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Old 05-27-2009, 08:16 AM   #1
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1960 17' Pacer
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1960 Airstream Pacer 110V Interior

Sorry but I am a newbe to the restoration process but was wanting to install a RV/Marine battery for dry camping in my trailer. From what I understand, I have a 110V system in the RV rather than a 12V. So I was thinking that I could just install an inverter from my 12V battery that hard wires into a breaker box that would in turn power the lights and outlets in my trailer. My question is, is this a common practice? Im not sure the best way to go about this but that is my initial thought. I was also going to install a small trickle charger that would run off of shore power to charge my battery. Let me know if you have any advice for me on what the best option would be for my needs. I am open to any option. Thanks in advance.

Matt
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:29 AM   #2
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Your Pacer should have 12 volt in it now,if it is anything like my 63 Gt,you might try hunting for a battery box,mine is just behind curbside wheel well.Mine was gutted when I got it so I have no idea of where the converter was.Good luck,Dave
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeasu View Post
Sorry but I am a newbe to the restoration process but was wanting to install a RV/Marine battery for dry camping in my trailer. From what I understand, I have a 110V system in the RV rather than a 12V. So I was thinking that I could just install an inverter from my 12V battery that hard wires into a breaker box that would in turn power the lights and outlets in my trailer. My question is, is this a common practice? Im not sure the best way to go about this but that is my initial thought. I was also going to install a small trickle charger that would run off of shore power to charge my battery. Let me know if you have any advice for me on what the best option would be for my needs. I am open to any option. Thanks in advance.

Matt
Matt.

Inverters for 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC, are not very efficient.

They all have efficiency factors.

But, assuming 100 percent efficiency, if you draw one amp at 120 volts AC, the inverter will draw 10 amps DC. At that rate you will need a bank of batteries. Watts is equal to the voltage times the current, W=EI.

Install a 12 volt "converter system" and run 12 volt lights.

If that is not the best way to go, then every RV manufacturer has missed the boat, big time.

Andy
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeasu View Post
Sorry but I am a newbe to the restoration process but was wanting to install a RV/Marine battery for dry camping in my trailer. From what I understand, I have a 110V system in the RV rather than a 12V. So I was thinking that I could just install an inverter from my 12V battery that hard wires into a breaker box that would in turn power the lights and outlets in my trailer. My question is, is this a common practice? Im not sure the best way to go about this but that is my initial thought. I was also going to install a small trickle charger that would run off of shore power to charge my battery. Let me know if you have any advice for me on what the best option would be for my needs. I am open to any option. Thanks in advance.

Matt
Hi Matt, Your Pacer like my Caravel are considered park models. Meaning that the trailers were meant to go from park to park and plug in. You will be better off to put in a 12v system. This will give you the ability to boon-docking(go to places were there is no outlets to plug into). You will need a converter, fuse panel, wire and a plan. When I designed the 12v system in the Caravel I mapped out where I would need power to any appliance now and in the future and at dusk I used a puck light and moved around the trailer to see where I needed light. Check this area out too. Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the advice. Are there 12v converter kits or should I just start trying to assemble the hardware piece by piece? I started to think that this was what I would have to do. So, do I run new wires to the existing light and outlet locations and replace each socket with 12v compatible hardware? Sorry for all the questions, I guess I need to read more of your threads. Thanks for all of the help.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:40 PM   #6
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Check it out first...

If your really a Newbe..unfamiliar with the electrical system...my guess is that you actually have an original electrical system in the Pacer. ie...your lights work when pluged into 110.....and baring that, if you have a charged battery the lights will work without being plugged in to 110. Thats the way it is...your power is coming thru the univolt or converter. If the Pacer was modified and the univolt pulled out,( a good idea to get rid of the univolt anyway) the wiring is probably still original and you can just get a converter and fuse panel installed and be on the way.
Converters are on super sales now on EBay...the RV manufacturers are dumping stock.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:00 PM   #7
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I do not have a univolt system at all. All I have is a 110v system that works when plugged into shore power that powers lights and two outlets. All of the other systems are gas.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeasu View Post
Thanks so much for the advice. Are there 12v converter kits or should I just start trying to assemble the hardware piece by piece? I started to think that this was what I would have to do. So, do I run new wires to the existing light and outlet locations and replace each socket with 12v compatible hardware? Sorry for all the questions, I guess I need to read more of your threads. Thanks for all of the help.
There are no kits, but it's just a few things that you will need. Converter changes 120v into 12v and charges the battery. Fuse box distributes the 12v to the frig, lights ect. A battery, wire and 12v lights will do for a basic system. You leave the 120v system in place and wire the 12v system separate but complementary to the 120v system. The blue links are examples, so shop around to see if you can get a better price. Feel free to ask more questions.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeasu View Post
Thanks so much for the advice. Are there 12v converter kits or should I just start trying to assemble the hardware piece by piece? I started to think that this was what I would have to do. So, do I run new wires to the existing light and outlet locations and replace each socket with 12v compatible hardware? Sorry for all the questions, I guess I need to read more of your threads. Thanks for all of the help.
Matt

It might be wise if you purchased a Airstream "service manual" for a early 70's trailer.

