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Old 04-15-2009, 12:01 AM   #15
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Crow...

I'm surprised you don't have two battery compartments in your 78 AS...we have a 78 Ambassador, and it has two compartments in the forward end of the trailer...



In the pic you can see the two compartments...plus I've recently added a third battery box there just aft of the propane bottles...I use (3) group 27 flooded cell, 105 AmpHr batteries...

I've installed a 1500 watt inventer to run the Sat receiver, TV and DVD player, etc...

Also, to work around that 'AC Connected' pilot light you mentioned - I just plug in an AC ground testor in the galley area - I can tell when the AC's hooked up, and check the proper ground at the same time!

I got mine here:- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

Good luck with your new 'toy'....
Ray
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:50 AM   #16
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Crow,
I had the same humming in our '87 and you can read some more information here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...azy-40453.html

If yours is anything like mine there will be a thinner wire which powers the AC light on the control panel that you mentioned. If you can trace the wire you should be able to locate the AC light on the control panel.

I replaced the old unit with an 60 Amp Progressive Dynamics Intelli-Power model 9200 from www.bestconverter.com. It was an easy install and has worked great since then.

Like Mexray, I also have a ground tester plugged into the outlet right inside the door to let me know I have a proper ground and AC.

PS - Welcome aboard and enjoy your Airstream.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:52 AM   #17
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Got the new transformer on the way. I ordered their biggest unit, the 80 amp. What the heck. I live large. <grinning>

Thanks folks.

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Old 04-16-2009, 12:04 PM   #18
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1996 28' Excella
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Just a few comments about terminology:
These are "converters", not transformers (although they have one inside). They are basically a DC power supply. In the late vintage 70's, it was a ferroresonant supply with a transformer, two diodes, and two capacitors to make it resonate. The battery provided all the filtering. In our '79, getting it out was a gut busting operation due to the location.
On our '96, we replaced it with a WFCO from the vendor mentioned above and love it. they are "three stage", not "three phase". Three phase refers to how big power loads are fed from the local utility.
Our '79 had a 55 amp converter, so the fuses were sized for that limit. I wonder if your 80 amp converter might start blowing fuses if you are charging a completely drained battery with it. You should be able to see the large fuses in the panel. They are between the converter and the battery in the circuit.

Your earlier mention of shorts might warrant a good test of all the circuits in the trailer using an ohmmeter and pulling the fuses to make sure there are not any other ones hiding.

Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:24 PM   #19
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Welcome to Airforum, page.crow!

That sounds like a mighty fine TT you have there, I love the older big ones, too. How about some photos of yours? You might want to use a site like photobucket.com to host them, in that way you can post almost any size you like without having to scrunch them down to abide within the Airforum server's necessary constraints.

Sounds like you're ready for a big pile of fun with the tariler and your sons. Enjoy!

ps: somebody told me that a definition of "perfect pitch" is being able to hit the accordian in the dumpster with the banjo in only one throw. Is that true??



...just kidding, of course!
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:13 AM   #20
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LOL! Ouch! Yes indeed. Being the whipping-boy of all musicians (banjo-player), I admit I resemble that remark. <grinning> I love the banjo! It is a VERY difficult instrument to play, but OH! does it sound good. You just gotta dig that dissonance-sound, baby! I heard a young man the other day playing a Stelling. His banjo sounded like a macine gun. He was amazing. Banjo is SO cool. <grinning>

Dave: I gotta thank you for putting the steep-up on my learning curve. I now know more about these converters than I ever thought I would. Regarding the 80-amp unit I purchased: (Scotty...Give me MORE POWER!) I had no idea the bigger unit could possibly blow fuses. That's not good. I'll be on the lookout for that. Too much converter? Is that possible? Again, I don't see THAT much 12-volt stuff going on around the trailer, but like most males, I wanted the BIGGEST ONE! <grinning> Heck, if they offered a concert-hall special, I would have bought that one. Temper me.

I'm doing a big RE-DO on the inside of my trailer. Gawd! Is this fun! Thanks for asking about pictures. I'll do that when I get it finished, which is soon. I've painted the interior in some bold and masculine colors. (No women dare come around here...) The front walls are light turquoise blue. The middle-sleeper is sand-tan. The bathroom is tomato-red, white and black. The ceiling is chocolate-brown. I tinted the windows 5% (wow). The floor is light hardwood. The outside is ... silver.

The woman I bought it from said everything worked. She lied. She meant everything was broken. I have repaired the tongue-lift winch, the stove, the fridge, the plumbing (still working on that.) Upgrades include a new furnace, a fantastic vent (Thanks everyone for that recommendation.) and now this converter. Geez! You know, I could really live in this trailer! It's coming together. I will take pics. Thanks for asking.

