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Old 09-05-2016, 12:08 AM   #1
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1972 23' Safari
Middletown , Rhode Island
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New to forum and electrical question?

Hi I just recently purchased a 1972 Safari 23ft Airstream and wanted to know how to troubleshoot the electric. The outer lights all work when hooked up to my tow vehicle, but I was wondering how to check if the interior electricals were good. I tried to connect the airstream to a car battery to check if the electrical/lights worked and nada? Do I just connect the cables to battery and things should work? or do I need to turn/switch something on? Electrical breakers? etc... Any info would be much appreciated.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:39 AM   #2
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2003 22' International
South Bend , Indiana
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I believe your lights should be 12v and should work when plugged into your tow vehicle. However, there is a 12v converter that the battery is charged off of and there should be a 12v fuse panel. Make sure all the fuses are good. The lights should work whether attached to tow vehicle or plugged into 110v if the converter is good. If your converter is fried then none of your 12v systems should work but your 110v plugs should have power. Check the breakers as well as they feed power to the converter. I'm more familiar with later model units so you might get a better answer. Good luck!


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Old 09-05-2016, 08:44 AM   #3
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Not familiar with that vintage, but my 2001 and 2002 had/have a battery disconnect switch that disconnects the trailer 12V electrics from both the battery and the converter. It is a rotary switch with a metal lever handle. It may be in an out-of-the-way location like behind the drawer under the sofa (if you have that).

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Old 09-05-2016, 08:48 AM   #4
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1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
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Interior lights are 12v, and should work if you hook up an already charged battery whether or not the univolt is working, albeit probably only long enough to test them. If not, open the face of the univolt and check the fuses.
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:42 PM   #5
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2000 27' Safari
Schaumburg , Illinois
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There are several variables to finding a solution to you problem.
1. the interior 12 volt supply can come from,
A. External battery
B. the 110v to 12 volt inverter
C. the tow vehicle

The easiest solution is to install a 12 volt battery that is dedicated to the AS. Make certain that the main power disconnect is "ON". Check all the fuses that supply the 12V circuits.

Check the fuses on the 110 volt inverter. Usually the fuses for this are easily seen on the outside of the case.

When connected to your tow vehicle, there is one variable that some manufacturers have, and that is a "TOW HAUL" mode. This mode keeps the tow vehicle from over shifting in hilly terrain, and slow traffic, however unknown to many is that when that mode is activated, it also supplies 12V from the tow vehicle to the AS, and charges the AS battery.

This should help you get started.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:05 PM   #6
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1972 25' Tradewind
North Vancouver , British Columbia
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If you haven't got one, you can download the owner's manual here:

https://www.airstream.com/service/ma...ear_select=878

It doesn't go into great detail, but might be enough to help.
If the univolt and fuses are working and the on board battery is fully charged, the interior 12V lights should work. If the battery is dead, plug into shore power to test systems. Don't discount the possibility that all the interior bulbs are burnt out, but that doesn't seem likely unless the unit has been sitting for a very long time. If you're in a coastal climate, contacts my be corroded, so you might need to take a bit of steel wool to them to clean them up. Good luck.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:13 PM   #7
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New to forum and electrical question?

Your vintage unit will not have a "use/store" switch. As others have mentioned. There is a fuse panel inside or near the Univolt. There also may be a fuse on the negative side of the circuit which in most cases is mounted on the skin of the coach. Follow the negative battery cable to determine if you have this fuse.
If you know how to use a multimeter you can check for 12 volts at the Univolt fuse panel.
Also check to make sure each fuse is tight in the holder.
The Univolt is powered by 120 volts AC and will not work if you are not plugged into shore power. It won't work if the circuit breaker is off.
As others have said. With a good battery you should be able to power the 12 volt side without the Univolt being in play.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:21 AM   #8
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1972 23' Safari
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll look into this tomorrow and let you know the results.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:27 AM   #9
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1979 23' Safari
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On your 72 safari the fuse panel should be behind a little door below your front center window.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:13 PM   #10
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1960 22' Flying Cloud
Sunlakes , Arizona
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electrical revamp

I am new to the forum, but just finished a shell off frame and floor restore of my 1960 22' Flying Cloud and just got the shell back on, next step is new panel location and rewire. Have seen post's about univolt panels but I don't remember disconnecting anything like that but the interior had been redone prier to me taking possession

Any suggestions would be Appreciated
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabmike1954 View Post
I am new to the forum, but just finished a shell off frame and floor restore of my 1960 22' Flying Cloud and just got the shell back on, next step is new panel location and rewire. Have seen post's about univolt panels but I don't remember disconnecting anything like that but the interior had been redone prier to me taking possession

Any suggestions would be Appreciated
I recommend you start a new thread so that your question doesn't get buried.
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