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Full Version: Automatic Transfer Switch
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So our Christmas trip started off with a bust on the first night out. After catching a few hours shuteye at Chez Wally World, I got up and started the gen set to make some coffee. Power never switched on. Said pooey, or something to that effect, and took off sans coffee. After getting shore power at the park we were headed to all was well. The next day we popped open the cover on the ATS. There was good power coming in from the gen set.

Bluebird had thoughtfully installed the ATS right below the water distribution manifold (pic 1) because that would never leak, right? Well pic 2 shows the results of when leaks or condensation do develop on the manifold structure. The prior owner of my Bird had replaced the ATS about 6 months before we got it. I think I know why now. Since I didn’t enjoy not having coffee on my first day out, and since we do like dry camping, I do want the ATS to reliably pass gen set power into the coach when I need it. So after installing yet another new ATS, I chose to make a minor modification that Bluebird forgot, so any future water drips will hit the floor of the compartment rather than drip into the ATS. Look closely at pic 3 to see my addition. Several months later, l can tell you it works because a found a small puddle on the floor last week rather than having it disappear into the ATS. Now where it’s coming from remains a mystery yet to be solved.

I have always wondered why Bluebird seemed to place the power plug ins by the water plug ins! My 83 PT had them in the same small compartment!

Anyway, maybe this mod will help some other owner avoid having to replace the ATS for no good reason. In the meantime, my electronic techs in my service department rebuilt the failed unit, so I now have a spare that I hope never to use. Surprisingly, the best deal I found at that time was on the Camping World website. Of course I had to get the Camping World store to match their own website! I hated to buy there since that Lemonis guy is such a real peach but the low price won out.

It wasn’t that bad a job. I spent more time making and installing proper labels on each wire than I did actually reconnecting everything. But it looks so nice inside the box now!!

Mike, am I missing something or are pictures 1 & 3 the same? I know I'm old but.......
You need to look closely at picture 3. Expand it and you will see a clear sheet of stiff plastic running the full length of the water manifold and that extends out from under the water manifold to the outer edge of the electric switching and monitoring boxes. When leaks occur now they will land on the plastic and fall to the compartment floor rather than on top of one of the switching boxes. I know it’s hard to see, but I went with clear plastic so that all the cables would still be clearly visible at a glance into the compartment.
After your response, I do see the sheet. Old eyes.
Nice raincoat Mike! Other's who are trying to figure out their early-life transfer switch failures will certainly appreciate this post. I also see you've implemented the best solution for keeping your Microphor from turning into a bidet: the toilet manifold knob turned to 1:00. Smile
Good catch on the toilet water pressure David. When I rebuilt the air-water sequencer valve and got a bath, I concluded that it didn’t need full open throttle! LOL

Yes, I think everyone with a water manifold like the LXi has should add a shield. I’m beginning to think it’s a condensation issue on the piping as I can’t find any leaks but I have seen a small puddle of water that ran off the new shield after a hot/cold/hot rapid weather change that we have had in Texas this year. Also due to the cold, I left the Aquahot on for a while so it may have added to the weather change issue. In any event, the water goes on the floor now rather than on the switch boxes. The ATS box is not very sophisticated from an electronics basis, but the good news is that failures will probably just affect the gen set transfer but allow shore power in. So that’s good. Now that I have a spare I’ll probably never have another failure anyway!
Here is another approach. Although not leaking, all the valves had taken a set and had become brittle. A new, more compact panel was built and installed completely over the Aqua-Hot unit so no leaks could reach the electrical equipment. Decided to pretty it up with some stainless while at it.
Beautiful work as usual Ron. I especially like the stainless panel and the very professional labeling job. Your nozzle holder is pretty trick too. The only downside about that is everyone in the CG is going to be borrowing your nozzles! LOL!

I know with the original domestic water manifold, a decent portion of it had to be disassembled to enable removing of the AH cover. Did you solve that problem with the new tucked in placement?
Thank you, David. I can't take credit for the labels; they are BB original removed from the old panel, except one. I revised the A-H heater loop plumbing to purge it better for winterizing, so it needed a new label.

Yes, the new panel was sized to avoid the opening cover of the A-H. That was one of the reasons for doing it. The other was that the valves wouldn't turn without breaking them. I was going to do it all in brass with manifolds, but the cost was silly for something you never use. Quite frankly, we don't even need those valves, but they are cool. I need to find a way to finish the ss surface better.
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