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Old 04-10-2011, 09:45 PM   #1
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What IS all of this, is it original, is it necessary?

This will make anyone else who thought their electrical question-post was remedial: I figure replacing the univolt is in my future and I was looking at the electrical stuff trying to figure out what it all is. I can do some rudimentary wiring, but for such a little, simple old trailer this is befuddling. The Univolt is the gray box under the pump? What is the aluminum box for? There are two surface mount Jboxes.... I can identify the big trunk line that comes up from the connection on the bumper for 120v power.

So, my question is this: can I just remove the Univolt and replace it without noodling around with all those wires; can I easily remove the aluminum box of mystery and replace it with.. what? I'd like to make this simple, but I want to do it right. I also want to add a couple of solar panels to the roof, hopefully enough to run an Engle fridge, requiring 2.5 amps 12v.

Curious to hear what you engineering types have to say. Thanks
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:30 PM   #2
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The upper right photo of the screw terminal strip looks like it has romex cables going to it. That would be your 110 volt AC power. These connections should not be exposed like that. The connnections should be in an electrical box with wire nuts. Being exposed like that will give you quite a shock or cause sparks should something conductive fall against it.

The Univolt in my 74 Tradewind had it's own 12 volt DC distribution center (fuse & wire treminals) built in. Connect the 12 volt lines out of the new converter to the distribution center where the 12 volt lines from the Univolt are. Observe the correct polarity (Pos & Neg). Just take out the heavy electrical components fron the Univolt. I was able to mount the new converter right inside the old converter housing when I replaced the EnerGenius in my MH. EnerGenius is the equivalent of the older Univolt.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:43 PM   #3
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????

Am I correct in assuming that the black device in the top photo is the water pump? I think I see GPM on the nameplate. If it is the terminal strip mentioned in the above post is really 12 volt. My guess is that the larger terminal strip is also 12 volt, but I can't see any fuses. It looks like it has solid wire, which is unusual for 12 volt DC wiring. What is inside the large silver box? Maybe that's where the fuses are.
I think the smaller boxes are for 120 volt AC stuff. But can't see where the wires go that are underneath the lower box.
I would not install a new converter anywhere near the water pump. If you must mount it close at least mount it above the pump.
Intalling a new converter won't be that difficult if infact you already have a fuse block.
I've posted a sketch of generally what you need. You may have more branch circuits (fuses) but I think you will get the idea. The terminal blocks should be OK the way they are.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:46 AM   #4
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Thanks you two. TG: I understand the logic with the pump- its not used nor will it be, and will be replaced with one in a different location (below the wiring). Its easier to see in the photos than in the actual installation the routing of the black and white, + and - wires...

In your wiring diagram, I don't get "house" is that the battery? Does the tow vehicle feed into the 30 amp side of the fuse block, and the "house" feed into the 50? Or is that there are 3 feeds into the 30/50 fuse block, and one outlet to the distribution block?
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:53 AM   #5
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Hope this helps

The right side of the 50/30 fuse block is connected together. So you have the house (the one in your trailer) battery and TV battery coming in from the left side and the converter + side comes in at the upper right, so they all feed the distribution/fuse block. Each of the sources is protected, 50 amp for the house battery; 30 amp for the TV battery; and the converter has it's own internal protection system.
When you are plugged into shore power, the house battery and panel are fed by the converter; therefore you have 12 volts to the distribution panel and are charging the house battery if needed. Many people are concerned about over charging the house battery when plugged into shore power. With this setup you can simply pull the 50 amp fuse to stop charging the battery and you will still have DC power to your trailer.
Have you located your fuse panel?
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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Hey.. Its all becoming clearer, and thanks for the explanation. I haven't located the fuse panel, but I think its behind the 12/120 and polarity light cover. I'm kind of working out the way stuff is wired, but I think it really takes some study of circuitry. I expect it to be like plumbing, with stuff flowing one way only, however with electricity, I don't think thats necessarily so? My head hurts.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:56 PM   #7
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Hey you three..........can I join? PLEASE HELP SOMEONE HELP ME! Wiring problems???? who me. Spent the last three days with wiring and know nothing more except I had 12v with 110, threw some kind of switch by the toilet that goes no where as far as any one knows. I will tell you since then I have NO 12v. Have checked fuse and breakers-now what? Thanks Rich
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:37 PM   #8
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Hi, Rich,

I got your email. The problem you are having,to put it in the context of what I have come to believe what is happening in my trailer, is that your turning on the f*rt fan drew more current than that circuit could deliver due to corrosion and a loss of temper of the metal parts that hold the fuses in place.

This assumes that you and I have the same problem.

In my TT, the fuse for the rear lighting (I have a rear bath model) can be tickled into passing current if it is jiggled while the circuit for the lights is turned on. But it will always lose the ability to pass current, and shut down the circuit again.

In my TT, the fuse box I am referring to is at the very bottom right side of the streetside rear closet, next to the bathtub.

Another possibility is that there is another fuse blown. It may be that the f*rt fan's motor is cooked, and is in a dead short condition. If this is the case, it is possible that fuses are blown, either the ones I described above, or the ones on the wall in the battery compartment.

You can't be sure if fuses are blown merely by inspecting them; they can be blown in a spot that is difficult to see. Either replace them one at a time with known good ones, or use a VTVM to check continuity.

Good luck and let us know what you find.

I suggest you start a new thread with your questions or results, at which point I will move this post and yours before mine to leave these guys with their own discussion

ps: you have modified your profile making it impossible for others (including me) to send you messages or email.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
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Globie 64. Don't get carried away and start tearing things apart. I think the first step you should take is to find the fuse panel. Take some pics of it and post them here. Did you look at the end of the Univolt? Some had the fuse panel built right in behind a door that opened.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:32 AM   #10
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Thanks TG: no tearing apart at this point! I'll get out the screw driver and find the fuses. At least everything electrical works at this point. We're happy to be able to run the coffee maker, make food outside on a camp stove, have cold running water and shower at the campground facilities!
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:20 AM   #11
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When you are ready.

If and when you decide to upgrade to a new converter. It will not be a difficult task. There are plenty of members here on the forum willing to guide you through it. Given the size of your rig, a 45 amp converter should be plenty.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:43 AM   #12
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Cool, thanks. So, upgrade to 45amp from 30? I was wondering about that.

I'm thinking that the existing wiring in the walls, decent ga solid copper is fine, the wiring blocks in the photo don't need to be unravelled and I can just remove and replace converters, that aluminum thing and maybe renew the breakers to assure they work properly. Thanks
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:12 PM   #13
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So, after camping all weekend with no electrical problems, why would I replace the Univolt? I'd like to upgrade and avoid surprises, but are they that problematic? Will I get any kind of warning before it fails?

Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:29 PM   #14
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Just replaced my Univolt over the weekend with an Intellipower unit. I stared at the wires for a long time and then finally figured out that there was 120v going into it and 12v coming out and I'd just replicate that. As far as I could tell there were NO fuses in my Airstream at all. I put a 12V fuse panel in while I was at it. I riveted the new intellipower to the wall about where your water pump is. My water pump is on the floor in the same area and I may relocate it a foot or two away from all the electrical stuff while I'm at it. Going to drop the pan and black tank this weekend or next and have all kinds of fun fixing it up and reinstalling it. I still say the 64 GT is about the sweetest Airstream of all time. My systolic drops 30 points when I step into it for some reason. It rocks.
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