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Old 08-24-2010, 03:15 PM   #1
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1978 28' Ambassador
Long Island , New York
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Can Anyone Identify this?

I recently purchased a 1978 Airstream Ambassador (Rear Bath and Double bed).

It needs work although the floors feel mostly solid (even in the corners). Some day I may opt for a complete restoration. For now however, I would simply like to get the camper “camping ready” so that I can enjoy it with my wife and kids - while they are still young and find it cool to go camping with their parents.

My plan is fix/replace the other items in between our weekend excursions.

I am nowhere near as mechanically inclined as most on this board - In fact I am totally blown away by some of the projects undertaken by some of the members and the remarkable results. I can however follow directions and use a screw driver.. And I know my limits.

The first thing I decided to tackle was the electrical.
The AC power works fine. I was baffled as to why the DC power did not work until I read the forums and learned about the “Univolt”. Well, mine is missing.

In addition, only one of my batteries seem to be wired to the fuse box right now, although the wires for the other battery are already run.

I read that most users replace their univolts with an Inteli-Power unit anyway, so I am hoping that would be the solution for me. I have ordered an Inteli-Power unit (9260).

I have included some pictures of my current fuse panel. If you look at the pictures you will notice two black holders. I have no idea what those are or what if anything may be missing from them.

I do not yet have a manual, but I have ordered one from Airstreams.

I also do not see wires that connected from the old univolt to the fuse panel. Did it connect to the fuse panel?

Can anyone identify the rubber holders and tell me what if anything is missing?

Also, when I receive the Inteli-Power unit, how do I tie it into the fuse box?

I will have many questions as time goes by, so please bear with me.. and thanks.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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They are inline fuse holder for the newer mini fuses like in modern cars and trailers. I can not tell what amp fuse to install there. Trace wires and see what they run
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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Where do the large red and black wires in the upper left corner go? They look like the large wires from the Univolt to the batteries to me. You can see photos of my Inteli-Power install at http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...0-a-57567.html.

The 9260 should be an excellent choice for you.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:06 PM   #4
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Wow.. That was a quick response wasagachris. Thanks.

They don't seem to run anything.

From what I can see both wires are connected to the red battery cable. Then one of them goes to the left side of the "right fuse block" and the other wire runs to the right side of the "right fuse block". in short, they seem to be for the battery. Does that sound right?

Are they standard on the 1978 Ambassador. If so does anyone know what fuse they take or what I can replace them with?
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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Vaughan: thanks for the link. Much appreciated. Do you have any other pictures that show the connections?

The red and black wires are coming from the battery.

I have attached a few more pictures, hopefully they tell the whole story.

Edit:
Mmm. Not sure why I am having issues uploading the additional pictures. I will reboot and try again.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:35 PM   #6
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Hello, and welcome!

To answer at least one question, no the rubber socket fuse holders are not from '78. As mentioned above, they hold the more modern blade type fuses and have been added. The glass fuses are stock.

The rubber inline holders appear to be attached to the supply side of the fuse block. Maybe meaning they may connect the battery to the fuse panel for distribution to the rest of the trailer. I would start with 15 amp fuses in both, a charged battery, and see what comes to life.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:02 PM   #7
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Ok.. Here are the additional pictures.

note: the Inteli-power is not in the unit - the univolt box is empty
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #8
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I would stop at a 20amp fuse as the wire looks like 12AWG. 12AWG is only rated for 20 amps.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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Jeff & Cindy: Thanks. I put 2 - 15 amp fuses in along with a battery and all the lights and light switches worked.

All except for the "Central Control Panel" - there were no lights on it. Could it be because I do not have a univolt or the Inteli-Power installed?

Thanks to everyone for all the assistance. It is invaluable. It is quite a relief to be making progress with this.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:21 PM   #10
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We have the same model and year trailer as you....however, the fuse panel in ours looks like the one shown on this thread...http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...0-a-57567.html.

The fuse panel in your AS looks like an older type...perhaps something installed by a previous owner?

If it was me, I'd get a new fuse panel, like the type sold by several of the popular vintage trailer parts suppliers, and start over...

Older fuse panels with wiring that looks like a 'birds nest' will only give you headaches in the future - questionable connections with tape around them just don't get it...

You can unhook the battery cables at the batteries so you don't have to worry about any 'sparks'...

Then carefully remove each wire and label it's function, etc - use a digital volt-ohm meter to help with this process...

You can get a couple of separate insulated stand-offs to hook the batteries cables to, then jump to the new fuse panel if need be...

Try to work in an organized manner so it's easier to trace wires at any future date, and labels will help, with a chart attached nearby for reference also helps...

Also the later fuse panels use the plastic two-prong fuses that tend to keep their connection better than the old glass tube types - and it's usually easier to see a blown fuse with the newer types...

You can see some of the things we've done with our AS in the Ambassador section of the Forms here...as well as others mods...

We like our Ambassador a lot, and just got back from a camping trip up into the Sierra Nevada Mt's - the only shortcoming we don't like is the small capacity of the 'Main' (black) and 'Aux' (gray) holding tanks...got to keep the old 'Blue Boy' external dump tank handy!

Good luck with your 'new' toy...

BTW, our serial no. is: I28T8S1291 so you can compare with yours...

Ray
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:10 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestion Ray. I will try to locate a new fuse box.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:43 PM   #12
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Take a look at BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics, nice folks and have lots of options.

If you have a good battery a univolt, or other power supply, shouldn't make any difference. The power supply simply converts 120 AC to 12 DC to power the lights and appliances, and charge the battery, in your trailer when shore power is available.

I would check the fuses and make sure they are passing power. I have been fooled just looking. If a multi-meter is over whelming, just pick up a 12 volt test light from an auto parts store. I prefer a light to a meter when doing simple tests. They are only good for 12 volt DC, but simple. If it lights it works. No light, no work.

Good Luck!

Jeff
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:05 PM   #13
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Jeff: Are you saying that I should have power at the Central Control Panel even without the univolt? Bummer.

I will have to pick up a test light in the morning to check.
Thanks for the help and suggestion.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:32 PM   #14
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1978 28' Ambassador
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Well, I figured out why the Central Control Panel was not working.

I tested the fuses and they were all okay. So, I decided to work backwards. I noticed a white/cream colored cable (looks like and old round phone line) coming out of the right side of the Control panel above the stove. I traced it and found that the cable had been cut and tucked up above they stove.

Why would anyone do that? I just don't get it.

I am still awaiting my manuals, but does anyone know where I might look to find the other end.

I did a cursory below the stove but did not see it.
There was a similar cable below the stove, but that wire looked to braided wires within the shield.

I feel like I am solving a giant puzzle here.
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