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Old 08-07-2014, 10:16 AM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charleston , West Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 43
Not holding a charge + smell of something getting hot

I have a 1979 Airstream Excella and I plugged in my camper for a trip today. A few moments later I heard some popping and clicking in the front fuse box like a fuse was trying to flip. By the time I got my flashlight and inside the camper there was a haze of smoke and the smell of a hot electrical fire but no fire. Doesn't hold a charge but everything runs fine lights, water pump, fans etc and all the fuses are OK.
Did my univolt bit the dust? Any help or trouble shooting would be great.


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Old 08-07-2014, 12:55 PM   #2
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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You let all the "magic smoke" out. That is an old ham radio joke when a radio goes poof.
I would check the voltage at the battery with it plugged in and with it unplugged from shore power. If the univolt is dead it will be below 13 volts. If it is working it will be 13 or a little higher. Smell of the univolt, it will really smell burned if that much smoke came out of it. Check all your connections to the battery and in the fuse panel to make sure all the wires are tight. That is where I would start.

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Old 08-07-2014, 05:36 PM   #3
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Morrill , Nebraska
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Get rid of the Univolt. Install a modern multi stage converter.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:16 PM   #4
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1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
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It could be either the battery or the converter. With a meter, check the output on both, with a battery cable disconnected. The converter output should be over 13v dc. The battery output should be over 12v dc, if is charged.

If both are ok, I would check for corrosion on the battery cables. Or, it could be loose wire connections. I have heard/smelled that crackling/burning when a wire was loose on one lug of a breaker.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:04 PM   #5
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charleston , West Virginia
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Thanks guys I'll post on here when I get it all figured out. Keep on rollin'
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:05 PM   #6
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2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
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can anyone verify if this trailer is fused on both the pos and neg between the converter and the batteries?

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