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Old 10-13-2006, 02:11 PM   #1
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1978 28' Argosy 28
Wimberley , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Unhappy '78 Argosy Electrical Problems - Univolt?

Help!!

I've had my 1978 Argosy 28 Foot - Rear Bath/Twins for about 2 weeks now, and I'm still working out some of the kinks. Some are simply user ignorance, while others appear to be mechanical/electrical.

My current electrical troubles....

Whether I'm running off the generator -OR- plugged into a 120 Volt Electrical Supply, there are times when the power appears to "switch" from the generator/city power to the motorhome batteries. This condition is rather obvious in that my interior lights, fans and the entertainment center all start dim and die over time. Curiously, the 120 Volt Convenience outlets work fine, as does the Refrigerator (when set on electric).

The fuses mostly look good in the Univolt 12 Volt Distribution panel. The AGU 50-Amp appears to be slightly "bubbled" but not broken. No breakers are thrown in the panel located in the read bathroom closet.

I have 1 starting battery and 2 auxiliary batteries.

Also, I'm not sure if this could be related, but I have been having trouble starting the motorhome. I just replaced the starter and she fired up with no problems. Then I went out for the weekend and stopped about 30 minutes into my drive and she refused to start. I crawled under and tapped on the starter with a hammer....and eventually was able to start it up again. Not sure if it was just dumb luck or if I actually did something. Just when I thought this was a heat related issue (the 454 runs VERY hot), she wouldn't start after sitting cold for 2 days at the RV park. I tried the hammer technique again with no luck. I finally got a jump start from my neighbors SUV and that did the trick.

Do I have Univolt issue? Battery? Fuses?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:20 PM   #2
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1975 26' Argosy 26
alto , Georgia
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if yours is like my 76 key must be on acc when parked to run off convertor
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:42 PM   #3
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1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
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120 VAC stuff works OK.
12 VDC stuff runs down.
Converter (Univolt) provides 12 VDC to keep the batteries charged should it stop providing the 12 VDC the batteries will discharge.
Sounds like the Univolt is failing.
On the starter I suspect a bad ground (loose connection) at the battery or somewhere.

Garry
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:43 AM   #4
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1973 Argosy 26
Norristown , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_argosy
Help!!

I've had my 1978 Argosy 28 Foot - Rear Bath/Twins for about 2 weeks now, and I'm still working out some of the kinks. Some are simply user ignorance, while others appear to be mechanical/electrical.

My current electrical troubles....

Whether I'm running off the generator -OR- plugged into a 120 Volt Electrical Supply, there are times when the power appears to "switch" from the generator/city power to the motorhome batteries. This condition is rather obvious in that my interior lights, fans and the entertainment center all start dim and die over time. Curiously, the 120 Volt Convenience outlets work fine, as does the Refrigerator (when set on electric).

The fuses mostly look good in the Univolt 12 Volt Distribution panel. The AGU 50-Amp appears to be slightly "bubbled" but not broken. No breakers are thrown in the panel located in the read bathroom closet.

I have 1 starting battery and 2 auxiliary batteries.

Also, I'm not sure if this could be related, but I have been having trouble starting the motorhome. I just replaced the starter and she fired up with no problems. Then I went out for the weekend and stopped about 30 minutes into my drive and she refused to start. I crawled under and tapped on the starter with a hammer....and eventually was able to start it up again. Not sure if it was just dumb luck or if I actually did something. Just when I thought this was a heat related issue (the 454 runs VERY hot), she wouldn't start after sitting cold for 2 days at the RV park. I tried the hammer technique again with no luck. I finally got a jump start from my neighbors SUV and that did the trick.

Do I have Univolt issue? Battery? Fuses?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Texas argosy; It is obvious that you have one or maybe two different problems. Before you replace the Univolt, you will need to inspect all 12Volt DC connections. Any corrosion or loose connections on positive or the negative side will produce those symptoms. It is of most importance that all your connections are very tight, not just finger tight. You must see your 12Volt DC circuit as closed loop in order for anything to work. First remove and clean all battery connection including the battery ground wire.
Place some terminal protective sealer [available in auto stores].
While batteries are disconnected have them fully charged and load tested.
If one battery is bad it will pull down the other resulting in those symptoms. Inspect the wiring and connections leading from Univolt to batteries. Any corrosion present there, will prevent the small amperage of the charger from reaching the batteries. You may also check the Univolt output with Amp meter, by hooking it up in line of the positive charge wire. Remember to observe polarity on amp meter wires. They read both ways. You may observe indication of discharge while charge is actually indicated. To test the Univolt you will need to hook up partially discharged battery in order to get a proper reading. If the Univolt does not provide any amperage, replace it. www.longandtullier.com If everything check out OK you may have a partial short in the system. To further diagnose it you will need additional set of instructions or check my past posts to find further info. Good luck, "Boatdoc"Definitely replace bubbled breaker.
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