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Old 07-05-2010, 01:25 PM   #1
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1977 AC to DC Converter Replacement ????

Greetings... Getting my 1977 31 foot Airstream ready for the beach this year and discovered the AC to DC converter died. It is a 68 amp converter and weighs about 30 lbs. I found a PD- 9200 CONVERTER/CHARGER 45 AMP W/CHARGE WIZARD on Amazon and was wondering if this would be a good replacement. It only weighs 7.5 lbs. I am guessing that is because my old converter is all copper coils and capacitors and the new ones are solid state. Just want to be sure to get the right unit. Any advice
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:32 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

Welcome to the forums, ke4yub. That converter will probably do the job for you. Have you look at BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics. I have seen allot of positive posts about them.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:31 PM   #3
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Univolt

You can also replace it with a converter that's available from Airstream dealers, that's called a "Univolt".

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Old 07-05-2010, 04:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ke4yub View Post
Greetings... Getting my 1977 31 foot Airstream ready for the beach this year and discovered the AC to DC converter died. It is a 68 amp converter and weighs about 30 lbs. I found a PD- 9200 CONVERTER/CHARGER 45 AMP W/CHARGE WIZARD on Amazon and was wondering if this would be a good replacement. It only weighs 7.5 lbs. I am guessing that is because my old converter is all copper coils and capacitors and the new ones are solid state. Just want to be sure to get the right unit. Any advice
That is a very good converter, and the charge wizard will help keep you from boiling your batteries. The Univolts don't have three stage charging, and the older Univolts tend to boil batteries.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:51 PM   #5
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Hello, I also have a 1977 Airstream, but it is a 27" Overlander International. It has the rear bath layout, and the univolt converter sits under the front gaucho. I took the advice I read here and installed a Progressive Dynamics Intelli-Power PD9260C converter that I purchased from BestConverter.

So here is my dilemma. I have installed the new converter. Following the instructions very closely. For about 1 min it worked, but then my main panel tripped. The main fuse reads 15. I am sorry I am new to all this and so I assume that means it it a 15amp switch. In which case am I right in assuming that the converter is just drawing too much amps and is tripping the fuse? It now happens immediately when I plug in the converter. If that is the case, am I screwed, and then why suggest the 60amp converter since I imagine this would be a common occurrence in many old Airstreams? Or am I completely out in left field and I am missing something simple? Do I have to buy a smaller converter?

Any help would be very greatly appreciated...

Clint Hanson
Vancouver, Canada
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:29 PM   #6
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Is the breaker that is tripping a GFI? Some converters have an issue with GFI breakers.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:17 PM   #7
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Andy replaced my univolt with a Parallax used in current Airstreams with multi-stage charging. Much smaller, lighter, quieter and no more fried batteries.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Elliot7777 View Post
Hello, I also have a 1977 Airstream, but it is a 27" Overlander International.... I have installed the new converter. Following the instructions very closely. For about 1 min it worked, but then my main panel tripped. The main fuse reads 15. I am sorry I am new to all this and so I assume that means it it a 15amp switch... Do I have to buy a smaller converter?

Any help would be very greatly appreciated...

Clint Hanson
Vancouver, Canada
Clint,

The 60 amp converter should work just fine. I have the same one in my '74 model. Make absolutely sure your wiring is right. Be sure you run a separate wire for the neutral ground from the converter. When you say the main fuse reads 15, which fuse do you mean? It might help if you post some photos.
Good luck,
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:57 PM   #9
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I think they mean the "fuse = 15" means the breaker is a 15 amp breaker. If that is the case, you still need to check the wiring. A 15amp 110v breaker should supply more than 100 amps of 12v (assuming 75% efficient on conversion). I bet your wiring is not quite right.

-thomas
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:34 AM   #10
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Thanks for your posts and help. I just figured it out, I think, unfortunately I am now a couple hundred miles away. I thought the white wire coming off the old uni-volt was a chassis ground, but it was a charging light indicator. So I hooked it up to the ground/chassis on the new converter, which is bad, big mistake, and possible a costly one.

Also thanks again for setting me straight about the amps, I forgot to do the conversion from 120 to 12 volt.

Wish I had figured it out earlier, now I will have to wait to fix it. Meanwhile my batteries will stay dead the whole time.... Looks like I will instead be buying a new set of batteries....

Will post an update once I get a chance to try fixing it.

Thanks very much to all who posted,
Clint Hanson
Vancouver, Canada
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:03 AM   #11
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your new converter should be fused. if that was the only mistake, removing the wire and possibly replacing a 12v fuse, might be all you need. you could buy a small charger instead of batteries if they will charge up.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by richinny View Post
your new converter should be fused. if that was the only mistake, removing the wire and possibly replacing a 12v fuse, might be all you need. you could buy a small charger instead of batteries if they will charge up.
Yep, 9260, I am looking at mine right now, has 3 15 amp fuses, but I think they are for battery protection. The 120 circuit it's plugged into (the converter) should be protected by a 15amp breaker, and the 9260 is rated at 1000 watts, which converts to like 9.1 amps at full load. Hopefully you didn't kill anything with the power on light ground mix up, rewire and hope...
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:11 PM   #13
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Update - No Luck

Ok, so I tried fixing it today with no luck. Still tripping. None of the fuses are blown, and everything seems fine. There was a dent on the side of the converter unit when I received it but it is just a small one, I can't imagine any damage to the unit would manifest this way?

Anyway, here are some pictures. First one is of how it is hooked into distribution panel, second is the converter unit, and last is the ac panel for the trailer that keeps tripping. Everything seems fine at first and the wizard light on the converter is flashing in normal mode until the trip occurs at which point it stops blinking and just stays on continuously. All the lights etc and everything in the trailer seems to be working even when this was initially hooked up as shown, but now the batteries are almost dead and I cannot recharge them until this works.

The Chassis ground always confuses me. I have read things that say to hook it up to the metal on the outside of the trailer, and other stuff that says not to do that. I assume I am not suppose to hook it up to the same place as the negative from the converter is hooked on the distribution panel?

Anyway, I am completely at a loss, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,
Clint Hanson
Vancouver, BC
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:15 PM   #14
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More info....

Better image to show what is going on on the distribution panel...
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