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jennandal 09-26-2015 08:47 AM

Electrical Question
New owner to an older trailer! Last night I plugged in our "new" argosy and everything fired up, lights, humming converter, etc. I left it on to see if the fridge would cool on electric. I went back out about an hour or two later and everything was off. No breakers tripped. I unplugged the whole trailer to avoid any issues until morning. Any guidance on where to look for trouble spots? I was trying to read about the original converters and my first thought was that being the problem. There is no battery currently in the trailer. Does the converter have any kind of internal trip?
Thanks in advance for advice, as I have seen how helpful everyone is on this board!

xrvr 09-26-2015 08:50 AM

If you are plugged into the house, you may have thrown a breaker there. How many amps? was the outlet?

jennandal 09-26-2015 08:53 AM

Connection at the house is good. That was my instant thought but it is all god on that end. It is definitely somewhere in the trailer.

HowieE 09-26-2015 08:58 AM

When you say everything was off. There are 2 electrical systems in your trailer, 120 volt AC and 12 volt DC. What was off they we can go from there?

jennandal 09-26-2015 09:11 AM

Just went out and replugged everything in. 120 outlets are working. 12 volt system is not working so lights, etc. are out. The converter that was humming nicely last night is now barely audibly humming. Is it dead?

HowieE 09-26-2015 09:29 AM

Was there a good battery in the trailer before you started? Check the output side of the converter with a voltmeter. Sounds like the output fuses on the converter may have blown and the battery was dead to begin with.

jennandal 09-26-2015 10:28 AM

No battery at all in the trailer yet. With no battery, it was all woking at first.

jennandal 09-26-2015 12:39 PM

Checked the output fuses, all good. Checked the output voltage and I'm only getting about 1 or so volts and like I said the converter is humming at a too quiet level now. Anyone have other thoughts, is the converter likely dead? (As a side note, the fridge is cool in great on electric!)

HowieE 09-26-2015 01:42 PM

Put a battery across the converter. There may be a circuit in the converter that shuts it off it it does not see a load.

jennandal 09-26-2015 02:53 PM

Put a battery in and of course lights and 12v outlets etc work but don't think the converter is coin anything. Still getting a negligible hum rather than the original louder hum. I guess the outputs from the converter should be 12v?

Al and Missy 09-26-2015 03:06 PM

I think there are fuses in line with the battery, the converter output ,and the load center input. Did you find/check those?


jennandal 09-26-2015 03:58 PM

All fuses are in good working order. Just went out and checked voltage at a lot of points. All outgoing lines from the converter now read 12+- volts. Could this be a false reading due to the battery being hooked up or is the converter wired to only work when it picks up on a battery in line? Strange because last night I had no battery in at all and all 12 v lines were working and the converter was humming what I thought to be normally loud. Now it is humming pretty discretely (as in with a light drizzle I have to put my ear down to it to make sure it is humming). If I pull the fuse in line with the battery all 12v shuts down immediately. And the battery is reading 12.5 v or so which would seem to indicate some charging is happening especially as I am pretty sure it was not fully charged prior to plunking it in there. Any thoughts?? I also checked the ground that goes to the rear bumper and it is solidly grounded.

Argonaut20 09-26-2015 04:07 PM

I am going to hazard a guess that the Univolt is a goner. They don't like having no battery to feed. The way the converter is wired usually has a 120V input to the converter and the 12V output is tied to the battery and the 12V input from the tow vehicle. Similarly, the ground is shared with the battery and the ground from the tow vehicle. A large fuse is usually placed in the positive feed to the 12V terminal/fuse bus. If the fuse to the 12V feed is blown, the battery won't feed the system so 12V still won't work. It's pretty simple (and a good idea) to replace the converter with a modern unit. The battery will love you for it.

mimiandrews 09-26-2015 04:29 PM

Suggest you get a modern, multi-stage converter to replace the one you have. The good ones recognize when the battery is charged and back off the current accordingly. The old ones just keep on charging and boil the battery dry.

Besides, the old Univolts produce "dirty" DC power that modern electronics don't like. A new converter will solve that problem also.

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