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Old 05-24-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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Univolt?

Is this my Univolt?
The wiring is an absolute mess. Most of the wiring is dried out and cracked. I don't have a clue of what wire is what and where any of them are going. I don't think it charges the battery when plugged in to AC. I have been using a small 3-step charger to keep the battery topped off. So far not a real big issue as I have been doing only camping where I have been plugged in. Plans are for battery upgrading to two G27s, solar panels and a new converter/charger, anticipating some extended boondocking in the future.



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Old 05-24-2012, 06:58 PM   #2
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Looks like an old converter. Also looks like it's time to replace it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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I am guessing that it is original from 1964. Updating the electrical system is on my short list of things to do. Any suggestions on what would be a good converter to consider that would not break the bank?
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:42 PM   #4
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I installed a Progressive Dynamics 9245 in our Argosy 26' and and happy with the results. Bought it on the Internet.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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The 9245 seems very popular here. I found a lot of post from members who had used it. As far as I can tell most seem very happy with the results. Also the price seems reasonable.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #6
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Call Randy at Bestconverter.com. Based on recommendations from this forum I called him and he set me up with a new three stage 60w converter, about $150.

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Old 05-25-2012, 07:13 AM   #7
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Alden, thank you, I will do that.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #8
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Ok, the mess of wires you are talking about. Pictures? I would expect to see at least a white, pink, yellow, blue and maybe black or brown wires coming out of the wall. Try to get post a picture of them.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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It's always interesting to see other similar vintage rigs to compare: our 1964 Globetrotter has what looks like the original Univolt but the wiring is very neat and intact. I want to use Gel batteries so we're going to change out to an Iota DLS55 that can just be swapped out with the Univolt. I'm going to pay someone to do it, rather than tackle it myself- Adam Blair in Benicia. The original univolt doesn't charge when it's plugged into AC, just when you're towing.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #10
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Globie, does your Univolt look anything like the one in the picture I posted?
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:52 PM   #11
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Awchief, no, it doesn't, other than the color, and you can see some of the plates through an opening in the side of ours. I thought that ours was original, but the original owner may have replaced it. The 120/12v/polarity switch box looks the same though.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:58 PM   #12
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:21 PM   #13
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Strange, I figured that our trailers would have basicly the same systems thru out. Airstream seemed to just grab what ever was on the stock room shelves when they were putting units together. No rhyme or reason to some of the assemblies.
I guess I will just have to go ahead and buy a new converter and try to figure it out once it shows up. It really throws me that I have no fuses of any kind in my trailer other than the two AC circuit breakers.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:48 PM   #14
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Univolt?

Greetings AWCHIEF!

The gray box in your photo closely resembles the original Univolt that was taken out of my Overlander shortly after purchase. That Univolt liked to boil the electrolyte in the battery, and it failed entirely during my first trip in the coach. If that Univolt is similar to mine, that raised back cover is held on with between two and four screws . . . and when removed reveals the 12-volt fuses (glass automotive type contemporary to the coach).

I suspect that the source of many of the components utilized in our coaches changed over the model year to reflect acquisition of different suppliers and/or the availability of improved yet similar equipment. Also, there are quite often differences between coaches built in Ohio and coaches built in California.

Good luck with your electrical project!

Kevin
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:31 PM   #15
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Kevin, thank you, I am going to go ahead and order a 9245 and new fuse panel. Any idea what size panel I should order. It might be nice to have a few spare circuits available for future upgrades and expansions.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:38 PM   #16
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AWChief. I think you are right about what it is- "an absolute mess". I am not sure when Univolts made the scene, but my idea of a Univolt is a primitive self contained 110 to 12v converter with a transformer, condensers and a fuse panel. Looks like you have a transformer there. There was a time in Airstream history when there were completely separate 110 and 12v systems. I don't know exactly when someone at the factory decided to connect 110 shore power to a converter to charge a 12v battery. Maybe there is some Airstream Mystery Mavin out there that has the date?
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:50 PM   #17
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Univolt?

Greetings Michael!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Kevin, thank you, I am going to go ahead and order a 9245 and new fuse panel. Any idea what size panel I should order. It might be nice to have a few spare circuits available for future upgrades and expansions.
It has been more than ten years since my '64 Overlander's original Univolt was replaced, so this is from memory. I believe that it had space for 12 fuses with 9 utilized. My Overlander has nearly every factory option and a number of dealer installed accessories so I don't know what a smaller coach with less demands on the 12-volt system may have had.

The fuse panel in my new setup has 16 circuits with modern automotive "plug" type fuses. It is overkill, even for my Overlander as I am only using 12 of the circuits. I went with the larger panel as I was having a solar system with three AGM batteries installed and knew that I would be adding additional 12-volt circuits over time -- one of my first additions was a 3-way Dometic Refrigerator that allows me to switch to 12-volt when traveling.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:59 PM   #18
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Univolt?

Greetings Lumatic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
AWChief. I think you are right about what it is- "an absolute mess". I am not sure when Univolts made the scene, but my idea of a Univolt is a primitive self contained 110 to 12v converter with a transformer, condensers and a fuse panel. Looks like you have a transformer there. There was a time in Airstream history when there were completely separate 110 and 12v systems. I don't know exactly when someone at the factory decided to connect 110 shore power to a converter to charge a 12v battery. Maybe there is some Airstream Mystery Mavin out there that has the date?
The 1964 Airstream trailers were the first to be equipped with a standard Univolt. All of the interior lights in the '64 coaches were 12-volt, but the ceiling vent fans, water pump, and furnace blower motor all had transformers between them and the coach's power. Those early Univolts were even more temperamental than those often written about in the 1970 through 1980 coaches. They were extremely heavy, boiled the electrolyte and required that a battery be in the circuit for proper operation. In reality, they were little more than a battery charger that was not kind to the batteries to which it was connected. My coach's original Univolt failed on my first camping trip in 1995 so it was replaced with a Paralax converter . . . and later by an Inverter/Charger when my solar panels were installed.

Kevin
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Kevin, thank you, I am going to go ahead and order a 9245 and new fuse panel. Any idea what size panel I should order. It might be nice to have a few spare circuits available for future upgrades and expansions.
AWCHIEF, presumeing by now you have completed the replacement of your UNIVOLT in your BAMBI II. I also have a 1964 Bambi II in need of UNIVOLT replacement. If you replaced the UNIVOLT with a 9245 converter, where did you purchase the 9245 and how did you provide both 12 volt and 19 volt outputs so that the vent fans will still work? Can you post and electrical diagram of how you did it in your BAMBI II? Would really appreciate it.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jellis00 View Post
AWCHIEF, presumeing by now you have completed the replacement of your UNIVOLT in your BAMBI II. I also have a 1964 Bambi II in need of UNIVOLT replacement. If you replaced the UNIVOLT with a 9245 converter, where did you purchase the 9245 and how did you provide both 12 volt and 19 volt outputs so that the vent fans will still work? Can you post and electrical diagram of how you did it in your BAMBI II? Would really appreciate it.
Actually I have not made the replacement as of this time. A couple of higher priorty issues came up. It is still high on the todo list. When I buy the converter I will get it from : BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics

Sorry can not help with a wiring diagram at this time. I will have to draw one up when I do the swap. The best I can do is the manual copies I sent you in the other thread.
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