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Author Topic: help please...  (Read 2837 times)

kirshaw

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help please...
« on: September 03, 2014, 10:25:28 PM »
Hello all.. I'm new to this here forum and new to being a trailer owner. My wife and I purchased a 2008 Fleetwood Sedona this summer, unfortunately we were only able to get out once. Anyway... we are expecting our 2nd child in October and my in laws are coming in town then. My Father-in-Law already claimed the trailer for sleeping arrangements.

The trailer is equipped with a Hydro Flame furnace, made by Atwood. I've read the lighting instructions and, I'm hoping, it's just operator error but I cannot get the furnace to kick on. The manual tells me that the furnace is propane driven with an electric switch.... yes the propane is on haha
That's one issue....
# 2.... The one time we did go out we just went to an RV park, the amenities for the pregnant woman, and for power. I plugged in the 30 amp power cord and everything worked fine. Since then, I have purchased an adapter for home so I could have power. In my attempts to light the furnace,  I've ran into an issue..... last night I plugged in the trailer to the house via the adapter, and my LP detector started beeping. It says leak or low volts, I'm assuming the ladder since the propane has been off for weeks prior to running power to the trailer. The beeps were slow and soft, then picked up the pace to eventually there was no beep, I'm assuming no more low voltage. Lights, sink pump, a/c unit... everything worked fine. I go outside tonight and plug in the trailer and the beeps start slow and soft, but never changed. No lights, no sink pump? Nothing....

I'm assuming the furnace's electrical switch can be turned on via 12 V deep cycle battery or the 30 amp power cord. 

Just looking at wiring diagrams gives me a headache, electricity dumbfounds me.... can someone, anyone help??

The previous owners said they hadn't had the the trailer out in 2 yrs.... could I just have a bad ignition switch? Corrosion or something maybe??
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 05:50:50 AM by kirshaw »

Hfx_Cdn

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Re: help please...
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 08:50:53 AM »
    The beeping sensor is almost certainly caused by low battery voltage, which gets slightly recharged when you plug into 110.  But likely the battery is not taking on a charge, so when you unplug, it need a while to maintain sufficient voltage to shut of the alarm.
     As for the furnace, it may just be a bit of dirt lodged somewhere in the line.  But first, try turning on the stove to make sure the LP is flowing in the line.  I had a problem with the new to them fridge on my daughter's PUP.  A shop vac, first with suction, then blowing, seemed to fix the problem.  Dust and spider's webs get into the small lines.
     Just thought, the electric ignition is 12 volt too, so it may be that the low battery is causing the ignition problem too.  Let it charge for a couple of days, the try it again.  It mat well be that you will need a new deep cell battery.

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

kirshaw

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Re: help please...
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 09:22:56 AM »
Thank you very much Ed!

Alfa38User

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Re: help please...
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2014, 09:25:51 AM »
Your furnace operates on 12V (fan + control) and propane. The "switch" is usually the thermostat on the "Heat"  setting. The temperature then needs to set properly (high enough) so the furnace kicks on. The furnace fan uses a lot of 12V power so the batteries have to be up to scratch and the charger functioning.  It sounds like yours were not, at least initially (alarm), even though you were plugged in. You should leave the trailer plugged in for a long time to bring those batteries up. Check the water level in them first and make sure the level is up to the 'eye' as seen in the filler hole. If not, the add distilled water until it is. Check the level every so often. If you can see the plates though the filler, the batteries may not recover and you may require new ones. If the batteries and the converter are adequate, then leaving trailer plugged in will do no harm, but they DO have to be checked from time to time. Some converters have a reputation for 'cooking' batteries by overcharging. Ditto for propane, furnaces are propane hungry beasts.

I hope you are in an area where temperatures don't get too low, or your father-in-law may be in for an 'uncomfortable' visit. Water freezes at about 32º meaning you won't be able to have water on board for toilets etc. out there. Your power will also be limited to 15-20 amps when plugged into an ordinary household receptacle using the adapter.

There is a good troubleshooting guide for the furnace in the library (menu above). Although it may be for a specific furnace, they all operate pretty much the same way, regardless of make and model.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 09:32:20 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

kirshaw

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Re: help please...
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2014, 09:38:05 AM »
If I plugged the trailer's 30 amp plug directly into the wall, say where my washer/dryer plug in, would I draw full power and not have to leave it plugged in awhile?

