Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-17-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 27' Overlander
San Francisco , California
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 26
new owner - dumb questions. :) 74 Overlander

Greetings!

Just purchased a 74 over lander and had some basic questions around operation. Currently the rig is all stock.

First: is there a master power switch to turn on/off the battery? I've got 12v at the battery but nothing seemed to operate inside (lights, etc). I went to check the battery and everything came on after some fiddling, but there was no obvious moment where I flipped a switch that I know of.

Second: is powering off the truck going to be enough to charge the battery? Given this trailer is going to sit in an RV storage facility without power, should I pull the battery between uses (weeks to months) and charge it on a battery tender?

Third: I'm planning on using this thing two weeks a year in a location with 120v shore power access. It still has the original univolt charger. Will this fry my battery? Should I disconnect the battery when on shore power for more than a week? I'm considering a Power Dynamics replacement converter...

Thanks!

Greg
__________________

__________________
Creech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
mandolindave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,116
Images: 4
2 out of 3

#1 answer- your trailer may have after market modification ( an auto reset fuse, a battery switch etc ) some one who has that model can help you

#2 answer- Your truck will take forever to charge a dead battery ( 12 volts is functionally dead )

#3 a univolt will fry a battery if left on too long past full charge. Right after charging your batt should read between 13-14 volts. After a day of rest, if it is not at 12.6 or above , you may need a new batt
__________________

__________________
mandolindave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
tphan's Avatar
 
1972 27' Overlander
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 951
Congrats! Sounds like you just had some corrosion/loose fitting issues with your 12V. There is a fuse panel back by the univolt, and the fuses and their sockets could probably stand a little cleaning with steel wool or the like.
You should probably initially pull the battery and see if it charges properly- or if you need to replace it. Then you could just leave it in the trailer while in storage if you like, with the option of pulling the main fuse out or disconnecting the + battery lead to insure that there is no accidental drain on it.
I would for sure junk the univolt and get a new converter with anti-fry charging technology!
Have fun with it!
__________________
tphan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
WineStream's Avatar
 
2005 30' Safari
Jeromesville , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,873
Images: 24
All of the above are good suggestions. I'll re-iterate with a little first hand experience from an owner of a '74 Overlander which has had it's fair share of electrical gremlins.

There is a 50A (DC) fuse mounted to the wall just to the left of the Univolt. Make sure this is clean and maybe even install a new fuse for the heck of it. This one thing caused me some havoc for a while before discovering it. I found out it was the problem when I lost all 12V power while camping. I spun the fuse in it's holder and all of a sudden, lights came on! I cleaned things up, put in a new fuse, and no issues since.

Also, I've had a lot of issues with a good connection at the battery. Get a battery terminal brush-cleaner and ream on the connections until they shine, then but back together nice and snug. Do this every year.

I have an IOTA converter in mine and it has been pretty good. I have a Univolt still in my other Airstream and it hasn't given me any issues. But, I don't leave it plugged in 100% of the time, either.

Your second question perhaps needs more detail. Do you want to know if your truck will charge a dead battery? Well, eventually maybe. But typically if a battery is dead-dead, it needs to be taken out and cycled and all sorts of fun stuff while monitoring it with a voltmeter. It may not recover. Your truck won't do much in this case. If you're asking if 12V from your truck is being supplied to the trailer when connected, that answer is yes, or at least it should be if all the wiring is correct.

If you know you are always going to have 120V AC power when you're camping, then I wouldn't worry much about a battery and keeping it charged and such. As long as the Univolt is providing 12V DC when you're plugged in to 120V AC, then everything in your trailer should be functional when you're camping. If you get into boondocking then the battery health and keeping it charged is a whole new story. I would agree with unplugging your trailer from 120V AC power when you're not camping in it. A battery disconnect switch might be a good addition in this case, too. Or, manually disconnect the battery as mentioned before in this thread.
__________________
WineStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 10:56 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creech View Post
Greetings!

Just purchased a 74 over lander and had some basic questions around operation. Currently the rig is all stock.

First: is there a master power switch to turn on/off the battery? I've got 12v at the battery but nothing seemed to operate inside (lights, etc). I went to check the battery and everything came on after some fiddling, but there was no obvious moment where I flipped a switch that I know of.

Second: is powering off the truck going to be enough to charge the battery? Given this trailer is going to sit in an RV storage facility without power, should I pull the battery between uses (weeks to months) and charge it on a battery tender?

Third: I'm planning on using this thing two weeks a year in a location with 120v shore power access. It still has the original univolt charger. Will this fry my battery? Should I disconnect the battery when on shore power for more than a week? I'm considering a Power Dynamics replacement converter...

Thanks!

Greg
1. Not as an original equipment.

2. Your tow vehicle will recharge a battery, provided the battery did not totally discharge.

3. As long as the Univolt is still OK, it will keep the battery charged up as well as providing power for all the 12 volt DC circuits.

As a suggestion, check out the running gear before you start your traveling.

Are the brakes and bearings OK?

Are the rubber rods in the axles still serviceable? If not, then the trailer will be subjected to more shaking and twisting than it was designed for.

The following will answer that question for you.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Welcome to Airstreaming and the world of a gazillion questions.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 03:43 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 27' Overlander
San Francisco , California
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 26
Thanks everyone for answering my questions.

I think I'll just start pulling the battery between uses and stick it on a Battery Tender in the garage. I'm glad to know the truck will top off the battery when I'm driving. I don't expect it to fully charge a dead battery. I am surprised that there's no master battery switch, given both of my previous trailers have had them.

Regarding the running gear, I've had that checked out prior to purchase. The drop is about level, so the axles are nearing the end of their life, but not a complete failure. I'm looking into replacing both of them this year. I wish I could do them myself but I've nowhere to do that kind of work. I've been recommended Avalon RV in Antioch to do the work. Any recommendations in the northern California area?
__________________
Creech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creech View Post
Thanks everyone for answering my questions.

I think I'll just start pulling the battery between uses and stick it on a Battery Tender in the garage. I'm glad to know the truck will top off the battery when I'm driving. I don't expect it to fully charge a dead battery. I am surprised that there's no master battery switch, given both of my previous trailers have had them.

Regarding the running gear, I've had that checked out prior to purchase. The drop is about level, so the axles are nearing the end of their life, but not a complete failure. I'm looking into replacing both of them this year. I wish I could do them myself but I've nowhere to do that kind of work. I've been recommended Avalon RV in Antioch to do the work. Any recommendations in the northern California area?
Changing axles on a tandem trailer, is a piece of cake.

All you need is a little extra muscle to lift the new axles in place.

No jacks needed.

Pull one axle's tires up on some 2 x 6's.

That will lift the trailer high enough so that you can change out the unused axle.

When thats done, reverse the process and change out the other axle.

Installing shocks, easy as pie.

Rewiring the brakes, easier than pie since the brake magnets are not polarized.

Then when finished, relax and enjoy the 6 pack that you bought for your reward, look at the additional height of the trailer, and enjoy the rest of the day.

That will save you a few hundred bucks.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
OilnH2o's Avatar
 
1976 27' Overlander
Missoula , Montana
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 374
All good answers to your questions. Just one thing to add - since this is a "new" trailer to you. Make sure the battery you got with the trailer is a deep cycle, RV/marine type battery. Since I bought my Overlander I've learned I didn't know... what I "didn't know!" The many different types of 12 volt batteries was one of those I've learned about. By the way - we're very pleased with our Overlander!
__________________

__________________
OilnH2o is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.