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Old 06-23-2014, 04:14 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Cypress , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2
Question Nubie question on hooking up converter...

Hello all - we just purchased our 1977 31' Sovereign and I'm trying to get the electrical system back up and running...

When we purchased it the Univolt & Battery had already been removed, so I bought a new battery and a Progressive Dynamics (PD9260CV) 60 Amp Power Converter with Charge Wizard.

I followed the AS's service manual schematic and hooked up the battery and the converter, running cable from the converter to the specified spots on the fuse box. I then plugged the AS in, and tested the converter, cycling through the 3 modes and testing the output. All worked great!

So then I unplugged the AS, went back in and tried using the 12v lights and nothing would work. I had to actually remove the copper wires connecting the converter to the fuse box to get the 12v system to work again!? Had I done something wrong? My understanding is that the converter should charge the battery when the AS is plugged into 120, but when unplugged the battery should still power the 12v system without having to do anything.

Am I mistaken? And bare with me if I'm doing something obviously wrong - this is our first Airstream, let alone our first camper period!

Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-23-2014, 06:02 PM   #2
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,474
First, your understanding of converter operation is correct.

I'm not that familiar with your trailer, specifically, but there was a recent thread on replacing the univolt, and I replaced my converter with the same unit. If I remember the other post correctly, there are two fuses involved, one in series with the converter output and one with the battery. Maybe your battery fuse is blown. If you look at the schematic, can you follow the current path from the battery positive out to a load and back to the negative post? Same question for the converter? You should be able to do the same for the actual battery and converter wiring.

I can't come up with a reason why disconnecting the converter would change the operation of the battery circuit, with one exception. Airstream (and boat manufacturers) often used AC color codes for DC wiring. Standard DC codes would be red for positive and black for negative. AC code has black for hot and white for neutral. So it is possible at when connecting old DC circuits to new you might have to connect old black to new red and old white to new black. Did you, by any chance, connect black to black and red to white?


"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:10 PM   #3
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1969 23' Safari
Raleigh , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 60
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This is a helpful link. See post #6

Also, it is important to use #6 maybe #8 wire from the battery to the fuse panel on both positive and negative terminals. Use a voltmeter to check the voltage at the fuse panel from the battery. VDC should be 13.6v or so. Using an inferior gauge wire will cause this problem. I learned this lesson once.
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