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Old 06-01-2007, 06:22 PM   #1
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1976 22' Argosy 22
Frederick , Maryland
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Smile Argosy newbie with 12 v questions

HELP!!!

I just took possession of my Argosy and am trying to get aquainted. A new battery was installed in Feb and the battery was charged 2 weeks ago. Since then the trailer was parked, nothing running or connected. I understand that the overhead lights, the light over the sink, and the water pump work off the 12 v system.

Now for the newbie questions.

1. There are two wall switches near the door. What do these do?
2. Does the wall switch by the sink turn the water pump on? If so which direction is on?
3. I found the breaker box and the inverter. There is a round, black plastic switch on the closet wall above the inverter? What does it do?
4. From the info on the forum it sounds like there are fuses also. Where are those?

I am trying to locate a owners manual and/or a service manual for my Argosy. I am not sure which will be more helpful.

The guys who put the battery in swear the pump was working 2 weeks ago after they replaced a fuse on the side of the pump. They told me the battery had run down and when the pump went on the fuse blew because the pump tried to draw more power than the battery had. I want to take my traveling hotel room out for 2 days in 3 weeks and at least want to have the pump functioning. The site will have no connections. I can do without lights as I have lots of battery powered stuff.

I will be deeply appreciative of any help.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:40 PM   #2
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My 75 Trade Wind will have some thing the same as your 75, but not everything. Is the battery dead now? It should be able to sit 2 weeks fully charged with no problems. The story about the pump blowing a fuse because the battery is low is a new one to me. You can always plug the trailer into city power at yur house to test the 12 volts. Get an adapter for the 30 amp plug and plug it into city power (110 volts).

For the questions:
1. My two switches near the door operate the porch light and the light over the sink. The light over the sink is a 3 way setup with a switch on it also. CFlipping either of these will change the state of the light.

2. The water pump switch on mine is on the control pannel in a the overhead over the stove.

3. Do you mean convertor? I have no idea what the know could be, maybe a power disconnect switch.

4. The fuses should be on or near the convertor. The wires from the battery and from the convertor connect to it.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:30 PM   #3
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We have 2 lights by our door. One runs the round scare light on the outside of the trailer b the door. The other runs the porch light (over the door). There is a switch by the kitchen window that runs the water pump.

You can get manuals from Airstream. Including a factory service manual. Call the store (phone on their corp website).

Fuses on ours were on the univolt. Flip up the panel.

The switch in the closet sounds like it might be an after thought - maybe a battery cut out?
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
2. Does the wall switch by the sink turn the water pump on? If so which direction is on?
Yes - we also have a 22' 1975 Argosy - on ours, if the top of the rocker switch is depressed towards the wall, the pump is on.

Quote:
3. I found the breaker box and the inverter. There is a round, black plastic switch on the closet wall above the inverter? What does it do? -
This sounds like a PO add-on, as it's not a "standard"

Quote:
4. From the info on the forum it sounds like there are fuses also. Where are those?
on the Univolt converter (standard equipment used a Univolt, which is a converter, not an inverter. Simply put, a converter "converts" 110V to 12V, while an inverter takes a 12 volt supply and takes it to 110-120V)

Quote:
I am trying to locate a owners manual and/or a service manual for my Argosy. I am not sure which will be more helpful.
(we have the original owner's manual for the 75 - it's somewhat helpful only if the equipment is original)

Quote:
The guys who put the battery in swear the pump was working 2 weeks ago after they replaced a fuse on the side of the pump. They told me the battery had run down and when the pump went on the fuse blew because the pump tried to draw more power than the battery had.
Nonsense! (this one word to describe this answer is based on over 25 years of dealing with 12V systems on 4 boats and as many AS trailers)
There are several conditions that will cause a blown fuse when the pump turned on 1) there was a short circuit in the wires, i.e. a bare positive wire touched a ground or neutral wire; 2) the bearing on the water pump seized, causing it to attempt to draw more current (amperage) than the pump & wiring was designed to handle. Perhaps the tech meant that the pump was attempting to draw more power than the fuse would handle, as fuses are rated for a maximum amperage draw. Depending on the age of the pump, it could draw as much as 10-12 amps (the rating should be on the side of the pump itself.) The tech may have replaced the fuse with an incorrect amperage, i.e. a 5 amp fuse when it should be 10. The fuse should be at least the maximum momentary (peak draw) of the motor.

Quote:
I want to take my traveling hotel room out for 2 days in 3 weeks and at least want to have the pump functioning. The site will have no connections. I can do without lights as I have lots of battery powered stuff.

I will be deeply appreciative of any help.
[/QUOTE]

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:23 PM   #5
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1976 22' Argosy 22
Frederick , Maryland
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Got a chance to investigate more today. I connected to a 110 power supply. The inverter was humming, the bathroom and kitchen lights worked, one of the 12 v supplies worked, and the water pump worked.
When I disconnected the power supply, nothing worked.

Any ideas? Do I have a bad battery that won't hold a charge?
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:15 PM   #6
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Fuses or Connections?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambrinus
Got a chance to investigate more today. I connected to a 110 power supply....(everything) worked. When I disconnected the power supply, nothing worked.

