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Old 12-08-2012, 08:34 AM   #1
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1973 Argosy 22
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How to tell if converter/inverter is working.

Hi everyone: I'm new to this site and to rv'ing and I have a question. I recently bought a "barn find" 73 Argosy 22 and have slowly started to work on it. I got the ac working, bought a battery and the dc is working. My question is, how can I tell if the Converter/inverter(?) is working. It has no control panel and is well hidden. Thanks for any help, Tom
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:39 AM   #2
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Morrill , Nebraska
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If it is the original Univolt, which is about the size of a cinder block and hums. I would recommend upgrading to something like a Progressive Dynamics 9245 3 stage converter. Especially if you keep the trailer connected to shore power. The old Univolts are noted for cooking batteries.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
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You'll need a voltohmmeter to check the DC charge voltage. Or, one of the cigarette lighter socket plug in voltmeters will work also, and is a lot easier. If the converter is working, and your batteries are in a relatively good state of charge, when you are plugged into AC power, your battery voltage will read approxomately 13.8 VDC. If the converter is not working, the voltage will read about 12.6 VDC, or less depending on the state of battery charge.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:07 AM   #4
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Just for clarity:

A "converter" is powered by 115 volts AC current (shore power) and produces 12 volts of DC (well, actually 13 volts plus). This recharges your battery, runs your interior lights and gadgets such as your smoke/propane detector, furnace, the control board on most refrigerators...

An "inverter" does the opposite. It uses 12vdc from your battery to produce 115volts of AC. Depending on the capacity of your inverter, it will run things like your electric shave, laptop, tv up to real current hogs like hair dryers, toasters and the like.

You more than likely have a converter and checking it is described in a previous post.

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
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Quickest way is to have the trailer plugged into shore power, turn on an interior light and while someone is watching the interior light unplug the shore power. The light should dim a bit.

Now that said if it is a Univolt replace it as noted above as the Univolt is nothing but trouble.
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1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 12-08-2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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Thank you for the quick replies. I will be changing to a new converter soon. Tom
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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To check your Converter/Charger, With C/C turned OFF, I find it's easiest to put a digital voltmeter on the battery terminals and note the voltage (12.+ volts, for example)...

The turn the C/C ON and again note the voltage at the battery - it should rise higher than the previous noted voltage (14 Volts +- depending on the battery's state of charge)...

You might wish to contact Randy @ BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics for more info - he can recommend a C/C to fit your particular RV, and he's very knowledgeable about Airstreams & Argosys....
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:01 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice, I just ordered a pd9245 and it should be here Thursday. Tom
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