Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-01-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1954 22' Safari
Little Compton , Rhode Island
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 34
Battery and inverters questions for vintage Airstream

I'd really appreciate some sage advice from you veteran Airstreamers out there.
I'm putting my new acquired 1954 Safari into shape (floors, wood work, plumbing, etc) but am really in the dark (no pun intended) about what to use for my 12 volt source and my voltage inverter. All that stuff is missing and the wiring is pretty hacked, too. ( I do have 110v breaker box and wiring in place). I have an original, working Cold Trail refridg which runs on 110 v that I'd like to keep, operating it on a generator and a voltage inverter. Other than that, the only 12volt needs I have are for the on-demand water pump and cabin lights. I'd like to do some camping in areas where there is no shore power.
Could someone please recommend a suitable set up for me? (there's nothing like the voice of experience!!).
__________________

__________________
Collapso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
You will need an "converter" which will be used to charge your batteries and operate the 12 volt DC appliances while you are plugged into shore power. You will not be able to use your 110 Volt AC refridge when you are not plugged in. The amp hr. requirements for the fridge using an inverter to generate the 110 will kill any batteries you might install. Like you said you might just run it on the generator. The only thing I use my inverter for is running my ac TV.
__________________

__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 10:18 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1954 22' Safari
Little Compton , Rhode Island
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 34
54 Safari battery set up

I understand the difference between "converter" and "inverter" and this reply was extremely helpful. I'm a bit confused as to the placement of the battery (or batteries) in the 54 Safari. Would the access hatch area in the rear be the best storage for them? (Much of my electrical stuff is missing). Anyone know what was used originally? Also, if stored in the hatch, would I originate the DC circuitry from there. Was there a special panel designated for DC use?
Any ideas greatly appreciated.
__________________
Collapso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
pbearsailor's Avatar

 
1957 22' Caravanner
Port Hadlock , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 863
Most likely your '54 had no battery originally. 12 volt systems were mightly simple then. My '57 had only a single overhead 12 volt light and it was powered by the tow vehicle.

On your 110 volt fridge running on an inverter, I think you'd need a big battery bank to do it for any length of time, like dwightdi said. Not sure what specific power draw you'd have with your refrigerator, but I'd guess it would be somewhere above 75 amps per day.

-steve
__________________
Forum Thread: First She Had to Take a Ride on a Boat

Blog: My 57 Caravanner
pbearsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 11:09 PM   #5
Rivet Master

 
Southwestern , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Collapso View Post
I'm putting my new acquired 1954 Safari into shape (floors, wood work, plumbing, etc) but am really in the dark (no pun intended) about what to use for my 12 volt source and my voltage inverter. All that stuff is missing and the wiring is pretty hacked, too.
Collapso,

Welcome to the forums!

As far as the 12 Volt stuff being "missing", there is a good chance that your 1954 Safari never had them. In the early 50s a lot of Airstreams were essentially configured as "park models"--you towed them from one campground to another and plugged into AC power when you got there. The fact that your original refrigerator runs off of AC power suggests your trailer might have been configured that way.

Our 1960 Pacer was like that--there was no battery in the trailer and only one 12 V light fixture. The rest of the light fixtures were all 120 V AC. The one 12 V fixture was connected to a 12 V power line to the tow vehicle battery. There was no water pump either, the Pacer used the pressurized tank system whereby you could either connect the water inlet to city water or pour water into the tank and pressurize it through a tire valve.

By the way, in the early 50s most cars used 6 V electrical systems, also, so the exterior lights on the trailer may be set up for 6 V. (Or they may have already been converted to 12 V by a previous owner.)

If you are going to install a coach battery in the trailer I would recommend mounting it forward for reasons of weight and balance. It should either be external to the cabin or in a separate compartment vented to the outside. On the Pacer there was room to mount a marine-style battery box on the tongue behind the LP gas bottles, and I built my own 12 V fuse panel. The battery was kept charged by a modern Intellipower convertor located under a dinette seat. There was also a small inverter under the dinette seat to power the 120 V interior lights when not connected to ground power.

If you don't mind pulling the wiring I would replace the 120 V lights with 12 V and run everything off of 12 V like modern trailers have done since the mid-60s. If you can afford LED lighting, it's great for boondocking--same amount of light as incandescent for about 10% of the power consumption.

Good luck with your project!

Nuvi
__________________
Nuvite-F is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.