1996 aerolite

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I am new and just trying to get a couple answers to some questions i have about my 1996 aerolite and how to use my furnace? I tried but no luck.
 

99WinAdventurer37G

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With the furness once the pilot light is lit, it should be controled at the thermostat.  Of course make sure you have enough propane.  Many units also have electric heat as well.  Not sure about yours.  I'm sure someone else will offer more advice.
 
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thats alot of help, thanks. Im assuming i have to have power on? i have not seen anything showing controls to the hot water heater or furnace
 

Alfa38User

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I think that 99Win... is mixing up the water heater and furnace, they are slightly different.

Furnaces do not use the pilot light system. The power required is the normal 12V supplied by your battery. None I am aware of use electric heat. If you have lights, you have power. If your gas stove lights, you have propane. (Always a good idea to light the stove for a few minutes first though!! This will tend to remove any air trapped in the propane lines which hinders the lighting of a furnace (or a fridge)).

Furnaces have a DSI ignition (Direct Spark Ignition) system. Select Gas Heat on the thermostat, set a temperature 2-3? higher than ambient and you should here the noisy furnace fan start.  Less than a minute or so later, you should hear a low clicking sound from the furnace. (This is the DSI ignition). When the furnace lights it sounds like a low roar and hot exhaust should pour out of the exhaust outlet outside. The furnace will try three times to light, if it fails it will shut down and you have to reset and try again.

For the water heater, if help is needed there,  to steer you straight, we need the make and model of the WH.....  Some use DSI ignition, some a pilot light. Some have the electric heat option as well as gas heat but the water heater HAS to be full of water before trying the electric. It also requires the trailer be connected to a 120V AC supply.

HTH
 
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dallas tx
This is all so much help. when im plugging in the trailer to my house, i notice after a couple mins i hear a clicking from the furnace than after a couple min it does the low roar but i have the termistat off. for some reason, when i bought it about 5 months ago, all the outlets worked but now, only 2 or 3 outlets in the trailer work. the lights dont come on, so i have lambs plugged in the outlets that work. maybe thats why the thermistat is not working because the power issue. its weird because when the power is plugged in, the refridgeator works, microwave, and a couple outlets but not all. the ac works great. Do you know why im may be only getting some power to the trailer outlets. none of the wall lights come. my furnace probably works fine if i can figure out the power issue. i went to the breaker box or what ever you call it and replaced the fuses and nothing changed. nithing was tripped either. any suggestions ?
 

Alfa38User

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To begin to diagnose what works and what does not, you have to understand "what powers what". Typically, fuses protect 12V (battery) circuits and Circuit Breakers protect 120V circuits but this may vary in older machines.

Generally speaking, lights (wall/ceiling lights) are 12V (battery).  Fridges and water heaters use 12V + propane and may also be powered using 120V when plugged in, depending on the models. Furnaces use 12V and propane. The thermostat uses 12V. (those I have seen cannot be "turned off" but can be set to either AC or heat and the temperature set so neither will come on). The propane detector uses 12V.
Outlets are 120V and function only when the trailer is plugged in. The converter uses 120V and puts out 12V to charge the battery and supplement the 12V supply to the trailer.

For the failing 120V outlets, search for an outlet equipped with a GFI (test and reset buttons in the middle) and reset it. The kitchen counter, any outdoor plugs and bathroom sink counter are  supplied from there and there may be more as one GFI outlet can usually supply and protect up to 6 other plain outlets in total. (A GFI outlet will NOT reset if 120V is not present.)

When plugged into your house you cannot expect to power a lot of things like a water heater or  fridge on 120V, (they will work nicely on propane though), as you would typically have only 15 amps (max 1800 watts)  available unless you have installed a 30 amp RV supply specifically. You might be able to make the microwave cook as long as nothing else is on.... but it can typically use up to 1500 watts  (12.5 amps) in many cases. The light or clock may well be lit up though. A typical long extension cord from the house will also limit what can be used due to the voltage drop created.

Most lighting in a trailer is 12V and thus requires a charged battery (and a converter to charge it).  Have you checked the battery and made sure the water level is adequate?? Check the voltage at the battery terminals using a voltmeter or VOM. A fully charged battery should read about 12.2V a battery under charge should read between 13.2-14.2V , an almost dead battery 12V or less.
 
