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Old 07-13-2003, 11:02 AM   #1
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Broken Fuse Block In Distribution Panel - How Best To Repair

After plugging in & firing up a few of the lights in the front of the AS I blew a fuse (20amp - brown circuit on the distribution panel controling the lighting at the front of the trailer i.e. reading lights, front fan, step lights, etc.). When I went to change the fuse the bottom of the fuse block broke off and now there is no way to seat the fuse and make proper contact. The PO ran into this problem with another of the fuse blocks and installed an in-line fuse holder which seems to work ok. I can do this but I am wondering if there is another easier way to correct this situation without having to remove and get into the distribution panel and also whether I should think about replacing the distribution panel since the fuse blocks seem very fragile. Thanks,

Montanaandy
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Old 07-13-2003, 01:08 PM   #2
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This is a common problem that I have seen on both my Argosy and my Overlander. The fix of bypassing the bad holder with an inline fuse seems to be the common repair method.

My Overlander had a few burnt fuse holders and was also noisy so I replaced it with a new converter and added an external fuse block with the automotive blade type ATC fuses. They are much easier to deal with, color coded for amp sizes, easily replaced.

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Old 07-13-2003, 03:03 PM   #3
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Broken Fuse Block

Chas:

Thanks for the input. I have an Intellipower converter that I am going to install and I might also go the route you did and add an external fuse block with ATC fuses. Was it difficult to wire/install the external fuse box to the existing setup? Thanks, Montanaandy.
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Old 07-13-2003, 03:21 PM   #4
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Not hard at all,

I chucked the Univolt with it's integral fuse holder and installed the Intellipower unit. I got a 6 circuit ATC fuse holder and mounted it in the same location as the old converter, the new converter is small enough to have room for the fuse block as well. The converter has a diagram showing how it is wired to the battery and I wired my fuse panel off of the battery. Not sure if it makes sense to me but that is how it is supposed to be done. They want the converter to charge straight to the battery, if you wire your fuse block straight off of the converter they say that under use the current may only power the accessories and bypass the battery, not properly charging it. You won't be able to use some features of the Control Center as well, the amp meter and the AC power on indicator.

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Old 07-13-2003, 04:06 PM   #5
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New fuse block

I think you are on the right track replacing the entire fuse block.

That is what I did when I replaced my univolt.

I got a fuse block from camping world and put it in a plastic box I got from radio shack.

Turned out well. I was also able to transfer the current sense bar for the original metereing pannel in the trailer.

You can see a picture of it here

Or the entire project here

Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2003, 08:52 PM   #6
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Tim,

Did the amp meter work? How did you connect it to your new setup.

Several of my fuses are getting hot and blowing, I am pretty sure it is the fuse holder. I am considering the external fuse holder, just not sure about the wiring.
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Old 08-04-2003, 08:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by loechli
Tim,

Did the amp meter work? How did you connect it to your new setup.

Several of my fuses are getting hot and blowing, I am pretty sure it is the fuse holder. I am considering the external fuse holder, just not sure about the wiring.
Yes the amp meter works. I just wired it the way it was originally. Which is the amp meter pickup in series with the ground wire to the battery.

It works good. I need to adjust the little tap off screw on the slider to make it more accurate. Just have not gotten around to that yet.

I don't think that your fuse holder could make the fuses blow. You must have an intermitten short somewhere. A dirty fuse holder would make your lights dimmer or make 12 volt items running poorly.

Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:17 PM   #8
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Amp meters aand Volt meters

Volt meters may be connected any place in a circuit. To be able to read the voltage present, one meter connection is connected to the power wire to be measured. The other meter connection is to any ground or earth on the vehicle.. These connections are called in parallel.
An amp meter is a different type meter in as, the meter must be connected in line or series. Historically, amp meters have been the cause of many, many fires. The action that causes fires is that the electrical load passing thru meter exceeds the load corring ability of the meter or wiring. There are NO modern cars or any vehicle who now use ampmeters. Even the info reflected by the meter can be very faulted.
The voltmeter is a very necessary diagnostic tool.
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:48 PM   #9
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Re: Amp meters aand Volt meters

Quote:
Originally posted by FrankR

An amp meter is a different type meter in as, the meter must be connected in line or series. Historically, amp meters have been the cause of many, many fires. The action that causes fires is that the electrical load passing thru meter exceeds the load corring ability of the meter or wiring. There are NO modern cars or any vehicle who now use ampmeters. Even the info reflected by the meter can be very faulted.
The voltmeter is a very necessary diagnostic tool.
Actually a ampmeter is technically a voltmeter as it is reading voltage across a shunt. As in the Airstream. The shunt is the wide copper piece that the ground wire connects to from the trailer circuits to the battery negative terminal.

Then small gauge wires carry a very small amount of current to the amp meter display. Which is reading a voltage drop across the shunt which is propotional to the current being drawn.

Should be no threat of fire any more than any other circuit or deviced used.
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Old 08-05-2003, 01:37 PM   #10
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Tim,

If I were to use your type setup on my 72 trailer, where would I connect the two wires coming from my univolt, they currently connect to the back of my Low Voltage Distribution Panel
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Old 08-05-2003, 02:42 PM   #11
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Do you mean if you were to build a new fuse panel?

The way mine worked is the same as it did originally. So if you can look at the wiring on yours, you can duplicate it as well.

The way mine works is this. There is one common bus on the fuse holder. The common bus goes to the battery positive. Then one of the fuse locations with a 40 amp fuse goes to the charger (univolt), another fuse 40 amp, goes to the charge line from the tow vehicle.

The remaining fuses 20 amp, go to the lights and 12 volt outlets.

The single fuse holder that is isolated from the others goes to the power on light in the trailer. It is powered by the second charge line from my charger. If your charger does not have this you can do it with a wall transformer power supply. At least on my model and year. I understand earlier models run the power on light differently.

The ground side of the charger goes to the current shunt bar labeled load. That is where all the trailer grounds also go. The battery negative goes to the current shunt bar labled battery -. This way your current meter will show a charging current as well as a load current when not charging and running your lights, etc..

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Old 04-06-2015, 01:04 AM   #12
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I would love to see this project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim View Post
I think you are on the right track replacing the entire fuse block.

That is what I did when I replaced my univolt.

I got a fuse block from camping world and put it in a plastic box I got from radio shack.

Turned out well. I was also able to transfer the current sense bar for the original metereing pannel in the trailer.

You can see a picture of it here

Or the entire project here

Good luck!



Hi Tim,
Do you still have pictures available somewhere else of this project? The link seems to be broken.
Thanks and thanks for your restoration book. It was helpful.

-johnny
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:01 PM   #13
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Johnny -

I think we may have similar problems. My fuse block is cracked and old and needs replacement. I have a new thread (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ck-135473.html) where I am replacing my fuse block with an ATC style Blue Sea 5026 marine fuse block. There are pictures and lots of good information on there. I will try and keep it updated with progress and pictures.

Happy Campy
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