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Old 01-10-2004, 08:58 PM   #1
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1972 29' Ambassador
Parker Dam , California
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Cool Electrical Question

Happy New Year to All !

Can any tell me why my inside electrical outlets have no power unless I am hooked up to shore power???

Not to long ago I did had power when I used the plugs while running on batterey only. Is there a fuse some where or is it something else?

Its 120 volt, 3 prong type plugs
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Old 01-10-2004, 09:00 PM   #2
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12 volt or 120 volt?

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Old 01-10-2004, 09:08 PM   #3
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Unless someone wired an inverter into the electrical system, I don't see how this is possible. Of course it is possible that someone did do this, and now the inverter is not working.
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Old 01-10-2004, 09:13 PM   #4
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The only way to have 110 v. when not hooked up to shore power is if you have an Inverter (changes 12 v. DC to 110 v. AC). This does not come standard with your trailer but it is possible someone installed one prior to you purchasing it. Find your converter (inverter maybe) and see what type it is.

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Old 01-10-2004, 09:17 PM   #5
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Yes I have what I think is an inverter. I think your referring to the Univolt, correct??

It makes a slight hummming sound when I plug into shore power.

If this is the case, how do I correct this problem?

(My wife used a hair dryer without the trailer being hooked up to shore power- but the dryer never got going -so then she realized that the shore power was not hooked up . She then plugged in to shore and was able to use the dryer) But now the plugs dont work when running off the batterey directly.
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:12 PM   #6
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Alex, you have two seperate but connected electrical systems. A 12 volt system and a household 110 system.

As supplied from the factory it works like this: the furnace fan, interior lights, the water pump, and any exhaust fans run off 12 volts dc, supplied from the coach battery or batteries. You should also have a couple of 12 volt power recepticals that look something like the socket for a cigarette lighter. There are 12 volt circuits for the running lights and electric brakes as well, but that is a seperate issue. There will be a fuse box with 12 volt fuses - someone else will have to tell you where, but it will be near the converter (more on it anon). Absent electric power input (shore power, solar cells, generator) you will be limited in the use of these items to the capacity of the battery.

In addition, you have a standard 110 volt ac circuit. It supplies the air conditioner, if you have one, the refrigerator, the 110 outlets for coffee pots, television sets, radios, or whatever you plug in, and the converter. The converter (or Univolt, in Airstreamspeak) is a transformer and battery charger that will recharge your coach batteries and run the aforementioned 12 volt items above. It is what you hear humming when plugged into shore power. There will be a disconnect/fuse box located on the inside of your coach somewhere near where the shore power cable enters the shell.

As supplied by the factory, that is all you have. There is no way to run 110 appliances, including the airconditioner, off the 12 volt battery. There is a device called an "inverter", however, that will change 12 volt dc into 110 ac. These are not a factory item. There are all sizes available, and can be (but usually are not) wired directly into the 12 volt supply to deliver 110 power to the household outlets in the coach. The problem is that you are limited to the watt-hour capacity of the batteries, and most 110 volt devices consume LOTS of watts - coffee pots, toasters, microwaves, hair dryers, etc. Modern tv's are not too bad, and are the most frequent use for an inverter. To run the air conditioner you need the battery pack they use to jump start the space shuttle.

I'm guessing you do NOT have an inverter. I am guessing you are mistaken in thinking you got 110 power out of the outlets without being conntected to shore power. I am guessing your system is functioning exactly as it should.

Good luck!

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