Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-08-2012, 08:34 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1973 Argosy 22
Shepherdsville , Kentucky
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 71
How to tell if converter/inverter is working.

Hi everyone: I'm new to this site and to rv'ing and I have a question. I recently bought a "barn find" 73 Argosy 22 and have slowly started to work on it. I got the ac working, bought a battery and the dc is working. My question is, how can I tell if the Converter/inverter(?) is working. It has no control panel and is well hidden. Thanks for any help, Tom

Tom S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 08:39 AM   #2
Rivet Master
TG Twinkie's Avatar
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,675
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
If it is the original Univolt, which is about the size of a cinder block and hums. I would recommend upgrading to something like a Progressive Dynamics 9245 3 stage converter. Especially if you keep the trailer connected to shore power. The old Univolts are noted for cooking batteries.

Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
Rivet Master
SteveH's Avatar
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,282
You'll need a voltohmmeter to check the DC charge voltage. Or, one of the cigarette lighter socket plug in voltmeters will work also, and is a lot easier. If the converter is working, and your batteries are in a relatively good state of charge, when you are plugged into AC power, your battery voltage will read approxomately 13.8 VDC. If the converter is not working, the voltage will read about 12.6 VDC, or less depending on the state of battery charge.

Welcome to the forum.

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-- Thomas Jefferson
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 09:07 AM   #4
Rivet Master

1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,365
Blog Entries: 13
Just for clarity:

A "converter" is powered by 115 volts AC current (shore power) and produces 12 volts of DC (well, actually 13 volts plus). This recharges your battery, runs your interior lights and gadgets such as your smoke/propane detector, furnace, the control board on most refrigerators...

An "inverter" does the opposite. It uses 12vdc from your battery to produce 115volts of AC. Depending on the capacity of your inverter, it will run things like your electric shave, laptop, tv up to real current hogs like hair dryers, toasters and the like.

You more than likely have a converter and checking it is described in a previous post.

n2916s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
Rivet Master
HowieE's Avatar

1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,309
Images: 12
Quickest way is to have the trailer plugged into shore power, turn on an interior light and while someone is watching the interior light unplug the shore power. The light should dim a bit.

Now that said if it is a Univolt replace it as noted above as the Univolt is nothing but trouble.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 02:00 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
1973 Argosy 22
Shepherdsville , Kentucky
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 71
Thank you for the quick replies. I will be changing to a new converter soon. Tom
Tom S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Mexray's Avatar
1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,583
To check your Converter/Charger, With C/C turned OFF, I find it's easiest to put a digital voltmeter on the battery terminals and note the voltage (12.+ volts, for example)...

The turn the C/C ON and again note the voltage at the battery - it should rise higher than the previous noted voltage (14 Volts +- depending on the battery's state of charge)...

You might wish to contact Randy @ BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics for more info - he can recommend a C/C to fit your particular RV, and he's very knowledgeable about Airstreams & Argosys....
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
Mexray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 06:01 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
1973 Argosy 22
Shepherdsville , Kentucky
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 71
Thanks for the advice, I just ordered a pd9245 and it should be here Thursday. Tom

Tom S is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.