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Old 11-18-2012, 06:55 PM   #1
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1992 25' Excella
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12-volt distribution panel? '92 Excella

92 Excella Classic 25':

My Airstream manual says this trailer has a "12-volt distribution panel with automatic circuit breakers that do not require routine servicing." I'm assuming that this is what's is in the picture below. Right? As I understand things so far, I don't need to mess with this when installing a new converter. I just leave it as is. Correct?? Or should I be replacing it as an upgrade when I replace the original 50-amp converter with a new 55- or 60-amp unit?

Thanks,
Doug



_AS_Converter_2-1.jpg by iamdiego1, on Flickr
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:44 PM   #2
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There probably is no real great reason to replace it. That said, I am not a big fan of automatic reseting circuit breakers as if there is a real dead short, they simply sit there and try to reset, over and over and over until they fail or the power system is compromised. I kinda like fuses, they blow and you know you have an issue. They stay off until the problem is corrected.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:42 AM   #3
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Correct, you do not need to replace the breakers/distribution panel.

Are they really automatically resetting? The one time I tripped one in our trailer, it didn't automatically reset - I had to do it manually.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug C
92 Excella Classic 25':

My Airstream manual says this trailer has a "12-volt distribution panel with automatic circuit breakers that do not require routine servicing." I'm assuming that this is what's is in the picture below. ...
Doug, your photo appears to be a simple junction point possibly tying the + leads from the battery, converter, DC fuse panel, etc. together. The 12v resetting circuit breaker is a small metal box with connection posts on each end. The amp rating is normally stamped on the side.

The manual 12 volt circuit breakers have a push button, normally located between the connection posts or on the end. The automatic flavor lacks the button. I've had 1 or 2 go bad over the years... They just won't reset if they've gone bad.

You'll usually find them between the battery and distribution point. The individual circuits are fused.

The purpose of any fuse or circuit breaker is to protect the wiring from overheating and possibly burning due to an overload or short. Installing a larger capacity converter does not increase the wire's load capacity, so never replace circuit breakers or fuses with higher rated ones.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:31 AM   #5
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"Doug, your photo appears to be a simple junction point possibly tying the + leads from the battery, converter, DC fuse panel, etc. together." quote

Thanks. You are right. I found the real distribution panel behind a cover under the front window.

So I should not have to mess with the distribution panel or the junction point when installing the new converter - right? I know this is going to be one of those jobs that turns out to be pretty simple. It looks like only three connections: big red cable, big white cable, and bare ground wire. This would mean abandoning one small wire which I've been told feeds a light on the panel above the stove to tell me I'm using shore power. Does it sound like I've got this right??

Thanks,
Doug
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Goose View Post
Doug, your photo appears to be a simple junction point possibly tying the + leads from the battery, converter, DC fuse panel, etc. together. The 12v resetting circuit breaker is a small metal box with connection posts on each end. The amp rating is normally stamped on the side.

The manual 12 volt circuit breakers have a push button, normally located between the connection posts or on the end. The automatic flavor lacks the button. I've had 1 or 2 go bad over the years... They just won't reset if they've gone bad.

You'll usually find them between the battery and distribution point. The individual circuits are fused.

The purpose of any fuse or circuit breaker is to protect the wiring from overheating and possibly burning due to an overload or short. Installing a larger capacity converter does not increase the wire's load capacity, so never replace circuit breakers or fuses with higher rated ones.
In the OP's photo, there appear to be three breakers with the input side connected together by a bus. The bus and its plastic support make the breakers hard to see.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug C View Post
92 Excella Classic 25':

My Airstream manual says this trailer has a "12-volt distribution panel with automatic circuit breakers that do not require routine servicing." I'm assuming that this is what's is in the picture below. Right? As I understand things so far, I don't need to mess with this when installing a new converter. I just leave it as is. Correct?? Or should I be replacing it as an upgrade when I replace the original 50-amp converter with a new 55- or 60-amp unit?

Thanks,
Doug



_AS_Converter_2-1.jpg by iamdiego1, on Flickr
The quality of the wire terminations is poor and appears to have been performed with economy tooling that doesn't use sufficient pressure to produce a uniformly reliable, gas-tight junction. I would suggest replacing the smaller ones using a quality, ratchet-type crimp tool, and replacing the larger ones with solder-type connectors since the proper crimp tools in those sizes are prohibitively expensive.
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