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Old 12-02-2004, 05:41 PM   #1
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Power for a new water pump

I'm installing a new 12 V ParMax pump in our 1964 Overlander, but I'm confused about the voltage. The wires that went to the old pump supply 19 volts AC. Is that the way they should be? Do I need to rewire so the pump gets 12 volts DC from the battery? If I do then it will only run off the battery, not off the Univolt when I'm plugged into shore power.

Thanks

Grant
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:07 PM   #2
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grant

what do you have for a voltmeter?

19 sounds a bit high! is there a battery in the trailer now?

john
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:14 PM   #3
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19 VAC? That doesn't sound right. A Univolt should put out DC, a bit less than 14 VDC. You should have one wire from the trailer harness that has +, and another wire that goes to ground.

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Old 12-02-2004, 08:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by john hd
grant

what do you have for a voltmeter?

19 sounds a bit high! is there a battery in the trailer now?

john
I'm using a standard multimeter. It reads about 12.5V DC at the battery, but nothing on DC at the pump wires. At the pump wires I get 19 Volts if I switch to the AC voltage range on the meter.

There is a battery in the trailer. There are 2 switches in the rear compartment that switch between battery and shore power - one is labeled fan and the other lights. If I switch the fan switch to battery then the pump wires have 12.4 volts DC.

I saw in an old post something about a rectifier that was supposed to switch the AC to DC for the pump and fans. Can anyone explain that to me?

Grant
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Old 12-02-2004, 09:05 PM   #5
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grant

does the trailer have a "univolt" in it? or something else?

i have heard about the rectifier before, but don't fully understand how it works either! my impression is that it was a crude way of supplying "12" volts to a few of the items in the trailer that had high load on them. everything else ran off the battery and that was charged by the tow vehicle when being moved about. meaning that there is no real 12 volt system that was powered by plugging the trailer in. i have seen older trailers that had a regular battery charger hard wired into them in place of a univolt.

you may try emailing andy at inland rv and bounce this one off him, he has a great wealth of knowledge about early airstreams.

john
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Old 12-02-2004, 10:48 PM   #6
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Power for a new water pump

For Airstream, 1964 was something of a transition year for the electrical system. It was the first year for the Univolt so the electrical system was a little bit of the pre-1964 system with hints of the true 12-volt DC system that would become the norm in very short order. I remember reading somewhere (it may be in the owners manual or in a post to the VAC discussion list) that the ceiling fan motors, water pump, furnace fan, and range vent fan were all designed to operate on between 18 and 19 volts AC. I know that prior to rewiring, my '64 Overlander had the specialized switch for the ceiling vent fans and water pump. When my replacement converter was installed in 1995, the coach's 12-volt system was rewired such that 12-volt from the new converter was supplied to all of the accessories formerly served by the switched setup. It is my impression that the "mixed" system was for the '64 model year only as it seems all of the accessories mentioned were true 12-volt DC by 1965. Since I am no a do-it-yourselfer, I cannot provide any specifics on the procedures utilized to upgrade the wiring in my coach as my dealer handled the modifications.

Kevin
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:51 PM   #7
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Final thoughts on this?...

Hello...
I was searching on information regarding this same issue with my 64' Tradewind. The old pump is suppied 19vac by a General Electric converter labeled to output 12/19vac. This voltage doesn't sit well with my new SureFlo 12vdc pump. I am thinking I should replace this GE unit with a newer Univolt (or similar). Any experience with this?

Thanks for the help.
Jim
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Old 03-06-2006, 10:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyobp
Hello...
I was searching on information regarding this same issue with my 64' Tradewind. The old pump is suppied 19vac by a General Electric converter labeled to output 12/19vac. This voltage doesn't sit well with my new SureFlo 12vdc pump. I am thinking I should replace this GE unit with a newer Univolt (or similar). Any experience with this?

Thanks for the help.
Jim
Jim,

I recently installed a 60A Intellipower in my 63 Overlander. I am quite pleased with this unit, as it does a fine job of not only supplying consistant 12V dc, but also keepign my dual batteries charged up nicely. The converter was bought from bestconverter.com , a forum member's business.
You might have to replace the 19Vac components with 12V DC components to get all your fans etc. to function again.
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidsonOverlander
I'm using a standard multimeter. It reads about 12.5V DC at the battery, but nothing on DC at the pump wires. At the pump wires I get 19 Volts if I switch to the AC voltage range on the meter.

There is a battery in the trailer. There are 2 switches in the rear compartment that switch between battery and shore power - one is labeled fan and the other lights. If I switch the fan switch to battery then the pump wires have 12.4 volts DC.

I saw in an old post something about a rectifier that was supposed to switch the AC to DC for the pump and fans. Can anyone explain that to me?