Any ideas? Do I have a bad battery that won't hold a charge?
Do you have a fuse panel which looks something like this (possibly behind the gaucho)?

The 50 amp fuses on the right side of the photo are the primary charging and battery fuses - one each for the positive and negative to the battery(s) and/or the charger.

Also trace the battery wiring and look for a "quick connect" or switch in the battery line - the line may be disconnected or the battery terminal(s) loose or corroded.

If your Argy has such a panel, perhaps one of the fuses going to the battery is blown.


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Old 06-02-2007, 07:44 PM   #7
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1977 24' Argosy 24
O'Brien , Florida
Join Date: May 2007
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Reply To Gambrinus:
I recently bought a '77 Argosy Motor (LESS) Home. Plan to convert to a
5th wheel towable unit. In my Quest for info I learned of the availability of
reproduced Manuals, Both OWNERS and Service ie: Shop Man. from Sidney,
Ohio company called Secretarial Services. (937) 492-8885. Spoke with Barbara Boone, Xerox Copies average about $.25 to 30 cents / Page.
Mine cost $120. and I had them in less than a week. It is a wealth of info.
Complete with illustrations. According to the Factory the oldest Manuals
are from the 1980's = anything older, Sec-Svc will have a copy on hand.
Good Luck!
Brian Oh'Brian of O'Brien, FL. Recent Aluminaunt.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:00 PM   #8
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Univolt

Reply To Gambrinus:

Like our 22' Argosy, the Univolt converter (assuming you have the original gear installed by AS )is located in the rear bathroom closet, aft of the battery compartment. The fuse, which is in line between the Univolt and the battery, is actually located on a panel under the lid of one side of the Univolt. This is probably a 50 amp fuse - physically, it is much larger than the other fuses. The fuses that provide the 12V to the rest of the trailer are also located on the same panel - these are physically smaller and of lower amperage.

Check this fuse (with the trailer unplugged!) ie no 110-120 V to the Univolt.

If this fuse is OK - i.e. the inside metal strip hasn't been "broken", then you may want to check the voltage of the battery. You will need a multi-meter to test the battery. This is done by measuring the voltage between the two posts. Your local auto mechanic (non-big box) should be able to check the voltage for you as well.

BTW, the univolt is notorious for toasting batteries. The current thinking is to have a multi-stage (3 or 4 stage) battery charger, one that senses the battery condition and provide the optimum charging conditions. Basically, the old Univolt converter kept the voltage at somewhere around 13.6, although even that wasn't a constant.

As you commented, the "inverter" (if original equipment, it's a converter, although several companies, like Xantrex, make a combi inverter/battery charger) was humming, which is one of its nasty characteristics. In all of our trailers, we've replaced the Univolt converter with a modern multi-stage battery charger. (Our current 22' Argosy's old Univolt was replaced, which is another how to do topic). This thinking comes from our boating experience and our desire to always have reliable 12V power.

If you want, we can email you a PDF of the owner's manual we have with the pictures of the original Univolt.

So, you have two things to check:

1) The fuse in the Univolt;
2) The voltage of the battery.
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Old 06-02-2007, 10:03 PM   #9
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Argosy 22 Electrical problems

Here's the page, in pdf format, from the 75 Argosy manual of the Univolt & fuses. I have more information; however, the pdf size exceeds the maximum upload. Send me a PM & I'll emal the pdf file with all of the info (it's 88 mB)

Hope this helps
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Page 1 from univolt argosy 75.pdf (1.04 MB, 122 views)
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:11 PM   #10
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1976 22' Argosy 22
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Thanks for all the assistance. Found the fuses and they appear fine. I hooked up a 110 power supply for around 3 hours and 3hours later the water pump and lights functioned the same as when the power supply was hooked up. The investigation continues.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:22 PM   #11
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Argosy 22 electrical problems

We received your PM & will send you the pdf file - having some weird problems with our email server today. So, will keep on with the attempts.

Often, when electrical problems seem intermittent, there may be a flaky electrical connection. Check out for loose wires, corrosion on terminal connections of all wires, wire connection on your water pump. If the ground connection for the 12 volt system is poor (i.e. corroded, loose, etc.) nothing 12V will function when the ground connection is missing. This could be system wide or an individual appliance. FYI, the chassis of the trailer is the 12V ground

Another possibility, especially if you keep having blown fuses, is that you may have worn wires that are shorting out, i.e. the positive current is able to "jump" to ground; when this happens, the ground "wants" as much current as it can take. This causes a substantial current draw, which overloads the maximum amperage of the fuses, causing the fuse to blow.

Visually inspect your wire & wire connections - do you see any copper strands? All wires have to be insulated. Does it look like the connections are clean or, are they dirty looking with white powdery coating? Are any connections that are attached to the sidewalls (ground) wiggly or loose?

If you have access to a multi-meter tester (Fluke makes a good one) you could start testing voltages to various 12V feeds around the coach, as well as check line continuity.



Happy hunting!

Carolyn & Gerry
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:19 PM   #12
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Extract from Argosy Manual

Hi - finally was able to email the pdf file to you - I managed to extract the electrical portion of the manual & attempted to post here as well.

Your 76 should be just about the same electrically as our 75.
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