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jtalka 10-11-2013 05:06 PM

2013 Classic Limited Electrical Issues
 
All;

Although my wife and I are long time RV'ers, we are new to Airstream and this forum... I could really use some advice!

We acquired a 2013 (new) 31' Classic Limited this summer and we are very happy with the unit with the exception of this serious and recurring electrical problem.. worst I have had since we have been on the road.

Our unit is a 50 amp model, breaker box in the rear over the bed. Inside the box is a 20 amp GFI breaker in addition to all the other breakers for the AC's, water heater, converter, etc. On two occasions now, we have had some sort of electrical "issue" where things "cook" inside the trailer. First time was out first night in the unit this past August. About 5 minutes after setting up my wife tells me that there is smoke coming from under the couch (where the converter is). I kill all the power, smoke stops, and I start looking for what happened... I find: The converter is cooked (literally), the GFI breaker in the panel box is cooked (will not stay closed) and the microwave is cooked as well... The converter is on its own separate breaker apart from the GFI circuit.... We get things in order, call the dealer and make arrangements to head to the factory the next morning where they replace all the cooked stuff and we are back on our way thinking that we were the unlucky victim of either a bad site outlet or a voltage spike... My next purchase is a $350 surge protector which I start using religiously.

Yesterday, on our way back from another trip we get a nearly identical repeat of the initial episode. This time however the converter does not go up in smoke (something in the space behind the DVD player did create smoke however) but stops charging the batteries and the GFI breaker, which was replaced by the factory is cooked as is our replacement microwave.

I get the unit home and pull out the GFI breaker which works mechanically but appears to have a short from the black wire to ground when "closed". I check the converter and the two 30 amp reverse polarity fuses are blown and any replacement fuse is blown as soon as it is inserted (12V switch either on or off, makes no difference), and oh yes, the microwave is indeed toast.... BTW the surge protector was in place for all this and reported no problems.... which tells me there is something wrong in the coach proper.

Has anyone seen anything like this, or have any ideas what could be going on?? What is really weird is the fact that two separate circuits are involved; the GFI and the converter. I'm bringing the unit in to the dealer on Monday. As far as I am concerned there is something either miss-wired or shorting somewhere in the unit which the warranty should cover..... Will Airstream stand behind their product, get the right people involved, etc.? We really like this unit and would like to keep it but are candidly afraid to take it out on the road... lest it fail again or worse, go up in smoke!!

Thanks.....

Joel


All

AtomicNo13 10-11-2013 05:11 PM

Sounds like an open/loose neutral situation. Not necessarily an AS fault. Check the pedistal where you plugged in them your shore cord then the plug then the box.
Sounds to me like 220 volts entered your coach. Takes 1/60 of a second at 220 volts to make toast.....

ROBERT CROSS 10-11-2013 06:06 PM

If JC did the "repairs", it needs to get back there ASAP.

Sounds like no one checked the "cooked stuff" to see if it was done before serving.

Replaced without repairing...not the best customer service. :huh:

Expect more...:wally:

You might want to consider Colonial AS for diagnosis/repair if AS will approve it....by all rights the person responsible and a mentor should do the work, he would learn and you'll get it repaired.:flowers:
But a real PITA going all that way a second time.:sad:

Bob
:cool:

jtalka 10-12-2013 06:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS (Post 1366065)
If JC did the "repairs", it needs to get back there ASAP.

Sounds like no one checked the "cooked stuff" to see if it was done before serving.

Replaced without repairing...not the best customer service. :huh:

Expect more...:wally:

You might want to consider Colonial AS for diagnosis/repair if AS will approve it....by all rights the person responsible and a mentor should do the work, he would learn and you'll get it repaired.:flowers:
But a real PITA going all that way a second time.:sad:

Bob
:cool:

Bob;

Colonial is my dealer so that is where I am heading on Monday.. This needs to be more than a "repair" conversation... there needs to be diagnosis so that we get at the cause of the problem, and oh yes, we need to talk about the costs involved.

Joel

jtalka 10-12-2013 06:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 (Post 1366047)
Sounds like an open/loose neutral situation. Not necessarily an AS fault. Check the pedistal where you plugged in them your shore cord then the plug then the box.
Sounds to me like 220 volts entered your coach. Takes 1/60 of a second at 220 volts to make toast.....

Hi,

It has to be something with the power cord or the coach proper given that the same thing has happened twice now in two different parks, two different hook ups. Now that you mention this, I am thinking about the power cord proper. I've had a few 50 amp cords in the past and they all "locked" in place once inserted and rotated... On this cord (made in China BTW) the outer cover is loose on the connector so you really do not get a positive lock in place. Wonder if this could be the problem???

Lemme check the power connectors today to see if there is any evidence of arching.... I always follow the same sequence when connecting shore power with the breaker being the last thing turned on and the first thing turned off so any arching has to be a bad connection....

Thanks for the insights!

Joel

ROBERT CROSS 10-12-2013 06:27 AM

Colonial is a "best rated" AS dealer, they are probably a best choice as far as going back to JC is concerned.

More than a little troubling though, as the Mother Ship Service Dept. has a very good track record also.:huh:

Keep posting...

Bob
:cool:

jtalka 10-26-2013 06:02 PM

All;

Looks like Colonial AS has found the problem... First off, thanks to those of you who focused in on the neutral leg as the potential culprit... you were correct!! The dealer found an "extremely loose" main neutral wire from the shore connection in the panel box... Hopefully all is well... The other good news is that AS is covering all this (GFI breaker, converter and microwave, labor, etc.) under the warranty... not too shabby!

Got the trailer back today, just in time to hit the road again on Monday!!

Joel

Alumaholic 10-26-2013 06:48 PM

Thanks for the follow-up. It is very educational and provides closure on an important topic. I admire your positive attitude through what must have been a frustrating time.

m.hony 10-27-2013 03:58 AM

Kudos to Colonial's service department on the diagnosis/repair. Colonial seams to be a good dealership.

Wayne&Sam 10-27-2013 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1372080)
Colonial seams to be a good dealership.

Yup.

Steve & Mary 10-27-2013 09:37 AM

I've had warranty issues with AS over my braking system and they covered all of the expenses. I cannot complain when it comes to dealing with them on these matters.


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