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Old 10-25-2009, 09:16 AM   #1
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Power question

I am new to the camping world so this may be a silly question. I have a '70 Overlander 27' should the lights and refrigerator work if you don't have a battery hooked up but you do have it plugged into a 30amp service? I am pretty familiar with electrical things. thanks in advance Michael
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:22 AM   #2
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The lights are usually 12 volt DC and the refrigerator is generally running on 110 volt AC. Both should work when plugged into shore power. The 12 volt lights should run through the converter. Tell us what is going on. Maybe we can help.

Brian
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Inland RV has posted that old Univolts like a balanced load with a battery in the circuit. I'm not sure what strain it puts on them if there isn't a battery. You might want to put replacing the Univolt 'battery boiler' on your long term plan. For now I wouldn't feel bad about occasional use as you propose -- it would have been close to the edge anyway if it hatches. Insulate the cable terminals if you use it this way.

I know that lights on my '74 Argosy seemed to work just fine. Your fridge controller is 12 volts but uses 120V to cool when plugged in.

Almost all 50 states have laws on the book requiring breakaway braking for trailers over approx 2000 pounds. You'll need a battery onboard for road use.

Good to have you with us, Michael!
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Old 10-25-2009, 02:55 PM   #4
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You want to install a battery ASAP. The converter without a battery load will run at a higher output voltage and you will go through light bulbs for one and may cook the control board in the Ref.

The battery is the equalizer in the system when on 120 volts shore power. If you never intend to use the trailer except at campgrounds with power a single smaller battery will do.

As noted above you have to have a battery for the emergency trailer brakes to work.
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:02 PM   #5
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I just want to clarify one point. If you have the original refrigerator, you have no control board and there is no demand for 12 volts at the refrigerator. If the refrigerator is not original, all bets are off.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:57 PM   #6
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I will take some pictures tomorow when I get back to the trailer. It is the original refrigerator though. I am working out of town and will be working on it when I get up (night shifts) The guy I got it from never used it and didn't know a whole lot about technical stuff. I am hoping the fridge will be working, when I get everything plugged up, at least long enough until I can upgrade. Thanks again for the replies and I will try to post some pics tomorow.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:39 AM   #7
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The UniVolt buzzing loudly without a battery installed is it screaming in pain, it takes from several days to weeks will kill the converter depending on prior abuse. Find a battery quick!
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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Well my 'fridge is fried. My converter works and so does everything else. I guess it just had its better days. I will just have to get me a new one.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:00 PM   #9
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What is your difination of "fried"? Did you check if it works on both gas and 120vac?

Kip
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:16 PM   #10
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That sounds like a hasty reaction to what appears to be an electrical problem.

There should be no reason to replace the complete unit if any of the electrical components don't work. They are cheap compared to a new refg.

Unlike a household refg. the cooling section is completely removed from the electrical section and thus the failure of one dose not require the replacement of both.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:32 PM   #11
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Certainly check the gas operation of the fridge. Mine takes forever to draw down on electric, so I start it with gas then switch over to maintain....unless I'm boondocking, then it stays on gas.

Did you verify the power to the fridge?

Al
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:43 PM   #12
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I did verify the power to the 'fridge, I have power at the toggle and power at my plug behind. I talked to a fellow at a local RV store that worked for Airstream for 20 years and he told me it may take a while for it to cool down and the back should become warm, it never did, I didn't try it on gas because I have to get my tanks rebuilt with the right stuff. I left it plugged in for about 12 hours and it never did anything. I am not real familiar with how the ammonia based refrigerators work so can you add ammonia if it is low? Obviously if I don't have to replace it I don't want to. Thanks guys
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:34 PM   #13
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If you have a voltmeter check for voltage, 120, at the terminals that go to the heater element. If you have voltage there the controls are OK. If so disconnect the power and lift one wire of the heater element and check for continuity across the element. If you had voltage on the terminals and no continuity across the element the element is bad and easily change.
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:08 PM   #14
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The ammonia is in a sealed unit and can not be normally serviced. Your problem sounds like an open heating element as stated in the post above.

Replacing the unit should be a last resort. Finding an exact fit replacement is almost impossible.
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