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Old 10-09-2018, 02:20 AM   #1
New Member
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 3
In To(o) the Deep

Hi everyone,

So grateful to have found this forum—I have been helping a very dear friend make some repairs to her 31” AS Sovereign. I believe it’s from the 80’s (it has the panorama windows) but I’m having a great deal of difficulty confirming that.

She’s been living comfortably out of it for several years, aside from a few (seemingly universal) issues:
  1. There are several leaks, which has rotted away the subfloor and laminate wood walls and floor planking.
  2. The transformer in the converter/charger buzzes VERY loudly, and several lights/speakers that used to work no longer do.

I’ve discovered I’m now in a very deep rabbit hole of fiercely defended personal opinions and recommendations. First the moldering carpet came off (not mouse-fur, this stuff was shag and just screwed into the interior skin by some Unknown Previous Owner). It was covering a Frankenstein’s monster of a speaker enclosure that also housed the converter/charger, the 12V distribution panel, and the black plastic battery housings. The subfloor has completely rotted through on the curb side. The battery housings have cracked and spilled all over the patch and into the adjacent hole. I’m scared of what I’ll find if I look into that hole, but I know it has to be fixed.

I’d like to cut away the subfloor back to one of the factory edges, or at least a foot or two. The c-channel is in good shape, and aside from the curb panorama window, the ribs and skin up here was pretty well sealed at some point. I’ve gotten all the old scattered fiberglass out and I was going to use an oscillating saw to cut through the elevator bolts at the base of the c-channel. I found some self-tapping machine screws similar to the ones sold by Vintage Trailer Supply, but they say explicitly not to use these to tie plywood to the outriggers. I’m assuming this is what the elevator bolts were doing?

I’ll seal the edges of some 3/4” exterior plywood and treat the chassis (assuming any of it’s still there), but: if I don’t have the option to drop the belly right now, is there anything else I can use to replace those bolts?

Second question, the electrical rats nest that is haunting my dreams: I understand the owner needs to replace this buzzing and outdated charger. It’s a 50 A Triad-Utrad TU-750-6, not the original Univac as far as I understand. I’d like to replace it with a three or four stage converter charger and house the batteries outside. Questions two, three, four, and five:

Do I need to keep the ridiculously heavy gauge battery wire running from the batteries to the shutoff switch?

Because the owner has been hooked up to shore and will be for some time, I disconnected the batteries entirely. How bad is it for the electronics to be running on 12 VAC from the converter alone? I’ll speak to Randy at Best Converters ASAP; is it okay to leave the batteries disconnected in the meantime? What should I look for before reconnecting them to a new charger in terms of voltage, fluids, etc?

The main breaker is in the overhead compartment in the rear, and the 12 VAC “breaker” panel is up front with the converter charger. Can I conceal the new converter and breakout in the front overhead cabinet as well? Is there an upper limit as to how long the wire running from the batteries to the charger can be?

I really appreciate any and all help in advance—I tried searching for these topics but I couldn’t find anyone with a similar configuration.

Looking forward to hearing from you guys, for some reason it feels like I’ll be here a while.
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