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Old 10-21-2014, 01:13 PM   #1
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prairieville , Louisiana
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Replacing a missing converter

Our 1966 Trade Wind has NO converter. We'd like to put one in. I'm almost sure that it had one at one time. The owner we purchased from never used the battery and didn't even know what we were talking about when asked if he remembers seeing a converter or if it had one.
I figure if we are replacing water pump and re-doing the plumping lines why not add a new converter also. I however would like to find out what others have done and their experience. We did get the LED lights for the reading lights that run on battery.
Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by My66Dino View Post
Our 1966 Trade Wind has NO converter. We'd like to put one in. I'm almost sure that it had one at one time. The owner we purchased from never used the battery and didn't even know what we were talking about when asked if he remembers seeing a converter or if it had one.
I figure if we are replacing water pump and re-doing the plumping lines why not add a new converter also. I however would like to find out what others have done and their experience. We did get the LED lights for the reading lights that run on battery.
Thanks for the help guys.
The "univolt" was mounted on the floor in the closet that's in the bathroom.

You can use Airstream's current Univolt, which is 55 amp.

Andy
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:38 PM   #3
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There are lots of threads on converters here. Airstream does not make a Univolt (actually never did, but they called it that for years) The current one they use is the Parallax but you will find with very little search effort that that they are single stage chargers and not multi stage. Most agree multi stage converters will do a better job maintaining your batteries, especially if you do any dry camping.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:06 PM   #4
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Installing a new converter is a fun project. The converter is the "brains" of your electrical system Since you don't have one, you don't have any 12v electricity in your trailer, right? The converter takes 115v AC and makes 12v DC.

Here is the converter wiring diagram along with the original fuse panel diagram.

And here is a picture of my new converter. I also installed a new fuse panel while I was at it. It resides where the water heater used to be. The new water heater is forward under one of the beds. I installed this gear as my new SeeLevel waste water tank monitors would not work with the old converter. It was a "ripple" generator making interference on the SeeLevel readout.

The new converter came with its own wiring diagram.

David
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:36 PM   #5
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Depending on your intended use of your trailer, I would forego the converter and go directly to a quality inverter/charger like a Magnum MMS-1012. Several reasons:

• even the best 'converters' use a single set of charging parameters. Since batteries do not have a 'one size fits all' set of charging voltage requirements, a converter is a compromise. inverter chargers in general, and Magnum in particular, can be fully programmed for the exact voltage charging profile for your specific battery type and can also be custom programmed for special requirements like the constant current/constant voltage profiles needed by the emerging lithium battery technology.

• all converters (with one exception) do not use temperature compensation in their charging regimen. Since the voltage requirements for all batteries change with the ambient temperature of the battery, lack of a temperature sensor and applicable software could possibly lead to overcharging in very warm conditions and under charging in cold temperatures

• converters have a rated amperage output, which might not be best for your particular battery bank's amp/hour capacity. The common industry formula for charging amperage of a battery bank is the C/5 rate, with C being the amp/hour capacity of your battery bank. Example: you have a 200 amp/hour battery bank. C/5 would be 200/5=40 amps. This is the ideal rate of charge to put into your batteries. Inverter chargers can be programmed to input a percentage of the charging section's output and can be set to exactly match the C/5 rate of your individual battery bank……converters can not.

• converters do not have an adjustment for absorption time, which is also related to the size of your battery bank. Inverter/chargers can again be programmed for this feature to exactly match the requirements of your battery bank.

Yes, they are more expensive than a common converter and they require a bit more technical expertise to install, but they will make your battery bank last far longer than a converter, and you also get the production of 120VAC from your batteries as a bonus!
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Installing a new converter is a fun project. The converter is the "brains" of your electrical system Since you don't have one, you don't have any 12v electricity in your trailer, right? The converter takes 115v AC and makes 12v DC.

Here is the converter wiring diagram along with the original fuse panel diagram.

And here is a picture of my new converter. I also installed a new fuse panel while I was at it. It resides where the water heater used to be. The new water heater is forward under one of the beds. I installed this gear as my new SeeLevel waste water tank monitors would not work with the old converter. It was a "ripple" generator making interference on the SeeLevel readout.

The new converter came with its own wiring diagram.

David
Nice clean converter install David. Like the new water lines as well!
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