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Old 07-20-2018, 09:30 AM   #1
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Greetings! New RVer here w/no Interior Electricity

Good morning.
Bought a 1997 Tiffin Allegro about a month ago. It's my first camper/RV. Drove it from TX to SD with zero problems. I've had it out twice since then with no issues. Pulled it out of garage today and didn't have any interior electricity. No steps, no lights, no reefer, no monitor, no generator.

I've checked fuses and couldn't find anything. Battery cables appear to be in place and firm. I must've just left something on when I closed up.

My question; will the house battery recharge while driving the rig? Or is there another way to charge it? I have a trickle charger for my car but don't know if that will work on the house battery.

I'm really, really, ignorant but am trying to get completely up to speed on my RV.

Anybody care to help a newbie? It would be greatly appreciated. =)

Jay in South Dakota
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:32 AM   #2
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Not a Tiffin guy but wanted to say hello!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:38 AM   #3
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If you plug in at home, will charge house batteries
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:43 AM   #4
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Do you have a "Salesman Switch"? That's a switch on the dash that shuts down all the electric in the coach.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:46 AM   #5
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Your alternator will recharge your batteries, however if the house batteries are completely discharged, I would do as scrapperjohn suggested and plug the coach into 120v at home.

The converter will then recharge your house batteries.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:23 AM   #6
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Color me REALLY new. Where do I plug in from home? Thanks for being patient. =)
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:12 AM   #7
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Glad to have you here in the forum with us. You're gonna like it here.

You can run a heavy duty extension cord from any outlet at your home to the electric cable on your MH. You will need an adapter to make the connection. Remember it will only be 15-20 amps so don't run things like air conditioners. It's okay for your charger and refrigerator etc. It sounds like you have turned the salesmen switch off. Doing this kills power to everything inside the MH. You only use it for storage.

Happy Trails!!!
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:47 AM   #8
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Ahh! That's what I was thinking, but didn't know if such an adapter was available.

So, I plug my 30amp into this 120 adapter and then to house. Got it! TY so VERY much!

I know it sounded like a strange question but I couldn't figure out how I was gonna plug that 30amp thing into my house! As you can tell, I'm not an electrician. =)

TY everybody and I'm sure I'll be back.

Jay in SD
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:36 PM   #9
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AND, if I'm thinking correctly, I could still take it out tonight, plug it in at the campsite, have electricity and charge house battery at the same time?

That means I can still go this weekend! =)
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:08 PM   #10
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Salesman Switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyDi View Post


It sounds like you have turned the salesmen switch off. Doing this kills power to everything inside the MH. You only use it for storage.

Happy Trails!!!
What would this switch look like? There's an unmarked chrome push button right next to my generator on/off rocker. Would that be it?

I guess I need to learn more about the inner workings of my new RV.
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2hsprn View Post
AND, if I'm thinking correctly, I could still take it out tonight, plug it in at the campsite, have electricity and charge house battery at the same time?

That means I can still go this weekend! =)


If you’re asking if you will have electrical power and charge the batteries at the same time while plugged in the answer is yes.

You will want to begin learning the difference between AC and DC power and also understand which type of power (AC or DC) each device or component installed on the coach uses. In basic terms, AC power is high voltage electricity like what you have in a house and DC power is low voltage power like what you will get from any type of battery source. Your coach will have various things which only run on one or the other type of electricity (again AC or DC) with the exception of a few devices which can switch between either type of power such as a RV refrigerator. Side note, your refrigerator probably only uses AC power or LPG (propane) and it is considered a two-way refrigerator. A three-way refrigerator will also have the option of being powered by DC (battery) power, but generally speaking you don’t want to run a refrigerator on batteries as it will drain the battery bank down quickly.

Your motorhome should be set up with a converter/charger which has two basic functions; convert AC power to DC power and charge your DC battery bank. It should switch seamlessly between the two functions as needed.

You have three basic sources of getting AC power; 1) shore power via a 50, 30 or 20 amp power cord plugged into the coach, 2) running the generator, 3) using the inverter installed on the couch to change DC battery power into AC power at your outlets.

AC powered items are most commonly things like air-conditioners and microwaves/convection oven‘s as well as any wall outlets installed. You will have an inverter installed somewhere in the coach which can turn DC power from your battery bank into AC power. For the most part, this is only to power anything plugged into an outlet. You cannot run an air conditioner from the batteries via the inverter as it would be too large of a power drain and would be beyond the capacity of the inverter and deplete your batteries very quickly. Air conditioners will be wired in such away they will only operate if you were plugged into shore power or are running the generator.

There is much more information you will need, especially about battery maintenance in capacity, but start with this and keep asking questions. You will find lots of Good people on this forum more than willing to help out.
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2hsprn View Post
What would this switch look like? There's an unmarked chrome push button right next to my generator on/off rocker. Would that be it?

I guess I need to learn more about the inner workings of my new RV.


A picture of your switches would be most helpful.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:32 PM   #13
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@2hsprn

Here is some reading for you to help learn the systems in your coach, while you are at the campground this weekend charging your batteries.


The 12volt Side of Life Part 2

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:01 AM   #14
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I am charged!!

Thank you to everyone for your replies and suggestions. I just took a short to a small town within two hours of home and stayed at their city park.

As soon as I plugged in, everything turned on! And when I left Sunday everything was fully charged. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

However it did NOT charge during the two hour drive. There was no juice at all. Maybe it wasn't far enough.

Thank you for the advice and links! I did a ton of research before I bought, but not really the inner workings. I will continue to do that now.

Jay in SD
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