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Old 04-27-2016, 05:02 PM   #1
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Question Newbie setup, am I doing it right?

Hi all!

Went on our first camp trip this past weekend. Found out our owners manual is only helpful in telling us what not to do (like shower with a hairdryer).

We are figuring out how to do things on our own. I would VERY much appreciate someone who knows what they are doing, looking this over and tell me if we are doing something wrong.

First off, hot water. Can I just flip the switch and it will work? I am worried I have to do something to fill it up. When I turn on the hot water side of the faucet, water does come out. Does this mean its okay to turn on?

Furnace - Do I have to turn on the gas to make it run? I turned it on but it ran only briefly before it stopped for a good 10 minutes. It was very cold in the camper when I turned it on, so I expect it would have kept running. I did not get to stick my hand in front of it to see if it was putting out hot air. It was bedtime so I just plugged in a space heater which kept things toasty. Maybe it would have eventually turned back on? Does it run on electric too? We were plugged in.

Holding tank - is there any sort of warning that you are about out of gray or blackwater space?

Water pump - should I turn it on and off each time we use it or just leave it on all of the time?

Water line - our hose isnt very long. Do I have to get a special one meant just for water to add length or would a garden hose work?

Last place we camped had a 20 (?) and 30 (?) amp breaker selection on the electrical box. Does it matter what we pick?


Thank you for all tips and suggestions. I read each post you all write and really think about what you are saying. I find them to be so helpful!
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:32 PM   #2
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Partial answer to Newbie question

I'm new myself and don't know anything about your rig so I''ll answer what I do know:

Water... For the connection to the city water, you want to buy a safe drinking water hose, they are white or blue..not the green one you use for watering the lawn. They are safe to drink from and there will be no nasty aftertaste like the green one. They are usually labeled as safe drinking. I carry two, just in case. Usually available in 25 or 50 ft lengths. Also, you may want a water pressure regulator, they are inexpensive and prevent pressure surges that could damage your system. Do a search on google for either and you should see them listed.

Have fun with your new camper/trailer!
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:35 PM   #3
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I will take a first stab at your questions and I'm sure others will chime in.
Water Heater: Could be propane only or electric and propane. If both you will have two switches. If propane you must have your propane turned on and 12vdc for the igniter (DSI) to work. If you have water coming out of your hot water faucet you should have a full hot water heater, so yes you can turn it on. There normally is an indicator LED that will glow when you push the water heater propane switch, then turn back off, indicating it is lit. If it stays red there may be a problem. You should be able to hear the propane burning, but you might to go outside the heater vent to hear it.
Furnace: Yes, you have to have the propane turned on at the tank for it to work. The normal sequence when the furnace starts up is the blower comes on for a bit that causes a switch to activate, then the furnace will light. And yes, it also requires 12vdc to run, either from your battery or onboard converter.
Holding tanks monitoring: there are normally indicator lights and buttons on the control panel. You push the appropriate button to check the levels, but these things are notoriously misleading/inaccurate.
Water pump: You only need to turn it on if you do not have shore power. You can leave it on or only turn it on when you need water. If boondocking I normally leave mine on if we're in the trailer.
Water hose: You want to use a white potable water hose, not a garden hose. I also suggest you always use a pressure regulator and a water filter when you hook up to campground faucets. You might also want to carry a water bandit.
20 or 30 Amp hookup: I assume your trailer has an air conditioner. If so you should use the 30 amp outlet if you want to run your A/C. I recommend you always carry 15/20 amp to 30 amp and 50 amp to 30 amp adapters. For instance, on our last outing where we stayed at a nice RV park the 30 amp breaker was defective and kept popping the breaker. I knew it wasn't anything wrong with our new trailer because it was working fine on my 30 amp drop at home, so I used my 50 to 30 amp adapter to plug into the 50 amp outlet and all was well. BTW, I would also suggest you carry a surge protector that checks the power wiring and always use it.

I hope this helps.
Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsinger44 View Post
Hi all!



Went on our first camp trip this past weekend. Found out our owners manual is only helpful in telling us what not to do (like shower with a hairdryer).



We are figuring out how to do things on our own. I would VERY much appreciate someone who knows what they are doing, looking this over and tell me if we are doing something wrong.



First off, hot water. Can I just flip the switch and it will work? I am worried I have to do something to fill it up. When I turn on the hot water side of the faucet, water does come out. Does this mean its okay to turn on?



Furnace - Do I have to turn on the gas to make it run? I turned it on but it ran only briefly before it stopped for a good 10 minutes. It was very cold in the camper when I turned it on, so I expect it would have kept running. I did not get to stick my hand in front of it to see if it was putting out hot air. It was bedtime so I just plugged in a space heater which kept things toasty. Maybe it would have eventually turned back on? Does it run on electric too? We were plugged in.



Holding tank - is there any sort of warning that you are about out of gray or blackwater space?



Water pump - should I turn it on and off each time we use it or just leave it on all of the time?



Water line - our hose isnt very long. Do I have to get a special one meant just for water to add length or would a garden hose work?



Last place we camped had a 20 (?) and 30 (?) amp breaker selection on the electrical box. Does it matter what we pick?





