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Old 05-05-2012, 10:51 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by teddyu View Post
Guess the OP has gotten her jacks up and gone camping. It to bad that no response was provided for all of us following this thread to understand and provide further solutions. That's a newby for you. Just my two cents...
Hey no fair But you're right I am a newbie, with 8 kids, and I'm moving out of a house to live in an r.v. for the summer, and trying to figure out why my mh keeps going dead....I think I am getting closer with all your help to understanding my battery situation. Thanks so much!!!
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:57 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by azpete View Post
a good pre delivery inspection would have eliminated a lot of this lady's problems. this is especially important if you are buying from a private party. more if you are buying from a dealer. (from a dealer standpoint, this makes a happier customer)
it sounds like this lady bought a coach with a lot of unresolved problems at the time of purchase. tires right out of the box, battery problems, jack problems. the seller should have at least informed the buyer that these things were needed.
sure she is a new buyer, but its not fair or ethical to not make these things known. i hope she bought it at a good price. she sounds like a nice lady that got taken advantage of, but i only know what i have read.
i sold and repaired motor homes for over 30 years, with another 15 years as a service tech for hwh. and not once did i neglect to have an informed customer. i slept well at night knowing that i didnt hide something from them. a satisfied customer is a repeat customer.
I actually had this mh inspected twice and took a month before purchasing it. Everything that was found during the inspections were fixed. And even after buying it the old man i purchased it from had the back up camera fixed at his expense and he has come over twice to help us understand how to work everything. He felt bad that the jacks would not come up and did not know how to help us because they always worked for him. I think it just is a battery issue that we need to get resolved. And he did go down on the price so that we could get new tires so I think we got a fair price. I am just not use to this mh stuff and it will take a while. I am glad that I have help from the forum.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:04 PM   #45
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When you have a power problem always check fuses and Circuit Breakers right away.

You normally have Coach Batteries(2 6v) and engine batteries 2 12v.

Usually you have battery disconnect switches of some type. Make sure they are in the right position.

As a new RV buy a voltmeter and get a friend to show you how to use it. You can not only check your battery voltage, you can check to see if the charging circuits are working.

Also some coaches have a feature that if engine batteries are low you can transfer power by a dash switch from coach to engine to start the engine.

Anyway let us know what you have.
My 1997 pace arrow has 2 -6v and 1-12 v. It has a main and auxillary disconnect switch. I would guess those are supposed to be on.... also has a little switch on the dash that sais aux. start maybe that is what will draw the power from the house to the chassis to start the battery. hmmmm.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:08 PM   #46
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I don't mean to come across as too harsh, but I would suggest you not leave your driveway without a little better understanding of how your coach works? That it is functioning properly? The problems you are writing about are not the type you want to discover a few hundred miles from home.....

You think you're frustrated now, something happening away from home can be REALLY frustrating.... and VERY expensive!

See if you can completely set up and break down a few times right there in the driveway. Then, spend a night there. That accomplished - move the coach to a local (within 25 miles?) campground and try it all again there. THEN, you're more likely to be ready for the road....
I like that idea. We actually took it about 45 miles away last weekend to give it a try, after we got the jacks up, and it was sooo fun. We even used the toilet. Now we have to figure out how to dump it. Guess we are learning as we go.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:16 PM   #47
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Agreed and well stated. It is, however, easy to for a rv owner to be chomping at the bit to try out their new/preowned rig as we have all been there at one time. Hard to be patient sometimes but you gotta pace yourself.
Not really chomping at the bit but it is sort of a forced thing for us. We only had two months to learn everything we could about mh's, purchase one, and now we are one month from having to live in it for the summer. So I am did my best researching, buying, and now I am in the prepare for living in it phase which consists of me trying to get the family out on atleast three little excursions close to home to see if we can learn how to work everything. Although we have had problems with the power, I am grateful it is happening now and not in a month. June 7 is our pack up and move out day.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:32 PM   #48
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I think it might help if you contacted a mobile RV Tech and had him come out and go over how all of the things in your MH work. It will be money well spent since you really didn't get the PDI (pre-delivery inspection) that you should have - - that isn't an inspection of rig, as such, but a 4 hr or so walk through of the rig in which we get to try everything out, see how it works, etc. A couple of hours of time from the mobile tech would be well worth it.

