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Old 06-04-2006, 04:32 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1971 23' Safari
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 22
Univolt Surprise 71 Safari

I have a 1971 Safari - 23 feet.

One month ago during a 300-mile camping adventure all systems worked fine.

It was parked, unplugged until we went camping this weekend and the battery died. It was a 6-year-old battery so I replaced it and the lights faded as it died. So I decided it might be the univolt. It humms - - but not as loud as before (if that makes sense) and it feels warm to the touch. I measured the charging to the battery and it is only about 6 volts or less. The AC breakers all are fine and the fuses in the univolt are fine.

I've read a bunch of posts and it seems like the "hummer" is likely broken. Now I can use it on the boat for an anchor. Finding a replacement converter seems pretty easy, but I am concerned about the built in fuse panel on the univolt. I am not too knowledgeable about electronics so I am wondering if the fuse panel can be removed and reused or is there a better method?

Thank you!

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Old 06-04-2006, 04:35 PM   #2
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,574
Originally Posted by silvercomet
I am not too knowledgeable about electronics so I am wondering if the fuse panel can be removed and reused or is there a better method?

Thank you!
Yes. Cut out the old fuse panel for re-use, and weld a pair of flukes on your new boat anchor.

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:15 PM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
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when you use the old fuze panel, you connect the new converter and battery normally. There is a third wire coming from the inside of the Univolt that your new converter won't have.

The only feature you won't be able to support is the "power" light that indicates if you have 115V shore power (that's that third wire from the Univolt). In order to make this work, get a cheapie little 12 VAC wall transformer that you can plug into a 115 V socket. Connect one side of the output to ground and the other to the gray wire on the fuze panel (it's got an itty bitty fuze going to it).
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:51 PM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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You could upgrade the fuse panel to the more modern blade fuses or even resetable 12v circuit breakers, or you can use the one out of the univolt. THIS is the one I plan to use...unless I win the lottery then I will spring for a Marine grade resettable fuse panel attached to a custom built Airstream

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Old 06-04-2006, 11:58 PM   #5
a.k.a. Ambassador Tim
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1960 28' Ambassador
Northern , California
Join Date: Jun 2003
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The univolt swap is one of the many upgrades I did on my old trailer. You can see the info on my website.

Good luck with your project!
1960 International Ambassador 28'
2001 Silverado 2500HD CC 6.0L 4.10
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:03 PM   #6
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1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,061
smart fuses

An additional advantage of upgrading the fuse panel to "blade" type fuses is that some aftermarket manufacturers offer fuses with a built LED that lights and stays on when the fuse is blown making it easier to find.

Another trick item is a light bulb (6, 12 or 24 V) built into a case like a standard Buss glass fuse. If you have an extra circuit not being used on the board, you can wire a nifty light into the unused space.

"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
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