how secure the sink is.

So it seems the consensus is that the batteries are definitely compromised and I should push for new batteries?

I am hoping most of the major kinks have been worked on by now...
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Old 01-14-2021, 01:17 PM   #11
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If the batteries are AGM Lifeline batteries, Lifeline will warrant them for 5 yrs and will only charge a prorated amount to replace them. They ship them straight to your house.
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:49 PM   #12
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2021 27' Flying Cloud
Santa Fe , New Mexico
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A little late to the party, but I owned a 2018 GT 27 FBQ. During the first year of ownership, the OEM converter cooked my first Interstate lead acid batteries. My dealer preferred using Progressive Dynamics converters and got Airstream to approve the replacement. The dealer also replaced the fried batteries at no charge.

In addition to the suggestions received so far, check that the power awning extends fully without stopping, tilts, and retracts completely without stopping. They can be problematic. Also, check the power stabilizer jacks to see that they extend and retract without issues.

Good luck with completing the purchase and enjoy the trailer.
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Old 01-15-2021, 02:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erika_C View Post
Bob,

Thanks for the insightful response. I made some comments to your points above in italics.
I will have the battery tested while I am there...It remains to be seen if they are under the manufacturer warranty or not. Considering the converter is bad, would that even be covered?
Hi

If the RV is still in warranty, the converter should be covered.

Bob
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:43 PM   #14
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Avon Lake , Ohio
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We have a 2018 FC and I just replaced the converter today. The lifeline agm batteries are intact as the solar charges them daily. We first replaced the solar controller with a Victron 100/30 with bluetooth and added a Victron battery monitor. This brought the batteries fully up to their potential. Our converter, an upgrade for 2018 , was a WFCO 9855. It died promptly this week! As many on this forum have chosen, we installed a progressive dynamics 9260 intelli-charger. Could not be happier! My point is properly solar maintained agm's will be resilient. Converters/chargers are not. Upgrade now! If the batteries are lead acid be very wary.
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Old 02-11-2021, 01:52 PM   #15
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She is mine :) Inspection checked out alright

Hi all,

Thanks so much for all of your valuable input. Searching this forum and having this resource is invaluable. I ended up getting the GT and I am in love.

The dealer ended up replacing the batteries and the converter so that's a bonus. I didn't get Lifeline but Optima AGM batteries instead. I hope those are just as good? Converter replaced with another WFCO...I didn't get a chance to push for a different model because they had already ordered it under warranty.

I didn't see any flooring issues, no front separation issues and nothing major(aside fro one scratch). I couldn't find any other issues during the one night I inspected it. I am sure little things will come up as we travel...But I can't wait to start new adventures.

Going from a Bambi to a GT is a HUGE improvement all around. Glad to be part of the club!
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:13 PM   #16
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Congratulations! Thank you for keeping us posted on your decision. Now, roll far and go places!
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erika_C View Post
Hi all,

Thanks so much for all of your valuable input. Searching this forum and having this resource is invaluable. I ended up getting the GT and I am in love.

The dealer ended up replacing the batteries and the converter so that's a bonus. I didn't get Lifeline but Optima AGM batteries instead. I hope those are just as good? Converter replaced with another WFCO...I didn't get a chance to push for a different model because they had already ordered it under warranty.

I didn't see any flooring issues, no front separation issues and nothing major(aside fro one scratch). I couldn't find any other issues during the one night I inspected it. I am sure little things will come up as we travel...But I can't wait to start new adventures.

Going from a Bambi to a GT is a HUGE improvement all around. Glad to be part of the club!
And thank you for letting us know the final results of your inspection and acquisition. One more suggestion, join the Airstream Club.

All the best and hope to see you on the road!
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