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Old 12-07-2015, 11:18 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1973 25' Tradewind
Redding , California
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 33
Univolt Questions

Our family just bought our first Airstream. This is my first post. We purchased a 1973 Tradewind form a widower. It wasn’t set up to check the systems prior, and that was ok with us since we like the idea of going through it all and upgrading as necessity, time, and money allows.
The first thing I did when we got Dustie home (That’s her name, the previous owner named it after his daughter and put a nice decal on the side, we’re keeping it. Part of the story ya know?) Anyways the first thing I did was plug in the shore power. There was no battery. The 120 worked with shore power the 12v did not. I then hooked up a 12v battery charger and the 12v worked. So I went and bought a deep cycle battery and hooked it up. 12v worked with and without shore power. A fan was left on, drained the battery. Shore power causes the Univolt to hum but doesn’t charge, 120 works. No breakers tripped, no fuses blown. My conclusion is the Univolt is not working on the 12v side. Sooo…

Looking at converters I see the Progressive Dyamics 4045 and the 4060.

Inteli-Power 4045

If I take out the Univolt and breaker box will this work as a replacement for the entire system?

If so… for $25 bucks more should I get the 60 amp or is it necessary?
I am assuming the 12v distribution system is inside the Univolt is this correct?

Finally whats the difference between these two converters? See following links

Inteli-Power 4560
Inteli-Power 4060

Thanks for the help, and for all the great information I have gleaned from you all so far as well!


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Old 12-15-2015, 11:35 AM   #2
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1965 24' Tradewind
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Mesa , Arizona
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Sometimes you need to bump your thread back up to the top to get an answer.


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Old 12-15-2015, 12:14 PM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Welcome to the Forums.

I would recommend contacting and ask Randy what the latest and greatest is, what you need, etc..

Good luck!
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:12 PM   #4
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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Estancia , New Mexico
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You will need a new distribution box or you can salvage the old one. This is what I did.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:06 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1973 25' Tradewind
Redding , California
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 33

Thanks for the replies!

I will bump next time, I just didn't know how things worked around here.

I am on my way to to see what I can learn. Thanks!
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:07 PM   #6
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,506
Hi leadvox, welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby and all its frustrations. I think you will find Air Forums a great resource for answers to your questions.

I replaced the converter in my 66 Trade Wind because it was causing "DC voltage ripple" making my new See Level water tank level instrument go unstable. It was a 1999 converter that the previous owner must have installed.

Airstream was the pioneer in "univolt" meaning they decided almost all the trailer amenities will operate on 12 volts, such as furnace fans, water pumps, roof vents, lights, etc. 115 volts only powers the outlets and the AC in my trailer. Oh, I guess 115 v heats the fridge boiler when not on propane. The heart of the system is the converter that is a transformer that converts 115v to 12v. The converter also charges the battery when you are plugged in to shore power.

I think my new converter is 50 amp capacity. You don't need just a lot of 12v amperage output for a vintage Airstream. It you turned on all the lights, the water pump, the furnace fan, the roof vent fans, and everything else, you might be drawing 25 amps DC. And everything on is not a likely situation.

It sounds like your old converter isn't functioning correctly. New converters are not very hard to install. You have to study so you know what every wire does and where it goes. I did it, so can you. The bath in my trailer was all torn out when I installed the new converter.

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