Thank you for all tips and suggestions. I read each post you all write and really think about what you are saying. I find them to be so helpful!
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:37 PM   #4
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I am also stunned that whom ever you bought the trailer from did not give you a thorough walk thru on how to use all the systems!!
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkerbill View Post
I am also stunned that whom ever you bought the trailer from did not give you a thorough walk thru on how to use all the systems!!
We also are newbies and had a good walk through, but everything was so new and overwhelming that it all didn't sink in. I am someone who might have to ask the same question a few times before it actually sinks in and I get it. I am following this thread so I can learn along with th op.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Klc View Post
We also are newbies and had a good walk through, but everything was so new and overwhelming that it all didn't sink in. I am someone who might have to ask the same question a few times before it actually sinks in and I get it. I am following this thread so I can learn along with th op.
While not new to camping with TT/5ths/RV this IS the first time I've owned my own and not borrowed my parents stuff. It is intimidating still for first timers. Our first trip is coming up in 2 weeks and I'm still nervous even though my hippie folks lugged all round this country since I was born
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkerbill View Post
Water Heater: Could be propane only or electric and propane. If both you will have two switches. If propane you must have your propane turned on and 12vdc for the igniter (DSI) to work. If you have water coming out of your hot water faucet you should have a full hot water heater, so yes you can turn it on. There normally is an indicator LED that will glow when you push the water heater propane switch, then turn back off, indicating it is lit. If it stays red there may be a problem. You should be able to hear the propane burning, but you might to go outside the heater vent to hear it.

A word of warning on the water heater: just because water is coming out of the hot side of the faucet doesn't mean it's safe to turn the water heater on. It could be bypassed and empty. If you turn it on when empty, it can burn out the elements and damage the water heater. Make sure the water heater is not bypassed first.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsinger44 View Post
Hi all!


First off, hot water. Can I just flip the switch and it will work? I am worried I have to do something to fill it up. When I turn on the hot water side of the faucet, water does come out. Does this mean its okay to turn on?

Furnace - Do I have to turn on the gas to make it run? I turned it on but it ran only briefly before it stopped for a good 10 minutes. It was very cold in the camper when I turned it on, so I expect it would have kept running. I did not get to stick my hand in front of it to see if it was putting out hot air. It was bedtime so I just plugged in a space heater which kept things toasty. Maybe it would have eventually turned back on? Does it run on electric too? We were plugged in.

Holding tank - is there any sort of warning that you are about out of gray or blackwater space?

Water pump - should I turn it on and off each time we use it or just leave it on all of the time?

Water line - our hose isnt very long. Do I have to get a special one meant just for water to add length or would a garden hose work?

Last place we camped had a 20 (?) and 30 (?) amp breaker selection on the electrical box. Does it matter what we pick?


Thank you for all tips and suggestions. I read each post you all write and really think about what you are saying. I find them to be so helpful!
Hot water - I run the hot water faucets in the trailer so there is water in the system. Then I turn on electric if we are somewhere with hookups, otherwise propane. Make sure you open your propane valves when you reach your destination.

Furnace - gas only. And with your propane bottles open it will run automatically. The thermostats in the trailers can be junk and not accurate at all. You'll just have to play with it to find a setting that gives you the heat you want.

Holding tanks - you have gauges for that. Typically with lights that show you the level. You won't know for 100% when you are at the very limit but you'll get better at gauging it.

Water pump - only used if you have a full fresh water tank. And if so I leave it on the entire trip. But if you where you are going has water hookups you won't use the pump.

water line - you need a hose that's safe for drinking. They are labeled. You also need to get a water regulator to put on it. I believe they keep the pressure around 30psi. The pressure at campground water can be too high and this will prevent potential damange.

Pick the amp hookup that matches your trailer. Ours is 30amp so I always use 30 amp in the campground. Some only have 50amp hookups and they make adapters to go from 50 to 30. While i'm at home I have another adapter to plug it in. It's just not going to run the AC from it.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:02 AM   #9
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The cheap, inline water pressure reducers have a lot of restriction in them. They do make some high flow brass ones, but the best is a household Watts one. About $75 but rebuildable for many years of service. Our favorite campground runs over 100psi so it's essential there.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:45 AM   #10
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Isn't the point of the regulators to reduce flow? From my understanding the ones for our trailers all reduce to the same amount.
I got a pretty heavy brass one from the dealer for about $6
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:03 AM   #11
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Re: Newbie Setup

Sunsinger44,
We are newbies as well and have used our trailer twice so far. Our first time out, we also turned on the heater and found the same thing. It would turn on for a few minutes and then turn off and not cycle on and off. We found out the system only runs on propane not electric. So the gas (propane) needs to be open for the system to work.

Hot Water Heater - For us, we have a Keystone Cougar, there are two switches that need to be turned on. One inside on the panel and the other, outside at the water heater itself.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:09 AM   #12
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It's weird you would have to turn something on at the water heater itself. We had a keystone hideout and didn't have to do anything on the water heater. Just one switch inside for either electric or propane. Same on our new trailer.
Unless it tripped and had to be reset?
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Isn't the point of the regulators to reduce flow? From my understanding the ones for our trailers all reduce to the same amount.
I got a pretty heavy brass one from the dealer for about $6
The purpose of the Pressure regulator is to reduce pressure, not flow rate (or volume). The fact that they do reduce flow rate is a consequence of a cheap ($6.00) implementation.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:31 AM   #14
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Our pressure/flow rate inside the trailer is just fine with our brass one. My wife once hooked up the water in a campground without our regulator and you could instantly tell the pressure was way high inside the trailer without it. With our $6 brass it's controlling pressure just fine.
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