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Old 01-21-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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1974 29' Ambassador
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Lights work on battery, but not 120 volt!

We have a 1974 Airstream Ambassador, 29 foot, twin beds, rear bath. Our interior lights are now just working on battery power. This is a new problem just this week! When we plug into 120 volt, land power, all electrical plugs work but no lights! Any suggestions! Thank you!
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
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Power to the lights comes from the 12 volt fuse panel which gets it power from the battery as well as the converter. Plugging into shore power does not disconnect the battery, but does power on the converter. The converter would be my first suspect.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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Sorry for the limited knowledge... but does anyone know where the converter is located on our Airstream and any suggestions on finding a replacement?
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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Not familiar with your floor plan, but...our DC fuse panel is in the forward wall, in the center, beneath the windows...therefore, the converter/charger is nearby, in a recessed 'pit' in the cabinetry, with a cover over it (it vents to the outside through the fwd wall with a hooded vent cover you can see outside between the battery boxes...

If your fuse panel is forward, the converter should be nearby - or if it's elsewhere, it should also be nearby, I believe...
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
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The location would depend on if it is a rear or center bath. The battery compartment on a rear bath is in the bath area and on a center bath the battery is located in the galley area. The converter and 12 volt distribution panel should not be far away.

Most of the original converters made a loud humming noise when powered on and were easy to locate because of the sound.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:42 PM   #6
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I suspect low/ bad battery. 12v systems can act very unpredictably with a battery problem.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:03 PM   #7
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In my '74 Argosy 26 rear bath, twin bed the converter is located in the bath on the street side in a closet. Not sure if it the same in yours.

If it is the original converter and you are plugged into shore power; it should be humming pretty loud.
I would guess the converter is located relatively close to the battery, even if it is not you could trace the wiring to find the converter.
Once you find the converter, you should check the output voltage.
You are not by chance still plugged into the TV?
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:22 PM   #8
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To be a little more precise, and assuming you have a rear bath model:

Get on your knees in front of the streetside closet between the bath and the sleeping area, closet door open. A flashlight will be useful here.

Stick your head in the closet, and look at the wall at the floor of the right side of the closet. That blue metal door hides the fuse panel, which is the front part of the Univolt (the device that takes 120V and gives you 12V).

Check the fuses, "just in case", but if the trailer is plugged to 120V and you don't hear the buzzy hum of the Univolt, highly likely it's dead.

When you replace it, be sure to get one of the modern ones that has three stages of charging; your battery will last longer.

Good luck, and looking forward to hearing how you make out!
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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Thank you

Thank you so much for the info!
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