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well, this is kinda stupid but i dont know where the battery would be. when i bought it, the dealership was really busy and did not show me anything. The breakers and the fuses are both on the same panel inside the trailer. is that the converter ? i have so many question and cant get anybody to help. i appreciate your time so much. it a 20 ft 1996 aerolite. I have looked but cant locate a battery. I will try to press the trip switch on the outlet like you said. I really need somebody to just help me figure out how to work everything. see, i did not know that i wont be able to run the water heater from the house. i can tell you know what your talking about. what would you suggest for me to try first from what you know ?
 

Alfa38User

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On a travel trailer, the battery is often found mounted on the A-Frame, likely in a box. (The A-Frame is the metal extension where the hitch is mounted). The propane tank(s) is/are usually there as well.

The converter may be located behind the panel with the fuses and circuit breakers. You may hear it humming slightly when plugged in.

For the water heater, I did say you could run it using the propane but I also said it would be unlikely you could run it using 120V as many of them have an electric element that draws too much current if used in combination with other stuff. Whether or not you even have that possibility would depend on the make and model of the the WH or on the addition of an after market product  by a previous owner.

If I were you, I would list all your components that you have questions on and go around the trailer, making a note of the make and model of each. (Fridge, Stove, Water Heater, Panel with the C/B and Fuses etc...) Much of the documentation for these appliances is available on line and can be found using Google).

In addition to the above, I would suggest that you make a coherent list of the components, their power source (12V or 120 Volt ) and try to determine what works and what does not and what you need help with. Jumping from subject to subject in one paragraph makes it very difficult to follow. One subject per paragraph or thread is good.
 
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I understand its hard to follow jumping around from question to question. I just have so many to ask. I will do what you said. iI will make a note of everything by maker and voltage. I did try what you said about the outlet reset button. There was only one and it did not work. I think finding the battery is key now. I will let ya know what i come up with.
 

99WinAdventurer37G

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I'm wondering then if you have a "Park Model"?  Look under it, should be near the sewer hook ups, see if there are holding tanks under the unit.  If not, that would explain why you don't see a battery box on the front of the unit.  Let us know.  Some of those units are designed for full time park hook ups.  Maybe that is the problem.
 
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Thanks. I will look today and see if i can find it back there and i will let ya know what i find out. Im sure once this is all figured out, its not as back as it seems.
 

Alfa38User

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If you have 12V lights when you are NOT plugged in, you have a battery... somewhere. If you don't it could be dead or missing.  Look for some heavy wires hanging there doing nothing, perhaps not too far away from that fuse panel but hidden.  I looked at some pictures and did not see one outside either. How about in a corner of that cabinet outside on the right hand side, or on the front, or under the bed, under the sink??

Personally, I would not want a battery in those places I suggested as they gas off when charging, so you may not have one!! It should be in a ventilated spot.

Where is/are the propane tank(s)?? 

Tried contacting Aerolight?? They are still in business as a part of Dutchmen!!
 
Joined
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dallas tx
ok, the propane tanks are in the front in a compartment. I looked again today and did not see it anywhere. under the sink is the heater. under the bed it the hot water heater. I did notice on the bottom in the rear by the holding tanks, there was some wires but i really cant see where they go. almost looks like the wires are going into the holding tank. can i post pictures to this forum? if so, i think pictures may help you help me. When the trailer is not plugged in, i get no power at all, so it may be missing the battery. If it is missing, i still need to know the location so i can put one.
 

99WinAdventurer37G

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Yes, pictures are always helpful.  But if you see holding tanks, that means you don't have a park model, so you should also have batteries somewhere.  The wires going to the holding tanks are for the level indicator on the wall, usually in the kitchen area.
 
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yeah, i still can not locate the battery or even the cables for one. i checked under the bed and just about everywhere. I will have to look up aerolite and call. I just dont understand where it could be.
 
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dallas tx
I agree it is a strange place. Do you mean inside under the bed or outside under the bed ? its a aerolite 21 RDB . its either 19 ft or 20 ft. its a smaller one.
 
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