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Old 05-06-2012, 01:41 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by newrvlady View Post
My 1997 pace arrow has 2 -6v and 1-12 v. It has a main and auxillary disconnect switch. I would guess those are supposed to be on.... also has a little switch on the dash that sais aux. start maybe that is what will draw the power from the house to the chassis to start the battery. hmmmm.
The thing about the Main & Aux switches is that even if you turn them 'Off', in many older RVs, there are still parasitic draws on the batteries. Like the dash radio memory and your safety circuits. If you're going to store the rig, best to just disconnect the cables from the battery sets.

The 'AUX' switch is an emergency start switch that throws the house batteries across the chassis batteries to help start the rig if the chassis battery is weak. It's not meant to be held down continuously.

Your idea of a solar panel is good, but...it's hard to find a small panel that will put out enough current to keep your batteries charged. You will find many older RVs that already have a solar panel on the roof which doesn't help much, have you checked to see if you already have one?

Many RVers have discovered that those optional solar panels that fit on top of the roof AC, don't really meet our needs, and so have added a 1.5A to 6A Float charger that operates whenever plugged into shore power or when the generator is running. For as little as $20.

As far as dumping your tanks go, try not to dump until the tanks are 3/4 full...have a plastic jug of bleach water available, rubber gloves, and your water hose ready. Connect the 'stinky slinky' to your output connector, then the other end to the dump station input pipe and put that rock or cement block that's usually nearby on top of the connector to hold it in the drain hole. Or have one of the kids put a foot on it. Try to get the slinky as straight as possible and going downhill without kinks.

Pull the slide valve on the 'Grey Tank' (shower & kitchen water) for a few seconds and check for leaks in the slinky. Close it and open the slide valve for the 'Black' water (sewage). Watch for leaks again. Don't walk away to do something else. Let it completely drain. Then open the Grey tank valve to put a little water in the bottom of the black tank. After a few seconds, close the black tank valve and let the grey tank empty.

After the tanks are empty, use the bleach water to pour on any drips or small leaks you might have had from the slinky. Some people use fresh water to flush out the slinky, I don't bother as the grey water does a fair job...never had an odor problem in that regard.

If you haven't used your black or grey tanks yet, you should check that your slide valves are working smoothly now. You don't want to have to change a slide valve with full tanks. Spray lubricant on the slide valves and the shafts helps keep them working smoothly. Those plastic handles break sometimes so you should carry a spare, or have a pair of pliers about.

Since there's going to be 9 of you using the plumbing in this rig for months, water conservation is important, as is using as little TP as possible, and using plenty of water when flushing. Dishes should always be cleaned off into the garbage so no solids go into the tank. You'll probably be at a campground with a sewer connection but keep in mind you need to leave your dump valves closed until your tanks are around 3/4 full...that way, when you do dump, you'll be flushing out solids and you won't have the disaster of a plugged system. With that many people, I'd suspect you would need to dump every three days.

So, so much to consider when there's going to be 9 people in an RV. Like, there are many RV parks that wouldn't let an RV with 8 kids in for the night, let alone all summer.

I don't remember if you mentioned it...are you going to be staying at an RV park? Or next to a house?
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:28 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
The thing about the Main & Aux switches is that even if you turn them 'Off', in many older RVs, there are still parasitic draws on the batteries. Like the dash radio memory and your safety circuits. If you're going to store the rig, best to just disconnect the cables from the battery sets.

The 'AUX' switch is an emergency start switch that throws the house batteries across the chassis batteries to help start the rig if the chassis battery is weak. It's not meant to be held down continuously.

Your idea of a solar panel is good, but...it's hard to find a small panel that will put out enough current to keep your batteries charged. You will find many older RVs that already have a solar panel on the roof which doesn't help much, have you checked to see if you already have one?

Many RVers have discovered that those optional solar panels that fit on top of the roof AC, don't really meet our needs, and so have added a 1.5A to 6A Float charger that operates whenever plugged into shore power or when the generator is running. For as little as $20.

As far as dumping your tanks go, try not to dump until the tanks are 3/4 full...have a plastic jug of bleach water available, rubber gloves, and your water hose ready. Connect the 'stinky slinky' to your output connector, then the other end to the dump station input pipe and put that rock or cement block that's usually nearby on top of the connector to hold it in the drain hole. Or have one of the kids put a foot on it. Try to get the slinky as straight as possible and going downhill without kinks.

