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Old 10-25-2002, 08:39 AM   #21
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Post update

I had PM'd Andy at Inland and this was his comments to the question of "can you start a tow vehicle from the trailer battery since the conductors are common.

(Andy says)

"A charge line" should come from your tow vehicle aternator, through a 50 amp circuit breaker, to the connector at the rear bumper. The trailer cable and trailer are wired so that the 12 volt charge line goes to the univolt through a 50 amp fuse, which is located at the univolt. The other side of that fuse goes to the trailer battery. Another 50 amp fuse goes between the univolt output, to the trailer battery. In that way, regardless of where the "charge" is coming from. those circuits are protected.
Starting an engine, draws a very large amount of current, that the internal wiring within the trailer will not support, and neither would the fuses.
If the tow vehicle is electrically connected to the trailer, properly, and the trailer is plugged into city power, the univolt will not only charge the trailer battery, but it would also charge the tow vehicle battery. That however is not valid if your tow vehicle has a battery "isolator."

Just FYI,
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Old 11-06-2002, 12:57 AM   #22
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A/S 7-pin conector

Hi folks, I'm picking up a '69 A/S in the near future. It has a round 7-pin connector with round pins. The new dodge truck I'll tow it with will have the std round 7-pin connector with 'flat' or 'spade' contacts arranged radially. As such I'll need to exchange the A/S connector for a compatable round connector (bought one). I know what the pin out is for the dodge. I don't know what the pin out is for the A/S.
Is the A/S connector I've seen standard for A/s at least up to 1969? I just want to be sure of getting this right so I don't fry something!!!

thanks, Pat
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Old 11-06-2002, 06:54 AM   #23
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Pinouts

Wrong Thread but you can get the info at www.Airstream.com under FAQ's. You will need Acrobat to view the PDF.

You dont necessarily have to change out the connector on the AS. Mine has the same setup and I have the Dodge Ram.

My cable from trailer has standars AS round pins on one end and flat on the vehicle end.

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Old 11-06-2002, 08:28 AM   #24
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Lightbulb I have an Idea!!

I don't know if this would work, but common sense dictatates that it would. How about installing one of those solar charge controllers betwee the univolt charging line and the battery. Note that I said CHARGING LINE. You could not simply install it between the battery and Univolt because, I believe you would be drawing current back through it when the Univolt was off, or during high current draw situations. More research is needed to see if this is indeed a viable solution.
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Old 11-06-2002, 08:43 AM   #25
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Lightbulb Charging line

On my unit, the charging line is the same as the supply line. There are only two wires going between my Univolt and battery, Positive and Negative, respectfully.

I am not sure of what device you are referring but does it function as a DC Voltage regulator?

I was in the shower this weekend listening to the Univolt humming and it occurred to me that auto mobiles use an alternator to charge their batteries and an alternator fluctuates in voltage and typically exceeds 12.6 volts.

The question came to mind, "how does the system prevent overcharge to the battery"?

Aha! Voltage Regulator. I am wondering if I could install a DC Automobile voltage regulator in series between my Univolt and my trailer battery. ( one of the old model external voltage regulators) They are inexpensive and easy to install.

Any auto / electrical / battery authorities out there?

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Old 11-06-2002, 09:32 AM   #26
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Univolts are self regulating.

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Old 11-06-2002, 10:19 AM   #27
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Univolt and batteries

3 years ago I installed 2 new deep cycle batteries in my 79 Soveriegn.

The trailer is plugged into shore power for 5 months steady as I live in it for that period.

I remove the batteries for the winter and store them indoors. The fluid level is checked during the winter and in the spring they are charged and re-installed. I check the fluid once during the summer.

I expect the batteries to last 5 years. Anything more is a bonus.

There are no extra monitoring devises to get me upset. If it works, leave it alone.
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Old 11-06-2002, 10:26 AM   #28
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Overcharge

Andy,
I understand your position on overcharging but I cannot count on my Univolt to regulate and or stop charging when my batteries are fully charged.

The Univolt does an excellant job of charging the battery but it will not stop charging. I have literally boiled all of the water out of my battery in the past.

Simply put, The Univolt WILL overcharge. You and I both have read many threads and posts on this issue and it is clear that I am not the only one with this problem.

I am looking for an economical way to insure that my Univolt will not overcharge. Maybe I have not used the appropriate terminolgy, Since the Univolt has capability to regulate, does this mean it is comparable to an "Automatic Battery Charger"? Is it supposed to stop charging when the battery is fully charged?

Can you send factory specifications on the Univolt? I am aware that the Univolt is no longer made but I am curious as to what the manual says.

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Old 11-06-2002, 10:34 AM   #29
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Smily.
Any battery charger will look at the batteries "weakest" cell and charge accordingly.
With a Univolt, if there is more than 25 points difference between the weakest and best cell, the charger will overcharge. It's not the chargers fault, it's the condition of the battery.
A charging sysytem in a car is OK for up to 50 points difference in specific gravity. Not so with Univolts or Intelli-chargers. 25 points is the maximum.
Therefore a good Univolt will not overcharge a good battery, but will overcharge a weak celled battery.