That manual has tons of information in it for all the systems a trailer may have.

That would help you design your own system, if you simply followed what Airstream has created, that has had long term use without any problems.

That would help you avoid costly errors.

Andy
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:46 AM   #10
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This is the schematic from a 67 manual. This should help and it's free. It's still best to come up with a design that suits you and your trailer. Putting in a 12vdc system is well worth the time and effort.

Do you have a center ceiling light with a switch on both sides? Some do, this would be your only 12vdc pre-wired source. Comes in handy if you put in a fan.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:49 AM   #11
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:06 AM   #12
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12 Volt Wiring in a Park Model

Welcome ~

My '59 TradeWind was also a park model so I had to install a complete 12 volt system. It really wasn't that difficult if you have the means to do it. I added a Group 27 deep cycle battery plus a plastic box under the curbside dinette seat where I also added the Zantrex charger. Just above that, I installed a fuse block/distribution panel for the 12 volt. Between the battery and the fuse block was installed a 30 amp breaker, just in case something went seriously wrong. From the fuse block, a wire was run to different 12 volt appliances, lights and outlets with the ends of the wires color coded for any troubleshooting later. I used the aluminum skin for the ground and only needed to run a single wire to each 12 volt item. I originally installed an Intelli-Power converter but recently upgraded to the Zantrex because it will charge a second battery.

Keep those questions coming. We'll get you through this.

Brad
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:49 PM   #13
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Thanks so much for all of the help. I am going to start to gather up all of the necessary equipment and start to plan a proper layout for all of my needs. I do have a center ceiling light with two switches. How would I go about converting one of them to 12v? Maybe it is already ready for 12v......
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:12 PM   #14
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If this ceiling light fixture has two bulbs, perhaps one of them is 12 volt. Unscrew the bulbs and check the writing on the fat end of the bulb. Most are labeled at to voltage and wattage.

Brad
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeasu View Post
Thanks so much for all of the help. I am going to start to gather up all of the necessary equipment and start to plan a proper layout for all of my needs. I do have a center ceiling light with two switches. How would I go about converting one of them to 12v? Maybe it is already ready for 12v......
One side is already wired for 12vdc. You will have to find where the 12vdc lines come in the trailer. Probably by the battery box. The easiest why to figure out what side is what is to plug in the Pacer and try a 120vac bulb in both sides. The side that lights up is the 120vac side. If you have a meter that will work great too. Don't forget to mark the sides so you don't have to do this again. Keep the questions coming.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:51 AM   #16
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My recent find a 63 GT,had been gutted,I was able to find on Craigs list someone parting out a fairly new trailer,I was able to buy the Magnatech Powerplus for $40.00.It consisted of 30amp cord,converter,12v panel & 120 volt panel.Keep an eye on Craigs list and you may be able to find anything. DAve
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:35 PM   #17
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I know its been a long time since my last post but I ended up getting deployed before I could tackle my 12V system. Anyways, while I was deployed I purchased a Progressive Dynamics 9245: 45 Amp Converter from Vintage Trailer Supply. I had someone that works at an Airstream dealership stop by and he told me that I could not use the converter if I wanted to use the existing 20 amp cord that supplies my trailer when in a park. Is this true? Or can I use the converter I purchased with the power supply already in place that powers all of my lights? I only have three lights and two outlets. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:17 AM   #18
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I know its been a long time since my last post but I ended up getting deployed before I could tackle my 12V system. Anyways, while I was deployed I purchased a Progressive Dynamics 9245: 45 Amp Converter from Vintage Trailer Supply. I had someone that works at an Airstream dealership stop by and he told me that I could not use the converter if I wanted to use the existing 20 amp cord that supplies my trailer when in a park. Is this true? Or can I use the converter I purchased with the power supply already in place that powers all of my lights? I only have three lights and two outlets. Any suggestions?
Yes, You will need to upgrade to a 30 amp cord. Can you post a pic of where your 20 cord attaches to the Pacer (If your back on safe soil). I put this on my Caravel 30 Amp 125 Volt Power Inlet Stainless Steel | Marinco. I think it looks great and well worth the price. Prices on this vary so do some shopping around.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:56 AM   #19
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I don't see why you can not power the trailer with a 20 amp circuit after you install the 9245. I upgraded my converter with the same unit a couple of years ago and I have been very pleased with it's operation.

When boon docking I will charge my battery via the converter with my Honda EU1000i generator. The generator will produce around 8 amps of power and has no problem running the generator. When the converter is in boost mode (14.4 volt output) the 1000 watt generator is running a little bit above idle, but will return to idle when it drops out of boost mode. The input rating of the 9245 is listed as 725 watts (6 amps) which is well below the 20 amps that you are using to feed the trailer.

If you are going to use the Air Conditioner or a Microwave oven, the new converter will most likely put you over the top and that would require you to go with a 30 amp circuit.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:53 PM   #20
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Silverleeper, I will try to get pics as soon as possible but am pretty sure that I only have a 20 amp cord supplying the trailer when hooked up. I would love to use the converter if possible, azflycaster, I think that I will try to use the 9245 and hopefully it will work out for me.... Ill let you know what I find out.
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