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Old 09-30-2014, 12:27 PM   #1
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Glad to be here and need some advice.

I'm Pete McGill from Bonita Springs,Fl. and I live in a 95 Alpenlite St. Andrews 33RK 5th wheel. I just live in this thing and don't go anywhere with it. My truck doesn't have a hitch for it anyway. I've been in this trailer for ten years and unfortunately I didn't know enough about RV's to take proper care of it. Now it's falling apart around my ears and I need some advice on repairs and trouble shooting.
First problem is the 12 volt system just quit a couple days ago. So where should I go for conversation on this subject? Thanks in advance for the help. Pete

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Old 09-30-2014, 12:56 PM   #2
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Welcome and glad to meet you!

[Mod Edit - moved to 5th Wheel Forum as suggested ]

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:25 PM   #3
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Circuit breakers? Does the 110 work?
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:34 PM   #4
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Hi Pete! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the bunch here!

[Mod Edit - moved to 5th Wheel Forum as suggested ]

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:34 PM   #5
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Probably the best forums to ask specific questions are here:
~This one - Fifth Wheel Forum: 5th Wheel Discussion - iRV2 Forums
And - RV Systems and Appliances: RV Systems & Appliances - iRV2 Forums

Alpenlite was made by Western Recreational Vehicles, Inc of Yakima, WA. until closing it's doors in 2008 due to the economy.
Local News | Yakima-area recreational vehicle manufacturer closes | Seattle Times Newspaper

But most everything in an RV can be repaired/replaced with new systems.

Best luck
Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:50 PM   #6
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12 volt system has only a few major components

First there is a converter... Often this is part of your power distribution panel (Often but not always) so if you open a door and see both fuses and circuit breakers behind that door.. What is the make and model of it.

Next is your battery Likely it's toast

You also have a master switch somewhere and I already mentioned the fuses and breakers

how it works

One of those breakers is likely labeled CONV or something like that (converter) this feeds power to the CONVERTER which Converts (naturally) the 120volt shore power to something the battery needs (Just what depends on a few things but let's say 13.6 for fun)

This both charges the battery (if needed) and powers lights, water pump, control computers (Fridge, Water heater and some Air conditioners) and the furnace.

Power is distributed via the fuse panel.. OFTEN there are 2 fuses larger than the rest that are "Master Fuses" one for the converter one for .. everything else.

That is as far as I can go hands off.

So how far from the Georgia state line via I-95 is Bonita Springs,Fl?

I am 50 miles NORTH of that crossing, roughly.
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:06 PM   #7
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Glad you're aboard Pete. I'm with the others on a suggestion to troubleshoot. Best of luck on a solution. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.
Have a wonderful day!
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:28 PM   #8
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I hope you find some simple inexpensive solutions.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:39 AM   #9
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If you have a volt meter you could start at the battery to see if it is working. Then go from their. My converter also has fuses on it. If yours does also check to see if they need replacing.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post

So how far from the Georgia state line via I-95 is Bonita Springs,Fl?

I think it's way far down the west coast...maybe the Naples area?
I-95 to around FTL and turn right, go across the state. It's a trek.
Rick and Sandy
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:19 AM   #11
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WOW! SO many great reply's to my questions. Thanks to all of you for the suggestions and advice all of which is valuable to me. As was suggested I think I'd better take this to the fifth wheel section and go from there. Don't want to upset the mods on the first post and I already got moved once which is fine with me. Had a little trouble finding my way at first but I'll get it right.
So see you all on the fifth wheel topic. Pete
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:42 AM   #12
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If you haven't done anything for 10 years, I would start at the batteries, you need to add water a couple times a year unless they are sealed. But after 10 years they are in need of replacement. Then the second thing would be the convertor fuses and convertor.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:47 AM   #13
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OK. Here we are, presumably in the right forum since that's where I was moved to. I'll answer some of your questions now.
The trailer is an Alpenlite, St. Andrews 33,built in 1995. I bought it from my sister in about 2000 and have lived in it ever since. My problem with the 12 volt is that it ALL stopped working a few days ago probably because I let the batteries go completly dry. They were new when I bought the trailer so they are way past replacing anyway so yes I will be getting a couple new batts as soon as I win the lotto here in Florida. They aint cheap and I'm living (existing) on social security only.
I know about the fuses on the breaker panel and they are all ok. I can't get to the converter because it's in the storage area under the bow and full of junk that I need to go through and get rid of. I do know the original converter was a Todd 45 amp but this trailer got zapped by lightening just before I bought it so the converter was replaced with a 55 amp but I can't see the manufacturer. Can't see if it has any fuses either.
The 110 breakers are all ok. I don't see one just for the converter.
So filled the batts up with water just to see what happens and that's nothing. I get a reading of 1.7 off my meter at the 12 volt fuse panel so that's all I'm getting. Question is,since the 12 volt wires are all tied directly to the battery cables which are tied directly to the converter, wouldn't I get 12 volts at the fuse if the converter was working?
I'm thinking that the dried out batts shorted out the converter and stopped the whole shebang in it's tracks.
As for Bonita Springs it's on the West Coast of Florida about half way between Naples and FT. Myers off I-75. I-95 is on the East Coast so you have to come across I-4 at Tampa/Orlando or across Alligator Alley to get here. Don't get out of your car on the Alley either. There really are alligators out there,no kiddin'. Pete
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JohnRR View Post

I hope you find some simple inexpensive solutions.
Thanks for the "hope" but you know it will never be that simple. Funny how one thing leads to another when your batteries run out of water. I know better than that but just never gave it a thought.
Here's another question; The batteries that are in the trailer are 12volt deep cycle. Couldn't I use a couple of regular car batteries instead? I don't go anywhere with this trailer so I don't need battery power unless I get into a hurricane and then I have a generator for electricity. I can always get the deep cycle ones later if I need them. Pete

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