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Old 04-17-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
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1977 27' Overlander
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reconnecting Univolt

Here is what is up I am learning these as I go along. Beyond my past knowledge I learned to put up an outdoor 100amp main lug and attach an outdoor receptacle. I was very pleased when it gave life to my 77 Outlander. I was confused as to why things like exhaust fans and lights did not work. I have now learned of the univolt system and have looked into it. It looks like when the person took the stock lounge couch out removed the battery compartments and batteries they cut the battery cables and left the fuse panel in great looking order. Do you think if I replace the battery cables and put on a battery it should work. Also should a car battery be sufficient. Thanks
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
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A car battery would be fine for testing or for fixed-location use, but they're not designed to provide continuous power over a long time period, they're more for high-amp short-duration loads to start the car.

While they were wrecking the battery compartments, did they remove the original Univolt, just disconnect it, or is it there and dead? If you still have the old Univolt, you should give some thought to replacing it with a more battery-friendly modern converter. BestConverter.com is an advertiser here on the forums and generous with assistance, and they sell several brands and models of modern converters.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:12 PM   #3
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I just realized the univolt system is missing as well. Is it possible to run the system of a battery charger with a brain attached to a deepcycle battery.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jubei View Post
I just realized the univolt system is missing as well. Is it possible to run the system of a battery charger with a brain attached to a deepcycle battery.
That's a workable short-term solution. Lots of people end up doing that for a while if a converter dies at an inconvenient time.

The battery charger isn't designed to put out higher amps over a long timeframe like a converter is, but it shouldn't take long to select, order and receive a modern converter once you're ready for it, so if you already have the battery charger that's an option.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:29 PM   #5
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Great thanks that is what I wanted is a short term solution. Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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reconnecting univolt

Greetings jubel!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jubei View Post
I just realized the univolt system is missing as well. Is it possible to run the system of a battery charger with a brain attached to a deepcycle battery.
I agree that what you propose as a short term solution is quite workable, but with one caution. You mention that the previous owner removed the battery compartment boxes, and that does bring up an issue with where you mount the battery unless it happens to be an AGM battery. With a lead acid battery, venting is critical and particularly so in an enclosed RV. One of the reasons that I switched to AGM batteries in my '64 Overlander was the fact that modern Deep Cycle Marine batteries that I can find where I live were not compatible with the '64 Airstream method of venting. The battery wasn't well isolated from the interior so the smell of battery off-gassing was immediately apparent. As an interim solution, you might want to consider temporarily locating a standard lead acid battery in a battery box on the hitch and running its cables either through the existing battery door or through an open window when the coach is in use. The best alternative may be to install a new battery box as you will eventually need a permanent home for your coach's battery.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:13 AM   #7
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Thanks so far so good on the project. I was thinking the same thing on the outside battery box. Charging batteries can give off a noxious gas plus if it decide to overheat and blow I want that taking place out side in a box.
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