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Old 06-16-2017, 04:42 PM   #1
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Help! Backnoutlets don't work after the converter outlet.

Hello! I'm in need of some advice here. I am NOT electrically inclined and I'm having trouble understanding what my converter does and how to fix my electric outlets in my bathroom, at each side of my beds, and the outside outlet. I do know that all these are on the same circuit by looking at the wiring diagram. The outlet that supplies the Univolt DOES work. I've heard my univolt hum in the past, but upon plugging it in today it did not hum. I have a 1978 Argosy 26' with a rear bath and he two side beds. Please help!
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:54 PM   #2
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I should add that this has been the case since I got the camper a few seasons ago. I am also not sure wether or not the univolt must be in functioning order for these outlets to work or if this is just for using some electric stuff when I don't have my camper plugged in to 'shore power'. And please go easy on the terminology. I don't talk electrical much, but I can certainly do advanced cardiac life support, discuss neurology if any of y'all need that! 😂
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:23 PM   #3
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There are 3 independant electrical systems:
1. 12 volt DC outside running lights, brake and tailights which work off the tow vehicle
2. 12 v DC interior lights and outlets run off trailer battery and Univolt
3. 110 v AC which runs (a)110 outlets and (b)charges battery by shore power and Univolt

Sound familiar to cardiac nodes and the Bundle of Hiss?

Of course the 110 AC outlets won't be energized unless you are plugged in to shore power

The Univolt (which makes a better boat anchor than a converter) does not need to be fired up for your 110 outlets to work.

You should have a 110 v AC electrical box maybe in your road side closet (not the Univolt) with 2 circuit breakers that is where I would start.

12 v DC tingles 110 v AC hurts and can mess with your nuerology. The Univolt is shrouded for a reason. Don't mess with surgery unless you know what u are doing plugged in or not.

Do yu have a Service (not Owners) manual?
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:27 PM   #4
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So the circuit works up to the outlet for the converter but beyond that on the same circuit the outlets don't work as I read this.

Since you mentioned that the univolt no longer hummed that outlet might not be getting power. In that case check the breaker for that circuit. You need to have power connected, flip breaker all the way to off then back to on. Try plugging something else into that outlet that you can easily tell is or isn't working.

Next thing is to disconnect the power then pull out the converter outlet. Pop off the back, there are tabs on each side you gently pull outward to release the two halves, check that the wires are tightly pressed in place. Usually there is a continuous wire through the outlet but sometimes one enters the outlet and another exits, meaning there is a break. Basically whre AS pulled wire to the end of a coil but wasn't long enough to reach the next outlet, so they start a new wire. They can work loose over time.

Do you have a multimeter?

The converter does two things, and only functions when plugged into 120vac and has power to it. First, it provides 12vdc power to the 12vdc loads in the trailer, think lights, water pump, fans. Second, it charges the battery, though the univolt is not great at this as it can overcharge a battery over time.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:32 PM   #5
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I'm totally amused at least. �� I will check on wether or not I have a service manual. Thank you very much for sharing the 'basics'. I was hoping I wouldn't have to hire someone to look into this. I am comfortable for at least checking all the connections in that closet to make sure they are all truly connected and then may have to call in the experts. I'd really like to have it all functioning. I have 4 breakers by the way. Is there any reason the fuse panel ( next to the breaker box) could be causing a problem even thought that first outlet on the circuit is working? Just curious. Thanks again for the entertaining lesson!
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for responding also joe! I do have a multimeter but I don't know how to use it. I looked at the first outlet that was not working by pulling the back cover off, it looked confusing and I left it alone. I will look at the working one and at least try to push them in or something.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:40 PM   #7
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Fusevpanel is completely separate from the breaker box.

I edited my first post with more info.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:09 PM   #8
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The 4 outlets you mentioned are all on a single GFI circuit. Sounds like this has gotten way more complicated than it needs to be if you have not yet tested and reset the GFI. I'd try that first.
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:12 PM   #9
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The 4 outlets you mentioned are all on a single GFI circuit.
I don't think GFI (ground fault interuppy) was used in 76, but someone could have done an upgrade. Shiva, this means if your outlet has a button push it.
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:47 PM   #10
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I don't know when Airstream started doing this, but the outlets on our GFI circuit do not have a reset button on the outlet itself. We must flip the breaker in the breaker/fuse panel off entirely and flip it back on to reset the circuit.
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:21 PM   #11
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Welcome!

Here is a "high speed" pass on basic RV electrical systems. Heed the opening statements..

https://youtu.be/7DpIzugALqc

Now, newer will appear different from older RV... AS or SOB, basics are similar.

The "problem" with your AC outlet could be a bad or "tripped" Circuit Breaker. Or a bad outlet.. or, if installed a GFCI.... hopefully wiring is ok... but please don't overestimate your knowledge and skill when attempting a repair. It can cause further damage.. injury or death to you and/or the AS.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:34 AM   #12
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I changed the converter in my 2001 Safari and the new one only worked intermittently. It turned out one of the spring brass contacts in the outlet it was plugged into had broken and was only making intermittent contact. The older trailers, I think, used standard residential outlets. The newer ones have RV-specific outlets that combine the function of the outlet and the mounting box in one. To put it nicely, they are not particularly robust. The wiring is "daisy chained" from one to the next. If the first one in the chain fails, they all go out.

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Old 06-20-2017, 03:26 PM   #13
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No. There isn't one in my camper. I've looked everywhere.
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:28 PM   #14
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I won't be doing anything I'm not comfortable with. I will check inside he outlet that works and have a look. But other than that I don't know anything about this stuff and may need to hire someone.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:06 AM   #15
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I found the problem! Texted a neighbor and he had me up and running within an hour of calling him on a Saturday morning! These were fried! I'm so glad I had a real electrician to help me out. Thanks for everyone's suggestions and help on his forum!
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:47 PM   #16
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Problems have causes.

Getting things "running" is important... but if your electrician says you are ok... that beats our opinions here... usually.

Take heed how you plug loads in from now on... wire overheating can diminish reliability and how much you can run. So.. if plugs of appliances are warm to the touch, that is a good hint there may be too much load on that circuit. For instance... if you use a space heater and the plug is warm... or you have to reset a circuit breaker then you are risking a serious failure of the wiring and the components.. breaker, receptacle and possibly wiring.

Not being paranoid... just be aware and don't just ignore problems.

Happy trails..
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiva-shantz View Post
I found the problem! Texted a neighbor and he had me up and running within an hour of calling him on a Saturday morning! These were fried! I'm so glad I had a real electrician to help me out. Thanks for everyone's suggestions and help on his forum!
Glad you found it, what a mess. At least you found it before a fire started.

Did you notice what kind of wire it was? Hard to tell but looks like it may have been aluminum?
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