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Old 05-08-2015, 12:09 AM   #21
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1968 30' Sovereign
New Richmond , Wisconsin
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Posts: 137
Thank you for the information. This is turning into a major learning curve! I'll be checking the wiring in the outlets in our Airstream tomorrow.

May I ask why you state that "I don't know how a Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power 4045 - 45 Amp Converter AND AC/DC Distribution Panel Combination can be easily wired with an original 1968 central Control... it wouldn't be impossible, just questionable." ?
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:16 PM   #22
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1968 20' Globetrotter
ANN ARBOR , THE GREAT LAKES
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I'm not a certified travel trailer electrician, just a hillbilly with a Buck knife and a VOM, so other more qualified responses should definitely be considered.


I'm five years into my 1968GT restoration, all the while keeping it in camping condition. It's coming along fine.


1968 has to be the all-time worst design and material specified electrical system in vintage Airstream history. The best thing to do is to strip it all out and build an electrical system from scratch.


1968 was the first year of Central Control. That control panel design was never used again.


If you retain the original wiring scheme inside the central control, there is no need for the 12V side of the Progressive Dynamic panel, until additional 12 circuitry is desired.

If you abandon only the 12V breaker system inside the CC, you'll have to jump/piggy-back/redundant 12V wiring to the newly located PD panel, but retain most heavy gauge 12V in the CC, that will include your antiquated blue charge wire system which, surprise, has a circuit breaker in your belly pan that is better fitted under the hood of your TV... You'll have two different 12V distribution locations. This could become difficult, not impossible, for anyone to troubleshoot failures.


If a circuit breaker in the CC starts its breaking sequence, that is, clicking on and off, you have a short to diagnose if someone is in the trailer and hears it clicking. If a 12V circuit breaker in the CC fails closed , you'll either never know, or it'll unlikely but possibly, melt the wires it is designed to protect. If it fails in open position, you have no power in that circuit until said breaker is replaced or foolishly temporarily bypassed (a penny in the fuse-box in theory). For me, modern fused panels are way less hassle.


The 120V outlet in CC is wired aluminum, and I wouldn't trust it to safely power any kitchen appliance, coffee maker, toaster, hot plate... Kitchen is smart area to run copper 120V 12g wire. You should want a GFCI there, and who makes one rated for aluminum wire?? Likewise to outdoor accessory/appliance GFCI circuit. Likewise hair dryer capable bath outlet.


You may want a circuit dedicated to a dual fuel water heater. Likewise a circuit that may power a resistance auxiliary space heater. Likewise a circuit to a heat strip. Likewise any circuit powering an inverter.


Where/which wall will the PD panel be mounted into? If you mount in place of the original univolt and 120V breaker panel, if you trip a breaker, you'll be outside ass-up or on your knees into your rear hatch with a flashlight and mirror, add night-time and rain to that image... Better to mount it indoors, eye level where Central Control now resides.


Is it wise to rely on, and work-around nearly fifty year-old trailer wiring technology when you want to upgrade to modern? Unless you want to use jumper cables to solar charge your battery, You'll need panel space for solar monitors, and panel space for a dual fuel water heater switch/monitor, holding tank monitors ( which I deemed unnecessary as you can look down the toilet to monitor black tank, and simply dip-stick the 1968 freshwater tank through the fill cap), and a host of other monitors and switches as your electrical system grows...


And again, The analog needle waving from red to green will not monitor your electrical system with reliable accuracy. A digital meter reading to decimals is more useful information.


Perpetuating a romantic fantasy with the 1968 Central Control wasn't on my list. It is not designed to perform with today's technology. Certainly someone out there will tout its fabulous flawless performance in their trailer. This may be the person that can better explain their experience of CC with updated technologies successfully. Keep searching for an answer that suits you. To me, 1968CC is more an archaic museum piece, not meeting today's electrical complexities. Dead Weight.


That said, surely you will eventually find someone who will defend its workings, and they can advise you to commingle it with a modern PD panel, or you may design your own unique system of integration.


