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Old 08-06-2009, 12:17 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
portland , Tennessee
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Why so much HEAT? Univolt?

Is it normal to have so much heat up front near the univolt? Is there a way to vent it? (REALLY PUTTING OUT HEAT)
We live in the camper, it is running on a 30 amp separate breaker.
The battery box's are both broke and we couldn't get them in proper without hitting and bulging the interior trim so we removed them. Did we mess up? Problem is we sat them on the ground about a week ago. Prior to our living in it the PO bought it from someone who also lived in it. We did not think they were any good - But should they be put back or buy new ones
Why so much heat? If I close the tambour to block it out I worry it may do damage to the Satellite box and Other electronics.
Any advise to things we should do with this or any other items since we are living in it are welcome.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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1977 31' Excella 500
portland , Tennessee
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Anybody? We just hooked the old batteries back up. Did we do the correct thing?
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:04 PM   #3
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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If the batteries are no good, the converter will be working all-out to charge them, which will never happen. The higher the load, the more heat buildup.
In a perfect world, I'd suggest getting a new converter, like an Intellipower or Parallax, and a pair of new batteries. Since it's not a perfect world, and cost may be a consideration, maybe a new converter and a single, inexpensive battery (isolate the connection to the sercond until you can get a pair of better batteries).
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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1984 31' Excella
Norfolk , Virginia
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Univolt Heat

First determine if the batteries are any good.
1. To do this disconnect them from the trailer battery cables.
2. Connect them to a battery charger.
3. Let them charge for at least 24 hours.
4. Remove the battery charger (unplug from wall before removing charging cables from batery terminals).
5. Measure the voltage across the terminals. It should be at least 13 volts. If not 13 volts but lets say 10 or 9 volts the battery is bad.
6. Let the batteries set for three days.
7. Measure the voltage. It should be at lease 12.75 volts. If it is less than 12.75 lets say 10 or 8 the battery is bad.
If the battery is bad this is what has been causing the heat. The univolt has been charging the battery trying to bring it back up to 13.25 or so and has been charging at the full charge rate (40 amps or so).
But there is a more important issue here. When a battery charges or discharges it produces Hydrogen Gas (remember the Hindenburg?). If you have the battery inside the trailer while charging and discharging this gas has been collecting in the trailer. Stop immediately. Disconnect the battery. This is why all battery boxes are supposed to sealed off from inside the coach and open to the outside air (vented). If you are going to have a battery in the trailer, it will work fine without it, you must reinstall a battery box of some sort and vent it to the outside air.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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1965 26' Overlander
Renton , Washington
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The batteries may not even be the issue. Have the batteries load tested at a local auto parts store like napa to determine if they are good or bad- no sense replacing them if they are good. Once the battery status is determined, hook them back up to the univolt and check what the univolt is putting out to the batteries with a volt meter to make sure it is not overcharging the batteries. If it is than I would say the univolt is faulty. Another thing to look at is that there are three wires coming out of the univolt on th d/c side- a ground, battery charge wire, and a load wire. If you are using a lot of the d/c system in your trailer all at once than the converter is going to put out more heat because it is working on overdrive. When connected to shore power the univolt is not only maintainig and charging the batteries but it is also putting out the power through the load line for the emenities that run off the d/c system.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:03 PM   #6
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1971 25' Caravanner
scappoose , Oregon
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In my own AS, a '71, the Univolt had actually scorched the bulkhead next to it.
They really are a pile of junk, as soon as you can, get a decent 3-stage charger. Your batts will last longer, and you will have peace of mind.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:08 PM   #7
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1977 31' Excella 500
portland , Tennessee
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This camper is docked and hooked to a sewer and water line. It is like a home. Can the batteries be left out? Will that hurt anything? Both battery box's are shot. Now I am worried about my health. I already have MS. Brain tumor and a spinal leak that they cant find. I dont want to get any sicker. What is the best way to hook this up? With or without batteries? If it was your's how would you procede?
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:19 PM   #8
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1965 26' Overlander
Renton , Washington
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I don't see any harm in leaving the batteries out. Once you disconnect from shore power you will not have so much as a light but if that is no issue than I would just disconnect them and tape off the electrical ends. The dc system should still operate through the load wire.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
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1977 31' Excella 500
portland , Tennessee
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Is there a way to just convert the power without it trying to charge the batteries? what will the "Intellipower or Parallax" do that is different to whatever I have now.
Sorry but I only know girl things
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:59 PM   #10
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1965 26' Overlander
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netlace, do you lose any of your electrical emenities like lights or anything when you un hook the batteries?
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:03 PM   #11
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1977 31' Excella 500
portland , Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate3172 View Post
netlace, do you lose any of your electrical emenities like lights or anything when you un hook the batteries?
No- Everything works.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:07 PM   #12
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1965 26' Overlander
Renton , Washington
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Than like I said, the univolt is still producing 12 volt dc current and is supplying it to the trailers dc system through the load wire not the charge wire for the batteries. Nothing to convert. just tape off the cable ends that connect to the batteries and you are all good.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:44 PM   #13
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1977 31' Excella 500
portland , Tennessee
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Thanks for your help. I just wish it was not so warm! I Still wish to vent it somehow. I was worried that by having the batteries out I was wearing out the system. We will remove them again tomorrow. I dont want any fumes. It actually seems cooler with them in tho! Thank you nate (and everyone) for your time in posting me.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:52 PM   #14
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I'll be coming up to see Cecil in a couple of days. Haven't called him yet to set up time. I can bring my battery tester. This way we'll know where to start. BTW, Tami wants to keep the sink covers from the Tradewind.
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