New Owner Questions

Robert Foster

New member
I plugged my Westy into shore power for the first time. What is the piece of equipment opposite the water heater in the passenger side rear closet with the air intake hose going through the floor ? There's a fan in there that's been running ever since I plugged in. Nothing is turned on in the rig except the main 12V battery switch.

Are the manuals pictured below, the primary/only general manuals for these Westfalias ? I've read the Motorhome Supplement but find it very lacking in information.

 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
1. Opposite water heater behind black or metal cover, are two converters to convert 120 volts to 12 volts to run rooftop Kerstner AC. There is also a cooling exhaust fan. The far right 120 volt circuit breaker is for rooftop air conditioner. Flip to off position switch and fan will turn off.

2. Those are the main manuals. Airstream also added items like the generator, TV, TV antenna, phone and cable jack, etc., which are not included in the manual.

3. There are various quirks. For example, the central computer console shows gray water tank as full or not, no levels, and no icon at all if tank is not full. The black water tank sensors are useless (gauge above kitchen cabinet) unless prior owners cleaned out tank everytime dumped. Otherwise, sensors corrode (sensors are dangling rods of various lengths).
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
For the last 7 years or so, Westy owners in New York state have hosted a Labor Day get together of Westy owners. Very worthwhile to attend and learn about Westies. Sometimes, owners will demonstrate maintenance services.

There is also a Yahoo Sprinter Westfalia group, but the format changed and various members have opted for this forum only (but many owners still participate on both). The German James Cook forum also is a great source of general info on the European side, and the moderator there has set up an English sub forum for us.
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
Also check out various posted links in this forum with additional info like the Espar owners/installation manual, etc.

Most importantly, there should be a posted link to the West alia Repair Manual download, Airstream parts catalog, etc.
 

Robert Foster

New member
Thank you OldWest.

I turned off the fan.

I joined the Yahoo Group, but the format doesn't appeal to me nearly as well as the Forum format here, so I'll hang out here mostly.

I saw the New York gathering and will hopefully be able to make it up there. I was an active member of Advrider in the early days and helped put on the Eastern Rendezvous for three years down in NC. Good times they were. I'm looking forward to combining my dual sport riding with Westy touring. I'm probably going to get the smallest possible cargo trailer to haul my motorcycle, bicycle and kayak in.

I purchased this Westfalia prematurely. I knew I wanted one but was planning on waiting another year when I become an empty nester, then this one came up for sale, felt right and I jumped. Glad I did, but consequently I haven't done all my homework yet. If my business ever slows down I'm looking forward to pouring through all those links at the top of the page. The Westfalia Repair Manual probably has the type of information that I find lacking in the Motorhome Supplement.

I installed cleaning nozzles in both the black and gray water tanks of my Winnebago View for just the reason you mentioned. It's nice to have a heads up before the black tank overflows. :wtf:
 
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512Westy

Member
Robert, Welcome to the fold. Many quirky tricks associated w/ the rig, but this site and group is very helpful
 

Robert Foster

New member
I've started doing some preventative maintenance. I was on Amazon, so I ordered a new anode rod and temperature pressure relief valve for the water heater. Middle of last week I took a sharp awl and trimmed all the corrosion away from around the exposed outer thread on both the anode road and TPRV threads. I've been spraying some penetrating oil on them each day until today when I tried to remove them both. The anode rod came out with a breaker bar and as you can see in the picture, it might be the original one.

I didn't have much success with removing the TPRV. I removed the combustion chamber exhaust hood for better access and was using a pair of very large channel locks, but no going. I tried tapping gently repeatedly on the TPRV with a hammer to try to vibrate the threads a little in the hope that they would let go, but still nothing.

I thought that I could go procure a short section of 3/4 male threaded pipe to insert in the end of the TPRV for better leverage than I'm getting with the channel locks. The female end of the TPRV is fortunately pointing down at about 45 degrees towards the combustion chamber, which would allow me enough room to just break it loose. Any suggestions?

 
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discus

GA Westy
Do you really need to replace the valve? They don't usually go bad.


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MrTomacco

Mr. Tommaco
You will want to flush all the sediment out of the bottom of the hot water heater too. I made up a hose to 1/4 inch copper tubing adapter and bend the copper tubing a bit so I can put it in the anode hole and flush out the accumulated crud.

My hot water heater wants to rust so I spray the surfaces with WD-40 every fall.

Rob
 

Robert Foster

New member
TPRV do go bad, especially when they are not operated regularly to clean the waterway through the valve so that it doesn't get corroded/full of mineral deposits. The TPRV valve action was almost none existent when I operated it and there was absolutely no discharge from the valve when I used the water heater for a few days. In closed systems like on the Westfalia, where there is no expansion tank installed to absorb thermal expansion, it's typical to see some occasional discharge from the TPRV. I don't have a lot of faith that the TPRV is actually operational. The $14.00 spent on a new one is a prudent safe guard to me. I inspect houses for a living and it is rare that home owners even understand what the TPRV is for much less do the recommended cleaning discharges.

My plan is to spray rinse water through the TPRV hole, once I get the TPRV removed and watch all the crud come shooting out all over my driveway through the anode rod hole.
Your crud tool is a good idea for annual cleanings. Thanks.

