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Old 05-20-2012, 01:28 PM   #1
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New to me 1975 Tradewind

I am 2 days into owning my AS and am trying to figure it all out. I am hopefully be getting a lot of basic answers from this thread.
Question one: what charges the battery? Is it charged by being plugged into the amosite power or is it charged by the tow vehicle?

More to come...
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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Greetings CMSmith!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreams!

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Question one: what charges the battery? Is it charged by being plugged into the amosite power or is it charged by the tow vehicle?
More to come...
A device called the Univolt charges your batteries and provides 12-volt DC to the various 12-volt systems. Univolt is Airstream's name for a power converter/charger, but if it is the original 1975 unit, be aware that they are known for both high noise levels as well as being unfriendly to batteries by boiling the electrolyte (with this system, your batteries will need frequent additions of water to keep them healthy. This is one appliance, even if it is operating properly, that most would recommend changing out for a modern 3-stage unit that will take much better care of your batteries.

The batteries will also receive some recharging from the tow vehicle's electrical system provided there is a charge wire connected in the tow vehicle's connector. The effectiveness of this charging varies according to the gauge wire utilized for the run from under-hood to the rear of the tow vehicle along with the distance/time towed.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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Kevin's answer is spot on.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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Your converter should be located under the shelf in the closet in the bathroom. If it is the original, you will probably hear it humming.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
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I do not remember any noticeable humming from when I have been in there. It's locked up for the night, but I will check tomorrow. Thank you for telling me where to find it.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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Where can I download/print an owners manual? Or can I order one from Airstream?
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:18 PM   #7
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The owners manual and the service manual can be purchased from the Airstream store. https://store.airstream.com/index.php?cPath=51
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #8
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Greetings CMSmith!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreams!

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Where can I download/print an owners manual? Or can I order one from Airstream?
You can order an owners' manual from Airstream at this link.
You can order a service manual from Airstream at this link.

There was a vendor on E-Bay who was offering Airstream owners' manuals and service manuals on CD/DVD. I don't know if this is still the case as I haven't been spending much time on E-Bay lately.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:52 PM   #9
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Thanks, found it on eBay.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:18 PM   #10
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Tradewinds are great! Congrats on getting yours.

Replace your univolt. Period. It costs less than $200 and is easy to do. Call Randy at Best converters.

Dan
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:38 AM   #11
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With the charging battery, I am wondering if the PO's mod was needed. They installed fluorescent tube lights powered off the electrical hookup so that they did not use the fan/vent lights that run off the battery. If the battery is charging when it is plugged in, does this matter? Or, can I rewire the vent/fan lights to run off the plug in electricity instead of battery (or an inline switch to go back and forth, maybe?).
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:01 AM   #12
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I'm confused...
The fans and lights are running off of shore power (120 volts AC)? Your trailer would have come with only one fan and that would have been in the front vent. That would have been a 12 volt DC fan. The original lights were all automobile type bulbs, 12 volt DC also.

Don't you love the mods made by POs...
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:54 AM   #13
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No, the fans and the lights on the fans are battery powered. They installed lights on the ceiling that run off being plugged in because they didn't want to use their battery power. But if they are plugged in, isn't the battery being charged as it is being used?
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:07 AM   #14
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Yes, the converter supplies voltage to the 12 volt fuse panel. From there it goes to all the 12 volt circuits as well as the battery.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
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With the charging battery, I am wondering if the PO's mod was needed. They installed fluorescent tube lights powered off the electrical hookup so that they did not use the fan/vent lights that run off the battery. If the battery is charging when it is plugged in, does this matter? Or, can I rewire the vent/fan lights to run off the plug in electricity instead of battery (or an inline switch to go back and forth, maybe?).
Those fluorscent fixtures are 120 volt and are likely hardwired onto a 110 circuit in your trailer if you don't see them plugged into an outlet.

The oem lights and fan will operate off the battery , 12v, when the trailer is not plugged into shore power.

If your over head lighting was removed, there are still wires in the ceiling to hook up to fixtures. There are 70's light fixtures I've come across that have both a 12v bulb and 120v, it's up to you how which to use and ultimately wire up.

I also agree with the first order of business being to replace your converter. It will make your life easier chasing electrical issues down the road as you can rule out that point of failure.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:39 PM   #16
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I do not hear a humming from the bathroom closet, so maybe the converter has already been replaced. I am taking it in to Don-Mar Airstream here in SC next week to be looked at and tell me what needs to be worked on and stuff.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:21 PM   #17
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Where can I get replacement covers for these fans/vents with the lights? And, how tight are they supposed to fit? Mine wobble from side to side and do not sit flush to the ceiling.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:10 PM   #18
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We are set up at a campsite and plugged into the power, but the battery went dead. We had the ceiling vent fan running but I figured that it would be recharging the battery. There has not been a humming, like was mentioned, from the equipment in the bathroom closet. I am wondering if the unit was already bad and I just didn't know until now. Any thoughts on getting it working again? All the fuses are good.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:14 PM   #19
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One more thing, and this is just part of the learning, I guess. We had the grey water tank filling and then I emptied it. I noticed that it wasnt showing up as filling any longer so I checked and noticed a drip coming out from under the bathroom area. Maybe we just knocked a connection loose.
Then, a little later, I noticed some water dropping out of the bumper storage area. Turns out the toilet is leaking fresh water.
Good thing this is a short trip and I was planning on taking it to Don-Mar Airstream this coming week.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:16 PM   #20
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Should all be in one comment, sorry for all of them in a row. Is there a shutoff valve for just the bathroom water lines?
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