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Old 06-10-2012, 09:51 PM   #29
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Thanks Guys

Thank you guys for your assistance (as well as your patience). Montanaandy
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:05 AM   #30
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The pictures and directions people are posting are great. But, the system currently installed in my Bambi II is so different from all others that it would really be nice if someone that has Bambi II or similar could post what they did would really help me. Most of the discussions seem too focus on what to do with the fuses. My trailer has no fuses of any kind, that I can find, only two AC power circuit breakers.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
The pictures and directions people are posting are great. But, the system currently installed in my Bambi II is so different from all others that it would really be nice if someone that has Bambi II or similar could post what they did would really help me. Most of the discussions seem too focus on what to do with the fuses. My trailer has no fuses of any kind, that I can find, only two AC power circuit breakers.
I suggest you start a new thread in the Bambi II section. I bet you will get lots of help!
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:59 AM   #32
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Salvaging The Existing 12 V DC Distribution Panel?

Roger:

Your post got me thinking a bit and I thought that I would get your opinion since you have been down this road before.

The main problems (I believe) that I am experiencing with my existing 12 V DC Distribution Fuse Panel is that the 20 AMP brown fuseholder (CKT 4 BRN on the schematic) and the 20 AMP yellow fuse holder (CKT 2 YEL) are falling apart. I had already tied an in-line blade fuse holder into the yellow fuse line years ago because of problems that I was having with the glass fuse for that circuit. The fuse holder/contact point at the top where the fuse is secured (there is no bottom contact point) has broken off of the panel in each instance so that there is no way to hold the fuse/make contact with the fuseholder in the panel at present. I do have a Dremel and could clean things up with the other fuseholders as you did, but I would also have to install 2 x new holders (in-line with a blade fuse) for each of the aforementioned fuse positions. Is this something that is easily done/practical (i.e. how would I go about doing this?) or does it make more sense to just replace the fuse panel/distribution panel in its entirety as planned and as per the advice you and Idroba have given? Thanks, Montanaandy

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Well, when I did my Excella II I used the existing panel, which is what you have. What I did, I took my dremel, with a wire brush tool in it, and removed the fuses one at a time, and cleaned up the fuse, and the area that grips it in the holder, pinched the holder together a little so it would get a good contact. I did each fuse holder, and everything worked great. Saved a lot of work and rewiring. Of course, disconnect batteries and turn off/unplug power supply. I then wired new PD9245 on place of Univolt.
Because, you are going to be able to rewire only fuses 5-10 anyway. The rest have to stay as is. You cant move fuse 2-5 because they are part of the running/brake lights powered from your tow vehicle. Fuses 11-14 are 50 amp. which in my case, I purchased new fuse blocks with 50 Amp in them. So, you may want to try my clean up suggestion first, save time and $$.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:50 AM   #33
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I had a GMC motorhome that had a bad fuse panel. I took individual blade type fuse holders and bypassed the original ones. You can see the results in the attached photo. Not an elegant solution, but it actually worked pretty well overall, and the fuseholders were only a little over a buck each at that time.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:02 PM   #34
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I looked over all the pictures and read all the offered info I could and then gave a serious look at the univolt unit. I thought why not just cut off the fuse panel portion and discard the rest . I used the black and white wire from the Univolt and hooked directly to my replacement unit, plugged her in and was up and running in less time than it took to read everything. It is really very straight forward and you only need to fasten it all back on the original plywood platform to be finished. This is really a simple solution and you can still use any spare fuses you already purchased for the old set up.
Hope this is helpful
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:35 PM   #35
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This is how I solved the problem on mine, old and new together, lets me use the ammeter with new tech fuses for the regular circuits and hide it all out of harms way.....Phil
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:38 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by montanaandy View Post
Roger:

Your post got me thinking a bit and I thought that I would get your opinion since you have been down this road before.

The main problems (I believe) that I am experiencing with my existing 12 V DC Distribution Fuse Panel is that the 20 AMP brown fuseholder (CKT 4 BRN on the schematic) and the 20 AMP yellow fuse holder (CKT 2 YEL) are falling apart. I had already tied an in-line blade fuse holder into the yellow fuse line years ago because of problems that I was having with the glass fuse for that circuit. The fuse holder/contact point at the top where the fuse is secured (there is no bottom contact point) has broken off of the panel in each instance so that there is no way to hold the fuse/make contact with the fuseholder in the panel at present. I do have a Dremel and could clean things up with the other fuseholders as you did, but I would also have to install 2 x new holders (in-line with a blade fuse) for each of the aforementioned fuse positions. Is this something that is easily done/practical (i.e. how would I go about doing this?) or does it make more sense to just replace the fuse panel/distribution panel in its entirety as planned and as per the advice you and Idroba have given? Thanks, Montanaandy
Well, I think you should take the time to clean up and tighten up the old fuse panel. It may still have years of life left. You can do as Idroba, only replace the 2 fuse holders that are bad.
I found on my Excella II, the fuses were getting hot because the contacts were a little corroded. Also, fuses 2-5 are runnung/brake lights. Cleaning the contact/fuses on them oftem helps to get brighter lights, because of less voltage drop at the fuses. If you have LED running lights, this is not an issue.
You always have the new panel as a backup plan if the above does not work.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:44 PM   #37
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I suggest you start a new thread in the Bambi II section. I bet you will get lots of help!

