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Old 02-19-2003, 08:48 PM   #1
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Unhappy I need help!!--Univolt, antenna,washer/dryer

I have a 1974 soverign that has the original antenna still attached to the roof. It appears to have roofing tar around the base. I am wanting to remove it. Are there any solvents to aid in removing that black tar?? Also, the univolt keeps melting one of the fuses and the lights in the front of the trailer and over the kitchen sink do not work. Is this a result of a short in a wire or is it because of the univolt? We bought this trailer about 8 months ago and the lights worked then. We are trying to re-do alot on this trailer to get it the way we want it...One last question--we would like to install the combination washer/dryer. I am a traveling nurse and really need this! Will it possible to do this, and if so, how complex? Any ideas???
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:08 AM   #2
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Gasoline will dissolve tar.

If a fuse is blowing the problem is after the fuse. Pull the wire from the fuse that is blowing off the univolt. Use an ohm meter to check between this wire and ground. If it is a short that is your problem.

The electrical service in your trailer is probably 30 amp. The washer/dryers I have seen draw nearly 15 amps, the first thing you will need is a new entrance box and cable, along with a circuit for the washer dryer; water supply and drain lines must be added. The unvented ones dump the moisture right back into the trailer. Cycle times are pretty long. Water useage is 25 gallons per load, you need to be on a full hookup. I would save a bunch of money and buy some extra uniforms and make the trip to the laundromat.

John
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Old 02-20-2003, 08:06 AM   #3
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Washing machine photos

I have seen washing machine in the rear of an older 25 foot Airstream. The AS had been retrofitted quite a bit.

There were pictures either on this forum or another AS site.

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Old 02-20-2003, 08:14 AM   #4
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Is the fuse actually blowing or just getting hot? I have a few of the fuses on mine overheating due to a bad connection. Usually the prongs get loose and corroded and the loose connection will get so hot that the metal gets fatigued and then you will have a constant problem with it, especially under load. You can go to a auto parts store and get an inline fuse which will need to be wired in off the main power buss in the univolt, essentially bypassing the built-in fuse holders.

Roofing tar on an antennae, now that's nasty!!

Chas
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Old 02-20-2003, 08:42 AM   #5
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Like was pointed out check your wiring first for problems. If it checks out then go onto these steps.

Well you need to figure out if you are exceeding the capacity of the univolt. If it's orriginal to the unit your probaly somewhere in the 300-500 watt range and that wont even run the fridge. You could run several lights and maybe a small TV with a low current draw but not much more for extended periods. Power inverters are power hungry and if you do not have Shore power available I would try to stay on the 12v system as much as possible for lighting and only use the univolt to power stuff that does not have 12v or propane alternatives.

Bigger power inverters are avaialable all the way up to 2500 Watts that could run anything you want but the more power they are able to convert the bigger draw on the batteries and the more batteries you will need to to feed the monster. In my service van I run a Powerstat Sine Wave corrected 2500 watt unit. It can pretty well kill a good sized Marine battery in about 2 hours. Now in the last 20 years there has been alot of improvements in inverters. The one that came in your unit is pretty behind the times and units with that type out put can be bought at Pep Boys for under $50.

SINE wave correct means that it's a regulated and conditioned output so it would be more computer and electronic friendly and if your running any sort of high tech gear. I would strongly recomend that you confirm the univolt is this. With the age of the vehicle I would think it may not be up to snuff with the power needs of today's electronic gear. If you plan to replace the Univolt with a larger model then make sure the replacement is "Sine wave corrected" or "Conditioned". Both terms are interchangable.

Now the lighting problem at the sink. Is this all the time even on shore power?
It's quite possible that the Univolt is only wired to run certain circuits so if this lighting problem only happens when trying to use the inverter it may be a design feature. Also Floreent lightis is concidered "Dirty" electricaly speaking. It may be intorducing electrical noise that is effecting the Univolt or it may have a bad balast and it's the source of your blowing fuse problem.

Washer and dryer.....Lots of weight, lots of water and lots of power. I would only use when connected to shore power. You can get Propane fired dryers and that would significantly ruduce power demands and you could proably get away with running them on current service but I would be mizerly with what your running. Your alos going to run inot problems with over use of your water systems for both fresh and waste if you do not have full shore suport.
I'm sure the resident A/S service guy will pipe in soon with some recomendations because fo the weight. Heed his warnings. he has a lot of insite and back ground on the log term effects of addil weigh to these units.
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:34 PM   #6
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Combo washer dryer

I have a park model with a combo washer dryer. Probably would not recommend the unit, especially for your A/S. Don't mistake my comments; the unit works well and as an engineer, I can't believe that it even works as well as it does. But, it has a very small load capacity, is noisy when you are in the unit, is heavy (as other contributors have commented) and occupies otherwise useful space. I use it to launder ski underware and selected clothing items, but will not handle the sheets well. It's good to dry out items from skiing, but it's off to the much hated park units for anything heavy. For all it's worth, Don
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Old 02-20-2003, 08:20 PM   #7
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Electrical, tar and washer dryer.

