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Old 12-10-2015, 06:55 AM   #1
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Help! Electric is down and I'm cold

Hi. I am desperate for help. I live in my airstream and the power has stopped working.

I have a 1971 over lander with the univolt 5 power supply. Everything was working fine until a few days ago. I've had the electrician in my trailer park take a look at everything and he is convinced it's on my side of things. We determined that a wire had been pinched causing a dead short and big voltage drop. So I pulled another wire direct from the breaker box to the univolt system but that didn't work!

The univolt system doesn't appear to come on. Is there any way to test this thing before I go spending several hundred dollars? Is this how they normally go out? When the battery was charged, the 12v stuff was fine I just didn't have my outlets. I'm going to buy a trickle charger as a temporary solution as I'm freezing and need my furnace back. Any quick advice would be greatly appreciated...such as a model of inverter and fuse panel to buy. My fuse panel is part of the univolt so it seems I have to buy the new one separate.

Thanks in advance,
Gavin
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:29 AM   #2
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It seems like the battery charger idea is a fair temporary solution, but I recommend one that is capable of delivering about 10 amps so it will have a chance of keeping up with your usage.

From what I have read I concur with the notion that the converter is bad.


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Old 12-10-2015, 08:38 AM   #3
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Upon re reading, if no outlets, something else is wrong, however, a battery charger plugged into the pedestal should restore your 12 volt for more or less temporary usage.


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Old 12-10-2015, 08:54 AM   #4
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I think the OP means the 12 volt stuff all worked until the battery died due to not being charged by the failed Univolt.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:00 AM   #5
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First you should determine if there is power at the 120 volt distribution panel. If not, determine why.
Second; make sure non of the circuit breakers are tripped.
If CB are OK. Check for power on the load side of each breaker.
How did you connect the new temporary wire to the old Univolt? Did you disconnect something?
A Progressive Dynamics 9245 and a new fuse panel will be plenty for your coach. A 10 amp battery charger will not run much when you are using the furnace.
Once you have resolved the 120 volt problem you could use electric space heaters until you get the 12 volt system upgraded.
Good Luck
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:15 AM   #6
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If the AC outlets are not working, that must be fixed first. Process is as TG Twinkie described. Once AC operation is restored, the converter may operate.

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Old 12-10-2015, 10:25 AM   #7
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Plug into your tow vehicle and start it. The furnace should now work if there are no 12volt fuses blown. The univolt is plugged into 110 volt and won't do anything if power is out.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:50 PM   #8
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Check the basics

Greetings,
All the posts above are great. I find it helps to understand the basics of the system and thus fix the problem.

The Univolt on our old 68 Land Yatch was really simple. Power comes to the Univolt via the shore line and connects to a set of buss bars. (Like a breaker box). From there it went thru a large capacity breaker (30 Amps?) after that you had fuses that passed power to various wall plugs and the A/C and the Frig.

THEN power went to a big relay that when shore power was applied the relay engaged and passed 110 volts AC to a huge transformer and a battery charge circuit. This went back to the fuse panel and on to the batteries, lights, furnace and power points for 12 volt stuff.

When shore power was removed the relay opened and connected 12 volt stuff directly to the batteries. When shore power was restored the relay supplied 12 volts to all the 12 volt stuff and started a trickle charge to the batteries but removed the batteries from the 12 stuff so the batteries did not fry.

So to your concern. I would first be sure 110 volts is reaching the Univolt. If you are comfortable with testing for voltages, with a volt, ohm meter test for 110 are the end of the power cord coming into the AS. If that is showing power you are getting power.

Next check that the main breaker is not tripped. To do this turn it completely OFF. It should go CLICK! when you do that. If it is mushy of sloppy when you move it, you just found your problem. Jiggle it back and forth to see if you can reset it to the ON position. If so go on to the next step,

Now with the main breaker on, test with your volt ohm meter, one of the 110 volt plugs to see if you have power. Until you do going further is a waste of your time.

Once you have 110 to the plugs then you can test out the 12 volt system.

To get heat to the AS for the next hours, I would head to Wally World and get a 12 gauge extension cord long enough to go from the park power thru a window or access panel thru the wall and grab a cheap ceramic heater with a fan and carefully place it on the floor of the AS and wait till daylight to go further with your plight. (Oh yes, and stop by the store and get a pint of Crown of Jack Black. I will help to sooth the issues till daylight)

Happy trails


Now,
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:07 PM   #9
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temporary battery charger and multi-meter

Check your 120v circuits first. If you decide to buy a temporary charger, Harbor Freight has 2/5 amp for $29.95, a 10/2/50amp for $49.95. These are multi stage computerized, however, made in China. They also have float chargers for $19.95 but that will not catch up what your fan runs down overnight. These are not a good permanent solution but should work as a temporarily backup.

If you don't have multi-meter, attached is this months coupon for a free basic multi-meter and another coupon for 20% off your purchase. My store accepts photos of coupons on my phone as long as they can read the bar code number.

I carry a couple of these cheap meters to loan other RV'rs. If they get plugged into 120v while set on 12v they're toast, but, I haven't lost my good one.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:41 AM   #10
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Rvb, congrats on perhaps the most useful post ever.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:54 AM   #11
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Hello,
Good advice from previous posts.
However if it turns out that it is your Univolt power converter. Here are a couple of options.

Progressive Dynamics makes an all-in-one unit (PD4045KV) Amazon has it for $187.63 with free shipping. http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Dy.../dp/B002XRU6FM

If you want to go separate units. I like the (Iota DLS-45 IQ4) IOTA DLS-45 AC/DC Power Converter and Battery Charger Amazon $164.21 free shipping
http://www.amazon.com/IOTA-Engineeri.../dp/B0030GA42A

Progressive Dynamics makes very good products in general. They have a great AC/DC distribution panel (PD5000) I have one and like it very much.
PD5000 Series AC/DC Power Distribution Panels . Best Converter has this for 59.00 PD5000 30 Amp AC/DC Power Control Panel

Don't forget, at this point your batteries have been depleted to a point that may have permanently damaged them. If you have wet cell battery's open the caps and check each cell. Get yourself a hydrometer and check each cell. Here is a good tutorial, http://www.trojanbattery.com/Battery...e/Testing.aspx
Add distilled water where needed after you test each cell.

Best of luck getting yours fixed ASAP.

-Dennis
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:23 AM   #12
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Thanks!

Thanks for all the useful posts! I have pretty much narrowed it down to being the univolt. I purchased the progressive dynamics 4045KV and I'm about to install it. I think I understand how it all comes together, but the only question I have is about the existing blue wire. The AS manual refers to it as the car battery?

Seems like that may be the "alternate battery" or "DC disconnect"? If so, I'm assuming I remove the jumper and need to install an in-line fuse. If anyone has experience and can clarify or confirm that for me, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for all the responses!

Gavin
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:36 PM   #13
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The blue wire is the TV battery. It should be fused at 30 amps and connected to the positive buss in the coach.
It is in effect parallel to the house battery and converter.
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:46 AM   #14
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Thanks! that's what I needed to know!
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