Nowadays, the trend for big trailers is a 50A system. If I was rewiring a 30FT trailer to Half-Time in, I'd look into that.


It's never easy with these old Betties, but when it's finished (fantasy, not a reality), you'll have a better than new Airstream, and done well, you will have spent the cost of a new one in time and material, just to have a vintage one. I would not trade my 1968 Globe Trotter for a 2015 Bambi (or whatever they call a “twenty footer” these days).


Best Wishes...
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:33 AM   #23
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
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Cheetah,
I think using the complete PD 4045 distribution panel would either create a lot of redundancy in the trailer or leave the original trailer CC as a show piece with no function. The PD 4045 would be meant to replace the CC all together. Otherwise you would have two 12v distribution panels essentially in series with each other.
If you really want to keep the CC, you could probably clean it up pretty nicely.Just go over it with a fine tooth comb to make sure everything is still safe and in working order.
The thing that the PD 4045 gets you besides the 12v distribution and 120v distribution replaced would be the 12v converter built into the unit, this would br replacing the univilt in the trailer. If you want to keep the CC, you could simply replace the univolt with a stand alone 12v converter like this one. PD9245 45 Amp RV Converter / Charger from Progressive Dynamics
It would simply take the place of the univolt. It's a pretty straight forward swap, plus it's smaller, lighter, quieter, more efficient, actually maintains the battery much better than the univolt. The 12v wiring is probably copper too so you shouldn't have to worry about that perspective.
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:25 AM   #24
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1968 30' Sovereign
New Richmond , Wisconsin
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Thank you for this insight. Although I would have loved to have "it all" in one place, I'm realizing that this job may be way outside my understanding and capabilities. Assuming I would like to keep the new panel in the rear washroom behind the cabinets (as the current breaker box is on our 68 Sovereign, I am reading what you are saying and realizing that somehow I would need to get the 12v wiring from the CC back to the new panel in the rear washroom to make this work. I am assuming there is no easy way to do this???

SO - the better option for my level of electrical knowledge would be to just replace the old 120v breaker box with a new one (DO YOU HAVE A RECOMMENDATION??), install a new 12v converter as per your suggestion, and spiff up the CC. The current CC does work but the exterior 'brass' finish is pitted in a couple of places, the light is dim, and the clock is missing.

Thank you for your help! Please let me know if you have any additional suggestions!
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:44 PM   #25
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
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If you're not going to add circuits, I'd just keep the old box. Any replacement box is going to be at least a little bigger. You could take it out to clean it up, give it some fresh paint on the outside, and inside if you cover the breaker and wire attachment points. Take lots of pictures and label the wires to make reassembly easier.
Then maybe see if you can find some newer replacement breakers so the ones in there aren't 45+ years old. Just make sure they're aluminum compatible, many circuit breakers are.
One thing I find odd looking at the picture though, there are 4 wires and 3 circuit breakers. Main line in(big black wire on bottom) and 3 branch circuits going out the side. The main power inlet should have a breaker, and each circuit should have a breaker. Not sure what the circuits feed individually, but you may want to see what you can figure out on that.
It's been working for 45 years, but if you start adding modern electrical loads, you could be pushing things. If you keep the trailer as original as possible, having a TV and computer shouldn't make to much difference from the original load capability. Start adding microwave and electric/propane water heater, and air conditioner, and you should then consider upgrading.
It looks like it's got a 20A setup, so I'm guessing it doesn't have an air conditioner.
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:18 AM   #26
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1968 30' Sovereign
New Richmond , Wisconsin
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Thank you for the response - and now you have me wondering. Our 31' Sovereign does have a working air conditioner; did have a propane water heater ( that I am replacing with an electric/propane water heater); a working oven; a working 3-burner cooktop, and the working fridge. It looks like it had a setup for a stereo/radio system in the front section above the window. I am thinking that we will never use the original "furnace" as it is also equipped with a canalytic heater, and do not plan to use this camper in winter. The only additional pieces we would use (that are not currently in the trailer) would be a microwave, a TV, and a computer. If this is a 20 amp setup, perhaps I need to upgrade it it just a bit?
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:36 PM   #27
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
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If it's wired like mine the farthest left breaker should be the main. With power off you can look inside to see if the heavy black wire is connected to that. Couldn't read the breaker amperage from the pic. Standard should be 30a service. Question becomes what do the other circuits feed, could see one breaker read 20A, couldn't read the other. Depends on how the wires are connected to the breakers. Generally the air con gets it's own breaker.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:51 PM   #28
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
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You may have one breaker feeding the air cond, and another feeding a house circuit to all the outlets. If you have a voltmeter and some test leads, with the 120v completely disconnected from shore, open up the panel, open breakers(means position to off ), then use test leads to connect a. 9v or other low voltage battery to the pos and neg of each ckt, then go to outlets and such to see if there is voltage with multimeter. This way you can see which ckt goes where w/o danger of 120v. Or apply 120v and close breaker one at time and check outlets w/ meter for power. Many ways to do but to figure out where the lines feed from and to.
Still seem to be missing a breaker, but it may just be something I'm not familiar with or missing.
The way those 3 wires neatly run into the wall makes me believe it's all original. But I would think each of those 3 ckts would have a breaker before running out of the panel.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:40 PM   #29
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Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
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Well I may be all wet but in the picture you posted that is a WFCO 55 amp "converter". One set red and black wires to the battery the other to the 12V distribution panel. The WFCO replaced the old Univolt unless the WFCO is not working you don't need a new PD converter.

