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Old 11-28-2007, 09:20 PM   #1
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1970 18' Caravel
Bozeman , Montana
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Univolt w/ bad converter?

I've just recently purchased a 1970 Caravel and am at the jumping off point on bringing it up to smooth operation. I'm having a ball, but am also a little over my head with electrical systems. So I thought I'd give the forum a try and see what insight might come my way.
When I looked at the Caravel in the previous owner's driveway it was plugged into 110 and the battery was not in. All the electrical seemed to run smoothly. Once I got it home and had the battery hooked up while it was plugged into 110, it started dimming and surging, like it was switching back and forth between the battery and shore power. Sure enough, the battery check needle goes down and up with the dimming/surging lights. The intervals seem to be about 30 seconds and may be shorter if the battery has a higher charge, but I'm not positive about that. If it's just running off the battery, the power seems to be consistent. Is the univolt a goner? And if so, what would be a good replacement? I hope to eventually go solar, so I'd want something compatible with that longer term goal. Any help is most welcome.
Thanks,
Ben
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benyeomans
I've just recently purchased a 1970 Caravel and am at the jumping off point on bringing it up to smooth operation. I'm having a ball, but am also a little over my head with electrical systems. So I thought I'd give the forum a try and see what insight might come my way.
When I looked at the Caravel in the previous owner's driveway it was plugged into 110 and the battery was not in. All the electrical seemed to run smoothly. Once I got it home and had the battery hooked up while it was plugged into 110, it started dimming and surging, like it was switching back and forth between the battery and shore power. Sure enough, the battery check needle goes down and up with the dimming/surging lights. The intervals seem to be about 30 seconds and may be shorter if the battery has a higher charge, but I'm not positive about that. If it's just running off the battery, the power seems to be consistent. Is the univolt a goner? And if so, what would be a good replacement? I hope to eventually go solar, so I'd want something compatible with that longer term goal. Any help is most welcome.
Thanks,
Ben
You have a short in one of the circuits, or the battery is backwards.

The new style univolts are far removed from the original.

Airstream has been using the solid state type for many years, with great success.

Airstream dealers can supply them.

Andy
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:39 AM   #3
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Hello Ben -- A respondent to one of your earlier posts, 68 Overlander, is in the business and a very good source of information. Check out his website -- call him up and talk it over with him.

Solar may have a hard time staying ahead of even spartan electrical use. Panels will keep the batteries up if you park at a remote location. Cloudy days, trees, and limited surface area are some of the issues. Stay at the trailer more than 3-4 days (less if using the furnace) and you'll want a quiet, efficient Honda or Yamaha genset to charge up. You can talk to Craig about his setup -- http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...all-32749.html.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:51 AM   #4
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1973 27' Overlander
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Upgraded Univolt

I have the same problem with my newly purchased 73 overlander airstream. The univolt was working and I got underneath and noticed the univolt door was open when I reached to push it back I hit a wire and it started smoking so I unplugged everything. I was going to put in a LCD tv. I thought upgrading to a new converter so I do not have power surges and blow any circuits. I had a power surge in my home and it ruined my LCD tv. and my all surround sound amp.
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