Pull the slide valve on the 'Grey Tank' (shower & kitchen water) for a few seconds and check for leaks in the slinky. Close it and open the slide valve for the 'Black' water (sewage). Watch for leaks again. Don't walk away to do something else. Let it completely drain. Then open the Grey tank valve to put a little water in the bottom of the black tank. After a few seconds, close the black tank valve and let the grey tank empty.

After the tanks are empty, use the bleach water to pour on any drips or small leaks you might have had from the slinky. Some people use fresh water to flush out the slinky, I don't bother as the grey water does a fair job...never had an odor problem in that regard.

If you haven't used your black or grey tanks yet, you should check that your slide valves are working smoothly now. You don't want to have to change a slide valve with full tanks. Spray lubricant on the slide valves and the shafts helps keep them working smoothly. Those plastic handles break sometimes so you should carry a spare, or have a pair of pliers about.

Since there's going to be 9 of you using the plumbing in this rig for months, water conservation is important, as is using as little TP as possible, and using plenty of water when flushing. Dishes should always be cleaned off into the garbage so no solids go into the tank. You'll probably be at a campground with a sewer connection but keep in mind you need to leave your dump valves closed until your tanks are around 3/4 full...that way, when you do dump, you'll be flushing out solids and you won't have the disaster of a plugged system. With that many people, I'd suspect you would need to dump every three days.

So, so much to consider when there's going to be 9 people in an RV. Like, there are many RV parks that wouldn't let an RV with 8 kids in for the night, let alone all summer.

I don't remember if you mentioned it...are you going to be staying at an RV park? Or next to a house?
We are going to live on 6 acres in the middle of nowhere. No power. We are getting a port a potty brought it that will be dumped every two weeks. We will also have lots of 10gallon water jugs and we will have to dump our fresh water when it gets full. But no using the potty. We will use the potty if we go to a campground for the night. Thanks for all the info. I think I need to watch someone dump their sewer before I try it. I wonder if there is a utube video on that
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:33 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by newrvlady View Post
We are going to live on 6 acres in the middle of nowhere. No power. We are getting a port a potty brought it that will be dumped every two weeks. We will also have lots of 10gallon water jugs and we will have to dump our fresh water when it gets full. But no using the potty. We will use the potty if we go to a campground for the night. Thanks for all the info. I think I need to watch someone dump their sewer before I try it. I wonder if there is a utube video on that
Post is pix of your Dump valves and someone can help you here.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:38 PM   #52
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You asked for a YouTube and here it is. Very well done.

HOW TO: Dump & Clean an RV Black Tank - YouTube

If you Google Black Tank Dumping you will find all kinds of info.

Good Luck,
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:17 AM   #53
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When we dry camp we set up a wash/cook station with a 5 gallon water jug sitting on one end and the camp stove on the other end. Found 2 five foot tables and 2 plastic wash tubs at wally world. We then put an awning type tent over the tables.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newrvlady View Post
We are going to live on 6 acres in the middle of nowhere. No power. We are getting a port a potty brought it that will be dumped every two weeks. We will also have lots of 10gallon water jugs and we will have to dump our fresh water when it gets full. But no using the potty. We will use the potty if we go to a campground for the night. Thanks for all the info. I think I need to watch someone dump their sewer before I try it. I wonder if there is a utube video on that
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by newrvlady View Post
We are going to live on 6 acres in the middle of nowhere. No power. We are getting a port a potty brought it that will be dumped every two weeks. We will also have lots of 10gallon water jugs and we will have to dump our fresh water when it gets full. But no using the potty. We will use the potty if we go to a campground for the night. Thanks for all the info. I think I need to watch someone dump their sewer before I try it. I wonder if there is a utube video on that
The company that empties your Port-a-Potty probably also has the ability to empty your RV tanks. If not, in many areas there are companies that drive to your site to do that little chore. Some can also fill your fresh water tank. Just another option.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:44 PM   #55
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When we dry camp we set up a wash/cook station with a 5 gallon water jug sitting on one end and the camp stove on the other end. Found 2 five foot tables and 2 plastic wash tubs at wally world. We then put an awning type tent over the tables.
Attachment 20843
Thanks that is a great idea! My mom just informed me that she is piping water to her property so we will have fresh water.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:45 PM   #56
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The company that empties your Port-a-Potty probably also has the ability to empty your RV tanks. If not, in many areas there are companies that drive to your site to do that little chore. Some can also fill your fresh water tank. Just another option.
Yes they said they could do that but it seemed to add on alot of cost so maybe I will shop around a little.
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