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Old 04-29-2007, 06:01 PM   #1
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1965 24' Tradewind
san francisco , California
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have 110 receptacles no overhead lights

Hello Everyone,
Just bought a 65 trade wind. I took it on it's first trip to the San Francisco RV Park, I plugged it into 110 and all the receptacles work but no overhead florescent or spot lights. Do I need to install a battery first......? There is no battery installed now. If so...... what kind of battery? Is this a costco item or what?

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Old 04-29-2007, 06:05 PM   #2
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Yes, you want a 12V marine battery. The bigger the better- make sure if will fit the space.


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Old 04-29-2007, 06:18 PM   #3
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1976 25' Caravanner
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My 12v lights with or without a battery thru the converter if plugged into 110v. Some converters plug into a 110 outlet , some are hardwired , check to see if it is pluged in.There are also several fuses for the 12v , check to see if they are good and clean the connections . You should not run without the battery long term .
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:21 PM   #4
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IIRC, Univolts require a battery to be connected all the time to filter the bad 'ripple DC' that they output. The newer switch-mode electronic models can run without one, but I would still have at least one deep cycle battery connected to it.
Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:45 PM   #5
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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The 110v outlets work only when you are plugged in to shore power. The lights are all 12 volt. You should hear a definite hum from the Univolt if plugged in to shore power. It has gone bad if it is silent.

Experience with my '74 Argosy and its Univolt was that 12 volt lights would work without a battery in-line but it's not supposed to be a good idea. It is possible you could have some lights function with or without a battery; systems did change over the years so this isn't as easy to pin down as it might seem. You will need a deep cycle battery easily obtained at a farm/fleet store (cheaper source probably) or RV or marine dealer. Having a battery installed is a prereq for the nationally mandated breakaway brakes, so you'll need to get one anyway.

Old Univolts are on the borderline of being hateful and cantankerous at best. They were good in their time but can run a battery dry if plugged into shore power as they were designed to do. Go figger... They should be replaced at the first sign of failing to operate correctly. See BestConverter - Inteli-Power Converters, Inverters, Solar Chargers and research more at the Forums to help make a decision if you have to replace.

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