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Old 11-14-2013, 02:08 AM   #1
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1963 19' Globetrotter
Seattle , Washington
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New to me trailer coming tomorrow - few quick questions

as mentioned in a previous post i purchased a 68 26. overlander today - i've searched for almost 2 years and finally found a more than semi-gutted example with great exterior and good floors.
i consider myself an ultra newbie - i haven't had much experience with rvs or their systems. i've owned a boat for 30 years however the airstream is a different beast. the control panel looks like something out of an old airplane. the airstream i purchased is a project for sure but my main goal was to design the interior myself, mainly being used as an office/sleeping studio when my wife throws me out of the house.

the owner has not had it long and hasn't checked all systems - there is no battery installed and that will be the 1st priority so i can check interior lights - the ac electrical outlets work and that is basically all i was able to test - many items have been removed because they didn't work - furnace, appliances, bathroom and other items - not sure about water pump which i want to test but most of the plumbing has been removed so pex can be installed.

all interior lights, vent/fans are intact as well as all the off white interior shell which is in perfect condition.

i noticed tonight that in the battery area in the back of the trailer which i accessed thru the rear door, i found a positive battery lead - i assume the negative is close by but hard to tell because it was dark.

*before i install the battery i will sort out the wires and make sure there are no bare wires:
1. do all interior lights and vent fans work on 12v? does anything work on 110 a/c house current other than outlets?

2. i assume the battery has the positive and negative leads and it connects to the leads in the rear?

3. the inverter is toast and i will remove it soon however will the non-working inverter effect the continuity going to interior lights? i assume not but just checking

4. does the main control panel work the water pump?

also, if the airstream goes up in flames after i install the battery, how hard is it to put out the fire? :-)

thanks in advance!
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:17 AM   #2
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you don't need a battery to test anything, if you plug it into AC power and there is a converter- why do you think its toast? These are old workhorses and should not be dead...does it buzz?
It converts to 12V Dc where needed. So lights can be checked, and the outlets should work.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:20 AM   #3
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1963 19' Globetrotter
Seattle , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
you don't need a battery to test anything, if you plug it into AC power and there is a converter- why do you think its toast? These are old workhorses and should not be dead...does it buzz?
It converts to 12V Dc where needed. So lights can be checked, and the outlets should work.
i was told by owner that it is not working - i will need to go thru wiring and see whats going on - i'll check for a buzz or humm.

thx
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:30 PM   #4
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You still do not need a battery. If you have shore power. Unless you are going to tow it down the road.
A new intelligent converter can be had for about the same price as a battery.
A 45 amp converter would be more than adequate for your purpose.
No need to deal with the "charge line" or the cables for a battery. Just wire the converter to the control panel fuse block and you should be good to go.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
You still do not need a battery. If you have shore power. Unless you are going to tow it down the road.
A new intelligent converter can be had for about the same price as a battery.
A 45 amp converter would be more than adequate for your purpose.
No need to deal with the "charge line" or the cables for a battery. Just wire the converter to the control panel fuse block and you should be good to go.
i posted another thread and there is a photo of the wiring as it was when i got the trailer today(I ATTACHED THE PHOTO TO THIS REPLY) - leaving the wire as is, i plugged in the shore power/household power and tried the system - all the outlets work including the outlet on the control panel - no 12v lights are working - not sure if the inverter is getting power - its not making any noise,
another member reviewed the photo and said the inverter wires(blue arrows)need to be connected to the outlet whos wires come from the romex thru the shell (also shown with blue arrows)

if the above statement is correct, i'm assuming these wires can just be connected to one another without an actual outlet box for the inverter to do it's job?

i'm waiting to get some some info from anyone with experience.

it will be a long interesting road but it is fun and glad to be an airstream owner
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groovzilla View Post
i posted another thread and there is a photo of the wiring as it was when i got the trailer today(I ATTACHED THE PHOTO TO THIS REPLY) - leaving the wire as is, i plugged in the shore power/household power and tried the system - all the outlets work including the outlet on the control panel - no 12v lights are working - not sure if the inverter is getting power - its not making any noise,
another member reviewed the photo and said the inverter wires(blue arrows)need to be connected to the outlet whos wires come from the romex thru the shell (also shown with blue arrows)

if the above statement is correct, i'm assuming these wires can just be connected to one another without an actual outlet box for the inverter to do it's job?

i'm waiting to get some some info from anyone with experience.

it will be a long interesting road but it is fun and glad to be an airstream owner
Your converter box MUST be plugged into a 120 volt AC outlet in order to work. It converts the 120 AC voltage to 12 volts DC to run the lights and other 12 volt items in the trailer as well as going to charge the batteries. So you will need to install a plug on the ends of the bare wires to the left of the converter in your photo and then plug that into a 30 amp dedicated outlet. The standard home outlets are 15 to 20 amps. You cannot run the Air conditioner for instance on a circuit that is on 20 amps or less without doing damage. Also there should have already been a interior outlet near where the converter was located in the trailer to plug it into. Once it is plugged in it should allow the 12 volt DC circuits to work and your lights should function. The Romex coming from the wall with the white shield on it may have been the supply wire to an outlet box that was removed from the trailer. When you plug the trailer in to shore power test these wires to see if they have live 120 AC voltage. If so you can attach an outlet box and outlet to them to power the converter. Ed
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:21 AM   #7
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ed - thanks for clarifying the wires - i will be working on this today and see if the inverter is working
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:45 AM   #8
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????????????

Can you determine what the device is on the wall where the red and white wires from the converter are attached? The picture is not very clear.
You could use a battery charger to check out the DC circuits in the coach.
If you have AC power to the coach. I would caution you that the Romex coming out of the wall, may be hot.
If you were to disconnect the red and white wires from the converter and connect a battery charger, you could determine the status of the DC devices.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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got wires hooked up properly today and inverter/12v is working great.

thanks again
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:26 PM   #10
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Mr. Grooailla, Welcome to the world of Airstream.
FYI:
You keep referring to the converter as a inverter.
A inverter converts 12volts to 120volts.
A converter converts 120volts to 12volts.
You have a converter in your trailer.
All trailers come with converters - not so inverters.
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