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Old 07-25-2005, 12:50 AM   #1
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'69 Soverign Univolt Problems?

I bought this AS just two weeks ago and am almost done putting her back together after gutting everthing except the kitchen, replacing the bathroom floor, installing new carpet and linolium and refininshing all the wood. Halfway throught this project my a/c quit and after fiddling with it a bit I got it to work on low. Origionally, it would only work on high so I thought this was a bit strange. Tonight while moving it to storage, I noticed the interior lights were real dim. It was plugged in so I checked the univolt to see if it had its familiar humming sound. It appears to have quit. Fuses seem to be fine. The lights were aparently running off the battery which was getting real low, but yet when I plugged a box fan into one of the wall outlets it works. Is there a switch to turn from battery power to AC power or does the univolt do this automatically. I assummed that all electricity ran through the univolt but apparently not if my univolt is dead but I still have wall power. Could some one explain how these systems are supposed to work. Could the air conditioner problem be related to the univolt problem or is it a relay or switch somewhere. Also, if I have to replece the univolt any suggestions on what to replace it with would be appreciated.
I agree with Terry. Its all about the alluminum. My wife and I have been camper shopping for 3 years and havn't found anything under $3000 that was worth the money to us until we happened upon this AS. Even though we could see it needed a little TLC (It had sat in the same spot for 7 years) we fell in love with the cool retro look and the layout inside will work great for our family of 5. And I havn't yet had to spend my $3000 limit. We now have more AS sights stored on our favorites list that all other sights combined.
I've enjoyed reading everyones posts. Any help you can give me would be great or better yet tell me how I might get an origional owners manual?

Thanks - Rock
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:16 AM   #2
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Rock,

Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the forums.

There are two different power sources in your RV. One is 12 volt (battery) and one is 110ac.

All your lights, water pump, etc always run off the battery. When you are plugged into A/C the univolt basically charges the battery which keeps all your lights going.

Also when you are plugged in all your wall outlets are powered simply from being plugged in. When you are unplugged you won't have power to the wall outlets.

It's unlikey the a/c problem is related to your univolt problem. If you don't have a digital volt meter now is the time to invest in one. When your plugged in you should have between 13.2vdc - 13.8vdc on the battery with the univolt connected. This would be a good range for charging the battery.

I think the univiolt has its own seperate breaker, so you might want to make sure that is not off. If you do find it's bad the common replacement is the intellipower. There is forum member that offers discounts I can't remember where his website is but someone will pop up with it.

I'm not an a/c expert but a couple of things to thing about. You need to make sure you have a good 30 amp service to power it. They draw a lot of power and don't like lower voltage. The 30amp 110ac is a special RV outlet that you will need to use your a/c reliably and safely. The only other thing I can recommend is a good cleaning, make sure there is no debrie blocking the fins on the roof portion of the unit.

Good luck with your new project. Sounds like your on your way.
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:44 AM   #3
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UniVolt

It is possible that the Capacitor in the Univolt system is faulty, and or the rectifire diodes is defective.
Most simple Univolts are a 6 volt transformer with a VOLTAGE DOUBLER ciruit. measure the DC voltage in your cigarette socket and or across the battery terminals.

Rae
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Old 07-26-2005, 10:02 AM   #4
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Thanks Rae and Tim for your replys. I suspected that the ac problem might be related to low voltage as I had to piece extention cords together to get about 75 feet to my house and I noticed when unplugging them one day that the smaller ones were almost hot. I'll check the breakers and such and use heavier cords from now on. Thanks again,

Rock
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Old 07-26-2005, 11:27 AM   #5
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Univot

If you are using a 75 ft line cord and it is warm, then the cord is of too small a wire demention, It is dangerous and can cause a fire.
For that length you should have a minimum size if #10 wire. most are #14 or 12.
The breakers are not the problem.

As I said use a larger cord. and measure the voltage of your Univolt out put at the cigarette fixture.

I always hear these guys talk about using a DIGITAL voltmeter.
They are not needed an anaolg meter is just fine and will give you the best reading at the lowest cost. Iam and have been in electronics since 1946 and use analog.

Rae
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Old 08-13-2005, 02:17 PM   #6
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Rae or Terry,

A couple weeks ago I mentioned having problems with my Univolt on my '69 soveirgn. With the univolt plugged in I have no volts at the cigarette terminal or at the wires that go to the battery. Does this mean my univolt is shot and needs replacing or can it be fixed? If I have to replace it what should I replace it with. A local camper dealer quoted me a price of $330 for a 45 amp Intellepower. Any suggestions would be great.

