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Old 01-27-2014, 04:18 PM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
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Transformer / Univolt

how do you access it or just disconnect it so i can plug my trailer in? or replace??
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:36 PM   #2
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Transformer/univolt

Why do you want to disconnect the Univolt? You will not have any lights in the coach with it disconnected.
A new converter is probably in order. Not sure where the Univolt is located in your coach.
There are many threads here covering converter installation.
By your comments above, I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:25 PM   #3
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Sometimes there is a switch that turns it off.

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Old 01-31-2014, 08:10 AM   #4
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univolt doesnt work

univolt does not work and drains battery and uses a ton of kilowatts. for nothing, I want to plug in to city power and plug in a transformer to keep battery charged and have 120vac and 12vdc at same time without having a $200 electric bill due to the univolt not working. so, I want to disconnect it from system until I can figure out how to access and install one. 25ft, tradewind, landyacht is under the front couch below the fuse box. Where are the directions to change out? Thanx from a real newbie!!
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:32 AM   #5
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The univolt is a transformer. Sounds like you need to get someone with some electrical experience to troubleshoot. A new power supply/converter, whatever is pretty cheap but you need some electrical know how to replace the old Univolt. Mine is under the couch in the front. Remove the couch to get the best access to it or at least the back of the couch. It will be wherever the batteries are in your trailer.

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Old 02-01-2014, 07:57 AM   #6
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I'd be willing to put good money on a wager that if you're spending $200 (a month?) just on electricity for the Airstream that your Univolt not working is not the cause. If the Univolt isn't working, then it's not consuming electricity. It could be that it is consuming some electricity but just not doing anything useful with it, but I can't see it consuming $200 worth without doing something useful or else getting really hot! Maybe consider other things that are running in the Airstream: A/C? Fridge? Elec. space heater? Are you getting lights on in your trailer? If so, then the Univolt is working to charge the battery or else your battery is getting charged by other means.

As to changing the Univolt...

Your Univolt (or whatever else might be there nowadays) is a 12VDC converter, so it's not a matter of getting rid of it; it must be replaced. If you know where it is and can access it, half the battle is over. One connection to the Univolt will be a normal 120VAC household type plug going into the wall of the Airstream. The other connection will be the output of the Univolt to 12VDC. I can't remember if this connection requires removing the cover on a Univolt to access it or not. The newer replacement converters have this 12VDC connection outside of the unit itself. Short of having the service manual for your Airstream, there's no step by step instructions. Even so, the service manual is usually very basic in its descriptions. If you don't feel confident doing the change yourself, then any electrician or RV service shop should be able to do it for you. Many RV shops will do on-site service for an additional fee if you don't want to move your Airstream. Expect to pay about $150-200 for a new converter. If you pay someone else to change it out, I'd expect 1 hour labor provided that the old Univolt is easily accessible. If there's other issues found after the change out (e.g. no 12VDC in the camper) then of course additional troubleshooting charges could apply.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:04 AM   #7
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For $200 a month, you should be able to operate several Univolts and have change left.
The electric element in the fridge also uses electricity, then an electric heating element in the water heater (doubtful yours has one). The biggie should be the air conditioner.
We lived in our much larger Airstream with a lot more electrical and electronic stuff in it than many third-world countries, and our electric bill never was more than $120.
Maybe you can ask your electricity provider to check your meter.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:46 AM   #8
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$200 a month is enough power for a whole house. That sounds like you are getting the bill for a whole storage facility worth of power. If you were using all of your 30A of power at 120V then that amounts to 2419 kw-hrs/month and usually .$10 a kw-hr is pretty close so that is $242 a month. Something is using most of your power capacity a month or you are getting ripped off by the electric company or who ever stores your trailer. If the Univolt were using that much power, it would be ashes.

Perry
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:19 AM   #9
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Univolt disconnect

Hello rogowolf. On my trailer the univolt is located under the front gaucho. My univolt had a 120VAC line from it to a 120VAC receptical under the gaucho. It also had 2 heavy gauge wires exiting through the side that were the 12VDC output and went to the battery disconnect switch which was on a plywood panel behind the gaucho. there was also a small wire exiting the side that went into the wall by the fuse section that went to the AC Power On light on the display panel. To disconnect the univolt just remove the line cord from the wall receptical.
The 2 heave gauge wires will have to be cut as they are soldered inside the univolt. At this point you will have nothing but battery power for light so probably you could hook up an automatic battery charger to the 12VDC lines you cut from the univolt, to keep the battery charged, but the best thing is to get a new modern converter to replace the univolt which would be around $200.
Good luck nm1oqrz
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:14 AM   #10
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univolt revolt

Thanx for all your help! Yes its a lot of electricity, and nothing is on. What I need is how to access the univolt so I can replace. It SEEMS to be in a sealed box under the front sofa and fuse box with a vent outside. If there is a way to disconect it from everything at the fuse box, that would help, and I could mount a new converter anywhere just about.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:36 AM   #11
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We have a '74 Sovereign and it still has the original Univolt that works fine. I have a question. If the Univolt goes out, will the lights and water pump still work off the battery??? Also, will the 110 v outlets still work? We are getting ready for a long trip this spring and will be camped at Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone for a week or more. There is very little, if any, RV service for 75 miles or more, if we should need it. If answers to the above questions are yes, then we could live off of a battery charger until we could get to a city with RV service or back home.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:39 AM   #12
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This is what mine looks like. The plastic battery boxes were removed when this was taken but it shows what is underneath. If yours is like mine the boxes are vented from the front. There were some trailers that had a brake controller up front with a vent as well. Poke around a little till you find it. Usually they will hum when on. Turn off everything like fans and heaters so you can hear it. Where are the batteries located and is there and external access door to get to them?

http://motorcycleproducts.org/AS-Temp/81-ExcellaII-31ft/Floor-Repairs/front.jpg

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Old 02-04-2014, 06:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okiestreamer View Post
We have a '74 Sovereign and it still has the original Univolt that works fine. I have a question. If the Univolt goes out, will the lights and water pump still work off the battery???
Yes, for as long as the battery holds its charge.

Quote:
Also, will the 110 v outlets still work?
Yes.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:12 AM   #14
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Thanks Skater. I was afraid the 12v system may go through the Univolt and, if it went out, the 12v system may not work. I'll make sure to take a battery charger with me for security.
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