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Old 11-25-2012, 07:00 AM   #15
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1989 32' Excella
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Ok you guys are making sense. I'll look into a new converter. I'm now in the Airstream pretty much full time. It sounds like,if I'm understanding all your reply's that the Univolt is breaking down and putting out dirty DC. It also sounds like it wasn't very good to begin with. My batteries are new but this trailer was in a park long term and the Univolt was run for at least several summers. Tonight something happened. All of a sudden I heard what sounded like a loud AC hum but it sounded more like a high voltage short. I've looked everywhere and couldn't find the source. I think the sound must have come thru the speakers from the radio. I suspect that the Univolt did something weird and the radio put out the sound. It did sound like a big AC short. Now things are getting serious. I'm going to see if camping world or another store has a good power supply that I can get my hands on faster. The radio may just be a early warning.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:29 AM   #16
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It makes sense that the Univolt is on its way out. My use is full time and high. But there are several sizes of the Iota. Now what size should I look into ? Can the big unit be to big?
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:25 AM   #17
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It makes sense that the Univolt is on its way out. My use is full time and high. But there are several sizes of the Iota. Now what size should I look into ? Can the big unit be to big?
First, I would recommend checking out the info on this website.

BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics

There is a lot of good information on converters located there.

If you are in a pinch and the converter goes completely out, you can disconnect the converter from from the AC. Perhaps just turn the circuit breaker off. Depending on what happened to the converter, you may also need to disconnect the DC output wires as well. That can be simple or difficult depending on how it is wired. You can then hook an ordinary battery charger to your battery for a few to several hours at at time when things start to get dim.

Since this is a long term investment, I don't think you want to make a rush selection.

Randy, the owner of Best converter can give you good advice. He may even answer the phone on a Sunday.

As far as output (amps) goes, you can't buy one too big. However there may be physical size considerations and of course possible unnecessary investment. The biggest job a converter has to perform is recharging the batteries after you have been running without shore power for a significant time. The only time a converter is doing anything is when you are hooked to shore power. Aside from charging the batteries, the biggest single current draw is probably the furnace fan. I would just be sure to get a unit with at least the capacity of the one you are replacing.

Ken
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:25 AM   #18
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It makes sense that the Univolt is on its way out. My use is full time and high. But there are several sizes of the Iota. Now what size should I look into ? Can the big unit be to big?
Short answer , yes . Try these folks for good info and pricing
BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:35 AM   #19
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One other note:

Read this section on Best Converter website. It is a good explanation of the term Univolt and associated Airstream installations.

Airstream Univolt

If you decide you want a IOTA DLS, be sure to get a model with the IQ-4

Ken
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:29 PM   #20
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The Iota is recommended by a guy who is very knowledgeable about electrical matters and I believe him, so that's what I went with. I didn't have to figure out the size because he did. You can call Iota: IOTA Engineering DLS Series AC/DC Power Converter/Battery Chargers has the phone number. They surely can tell which one to get.

This is something that you will rely on for decades, so get the best and take your time. I'd take the Univolt out of the circuitry as advised above to prevent any damage to other components. The best will save your batteries, another big expense. Overnight shipping solves the immediacy problem. I look through stuff at Camping World and see they do not carry a lot of the high quality products that Airstream owners want, so I buy those things on the internet from other retailers.

Gene
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