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Old 12-09-2009, 05:16 PM   #15
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I unplugged the black plug because I pulled out everything along curbside to gut the bathroom and replace the split copper lines with Pex.
Fourtunately I was sharp enough NOT to unhook the INFAMOUS blue box from the trayler . All those wires are I assume... hooked where they should be : }
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverleeper View Post
Yes, The lil' silver box is lil' upgrade to the big blue box.

Yes, If you get a new fuse box or cut the old fuse box away from the big blue box. Where all the wires are going in and out of the big blue box.

So I can lose the blue box? Have you a suggestion on a replacement? Not really trusting the old blue mare
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:35 PM   #17
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I used this one when I rewired my 60. 12V RV Fuse Box. It's not the only one out there so shop around if you like. It's pretty straight forward with good pictures.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:44 PM   #18
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Thank you Silverleeper for hanging in there with me. That fuse box looks like something I can do Crossing my fingers..
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:58 PM   #19
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I would put in a fuse block and discard the Univolt, thats alot of weight for just a fuse block.

Putting a new block isnt hard, just mark each side (wire) and transfer them to the new block.

Al
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:02 PM   #20
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I pulled my univolt out!

My univolt was exactly where yours was and it appeared to be toast from the last owner (there were hunks of aluminum foil where the fuses should be!) Not to mention the thing sat under the bathtub which was disintegrating. Super dangerous! It had to go.

The only purpose of that thing is to provide your trailer with 12V DC and to charge your battery. In other words, the univolt is a battery charger with some fuses in it.

I replaced the entire unit with a 10,000W Uninterruptible Power Supply (nicknamed "The ARC") which is housed at the very front of my trailer; it houses 6 marine batteries, 4 2500W inverters, a battery charger, a breaker box, a 50Amp automatic transfer switch, a thermostat, and a wind-tunnel ventilation system. I can be plugged in, then I can unplug and the ARC takes control of the electrical providing all 120V AC and 12V DC for the entire trailer for as long as the batteries have life (750Amp/Hours total). No appliance even knows the difference during the transitions e.g. the wii never even power cycled when I unplugged.

You can replace this system outright. Here's what I did:
1) Label the wires
**I have a 71. If your scheme follows mine, you're schema is as follows:
red1 & black1 - from battery
red2 & black2 - to ammeter control panel at the front of the trailer
grey - to indicator light in forward control panel
blue - charge line from tow connector to univolt
white - ground
purple - bathroom circuits +12V DC
yellow - middle area circuits +12V DC
pink - kitchen circuits +12V DC
brown - front of trailer circuits +12V DC

2) BUY
A) Go buy a smart battery charger. I got a Black & Decker 40A charger from Wal-Mart.
B) Get a fuse block. I got the Blue Sea systems 5025; it should also be perfect for yours. blue seas 5025 - Google Product Search
C) Get a big 'ole 12V battery
....Now you're ready to get rid of that archaic and heavy disaster.

3) Hook it up.
A) Connect the battery (anywhere) to your blue (+12V DC) and white lines (0V); (you can discard the red/black battery connections to the univolt; you won't need them)
i) your vehicle (through the tow connector) should now charge the battery
B) Plug in the battery charger and connect to the battery (consider getting battery terminal connections to replace the alligator clamps on the charger)
i) the charger (while plugged in) should be supplying the 12V for your entire trailer
ii) consider the idea of having inverters connected to the batteries to supply your AC power while you're not plugged in; if you do, please realize that you want to run a completely separate circuit that only powers when the trailer is plugged in. You wouldn't want your charger to supply power to batteries to supply power to your inverters which supply power to your AC which powers your charger. The Laws of Conservation unfortunately still apply.
C) Connect your fuse block and trailer circuits; you should have 4 different circuits, connect the blue line or positive side of the battery to each screw fuse block terminal on the left; connect each of your trailer circuits separately (purple, yellow, pink, and brown) to the screw terminals on the right. Add a fuse for each circuit and you're set! (You'll have to figure out the fuse you'll need yourself) You can do this by measuring the current through each circuit first while everything in the section is off (OAmps) and then when everything is on (xAmps); you'll want the amp rating on your fuse to be slightly greater than what you measure with everything on (fuse > x). Finally, connect the white wire to the ground bar on the fuse block.
**If you want your ammeter in the forward control panel to work still you will need to connect the red & black ammeter wires in series with your fuse block. In other words, the red ammeter wire would connect to your blue line or positive side of the battery, and your black ammeter wire will connect to each screw terminal on the left side of the fuse block (instead of the blue wire!!!). The ammeter is like a water wheel, you have to put this device in the path of current. This configuration will allow you to get a total current reading for your 4 circuits.

