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Old 03-30-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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12v problems

so i just picked up a 77 argosy 20 minuet and towed it home last night. it needs some work but not bad at all, anyway here is my question. when i had it hooked up to the tow vehicle all the 12v stuff was working on the inside, got it home and parked it. was cleaning it out today and i hooked up 120 from my house and all the 120 works inside the trailer but nothing 12v will work. there is no battery hooked up in the trailer and the last airstream i had i didnt need the battery if i was hooked up to 120.

anyhow i think my converter may be bad and my question is does that sound right to you. is there any testing i can do b4 i shell out some cash for a new one
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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Sounds right to me.

You could check the converter inputs and outputs to be sure it's not the wiring. If you don't know how it's probably better to have someone do it for you or show you how in person rather than try to explain it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
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what size is recomended for a new converter 60 amp? or would a 45 do for such a small trailer
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:08 PM   #4
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Does it have the original univolt? Do you here a hum? If it doesn't hum check to see if you have power to it. Most had a 110 plug that it plugged into. Unplug the converter and plug in something such as a lamp or electric drill and see if you have 110 voltage there. This way you at least know that you are getting power to it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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What arodriguez60 Said, and then...

replace the Univolt.
The converter technology is so much better now.
It's an easy, relatively inexpensive replacement.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arodriguez60 View Post
Does it have the original univolt? Do you here a hum? If it doesn't hum check to see if you have power to it. Most had a 110 plug that it plugged into. Unplug the converter and plug in something such as a lamp or electric drill and see if you have 110 voltage there. This way you at least know that you are getting power to it.

yes it hums, its dark out now so im gona mess with it a little more tomorow,
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:54 PM   #7
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I found electric issues are usually pretty easy to diagnose. I start with the working power and work my way towards the non working element. My tools are a non-contact voltage tester, a 120 volt trouble light, a polarity tester, a multi meter, a small battery charger, and a 12 volt jumper light.

I'd check the last point to have power and that will be the source of the problem (unless there are multiple problems). If there are multiple problems it's still not a problem, I just repair them in series.

I'd replace the converter only after I was sure it's not working. Those are pretty easy to test without removing.

12 volt in my trailer all works without a battery installed.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:35 PM   #8
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I Say Again, Replace the Univolt

Why?
Because they fail incrementally, not catastrophically.
They just fade away through the years.
I lived with a failing univolt for 3 years and about 9,000 miles of Airstreaming in my first Airstream. Like a physician with a stethoscope and a blood-pressure cuff, I was always under the counter with my multimeter checking the Univolt, and in the battery compartment with a battery tester.
Sadly, it never really failed completely, though now I wish it had.
When I finally installed a new converter with a charge wizard, I was amazed and delighted at how it simplified my life.
When I got my second Airstream, I replaced the Univolt immediately.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
Sadly, it never really failed completely, though now I wish it had.
When I finally installed a new converter with a charge wizard, I was amazed and delighted at how it simplified my life.
When I got my second Airstream, I replaced the Univolt immediately.
Your experience matches mine exactly - for a couple years, I just dealt with a univolt that was putting out low voltage; I eventually got used to the flickering florescent light. The final straw, though, was on a trip without a city water connection... when the pump would run, the radio would shut off (voltage too low). Replaced it with a PD 9260 and EVERYTHING worked better - the water heater lit more quickly, the light stopped flickering, the reading lights were actually usable for reading, etc. I replaced the one in my trailer as soon as I could (it was sliding, too).
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