Excellent Technical Articles by Howard Lefkowitz

The following are Airstream Technical Articles written by Howard Lefkowitz, past chairman of the WBCCI Technical Committee.

Determine the SAFE TOWING CAPACITY of your tow vehicle.  Conversely you can also determine the tow vehicle ratings needed to safely tow a particular trailer configuration.  All of the proper weight considerations are discussed as well as the affects of tongue vehicle weight.  The usual causes of sway and instability are discussed with recommendations for reducing or eliminating these problems.

Safe Towing Calculations


A guide for the MAINTENANCE AND CARE OF YOUR AIRSTREAM.  It is written so that you can get prepared for and to assist you while on a Caravan.

The Care and Feeding of Your RV


PROPER TIRE PRESSURE depends on the load carried by that tire.  This should be determined with a fully loaded RV.  The air pressure versus load charts are essentially the same for Michelin and Goodyear RV tires. Instructions for doing this, as supplied by the tire manufacturer, is presented in:

Proper Tire Pressure



Understanding Batteries, Chargers, Inverters and Solar Systems


TROUBLESHOOTING WATER HEATERS, FURNACES, AND REFRIGERATORS  Some of the most common problems with these appliances are listed along with details of how to make repairs while on a Caravan.

Troubleshooting and repair for Water Heaters, Furnaces and Refrigerators.


OPERATION AND TROUBLESHOOTING OF AIR CONDITIONERS, HEAT PUMPS AND HEAT STRIPS.  Some of the most common problems are listed along with details of how to make repairs.

The Care and Feeding of your RV IV


Special technical information for servicing CLASS A DIESEL MOTOR HOMES.

The Battery Control Center provides the circuitry for charging your engine and coach batteries for all of the operating modes (shore power, generator and engine alternator).  It is a complex unit with a number of time delays and protection schemes designed into the digital circuitry.  Several circuit breakers, relays and 18 fuse positions are used inthis box.  It is designed to always protect the engine battery in order to ensure it has sufficient power to start the motor home.  A very large solenoid switch is included (fondly referred to as the ‘Big Boy’) which couples the engine and coach batteries together for charging.  It is usually mounted on the wall in the battery compartment.

Battery Control Center

The Transfer Relay provides the A/C switch to automatically change from shore power to generator power.  It is normally in the shore power position.  When the generator output voltage is provided to the relay it switches to the generator.  This is a 50 amp rated relay which switches four contacts simultaneously.  The contacts can get burned over time and occasionally the heavy wires can work loose.  Keep the contacts clean and check the connections on a yearly basis.

Transfer Relay Service

The Energy Management System provides an automatic monitoring and control system for all of your A/C appliances.  It monitors the input ampere capability of your shore power source (20, 30, 50).  If you exceed the input power source it will automatically turn off appliances before you trip any circuit breakers.  Once the load is reduced the appliance will resume operation.  For example, if you are on a 30 amp circuit and your air conditioner (A-C) is running, if you turn on the microwave the air A-C will temporarily turn off.  The appliance priority (what turns off first) is selectable.

Energy Management Center


HOW TO USE A MULTIMETER, an instrument designed to measure electric current, voltage, and usually resistance, typically over several ranges of value.

How to Use a Multimeter



Examples of how to set it up and run it over a three or four-day period are presented.  Detailed charts to record the results for multiple years are included along with extensive maintenance check-off lists.  Detailed maintenance procedures are presented for getting your RV ready for the coming Camping Season.  Each member does his own work with special tools and fluids provided by the Rally Master.

How To Run a Maintenance Rally