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Old 03-27-2007, 10:26 AM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
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I've Got the Univolt...Now What?

I am restoring a 68 Tradewind that was totally gutted. I have set up the 120 V system. The original univolt was removed and there are a ton of dangling 12V wires all over. I have the new replacement univolt and have it ready to plug in.

Where do I plug it in to the 12V system? And do the overhead lights work off of the 12V or 120V. I checked the light wire with my voltmeter and it seems to be running on 120V but that seems wrong.

Weekend Electrician.
Bill
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:08 AM   #2
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If you have it all apart consider getting a small distrubution panel for the 12 volt side. This panel will have circuit breakers for each circuit. Depending on how many circuits you want to set up will deternmine the panel size, any RV shop should have a selection. As for plugging in the Univolt, if you install a panel, the output side of the univolt will just go to the bus bar in the panel and to your battery. Just make sure you use a wire size from the Univolt to the panel large enough for the panel. Wireing to the battery should be #10.

The only way to determine if a light is 120 or 12 is to look at the light socket. If all the paneling is out and you can see the routing of the wireing I would consider changing any 120 volt fixtures to 12 volt unless you will always stay in a campground with electricity. If you do this make sure no 120 sockets or equipement was on the light circuit. If so you will ahve to run new wireing depending on locations.
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:20 PM   #3
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Since it is out anyway, consider replacing the Univolt with a new unit such as Intellipower. No hum, no old capacitors to burn out. More versatile and so on.
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Old 03-27-2007, 02:57 PM   #4
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Thanks.

I'm still not sure I am following completely. I have my 120V circuit with three circuites and breakers running into the main power box.

I have a battery and a new univolt unit purchased from Inland RV. I just need to find out how to take my new 12V output from the univolt and connect it to the preexisting original 12V system.

I imagine there is a set of wires that are typically attached to the battery and univolt that run into the 12V.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:20 PM   #5
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You could call Inland RV and have them fax you an instruction sheet.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:30 PM   #6
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Wiring the new Univolt

Bill, Chances are your original Univolt was located under the bathroom sink if it was a rear bath trailer. there should be a 120 v. outlet there for it to plug into. It only converts the 120volt A/C to 12volt D/C to run any 12volt items in the trailer and to of course charge the battery. The 120volt circuits are separate from that altogether. your line cord to home/shop outlet should run directly into a breaker box in the service center at the back of the trailer. If set-up like mine is there are two wires + and - running from the univolt to the battery box area where the leads should be connected to a 12volt fuse panel then thru a fuse (30 amp)to the battery. Then there will be other fused circuits from this fuse panel box for running different 12volt lighting and outlets Etc in the trailer. All my white wires (neutral) were terminaled together under the metal battery holder tray and one jumper tied them to a buss bar. I am eventually going to seperate these into indivdual circuits. Do you have an owners manual? If so there should be a basic wiring diagram in it! If you don't have a manual perhaps someone here with a 68 Tradewind can make you a copy of theirs... otherwise you can get one from a secretarial service in Ohio. Search the Forums for Owners Manuals or Operating Manuals and see what you come up with. Let me know if this helped or not, Ed
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:33 PM   #7
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Yes, all of the red and white wires are coming out of the rear where the bathroom once was. I had to custom make an outlet to power the univolt.

So now I have the univolt, which can connect to the red and white wires running toward the 12V fuses. And a set of wire that can connect the fuses to the battery.

Now I also have a set of red and white wires that are connected to the overhead lights but these seem to hold a 120V charge. Could I be mistaken and could these red and white wires that are showing resistance with the overhead lights actually connect to the battery terminal along with the wires leaving the fuse.

Univolt> to Fuses> to both Battery+wires connected to overhead lights

I am having first timer anxiety about blowing up my univolt
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirSpleen

Now I also have a set of red and white wires that are connected to the overhead lights but these seem to hold a 120V charge. Could I be mistaken and could these red and white wires that are showing resistance with the overhead lights actually connect to the battery terminal along with the wires leaving the fuse.
In my 71 Tradewind all the overheads are 12v
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:40 PM   #9
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Resistance is no way to determine to operating voltage on a milti bulb circuit. Remove the bulbs and look at the socket base to determine the voltage. 12 volt lights will not have a screw type base.
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:06 PM   #10
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So I have checked all the lights and open wires in my airstream and they are ALL running 120V.

Even the small lights at the front that clearly should've been 12V (which both immediately popped) have 120V running through thier wires.

I can't find any circuit for a 12V wire or anyplace that the TV could connect to the airstream to power all the exterior lights.

I am new to electricity but this just seems whacked out. Or maybe I'm whacked out.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:05 PM   #11
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Previously owned equipment can harbor a few surprises in the way of unusual modifications that may have suited the PO's particular taste or needs. A knowledgeable person could easily configure the trailer to run all of its lighting on 120V and it would make sense if the trailer was always parked and on shore power. You can tease out the circuits and reconfigure all or part of the wiring for 12V. Usually, the interior lighting, with the exception of plug-in lamps is 12V which runs off the battery and/or the univolt depending on whether you have shore power. Be aware that you can reuse the old 120 volt fixtures on 12V by using special bulbs that look just like household bulbs but are 12V. Usually available at a marine supply. The univolt output should connect as directly as possible to the battery(s) using heavy cable. There is probably a small line on the univolt output side that can power a "power on" indicator light too. Of course, the exterior lights should be 12 V to be compatible with the TV. A good strategy might be to imagine what you would do to convert a normal trailer to run on 120V and work backwards.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:24 PM   #12
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Excella, thats an Excella-ent idea. I will start by thinking like the enemy like Sherlock Holmes. I can confirm that someone has converted this over to 120V. What doesn't make sense is that they have several lights that were still partially installed that had 12V bulbs. I also can't find an obvious patch of where this bastardization has taken place.

But so help me god...

More updates and pictures first chance I get.

Thanks and I'll show and tell asap.
Bill
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