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Old 03-28-2007, 05:31 PM   #1
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
Saint Helena , California
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 253
Battery in a '58

Missing. Gone. Can I buy a cheap Costco marine battery and put it in a plastic box on the tongue? Also, back-in-the-day how did the battery get recharged? There is nothing like a univolt or power controller, just a 110v circuit breaker in the closet. The two systems, 12v and 110v, seem to be entirely independant.
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Sunnyvale , California
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Your unit is missing a few items...


I can offer quick reply to keep thread alive until someone else responds with more details...

The 12V system (battery/charger-power supply/lighting/water pump etc) and 110V system (A/C or refrigerator power and outlets) should be linked at Univolt or Power Supply/Charger unit.. If they're missing in yours, a previous owner elected to make mods which limited the usefulness... Battery acts as reservoir for electrical charge, as Univolt power uneven, so both are required for working 12V system. Your battery and charger location are trailer mdoel dependent, and others hopefully can explain where they were.. You get to choose where they will be installed... Basic or cheap battery OK, but prone to faster charge loss and shorter life... It's a life choice you get to make...

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:15 PM   #3
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The "modern" 12 volt Airstream with a Univolt didn't start until 1964. Could be that your trailer never had a battery. I had a 58 Pacer that never had one. The 12 volt light was powered by the car thru the TV cable harness. Most of your trailers lights are 110v with just a few 12v lights.

You can add a battery and a converter/charger like a Intellipower. I did that on my Airstream.

There's a 59 catalog on the Vintage Airstream Web Site at:

that will give you the late 50s view of self containment.
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:31 PM   #4
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
Saint Helena , California
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 253
Herb, my sleuthing has uncovered that I have a fore/aft 12v 18" fluorescents, Ceiling has combination of both. Fan is 12v. Then there are fore/aft 110v sconces and two wall plugs. Then there are several cigarette lighter plugs (for ?). All of the 12v are just daisy-chained together on one big circuit.

The existing metal battery box is mounted just under the front window and was an afterthought since I can see that it slightly overlaps the AS badge.

If I were to add a univolt, I can't figure how to tie it in to the 12v (comes in near the tongue), and the 110v, which plugs in the side and has a breaker box above the street-side wheel well. I'm trying to avoid having to break into the skin.
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