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Old 05-05-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
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1985 31' Excella
Birmingham , Alabama
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Posts: 57
Master Switch Question

This might sound like a stupid question but if y'all could advise us please. We were told that the master switch was to remain in the off position until we want to use the battery. The manual cautions this: Plugging the trailer into 120 volt city power with the master switch off will blow radio fuses and may damage other 12 volt components. The master switch is meant to be used when storing the vehicle.

Thanks for teaching us rookies how it's done
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:34 PM   #2
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1985 31' Excella
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I didn't get any advice. I'm going to try to reword my question. Is the master switch suppose to stay on the whole time until it stored and winterized for the year? When we are on a trip, it never is turned to the off position. It that correct?
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:56 PM   #3
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1990 32' Excella
Adirondack Mountains , New York
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I have a 1990 Excella and leave the master switch on when camping. If the rig is staying parked and not used I turn the switch off to isolate the batteries. When the trailer is winterize I pull the batteries and store them in a heated space and keep the charge up. I'll check my manual in the morning to see if I have the same warning about plugging into 110V. I was always under the impression that the switch isolated the batteries.

Bill
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply bill. Do you leave the switch in the on position when your driving ?
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:03 PM   #5
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1990 32' Excella
Adirondack Mountains , New York
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Yes, I have a 3-way fridge and it runs off the 12V when traveling. Our switch is located behind the front gaucho and usually has stuff burying the switch so I don't turn it off at all if I'm using the trailer.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:11 PM   #6
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1985 31' Excella
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Thanks again. We will start leaving it on The reason I questioned it was the statement in the owners manual. We have always left the switch in the off position and never had any blown fuses. But.... We know better now. Thanks.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tartimisi View Post
Thanks again. We will start leaving it on The reason I questioned it was the statement in the owners manual. We have always left the switch in the off position and never had any blown fuses. But.... We know better now. Thanks.
Hi Tartimisi - what trailer/year and what page in the manual? I searched my manual for the words "master switch" and it wasn't in the manual. I searched for the word "store" (my disconnect has two positions: use and store). Got lots of results. The meaningful ones are included below:

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When the switch is turned “use” (on) and the trailer is plugged into a 110-volt shoreline, the 12-volt distribution panel will receive power from the converter G and the batteries will be charged through the converter charging system.

When the switch is turned to “store” (off) and the trailer is plugged into a 110-volt shoreline, the 12-volt distribution panel will still receive power from the converter, but the batteries are disconnected from the system. The batteries will not be drained with the switch in the store position. The converter will not charge the batteries with the switch in this position.
------------

No warning about tripping fuses there. But if your manual uses different language, I would recommend following your manual that accompanies your specific trailer.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:48 PM   #8
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1985 31' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post

Hi Tartimisi - what trailer/year and what page in the manual? I searched my manual for the words "master switch" and it wasn't in the manual. I searched for the word "store" (my disconnect has two positions: use and store). Got lots of results. The meaningful ones are included below:

----------
When the switch is turned “use” (on) and the trailer is plugged into a 110-volt shoreline, the 12-volt distribution panel will receive power from the converter G and the batteries will be charged through the converter charging system.

When the switch is turned to “store” (off) and the trailer is plugged into a 110-volt shoreline, the 12-volt distribution panel will still receive power from the converter, but the batteries are disconnected from the system. The batteries will not be drained with the switch in the store position. The converter will not charge the batteries with the switch in this position.
------------

No warning about tripping fuses there. But if your manual uses different language, I would recommend following your manual that accompanies your specific trailer.
Hey. I have the 1984 Airstream Trailer Service Manual It is in section H. Electrical. It is on page H-3.

It's under the univolt interior electrical system

i could take a pic of it. But I'm not sure how to attach a pic to my message.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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I leave mine on (1986 Sovereign) pretty much all the time, unless it is in storage.

I run my reefer on propane while driving and the circuit board needs 12vdc to operate.

With it "on"' the battery gets power from the TV while you are traveling as well. The resistance of the battery also smooths out the 12volts coming out of your converter when you are plugged into shore power.

Also nice to be able to run the water pump during those "rest" stops.

Mike
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:25 PM   #10
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1988 25' Excella
Trumbull , Connecticut
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"Master Switch"

Hello All. If you have an older trailer like I have (1988 Excella) and still have the original univolt converter installed you must leave the Master Switch in the ON position while the trailer is connected to shore power (plugged in). The univolt utilizes the battery to help limit the output voltage so it can't harm the 12 volt accessories. If the master switch is in the OFF position and the trailer is pluged in, the univolt doesn't have the battery to limit the voltage and the univolt output voltage could rise up to a level that could damage the 12v accessories.
On newer trailers with a modern converter this is not an issue.
The master switch is really just to be used when you store the trailer.
Happy camping nm1oqrz
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:34 PM   #11
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1985 31' Excella
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Thanks for the info guys. Asking questions is the only way I'll ever learn. AND BOY DO I HAVE A LOT TO LEARN, Thanks again
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:30 AM   #12
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Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up Just my opinion....

If I was in your position, 1984 Airstream with the original Univolt Converter.

I would up-grade to a modern 3 stage converter with float charge. It won't overcharge the batteries when plugged in to shore power for extended periods.

Randy at Best Converter will give you the latest/best options.

I used the IOTA DLS 55a IQ4 with great results, a nice feature...it can be used with the batteries out and cables isolated, on shore power without damaging the converter or blowing fuses/breakers.

Good Luck

Bob
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:03 AM   #13
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2013 20' Flying Cloud
Cream Ridge , New Jersey
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Hi all, We have a new 20' Flying Cloud with a use/store switch by the door. The switch activates an electric solenoid that disconnects the batteries from the system. The solenoid doesn't draw any juice from the batteries when it is in the (store) position but according to one of the tec's at my dealership it draws almost a full amp the whole time that it is in the (use) position. If you add that to the draw from the radio memory and the propane alarm he said that it draws almost an amp and a half total. We do a considerable amount of dry camping and this doesn't seem like a good idea to have that much drawing on my battery unnecessarily while we are off sightseeing for a day. I plan to remove the solenoid and install a manual marine grade disconnect switch in it's place. I store the AS inside with the battery switch in the (store) position and a small external 1.5 amp regulated maintenance charger hooked to the batteries. When I want to go in the trailer I plug the main power cord into the wall outlet in the garage and the converter supplies the power for lights etc. I have not experienced any blown fuses or any other problems. I do not charge the batteries with the converter while in storage because the charge is unregulated and can cook the batteries if left for too long. I have used this procedure with several trailers with no problems so far.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:22 AM   #14
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1985 31' Excella
Birmingham , Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
If I was in your position, 1984 Airstream with the original Univolt Converter.

I would up-grade to a modern 3 stage converter with float charge. It won't overcharge the batteries when plugged in to shore power for extended periods.

Randy at Best Converter will give you the latest/best options.

I used the IOTA DLS 55a IQ4 with great results, a nice feature...it can be used with the batteries out and cables isolated, on shore power without damaging the converter or blowing fuses/breakers.

Good Luck

Bob
That is the converter that we bought. In the process of installing it. My husband is having troubles because the wiring that is on the panel does not match the owners Manuel. He's working on that today if you have any advice.

Thanks again
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