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Old 10-20-2005, 02:54 PM   #1
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1963 19' Globetrotter
brevard , North Carolina
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battery prob '63 Globetrotter (cry for help )

Thought I finally had the kinks worked out and went to a wilderness spot and the new fully charged battery I installed would not power anything ! There were 3 bare leads ( battery missing when purchased ) 2 red , 1 green . attatched + / - respectively . At home I tested and abou 1/2 the lights worked , I figured that was how it was wired for batt only running . The cobbled together " manual" that came with it notes " switching to battery in the one stop service center " . What , and where the heck is that ? I've looked everywhere . Any direction to lead me out of this maze would be MOST gratefully appreciated . Also any source of an orig , complete manual , the pages I do have are not always specific to my model and seem to be written for one who's been doing this for years , as per the enigmatic advise above . Sometimes she's my prize possesion , but more and more , at times like these , and ther've been many , I've threatened to sell or blow her up .
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Old 10-20-2005, 03:09 PM   #2
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Wow...what a very unhappy first post. Did you have the unit plugged into your vehicle when the lights DID work? It may be the lights were getting power from your tow vehicle and you THOUGHT the battery was working. If that's not it, check for loose connections. They'll do it everytime. If that STILL doesn't work, you may have a loose wire somewhere that's getting jarred around on the road. You have to chase that down.

Are you at all handy with a Multi-meter? Start at the battery and find the first place you don't have power and you'll narrow it down. That's a pretty hard one for us to figure out without having the unit in front of us. I've given you some of the first things to check. Hope they help. Good luck and for God's sake....DON'T BLOW UP YER BABY!!!
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Old 10-20-2005, 03:33 PM   #3
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Ben ,
This isn't the 1st occasion a meter was suggested , guess I'll get one tonite ( avail wal mart ) or tomorrow @ hdwre . Is it hard to use / relate to this situation ?
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Old 10-20-2005, 04:35 PM   #4
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ps , @ home I unplugged for test w/ batt
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Old 10-20-2005, 05:27 PM   #5
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They aren't hard to use. You'll have a black lead and a red one. The red will go on postive test points and the black will go to ground or negative. You always want to set the meter higher than the voltage you are checking, but as close as possible. You'll probably have like a 18vdc or 24vdc setting. Normal good voltage on a 12 volt system is around 13.5vdc with a fully charged battery. Start at the battery and make sure you've got good strong voltage there. If the battery is a little low (9 volts) that's ok, but 9 volts is what you should expect to see everywhere else you check. Basically, by having voltage at a certain point means you don't have any broken wires or connections up to that point so you can rule out everything between the battery and that point.

If half the lights worked...and then nothing worked...You've probably got a loose connection AT or VERY near the battery. When NOTHING works, it's usually always the power supply. Things don't just all go bad simultaneously...unless you've been struck by lightning.

Try to wiggle the battery cables. If they move at ALL on the posts, they are too loose. They may be dirty too. You can remove the cables and clean them with a wire brush. If they are tight and clean, follow the cable and see if you can get to the next connection point and do the same thing when you find it. If you can't get to the next connection, go to the other side of the wall or panel that it goes into. Usually it will come out on the other side under the couch or under a cabinet.

Check the connection, and check for voltage with the meter. If you have zero volts, you've got a wire break between the battery and that point.

It sounds like a lot, but it really is common sense stuff when you get down to it. Of course, I used to work on weapon systems for the Navy. Let me know what you come up with after you've done the above stuff.

Good luck.
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Old 10-20-2005, 06:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilburfierce
The cobbled together " manual" that came with it notes " switching to battery in the one stop service center " . What , and where the heck is that ? I've looked everywhere . Any direction to lead me out of this maze would be MOST gratefully appreciated . Also any source of an orig , complete manual , the pages I do have are not always specific to my model and seem to be written for one who's been doing this for years , as per the enigmatic advise above .
Okay, first, 1963 model Airstreams did not have a one stop service center, which would be in a compartment above the back bumper. Second, owner's manuals didn't start until a couple of model years after your coach was built. Also, your coach dsoes not have a Univolt, so you can stop driving yourself crazy trying to find these items.
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Old 10-20-2005, 07:30 PM   #7
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I am very grateful and excited to find this site ! thanks guys , I'm going to disconnect the thermite charges an take those 3 ,5 gal cans of gas and pour 'em into my ( someday ) tow vehicle . ( pic attached possibly ?) . PS I like the quote too Overlnd / Terry ? tell me our names aren't the same ! One of my faves and somewhat apropos ...