Hfx_Cdn

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Re: help please...
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2014, 10:23:48 AM »
    DO NOT plug into the dryer plug.  A quick search will reveal lots of people who have caused major damage to their electrical systems by plugging into a receptical that was not intended for that purpose.
    Besides, being plugged into a higher AMP or Voltage, will not allow for quicker charging.  The charging function of the RV's electrical system is to slowly replenish the charge used.  If you want a quicker method of charging, use a battery charger directly on the battery, in fact most trickle chargers do it at 1 AMP, but some have another setting of 10 AMPS, which will be quicker.  But neither will restore a battery if it has lost its ability to hold a charge.

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

kirshaw

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Re: help please...
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2014, 10:47:15 AM »
Thank you everyone for your info.. Most beneficial

John From Detroit

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Re: help please...
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2014, 11:24:54 AM »
Two suggestions:  First..  If you can do it (I know, bad time) have an electrician install a proper RV oultet.. MY recommendation is to have them put in a RV-50 outlet and use a dog bone (you can use 30 amp breakers if you like) the reason for this is hinted at up above

Far too many electricians see that TT-30 (The 30 amp outlet) and think "Dryer" so they wire it for a 240 volt dryer and blow all the expensive enectronics in your RV

With the RV-50 it gets done right, and you use a dogbone adapter (Which you need anyway) the adapter makes sure you get the proper voltage to the RV (Well that is, assuming everything is done properly)

Second: Leave it plugged in a while, turn off fridge, water heater, A/C and so on, only leave the converter running to charge the batteries some

IF you have a pair of six volt golf car batteries they should recover,, no guarantee but there is a good chance

Marine/Deep cycle 12 volt batteries MIGHT recover, but odds are lower

Thankfully you do not have a starting battery (Automotive type) as that's toast if there is not enough power to make the propane detector error-beep.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

kirshaw

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Re: help please...
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2014, 11:52:25 AM »
Here's another question... my 4runner had a flat 4 for trailer lights... I've since wired it for a round 7 because that's what my trailer has. I was told I can charge my deep cycle 12 V battery while driving. And I can run my trailer off my vehicle if my vehicle is running?  Is this true?

blw2

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Re: help please...
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 02:59:24 PM »
Here's another question... my 4runner had a flat 4 for trailer lights... I've since wired it for a round 7 because that's what my trailer has. I was told I can charge my deep cycle 12 V battery while driving. And I can run my trailer off my vehicle if my vehicle is running?  Is this true?

Only if the TV is wired for it
Pin 4 in the Bargman must be hot.  Some will only be hot with the key on, and others all the time.
I had to install a fuse into an empty spot in my Silverado's fuse box.  It was factory wired for it, they just didn't put a fuse in???
http://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=8731&d=1319214567

You didn't say if you ever had luck with your furnace???  In my old pup all I had to do to light the furnace was to slide the thermostat to a higher temp setting (stowed in off position)
One thing in most popups that will hold electric off for lights and such, is the safety switch in the flipover galley.  It's there to shut off everything when the roof is down.  Verify that this switch isn't intermittant....perhaps if the pup hasn't been used in a while it could be a bit flakey.... or it might have been bent so that it doesn't properly engage when the galley is in place.

I killed a couple batteries in my popup over the years just by leting them sit in stroage too long.  These batteries will self discharge over time.  If they go below some magic number (many folks say 50%) than it will harm the battery.... maybe not kill it right away but harm will be done.
Ditto for letting the elctrolyte levels drop to expose any part of the plates to air.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Alfa38User

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Re: help please...
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 03:01:43 PM »
Quote
I've since wired it for a round 7 because that's what my trailer has. I was told I can charge my deep cycle 12 V battery while driving

This is true IF the needed wiring has been done on both the tow vehicle and the trailer. The centre pin on the plug is the one used for charging. It is obvious that your truck was not wired with that in mind originally as you only had a 4 pin plug.

Quote
And I can run my trailer off my vehicle if my vehicle is running?

This is sort of true: You will be running off the trailer battery but charging it at the same time. Not sure you really want to make this a practice though, you might end up with a dead TV if you forget something. The charge current sent to the trailer while the vehicle is only idling will be very, very low.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 03:03:33 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

kirshaw

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Re: help please...
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 03:20:10 PM »
I cannot begin to express my gratitude for everyone's help. Thank you again...

DPForumDog

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Re: help please...
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2015, 07:38:19 AM »
Alpha,  where is this battery located that might need water?   What all batteries need wAter? 
Do you need water even if you are plugging into the power company's electricity?
Thanks
Granny

 

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