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Old 04-25-2017, 11:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Default Using generator to charge dead battery

Hello All! We took our Airstream Westy from Seattle to Northern Cal, on the 101, last week. We planned to go as far as SFO, but mudslides on the 101 just north of Garberville foiled our plans and we had to turn around at the Avenue of the Giants.

Nine times out of ten, when we shut off the engine upon arriving at a destination, the driver doesn't exit out the driver's side door, but instead steps into the back of the van and opens the sliding doors (we travel with a Golden Retriever pup who sits on the back seat, and generally goes wherever we go). Hence the reason for stepping into the back when turning off the engine.

The downside to this is that we don't get the "lights are on" warning that sounds when the driver's side door is opened up, and thus we have accidentally left the van headlights on, more than once.

This came back to bite us last week in Northern Cal. We were posted up for about two hours in a Starbucks parking lot in Arcata (we got a snack inside and then used the rest of the time to check email in our van using their free signal). Headlights were on the whole time, and as a result, battery died. A few posts on this forum suggested that theoretically, the generator should be able to charge up the van battery. We can now confirm that this does indeed work. After starting up the generator, we tried to start the van 30 seconds later, then five minutes later, then ten minutes later. At approx 15 minutes later, the van started.

Just thought I'd post since I didn't see a prior post where this had actually been confirmed.

And speaking of the generator, ours quit working suddenly a few weeks ago. It only had 37 hours on it. We brought it to our trusty mechanic Michael Chang here in Seattle - who happens to own an Airstream Westy himself! He pulled out the generator and noticed a number of corroded wires. He was able to remedy the issue and the generator is now running again.

This forum has been a massive help to us newbies!
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OldWest (04-26-2017)
Old 04-26-2017, 02:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Using generator to charge dead battery

Other non-Westy Sprinters often had daylight running lights which folks did not like and would disconnect a fuse.

Don't know if you are using headlights as daytime.running lights. If so, maybe there is a way to get daytime running lights (which should turn off by thenselves when ignition is off).
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