The only wire you should have left is a grey wire for the indicator light in the forward control panel. What a pointless connection... I'm going to use mine to multiplex information to a microcontroller. If you'd like the indicator light to come on, just connect it to any +12V DC connection and/or through a switch (if you want to be able to shut it off).

You'll also have a dead ended romex (120V AC) now that connected to your univolt; I just put an outlet there.

I added a circuit diagram for a 71 as reference and some pictures of my configuration during the process.

And for anyone interested... a video of my homemade uninteruptible power supply: The ARC.
YouTube - The ARC


Good Luck!!!!
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:08 PM   #21
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what a great post... and then I forgot the attachment...
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:45 PM   #22
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WOW......REALLY WOW.... 2Xs That is amazing
Thank You ~ Cynthia
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:33 PM   #23
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Thanks Cynthia!

Hope you'll be able to get your system off to a good start!

When it comes down to it:

the blue box (univolt) = a battery charger + a fuse block

Cheers!
~Dennis
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:01 PM   #24
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WOW......REALLY WOW.... 2Xs That is amazing
Thank You ~ Cynthia
I agree 100%. Impressive work Dennis.
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...

When it comes down to it:

the blue box (univolt) = a battery charger + a fuse block

...
In her case, absolutely. In the case of one like mine:

the blue box (univolt) = a battery charger - a fuse block (external fuse block)

That's why I kept hedging my answers. The only reason I could see for any of the blue box to remain was for the fuse block, but I didn't know for sure how Cynthia's trailer was built. Wasn't sure how things were done in 71. Thanks for clearing things up.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:25 PM   #25
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2xs,

That is one heck of a rig that you are using to replace your fusebox and Univolt!

I'm guessing, due to its shape, that this will go across the front of the trailer. Have you done any calculations on what the impact on your tongue weight will be, once all 6 batteries are loaded?

Also, do you plan to ensure that the Arc is isolated from the trailer's air space? I believe that there is a safety reason for making sure that such is the case. You probably noticed that the original battery space was only open to the outside, and not the trailer's interior.

Perhaps the fans are designed to vent to the outdoors?
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:15 PM   #26
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You probably noticed that the original battery space was only open to the outside, and not the trailer's interior.

Perhaps the fans are designed to vent to the outdoors?
aage, was planning to move my battery to under he curbside twin instead of putting it back in the rear. Is this a Bad Idea??
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:28 PM   #27
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You will want to ensure that the battery cannot vent gases (hydrogen mostly) into the interior. Some have installed sealed AGM batteries without doing this, but my understanding is that this doesn't technically meet code. I haven't switched to AGMs and have no immediate plans to do so.

I can tell you that an improperly vented battery being boiled by a faulty Univolt will set off a carbon monoxide detector. Very unsettling in the middle of the night.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:37 PM   #28
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I can tell you that an improperly vented battery being boiled by a faulty Univolt will set off a carbon monoxide detector. Very unsettling in the middle of the night.
And it doesn't smell very good, either ...
Just today I replaced a bad Univolt with a modern converter. I pulled apart the old Univolt, salvaged the fuse panel, heaved the rest of the boat-anchor-formerly-known-as-a-Univolt out the door, and built a small electrical center out of the upgraded converter and fuse panel.
At least yours is out in the open, I had to tear apart a closet and dig under the bathtub to get at the one I replaced.
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