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Old 06-07-2008, 11:31 AM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pensacola , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 17
75 31' Intl. Sov. univolt problems

Hello everyone. We have just purchased a 1975 31' rear bath and are ready to get started on refurbishing but ran into one problem. We plug our airstream into the wall (using the standard household type plug coming out of the rear storage) and run a couple of things through the electrical outlets (box fan, radio) and have the lights on. After doing that for a couple of hours our lights start flickering and getting VERY dim almost as if our battery is running down. I looked in the closet at where the fuse panel is and there's a 12 volt battery charger hooked into the fuse panel. I looked behind the wall and I do have a univolt there but I was wondering why someone would have a charger hooked to the fuse panel unless maybe the univolt isn't working. Is there anything I should try or does anyone out there have any similar problems or suggestions? Thanks for any help, like I said, my family and I are just starting on this venture.

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Old 06-07-2008, 11:36 AM   #2
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I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. Most likely the univolt failed and the PO was charging the battery with a charger. I would start making plans to replace the univolt with a 3 stage converter and be done with it.



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Old 06-07-2008, 12:14 PM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pensacola , Florida
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Thanks Richard. Do you have any recommendations at all on what I would need to get and where I should get it. I appreciate all your advice and help. Thanks
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
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I just ordered Intellipower 9200 models from Vintage Trailer Supply. Good price last week.

You'll also need a fuse block of some kind, if your Sovereign doesn't have one separate from the Univolt. Sometimes you can remove the fuse block that's in the Univolt and mount it on standoffs. Otherwise, fuse blocks are $17-35. I recommend that if you do get a new fuse block, get one that uses the standard size automotive fuses. These come in sizes from 3-40 amps. I haven't found a need for anything more than 40. Some members will say you need 60 amps for the batteries, which might be theoretically true, but not in practice, unless to totally flatten a battery (bad, bad practice. always leave at least 20% charge on a lead-acid battery).

If your new fuse block uses automotive fuses, you don't need a battery switch--just pull the appropriate fuse(s). That'll save you $20 right there.

Also, I don't fuse both leads from the battery, just the positive lead. There are some remotely possible failures (battery + lead insulation breaking down and shorting to the shell) that a negative lead fuse will protect you from, but they are so improbable that in my judgment the second fuse is a total waste.

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Old 06-07-2008, 03:51 PM   #5
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Randy (68overlander on the forums) also sells converters for our trailers. I got ours from him, and have been very happy both with price and customer service. He has a website for his place also, BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics.
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:07 PM   #6
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Here is a link to how install the new converter and panel.

Airstream Converter Change-over


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battery charging, electrical, lights dimming, univolt

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