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Old 11-16-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
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Help this non sparky

Ive checked the output of my converter according to my owners manual and it shows bad. ive checked the battery according to autozone and it shows bad. a "79" 31' nice old trailer, have yet to find anything system wize that looks to of been molested. My Question is, which converter would a "reasonable person" replace the old one with. I don't want something that will shine my shoes or make my coffee, I want one that will do what needs to get the job done, the only changes im planning on making in the 12vdc system is a stereo change, ie new head unit, speakers and an amp for subwoofer(I like Jimi) im not an electrician nor am I an electronics guru.
I posted this because there seems to be a lot of folks on here a with a lot of knowledge that I aint got, since this is what forums are for, enlighten me please!
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:10 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. As to your converter, there are options to consider. There are a number of converter/chargers to consider. Depending on your needs, you should also look into inverter/chargers. They are quite a bit more expensive, but can be a good value, depending on your camping style.

Brian
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
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Iota DLS-55 or Progressive Dynamics Intellpower.
I have installed three of the latter in my earlier Airstreams and the former in our current 2007 Classic 31.
Replacing the converter charger is the first thing I do when I get an Airstream.
I have also helped others install the Progressive Dynamics Intellpower.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:04 PM   #4
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I installed a Progressive Dynamics 9245 in my 40 year old Argosy four years ago. It has worked flawlessly.
You can pick one up on EBay.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:40 PM   #5
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Check the Net for suppliers of RV Converter/Chargers in your area....

As mentioned, the older AS supplied converters are considered antiques...!

Most newer model C/C's come equipped with 3-way regulators that will;
(1) provide a FAST charge;
(2) FINISHING (reduced) charge; and
(3) a FLOAT mode to reduce the voltage after charging to insure your batteries don't become overcharged - a BIG + over the old AS C/C's...!

Replacement C/C's come in several AMP ratings - higher ratings are used for larger battery banks and quick charging due to higher output, etc...

Ask your supplier for a suggested rating for the amount and size of batteries you intend to use in your RV...A 55 - 65 Amp rating will generally be useful to provide quick recharging of multiple battery systems in AS's....

If you're away from shore power, and use a higher power stereo with an AMP, you'll going to need lots of battery capacity to keep things running - AND a generator to recharge the batteries often...

I replaced ours with a 45 AMP unit, as we had only two smaller batteries - we now carry (3) larger batteries, and I wish I'd opted for a 65 AMP unit to provide for faster recharging when we boondock with out shore power...

happy Trails...
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
Check the Net for suppliers of RV Converter/Chargers in your area....

As mentioned, the older AS supplied converters are considered antiques...!

Most newer model C/C's come equipped with 3-way regulators that will;
(1) provide a FAST charge;
(2) FINISHING (reduced) charge; and
(3) a FLOAT mode to reduce the voltage after charging to insure your batteries don't become overcharged - a BIG + over the old AS C/C's...!

...

happy Trails...
Mexray is right, but he forgot one thing. A new converter/charger (I'm an Inteli-Power fan myself) will:

(4) Provide clean DC power that your new stereo will appreciate.

Also, it won't boil your batteries dry. (See Mexray's numbers 2 & 3) This smells bad and will set off your CO detector if the fumes get inside the coach. Ask me how I know.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:49 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forums!

There is lots of good info here.

If you have made it this far, you must understand what the converter does.

The old, original “Univolt”, the name used by Airstream for this box, is little more than a poorly regulated 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC power supply. It depends on the battery(ies) it is connected to for much of the filtering and regulation of the 12 power it produces.

As such, it tends to supply too much power to the batteries and cause them to overcharge and boil dry.

Newer technology converters have circuitry that makes cleaner 12 volt power and controls the power supplied to the batteries. They supply lots of charging power when the batteries are discharged and then begin to limit the power as the batteries are charged to capacity.

Some do require a bit of rewiring at the distribution panel to allow them to see the batteries separately from the appliances in the trailer, so they “know” how much power to serve where.

But, there are panels that are easy to retrofit into the factory spaces and are not terribly complicated. If one is capable of installing a car stereo, one is capable of swapping the distribution panel after a bit of research.

Or, there are simple basic converters available. In fact, Airstream uses a basic, simple converter in new trailers.

Regards,

JD
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:10 PM   #8
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1979 31' Sovereign
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Thanks for all the advice, I feel like ive finaly found a forum with some very knowledgeable folks, wanna thank each and every one of ya. took the advice and contacted a fella with "best converter" forgot the fellas name but this is what he suggested I use. The PowerMax PM4B Boondocker series units deliver exceptionally clean AC to DC power for Battery charging or as a DC Power Supply.

Dimensions: 10.5" X 7" X 3.5"
Ship Weight: 7 lbs

KEY FEATURES:

14.6 Boost Mode Output
13.6 Normal Mode Output
13.2 Float (trickle) Mode Output
Built-in desulfation cycle
Over-temp, Over-current Protection
105-130 VAC Input Operation
Reversed Polarity Voltage Protection
>85% Efficiency
Safe, Cool, Quiet & Reliable Operation
<1% Load Regulation
Filtered DC Output (Works with or without a battery)Thermostatically Controlled, Variable Speed Quiet Cooling Fan
3 Year Hassle Free Warranty, and I get all of this for a paultry $159 bucks, sounds good to me what cha think? I currently am going to run just one battery, could very easily install a second one, whats the advantages of doing this? how much more run time could I expect if I did this and or advantages of same?
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