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Old 02-23-2011, 07:05 PM   #1
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Help. Confused about electrical

I'm looking to upgrade the univolt, but now I'm confused about the switching mechanism. If I get the converter and distribution panel, what happens to this thing in the picture that has the 2 switches?

By the way, I flipped those 2 switches to see what would happen. What happened is that I no longer have 12v power anywhere. I knew the battery was dead, but didn't expect to lose everything.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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The electrical equipment in the photo does not look original. I also do not see a Univolt in the photo (unless the big thing on the right is an ancient Univolt)
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
The electrical equipment in the photo does not look original. I also do not see a Univolt in the photo (unless the big thing on the right is an ancient Univolt)
Great. That makes it worse. There is a big transformer that hums behind those 2 switches. It's on the floor of the trailer.

I was starting to wonder about the electrical since there was a mix of the old style romex (with the cotton cover) and new romex with the light colored plastic.

It's hard when the PO tries to upgrade, but I've seen worse on these forums. I guess the question I have now is, if you get an intellipower, does it automatically switch between the two?
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:25 PM   #4
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The intellipower doesn't need any switches -- it simply plugs into a standard 110v plug, and then there should be leads from it to the distribution (i.e. fuse) panel and another to the trailer ground. On the left side of the photo, you can see our old original univolt, that we've kept in place to use as our fuse/distribution panel for the 12v. The intellipower simply plugs into the socket, and the romex you see are the leads that run to the back of the old univolt to power the panel.

Here's our setup (doesn't look pretty, but it works and is easily accessible):

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Old 02-23-2011, 08:39 PM   #5
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In my 65 I still have the original set-up: A battery, a 120vac to 12Vac /19vac transformer that hums and the switch box. There is no way with my set-up to charge the battery. The switches let you go from battery 12vdc or from 12vac (lights) or 19Vac (motors) when on shore power.

I will keep the switch box when I finally upgrade. I'll junk the humming transformer for a WFCO or other 120vac to 12vdc converter. Then I will join the 19vac motor wire and the 12vac lights wire together at the new 12vdc converter. Also Add a battery charge wire and fuse at the hot battery post.

Then which ever way you throw the switches you deliver 12vdc to the lights and motors. In the shore power position you bypass the battery. A good thing when there's battery problems. You can usually operate with the switches in battery position and just leave them there regardless of whether you use battery or shore power.

Just my 2c. There's also a whole bunch of wires in the switch box that you don't need to deal with this way. You might have to replace the switches. The old,tired contacts may be about to give up. If you have no lights now on shore power, flick the lights switch up and down several times to see if the lights try to come back on. Some contact cleaner will help for a while. I found good replacement switches at NAPA p/n TG6064.

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Old 02-23-2011, 09:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the feedback! I just ordered the all in one panel from VTS, and I'll just rewire everything over. I don't like headaches in the major systems. I got my trailer at a good price, so I'm comfortable upgrading all the major systems. I hope to keep my stove and fridge, but upgrade everything else.

It's a frustrating learning curve. Thanks for helping me through it.
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