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Old 07-08-2017, 08:36 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1969 25' Tradewind
springville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 9
1969 Tradewind Univolt Issue

We just picked up a 1969 tradewind yesterday. None of the DC lights work, and there is no battery hooked up in the rear. I'm trying to trouble shoot. I can hear the Univolt hum, so it must be doing something, but there is no voltage at the battery posts in the rear hatch, and and I assume the lights should still work even if the issue was at the battery terminals. I'm inclined to just replace the univolt. The wiring schematic shows a fuse block somewhere, but for the life of me I can't find it. When I pop open the univolt there are a number of fuses on the back panel. Is the fuse block built into the univolt itself? And if so, what is the easiest way to replace with a modern converter/charger? Pull the fuse panel off of the univolt and reuse? Is there a replacement available? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
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1969 25' Tradewind
springville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 9
Will this work?

So after a little more digging I've discovered that I have 110V at the Univolt, but after testing all the fuses and the battery cables I've got no juice coming out. So I assume the univolt is dead, but when I hook up my deep cycle battery all the DC stuff works (fans, water pump, lights, furnace, etc). So rather than the Univolt supply 12 volts to the fuse panel, the battery is. So my question is, can I just unhook the 110V from the Univolt, then buy a cheap AD to DC converter and hook it up to the batter terminals, leave the univolt in place, and be done with it? Seems like that would solve my problem as long as I'm hooked to shore power everything will work? Since I need that fuse panel in the univolt to distribute power, is there any reason I can't just leave it sitting there unpowered? I'm converting all the lights to LEDs, and we won't use the water pump or furnace, so very little power demand. Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:04 PM   #3
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Posts: 8,903

Get a proper modern converter / charger. They are not very expensive. They will do a proper job on your batteries. A simple 12V power supply will pretty much trash your batteries in a short time. There are a *lot* of threads here on the virtues of this or that converter.

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Old 07-08-2017, 07:42 PM   #4
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,564
Chunk the univolt. Even if it worked you should still change it out for modern converter that will take good care of your battery. Call Randy at
Monday and he will fix you up with the best converter(size and brand) for your needs.
Bruce & Rachel
68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:48 PM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
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How many fuses are in the univolt?

Your best option would be to pull the univolt out completely and replace it with a modern ac-dc converter. Recommend a progressive dynamics. Pull the wires from the univolt fuses and add a new fuse block like this one,
It's got a negative as well as positive bus which helps wire it. It's fairly straight forward.
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:16 PM   #6
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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Junk the Univolt !

Replace it with a smart charger convertor .

Here are a few pic's of my original fuse panel and what I replaced it with along with the smart charger and convertor.
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Glen & Jane 1969 all electric Airstream 25' TradeWind
2014 Toyota Tundra
1998 Chevy Tahoe

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Old 07-09-2017, 03:27 PM   #7
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 424
The capacitors in the Univolts can fail and they will still hum but not produce output. Be very careful not to touch the wires on the capacitors as there is 575 Volts on them! If the fuse block in the Univolt is good I would re-use it with a modern converter so that the Ammeter will still work or you could re-use just the Ammeter shunt. Sometimes the rivets on the fuse block that hold the electrical connections to the fuse holders and terminals come loose or corrode in which case you could trash the whole thing. Test the connections with a digital Ohm meter or run the rated current through the installed fuses and check for heat and voltage drop. Not easy to find a good quality fuse block though, a good one will not make any heat at any connection!
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:59 PM   #8
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
1971 27' Overlander
1973 31' Sovereign
Griffin , Georgia
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I've had good success replacing the whole set up converter, inverter, fuse panel With a WACO all in one converter And it looks like a fuse panel
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:04 AM   #9
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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If and when you scrap the Univolt, be a bit careful with it. It probably needs to go to a proper recycling center rather than in the trash can. It's got a bunch of lead in the solder joints and might have PCB's in the AC capacitors if it is from far enough back in time.

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