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Old 04-04-2009, 04:10 PM   #1
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Bypass Univolt with Intellipower?

I found my buzzing univolt in the rear curbside wardrobe under the tubin my newly acquired '71 Soverign 31' It did not seem to be adding a charge to my new Marine battery (no voltage at battery disconnect on univolt side). So I figure the overstock Intellipower 9245c on ebay are a relatively inexpensive replacement for less than 1/2 list. Now I look at getting the univolt removed and it looks like a bear. Any Secrets?? For a fix right now I think (in the next months I plan to pull the rear area and replace some floor--when I pull the tub I should be able to remove the univolt more easily and save the fuse compartment). Right now I envision the following: Disconnect the AC feed in the lower compartment and put a grounding female plug on it for the Intellipower. Put two 8G wires from the Intellipower to the appropriate wingnut Marine terminals on my battery. Ground the intellipower to chassis. Is their anything else I need to connect or disconnect. I do have a possible issue with the electric that I must follow up on--if I plug into a 20amp Ground fault circuit at our house, it blows the GF immediately. If I use a regular circuit it powers the Trailer fine. I guess I will try it on the GF one circuit at a time and try to pinpoint what I need to concentrate on. I have a service manual with diagrams. And plug in a 3 prong tester at each outlet. First off I want to get the 12volt working--does the above plan sound reasonable--I cannot see where anyone has done it this way to avoid working in the cramped closet quarters.
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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Pulling the old Univolt is not that bad. Some folks salvage the Univolt fuse panel to hook up with the Intellipower. You should be able to find information in a search.
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:20 PM   #3
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Not sure about your 71, but the Univolt replacement in our 78 was easy. Our Univolt was plugged in to a factory-installed receptical box, perhaps yours already has the box but it's not easily visible. We simply unplugged the Univolt , tore it out and plugged in the Inteli-power. The output wires need to be cut from Univolt, and moved over to the Intelipower (thats the most complex part but again fairly easy) - I think I published a procedure on this ...
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quick install worked fine

I Installed the Intellipower as I described in post #1. I Mistyped and did not catch it--my Airstream is a '73 Soverign, not a '71. The manual says to remove the univolt by removing the two screws fastening the plywood platform down (not the 4 shock mount bolts). One screw was easy but there is now access for the second screw is under the tub in the bath, and the platform stradles the battery box. Could get it removed by taking out the battery box compartment, but I am going to wait until I work on the floor in the back end and remove the tub and fixtures. In any case, I disconnected the AC to the unipower, Stuck a plug on the AC source (no recepticle, just wire nuts under the fuse panel, soldered some terminals on two 5 foot lengths of 6 G wire, hooked it to the unused wing nut terminals on the battery and the appropriate terminals on the Intelliport, wired a ground to the intellipower, Screwed the intelliport down to the floor under the bed, plugged it in and it worked like a charm. Univolt is still in place and its fusebox is functional. Will remove the dead weight of its converter section when I work on the rear floor. All but one of the DC circuits is working fine. Circuit to bath lights and rear overhead lights not functional so I have some trouble shooting to do on that circuit.

Jerry
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:38 PM   #5
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where to buy new fuse panel?

My 1965 Safari has 3 12 volt circuits with 25 amp circuit breakers. I am adding a Suburban propane/electric h2o heater that requires another fused 12 volt line. I do not trust the old circuit breakers due to age.where can I get a 4 or 5 circuit /DC board with regular Buss fuses? I have a new Intellipower ready to install.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
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My 1965 Safari has 3 12 volt circuits with 25 amp circuit breakers. I am adding a Suburban propane/electric h2o heater that requires another fused 12 volt line. I do not trust the old circuit breakers due to age.where can I get a 4 or 5 circuit /DC board with regular Buss fuses? I have a new Intellipower ready to install.
Check bestconverter.com. Randy is a Forums member and is not afraid to talk to his customers.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:29 PM   #7
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Intellipower makes a unit that has the converter and the panel as one assembly. I forget the callouts, but they have them in various sizes. I got a 60amp one. I am going to convert my trailer from 30amp to 50amp.

But anyway, the intellipower panel/converter combo is a slick piece. You might want to check those out. I ordered one from some RV discount parts place online and they hosed me.....if I could recall the name I'd list it. It was like RV Fun Products or something like that. They had it advertised at like $190 or so. I ordered it, waited waited waited waited, emailed them, called them, nobody would contact me. Finally I was checking their website and they had them on there for $105 more than the one I'd just ordered from them. I emailed them and cancelled my order. Dude finally emailed me back and basically said jump in the lake, I should have ordered a day before . HELLO! I ordered it off their website at their advertised price! Anyway, I found one on ebay, new in the box, from a good guy in Elkhart who runs an RV supply house and he had it for $10 more, only it was the better one with the LED at each 12v fuse so you look for the light to see which fuse is popped. It's a really nice unit, and I will install it soon.

