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Old 09-23-2012, 10:24 PM   #1
New Member
1973 25' Tradewind
2001 25' Safari
Thornton , Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Unhappy Changing 1973 Univolt to modern transformer

We are in Grandview Missouri, pulling our '73 Trade Wind on her maiden voyage. She was an easy pull from Denver across Kansas barring a few glitches with the tow vehicle. After arriving here we discovered our new battery was not holding a charge and the 12 volt system ( heater, water pump, lights & radio ) worked for short times then not at all. Hank Switched to a different battery and it also was drained of charge with in a few hours. After a few days of searching for solutions we discover Country Campers of Grain Valley Mo. & Owner John who has a mobile RV repair. He came to us in Grandview, quickly determined the 40 year old uni-volt had several issues that even the previous owners tried to work around. Of our options, we chose to have him install a new Progressive Dynamics PD9100, which he did the following day. It took him about 3 hours to diagnose, then install at a cost of $600. This may sound high but we were delighted! Now everything is working well! We knew before we left that the Uni-volt was not re-charging the battery as it should but could find no one in Denver that wanted to deal with a 40 year old Airstream before well- into October; if at all.
Until we were living in our Trade Wind with out it, we did not appreciate how essential a reliable 12v system is.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
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Glad to hear that the issue was resolved and that you're pleased with the end results. We recently upgraded our univolt with a PD9260 and are pleased with the performance upgrade, though I now have to hum solo.

"One of the best lessons I've learned is that you don't worry about criticism from people you wouldn't seek advice from."

William C. Swinney

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Old 09-25-2012, 12:40 PM   #3
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1973 25' Tradewind
2001 25' Safari
Thornton , Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Upgrading transformer

Greetings and gratitude; we are pleased so far. We have read about the different new transformers and puzzeled about the best choice but once we accepted the necessity of changing the 40 year old system in mid-stream on the road we went with what was do-able asap. It is our intent to enjoy our Trade Wind for the remainder of our towing years and we will likely have to do & re-do as we learn.....or our tastes change.

Next big fix when we get home will be a small valve nut under the lavatory. It has the city-water inlet sending what comes in; right back out the drainage system.

No regrets! We really appreciate our Trade Wind. We have had her one Month to day. The center Twin beds and open rear bath is a great floor plan for us. We are delighted that the Frig, Heater,Pump & heater for the water are working well, not to mention the over all good condition of the interior. For nearly all it's 40 years it was well cared for by one couple. We hope to do the same for 20 more years.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:45 PM   #4
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1974 Argosy 28
Fresno/Clovis , California
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 699
I,m happy you got the 12 volt issue resolved. I installed a PD9260, couldn't be happier. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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1973 25' Tradewind
2001 25' Safari
Thornton , Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Converter & Wind Damage to Awning

Thank You Roger, I noted I wrongly called the converter a transformer ; don't want to add to any confusion, especially if it prevents discovering a solution to problems with the old 1970's Uni-volt. As noted in other posts, the new converter required a new fuse board and wall socket be made for the converter to plug into. We did not use the old circuit board but we kept the old uni-volt to try and repair. We will not re-use it but other Vintage owners, wanting to maintain original equipment may. I will take pictures of the old and the new converter with the wiring so others can see how the repair was done.

We made it back home with our 73 Trade Wind late Wednesday just in time for the first dusting of snow and freezing temps in Colorado . After racing to get sprinkler systems blown-out yesterday, we took a good look at the Trade Wind. We noticed the awning seemed a bit undone so we start to pull it and discovered 1/2 the rivets that hold the awning down along the top were gone ! We hit some major north winds on the high prairie on I-70 in Colorado and that is what we think did the damage. When we saw just how much damage was done we felt greatly relieved we still had our awning. It could have been so much worse. Is there any one out there who has had this occur? If so, how did you make the repair?
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