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Old 10-30-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
Brenham , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5
Question Huge mistake-no 12v power?

Hello all,
I really like these forums, can get much needed advice reading thru them.
I have a 31ft 79' Excella 500, rear twin beds w/ center bathroom shower
in the middle.
Camper was plugged into a 50 amp plug, And my dumb azzzz was in a hurry, so I pluged my air compressor in the ext 120v plug in, on the camper. When compressor went to cycle back on, it tripped something?
Now I have all 120v, ext an int wall plugs, microwave tv all works well. Just no 12v lights.
I have checked breakers and the fuse panel in the front, under table.
I bought 2 new deep cycle batteries an installed them, lights worked great
until batteries went dead. Not getting charged, and I have not been able
to find the charger or univolt system?????
Can someone point me in the right direction, and any an all advice
will be much appreciated.
Thanks for your time
Rob

And yes, I will never plug air compressor anywhere near camper, ha!
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
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1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,773
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In my Excella the exterior outlet, bathroom, and bedroom outlets are all hooked up to the ground fault breaker. All the rest of the 120 volt outlets are connected to another breaker except the one at the other end of the Airstream that powers the converter that provides 12 volts to the batteries.

Tripping the breaker for the external outlet would also shutoff power to the converter (Univolt or replacement) leaving most of the other interior circuits working. The air compressor tripped the breaker for the external outlet thus taking the Univolt's power with it.

Not sure what "ext an int" means, but check the ground fault breaker if you have one in a 1979. Resetting or replacing whatever breaker powers the external outlet should get your converter back in business.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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1979 31' Excella 500
Brenham , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5
int an ext??

Hey Vaughen
Thanks for the quick response. Sorry about the int an ext, interior and exterior 120v plug ins all in working good. Just where is the charger-univolt
system located at? And I have a breaker box, where power comes into the
camper,in the closet, middle of trailer, and a big fuse panel up front under table. My two batteries
slide into their compartments in front of camper, one on each side of LP gas bottles.
And after I un-plugged the air compressor, that plug still worked, just shut
all 12v off.
Is there a re-set button somewhere, and please tell me where the charger is located, and about how big is it?
Thanks alot
Rob
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:55 PM   #4
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1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
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In our 78, there are two AC breakers in the box...one is a ground fault type breaker that controls the exterior ac receptacle and the converter/charger (univolt replacement).

Our ground fault breaker is a bit 'balky' and must be reset several times to get it working again - it sometimes 'trips' when using the exterior ac receptacle - I think it's time to find a replacement GF breaker, if I can...

we have a rear bath, mid bed model, and the AC panel box is in a rear bath cabinet, and the 'univolt' is located in the front of the trailer, just below the fuse panel, in the floor inside a recessed 'pit' with a plywood cover...we have cabinets in the front with a side facing gaucho...

I would think your Univolt would be located very near the fuse panel, where ever that is in your model...

BTW...one of my first 'updates' was the replace the Univolt with a new 3-stage, solid state converter/charger from BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics. I used a 45 amp model, which has worked fine for us...I've added a third battery to our AS, and I think that today, I'd probably opt for 60 amp model, and spring for the few extra bucks!

The newer 3-stage chargers are the only way to go, if you use shore power much - your batteries will be brought up to full charge, then given a 'float' voltage to avoid access water loss in your batteries...we keep our AS plugged into to shore power at home and we're always 'ready-to-go' with fully charged batteries!

Hope that helps...Ray
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:37 PM   #5
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1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roblo101 View Post
Hey Vaughen
Thanks for the quick response. Sorry about the int an ext, interior and exterior 120v plug ins all in working good. Just where is the charger-univolt
system located at? And I have a breaker box, where power comes into the
camper,in the closet, middle of trailer, and a big fuse panel up front under table. My two batteries
slide into their compartments in front of camper, one on each side of LP gas bottles.
And after I un-plugged the air compressor, that plug still worked, just shut
all 12v off.
Is there a re-set button somewhere, and please tell me where the charger is located, and about how big is it?
Thanks alot
Rob
Hi Rob,

I was afraid that you meant that the external plug still worked. I'm kind of drawing a blank now.

As far as location and size, check out the photos here http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...0-a-57567.html. You can see the original Univolt between the battery boxes below the fuse panel at the front of my Excella. The sofa backs up to the front and covers all this. My guess is that your Univolt is located close to your batteries. My breaker box, like yours, is also in the closet across from the center bath.

In my rear bath Trade Wind, the Univolt was under the bathroom sink. Once you locate the Univolt, insure that the outlet to which it is connected has power. If it does, check to ensure that there is power getting from the Univolt to the batteries. Check both sides of the fuses with a multimeter. First insure that there is 12v coming from the Univolt to the fuse at all. If so, do you have it to the other side of the fuse? You also want to check for current through the fuses on the negative side, if your system is like the one in my Excella.

If you don't have a multimeter, you can get one at the big box stores that have electrical and automotive stuff/tools. Remember that there ones made for years of professional use, but you don't necessarily need something like that. You will get most of the usability from a consumer oriented product.

Mexray's comments are good too, especially about using at least a 60 amp converter. The one I replaced in my Excella was 70 amps and I went with the largest available Inteli-Power, 80 amps, to allow for plenty of 12v stuff in the future. A little overkill probably.

Good luck again, I know electrical gremlins can be frustrating. I will keep an eye on your progress and check back in.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roblo101 View Post
Camper was plugged into a 50 amp plug, And my dumb azzzz was in a hurry, so I pluged my air compressor in the ext 120v plug in, on the camper. When compressor went to cycle back on, it tripped something?
Now I have all 120v, ext an int wall plugs, microwave tv all works well. Just no 12v lights.
Rob
rob, can you tell us more about that 50A plug? most trailers of that era used 30A plugs. was this plugged in at home or at a campsite? did you use an adapter to convert the 50A to 30A?
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:29 PM   #7
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1979 31' Excella 500
Brenham , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2009
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30amp-50 amp outlet

Hey Ricky
I had my father-in -law help me with that 50 amp plug. It's the same style
at RV parks, lakes etc, theres are mostly 30 amp. Just HAD to put a
50 amp breakerin an run alittle bigger wire. His motorhome has two a/c
units and he likes to sleep with both on while he visits us, ha!
I recently did buy an adapter (male) the plugs into 50 amp outlet and
drops back to 20 amp. Use this now for my air cpmpressor!
Thanks for all info, in the morning will start my search.
Will stay in touch
Thanks again
Rob
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:02 PM   #8
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Umm, two things, not really related to each other:
1- the Univolt in your trailer will either be between the front couch and front wall, under a shelf, or under the kitchen sink.

2-Most 50 amp hookups I'ved seen have been 240 volt, and it is split into a 30 amp leg and a 20 amp leg. As long as only one leg is connected to anything, you should be okay, but if all 50 amps is going into the trailer, you could fry some electrical components, such as the Univolt.

I'm just saying check and make sure.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:31 AM   #9
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1979 31' Excella 500
Brenham , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2009
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50 amp-120v

Terry
You are right with your reply, If you don't know what your doing
you can send 240 volt into your camper.
Thats why I ask paw-n-law to help me, he was an electrician. I had everything connected and wired up before he arrived that day with his
motorhome, wanted to make an "impression" on him, (so to speak).
But I did ask him to double check my wiring, (i'm a machinist, not elect)
He went and looked at the way I had them connected, then asked If I
was trying to fry his bus, ha! Did not take him very long tot correct my
problem.
Always a "live an learn" thing, an 90% of the time I do things the hard way.
Will check for univolt/charger today,
and again thanks foor all the advice
Rob
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