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Old 12-22-2006, 04:15 PM   #1
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Help, 12 volt troubles

Ok. what happened to my 12 volt?

I took out my 12V battery for a couple weeks, today I put it back in fully charged and nothing happened.....no 12 volt working anywhere.
After a lot of tinkering I found by accident that the shell of my trailer along with everthing else metal inside and out that should be ground is now positive or hot including the copper plumbing.
Its a 1979 Airstream, I tried disconnecting the Univolt, but that didn't help any, the Univolt appears to charging correctly.
Whats going on?
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookeville34
Ok. what happened to my 12 volt?

I took out my 12V battery for a couple weeks, today I put it back in fully charged and nothing happened.....no 12 volt working anywhere.
After a lot of tinkering I found by accident that the shell of my trailer along with everthing else metal inside and out that should be ground is now positive or hot including the copper plumbing.
Its a 1979 Airstream, I tried disconnecting the Univolt, but that didn't help any, the Univolt appears to charging correctly.
Whats going on?
Did you hook the battery up backwards? Is the shell hot when the trailer is not plugged in?

Bill
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:42 PM   #3
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12 volt reply

Bill, I checked the battery hookups and even tried hooking the battery up backwards. I have the same problem if the trailer is connected to shore power or not.
I checked the fuse block and the #3 fuse seems to be culprit that is making the shell positive/hot. When the fuse is in place the shell is positive/hot, when the fuse is removed I have nothing. I think this is the fuse to the Univolt. I'm stumped.
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookeville34
Bill, I checked the battery hookups and even tried hooking the battery up backwards. I have the same problem if the trailer is connected to shore power or not.
I checked the fuse block and the #3 fuse seems to be culprit that is making the shell positive/hot. When the fuse is in place the shell is positive/hot, when the fuse is removed I have nothing. I think this is the fuse to the Univolt. I'm stumped.
Do you have a service manual with the wiring diagram? If not, I have the 1979 manual and will scan and send you the wiring diagram for the fuse block.

Bill
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:48 PM   #5
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No I don't have the manual. I can't understand it, I haven't changed anything on the fuse block or Univolt. Do you think a 12 volt wire is rubbing somewhere on the trailer body? The trailer hasn't moved since the last time the battery was in it. little_bear@bellsouth.net
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:33 PM   #6
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12v reply

I checked and the #3 fuse is not the Univolt fuse, its a large red wire that leaves the fuse block and runs up behind the tub shower into the trailer.
I disconnected the Univolt, that didn't help. The only thing I can think of is a positive wire rubbing somewhere, its just odd because the trailer hasn't moved.
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:47 PM   #7
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I'll try to post a picture of the fuse panel , this is from a '76 manual , yours should be similar . The #3 fuse is the neg. to the battery . One other thing to check , on mine there are large bullet type disconnects on the pos. and neg. battery wires ( near the bat. ) . Perhaps something got crossed there or some corrosion.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:55 PM   #8
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Maybe this is better
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:52 PM   #9
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What this sounds like to me is the loss of a connection to ground. Without a ground the 12 volts will pass through the devices and go to the shell. When you said that you has 12 volts on the frame, what did you measure it in reference to. One meter lead on the shell, where was the other? It could be as simple as a bad battery cable since that was the last thing you worked on when this happened. I would hook a volt meter to the negative battery post and work back to the fuse pannel from there. You should read 0 volts on the ground lines. When you see 12 volts you have gone past the problem.

Good luck and keep posting...
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:45 PM   #10
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I know this may sound stupid, but the only thing that changed was that you removed the battery and charged it right ? So if you focus on that : Is there any way the battery reversed its polarity ?

from the following website Car and Deep Cycle Battery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Section 14

"If a battery is fully discharged and continues to have a load, for example leaving the headlights on, it is possible for one or more cells to reverse polarity. When the battery has been recharged with reversed polarity the polarity can change. This is referred to as "cell reversal". To change polarity, fully discharge the battery and recharge it with the correct polarity."

Does the Univolt run the lights etc when the battery is unhooked ?

Regards Rob
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:59 PM   #11
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I took the battery out and used my battery charger, still the same problem. Mystery, huh?
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookeville34
I took the battery out and used my battery charger, still the same problem. Mystery, huh?
Where / how did you attach the battery charger?
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:03 PM   #13
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I attached the battery charger leads to the trailer 12v battery leads. Came up with the same problem.
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:12 PM   #14
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I still think the problem is in the negative (ground) from the battery to the 12 volt fuse pannel. How is fuse #3?
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:36 PM   #15
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Lights!

Ok, I used jumper cables from my battery to the hot side of the fuse block and the negative jumper cable to the trailer frame and instant lights. (although the 12volt relay in the Control Console up front did dim them every once in awhile)
I am assuming the main ground must be corroded or something on the other end where I can't see it (it runs behind the shower somewhere not to the fuse block).
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1979 Airstream Sovereign International, 31'. VIN# I31T9J0162

1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 5.7L - V8, stock 5000# tow rating, posi, aux trans cooler, rear coil over shocks, 2" rear spring lift kit, flowmaster exhaust.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:38 AM   #16
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Was this trailer recently from Roswell?? Certainly the Roswell Aliens turned the lights back on for you!

Hurray, you have lights!

Congratulations.

Axel
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Old 12-23-2006, 04:27 AM   #17
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Arrow Polarity problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by cookeville34
I attached the battery charger leads to the trailer 12v battery leads. Came up with the same problem.
Hey cookville; You are not paying any attention to azflycaster. In previous reply he has said that you have a bad ground and #3 fuse is what is giving you the needed ground. Check ground wire input at fuse panel, it may be loose or corroded. You may even want to do Resistance check on the ground wire. If the polarity reversal within the battery is suspected, try using another battery to check for it. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 12-23-2006, 05:38 AM   #18
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Check your quick disconnect inside the bat. box. It may have pulled apart when you pulled or replaced the battery. I have done this a couple of times. Good luck Phil
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Old 12-23-2006, 06:36 AM   #19
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Having 12v+ where you should have ground indicates an open in the ground. If needed, run a new ground wire to the frame from the battery. You can use a regular car ground battery cable to do this, they cost less than $10.
If you put the battery back in, and run your jumper cable from the - post of the battrey to the frame of the trailer, and everything works, you have isolated the problem to that one section of ground between the battery and the frame. Just like Richard said above.
Good luck with it.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:50 AM   #20
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12 volt woes

Sounds almost exactly like a problem I just solved on my 310. It was a poor/corroded connection under the fuse holder on the load side of the 50 amp feed out to the univlot. I found if by bypassing the load side connector with a jumper out to the individual branch circuits one at a time. I had a spare 50 fuse in my panel so I am currently using that one. If you would like to talk further pm me and I will give you phone number.
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