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Old 06-02-2008, 12:50 AM   #1
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1967 17' Caravel
Thompsons Station , Tennessee
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My new '67 Caravel- a few questions

Hi all,

My wife and I are proud new owners of a '67 Caravel. An image is attached below.

This rig of course needs some work, and I am starting to contemplate which systems I want to upgrade. I am not overly advanced in my RV electrical knowledge, but I have a few questions I would love some help with:

1) The entire electrical system is original. What parts or systems do you all recommend replacing while I am overhauling?

2) The wiring diagram in my owner's manual shows power going from the 120v panel thru a transformer then going to the low voltage panel. Does this mean that I should be able to power the lights in my coach that are 12v when hooked up to shore power? I am trying to find a way to supply power to all my light fixtures when I am on shore power... From what I can tell on this site it seems that is what a univolt does, but apparently the Caravels don't have one. I am thinking I need a converter, but need some advice on this.

Many more questions to come. Thanks everyone for what ever support and advice you may have.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modarch
Hi all,

My wife and I are proud new owners of a '67 Caravel. An image is attached below.

This rig of course needs some work, and I am starting to contemplate which systems I want to upgrade. I am not overly advanced in my RV electrical knowledge, but I have a few questions I would love some help with:

1) The entire electrical system is original. What parts or systems do you all recommend replacing while I am overhauling?

2) The wiring diagram in my owner's manual shows power going from the 120v panel thru a transformer then going to the low voltage panel. Does this mean that I should be able to power the lights in my coach that are 12v when hooked up to shore power? I am trying to find a way to supply power to all my light fixtures when I am on shore power... From what I can tell on this site it seems that is what a univolt does, but apparently the Caravels don't have one. I am thinking I need a converter, but need some advice on this.

Many more questions to come. Thanks everyone for what ever support and advice you may have.
Your describing a 66 Caravel.

What is the trailer serial number?

The entrance door is not fitting correctly.

1968 and older Caravels are famous for axle failures, because of the small spindles that were used, as well as the rubber rods failing.

It would pay you well to check yours out.


Andy
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modarch
...
1) The entire electrical system is original. What parts or systems do you all recommend replacing while I am overhauling?

2) The wiring diagram in my owner's manual shows power going from the 120v panel thru a transformer then going to the low voltage panel. Does this mean that I should be able to power the lights in my coach that are 12v when hooked up to shore power? I am trying to find a way to supply power to all my light fixtures when I am on shore power... From what I can tell on this site it seems that is what a univolt does, but apparently the Caravels don't have one. I am thinking I need a converter, but need some advice on this.
...
I'm not familiar with the 60's (eg, if you can remember them, you didn't participate ). Way back, the 12V system was powered from the tow vehicle and there was no battery or converter (converters, like the Univolt, convert 110V to 12V. You may have dual lights--fixtures with both a 12V and 110V bulb--I'd change that to all 12V.

1. Add a converter and battery to the 12V system. I like the Intellipower 9200--most members would recommend a 45 amp model, but you can get away with 30.

2. You might have a transformer--12V lights don't care whether the power is alternating or direct current (DC). But if you add things like vent fans and modern water pump, they require DC, so you'll need a converter for sure. Converters aren't transformers--converters put out DC.

Zep
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:39 AM   #4
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Hello modarch and welcome to the forums.

I have a '66 Caravel and have done some repairs to my electrical also. I plan a frame off rebuild "when" I can get around to it so what I have now works when I need it - the rest will have to wait.

Look under the couch/pull out bed and you should find a Univolt behind the wheel well. Just forward of there is where the 12v battery should be located and just ahead of that is the shore power/battery switch. Battery and switches are accessable from the street side access cover door. When on battery then the lights run off the 12v of course, but once plugged in or in the absence of a battery the switches should be in the shore setting. This charges the battery and runs the systems and provides 120v to the trailer plugs.

There are lots of discussions on the axles here. Familiarize yourself with all the reasons for and against changes and take a close look at what you have. You have a fine camper and she will provide you with lots of enjoyment.

Good Luck
Mike
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:44 AM   #5
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1966 17' Caravel
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welcome!

Welcome to the Caravel club! As Clancy Boy has just said, just plug into shore power and everything is good to go - but before taking her out - you might want to have all of the systems checked out by a professional. Send us more pictures!
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:09 AM   #6
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Modarch, There seems to have been some overlap in equipment during '66-'67 depending on where the trailer was made. From your description, I suspect you have the 12V/19V transformer. Lights were powered from the 12V line and fans from the 19V line. 12V DC motors will run on 19V AC, how and why I don't know, but it works. The transformer is located behind the wheel well under the couch. Input and output wires are the old copper "loom" covered wires and go directly into the wall. The 120V AC source wire comes from the breaker box in the closet and the 12V and 19V wires to to the small panel (box) on the forward side of the access door under the couch. There are two 3-position toggle switches on the box. Center position is "off", I think up is "battery power" and down is "city power". Your battery should be in front of the wheel well under the couch. While on "battery power" all electrical equipment should run from the battery. When on "city power" everything is powered by the transformer. The battery will NOT charge while on "city power" since no DC is available through the transformer. The battery only charges when connected to a running tow vehicle. Blue wire is the charge wire. Check your system by disconnecting from both tow vehicle and 120V AC power and turn the switches to "battery power". If the battery is charged, all 12V equipment should be operable. Then connect to 120V AC source and switch to "city power" and check to see that everything works. Finally, connect to tow vehicle. Most tow vehicles now have automatic isolators so that power is only "on" to the charge line when the vehicle is running. This prevents the TV battery from being drained while not running. Use a voltmeter to check the blue wire for charge. One lead of the meter on the blue wire terminal at the switching box and one lead to ground. It should read somewhere between 12 and 13.5 volts. If you wish to replace the old transformer, I would recommend the 30amp Intellipower converter and a gell cell battery. Eliminate the "city power" option on the switch box, leave the switches on "battery power". The converter will supply very adequate power to the 12V system and charge the battery while connected to 120V source. Sorry for the long lecture, but I've done several '66, '67 Caravels this way with great success. Darol
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:44 AM   #7
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Congrats, the exterior of your rig looks really nice! We love our Caravel, I think it's the last trailer we'll ever need
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Your describing a 66 Caravel.

