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Old 04-18-2009, 12:11 PM   #1
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1990 32' Excella
jonesboro , Arkansas
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shore power light/convertor problems

first my 12 v system went dead. batteries univolt -all of it.
Prob #1 bad gfi.=replaced
Prob #2 new batteries[old ones were 6 years old and tested weak charging]
Prob #3 ac power light in panel does not come on.But all ac power items work.
I replaced the 23 yr old gfi and the converter came back on so at this time I have all the 12v lights and fans on to see if it drains the batteries down.
Where does the power to the ac power light come from. Ipulled the panel out and checked the bulb[it's good ] but could not read any power coming to the bulb.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joel View Post
first my 12 v system went dead. batteries univolt -all of it.
Prob #1 bad gfi.=replaced
Prob #2 new batteries[old ones were 6 years old and tested weak charging]
Prob #3 ac power light in panel does not come on.But all ac power items work.
I replaced the 23 yr old gfi and the converter came back on so at this time I have all the 12v lights and fans on to see if it drains the batteries down.
Where does the power to the ac power light come from. Ipulled the panel out and checked the bulb[it's good ] but could not read any power coming to the bulb.
On my 1979 Safari, the power came from a wire from the univolt.

Bill
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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...Where does the power to the ac power light come from. Ipulled the panel out and checked the bulb[it's good ] but could not read any power coming to the bulb.
The separate Univolt wire was diode-isolated from the battery so that you knew that 110V was connected. You can duplicate this with a cheap 12V power supply, the kind that is mounted right on the 110V plug.

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:26 PM   #4
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shore power light

thanks guy's. my convertor has 2 wires leaving it.a red lead to the battery cut off switch and a smaller black wire that I need to isolate where it goes.Does it go to the 5 amp relay in the 12v relay box?
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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converter woes

okay I went back out to the as and batteries were running down so the converter was not charging . so I have unplugged it from the110 and disconnected the batteries. I drilled out the rivets and pulled the housing. I guess my ? is this if all the wires are connected and no obvious wiring problems is there any part of the converter servicable ,or is just replacing it my best option.
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:38 PM   #6
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The old Univolts were state of the art at one time, but they are pee poor compared to today's converters. The old ones would boil your batteries, not take care of sulfication, etc. They had to have a batter on the output in order to get anything close to voltage regulation.

Get a new one. They baby the batteries and have excellent voltage regulation. They also are about 1/5 the weight. However, if you want to power your "AC power connected light" you'll have to do the small external power supply.

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Old 04-18-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
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convertor

Okay so I guess my next ? is whats the best convertor to get. From looking at the specs I guess I need a 45 amp . Any recomendations.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:40 PM   #8
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i think the univolt is fused on the 12v positive and negative cables. a new replacement to the univolt is a good investment.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:34 PM   #9
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converter

Well I called camping world ,I had a gift certificate from family to use and ordered a 60 amp intellipower with the charge wizard function. I am going to radio shack for a led I can wire to the front plug and get that working .Thanks for all the help.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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Okay so I guess my next ? is whats the best convertor to get. From looking at the specs I guess I need a 45 amp . Any recomendations.
I've been using the Intellipower converters, all 45 amp, even in the bigger Airstreams. A 60 amp will recharge your battery a little faster, but not by much--it's only a benefit in the first few minutes. The real advantage of a higher amp converter is if you've totally flattened your battery, the initial charging current will be high enough to shut down a lower current converter. It wil eventually work (the converter switches on and off when it detects current levels above its design capacity), so this shouldn't be a major concern.

Look at prices at PPL Motor Homes in Texas. They often have the best prices, but there are other retail outlets that do as well, now and then.

Here's a rule of thumb about lead-acid batteries. If you're using a standard auto battery (bad idea) or better, a "Marine" deep discharge battery, you've got 95-115 Amp-hours capacity in the battery. You never want to discharge at a rate higher than C/2 or you lose a lot of efficiency (where C is the capacity). So using more than 48-57 amps is a bad idea ALL THE TIME. And remember, this is the extreme. You really want to limit your max current draw to something like 15-18 Amps. So if that's how you live when you're on the battery, that's how you ought to live when you're on the converter. OMHO. So a 45 Amp converter is really very adequate for an Airstream. For Class A mohos, it's a different story.

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Old 04-18-2009, 10:08 PM   #11
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I switched over to an Intellipower 9245 in my Trade Wind. It is plenty for a single battery setup. It does a great job and is very quiet.
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