Rock
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Old 08-13-2005, 04:43 PM   #7
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Two things:

1) Your battery is dead. Unless you have disconnected the battery. First thing, either verify your battery has a charge or get a new battery. You probably still need a new univolt...Unless one of the fuses in your Univolt has blown. Open it and check and/or replace both. Also check the circuit breaker to your Univolt.

Also,$330?????? What a rip off. Especially if it is not installed. Go to :
bestconverter.com

He'll beat that price by almost half. You have to install yourself, but it's real easy and I bet by now you're learning all about our friend electricity!

John
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Old 08-13-2005, 05:09 PM   #8
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Hi Rock;

Sounds like the 69 Univolt has joined many others and transformed itself into a very functional door stop or boat anchor Seriously our 69 Univolt gave us know end of mystery when we were testing all our systems.

The good fellows here had every test imaginable for us - but nothing made sense - on the Univolt side of things.

We first agreed that if it was just the capacitors - we could replace them for 15 dollars and we could still get the GE Brnad from our local electric supply place. So we decided finally to yank the puppy out and have people who knew what they were doing bench test it - only to find out that the transformer had gone by the wayside! So we brought it home put it back in just so we could run the Electric system until we could get to "camping world" - at the time had the best 40-45amp price on the Intelli power unit.

Best purchase we made - and have no problems - and no issues of burning out batteries - to great expense - and no need for candles ever - tee hee.

Now your AC - if it is the same as ours - has a 15amp start up - but once it gets going it needs the full 30amp or she will blow your house breaker and possibly the fuse at the trailer side. Even with the short distance on a 15 amp breaker here at our house - she runs nice and cold for about 10 minutes then bamp goes the breaker. So at least you know your AC works - and it works like a horse nice and cold these old ones.

Did you get any manuals with your new toy??? if not and you need any on the appliances PM me and I will send you copies of anything you need.

heading out for a couple of weeks this Monday....
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock
Rae or Terry,

A couple weeks ago I mentioned having problems with my Univolt on my '69 soveirgn. With the univolt plugged in I have no volts at the cigarette terminal or at the wires that go to the battery. Does this mean my univolt is shot and needs replacing or can it be fixed? If I have to replace it what should I replace it with. A local camper dealer quoted me a price of $330 for a 45 amp Intellepower. Any suggestions would be great.

Rock
Rock, before you condemn the Univolt, make sure it is getting power. You should be getting regular 120VAC on the main power lead going into the Univolt. If you don't, your problem is upstream of the Univolt, and no amount of new 12vDC power supplies will help you. If you have no power, go back to where you do, and measure and check from there, it may be just a loose or corroded connection. I have seen damaged plugs on extension cords cause strange problems, like 50 volts, or only one leg having power in a 120V plug.
After you check everything, and have power to the Univolt, and if it still does not work, or even hum, it is probably time to step up to an Intellipower. There are several threads on the forums that will guide you in the installation, and if you get stuck, you can always ask for more detailed help here.
Good luck tracking down those gremlins.
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Old 08-23-2005, 10:10 AM   #10
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Talking

Thanks all for the comments. I have power with the camper plugged in and I have 12 volt power if the battery is charged. The only problem is that the Univolt will not charge the battery and I've tried several different batteries. All signs point me to the idea that the transformer is shot. I've since ordered an intellepower for $220 but will try bestconverter.com to see what I can come up with for a price there. We had our maiden voyage last week. We got by with power by just using a portable battery charger to charge the battery when needed. We need a bigger bed in front though so I don't have to sleep on a cot while my wife sleeps on the gaucho (kids sleep in back). Anyone know of a way to make the double size gaucho into a queen?


Rock
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Old 08-23-2005, 06:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock
Anyone know of a way to make the double size gaucho into a queen?


Rock
Several forum members have had good luck using a futon-type mattress to extend their beds.
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock
We need a bigger bed in front though so I don't have to sleep on a cot while my wife sleeps on the gaucho (kids sleep in back). Anyone know of a way to make the double size gaucho into a queen?Rock
Well, not a quen but a real "full" size matress

See it here

http://www.airforums.com/forum...cho+conversion
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