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Old 07-02-2022, 06:13 AM   #1
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1975 25' Tradewind
Buffalo , New York
Join Date: May 2016
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1975 Tradewind Intelli-Power PD4045 Installation

Recently bought a 1975 Tradewind in awesome cosmetic shape, and a good frame, but with some mechanical issues (electrical, plumbing). At present, my 12V circuits don’t work unless plugged into 120V shore power. The battery is new, dated 6/22, but nothing seems to run from it alone… Basically, the converter must be on and humming to use anything 12V, including the hitch jack.

Well, the installed, non-original converter hums really loud, which I don’t quite like. The thing was never screwed down, and was originally wired in through the front of the DC box, rather than the back, and was not grounded. I corrected the wiring and grounded both the converter and stock DC box (via wires screwed through existing holes in inner skin of this area), but 12V still not works when plugged into shore power.

I bought one of those “all-in-one” devices, Progressive Dynamics Mighty Mini AC/DC Panel and Converter/Smart Charger - 45 Amp PD4045KA, to replace:
50Amp Non-OEM Converter/Charger
AC Breaker Box (4 slots: 30Amp Main, 20 Amp AC, 20 and 15 Amp General circuits)
DC Distribution box (stock, with Ammeter and Power On hookups for Control Panel, I know these aren’t portable to new tech)

I understand how the 4 AC breakers transition over, pretty cut and dry. I understand how the 12V circuits and battery hookups transition. What I don’t understand is:

1. Where the BLUE Positive wire from Figure 13, Position 1 goes. I am thinking it can plug into the CONVERTER POS or BATTERY POS on the PD Wiring Diagram. When I brought this rig home, the current converter was plugged in “wrong”, into the front bolts (but still powering the 12V circuits while on shore power), it had its POS(+) in Position 1, along with the BLUE wire. So, I guess I’ve seen this “work”, with both Car and Converter POS(+) sharing a connection. Would this retain the ability to charge from TV in transit? In Figure 16, this is CIR #5 also marked as BLUE and CHARGE. I think this circuit also has an (optional?) 12V generator, which I don’t believe I have. But I say this to point out that this circuit hosts two potential power sources (not just power draws), which I expect weighs on how it plugs in. I found another thread where someone advise hooking this directly to the battery. I assume using the BATTERY POS at the PD is synonymous.
2. Wherever the BLUE Position 1 and RED Position 2 wires go, do I need to move the associated fuses from old box to inline on the wire, like the battery negative, which has an inline fuse (which I plan to leave)? Or does the PD have protections for all positive feeds? These lines have 40 and 50 Amp fuses in the OEM DC panel, respectively.
3. Where the WHITE Neg Load wire, Figure 13, Position 8 goes on the PD unit. I have to trace it when I’m in the Airstream this weekend, but I think this functions as the negative side for all the Purple, Yellow, Pink, Brown 12V circuits on the OEM fuse/DC box. If I am correct here, and the Position 8 cable is the old chassis ground, then I think I’d attach this to either the CONVERTER GND/WHT(-), or attach to the Ground Bus Bar at the bottom of the AC side, or the BATTERY GND/WHT(-). I did find a post that recommended grounding the battery Neg and AC grounding bus bars to the chassis— perhaps this WHITE wire on the old is the same idea, and I reuse for one of the new grounds.

The last attachment is my current assumed mapping of old wires to new… I presume one of the green chassis grounds will ultimately be the WHITE cable from OEM fuse box…

Hoping someone has done similar, and can clarify.

Thanks,
David
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:00 AM   #2
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1975 25' Tradewind
Buffalo , New York
Join Date: May 2016
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TLDR Version

1) Can BLUE wire, Figure 13, Position 1 be:
1A) Plugged to BATTERY POS on PD
1B) Plugged to CONVERTER POS on PD
1C) Be capped (doubt it, WRT Tow Vehicle linkage)
1D) ??

I assume A and B retain tow vehicle functionality and charging from two vehicle

2) Should there be fuses inline in BATTERY POS or CAR BATTERY POS before connection into PD?

3) Does NEGATIVE LOAD = DC Ground from old panel? If so, I will route from BATTERY NEG on PD, and verify the other end is attached to chassis. If it isn’t attached where expected, uh?

4) I assume there is a grounding wire to chassis in current AC breaker box, which I will run to AC ground bus bar in the PD.
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Old 07-02-2022, 06:39 PM   #3
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1975 27' Overlander
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Well, I've never installed one of these "all in one box" units. But they are the modern way to go.

The blue wire charges the battery when you are towing. It connects to the umbilical cord in front of the trailer. My blue wire attaches to the battery positive post. So you can power the trailer's 12v circuits from the battery, or from the converter, or from the tow vehicle. Since the battery positive post connects to the fuse panel positive "bus", the blue wire can be connected here also.

Here is a photo of my 75 Overlander 27' fuse panel. Notice the blue wire connection at the top left of the fuse panel, which feeds the 12v circuits.