I assume you are spraying the WD-40 on the exterior parts of the tank that you can see when you open the door on the exterior of the Sprinter ? My combustion chamber is very rusted, but the outside of the tank that I can see is in pretty good shape. I thought I might put a wire brush in a drill and clean up my combustion chamber a bit.
 

512Westy

Member
We have found that leaving just the pilot on generates plenty of heat and provides adequate hot water for use in the van. When we have it set to "on" (not on pilot) it is too hot even on the low setting. The ability to run only the hot is helpful in conserving water in that we don't have to search around for the correct blend with cold. It's turn the hot handle on if you want warm water, or cold if you don't. I've noticed that the pilot flame seems to be larger this year than in past, and the water temp is approaching an almost too hot temp. Of course we are in TX so it might be a different situation if we were parked at a ski resort!
 

Robert Foster

New member
I finally took the time to remove the TPRV. I had to use a heat gun to gently heat the tank around the TPRV fitting in order to loosen and remove the TPRV. Once out and inspected, the valve was very corroded and not opening even when the valve handle was actuated.
 

Robert Foster

New member
Another new owner question.

What does the generator power up when operating properly? Mine starts up and runs great, but as far as I can tell adds no current to the rig. Something must be broken. I've read every piece of literature that came with mine and there's no explanation of the generator.

I assumed the generator would have been the same as being plugged into shore power and allow me to run the roof top air conditioner. Not happening. The converter next to the water heater just clicks when the generator is running. The main circuit breaker is on. I've checked the three fuses on the converter and they are good as are the fuses behind the bench seat and under the driver seat.

In addition, when the generator is running the main console tells me that no battery charging is going on. There is also no current at the 120 AC receptacles.

My roof top air conditioner only works when connected to shore power. It does not work with the engine running as stated in the Westfalia manual. I've checked the main air conditioner fuse next to the engine starter battery by checking for continuity across the two fuse terminals and that appears to be passing current.

I'll do some more sleuthing today. My overall plan is to maybe remove the generator and reposition my spare tire back to that location, but I'd like to know how it's supposed to work and especially get my rooftop air conditioner working off of the engine.

Does anybody have any suggestions or able direct me to some online information ?

Thank you.
 

onemanvan

Member
There are several wiring diagrams in the files section on the Yahoo forum:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/sprinter_westfalia/files

Sounds like you may have two separate problems:
1) Transfer switch - after the generator starts up and runs for a minute or two you should here it click. It's located behind the circuit breakers.
2) Kissling relay - it automatically switches between 110 volt supply ( generator/shore power ) and 12 volt from the alternator.
 

Attachments

Robert Foster

New member
Thank you for the help onemanvan.

By following the instructions on the Yahoo group I was able to "whack" and "exercise" the Kissling relay back to life. Unfortunately the roof top ac still doesn't work off of the engine. Only works with shore power. I pulled the cover off of the roof top ac and after cleaning out years of debris everything looked as it should including the 5 and 20 amp fuses.

As for the transfer switch I cannot discover anyway to access the area behind the circuit breakers.

Are my two problems likely related or independent of one another ? I cannot read the wiring diagrams as I am not currently at a decent size computer screen...not that I am fluent in deciphering them anyway.
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
1. Get underneath vehicle (safely) and take cover off generator. There is a switch or something in that space that tells generator to output electricity. Otherwise, generator just runs but doesn't send electricity out to the transfer switch behind 120 vokt circuit breakers. (This is from memory so might check Onan manual).

2. If generator is working properly, transfer switch working properly, all circuit breakers on, and battery charger working properly, then shouldnhave the wire plug symbol on in central console, electric outlets working, and hear cooling fans for the converters running in the water heater area.

3. Kissling relay is most likely culprit if ac doesn't work on a particular power source. For running off engine, the coach batteries should be fully charged and engine ac off--my uneducated theory is that one needs to reduce any load on the alternator so enough power is available to run coach ac off engine.

4. There are other postings here on various troubleshooting including loose or disconnected generator wires in the metal outet box mounted aft of generator, replacing and/or bypassing Kissling relay, etc.
 

discus

GA Westy
Check 120v at Generator. I think there is a circuit breaker at the Onan. If you have power there, check transfer switch and so on.


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OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
Warning!!!! Folks have posted that the Kissling Relay can be dangerous--high voltage, etc. Use extreme caution.

One poster said burn signs from loose connections.

Think generator and Kissling Relay are different issues.

The power source transfer switch OneManVan is behind the 120 volt circuit breakers and installed by Airstream as part of the generator installation. So won't have any info on the Westfalia manual but you might check the Airstream Parts catalog. Have vague recollection that one removes the 120 circuit breakers and the middle wood panel to get access.
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
Background.. Airstream added a bunch of stuff to the Westfalias dropped off at Jacksonville, Florida. including generator and related paraphernalia.. Other additions included tv, tv antenna, cable-phone jack, microwave?, 120 GFCI outlet on water heater door, running boards, kitchen cabinet grab bar, etc.

The 12 volt air conditioning and Kissling Relay were done by Westfalia.

So the generator should work just like a source of energy like shorepower--right at the transfer switch before the 120 volt circuit breakers.
 

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