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Old 05-18-2012, 12:13 AM   #1
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Inverter not working?

My 1976 Argosy 26' 12 volt system even when hooked to 125v a/c only reads whatever the battery charge is . I have to manually charge battery. I don't think inverter is working at all. What is the best replacement for cost available?
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by susans69 View Post
My 1976 Argosy 26' 12 volt system even when hooked to 125v a/c only reads whatever the battery charge is . I have to manually charge battery. I don't think inverter is working at all. What is the best replacement for cost available?
I'm an engineer by profession, so forgive me for getting technical…

Not all inverters are inverter/chargers. An inverter takes 12vDC power from the battery and converts it to 120vAC. The charger side of it works in reverse, to take 120vAC and convert it to 12vDC. It can't do both at once.

An inverter/charger must be set to "charge" at the control panel in order for it to recharge your batteries, otherwise it will continue to try drawing 12vDC power from your battery to make 120vAC, even when it doesn't need to because you have 120vAC shore power plugged in. So, the first dumb question from the Peanut Gallery must be, do you have your inverter/charger set to "charge"?

If it's set to "charge" and it's not charging the house batteries, next question is, is the inverter's fuse blown or breaker tripped? If the answer is "No" then you're looking at possible replacement.

The answer to best value for replacement will depend in part on what kind of batteries do you want to charge? Wet-cell or AGM? Each type requires a different voltage regulator to keep from cooking your battiers instead of charging them, so there is no one-size-fits-all best inverter/charger for all applications.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:59 AM   #3
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I don't think you have an inverter, especially if it is original equipment.
A$ installed converters in the trailers originally. They were called Univolts. They were massive devices and weighed about 50#. The older they get the louder they become.
The Univolt is famous for cooking batteries.
If you can't hear it humming, the first thing is to make sure it has 120 volt AC power to it.
If it is original equipment, it's time to upgrade. I installed a Progressive Dynamics 9245 in the '74 Argosy we have about 2 years ago. I am happy with the results.
An inverter changes 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC
A converter changes 120 volts AC to 12 volts DC
They are totally different animals.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:05 PM   #4
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converter not working?

Ok, I understand my error. I believe I have a converter, when on a/c all d/c should be powered by it. I have just recently gotten the owners manual for my Argosy and the service manual for the same year Airstream(no service manual for Argosy). I don't think it is the univolt but I am not sure. I will research and give answer soon. Thank you,
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