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Old 01-21-2015, 11:18 AM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
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Need Help Identifying

I need some help identifying a couple of things.

First: This picture is of the breakaway switch wires. They go into the frame, covered by some decaying something or another (my first thought was an asbestos sleeve). After they have entered the frame--where do those wires go? I can't trace them to the front fuse box.

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Second: Is this box an original item to a '79 airstream? First photo is from the top. The PO removed the battery boxes and placed a bracket on top of this box to hold a single battery box, held down with a bungee cord as seen in the photo.

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The other photos are of the underside of the box and one of the inside of the box. I believe what is inside of the box is the old univolt?

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Any help in identifying what this is and how can I take it off or if I can even take it off?
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:23 PM   #2
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Need Help Identifying

The device with the wires connected in the last picture is a standard. Allen Bradley 1492 terminal block assembly. There is a metal clip rail attached to the frame. Each individual terminal block snaps onto the rail. You remove them by placing a screwdriver in the notch (hook) on the bottom side. Then rock the screwdriver toward the block. It will unhook from the rail.


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Old 01-21-2015, 04:40 PM   #3
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Interesting. Perhaps the previous owner reorganized the furniture below the front window to a custom layout that didn't leave space for the batteries and converter? I think there would originally only be a flat plate (or nothing) where the box is mounted in your A-frame, with 2 batteries inside battery boxes that went through the skin where you can see the rectangular patches. The Univolt would have been inside the trailer between those boxes.

It doesn't seem like a good place for the vent on the bottom of that box, where water could splash up in there while driving in the rain, right before you plug in at a campsite. Is there at least a cover you've removed to show us the innards of that box from the underside?

If you remove Univolt and there isn't already a more-modern converter installed elsewhere, you'll have some decisions to make. You could use sealed batteries on the interior, rebuild the battery boxes or replace the box built into the A-frame with something like the modern battery boxes that go there on newer trailers and install a modern converter-charger just inside the trailer to keep the charging wires short.

The breakaway switch should have 12V coming in on one wire, and the other wire should connect to the brake wire somewhere along its journey from the umbilical to the brakes. In better builds there's a junction block somewhere accessible for the umbilical wires to be joined to the trailer side of the various connections, but my 24' Argosy (for example) just has the various wires joined together just inside the belly pan.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:18 PM   #4
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Thank you for the responses.

Yes, there was a screen (more of an insect screen) cover under the box. The screen had a lot of corrosion, stuck rocks in the mesh along with plenty of road dust.

Yes, the PO removed the furniture from the front.

This is what the front looked like before I took off the tanks.

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Here is what the front interior looks like. Behind the slide doors is the fuse box as seen in the next picture.

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We are replacing the univolt, fuse box and breaker box (the breaker box is located in the closet) with an all in one unit. The new unit will be located in the closet, as well as adding at least 2 AGM batteries.

We will add a 7-way junction box, along with a new 7-way trailer plug. But I'm having a heck of a time finding the breakaway wires after they enter the frame. Maybe I haven't pulled enough of the belly pan down from the front to find a junction box.

Thank you all again.
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:44 PM   #5
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Just an update and to find out if this is the Univolt? It doesn't actually say Univolt.

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Thanks
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:50 PM   #6
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Yes, that's a Univolt.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Yes, that's a Univolt.
Thank you David. I had to brush off tons of road dust just to get to the writing on the side. The previous owner moved the Univolt to the outside box in 1987. I can't imagine it working to it's fullest while being exposed to all the elements like that.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:46 PM   #8
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David has it exactly right, most likely the PO wanted space in the front under the original couch where the battery boxes and Univolt were located. They got moved where you found them.

One of the break away switch wires connects to +12 volts, always on, from the battery or 12 volt buss. The other connects to the wire to the brakes of course. So, if you can't locate where they go right now, new ones can be attached and the old ones simply taped off and abandoned. But if you can locate the end of the umbilical cord inside the belly pan, you will probably find the break away switch wires.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starstream View Post
Thank you David. I had to brush off tons of road dust just to get to the writing on the side. The previous owner moved the Univolt to the outside box in 1987. I can't imagine it working to it's fullest while being exposed to all the elements like that.

I'm amazed that it didn't slag itself at some point, barely protected from road spray as it was. I and others call them boat anchors, maybe they're better suited for the water than we imagined.


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