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Old 04-29-2016, 01:02 PM   #1
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Unhappy Remove battery and just use shore power

I've recently purchased a 29' '75 Airstream Ambassador with rear bath. I plan to park it on my property permanently as a guest house. On it's trip home from the seller the battery compartment came open and the battery disappeared.

I've been working on it for a week and all of a sudden while messing with the rusted out step light all the front interior lights went out. So I bought some new 20 amp fuses and replaced it on circuit #4. it worked for a short while and then the fuse burned out again. Replaced it and then the #1 circuit burned out. Then the #2 circuit burned out. Now only the #3 circuit is working.

I assumed there was a short somewhere and then I read on the forums that it's not a good idea to keep the inverter running without a battery in place. Maybe that's the issue. Am I burning out the system by not having a battery??

I've decided that getting a battery and constantly charging it is dumb since I never plan to move the trailer from the house.

So to my question: Can I bypass the existing battery charger/inverter/univolt system and just buy a converter that turns the AC current from the house to 12v DC power and just hook up all the wires to it? Has anybody done this?
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Old 04-29-2016, 02:25 PM   #2
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If you still have the old Univolt lump, you don't have an inverter. It's a converter/charger, and they weren't designed to function reliably (e.g. with consistent output) without a battery in the loop.

A more modern converter/charger should be able to function without a battery, you just need to size it to support the maximum likely 12v load you'll place on it with the lights, pump and fans.
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Old 04-29-2016, 04:20 PM   #3
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It would be a great idea if SOMEONE published a GLOSSARY of acronyms and shorthand; so that those of us 'unwashed peasants' who are at a disadvantage in following some of these 'threads', can do so.
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Old 04-29-2016, 04:36 PM   #4
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It would be a great idea if SOMEONE published a GLOSSARY of acronyms and shorthand; so that those of us 'unwashed peasants' who are at a disadvantage in following some of these 'threads', can do so.

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Old 04-30-2016, 11:37 AM   #5
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Thank you everyone for your help. I gave up and bought a battery but then also discovered that there was a loose fuse holder on circuit #4. I installed the battery and fixed the fuse holder and it ran without smoke and dripping fuses for about 6 hours last night without issue. Hopefully it keeps running.

I think I will eventually replace with modern converter as suggested. Would this be a good one: IOTA DLS-55/IQ4 12 VOLT 55 AMP 4 STAGE AUTOMATIC SMART BATTERY CHARGER / POWER SUPPLY

http://www.amazon.com/DLS-55-AUTOMAT.../dp/B0074JVO0A

Is there a better or more affordable model?

I guess $200 isn't bad to get rid of the fear I feel when I look at that rusted out univolt and converter.
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:57 PM   #6
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Iota and Progressive Dynamics are the trusted name brands and PowerMax is the trustworthy bargain brand. I wouldn't buy another WFCO and wouldn't consider trying an unknown brand. I have a PowerMax from Best Converter that has been flawless for 4 yrs now.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jwgayle View Post
Thank you everyone for your help. I gave up and bought a battery but then also discovered that there was a loose fuse holder on circuit #4. I installed the battery and fixed the fuse holder and it ran without smoke and dripping fuses for about 6 hours last night without issue. Hopefully it keeps running.

I think I will eventually replace with modern converter as suggested. Would this be a good one: IOTA DLS-55/IQ4 12 VOLT 55 AMP 4 STAGE AUTOMATIC SMART BATTERY CHARGER / POWER SUPPLY

http://www.amazon.com/DLS-55-AUTOMAT.../dp/B0074JVO0A

Is there a better or more affordable model?

I guess $200 isn't bad to get rid of the fear I feel when I look at that rusted out univolt and converter.
If you are never going to use a battery, you are going to be getting more than you need with a 4 stage converter/charger. A decent, single-stage converter will work acceptably in that situation.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:12 PM   #8
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If you are never going to use a battery, you are going to be getting more than you need with a 4 stage converter/charger. A decent, single-stage converter will work acceptably in that situation.
This is a valid point. I'm not sure if Iota sells a single-stage converter, but ProgressiveDynamics definitely does and the PD converters you find at the best price on Amazon for a given wattage are almost always the single-stage models.

A nice thing about the Progressive Dynamics converters... if you buy the single-stage unit and later decide you'd like to have a battery in the system (for power outages, because you've decided to travel with the trailer, etc.) you can upgrade it to 3-stage with the ChargeWizard plug-in dongle.

Here's a 45-watt example on Amazon. I've no idea if you can find the 9145 cheaper somewhere, it was just an easy search for me.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:15 PM   #9
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I use an iota dls55 iq4. Been flawless for years. Plays well with my solar charging as well.
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwgayle View Post
I've recently purchased a 29' '75 Airstream Ambassador with rear bath. I plan to park it on my property permanently as a guest house. On it's trip home from the seller the battery compartment came open and the battery disappeared.

I've been working on it for a week and all of a sudden while messing with the rusted out step light all the front interior lights went out. So I bought some new 20 amp fuses and replaced it on circuit #4. it worked for a short while and then the fuse burned out again. Replaced it and then the #1 circuit burned out. Then the #2 circuit burned out. Now only the #3 circuit is working.

I assumed there was a short somewhere and then I read on the forums that it's not a good idea to keep the inverter running without a battery in place. Maybe that's the issue. Am I burning out the system by not having a battery??

I've decided that getting a battery and constantly charging it is dumb since I never plan to move the trailer from the house.

So to my question: Can I bypass the existing battery charger/inverter/univolt system and just buy a converter that turns the AC current from the house to 12v DC power and just hook up all the wires to it? Has anybody done this?

I would advise to get a battery, even a somewhat worn-out one and hook it into the system. Why??
Because a battery is an 'accumulator' that acts as a 'snubber' to absorb and smooth out voltage spikes, and such.
Of course, a serviceable one would also act as a power back-up supply, but you knew that anyway.
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