Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-01-2022, 10:24 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Richmond hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
What does “typical” airstream wiring look like?

Good afternoon all. I am currently rebuilding a 1978 sovereign to serve as my permanent residence. I’m not concerned with making everything original, I just want it to be done correctly. I have never owned an rv prior to now and was surprised to learn that the vent fans are 12v DC rather than AC. I know that there are plug ins at rv parks, do these have a DC plug as well? Or is there an AC/12v DC converter that can be installed?
Brandon2022 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2022, 02:08 PM   #2
Rivet Master

 
2017 25' International
West Lake Hills , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 1,086
You need a converter. There are threads here with wiring diagrams.
Fungus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2022, 02:33 PM   #3
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 14,220
Hi

RV's "as delivered" are targeted at being able to operate "stand alone" out in a field. Just how long they can do this varies from model to model. Very early on AS was a pioneer of the Univolt ( = single voltage / all 12V ) approach to a trailer. Depending on model year, you may find a *lot* of stuff in your trailer that operates only on 12V.

As noted above, the answer to plugging in is to have a 120V to 12V "converter / charger" to feed all of the various 12V gizmos. Another alternative would be to rewire it all for 120V. This would be a "gut job" rewire. The existing 12V wiring should *not* be depended on at 120V.

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2022, 02:52 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,155
Also if you are going to tow the trailer anywhere you need to have a battery to operate the emergency breakaway break switch. This activates the electric trailer breaks if the trailer comes loose from tow vehicle and is required by law in most places.
Wazbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2022, 06:14 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Richmond hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
Oh ok that makes sense. I’ll take a look around the forum for those wiring diagrams. I’m doing a complete gut on the wiring (some mice got to the existing wires at some point previously).

Are the converters a universal item that can be found at electrical supply stores, or are they rather an RV specific thing?
Brandon2022 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2022, 06:29 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon2022 View Post
Oh ok that makes sense. I’ll take a look around the forum for those wiring diagrams. I’m doing a complete gut on the wiring (some mice got to the existing wires at some point previously).

Are the converters a universal item that can be found at electrical supply stores, or are they rather an RV specific thing?
They are more an RV specific thing, since you actually want a converter/charger and 1 or more batteries (flooded lead acid, AGM or lithium batteries) . An electrical supply store may get you a converter that isn't designed to be used with a battery. Unless you are just fixing this trailer up to sit stationary and never tow it anywhere, more details on intended use would get you better advise.

Many people go to bestconverters.com for the excellent customer service.
Wazbro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2022, 06:43 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Richmond hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
They are more an RV specific thing, since you actually want a converter/charger and 1 or more batteries. An electrical supply store may get you a converter that isn't designed to be used with a battery. Unless you are just fixing this trailer up to sit stationary and never tow it anywhere, more details on intended use would get you better advise.

Many people go to bestconverters.com for the excellent customer service.



That makes sense.

As for the trailer, I intend to tow it, park it, and live in it stationary for a few years.
Brandon2022 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2022, 06:58 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,695
Images: 1
Greetings from Colorado and welcome to these Airstream Forums. You can learn all about renovating your 78 Sovereign here. Check out the Knowledge Base, Airstream Trailer Forums at the bottom of the Forums page. Then click on Sovereign and your year range. Now start reading and see how others have prepared their trailers for full time living.

I helped a friend renovate his 76 Sovereign 31', and I have renovated a 75 Overlander 27', a 69 Globetrotter 21', and a 66 Trade Wind 24'. Crazy I am.
Here is the wiring diagram for the 66 Trade Wind. It is not necessarily relevant to your project, but if you start with the battery and trace every wire you will get a feel for it. It is basic wiring for sure.

Basically your trailer is 12v battery powered. The battery will power maybe 4 separate wire circuits. Each of the 4 circuits is protected by a fuse. Then Airstream added a 120v power panel so you can plug in the trailer and use 120 volt outlets, or an air conditioner, or more importantly a battery charger for the 12v battery. This transformer is called a "converter" as it converts 120v to 12v just like a car battery charger.

I told a friend once that you have to identify the function of every wire in your trailer. So as you disassemble to replace, identify every wire you take out; from the positive battery cable, to the wire that powers the water pump, to the marker lights on the outside of the trailer, etc, etc. Then we marked on the wall where we needed a 12v wire to power a light, a fridge control, a water heater control, a furnace fan, a roof vent fan, or even a tail light. There is a lot of stuff needing power. We did the same for all the places we wanted 120v power like the air conditioner, the converter, the outlets, etc.

David
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1404 Trailer Wiring Diagram (Small).jpg
Views:	10
Size:	63.9 KB
ID:	418746   Click image for larger version

Name:	1404 Exterior Lights Diagram-800x600.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	74.2 KB
ID:	418747  

__________________
WBCCI #8607 VAC Region 11
KnowledgeBase trailer renovation threads: 69 Globetrotter, 76 Sovereign, 75 Overlander, 66 Trade Wind Such fun !
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2022, 08:08 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Glenritas's Avatar

 
1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 983
Take a look at my build thread there pictures of the wiring in the rear and in the ceiling. Just click the link in my signature .
__________________
Glen & Jane 1969 all electric Airstream 25' TradeWind
2014 Toyota Tundra
1998 Chevy Tahoe

WBCCI #6269

My Build Thread https://www.airforums.com/forums/f11...ml#post1997059
Glenritas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2022, 04:28 AM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Richmond hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
Excellent. Thank you all for your responses. They have been very helpful.
Brandon2022 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does this look like original wiring? Ndcctrucks Interior Restoration Forum 0 02-02-2021 08:01 AM
Is it typical for the trailer to smell like **** after it’s towed? cantdrv55 Our Community 8 09-04-2019 07:01 PM
1972 airstream **look**look**look** eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 07-03-2010 05:20 PM
What does the inside look like? till Interior Restoration Forum 4 02-18-2004 08:19 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.