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Old 06-08-2015, 08:20 AM   #1
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Dumping and level lights

Group,

We are three week owners of a 31QB Shasta Oasis. We got it used from a dealer and feel slightly under informed.

When sani dumping - which is the grey valve and which is the black valve?

Our level indicators for water, black or grey have never really showed anything - is this due to power levels?

The sucker drops batteries pretty quickly - we live close to the mountains and almost never have the chance to plug in. Any thoughts on solar panels?

Woke yesterday in the cold to the propane sensor...

Any other tricks?

Much appreciate any feed back.

Kevin
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:50 AM   #2
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In most cases the black valve is located on the larger pipe and the grey valve is on the smaller pipe. The sensors in RV's are notoriously incorrect. They either build up junk and read high or build up junk and don't read at all. You can try filling the tank with hot water and dish soap letting it soak for a while then dump. If you have a used TT the battery may be in marginal shape. They generally last 4-5 yrs. if taken care if. Check the water . There are many things that use 12V in a TT. Fridge control board ( even on propane) HW heater control (even on propane) propane/Co detector. These will all drain a battery over a relatively short period of time. Suggest you review the 12V side of life (The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)) lots of good info. Solar panels work as well as a small 1-2K generator. If you go generator, I suggest the inverter type as are generally quieter, produce cleaner power ( for electronics) and have a eco throttle which will switch to low speed when load is minimal. Generator vs solar depends on where you camp, ( restrictions /shade) how much power you use and preferences.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:04 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for this!
We have been camping in a much older trailer without all of the luxuries so the learning curve is steep. Yes the previous one didn't have a toilet...
I think I have my plan for the toilet and grey water systems. Awesome to know all of this... I may want to even just flush the system regularly I imagine.

As for power - what a great article. My thoughts are firstly go solar. We usually have great sun opportunities.
From the diagram it looks like plugging in would also charge the battery up. I may want to do this as well. We are pretty close to the mountains - so our drives may not fully charge the battery up. I have came to pick it up and heard the propane sensor going.
I will try out the solar panel - and if it charges great - the unit is a 2013 so I am hoping some juice still left in the battery.
Then - based on that article - 2 x 6w batteries.
The sizing of solar panels seems the next logical question.
I am thinking starting off with an 80 watt one from costco. Thoughts?

Kevin
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:20 PM   #4
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There are tons of helpful websites about solar power. You need to read through a few to get pointed in the right direction. A couple of things you need to realize right off is solar is only at its peak effectivenes a few hours a day and you don't want to drain a battery more than 50% unless you can't help it. Taking them down to near dead will shorten the battery life and ability to fully recharge dramatically. 80 watts will be below what you need to fully recharge a regular RV battery(s) Here's a bit of basic reading RV Solar System Sizing by Actual Use
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Old 06-08-2015, 02:30 PM   #5
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Sounding quite complicated. I am now thinking of getting two of the 80w - that would get me to 160w.
I don't imagine us being a high draw user. i don't let the kids use the lights...
As we are in an area known for hail - I am thinking solar panels that are portable.
The highest portable ones I have seen are 80w.
It is a bit lighter than recommended in the article at 200w. What do you all think?
And thank you again all!
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:56 AM   #6
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Had a similar issue at the start with level indicators. I put in some cleaning solution and some water. I let it soak for a bit and drove around a bit so the liquid would move around in the tank. After that I took a sprayer that u put down the toilet opening and gave it a good scrubbing. After that was done I dumped the tank. Since that treatment I use the sprayer as soon as I get back and dump the tank. I have not had any problems with the indicators since then and mine actually seem to be reasonably accurate.


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Old 06-09-2015, 08:01 AM   #7
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If you are losing power quick u might want to check your fridge light. Someone else here on the forum has similar issues and found that their fridge light shutoff was not working properly and was running his battery down. He put his cell phone on video and put in the fridge and closed the door and it showed the light was not going out. I can't recall how he caught on to it but if you search the form you will find his post.


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Old 06-09-2015, 08:10 AM   #8
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If you decide to go solar, choose a charge controller that is 2-3 times what you estimate your current needs to be. This way you can easily add panels without needing a new controller. Depending on where you are camping and how much you are away from your TT, you may want to have the panels portable ( mounted on the ground on stands) as it will allow you to position them for best sun no matter which way the trailer is positioned. A simple angled stand can be made from 3/4" PVC. Strategically leave some joints unglued so the stand will lay flat when disassembled.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:19 PM   #9
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Battery users

I find the booster on the antenna runs the battery down. Make sure it is off while between trips
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:22 AM   #10
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Hello all,

Great thoughts. I think I definitely need a good cleaning of my tanks. Funny that no one at any of the stores mention any of this. I will pick up a second hose for the cleaning.