I want to say I really appreciate the community here in the Airstreams forums website. You all are the most hospitable folks I have met on the internet. Thanks for the help and comraderie.

<humbly bowing>

page crow
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:22 AM   #21
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Dave,

You say these old converters are "a power supply". But are they not also a battery recharger? And if it's a battery recharger, when I pull it out, can I recycle this noisy unit as a bench batter recharger? But if I can, is it only a deep-cycle battery recharger? Or is it a deep-cycle at all? But doesn't the trailer want a deep-cycle battery instead of a car battery? (I bought a new deep-cycle battery. Certainly, this was the correct buy, yes?) So many questions.

I know banjos...

crow
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:12 AM   #22
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Deep Cycle yes. Auto battery charger will work but is a chewing gum fix kind of like using rubber bands for banjo strings.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by page.crow View Post
Dave,

You say these old converters are "a power supply". But are they not also a battery recharger? And if it's a battery recharger, when I pull it out, can I recycle this noisy unit as a bench batter recharger? But if I can, is it only a deep-cycle battery recharger? Or is it a deep-cycle at all? But doesn't the trailer want a deep-cycle battery instead of a car battery? (I bought a new deep-cycle battery. Certainly, this was the correct buy, yes?) So many questions.

I know banjos...

crow
The type of battery you use depends on the type of camping you are going to do. If you just go to campgrounds with electric hookups a car battery will do just fine. If you dry camp you will want a deep cycle since the battery will be your only source. When plugged into 120 volts the battery is just a smoothing device to provide a constant 12 volt supply as the load varies in the trailer depending on the number of lights you are using.

The newer converters generally have 3 levels of charging capacity built in. A faster charge for initial charging, a medium charging for normal operation while using some lighting in the trailer and a very low current charging to carry the battery once fully charge and at rest. The older types just had one level of charge and often boiled the water out of the battery if left on for prolong periods without a draw on the battery.

Yes you could use the old charger as a bench charger in the garage but a cheap one from Sears would work just as well and has some overcharging features built in.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:54 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by page.crow View Post
Dave,

You say these old converters are "a power supply". But are they not also a battery recharger? And if it's a battery recharger, when I pull it out, can I recycle this noisy unit as a bench batter recharger? But if I can, is it only a deep-cycle battery recharger? Or is it a deep-cycle at all? But doesn't the trailer want a deep-cycle battery instead of a car battery? (I bought a new deep-cycle battery. Certainly, this was the correct buy, yes?) So many questions.

I know banjos...

crow
Yeh, they are sort of 2/3 of a DC power supply, with the filtering inside the battery. I agree with Howie, I would not use it as a bench charger. The cheapest battery charger at Wally world is a lot better than one of these at protecting your battery from overcharging. It is much better to use it to prevent your boat from floating away......

Your new converter should have similar "smarts" to keep your battery happy.

For boondocking, where you do not have an electrical hookup, a deep cycle will work best in your trailer. They are meant to be slowly drained most of the way and then recharged. The battery in your car puts out lots of amps when starting, but expects to be recharged immediately by the alternator. It all has to do with the geometry of the parts inside.

It sounds like you have become intimate with the wiring of this trailer. At least you know that you can fix anything when you are done. Good Luck!
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:39 PM   #25
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Thanks for asking about pictures. I'll do that when I get it finished, which is soon.
If you wait, you will miss out on half the fun (and, more importantly, so will we!). How will you, us, or anyone know how much work you have done if you can't do a before/after show?

Just a suggestion.. ::nudge nudge, wink wink::
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:42 PM   #26
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OK. <grinning> You all got me laughing now. Before and after pics, huh? <grinning>

Alrighty now...I just recieved that converter from www.bestconverter.com. That was quick. The total price was $257.00 at my door for their high-power unit. (Was that 80 amps?)

The install is about as simple as installing a battery. A couple lines attached to the + and - screw-downs and here we go. How simple. How quiet. Oh wait... I didn't plug it in yet. <grinning> That was dang quiet. Works good. Very easy. Anyone could do this install.

Next I gotta cut the hole for the fantastic vent. I am choosing to install the vent in the light fixture overhead in the bedroom area of my 31 footer. Every other overhead light is quite necessary. (the living room area, the kitchen area, the bathroom area) I had to choose. That light spot is the only one that didn't have a hole cut in the roof.

I just got the tint on the windows. Wow.

It's coming together. And I have my camp banjo tucked away in the trailer to terrorize anyone coming near.

Best to all.

page crow
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:51 PM   #27
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Howdy Folks:

OK...I've got that Best converter installed. Piece of cake to install. Really. ANYBODY could put this thing in their trailer. Very cool. It's whisper quiet.

Much thanks to everyone for their help.

page crow ... on the banjo...
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