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Old 08-18-2011, 02:05 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
scottsdale , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2011
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So I think mine works as I heard a buzzing coming from the closet where its located behind the panel. I fear leaving it on as I don't want to burn the trailer down, any danger there? I'm not sure if the ammameter works is there any way of knowing without buying a trickle charger and seeing what it says. Also is there a suitable replacement panel for the amameter panel as the cook top vent is integrated into this one, or can it be repared?

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Old 08-18-2011, 02:31 PM   #2
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1959 22' Flying Cloud
1969 25' Tradewind
1983 34' Limited
fairview , New Mexico
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I think you may be hearing the 'univolt' which is a converter. Most did a hum that is annoying. Most people replace them with a newer 3 stage converter which charges the battery more efficiently. the univolt tended to overcharge the batteries.


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1959 Flying Cloud
1969 Tradewind
1973 Safari
1983 34 ft Limited
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:31 PM   #3
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I think you mean converter, the unit that takes the shore power and converts it to 12 volts and also charges the battery.

If it is the original, and it sounds like it is, you can overcharge the battery if you are connected to shore power for too long. I replaced mine with a IntelliPower 9245 which makes no noise and does not cook batteries. It has a small panel with a led that will blink at different rates to tell you what stage it is in. I ignore the amp meter on the panel.


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Old 08-18-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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1995 36' Classic 36
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Yes, change that ole piece of electronics for a newer, more "intelligent" inverter/charger that will keep your batteries topped off and won't overcharge them.
Michael, Gary and Lyla (and Max, Nugget, and Bungee the Lion Rabbit)
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:37 PM   #5
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1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
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If your converter is working properly, there is no danger "to burn the trailer down", or no more than with any other type of converter.

If you have the original converter in your trailer, the batteries may get overcharged and boiled dry if you leave your trailer plugged up with the converter powered continuiously. You can just unplug or switch the breaker off to disconnect the converter when in storage. Since I still have the original converter in my trailer, I disconnect my battery when I am on shore power for extended times.

When mine burns out I will get one of the better multi stage converters, but I'll keep using my old one till it dies.
2014 Silverado 1500 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:54 PM   #6
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Good answers. There is no question among anybody that has been Airstreaming for a day or two that the Univolt is nothing more than a non regulated battery boiling power supply from the 70s. To their credit, it was the technology of the times. Airstream went to single stage switching power supply a few years ago but missed the beat when they chose Parallax since its a single stage and will also overcharge. Don't let ANYBODY tell you single stage is better than 3 stage for an RV, its just not true. My recommendation is the Powermax Boondocker, PDI, or Iota. they are the best. Good luck.
In edit, I agree the old units should not bun your trailer down, don't worry about that but you will be reading the battery forums eventually.

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