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Old 05-19-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
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2 newbie questions: does converter auto-switch + mystery toggle switch

Hi there. I'm helping my dad who just bought a 2009 Forest River Flagstaff travel trailer which, naturally, didn't come with any manuals. I found the ultra-generic trailer manual online and we've been able to figure most stuff out but we still can't answer two questions. I hope smarter people than me here on the forums can help me out.

On the control center there is an illuminated toggle switch that is a mystery (see the attached pic to see the red switch lit up on the left). When I turn it on I can hear what sounds like a fan activate in the WFCO power converter. What exactly does this switch do?

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Also, if we disconnect from shore power, does the power converter automatically switch over to 12v battery power, and vice versa? Or do we need to switch something manually (like the mystery glow switch)?

Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:42 PM   #2
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The output of the converter is connected to your house battery. It charges the battery, and together (in parallel) they are both used to power all of your 12 volt equipment. There is no need to do anything to activate the 12 volt devices when disconnecting from shore power as long as the battery is charged.

I can only guess about the mystery switch. Is it possibly turning an inverter on and off? When disconnected from shore power, see if it switches any 120 volt devices and / or outlets on and off.

Joel
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:57 PM   #3
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I see that at least some Flagstaffs offer a "heated holding tank" option. My guess is that this turns on those holding tank heaters.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
I see that at least some Flagstaffs offer a "heated holding tank" option. My guess is that this turns on those holding tank heaters.
Agree, it could engage the tank heaters.

When a certain amount of electricity goes through the power center, then the fan will come on.....at least in ours. I can have a couple of lights on, then 1 more on, and the power center fan will engage. Turn of the 1 light again, and it goes off. Turning on the tank heaters probably puts your power center fan "over the edge".
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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Owl: that's a good idea. I'll be able to try that test later this afternoon. I'll let you know how it goes.

Barry: a heated holding tank? You mean the tanks holding the waste water? What's the point of that feature? (I'm picturing a piping hot stew of bodily waste. Yum!)
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Oh wait. That's for cold weather camping, isn't it? For not knowing that, I think that automatically revokes my Canadian citizenship.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:24 PM   #7
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Barry: a heated holding tank? You mean the tanks holding the waste water? What's the point of that feature? (I'm picturing a piping hot stew of bodily waste. Yum!)
It's for freezing weather. Not something you will use in above-freezing temperature. "Stew" is better than ice if its going to crack your holding tanks. (While we're on the subject, if that is what these are, you need to turn them on several hours before a freeze. They don't provide a lot of energy so have to have time to work, and they will turn themselves off when what they're heating gets above ~50 degrees F.)
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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one suggestion, get rid of that crappy analog thermostat and install a digital one, such as a Hunter or Honeywell.
costs about $25.

i agree that the illuminated switch is probably the tank heaters.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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so, is the digital thermostat going to need to be a 12v model? I'd like to change mine out..hand't thought of it til now....
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:08 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone who responded. Considering the model of the trailer, the fact we're in Canada and that the underside of the trailer is completely enclosed, I'm sure you're right that the switch controls holding tank heaters. Thanks for clearing up the only mystery of my dad's new trailer that we couldn't solve.
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