Origianal UHaul Converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-28-2012, 11:36 PM   #1
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Name: Doug
Trailer: UHaul
Oregon
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Origianal UHaul Converter

I joined the site a couple weeks ago. There is so much great information.

I have a 1986 UHaul 13'CT. Got it late last summer. I've been having fun getting the trailer into better condition. Window maintenance will be down the line. I had disconnected the converter from the system last fall as I was unsure of its reliability (the case looks as though it was immersed in water). As I hooked it up today to check it out, I found that it charges the battery fine but does not provide for use of the 12V system at the time its charging. If I turn the 120V circuit breaker off, the 12V system works fine. Is this typical of the converter? Before I take everything apart, I thought I'd throw this out to see if any of you still have the original converters in your UHaul trailers or if anyone has experience with the system.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:58 AM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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I thought our Uhaul converter was not working properly, so I removed it, saved the fuse panel, and junked the remains. Later I'll install a new one but for now I have my 12 volt and 110 systems separate. Look for water leaks around the marker lights, that will cause water to get into the storage areas in the rear and front corners. If you have the storage tubs, or inserts, you won't see the water leaks, it runs down the inside of the outer wall. So I can't answer all your question of how the converter works, but I didn't trust mine so it's gone. Bob
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:10 AM   #3
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Welcome to the site.

I haven't investigated the exact workings of the converter (new owner here, too) but I notice that the converter makes a clicking sound when energized. This suggests to me that it has a relay inside. You might want to take a look inside and see if there is a relay with corroded contact points.

The converter should run lights, etc simultaneously with charging the battery.

Re the water - when leaks happen, the water seems to end up at the back near the converter. To that end, I'm installing a small drain back there. Note that the fiberglass mat on the top and bottom of the plywood is all that protects it from rotting, so if you punch holes in the floor, it is important to seal the edges. The best technique is to drill a slightly larger hole than desired, fill it with resin, let it cure, then re-drill the size hole you want in the middle.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:22 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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I'm not familiar with the specific converter used in U-Hauls but, unless you want to do a "correct" restoration, updating almost any of the now 20+ year old converters to modern electronics is usually a good idea. I have installed a number of Intelipower 4045 converters that include all new a/c distribution, a 45 amp DC supply with 12 fused circuits and a 3 stage battery charger that will assure significantly longer battery life as well as better/faster and safer charging. Although a bit pricy, best price for this, and a lot of restoration items, can be found at Frank Bears "Vintek" teardrop trailer builders supply. Here is a link to his eBay store, he also has a website.
eBay: Frank Bears Rv and Teardrop Trailer Parts Tear Drop Trailer
Even if you don't need a converter it's a good idea to check out his store just to see what is available.
I have no connection with Frank other as a customer, but he seems to be a great guy, one that I have bought from many times.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:41 PM   #5
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Name: Doug
Trailer: UHaul
Oregon
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Thanks for all the input! My converter does not "click". I figured the 12V and the charging should occurr at the same time. Think I'll pull it apart and check for a solenoid. I've been looking at maybe upgrading the solar panel. New converter down the road if I can't fix the old one. I've gone without the converter for 8 months now...it isn't a priority for us. The 12V has been sufficient so far.

Since I got the trailer last summer, I've been sealing leaks and replacing rusted screws, nuts and bolts with stainless. I also repalces the swamp cooler with a regular ceilingvent/fan unit. The swamp cooler had been installed backwards (hinge in back) and the cover had prettymuch been destroed by wind and weather. Bolts had been added to hold the cover down and they had rusted beyond belief, thus the remaining cover and portion of the swamp cooler body were destoyed getting the bots out.

I appreciate all the feedback and ideas. I look forward to using the site as I continue fixing up our Lil' C (the CT13)
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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Oregon
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Hi Doug. Sorry, I missed your first post and didn't get a chance to welcome you... so WELCOME. Your profile says Oregon but I don't know where in our great state. Just thought I'd remind you there are three great gatherings of eggs here in Oregon... one next month and perhaps you'd like to join us. Let me know if you need details. Information is posted in the Rallys forum.

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Old 09-27-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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Name: Roger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug in oregon View Post
I joined the site a couple weeks ago. There is so much great information.

I have a 1986 UHaul 13'CT. Got it late last summer. I've been having fun getting the trailer into better condition. Window maintenance will be down the line. I had disconnected the converter from the system last fall as I was unsure of its reliability (the case looks as though it was immersed in water). As I hooked it up today to check it out, I found that it charges the battery fine but does not provide for use of the 12V system at the time its charging. If I turn the 120V circuit breaker off, the 12V system works fine. Is this typical of the converter? Before I take everything apart, I thought I'd throw this out to see if any of you still have the original converters in your UHaul trailers or if anyone has experience with the system.

When mine did what your talking about it had a broken wire on the in side, I soldered it back togeather, works fine.
the
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:07 PM   #8
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I don't know about the inner workings of the converter in our UHaul VT, but I know that when we are plugged in to 110 power, our 12 volt lights inside work along with any of our 110 outlets and lights. The converter must provide power to both concurrently.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:57 PM   #9
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Name: Kinga DeRode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin A View Post
I don't know about the inner workings of the converter in our UHaul VT, but I know that when we are plugged in to 110 power, our 12 volt lights inside work along with any of our 110 outlets and lights. The converter must provide power to both concurrently.
Yes, I posted this elsewhere, but when you plug in to 110 volts, a relay clicks inside the converter. This relay disconnects the loads from the battery and connects the loads to the converter. A separate charging circuit inside the converter then charges the battery while it is disconnected from the loads.


UHaul Converter - Peering Inside
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