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Old 06-25-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Dawn , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
Airstream Control Panel

We have got electrical problems and need help The control panel will not do anything and the batteries never charge up. There are not lights that work and the radio does not work. Where would I even begin to look for a problem? Please help
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:41 PM   #2
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Anne welcome to the forums first of all.
You're not giving much information to work with.
What year and model of trailer is it? Is the bathroom in the rear or the center?
Do you have the trailer plugged into shore power? Does the 110VAC electrical outlets work? Does the air conditioning work or does the fridge work?
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
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Modern Airstreams use a dual/combined electrical system. One system is normal 110V A/C mains voltage like that used in your house. The other is a 12v D/C battery system like that used in your car. The A/C system plugs into a regular household circuit via a special power cord and does two things: It powers high energy appliances like a microwave or air conditioner and it supplies power to a converter unit that charges the batteries with 12 V D/C and runs the low power items like lights and radio. The panel needs 12V battery power to run, so with the batteries flat, there will be no indications on it. That said, you will need to find your A/C (shore) power input and verify that it is powered up to the house and then see if the batteries charge. The panel should come alive immediately when shore power is on. More information as to year and model may get you more specific recommendations.
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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Charleston , South Carolina
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First maybe a new battery then see if anything works.
As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
- Andrew Carnegie
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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2008 19' Safari SE
satellite beach , Florida
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no power

Year and model info would really be helpful. Does the problem occur on 110 a/c as well as 12 volts. If yours is a newer trailor, is your battery disconnect switch on?
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:02 AM   #6
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Dawn , Missouri
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Sorry for the lack of info. It is a 1976 Land Yaht Ambassador. The bathroom is in the hallway in the middle of the camper. When plugged in the fridge, air, and outlets work but no lights in the camper. We have put a brand new battery on it and the control center does nothing and the battery goes dead quick. It control center use to light up and make a hum when everything was running correctly. Thanks for all the resposes, I think I posted in the wrong area of the fourm.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:15 AM   #7
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holly springs , Georgia
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the hum was coming from the univolt, this converts your 120v into 12v and may need replacing. Check your fuses first it may be as simple as that. If you dont know where they are located someone here will chime in.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:27 AM   #8
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Anne there should be a power converter/charger under the stove at the back of the kitchen cabinet,it may be under the front couch in a 1976 model but I'm not sure.. The purpose of this converter/charger is to convert 110VAC(shore power) to 12VDC(battery power) to provide power for all the DC lights, fans, and the water pump & furnace fan etc. It also recharges the 12VDC battery. If your battery goes dead quickly then I would suspect that you have a problem with the converter.
Unless you are skilled and able to use a multimeter to test the 110VAC power coming in to the unit and the 12VDC coming out of the unit then I recommend that you seek out a qualified RV technician to help you. You can be seriusly hurt if you don't know what to do or look for. I am unwilling to advise you how to do this due to liability issues. Sorry.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:28 AM   #9
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Dawn , Missouri
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Does the power inverter control the univolt? I looked at the fuse and it is good in the control panel.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:19 AM   #10
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Anne you have a power CONVERTER not an INVERTER.The brand name of the original is UNIVOLT. Like I said earlier a converter converts 110VAC(shore power) to 12VDC(battery power). An inverter does the opposite it inverts 12VDC to 110VAC. An inverter is like the things you plug into a cigarette lighter in your car to run household appliances like televisions etc.
You need to make sure the UNIVIOLT CONVERTER is receiving 110VAC and operating. It will then provide 12VDC to run all the lights etc. and charge the battery.
Do you have a multimeter and do you know how to use it?
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:32 AM   #11
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Dawn , Missouri
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I don't know how to use one, but have someone that does. Are the converter and univolt two different things?
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:46 AM   #12
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1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
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Univolt is simply the brand name of the converter used in older Airstreams...

Most of us get rid of them and replace with a modern, converter/charger that has 3-stage charging to allow your batteries to live longer, recharger quicker and properly...

It's not unusual for your old Univolt to have gone 'bad' due to it's age, etc...

I bought my upgraded electrical parts form Randy at BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics - check his site and call him for more info on your particular AS - he's in the know!
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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