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Old 06-08-2007, 05:00 PM   #1
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upgrading the Univolt

I have a 79' Excella 500, 31'. The original Univolt was toast. Any recommendations for the new replacement converter ( and two batteries )? What types of batteries are best? Can I get by with only one battery( like an AGM )?

Our RV schedule is infrequent use with the Airstream, occasionally camping, more during the fall hunting seasons, etc. Most times, it will be parked and plugged into shore power to maintain the batteries, etc.

Thanks
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mikeandbecky
I have a 79' Excella 500, 31'. The original Univolt was toast. Any recommendations for the new replacement converter ( and two batteries )? What types of batteries are best? Can I get by with only one battery( like an AGM )?

Our RV schedule is infrequent use with the Airstream, occasionally camping, more during the fall hunting seasons, etc. Most times, it will be parked and plugged into shore power to maintain the batteries, etc.

Thanks
If you want to keep your Airstream original, then you can use the Univolt that Airstream has used for many years. It's output is 55 amps, and it's solid state.

Part number 64046.

Andy
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:07 PM   #3
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I ordered the 4455TC 55 Amp converter/charger with temp control from Best converter. I don't know if the extra $50(ish) for the temp control was money well spent or not, but I figured why not. I installed it several weeks ago and have been pretty happy so far. You can hear the fan running but it is a world better than the univolt hum.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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Upgrading the Univolt

Andy,
Thanks for the reply. I checked out the relacement ( part # 64046 ). It has a notation .." must salvage the fuse panel "... I am assuming this refers to the main fuse panel of the Airstream, ( located, on my 79 Excella , directlyabove the old Univolt.) Am I correct?

What are your thoughts on a replacement battery /s' ?
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mikeandbecky
Andy,
Thanks for the reply. I checked out the relacement ( part # 64046 ). It has a notation .." must salvage the fuse panel "... I am assuming this refers to the main fuse panel of the Airstream, ( located, on my 79 Excella , directlyabove the old Univolt.) Am I correct?

What are your thoughts on a replacement battery /s' ?
Airstream reduced the cost of Univolts by having a separate fuse panel. When replacing an older univolt that has a fuse panel, simply salvage it and use it with the new univolt.

Batteries are another matter.

You can go top dollar and get the latest on the market, but at more than double the expense of good regular batteries.

Cheap batteries should be avoided.

Costco as an example have good batteries at considerable savings.

Or, find a Delco dealer.

Andy
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:35 PM   #6
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Upgrading the Univolt..

Uh,...No possibility of salvaging the old fuse panel. Its gone. Is there a plan " B "...?
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:41 PM   #7
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Suggestion

Unless you are dead set on a univolt, I really recomend that you do a search on converters and read up. My feel is that the majority of us are in agreement that the univolt while a fine product in its day has had its day.

Neat-o search trick: use google then-> search term site:airforums.com

ex converter site:airforums.com
or intellipower converter site:airforums.com

This will give you the power of googles search engine and restrain the search to airforums!
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:55 PM   #8
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Check with palameno I just bought a 45 amp Converter.. 125.00..Solid state...
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:16 PM   #9
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If you still have the fuse panel that was above the univolt, you're in business. You just replace the univolt with a modern switching power supply made for the purpose. Hook up is simplicity itself. Two DC wires for the output, and AC input, usually a plug. The unit is grounded if you use a three wire plug. If you want to maintain the AC on pilot, use an old wall wart the has a 12 volt output, AC or DC. Keep the two battery set-up. BTW what's your floorplan?
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:17 AM   #10
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I just ordered a new uni-volt replacement for our 1975
Tradewind. Got it from Inland RV. The old one is toast. I could not believe how heavy the old one is.
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:30 AM   #11
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If I am correct, the old univolt fuse panel is not the fuse holder/power distribution block that send power to the different circuits in the trailer. May be wrong, check to make sure. If I am correct, then what you are missing is a huge honkin 55amp "shotgun shell" lookin fuse that is designed to go between the converter and the battery, so if one goes haywire the other is saved. This thread has some discussion on that panel.

And, again, Inland OEM replacement is good, and so is WFCO, Intellipower and Iota. I have an IOTA and love it.
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Old 06-09-2007, 10:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mikeandbecky
Uh,...No possibility of salvaging the old fuse panel. Its gone. Is there a plan " B "...?
Two fuse panels are available.

The first is made by Airstream and has the same basic design.

The second is a "brand X" that is not expensive, but you must make some changes to it.

I will post photo's of the two on Monday.

Andy
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:29 PM   #13
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My Univolt gave up so I bought a replacement unit from Inland RV. Just installed it with a new battery. It did not work on 12V until I replaced the 40amp glass fuse in the fuse box. Now everything works again as it should. Radio shack has the hard to find fuses for our trailers.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:27 PM   #14
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Univolt upgrade.

Hi!
I'm looking for some advice on upgrading to a new converter in my '79 Excella 500, 31'. The old Univolt had been removed( no, the old fuse panel was not salvaged , and the wires were cut around it to free it for removal. What I have now is shown in the attached picture. From what I can tell, left-to-right:
120 AC wire to converter( with black electrical tape), solid copper ground wire to converter, then a small dia. grey wire, spliced into a black 12 ga.wire to the converter. (Not sure, but maybe this goes to the "Power On" indicator light to the control panel in the galley?) , then there is a shorter fiber insulated Positive DC lead to the converter, next to that is the longer Negative DC lead to the converter.
The black cable drooping in the back is a coaxial cable routed through from the TV antennea..
Does anyone know or forsee any problems when I connect the new converter to these leads? Im thinking of possibly a WFCO 45 Amp 9800 series, or maybe an Inteli-power with the built-in charge wizard? Can I hook up the AC to the AC and the Pos. DC to the Pos. DC, etc.. Or is there something that Im missing? I read an older post about fusing the Pos. battery lead to the converter in case of a short or surge? Should I do that?

Thanks for the advice in advance!
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