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Old 06-20-2016, 05:03 PM   #1
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1973 25' Tradewind
Redding , California
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 47
Removed UNIVOLT. wiring questions...

Pulled my Univolt, Purchased my boondocker and 12v panel but I have a few questions.

1. The 120v wiring going into the univolt was not grounded. When I wire my plug for the new converter, should I run a ground to the frame?

2. The boondocker has a 12v positive, negative and a chassis bonding lug. Do I attached a wire from the bonding lug to the frame?

3. The univolt had a white cable labelled "negative load" that appears to be a ground wire (see attached photo). do I attach the white wire the 12v panel ground terminal?


4. the black wire coming from the battery has a fuse that attached to the floor. see pic. Should I upgrade this? I ran an ohm test and the fuse is good.

5. There is a white wire that appears to be attached to frame in the closet where all this is taking place. should I run a wire from this lug to the ground of the 12v distribution panel?

Thanks! Sorry if this is confusing. I'm confused... LOL.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:50 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Hi leadvox, welcome to Air Forums and the vintage Airstream hobby. I have a 66 Trade Wind and think the 25 foot size is just about perfect. I also installed a boondocker in my Trade Wind. I will try to answer your questions.


1. The 120v wiring going into the univolt was not grounded. When I wire my plug for the new converter, should I run a ground to the frame?

Yep, you want to ground the 120v circuit. I happened to run a dedicated circuit to the boondocker from the circuit breaker box because I could. The entire 120 volt wiring inside the trailer is grounded to the frame. I believe the 120v cord coming out of the boondocker is a three prong plug.

2. The boondocker has a 12v positive, negative and a chassis bonding lug. Do I attached a wire from the bonding lug to the frame?

Yep. But you will attached it to your 12v ground. My trailer has a 12v ground "bolt" and a 120v ground "bolt" to the frame rails. I wrestled both the rusty bolts off, cleaned the rusty frame to insure a good contact to the frame. Now, my fuse panel has a dedicated copper wire to the 12v ground. So you can ground the boondocker to the fuse box ground bus if you like. The 12v ground from the boondocker to the trailer frame ought to be low resistance, like less than 5 ohms.

3. The univolt had a white cable labelled "negative load" that appears to be a ground wire (see attached photo). do I attach the white wire the 12v panel ground terminal?

Careful here. My trailer has black 12v positive, and white 12v negative. My trailer has three separate 12v circuits radiating from the fuse panel. Your fuse panel will have a white wire "bus" for all the 12v negatives. And your fuse panel will have a bare copper wire running to the 12v frame "bolt'. It is true you can place your multi-meter on the 12v positive battery terminal and the trailer skin and read 12 volts. But the fuse panel is grounded separately.


4. the black wire coming from the battery has a fuse that attached to the floor. see pic. Should I upgrade this? I ran an ohm test and the fuse is good.

If the fuse is good, then okay to leave it alone. It helps protect the 12v circuits from overload, like a seized furnace fan motor.

5. There is a white wire that appears to be attached to frame in the closet where all this is taking place. should I run a wire from this lug to the ground of the 12v distribution panel?

Yep. I used bare copper wire, 10 gauge.


I believe others more expert than I will edit this response and steer us to the best boondocker installation. But at least I am exposing my ignorance. But hey, at least my boondocker is working as advertised and my trailer didn't catch on fire.

David
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:05 PM   #3
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1973 25' Tradewind
Redding , California
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 47
This. is. awesome. Got it all hooked up and it worked! Thank you so much David! This forum has been so helpful. I was just reading in another forum area about the shunt in the univolt for the ammeter. I am heading out to the trash to pull it right now. Total time to wire everything was less than two hours. Of course that time does not include the many hours poking around on these forums... Thanks again.
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