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Old 08-23-2011, 07:51 PM   #1
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Battery Tender and Univolt?

My First Airstream question, How exciting.

So we got our trailer on Saturday, (1977 Safair) and it's likely going to be parked till we use it in the spring.
As far as I know it has the original Univolt system.

I normally hook up a battery maintainer (Battery Tender) to the truck when it's parked for the winter and I credit it with keeping the battery alive this long,

I'd like to do the same to keep the trailer battery alive. I've heard that keeping the trailer pluged in will keep the battery charging but can over charge it.
Can I hook up a trickle charger or battery maintainer without desconnecting the battery, or the Univolt, or will it damage the Univolt or any other electronics?

Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:09 PM   #2
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If the trailer's NOT plugged in, you should be able to just hook in a Battery Tender with no problems. I think that if you plug it in while the battery tender is online, it'll just "see" the voltage from the Univolt and think the battery doesn't need any charge, and then pick up again after you unplug the Univolt. You wouldn't need both, obviously, but you might occasionally plug the trailer in to run 120v equipment inside. A '77 Airstream doesn't have much that qualifies as electronics BESIDES the Univolt, unless you have some later-model replacement appliances with control boards in them.

The Univolt definitely has a reputation as a battery boiler and it seems like replacing it is popular support. The PO of my Argosy replaced the Univolt with a WFCO converter which so far has been working well for me.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:20 PM   #3
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pardon me what is a wfco converter I don't want to boil my battery, I have a 74 soverign and feel an upgrade to the univolt is needed.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:42 PM   #4
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I bring my batteries in for the winter months, and keep them on a marine trickle charger. I also use the same charger with a quick disconnect (with the batteries installed) if we are not using the the rig for more than a month. Our current batteries are three years old and doing great.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:16 PM   #5
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I also bring my batteries in for the winter. They are stored in the basement where its warm and I attach a float or trickel charger to keep them full all winter. My AUTOZONE DEEP CYCLE GROUP 28's are now 3 yrs old and no problems. I still have the original UNIVOLT and have not boiled a battery yet. When in service I check the water once a month. SO FAR SO GOOD.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augstwest View Post
pardon me what is a wfco converter I don't want to boil my battery, I have a 74 soverign and feel an upgrade to the univolt is needed.

WFCO is a brand of converter/charger, a competitor to Iota, Intellipower, Parallax, etc. Any one of those is an improvement over the Univolt. I have a WFCO and so far it's working well for me. All the brands are available at different output capacities.

The PO of my trailer bought this one from Best Converter (that paperwork came with the rest of the trailer's documents.)
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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How do I hook up my Battery Tender (exactly?)

Help Please! I just got my Battery Tender delivered, BUT I read somewhere that there is a trick to hooking it up correctly, when you have 2 batteries?

I have a 2012 25' Airstream with the 2 batteries up front. I know they are linked, so which one do I charge? Actually I bought the Battery Tender with 2 chargers, but I don't think I can hook both of them up when the batteries are connected to each other. (that might be for winter when I take them out. I read a post about this, but I can't find it anymore...Thanks much, Carol
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:57 PM   #8
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Which number WFCO does your rig have? I have a 74 22' argosy, univolt is fine except that it humms quite loadly. Replaced everything else, why not one more thing.....
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:16 PM   #9
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Which number WFCO does your rig have? I have a 74 22' argosy, univolt is fine except that it humms quite loadly. Replaced everything else, why not one more thing.....
My WFCO is 45 amps, I believe it's the older model (it's about 5 years old at this point.) The paperwork is in the trailer, I'll probably be dropping by there this evening to plug in and start the refrigerator cooling for a short trip this weekend. I'll try to remember to look up the exact model on the paperwork or the converter itself.
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