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Old 09-18-2019, 07:13 AM   #1
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Camper Off Or On?

I store my Rockwood HW296 in my garage. I last used it about six weeks ago. This morning I awoke to "something" inside the camper trying to ignite. At least I assume that's what it was. It sounded like an ignitor firing. Also the carbon monoxide detector inside the camper was beeping. I think it was trying to warn me the power was failing and not that there was any carbon monoxide around. After a period of time the ignition sound stopped but the carbon monoxide detector did not. I double-checked that the propane was off, too.

I opened up the door with the camper still closed up and notice there was power to the radio. I disconnected both batteries and the issue went away.

I admit I'm not very mechanically inclined, but I guess I'm not sure if the camper is ever "off" as long as the batteries are hooked up? Anyone have any idea what was trying to "ignite"? As I stood near the outside of the camper before I opened it, the ignition sound was more prevalent near the oven vent than where the fridge is. When I opened the door it almost seemed like the sound was coming from the hot water heater (which is on the other side--the side I do not have access to when the camper is stored in my garage). All of the switches I have access to when I opened the door (lights, wifi, etc) were all off. I also know I turned the refrigerator off before I put the camper away.

At any rate... if any of you fine folks have any tips I would surely appreciate it. This is the first "nice" pop-up camper I've owned. My first pop-up was a 2001 Coleman Cheyenne which I kept for 18 years.

Thanks,

John
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:25 AM   #2
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Did yours not come with battery disconnect?
Do you leave plugged in to keep battery up?

Very well might be in your convertor/invertor depending what you have, relays clicking as battery passes a certain voltage.

You could put a meter (or have a friend) to see what your battery is making.

And usually my carbon monoxide detector beeps as battery dies, if I forget to turn off battery disconnect.

Good luck
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:29 AM   #3
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To my knowledge, there are only two things that try to light without operator input (for lack of a better description). The fridge and the water heater. If you are sure they are both off, and you're still getting the "ticking" that sounds like something is trying to light, and your alarm is still going off, then I think you do have a battery that is on its way out. Using the radio to test the condition of the battery is not the way to do it. You need to pull it and take it somewhere (Autozone, O'Reilly's, etc.) to have it tested. How old is the battery? How old is the CO monitor? It may need replaced as well. Sounds like you need to pull the camper out and do some maintenance.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:33 AM   #4
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I don't have a battery disconnect switch to my knowledge. The way it is stored I cannot leave it plugged in (there isn't room for the cord to plug into the camper). Good suggestion about checking the battery voltage.

Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:35 AM   #5
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I see a lot of talk about a disconnect switch under a frame, or a 25-30 amp fuse you could pull to disconnect.

Have you seen any of these??

Hope it helps
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:36 AM   #6
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I didn't actually use the radio to test anything. I just noticed it was being powered (the clock display was on). I bought the camper new in May so I hope nothing in the camper yet is failing due to its age!

I was hoping to not pull it out... dangit.

John
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:57 AM   #7
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Popups generally don't come with battery disconnects. One can be installed fairly easily.
Or you can just disconnect the battery by hand.
If you do not disconnect the battery, there are things that remained powered and will drain the battery, the carbon monoxide detector being one. When the battery gets too low, that detector will sound off.

I also learned that lesson the hard way, came out of the house one day to an alarm going off in the camper. From then on, I always disconnected the battery when I stored my hw277 to prevent draining the battery.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isjaaddejo View Post
I don't have a battery disconnect switch to my knowledge. The way it is stored I cannot leave it plugged in (there isn't room for the cord to plug into the camper). Good suggestion about checking the battery voltage.

Thanks!
As Gals said, Popups don't have factory battery disconnect switches. You can install one for as cheap as $7:
https://www.harborfreight.com/batter...BoCr7sQAvD_BwE
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:45 PM   #9
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Just a guess here, but if you did hear something that sounded like the ignitor for the WH or frig, it may have been due to a "Low Voltage" situation. I've seen 12V, at home and work, do strange things when they are not getting enough voltage. I've seen my older truck do strange things when the bat was dying.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:26 PM   #10
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disconnect one battery terminal when in storage. very easy fix
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:15 PM   #11
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Camper off or on?

The way you described it sounds like the refrigerator was trying to ignite the propane. Did you check to see if the refrigerator outside light by the on off button was off?
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:19 PM   #12
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Oops! Didn’t realize you had a pop-up. I’m not familiar with P/Us and not if they have a frigs or not.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:03 PM   #13
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Battery

Do you have an outlet in your garage that you could plug a battery charger into? I would go that route as opposed to disconnecting the battery. You don't want it to discharge over the winter anyway, so why not look into getting a Battery Tender, or similar type trickle charger? (if you have an outlet available)

Just my 2 cents...
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:33 PM   #14
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Thanks, everyone, for tips/advice. I tested the batteries and they were low. I disconnected them. I'm getting a battery charger as I have an outlet very near both batteries. I will disconnect the batteries from now on when I am storing the camper.

I did contact the dealer about the issue and he was no help. A little frustrating since he is 300+ miles from me. Oh well...

Thanks again,

John
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