http://www.adventurerv.net/wfco-9800...source=Froogle

I do not see an "inverter" in the picture.
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Old 02-02-2020, 02:09 PM   #30
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Garry -- this is from a post you made several years ago where you mentioned that if using an off-the-shelf replacement breaker box from Home Depot (to make a new load center), you need to be sure NOT to tie the ground and neutral wires to the same bus. The new load centers I recently saw at Home Depot has the hot lines coming in (into the breakers) and then has only one bus that is physically connected to the metal -- not separate buses for ground and neutral. Is this kind of breaker box unsuitable for an RV (especially ours which will be a park trailer and only use shore power), or is there something simple I need to do? On the original AS box we are replacing, the ground wires are electrically tied to the metal box itself, while the neutral bus appears to be isolated (i.e. not touching) the metal box. Any advice or guidance would be great! Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:15 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by learthman View Post
Garry -- this is from a post you made several years ago where you mentioned that if using an off-the-shelf replacement breaker box from Home Depot (to make a new load center), you need to be sure NOT to tie the ground and neutral wires to the same bus. The new load centers I recently saw at Home Depot has the hot lines coming in (into the breakers) and then has only one bus that is physically connected to the metal -- not separate buses for ground and neutral. Is this kind of breaker box unsuitable for an RV (especially ours which will be a park trailer and only use shore power), or is there something simple I need to do? On the original AS box we are replacing, the ground wires are electrically tied to the metal box itself, while the neutral bus appears to be isolated (i.e. not touching) the metal box. Any advice or guidance would be great! Thanks!

I used a GE load center from Home Depot. I'm not an electrician but there are many on this forum who are and who can step you through it. Make sure you do it right. It's simple but get some good advice.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:51 AM   #32
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Most load centers come with a neutral bonding screw. If the screw is in place remove it.
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Old 05-25-2020, 08:57 PM   #33
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1967 20' Globetrotter
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We inherited a decent '67 Globetrotter which sat unused prob. since '77.
We intend to make a stationary guest house out of it.
Scared of all the propane/sewer/water/wiring problems that surely will chase me around so I decided to rewire it all for 120AC with 12VDC supply for all the ext. (LED) lights. We have SqD QO in the house and garage, so the new box is too.
Used to be Wadsworth; I agree about hunting for 40 y/o parts...
The '67 had Alum wiring, so pricey Alumiconn connectors are needed.
We are removing/replacing the air heater, lights, hot water heater, stove and refrig. These will will sell later, if of value.
I'm asking for any rewiring comments/tips - we don't want to rip out any walls if possible.
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