Grant
Grant,

A rectifier is a bridge of diodes that , in very simplistic terms, takes he wave form of the incoming AC current and converts it to a form of DC. I use the word 'form' because the quility of the DC from early 'converters' like a bridge diode rectifier set up was very crude in electrical terms and many of today's 12VDC appliances would not run on it due to 'ripple current'.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:10 AM   #10
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I ran into this problem on a '65 Caravel. The "converter" appeared to be just a 2-stage transformer with both 12volts AC and 19volts AC available. The 12v side ran the lights and the 19v side ran all motorized equipment. The new pump I installed did not work properly on the 19v AC current. I had the '65 owner's manual that had the exact electrical schematic of the trailer and everything was as-manufactured at the factory. I phoned the service department at Airstream and asked for the oldest mechanic in the shop. I described the problem to him and he said "you can't do that!" They did not have a '65 manual available and argued that what I was describing never happened. Oh well. My solution was to install an Intellipower converter and wire it to the two-switch distribution panel as described in previous posts. The original fan motors that ran on 19V AC ran fine on the new 12V DC power and the new pump was happy. Darol
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyobp
Hello...I was searching on information regarding this same issue with my 64' Trade Wind. The old pump is suppied 19vac by a General Electric converter labeled to output 12/19vac. This voltage doesn't sit well with my new SureFlo 12vdc pump. I am thinking I should replace this GE unit with a newer Univolt (or similar). Any experience with this? Thanks for the help. Jim
Hi Jim:

Kevin's 2004 post is correct. Some history: 1963 and earlier highly optioned Airstreams used two separate electrical wiring circuits, one for 12 volt DC and another for 110 volt AC. Some of their fixtures, like lamps, had two bulbs, one for 12 volts DC and another for 110 volts AC.

1964 was the year first year for the dual voltage "Univolt" single wiring system. "Univolt" was a trade like name used by Airstream to describe its 12 VDC / 110 VAC electrical system that operated a single electrical device, like a bulb or motor, from either voltage. It eliminated having two electrical devices, one for each voltage. "Univolt" wiring and components varied over the years, so as you have done, one should list the year of the trailer trailer when discussing a particular "Univolt" issue.

For 1964, the fan motors for the heater, range vent and roof vent, and the water pump motor, all operated on 12 volts DC when switched to "Battery Power" but on 18-19 volts AC when switched to "City Power". There was no battery charger in 1964. As Lewster explains, in the old days 18-19 VAC was a crude substitute for 12 VDC. But enough history. We have better alternatives today.

Update your 1964 Trade Wind by removing its original Univolt and installing a modern 110 VAC-to-12 VDC converter that also has a 3 stage battery charger built in. Two years ago I installed an 45 amp Intellipower with Charge Wizard in my 1964 19' Globe Trotter. There are additional brand choices available today, see www.bestconverter.com and search this Forum for more information.

When on the road today, my lights, fan motors and water pump are powered from the 12 volt battery. When plugged into RV park power today, they still are powered by 12 VDC from the battery. The only difference when I'm plugged into city power is that the Intellipower supplements the battery and also intelligently charges the battery in 3 stages. I keep my trailer plugged into 110 VAC all winter to keep the battery charged.

I installed my Intellipower up on the curve in the rear street inside wall to get it off the floor. It is to the rear of the circuit breaker box and can be seen when I open the door for the small slide out drawers. When wiring it, I removed the Battery Power and City Power switches but used some internal parts from their box so I no longer have to manually switch between Battery Power and City Power. All the interior lights, fan motors and water pump now run off the old battery power circuit at all times. When I'm plugged in to 110 VAC, the Intellipower puts out 12 VDC and also charges the battery. It works great.
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:08 PM   #12
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You guys have solved one of the mysteries of my 65 Caravel. Although the manual states that I have a Univolt that charges the battery, after reading this tread and others, I now know I have the older system that does not charge the battery. It does have a set of switches to choose between battery power and shore power and has the GE transformer. The PO had installed a newer fan in the ceiling vent that would not run if the fan/pump switch was on shore power (the fan just hums), but rans fine on battery power. I just had camping world install an intellipower+charge wizard and a new fantastic vent. It seemed to be a confusing job for the techs. The end result is I have all my old "univolt" system (the switches and transformer) AND the intellipower which is seems to be doing a good job keeping the battery charged. However, the fantastic fan still only works when switched to battery power, evidently because the original transformer is sending 19V. Anyway, I think I now understand what is going on, and am using the method described in the previous post, where when on shore power, I keep the fan/pump switch on the battery setting, and let the intellipower recharge the battery as needed.

thanks again....
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:22 AM   #13
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You guys have solved one of the mysteries of my 65 Caravel. Although the manual states that I have a Univolt that charges the battery, after reading this tread and others, I now know I have the older system that does not charge the battery. thanks again....
Stan:

You are correct. For 1965, the Caravel was a limited production series trailer that had all the features of the 1965 base series Land Yacht except for the automatic gas bottle regulator, the battery charger and voltage regulator, which were all specifically deleted. So with respect to these features, the 1965 Owners Manual is correct for all trailers other than the Caravel.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
1964 was the year first year for the dual voltage "Univolt" single wiring system. "Univolt" was a trade like name used by Airstream to describe its 12 VDC / 110 VAC electrical system that operated a single electrical device, like a bulb or motor, from either voltage. It eliminated having two electrical devices, one for each voltage.

For 1964, the fan motors for the heater, range vent and roof vent, and the water pump motor, all operated on 12 volts DC when switched to "Battery Power" but on 18-19 volts AC when switched to "City Power". There was no battery charger in 1964.
I thought I had it all figured out, but now I'm confused. I have a '64 Overlander, and my owners manual says " As you drive, the battery in your trailer is under constant charge by your car's generator."

.....as I re-read the what I just typed above, I figured it out. I'll go ahead and post it anyways in case I'm missing something else. While driving my battery is charged by the TV correct? ...BUT the '64 univolt does not charge the battery when hooked up to shore power correct?

On that note, about how long will my 875 cranking amp Everstart marine battery last me while boondocking? We'll be using the lights and water pump, but I doubt we'll be using the fans.
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