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Old 05-17-2004, 09:27 AM   #1
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12v line location - 57 Caravanner

Hi,

Before I pull the gaucho out, can anyone give me an educated guess where to find the 12 volt line to hook to the battery charger. I guess I'm wondering where the original charger in a 57 Caravanner was located; under gaucho or bed? Left or right side?

Thanks!
Scott
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Old 05-17-2004, 10:50 AM   #2
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On our 59 the charger actually goes under the bed next to the water heater. The line runs from curbside the front window up through the roof and back down in the back. It's VERY under rated by todays standards as is most of the 12v system when the lenghts they run are taken into concideration. I would not add a inverter without some serious wire upgrades and I would keep the charging under 40 amps and place 40 amp breakers on both ends. The wire is only a 10 gage and much more power then that and it could be overheated.


As you can tell I been mulling over these problems.


When I redo Ours I May relocate the battery into a sealed box under the goucho. The chager will be next to it. I don't like the Charger and battery so far appart. To much room for damege to the cable. It would need to be 8 gage possibly 4 concidering the distance and load demands that a inverter would place on it.

Our battery box is also toast and I want to get the spare off the bumper and relocate to the tounge. That's still in the air as we are trying to keep the appearance as close to original as possible. Just a LOT of weight on the bumper the way Airstream did it. The main bracket is a peice of 3/16 C channel. The whole assembly with spare has got to be over 100lb. If I can lighten it up it might stay but I doubt it. Putting it on the A frame and going to aluminum rim and Radial I would move 60lb at most up front. Batteries would shift back some.

Moving this also frees up some weight concerns for a gray tank I plan to add just behind the axle.

There was not enough room to drop the battery into the A frame of the hitch behind the LP tanks like the newer units. I don't want to run those narrow batteries like the stock box excepts. I may also want to run a pair of batteries and by giving up center drawer of the goucho I can get all the gear and batteries in there By sinking them into the floor or raising the Goucho 3 inches and building a sealed box.

Your question is Not as simple as it sounds is it? LOTS of things to concider when dealing with a 40+ year old camper.

In your position I would concider opening up the center seam of the belly and install a 4 gage cable between the rear area where the original charger is located and the battery. That sounds like a lot of work but that will give you enough capacity to run a Inverter and run the bigger 60 amp chager that far from the battery. Don't forget to gromit all the holes so the cable doesn't get damage. Wear a respirator because the insulation in the floor is nasty.
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Old 05-17-2004, 11:05 AM   #3
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Scott,
I also have an older trailer. I think the charger was a portable 10a unit that was located under the Gaucho, near where the 12V wiring comes into the trailer. Most of the charging was done off the tow vehicle, and I think the charger was just a back-up.
I like the idea of a sealed, sunken battery box under the gaucho and I might do exactly what '59toaster is talking about. Would be fairly easy for me, since I haven't put my floor back in yet. Maybe next month.
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Old 05-17-2004, 11:23 AM   #4
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Scott,
Do you know for sure that your unit had a charger? Alot of them didn't and the battery was charged only from the tow vehicle. My unit was completely without any original 12 volt on-board systems, just two overhead small lights that were powered through the umbilical to the tow vehicle. I put in a battery and Intelli-Power charger on the curbside just forward of the entry door. That's where the light blue wire was located that goes to the overhead 12 volt lights. There was also another light blue wire that I've yet to determine its purpose but I think it comes from the tow vehicle connection.

Does your unit have the aluminum box under the front window on the exterior?

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Old 05-17-2004, 01:40 PM   #5
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Talking

I don't know if my unit had a charger; there is no box under the front window exterior.

When I got the trailer 2 years ago, there was a small black contraption under the gaucho, curbside. I don't know if it was a charger... looked more like a small engine. Maybe a compressor for the water tank.

The current ( bad pun ) 12v system include an outside porch light and both fixtures in the cieling. They each have a 12v lamp socket and a 120v socket.

Last summer I put a gel cell under the bed with a charger, but did not think about the line from the truck. It was a marginally capable Dodge Dakota with no tow package and I did not feel like running the lines from the front of the truck to the hitch.

Just picked up a 04 f150 and will probably do as 59toaster suggested. Find the line under the gaucho, replace with heaver wire with 40amp breakers and bring it back under the bed.
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:41 PM   #6
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Yeah deal under the goucho that is a compressor. Those years used a Air over water system instead of a water pump. It worked very well but those old Grover air pumps are a bit tired after 40 years.


From what I gather most Caravanners were self contained. That's why you have the grover pump even though you could presurize the system with a bicycle pump on the shrader valve on the fill neck. Our coach did not have a Univolt when we aquired it. It had a Triplite charger/ inverter. SCARY as hell set up that left a male three prong plug energized if it was on shore power. It goes along with the way the PO replaced the main shore power plug.

The wiring is 2 wire with the body serving as ground. Be sure to mark and check polarity because they used all the same wire for both hot and neutral in our 59. I'm scrapping it all if I can. While we have both 120 and 12v lights at all locations I am going to a central 12v system instead of all the converters Our coach had. There were three transformers that dropped to 12v when on shore power and swtiches as to what power supply to use. That all going away. One Intelli charger covering all 12v needs.
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Old 09-19-2004, 11:34 PM   #7
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59 Toaster,

Are you talking about the plug that is on the outside of the trailer, front right, below the battery? It thought it was for the air pump. I then figured out that the air pump is ran off the 12v and there is a on/off switch just behind the goucho. So what is the external 4 four prong receptacle for?

Thanks
steve


Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
Yeah deal under the goucho that is a compressor. Those years used a Air over water system instead of a water pump. It worked very well but those old Grover air pumps are a bit tired after 40 years.


From what I gather most Caravanners were self contained. That's why you have the grover pump even though you could presurize the system with a bicycle pump on the shrader valve on the fill neck. Our coach did not have a Univolt when we aquired it. It had a Triplite charger/ inverter. SCARY as hell set up that left a male three prong plug energized if it was on shore power. It goes along with the way the PO replaced the main shore power plug.

The wiring is 2 wire with the body serving as ground. Be sure to mark and check polarity because they used all the same wire for both hot and neutral in our 59. I'm scrapping it all if I can. While we have both 120 and 12v lights at all locations I am going to a central 12v system instead of all the converters Our coach had. There were three transformers that dropped to 12v when on shore power and swtiches as to what power supply to use. That all going away. One Intelli charger covering all 12v needs.
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