"An expert is someone who's stopped thinking because he "knows".
Frank Lloyd Wright

re attatchment...oh h... uh well
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:10 PM   #8
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The first thing to realize, with a 63 is half the lighting fixtures are 110 volt and the other half are 12 volt(some have two bulbs in one shade). Those appliances which work on either (such as fans(kitchen,bedroom, furnace) ) have three position switches labeled city off and 12 volt. The four front sconces have bulbs that look alike but two have to be 12 volts and the other two are 110. They are not well marked. If you screw in a 12 volt RV bulb into the 110 fixture you will get a very bright light but it will only last for two seconds. If you screw a 110 bulb into the 12 volt fixture it will hardly even glow.

Many people installed battery chargers (univolt etc) in their units so they could run both the 12volt lights and the 110 volt lights (when plugged in)without running down the battery. There are some sources within VAC archieves which might have a wiring diagram for your trailer. (I have a 63 Overlander and sort of figured it out for myself ( I am an engineer). I used to troubleshoot Titan II missles with a scope , a multimeter, and a Fluke. At least there I had a wiring diagram.
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
I used to troubleshoot Titan II missles with a scope , a multimeter, and a Fluke. At least there I had a wiring diagram.
Wow! You had that kind of fancy schmancy equipment? We had to lick our fingers to test for hot wires! Air Force?
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:31 AM   #10
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Wilber -
Put away that T handled plunger and save it for your neighbor's when try to park an SOB on your property line.

You've got some good advise here. With your year of trailer and providing a previous owner hasn't butchered up all of the wiring, this should be pretty straight-forward. Check your battery level and go out from there. The ground for the 12 volt will more than likely be the aluminum shell. Check to see that you have a good ground from the battery. Intermittent power for the 12 volt fixtures sounds like a loose connection and quite possibly the ground. You can do this, we can help.

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Old 10-21-2005, 10:59 AM   #11
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1963 19' Globetrotter
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Thanks all , another mystery solved , ( bulbs , ) makes sense now .
A few more ?s

1)Where do I get 12 v bulbs and are they labeled as such ?
2)the alum shell , around battery ? ground wire should attatch to it ? access from under seat ? anything to the ground(earth) ? Plugged in at home I was getting a tingle plugged into the 110 and had to groud the frame w/ wire & rebar . Shes still out at the site so I can't run back & forth for the " obvious " ?s/answers herein .

BTW Do I need to be an engineer to run this thing ?
Kidding guys , thanks !
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:04 AM   #12
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1963 19' Globetrotter
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PS Brad , you just saved me a lot of work as I was about to pull those fixtures to find the short . I did trash a couple'a bulbs though !
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Old 10-21-2005, 12:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilburfierce
. . . Plugged in at home I was getting a tingle plugged into the 110 and had to groud the frame w/ wire & rebar. . .
That's ok for a temporary fix, but you should check polarity and ground continuity at your house outlet. If that is ok, then check the polarity of the power cord. Lastly, check that the ground and neutral in the trailer are not connected.

Good luck!
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Old 10-21-2005, 02:52 PM   #14
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1963 19' Globetrotter
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okay all you engineers , I bought a multi meter . , another totally arcane piece of technology to me . It doesnt have vdc ( out of 15 units @ Lowe's (1hr staring blankly) none did . it does have an arcane icon for ac voltage settings frm 300-200-200m-1.5v , ad nauseum . and dc 300-200-20-2ooom . Would appreciate some feedback on where to set the thing before . I blow it up ! Murphys law tells me that's what'll happen or I bought the wrong thing !

help !

Will
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