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Old 02-23-2011, 12:29 PM   #1
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1994 25' Excella
Los Angeles , California
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univolt converter switch position?

Hey all,

I just built a little trailer park in the back of my property for Star Ship Excella (a 1994 25' model), and the electricians just finished installing that special 30a RV receptacle for me to plug into city power with.

I was ready this morning. Cue soaring victory music... but here comes the scratched record effect where the needle slides off: I'm sitting in the front couch looking at the converter switch on the wall like a baboon. It's labeled "converter shut-off" but the switch itself doesn't indicate which is ON and which is OFF. Is it up or down? And even if it were labeled, would the converter shut-off be on or off, or the converter itself be on or off? This is a kind of "who's on first" logic that I struggle with sometimes.

So please help me not burn down the Star Ship, and riddle me this: When I plug in to 110v city power, do I want the switch to be up or down?

And if this is some sort of oddball/replacement switch (it looks like a plane jane 110v light switch), how can I locate the univolt converter and test to see which switch position activates it?

Thanks guys!

H.A. in L.A.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:52 PM   #2
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H.A. here is a quick and easy test. Turn on all the 12VDC lights and fans etc. Flip the converter switch the lights will get brighter and the fans will speed up once the converter starts supplying power to the 12VDC system. So dull and slow is battery only and bright and fast is converter. Easy peasy.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip. To be sure, I do this test *before* plugging it into 110V to find out what position to leave the switch in when I do plug it in, ja?
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:52 PM   #4
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H.A. If the switch is on & the converter working it probably will hum, indicating it is doing it's job charging the batteries. Some of the converters hum quite loudly, especially when working hard. AS's intention was to allow you to be able to turn it off for a nice quiet evening in the lounge. Don't forget to turn it back on or the batteries will eventually run down. Happy trails. John
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by godaddy64 View Post
Thanks for the tip. To be sure, I do this test *before* plugging it into 110V to find out what position to leave the switch in when I do plug it in, ja?
After plugging to 110VAC shore power and confirm that you indeed have shore power. The easiest way is to look at the microwave and see if the clock is working or turn on a 110VAC appliance like a light or the A/C.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:36 PM   #6
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good to check it out now. I found out a lot about ours one night on the road about 11 pm with a flashlight to read the manual. had accidently bumped the switch that we did not know existed the day before.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:25 PM   #7
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in my 94, up is on.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:00 AM   #8
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in my 94, up is on.
That has a nice ring to it. Will try the big plug-in tomorrow and end the suspense with the "up is on" method.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:17 PM   #9
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Update: "Up is On" definitely rings true in my Excella. Power is restored, and I have that comforting hum to help me sleep in the Star Ship. Thanks for the advice guys!
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