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Old 11-06-2002, 10:39 AM   #30
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So what would be the opinions on leaving the AS connected to shore power while being stored (short term) I have been keeping mine " on charge" while parked in the driveway since I noticed my batteries starting to fade last winter. So farthey have held a charge well, but are sealed so I can't check fluid levels.
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Old 11-06-2002, 10:39 AM   #31
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New batteries

I am having the same problem with brand new batteries.

I have replaced them twice inside of 5 months. ( fortunately Wal mart will exchange with little question). I now turn my Univolt on only when my batteries are weak and I let it run for about eight hours and turn it back off.

Anyway, The "points" that you refer to, are they controlled by the owner and are they supposed to be optimal at time of purchase?

Can you please give me a short pointer on "points"?

thanks for your attention to this matter

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Old 11-06-2002, 10:54 AM   #32
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The question becomes "when will a battery cell become weak."
It can usually be predicted by how old the batteries are compared to the quality of the batteries expected life.
A 12 month battery will last, on an average of 12 months. Again, that's an average.
If it was my trailer, and the batteries are near their expected life, I would watch the charging system, so that overcharging might be kept to a minimum. However, if the battery has weakened, which will tell the charging to "keep on going," then I would disconnect the batteries or replace them.

Unfortunately, sealed batteries cannot be checked for water level. The older battery water consumption was a great indicator of it's condition, namely if you started to use an appreciable amount of water in a short period of time, the batteries were done.

If I had a doubt, I would not plug the trailer into city power, until I knew the exact condition of the batteries.


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Old 11-06-2002, 11:03 AM   #33
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The condition of the battery is determined by the specific gravity of the water. A very weak battery will read perhaps 1100, a fair battery condition will read between 1200 and 1250, and a fully charged battery will read between 1275 to 1300.
Points is the difference in specific gravity readings from one cell to the other. 25 points maximum is between the best and worst cell. The best time to measure the specific gravity with a hydrometer, is when the battery is reasonably well charged.


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Old 11-06-2002, 05:38 PM   #34
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andy

do you adjust specific gravity for temp?

or is everything in so cal. sunny and 72! just kidding!

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Old 11-07-2002, 09:03 AM   #35
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The heck with the 72 degrees.

WE NEED RAIN, LOTS OF IT.

It's so bad that if we want to see rain, we have to rent a movie.

They say we will have some rain, tomorrow. Yeah, right, and Detroit won the World Series, too.



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Old 11-07-2002, 09:49 AM   #36
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Southern California

I have worked at Point Loma in SD many time and I noticed that the weather man always mentioned rain in his forcast. After many trips I concluded that the only reason that they mention rain is so people will not forget what it is. LoL.

Ironically, I took my wife to SD for our honeymoon. I told her we were going there because the weather is always perfect.

Wouldnt you know it, It was raining when the plane landed and it rained until we took off to Las vegas three days later. We had to go to the mall and buy jackets because it was cold.


Anyway, whoever said it never rains in southern california?
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Old 11-07-2002, 12:11 PM   #37
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Talking Univolt

Gordon, you may have an ideal system that works perfectly, but others do not. Iv'e never had a fully charged battery that worked the way you describe. Do you have a battery monitor to keep the battery charged when not in use??Just took my deep cell marine battery out and recharged it. It's been in the trailer on the Univolt , intermittingly for about 5 months. I'm only getting about 12.35 reading from the voltmeter.


Smily, one suggestion: Flip the breaker on the Univolt to cut out the power to it, you'll still have AC power elseware. Use a good charger to keep the batteries charged for 12v power and recharge over night! Use the battery during the day for 12v power. This may not work so well if you need heat all day & night.
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Old 04-24-2004, 06:52 AM   #38
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Does anyone know where the battery disconnect switch is on a 1976 Argosy Motorhome. I can't find it anywhere!
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Old 04-24-2004, 07:01 AM   #39
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Quote:
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Univolts are self regulating.

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My 1976 Argosy Motorhome unit acts as though the coach battery is not connected to the system. I can get all 12 Volt accesorries to run off of the engine battery by turning the ignition key to the accessory position, and all 110 volt outlets work when plugged into a 110 volt outlet. The Univolt is putting out sufficient 12 volt power (13.5 to 16 Volts), but the 12 volt stuff would not work off of the Univolt, or without turning the ignition key to the accessory position.
Then I ran another ground wire from the negative coach battery to the chassis ground, and now all 12 volt stuff will work off of the Univolt, but still no 12 volt stuff when Univolt is unplugged, and ignition key is off.
I suspect that the positive terminal to the coach battery, or the positive side of the coach load, is not properly connected. Is there a battery cutoff switch hidden somewhere that I am not finding, or can I just run another test lead from the poitive terminal to the positive side of the univolt, and should it be fused. Finally, I suspect maybe a bad ammeter, or loose wire in the control panel may be the culprit.
Any suggestions?
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Old 04-24-2004, 09:17 PM   #40
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Chasgould,

There was no factory installed cut off switch. A PO may have added one. The wire from the battery box runs from the battery to the fuse panel, thats it. I would check the routing of this wire to see. You could also have some sort of relay that was installed by a PO that acts as a disconnect and it has failed. Continuous duty relays are not cheap, so many folks by the inexpensive ones and they then fail in short order.

Happy tracing!
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