Perform a test on roof tar with some kerosine or diesel fuel. Gasoline is a real problem maker. Wet a shop cloth and lay on tar, wait about 10 minutes and check results.
I cannot understand that the univolt "melts" a fuse.?? I'm gonna guess the fuse just fails and gets hot. The circuit that is affected may use total amps that exceed the fuse rating. Check all the lamps and loads wattage or amperage. This total must be lower than the fuse size.
A washer/dryer could be made to work in a trailer with some restrictions.
The total 120vac supply is rated at 30 amps. A plan must be used as to NOT use more than 30 amps at any time. Check the rating of the equipment for amps. All dryers require a exhaust vent. Hi power loads can be disconnected or not used. The washer/dryer could be powered by a seperate power source not connected to trailer.
A more serious consideration would be the weight and balance as traveling down the interstate. Harmonics and balance is important with large masses when concentrated. Some hiway test trials would be in order.
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Old 02-22-2003, 03:51 PM   #8
 
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Are there any solvents to aid in removing that black tar??

Butter, lard, vegetable oil.

My father built roads. One day he fell faced down in tar. We cleaned him with butter. That was of course fresh tar. It may take a lot more soaking in your case.
At least if it does not work, I don't think it will hurt. My father is still alive 40+ years later !!!

Chantal
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Old 02-23-2003, 02:01 PM   #9
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If your antenna is original, what looks like tar may be the old Vulcem that has gotten dirty and stiff with age. As mentioned above there are many diffrent solvents out there and most of them will work. Just remember safety first and pitch the rags in an outside can after use.
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Old 03-18-2004, 02:05 AM   #10
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Rivet univolt questions-change to AC

I have a 1974 Soverign that I am trying to renovate. Unfortunately, I am not an electrician, nor am I a plumber, and am learning as I go along. I would like to REMOVE THE UNIVOLT altogether. I have had problems as the lights in the front of our trailer no longer work, nor does the light on the exterior door. All of the fuses have been replaced, and one purple wire seems charred and the insulation on the purple wire is cracked. Should I try to replace and re-solder this wire, and if so HOW and with what??? Also, since the trailer has a rear bath, it has encountered the usual problems with separation---is there anyway to remove this rear bath and change it to a rear bedroom and place the bath where one of the twin beds have been? The next question is, if so, how and where do we get the supplies for a watertight bathroom and is there any way we can do it ourselves???
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Old 03-19-2004, 02:25 PM   #11
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bath back bed forward or the oppisite

Imeinstein, I see that you to want to take the bath out of the back and put it on the side. That's what I want to do with my '71 airstream sovereign! If you get any good advice , let me know , If I get good advice I'll let you know!!! maybe between us we can ifigure it out! thank you, silver suz
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Old 03-19-2004, 03:14 PM   #12
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Rivet rear bath

silver suz! Gald to hear that someone else wants to do the same thing. I noticed that when we were putting in new carpeting that the tire hub was cracked. I have even thought of taking a welding class to see what I could do about making a metal or aluminum hub to prevent this from happening again. Since my husband is a teacher, he can not take a class because everyday he has so much going on! So, that leaves much of the renovation to me. Once I decide to take on this project, I will be able to see how much is going to be invoved in moving everything--i.e.; the rear bath to the middle. It is going to be a monstrous job, haha--but someone has to do it!!! I was wondering if this would alleviate the weight distribution that the rear bath places on my trailer....May solve one problem, but then I have to see how to balance everything out. I want to put our bedroom in the back where the bath is now located. ...If you find anyone else that has attempted to move the rear bath, let me know!!!
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Old 03-20-2004, 09:47 AM   #13
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moving the bath to the middle

No, I don't know of anyone else who has done it. Road King Moe , who has given me a lot of advice, says a bedroom would be heavier than a fiberglass bath. Also the toilet has to be right over the black water tank, so you would have to be willing to move that. I must admit the old fiberglass tub is really cute! But everything is out now and the floor has to be replaced due to rot. I really pushed my finger right through the plywood! I have seen a "Clean room" bath where the shower used the wheel well to make a seat in the shower. the shower was in stainless steel. One of the trailer restorations showed the couple using copper foil to cover their walls. It was very pretty and very light weight. I am also considering the natural cork tile floors that are just cork and no sandwiching process. This would make the floor very light weight. Since there is either storage or desk in the corners, there will be no one who can stand on them. The bunk beds will be beech frame with slats and futons. not very heavy, I think. I also found some really cute portholes at something.. Sam's. (a marine outlet store) I'll find the real name and get back to you. There are 8" ones and up that open and have screens. TOO CUTE! and help with my feeling of claustrophobia in the bottom bunk. I guess I'd rather be sailing on a windjammer but in the meantime this is my "landyacht".. So mainly it's a matter of weight balance. Good luck. keep me informed of your progress. Silver Suz
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Old 03-20-2004, 09:58 AM   #14
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washer/dryer in the middle

I am going to use an equator washer/dryer- one unit same front loading drum, with a vent to speed driving. I'm putting this as close as I can to the wheels to keep good weight distributin. It uses very little water. I'm disabled, and very intolerant of perfumes so there is no way I can have my clothes washed at a laundromat. I also have one of those foldout wood dryers for things that need more drying -like throw rugs or beach towels. Once I kept a tub in the shower and when after a shower or two, I would throw clothes and detergent in the tub and stomp away , then give two rinses ,wring well, and hang on an inside line. Since I had those light weight silk sleep sacks it wasn't too bad.
Silver suz they are available at compact appliances and real goods Silver suz
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