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Old 10-28-2013, 09:42 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Hanford , Ca
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Apologizes up front

I can do many things but anything electrical throws me a loop.
I purchased a 1977 Sovereign.
I have 110 volt when plugged into the house. All outlets work in the trailer.
I have two brand new batteries, the big ones, Marine type?
I have power to the main DC fuse panel.
I DO NOT have power anywhere else in the trailer that uses 12 volt.
I've had a lot of assistance and advice from the kind folks on here but nothing tried has yet worked.
Today I visited an Airstream dealer. They were of no use at all however he did say that when I was plugged into the land power, I should be getting a reading of 13.6 volts at the battery. I can hear the inverter, converter thing buzzing away but the reading i get never changes from 12 volts regardless of if I'm plugged into the land power or not. My question is, if the converter is in fact defective, would that keep the batteries from powering the DC lights and other gadgets that require DC? I have juice at the fuse panel.... 15 feet away at the main control box, (where it reads battery life, tank status and such) NO POWER.
Again sorry for asking as I'm sure somewhere on here this is answered but I haven't found it. It was also suggested that I replace whatever is in there with a Lota DLS-55. Is this something the rest of you suggest? Thanks again.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:02 PM   #2
cwf
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Power for 12v comes from batteries. The converter replaces the power consumed from batteries. It is possible to use more power than the converter can replace over a given time, but when you are asleep/away, power us is low so it catches up. Usually.

So, if you have 12.5vdc at the fuse panel, does the outbound side of each fuse have power too?

Power (12volts direct current) 12vdc, should be at and on the outbound terminals. Is power there, check power at the devices. You should have power and ground at each device.

If power is present at devices, good! Now check the "ground". I wager you will find it attached to trailer frame and fairly corroded. Disconnect battery "positives" at battery. Now test for continuity from battery negative to ground. Do you have continuity (zero ohms) from the battery negative to ground? If not, trace bak from the battery.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:12 PM   #3
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When you say you have "juice". Where exactly? Can you post some pics of the fuse panel?
Are you reading voltage on the load side of the fuses?
If you are reading only 12 volts. The converter is probably bad, but it should not prevent 12 volts from powering the devices in the coach.
By taking it a step at a time. We should be able to resolve your problem.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:16 PM   #4
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Yes power at the outbound side. No power at Anything else. Just out of curiosity, this thing is sealed up like a tin can, how can I access the frame without taking a set of tin snips to it? Not trying to be funny, this is a well built but a pain to work on
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:54 PM   #5
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You only have to find a shiny spot on the skin.
Do you know where the negative battery terminal connects to the coach? You should be able to follow it from the battery to the terminating point on the skin or frame of the coach. There may be a fuse in between the battery and the termination point on the frame or skin.
How are you measuring for the 12 volt power?
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:25 PM   #6
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1. You mentioned that you have 'power' from the batteries - I'm assuming that you have 12 volts DC where the battery cables attach to the fuse panel, through the two heavy fuses...You should have both POS & NEG cables directly from the batteries that should read the battery voltage...

2. If you have 12 volts at the fuse panel, you then need to check the voltage (cheap digital volt/ohm meter will do) on each end of all the accessory fuses - older fuses can become oxidized and not provide good conductivity... remove each fuse, clean them with emery cloth, and reinstall - perhaps a bit of WD40 or similar to help keep the corrosion at bay...

3. If you have 12 volts at and through the fuse panel, but your 12 volt lights, etc., still don't operate, you'll have to check farther 'downstream' from the fuse panel...IE: check for 12 volts at a light switch, using a good ground to complete the circuit, etc., etc...

4.Older AS's with the Univolt converter/chargers are notorious for overcharging batteries if left 'ON' for extended periods, I would recommend that you look into replacing the Univolt with a modern, 3-way type converter/charger - it's the first thing I replaced in our 78... I contacted Randy @ BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics for the proper unit for our AS - He will give you the straight scoop...give him a try...

The wiring in older trailers can be a challenge, especially if the PO has messed with it...!
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
1. You mentioned that you have 'power' from the batteries - I'm assuming that you have 12 volts DC where the battery cables attach to the fuse panel, through the two heavy fuses...You should have both POS & NEG cables directly from the batteries that should read the battery voltage... 2. If you have 12 volts at the fuse panel, you then need to check the voltage (cheap digital volt/ohm meter will do) on each end of all the accessory fuses - older fuses can become oxidized and not provide good conductivity... remove each fuse, clean them with emery cloth, and reinstall - perhaps a bit of WD40 or similar to help keep the corrosion at bay... 3. If you have 12 volts at and through the fuse panel, but your 12 volt lights, etc., still don't operate, you'll have to check farther 'downstream' from the fuse panel...IE: check for 12 volts at a light switch, using a good ground to complete the circuit, etc., etc... 4.Older AS's with the Univolt converter/chargers are notorious for overcharging batteries if left 'ON' for extended periods, I would recommend that you look into replacing the Univolt with a modern, 3-way type converter/charger - it's the first thing I replaced in our 78... I contacted Randy @ BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics for the proper unit for our AS - He will give you the straight scoop...give him a try... The wiring in older trailers can be a challenge, especially if the PO has messed with it...!
Ripped it apart and found this thing
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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That "thing" is the Univolt converter. Have you located the 12 volt fuse panel that the converter provides power to?
Some have the fuse panel built in.
Have you determined if the converter has 120 volt power?
Do you hear it humming?
Can you post pics of the fuse panel?
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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Sounds weird but you will have to go back to the fuse panel and on the output you may have 12 volts but I don't think you do because the fuse panel has a good voltage then the there is a problem between the in and out. Too many separate circuits for it to be a switch unless you have a hidden switch panel that even has a battery cutout switch on it!
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:48 PM   #10
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
1. You mentioned that you have 'power' from the batteries - I'm assuming that you have 12 volts DC where the battery cables attach to the fuse panel, through the two heavy fuses...You should have both POS & NEG cables directly from the batteries that should read the battery voltage... 2. If you have 12 volts at the fuse panel, you then need to check the voltage (cheap digital volt/ohm meter will do) on each end of all the accessory fuses - older fuses can become oxidized and not provide good conductivity... remove each fuse, clean them with emery cloth, and reinstall - perhaps a bit of WD40 or similar to help keep the corrosion at bay... 3. If you have 12 volts at and through the fuse panel, but your 12 volt lights, etc., still don't operate, you'll have to check farther 'downstream' from the fuse panel...IE: check for 12 volts at a light switch, using a good ground to complete the circuit, etc., etc... 4.Older AS's with the Univolt converter/chargers are notorious for overcharging batteries if left 'ON' for extended periods, I would recommend that you look into replacing the Univolt with a modern, 3-way type converter/charger - it's the first thing I replaced in our 78... I contacted Randy @ BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics for the proper unit for our AS - He will give you the straight scoop...give him a try... The wiring in older trailers can be a challenge, especially if the PO has messed with it...!
Contacted Randy as suggested. He said with the converter out, DC won't work. Ordered a new 60 amp today, now just wait for delivery. Thanks for the advice.
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