What is the trailer serial number?

1968 and older Caravels are famous for axle failures, because of the small spindles that were used, as well as the rubber rods failing.

It would pay you well to check yours out.


Andy
The left spindle on the original axle on our 65 Caravel broke while going down the highway on a smooth, flat surface. There was damage to two other cars by the wheel that got away, as well as damage to the left side of the trailer.

Do not "pass go". If the axel on your unit is original, replace it. It will come with new bearings, brakes and drums. Just do it.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:29 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forums. Love your Caravel!
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:03 PM   #10
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1967 17' Caravel
Thompsons Station , Tennessee
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Thanks everyone for the quick responses! This forum will make my work much easier!

Andy- I have heard about the axels on these years, and it is on my list to replace. I haven't noticed anything with the door. I do know that the strike plate came off recently and the PO gave it to me- looks like it needs to be re-riveted to the door frame. Maybe that should bring the door in a bit tighter. It doesn't look bent. They door gasket is shot, should be an easy replacement. It feels like a pretty tight fit, and there is no floor root around the door so that makes me think it is sitting pretty well. Serial # is 0177J277. I am pretty sure it is a '67 Caravel from Ohio. I understand you are a legend in this forum and I appreciate your interest in my project!

Darol- I think you are the closest in guessing what I have. The PO showed me how to run the box with the switches you talked about. I am pretty sure my 2 switches are only 2 position, not 3 as you described. He explained the two positions. I plugged in shore power, switched to "city power" and the receptacles all worked. I didn't have the battery connected at that time, and none of the 12v lights worked. Next I disconnected the shore power, connected the battery and switched to "battery power". All the 12v lights worked. What I am trying to figure out is how to get both my receptacles and 12v lights to work. If I have the battery attached at all times, attach shore power and switch to "city power", should both the receptacle and 12v lights work? My goal is to have both 12v lights and receptacles working when I am on shore power. How do I do that- with a converter?

I have attached a few more pics. The interior is mostly original, other than the odd dinette a PO put in. The refer, microwave and removal of furnace are obvious changes. The toilet is new, but frustratingly when the lid is up it doesn't open 90 degrees with its proximity to the back curved wall. Only soft spot is below the shower pan. Not looking forward to fixing that, and I am assuming I have to pull the bath to get to it. My plan is to install a dinette up front and replace the gaucho opposite the galley as I have seen pics of as an original option from the factory. I am not sure if the front dinette was available in '67, but the layout is great up front and I understand a anniversary model by Winwick was patterned after this layout.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:53 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forums! Fine looking little rig you have! I haven't seen a floor plan like yours before, looks like it would work well!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:07 AM   #12
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It looks really nice inside. I don't think it would be too hard to finish up that dinette and make it look like it belongs, or go back to the gaucho on the side. Caravels normally have a dinette in teh front if they have one at all. I've always thought a side dinette and a front full-time bed would be a nice layout for two.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:47 AM   #13
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Modarch, Check the breakers in the electrical panel in the closet. Switch them off then back on firmly. You should have 120V AC power to the plugs anytime you are connected to shore power. Also, there are 12V fuses on the side of the 12V switching box under the couch. They have nothing to do with the 120V AC system, but you should know they are there. A converter will not solve your 120V AC plug problem. Even with the battery removed, you should have had 12V lights and fans when running on "city power". Not sure what the problem there might have been. You might check the output voltage (120V AC) from the transformer behind the wheel well. If it is original, it may have cracked insulation of the coils and not be putting out the correct voltages. I have a good spare, but they are very heavy to ship. Darol
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:53 AM   #14
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Modarch, As for the shower floor, it may not be the wood floor that's soft. The shower pan is sloped toward the drain and does not come in contact with the wood floor in all places. When installed, it had spacers made of 1/4" plywood to take up the extra space but they were not glued in very well and may have slipped. There's very little room under the bath sink, but try to reach under that edge of the shower floor to see if you can stick some spacers under the fiberglass floor of the shower. Much easier than removing the entire lower half of the bathroom! Another solution is to make a removable plywood floor to fit the shower pan with foam padding on the bottom and carpet on the top. Of course, you'd have to remove it to use the shower, but it makes the floor stronger. Darol
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