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Old 04-30-2017, 10:14 PM   #1
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Systems school?

We just took delivery of our Cardinal 3850RL. We ordered from a dealer in Ohio and had it delivered to us in AZ. We did not have a walk through/pdi/systems training. Other than the videos online is there any sort of Forest River 'school' we could find to show us how things work?
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:43 AM   #2
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We just took delivery of our Cardinal 3850RL. We ordered from a dealer in Ohio and had it delivered to us in AZ. We did not have a walk through/pdi/systems training. Other than the videos online is there any sort of Forest River 'school' we could find to show us how things work?
Oh boy...that's a tough one. I guess you could see if a dealer near you that sells Cardinal might give you a crash course? You'd have to expect to pay for their time to do so I would guess, since you didn't buy from them. Are you a seasoned camper already with experience in a TT or other Fifthwheel? That would help, because most items are similar, or could be used as basis for things to look for.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:21 AM   #3
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We are very seasoned TT owners, we've just not had one this new. Water system, power system, level up, TV stuff, that's mostly what we need help with.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:38 AM   #4
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as mentioned, do you have previous rv experience? if so, most things are generic and not specific to cardinal. also, how are you going to use it? if in a park with full hook ups things are pretty straightforward. you can always ask people in the park or campground you are at. watch the videos / read the manual about the level up levelers. verify that the tires you actually have installed are the ones reflected on the tire information placard (ours weren't). i'm not sure how many grey / black tanks your model has but find out what tank each drain actually drains into. learn about the propane changeover regulator. find the dump valve handles and the black tank flush fitting and know how they work. check the water filter canister to ensure it actually has a cartridge in it. if you have the kw1/fr1 canister and filter you can read several posts about them. many people do not like them but I have never had a problem. there is plastic wrench you can buy to assist in removing the canister. there are several valves on the water control panel that you should understand. they may not be self explanatory and some have to do with winterizing which you won't have to do for several months. make sure you know how to operate both the gas and electric for the water heater. go to the electric control panel and make sure you understand each switch. take these items one at a time, ask questions, and have fun. I have had my trailer for two years and I am still learning every day. read this forum and search it. every possible question has been asked and discussed here.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:18 AM   #5
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We are very seasoned TT owners, we've just not had one this new. Water system, power system, level up, TV stuff, that's mostly what we need help with.
That helps!

Water system not much different. For Water Heater, if it is both electric and gas, just know that the electric on/off is behind the WH accesspanel, and to make sure the WH has water in it before turning it on. If on a 30A campsite, you might consider shutting off the electric heater, and turn on the gas, so that you have power available for A/C's etc. For refilling the fresh water tank, you probably had a gravity feed on your TT. My Cardinal you now have to set the valves in the water bay to "Sanitize" which will configure the piping so that the water pump sucks water out of your 5 gallon container, and pumps it into your fresh water tank. You do this as many times needed to refill the tank, then set the water valves back to "dry camping".

TV, as in television, should be the same as in your TT. There is a AMP for the TV signal, probably near your bedroom TV. If at a campground that offers cable tv, the jack for that is in the water bay top right hand corner. you have to read carefully, but you will see more than one. One is labeled as cable, another as Satellite, and the third is AUX. Make sure you jack into the one labeled CABLE. If you run a Satellite dish, the jack marked SAT terminates in each TV location to a wall jack, that you would connect your SAT box receiver to, and then connect to the TV.

Power - Make sure you have 30A to 50A adapter so that if you camp at a site with only 30A service, you can still plug in. Just know you cant run everything at once. One A/C, set your water heater to run off gas, that kind of thing.

Level-up - kind of hard to explain online. If you search lippert on the web, you can download a User manual. But it would be easier to have someone show you how to use it. Not much to it, once you have the hang of it.

If this is your first 5th wheel, take time to get used to the new hitching/unhitching procedure. Its not hard, but different, and the consequences of problems can be much more costly if the 5th comes off the hitch, and lands on the bed rails of your pickup. Backing up is a little different, but not hard, its just a different in pivot point compared to a trailer.

That's all I can think of right off, feel free to ask more specific questions, and we can collectively try to help.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:40 AM   #6
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Thanks!! We actually have always had old fifth wheels, the newest one we have ever had was a 2004, so I guess I am just intimidated by all the computerized stuff. See, I didn't know I could siphon water into the fresh tank, we've always used a jug and a funnel on the old units, but that is awesome to know. The biggest mystery to me is the solar and power control. We always boondock, so it is important I know how to monitor the battery level, etc. I need to figure out if we need more batteries an inverter, and/or more solar panels. I will definitely be watching more of the videos! I appreciate any help I can get.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:59 AM   #7
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Based on the discussion so far, I am guessing you did not get a build sheet. When the weather prevents camping, go through the 5er and write down make, model and serial number for all the major appliances. Then go online to the manufacturers web site and down load instructions and manuals. This will come in handy should you ever need to make repairs. The manual for the solar controller should provide the info you need on that. Enjoy your new toy.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:11 AM   #8
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Based on the discussion so far, I am guessing you did not get a build sheet. When the weather prevents camping, go through the 5er and write down make, model and serial number for all the major appliances. Then go online to the manufacturers web site and down load instructions and manuals. This will come in handy should you ever need to make repairs. The manual for the solar controller should provide the info you need on that. Enjoy your new toy.
X2. There are manuals online for just about everything. Much more informative than the forum guessing at what you have and what you need to do. If you can't find something using Google, enroll the kids/grandkids to help. Our 11 year old grandson helps us like that quite often
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:34 AM   #9
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ahhhh boondocking. We don't do any of that, except when tailgating for a weekend at a college football game. I'm no help when it comes to solar. Enjoy the new unit!
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:53 PM   #10
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you are going to learn about the batteries, the inverter, and the residential refrigerator. I really can't help as we do not have solar and only boon docked a very small time. but we did have issues with running down the batteries while on the inverter for the refrigerator. I would say this is by far your most critical issue. the other stuff is pretty straight forward. there are good videos about the level up system on the internet. one other thing to watch is all the parasitic drains on the battery. all those 'computer things' that have remotes are always on in order to sense the signal from the remote.


the cardinal is wonderful. it is a small house on wheels. we love ours.
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