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Old 12-06-2006, 06:40 AM   #1
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The anticipation of Ownership!

This is my first posting of any note! I live in England and have always wanted an Airstream! I now own an Airstream! An 86 31' Sovereign. However, as of this date she sits on the dock at Zeebrugge, Belgium.

She will be in England on the 10th and moved to my site by the 14th. after the human sniffer dogs we call customs officers have had their time with her! At the moment I want to prepare for day one - it's all I can do and I need some very specific information on the layout of the Sovereign - I hope someone can help me.

The extension cable for hooking up the AS to 120V runs inside the trailer to the power supply unit. I understand that the PSU is located under storage wardrobes mid-way down the port(opposite to the door) side.

My plan is to fit a transformer which will supply 120V to power the AS electrics. This will run from a twin RCD fusebox which will also provide a 240 supply for my own items(if you have an Airstream - get a Dualit toaster, they go so well together ).

What I need to do is thread a new power cable along the course of the existing - which will be removed. Fit the transformer close to the AS PSU - probably in the wardrobe itself - and wire it in.

How difficult can that be? Being an engineer by trade I know it could be a nightmare! It will get easier to prepare and do in the few hours I have before darkness if I know exactly what I will encounter in re-threading the power cable and siting the transformer. Help would be greatly appreciated - pictures would help me sleep better in the interim!
Regards,
Marc Harris
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Old 12-06-2006, 07:04 AM   #2
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1989

Marc, I do not have a 1986, and I am sure that someone with one will answer forthrightly, however, until that time, I will say that my 1989 has a fuse box or service, located in the storage area above one of the beds in the back compartment. That is where the breakers are located. I do not know what the breakers are referred to in your country. Sometimes our terms are different.

The power cord comes in the rear, and normally will have an attachment point soon therafter,if a rear bedroom then normally under the bed, or if a rear bath, under the cabinetry in the bath, that attaches the flexible, multistrand, cord to housetype wiring, which will be a solid core 2 wire with ground that in turn, runs to the fuse box or service. The attachments in the attachment or junction box is usually a wire nut of the proper size. Wire nuts are the plastic, twist on protectors that connect the solid core to the multistrand wires. As for the transformer wire up, and you being an engineer, is best left to your intelligence.
Good luck.
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Old 12-06-2006, 07:49 AM   #3
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Thanks steelbird!
I imagine the breakers are circuit breakers, allowing you to isolate the system for maintenance etc. Mine is a twin bed at the rear. I could possible site the transformer under the bed and use the existing wiring to send power to the fuse box.
Marc
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:49 AM   #4
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Marc,
The circuit breakers are overload protection devices, that 'trip' when an overload situation occurs, either from trying to run too many things at once, or from a faulty appliance. Yes, they can be flipped off, rendering it safe to work on the wiring downstream from that position.
As for the placement: I would think of the fact the byproduct of the transforming process is heat. There will be no circulation of air under your bed to keep the transformer cool, plus, most transformers have a hum to them which you might find objectionable while trying to sleep. There are a couple of threads on this forum, if I remember right concerning how to retrofit electricity- I am not a learned person concerning electricity except by the school of hard knocks! Do a search on the forums, and you possibly will find just what you need there.
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:01 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forums and good luck maneuvering that 31' trailer down your narrow roads. My advice is to wait until you have your trailer in-hand before building anything. This trailer has lived 20 years thus it has had 20 years for alterations and changes. You may look at one picture of the same model which is totally different from what yours looks like.
Have fun and keep us informed as to how you are progressing.
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:08 PM   #6
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Thank you Steelbird! Your point is well made. I will replace the US breakers with UK breakers - RCDs(Residual Current Detectors). and run 240v to the transformer mounted in the wardrobes adjacent to the Airstream's fuse box. Thanks for your help!
Marc
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:29 AM   #7
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There are most likely two circuit breakers in there now.
The easy way is to put 110 volt on the braker for the AC.
There might be a AC/ Microwave selectorswitch somewhere.
So that you have at least one secet with 110 volt.
For the fridge you can have a new 240 volt heater element made for less that 70 GBP.
only thing left than is the 12 volt convertor . you could consider to relocate it but you need heavy wire to feed the batery's

Remco
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:56 AM   #8
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dual voltage

Thanks Remco! I see no reason to adopt an either/or approach! I'm perfectly comfortable having dual voltage in the AS. Items like the fridge, AC and microwave are set up to work on 120V - it's best to leave them at that voltage, specially as supplying 120v via a transformer into the AS lets me have all the benefits of the installed electrical system - 12v pumps, lights and charging system for the battery. By fitting 240v RCDs I can supply a UK power "ring main" to supply power for my own items. Eventually this 240v main would be accessable where the 120v sockets are now - I would replace them with UK fittings.
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