Right after I install the new Dometic 2852 and the new Carrier 15,000 BTU a/c.

Best of luck,
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:35 PM   #8
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The combo unit looks like the way to go. I checked out bestconverters.com and they have one.Hope I can return my intellipower?
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:10 PM   #9
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I was surprised, took out the univolt, (always easy to take things apart it seems)
installed the intellipower and a new fuse/relay...the whole process went well, have been using the intellipower over a year, very happy with it...
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:00 AM   #10
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Jim, What brand & model did you install? I found a model 4035 made by intellipower but don't know if it has the led indicators.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:32 AM   #11
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4560

Hi Riverrat,

My Intellipower is a model 4560. They make a 4545, 4560, and 4590.

I believe the 4545 is the 30amp model (45amp max input), the 4560 is the 50amp model (60amp max input), and the 4590 is the 80amp model (90 amp max input).

I believe you can get all three sizes with or without the LED indicators. It generally adds about $50 or so, and I originally wasn't going to spend the money. But as it turned out, I got them for only $10 more. I bought mine from a fellow named Keith, and his email is cat0023@yahoo.com. He's got a store on ebay. He's really nice; runs an RV surplus place out of Elkhart. He had a bunch of converters, so it wouldn't hurt to give him a shout.

On the Intellipower 4500 series, I know the 4560 and the 4590 use the same panel; I bet the small one does too. And the converter can be easily removed from the front. So once you get it all wired up, you never have to pull the panel back out. The converter portion (also an Intellipower) just comes out and you can send it back to them to fix it.

I've not wired it up yet, but it will fit in the same spot as my original converter. Shouldn't be too bad. Worst thing is I'm converting from 30 to 50amp, and so will have to run a new main wire and get a new plug setup and cord. We've go a trip coming up in about three weeks, so I'm not going to mess with it right now. I'm installing my new fridge right now and need to do the new a/c after that. So I'll just have to use energy management on this trip (no water heater and microwave and a/c at the same time...). I'll do the wiring job after that trip.

Best of luck!

Jim
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:06 AM   #12
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Univolt upgrades and stock fuse panel woes.

I'm getting ready to do the same switch-over from a Univolt to an Intellipower (model to be determined). I had a nasty "swinger" short in the red power line at the front vent fan I finally found and corrected. During my tests to find this intermittant short I also discovered that the original Univolt fuse panel had developed corrosion problems at the rivets that hold the fuse blocks to the backing. There was a considerable voltage drop across these high resistance points. I'd recommend anyone doing an upgrade consider replacing the fuse panel as well. I have read other posts that mention or infer this fault as well.

Having said that, how have you all who have done the upgrade wired up or replaced the (1) ammeter/volt meter feed to the front console the (2) trailer/car battery fuses (40 & 50 amp) that the Intellipower block doesn't support, and (3) the main battery (+) and (-) fuses (40 amps)?

I figured I'd just install separate fuse blocks, but would like to hear any options from your experience.
Thanks.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:46 AM   #13
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Same trailer, same problem. Coincidence, or...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by afn10694 View Post
my Airstream is a '73 Soverign, not a '71. <snip> All but one of the DC circuits is working fine. Circuit to bath lights and rear overhead lights not functional so I have some trouble shooting to do on that circuit.

Jerry
I have the '74 version of the same trailer, and I have the exact same issue with the bathroom lights and the ceiling fixture over the little hallway where the two closets face each other!

The service manual correctly points out that the purple wire from the Univolt feeds those items, plus the ceiling and reading lights in the sleeping area. The ceiling fixture in the sleeping area and the lamps over each bed are intermittent, in that from time to time they shut off.

I found that if I wiggle the fuse for the purple wire on the Univolt (circuit #2 IIRC), the sleeping area lights will come back on, however not the bathroom or hallway ones. There doesn't appear to be any serious corrosion on the fuseholder, by the way.

I located the switch for the large light fixture over the sink and had a look at the connections (there's a hatch to get at them) and everything looked fine, including the infamous purple wire.

Anyone have an idea of where to look for the fault?
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:04 AM   #14
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We need an expert here..

I'm having trouble too. I got the 4045 and am building an electrical system from scratch. Just what AirConditioner (above) said. Can an expert here diagram out an installation with the connects and those fuse locations. The Intellipower instructions are poor....at least not aimed at my limited abilities.
There are numerous folks here having the same problem...we need that expert.
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