Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-04-2011, 02:21 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
BREWHEAD's Avatar
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Charleston , West Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 43
What are the symptoms of a bad Univolt?

I have a 1979 Excella and I wanted to know what are the symptoms of a bad univolt? I think my univolt charger has kicked the dust which might of been spurred on by a power surge at a campground.

Any help would be great.

THANKS
__________________

__________________
BREWHEAD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 02:49 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Scott J-24's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB International
Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 731
Based on what I have read on the forum, the first symptom of a bad UniVolt is that it is still installed in your Airstream.
__________________

__________________
Scott, Becky & Heidi (our standard poodle and travel companion)
WBCCI #1215
Air #54601

Remember... No matter where you go, there you are...

2009 27FB International Ocean Breeze
2010 Toyota Tundra CrewMax, 5.7L V8, 4x4
Scott J-24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 02:50 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
Jokeing aside, usually the first symtoms are no 12 volts after the battery runs down.
__________________
Regards,
Steve
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 02:59 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Or, it cooks the battery.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
Rivet Master

 
Southwestern , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,669
Measure your 12 V bus voltage with the trailer connected to ground power and disconnected from the tow vehicle. Should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 volts. If it's 12.5 or so the battery probably isn't charging; let some lights run for a while and see if it drops. Conversely, the old boat anchor convertors were notorious for overcharging the batteries; if you are seeing 14-15 volts that's too high. (Note: the current generation microprocessor controlled convertors give the batteries a shot of 14-15 volts now and then, but only briefly; a steady 14+ volts is too high.)

Our 1980 model has a DC voltmeter on the systems monitor panel--maybe yours does too?
.
__________________
Nuvite-F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 03:36 PM   #6
Moderator
Commercial Member
 
eubank's Avatar
 
1967 30' Sovereign
Bosque Farms , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Or, it cooks the battery.
Andy
Hear, hear! That's exactly what a bad converter did to a battery in our rig. We kept on smelling something funny, almost like sewer gas, or so we thought. It was a boiling battery.

Lynn
__________________
WBCCI 21043
eubank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 04:13 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
Sometimes those "cooking the battery" events begin with a bad battery. I had one where one of the battery developed a shorted cell. The converter, an Intellipower I might add, kept pumping 13.8 volts to the batteries trying to bring up the bad one until the battery actually blew up.

After I replaced the batteries, all was well.

The original Univolts are not smart in any way, so they would be even worse.
__________________
Regards,
Steve
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 04:15 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott J-24 View Post
Based on what I have read on the forum, the first symptom of a bad UniVolt is that it is still installed in your Airstream.
Yes, they are technologically obsolete by virtually all standards of electrical systems available today. Good in their time, but that is time is long gone.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 04:14 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Skater's Avatar
 
1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,344
The original converter in the B190 was down to about 10 volts output when I replaced it. That was a pretty good sign, too.

The original converter in the trailer wasn't doing well, either - it wasn't able to keep up the voltage even when we had just a few lights on.
__________________
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
Skater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2011, 05:56 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Lumatic's Avatar

 
1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,642
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
In these parts we say the only good univolt is a dead univolt Pardner!
__________________
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2011, 11:55 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
darryl97420's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 28
Coos Bay , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 77
So that I may gain some insight from this thread...Disconnect the battery and check the output voltage to the battery leads? If its 13.0vdc its ok? What about when lights are turned on? I turned on every one I could find and the voltage dipped to 12.0vdc. Can I consider my Univolt to be in decent working condition?

I hope it isn't considered hijacking a thread when your looking for additional insight.
__________________
darryl97420 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2011, 02:20 PM   #12
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl97420 View Post
So that I may gain some insight from this thread...Disconnect the battery and check the output voltage to the battery leads? If its 13.0vdc its ok? What about when lights are turned on? I turned on every one I could find and the voltage dipped to 12.0vdc. Can I consider my Univolt to be in decent working condition?

I hope it isn't considered hijacking a thread when your looking for additional insight.
The output voltage of a "Univolt" cannot be checked unless it's hook up to a battery or a large condenser (capacitor).

The output will measure very low, like 9 to 10 volts, unless that load is attached.

That would give a false indication of a bad Univolt.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2011, 04:49 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
darryl97420's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 28
Coos Bay , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 77
There is where my problem is. I tested the output without a load and it showed 13.0 vdc. Hum...

A new battery is going in later this week. Once installed I will retest the voltage.

Thank you Andy for your help.
__________________

__________________
darryl97420 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Battery Tender and Univolt? AldeanFan Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 8 08-31-2011 12:16 PM
Univolt on a 1976 Caravanner wba1 Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 12 07-27-2011 08:13 PM
Univolt output voltage question GeocamperAS Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 8 07-13-2011 11:22 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.