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Old 12-17-2017, 09:16 AM   #1
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1980 31' International
Nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 11
Is this the inverter? It sure does hum loudly...refurbish or replace??

1980 International Center Bath - 31'

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This has a 3 prong plug that plugs into the trailer. It's located in the front toward the tongue, inside the front vanity (?) and adjacent to the external battery storage box.

This is the inverter to provide power to the trailer, yes? It hums pretty loud and gives off a fair amount of heat when on shower power and the refrigerator is cycling.

Curious to get a bit of guidance on if I should attempt to refurbish this or replace with modern tech.

Many thanks!
1980 Airstream International 31'

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Old 12-17-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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1999 34' Excella
Davidson County , North Carolina
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That thing in the photo is a converter (also called a Univolt in the owners manual). It converts 120 volt alternating current to 12 volt direct current, to charge the battery and power the 12v lights, furnace, etc.

Unless it has been added by someone, your 1980 trailer does not have an inverter. Inverters convert 12v to 120v.

Humming is normal. More important is to measure the voltage output to make sure it is within the range stated on the data plate that is on the cover. That type of converter can cause damage to the battery if the battery is not kept full of electrolyte. A high non varying voltage rate of charging can boil/evaporate the water out of the battery fairly quick. Some people do replace the Univolt with a modern mult-charge stage converter. (I did in both of my trailers after the old univolt failed)

If you choose to replace the converter with something more modern, I suggest you contact Randy at Best Converter ( Randy is a member of this forum, who has offered guidance to me and many others.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:47 AM   #3
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1973 Argosy 24
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The old univolts do hum. If your lights still work and your battery is always charged the univolt is still most likely working. The new converters/chargers are much quieter and provide better charging to your battery. The old univolt units provide a single voltage of like 13.6 volts no matter the charge condition of your battery, these are known to overcharge and cook batteries. The new converter/charger units are smart and have multiple charge voltages and will even go on to a maintenance charge when the battery is fully charged.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:29 AM   #4
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1980 31' International
Nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 11
Thank you for the information!

I checked out bestconverter. Seems like they've got the goods. I'll reach out to Randy and see if we can't get this baby switched out. Cheers!
1980 Airstream International 31'

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Old 12-18-2017, 01:21 PM   #5
1988 Excella 23 ft
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1988 23' Excella
Falls City , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12
PD9260 w/charge wizard

Had the same problem in my 88 Excella. Replaced with Progressive Dynamic 9260 and have not had any problems.
Added bonus was the less weight.
It is pretty much plug and play. If you have the blue wire for the shore power light, I plan on using the second out plug, "mine has a duplex plug for the univolt" and using a 120 to 12 vdc transformer to power the light. It will only come on if you are on shore power.

Many many options out there. This was mine but this worked for me.

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Old 12-18-2017, 01:30 PM   #6
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Randy is the go-to for sure. I replaced my univolt after it boiled a battery. I keep the one I got from Randy plugged in almost all of the time and have no problems.
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