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Old 08-24-2016, 01:42 PM   #1
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Shakedown cruise shook me up

I recently found myself surprisingly owning a 2006 Jayco Greyhawk 31SS. Never having been camping before (really, never) My wife and I decided to make a 300 mile trip with a 4 night stay to Charleston to learn the ins and outs. The night before we left someone decided they needed the living room TV more than we did. So, one TV down we hit the road(I need a tv mount recommendation too). What follows are the first set of questions this new RV owner needs.

The biggie. We were parked in Charleston where it was very hot for 4 days. I purchased a little surge protector/analyzer from amazon to plug into shore power before plugging the 30 amp service into it. When we struck camp, it was nearly welded to one of the legs of the camper plug. It and the plug are toast now. Were we drawing too many amps? Was this product too cheap? the breaker on the service nor in the camper never tripped.

How do you test the 12 battery? Is it user possible without a load tester? Nothing worked reliably that appears to be hooked to the 12 volt system.(needed the generator to open and close the slide and the steps quit closing automatically which was a noisy surprise as we left) When unplugged from shore power the battery read 12.6 volts. 13.1 with the generator running so It is charging. The battery disconnect frustrated me also. It isn't a toggle switch so I have no way of knowing if its disconnected. Ah. Lets just stick with the can you test it? question.

The factory magnadyne radio in the cab is crap and only half works. Does anyone have a cheap recommended replacement? I am looking at inexpensive single din radios with Bluetooth unless I should consider something specific to RVs.

The entertainment center is a confusing mess. It looks like the DVD player(inop) manages the surround sound. I am going to have to replace that. recommendations? I am looking for function not really to upgrade.

I have about another dozen problems that I know of and am taking it to a local shop tomorrow for a better evaluation. Does this forum have an opinion of this camper? It is ten years old and but only has 20,000 miles on it and appears to be in good cosmetic condition though my wife dislikes the brown/beige décor.
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Old 08-24-2016, 02:02 PM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2. And, welcome to some of the issues one gets when buying a used motorhome.

It is possible to test a 12v battery without a load tester, but I suspect you'll need to replace it. I use an old headlight as a load tester. They use about 50w, so that's 4 amps or so. A good marine 12v battery should keep the headlight on for 12 hours and still have around 12v when done.

Your TV mount will vary based on where your TV goes. There are lots of choices, don't limit yourself to what it did before, think of where your TV should be then buy a mount to put it there. They vary a lot, to include some that hide behind two way mirrors.

Any radio replacement that fits your Ford chassis should be ok, but this is also the time to figure out all that wiring that the TV, DVR and other audio equipment use.

Get your surge protector replaced, there are too many expensive electrical items and too many ways to kill them to leave them unprotected.

Again, welcome.
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Old 08-24-2016, 02:51 PM   #3
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Another issue you should be concerned about is the age of your tires. I don't know if you are aware or not, but RV tires age out long before they wear out. I suggest you check the date codes on your tires.
Tire Tech Information - Determining the Age of a Tire
As for some of your other concerns, many builders say to run your engine (or generator ) while operating the slide outs. You most likely have a monitor panel in your RV which should give you an idea of the condition of your house battery. Check it before hooking up campground or generator power. Unless you have a sealed battery, make sure the electrolyte level is above the plates. Use distilled water if any cells are low.
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Old 08-24-2016, 03:07 PM   #4
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We use a surge guard and also pull 30 AMP. Don't skimp on the surge protector. I'm concerned you had some kind of a fire hazard...get it checked out. We worked through a similar process after buying used. We're still way ahead vs buying new. You learn alot during the process and it is fun in a sick kind of a way. It gets easier.
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:14 AM   #5
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Fire hazard for certain

I didn't think I had cheaped out on the protector, but who knows. Any idea why that happened? Was it my fault, pulling too many amps or something or was it just bad luck?
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:22 AM   #6
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I doubt that the 'welded' plug was your fault. The RV has breakers that will trip if you're trying to use too many things at the same time (or at least it should).
A problem like that is usually the fault of a loose connecting there at the plug, allowing arcing to happen inside the plug where you can't see it.
You're about to replace both items, so the problem item is going to be replaced.
When you plug in next time, just make sure the connection is good and tight.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:04 AM   #7
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I didn't think I had cheaped out on the protector, but who knows. Any idea why that happened? Was it my fault, pulling too many amps or something or was it just bad luck?


I just bought a new 30 am surge protector, $105. Don't know what you paid, but mine was in the good quality ball park.
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