David
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:52 PM   #4
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1975 25' Tradewind
Buffalo , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
The blue wire charges the battery when you are towing. It connects to the umbilical cord in front of the trailer. My blue wire attaches to the battery positive post. So you can power the trailer's 12v circuits from the battery, or from the converter, or from the tow vehicle. Since the battery positive post connects to the fuse panel positive "bus", the blue wire can be connected here also.
Thanks for this. So, it sounds like you and I are in agreement with my placement of the blue wire on the PD? Inserting it to the trailer battery positive post? That leads to a jumper to the DC positive distribution. So, even more so, seems like it would facilitate the “So you can power the trailer's 12v circuits from the battery, or from the converter, or from the tow vehicle” part of your reply.
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Old 07-03-2022, 06:12 PM   #5
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Here is a photo of my 1966 Trade Wind project. I was just learning the trailer's wiring at the time. I was confused by two inputs to the 12v fuse panel. Then I realized it was "either" the battery, "or" the converter. The red wire is from the battery positive, the middle wire is the ground that goes to the ground bus, and the other black wire is from the converter and goes down to the bus that feeds the 12v circuits. Your trailer is nothing like this one, but it does demonstrate two ways to power the 12v circuits.

We'll see if anyone else chimes in and clarifies things better for you. Follow your Progressive Dynamics install instructions and you should be fine.

David
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Old 07-05-2022, 04:52 AM   #6
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Here is a photo of my 1966 Trade Wind project. I was just learning the trailer's wiring at the time. I was confused by two inputs to the 12v fuse panel. Then I realized it was "either" the battery, "or" the converter. The red wire is from the battery positive, the middle wire is the ground that goes to the ground bus, and the other black wire is from the converter and goes down to the bus that feeds the 12v circuits. Your trailer is nothing like this one, but it does demonstrate two ways to power the 12v circuits.

We'll see if anyone else chimes in and clarifies things better for you. Follow your Progressive Dynamics install instructions and you should be fine.

David
It can be “both” the battery and the converter feeding your DC system, if the needs exceed the converters ability. My understanding, assuming for have a converter supplying a 50Amp 12V circuit:
- Camper will use converter, and excess goes to battery charging (e.g. 30Amp to trailer, 20Amp to charge battery).
- If your needs exceed that 50Amp at any point (say 60Amp of draw), then the battery supplies the supplemental 10Amp in addition to the converter, until it can no longer do so (depleted).

I also read that “the highest voltage wins the race”, regarding multiple 12V positives feeding the 12V system, like battery, converter and TV.
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Old 07-05-2022, 05:30 AM   #7
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Also, I had some time to test with a multimeter yesterday.

The WHITE “Negative Load” at bottom right, Position 3, is in fact the DC chassis ground. There was a similar white wire riveted to the frame behind the panel. However, it goes into and back out of the wall, between the panel connection and the rivet, so I wasn’t sure it was the same wire. I removed the rivet and removed the lead from the box, and ran a continuity test on the isolated wire— it is one in the same. So, that wire will go on the upper GREEN ground in my proposed wiring diagram.

I also verified a solid copper ground coming from the AC panel. This will tie to the ground bus bar inside the AC side, acting as the second ground pictured at the bottom of my diagram.

I am still thinking the BLUE “Charge” line will go to the BATTERY POS on the new unit. I am just not sure if I want either of those to have an inline fuse before they tie in. I believe I will try to find a modern solution to including an inline fuse on the BLUE and RED (Position 1 and 2), connect them to a “positive bus” and run a consolidated wire to the post on the unit… still researching, but this seems to make sense.

Honestly, I did a continuity test between Positions 1, 2 and 8 (TV charge, Battery and Converter POS, respectively), and they showed as connected with no resistance. So, I think I could use the old fuse panel as a “positive bus”. Keep BLUE and RED plugged in to their current post with current fuses, and then route a wire from Position 8/“Converter POS” on old unit (now acting as a simple bus bar), to Battery POS on the new panel. But, I may ultimately order “other things” to accomplish this.
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Old 07-12-2022, 02:41 PM   #8
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Well-- I tried to do a partial conversion-- moving over just the Battery POS and NEG, as well as the NEG LOAD (a.k.a. 12V chassis ground) to the Battery POS and NEG on the PD unit, and installed one 20 Amp fuse leading to one circuit (YELLOW), which I had been testing my MaxxAir fans on successfully on the old fuse panel. However, this didn't electrify the PD's DC panel as I had hoped... I got nothing.

So, I moved back the Battery POS, NEG and NEG LOAD (Ground) back to the old fuse panel, leaving out the BLUE Car Battery POS, and Converter POS+NEG. This restored power to the YELLOW circuit, and proved that I should be able to get the PD DC panel working with the same "minimal" battery only setup... I suspect perhaps my negative side wasn't properly grounded? I had the Battery NEG and NEG LOAD on a bus bar, and a wire from bus bar to Battery NEG on the PD unit, but perhaps that isn't proper?

I did not try flipping the 15 Amp breaker that feeds the PD's converter, but it should have been irrelevant in this test of using just the battery to power just the 12V circuits. But, perhaps that breaker completes some circuit internal to the PD... I can't get back to the camper for two weeks to try, but I am hopeful that is my oversight (though it is reaching, as I think it is irrelevant to a battery only feed, which requires no 120->12V conversion).

Perhaps someone with PD experience can confirm or deny in the meantime.
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Old 07-23-2022, 07:05 PM   #9
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Okay! It works. hahah. Just as I have in the schematic that I color coded. See the latest post in my restoration blog for a picture of the 90% install. I just have to screw in the remaining 9 wires for the remaining three 120V lines. They are they, labeled…

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f12...-new-post.html
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Old 07-24-2022, 06:41 PM   #10
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Congratulations. I knew you would get it all figured out. David
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