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Old 12-22-2006, 05:15 PM   #1
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Help, 12 volt troubles

Ok. what happened to my 12 volt?

I took out my 12V battery for a couple weeks, today I put it back in fully charged and nothing happened.....no 12 volt working anywhere.
After a lot of tinkering I found by accident that the shell of my trailer along with everthing else metal inside and out that should be ground is now positive or hot including the copper plumbing.
Its a 1979 Airstream, I tried disconnecting the Univolt, but that didn't help any, the Univolt appears to charging correctly.
Whats going on?
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookeville34
Ok. what happened to my 12 volt?

I took out my 12V battery for a couple weeks, today I put it back in fully charged and nothing happened.....no 12 volt working anywhere.
After a lot of tinkering I found by accident that the shell of my trailer along with everthing else metal inside and out that should be ground is now positive or hot including the copper plumbing.
Its a 1979 Airstream, I tried disconnecting the Univolt, but that didn't help any, the Univolt appears to charging correctly.
Whats going on?
Did you hook the battery up backwards? Is the shell hot when the trailer is not plugged in?

Bill
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:42 PM   #3
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12 volt reply

Bill, I checked the battery hookups and even tried hooking the battery up backwards. I have the same problem if the trailer is connected to shore power or not.
I checked the fuse block and the #3 fuse seems to be culprit that is making the shell positive/hot. When the fuse is in place the shell is positive/hot, when the fuse is removed I have nothing. I think this is the fuse to the Univolt. I'm stumped.
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookeville34
Bill, I checked the battery hookups and even tried hooking the battery up backwards. I have the same problem if the trailer is connected to shore power or not.
I checked the fuse block and the #3 fuse seems to be culprit that is making the shell positive/hot. When the fuse is in place the shell is positive/hot, when the fuse is removed I have nothing. I think this is the fuse to the Univolt. I'm stumped.
Do you have a service manual with the wiring diagram? If not, I have the 1979 manual and will scan and send you the wiring diagram for the fuse block.

Bill
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:48 PM   #5
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No I don't have the manual. I can't understand it, I haven't changed anything on the fuse block or Univolt. Do you think a 12 volt wire is rubbing somewhere on the trailer body? The trailer hasn't moved since the last time the battery was in it. little_bear@bellsouth.net
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:33 PM   #6
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12v reply

I checked and the #3 fuse is not the Univolt fuse, its a large red wire that leaves the fuse block and runs up behind the tub shower into the trailer.
I disconnected the Univolt, that didn't help. The only thing I can think of is a positive wire rubbing somewhere, its just odd because the trailer hasn't moved.
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:47 PM   #7
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I'll try to post a picture of the fuse panel , this is from a '76 manual , yours should be similar . The #3 fuse is the neg. to the battery . One other thing to check , on mine there are large bullet type disconnects on the pos. and neg. battery wires ( near the bat. ) . Perhaps something got crossed there or some corrosion.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:55 PM   #8
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Maybe this is better
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:52 PM   #9
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What this sounds like to me is the loss of a connection to ground. Without a ground the 12 volts will pass through the devices and go to the shell. When you said that you has 12 volts on the frame, what did you measure it in reference to. One meter lead on the shell, where was the other? It could be as simple as a bad battery cable since that was the last thing you worked on when this happened. I would hook a volt meter to the negative battery post and work back to the fuse pannel from there. You should read 0 volts on the ground lines. When you see 12 volts you have gone past the problem.

Good luck and keep posting...
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:45 PM   #10
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I know this may sound stupid, but the only thing that changed was that you removed the battery and charged it right ? So if you focus on that : Is there any way the battery reversed its polarity ?

from the following website Car and Deep Cycle Battery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Section 14

"If a battery is fully discharged and continues to have a load, for example leaving the headlights on, it is possible for one or more cells to reverse polarity. When the battery has been recharged with reversed polarity the polarity can change. This is referred to as "cell reversal". To change polarity, fully discharge the battery and recharge it with the correct polarity."

Does the Univolt run the lights etc when the battery is unhooked ?

Regards Rob
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:59 PM   #11
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I took the battery out and used my battery charger, still the same problem. Mystery, huh?
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookeville34
I took the battery out and used my battery charger, still the same problem. Mystery, huh?
Where / how did you attach the battery charger?
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:03 PM   #13
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I attached the battery charger leads to the trailer 12v battery leads. Came up with the same problem.
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:12 PM   #14
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I still think the problem is in the negative (ground) from the battery to the 12 volt fuse pannel. How is fuse #3?
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