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Old 12-10-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
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1965 17' Caravel
Knights Landing , California
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Circuit breaker under front?

Hello,

As an anniversary present for my wife I bought a 65 Caravel for us(aluminum for 10 yrs.) as a surprise gift. I want to get the basic systems fixed and then let her pick the interior colors after I give it to her. Today I was installing a new converter and fuse block I got from bestconverter.com. The p.o. told me the 12v didn't work well, that the lights flickered. So I figured that before I took the old system apart I would see how it worked. From what I can tell, there is some type of circuit breaker popping, resetting, and popping instantly somewhere under the floor in the front just behind the tongue. Every time it pops, the lights flicker. I'm not sure what could be under there. I'm hoping it's something I can bypass so I don't have to drop the pan. Does anyone have an idea what that circuit might be for? Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:43 AM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
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It sounds like the charge line circuit breaker which I believe was used at that time. That is the wire that runs from the TV to the battery in the AS. I would check to see if the cord that plugs into the TV has some kind of a short in it, causing the breaker to cycle. As I recall, they used a breaker rather than a fuse, so the break away switch would have power most of the time if an occasional short developed in the TV cord. Again, from memory, it was inside the frame rails above the belly pan. There may be a removable plate in the belly pan which allows access.

If the breaker has been cycling a lot, you may have to trace where it is anyway, and replace it, as they can only open against a dead short a limited number of times before they get wonkey.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help. I'll crawl under there on saturday and see what I can find. I do know he had some connections screwed up elsewhere, maybe there is something pinched by the brakeaway switch or 7 pin connector.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:03 PM   #4
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1965 17' Caravel
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Well just thought I would let people know what I found. After installing the new fusepanel, i found it was the chargewire circuit that was popping the breaker. I lowered the access panel in the front and found where the umbilical cable was wired to the coach. After finding some chafed wires and incorrect connections, the breaker was still popping(charge wire shorted to ground). So I disconnected the umbilical from the coach and found that the white ground wire and blue charge wire are shorted together in the umbilical cable. So I ordered a new one from VTS. Hopefully it won't be that bad to route it through the tongue.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:46 PM   #5
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Always nice to see the resolution of the problem. BTW, the TV cords are available from most good trailer parts places. They are not an Airstream only item. The one you get may have a current color code, especially if it has the plug attached. So heads up that the old color code on the cord you have may not be the same as the replacement. You may have to do some checking to have it all work properly.
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:19 AM   #6
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So when I was changing the cable, I couldn't get it to come out of the tongue channel. Then I found what happened. Some one thought it was a good idea to install the breakaway switch with long self tapping screws that went right though the cable causing my short. And for some reason they had one wire of the breakaway switch going to the break wire, the the other grounded to the frame of the trailer. Glad I didn't need to count on that switch towing home.
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