I did, no help at all.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:59 PM   #38
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I went over to one of our local RV centers and spoke with one of the RV electricians showing him the Univolt diagrams, the 12 V DC Distribution panel, the fuse box (which I purchased from them) and all of your suggestions re: keeping the existing panel, subbing in a 4 blade block, installing 50 AMP blades fuses, etc. and this is what we arrived at. I am going to go back on Wed. to pick up the fuse block when it arrives and I will then speak with the owner who is very fond of and familiar working on older Airstream trailers.

As things stand I am going to:

I plan on using the new Parallax fuse box in conjunction with the old DC Distribution panel, the new 4 blade fuse block and 50 AMP cycling/re-setting circuit breakers. Circuits 2-5 will use the new 4 circuit bladed fuse box with 15 AMP fuses which will be wired into the existing distribution panel and mounted adjacent to it. Circuits 6-10 will utilize the Parallax fuse box and 20AMP fuses which will also be wired in adjacent to the old distribution panel. Rather than going with 50AMP inline fuses for circuits 11-14, the tech believes that using using 50 AMP cycling/re-setting circuit breakers is the way to go so those will be wired inline between the battery and the Intellipower converter. We will diagram all of this when I go to pick up the 4 blade fuse block on Wed.

I feel confident that I will end up with a good workable setup with this even if it is kludged together a bit. I will be happy to have a new converter installed and to have blade fuses instead of glass. Montanaandy.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:22 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by montanaandy View Post
I went over to one of our local RV centers and spoke with one of the RV electricians showing him the Univolt diagrams, the 12 V DC Distribution panel, the fuse box (which I purchased from them) and all of your suggestions re: keeping the existing panel, subbing in a 4 blade block, installing 50 AMP blades fuses, etc. and this is what we arrived at. I am going to go back on Wed. to pick up the fuse block when it arrives and I will then speak with the owner who is very fond of and familiar working on older Airstream trailers.

As things stand I am going to:

I plan on using the new Parallax fuse box in conjunction with the old DC Distribution panel, the new 4 blade fuse block and 50 AMP cycling/re-setting circuit breakers. Circuits 2-5 will use the new 4 circuit bladed fuse box with 15 AMP fuses which will be wired into the existing distribution panel and mounted adjacent to it. Circuits 6-10 will utilize the Parallax fuse box and 20AMP fuses which will also be wired in adjacent to the old distribution panel. Rather than going with 50AMP inline fuses for circuits 11-14, the tech believes that using using 50 AMP cycling/re-setting circuit breakers is the way to go so those will be wired inline between the battery and the Intellipower converter. We will diagram all of this when I go to pick up the 4 blade fuse block on Wed.

I feel confident that I will end up with a good workable setup with this even if it is kludged together a bit. I will be happy to have a new converter installed and to have blade fuses instead of glass. Montanaandy.
Sounds good to me. Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:26 PM   #40
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.... Rather than going with 50AMP inline fuses for circuits 11-14, the tech believes that using using 50 AMP cycling/re-setting circuit breakers is the way to go so those will be wired inline between the battery and the Intellipower converter. .
Looks like a workable plan. The only thing I would reconsider is the cycling/resetting circuit breakers to the batteries.

Those that I have encountered are not really well made, and often trip out at currents far off (+ or -) their rating. In addition, if you have a true short somewhere, they keep trying to reset and continually put current back into the short. I would much rather have the fuse open and stay open. Self reseting may be OK for an overload situation, but when it comes to a true short circuit they are not good at all. Like the energizer bunny, they just keep going, and going and going. They do save you the problem of spare fuses in case of an intermetent short but tend to mask a problem, rather than demanding you repair it.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:55 PM   #41
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Looks like a workable plan. The only thing I would reconsider is the cycling/resetting circuit breakers to the batteries.

Those that I have encountered are not really well made, and often trip out at currents far off (+ or -) their rating. In addition, if you have a true short somewhere, they keep trying to reset and continually put current back into the short. I would much rather have the fuse open and stay open. Self reseting may be OK for an overload situation, but when it comes to a true short circuit they are not good at all. Like the energizer bunny, they just keep going, and going and going. They do save you the problem of spare fuses in case of an intermetent short but tend to mask a problem, rather than demanding you repair it.
I'm in agreement with idroba on the resettable circuit breakers. In auto headlights ok, in RV's not.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:56 PM   #42
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I just remembered.............
If you keep the old Univolt panel there are several different configurations. One of which uses the larger than standard auto glass fuse. Another problem is finding 40 amp glass fuses. I use a self resetting breaker that fits right into the fuse holder. Never had a problem since.
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