I have ordered 2 x 80 W solar panels with the ability to up to 360W from the inverter.
Good thought on the fridge - I will have to check that out. Any sneaky power draw will kill the trailer dead much quicker.
Does anyone know what frequency the TV antennas are set to, I am thinking of replacing the TV antenna with a ham radio antenna.
Are there solar outside lights (patio lantern style)?
How do I know when the water tank is full when filling it? Does it spill out?
I had my water pump running lots our last trip - is this common?

We have only had the trailer out 5 nights so far and haven't had other issues.

Thank you all sooo much.

Kevin
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:53 AM   #11
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If you ran the furnace a lot, that will kill the batteries very fast. I have solar panels that will compensate for the parasitic draws and I have a couple of 2000 watt Honda gennys for AC power. When I fill my water tank via the gravity fill it will sputter out the vent tube as the tank fills. It will overflow out the fill hole when full or very near full. Restrict the water going into the tank and fill slowly then and it should fill to the top for you. As others have said, parasitic draws will eventually kill your battery/batteries. You can get digital channels on your roof mounted antenna easily. Just put your TV on scan. You might have to aim it for better reception. We boondock in the forest and most of the time I don't have to raise the ant. for reception. I don't quite understand why you would want to put a ham radio ant in its place unless you want to run strictly ham radio and not the TV. If you put a 2 meter ant in its place it will definitely hit branches etc. when driving. Something to think about.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:29 AM   #12
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The furnace shouldn't have ran too much - that being said it likely was maintaining temperatures at 55-60 degrees.
Filling water seemed difficult - that may be because of the pressure - I will crank it down. Good catch.
We haven't got a TV in the trailer as yet - not sure we would have much luck with reception in the mountains - and really wan't to kick the kids outside. I really could just do a mag mount antenna for a ham. I have a mobile in my truck already - maybe I am teching out too much.
Any thoughts on trailer back up cameras - and where I could pull power for a camera from without poking holes?
Thank you all again!
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:22 PM   #13
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As for the camera....my wife does a good job backing me in....she just has to learn to use the PTT button when she tries to tell me something...I'm sure others will chime in on the camera. When our kids got to a certain age, they each got an apartment (tent). Not a lot of TV watching. Now the grand kids come with us and they spend most of the time outside. have fun and enjoy... By the way my call is VE3PJF.
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by live_love_life View Post
Hello all,

Great thoughts. I think I definitely need a good cleaning of my tanks. Funny that no one at any of the stores mention any of this. I will pick up a second hose for the cleaning.

I have ordered 2 x 80 W solar panels with the ability to up to 360W from the inverter.
Good thought on the fridge - I will have to check that out. Any sneaky power draw will kill the trailer dead much quicker.
Does anyone know what frequency the TV antennas are set to, I am thinking of replacing the TV antenna with a ham radio antenna.
Are there solar outside lights (patio lantern style)?
How do I know when the water tank is full when filling it? Does it spill out?
I had my water pump running lots our last trip - is this common?

We have only had the trailer out 5 nights so far and haven't had other issues.

Thank you all sooo much.

Kevin

My water pump would come on occasionally even if no one was using water. It had poor or inconsistent pressure as well. Problem was traced to pump drawing air past a valve via the winterizing hose. Put a cap on it and no more issues. Easy way to tell is turn on the pump and put your thumb over the end of the hose. If you feel suction then air is getting past a valve and the pump will cut in to keep prime. Cap the end of the hose and problem solved. Easier than trying to figure out which valve has air going by.


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Old 06-12-2015, 09:53 AM   #15
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I am still not sure of the camera - I picked up one from costco - sadly my truck is a 2010 and didn't have the option - or I opted not to have a back up camera. I was thinking it would be good on the trailer - but not sure it really is necessary - maybe I will just put it on my truck for down town parking -eeek! I have little kids so they always are out - if I had a TV - this would create a big fight. lol

The question on the water pump - where is the winterization line on it? I am sure it was winterized - but as it is new to me - where might I find it?

Thanks all
Kevin and VA6SIN here
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:57 AM   #16
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OTA TV is UHF 470 - 806 MHz

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Old 06-12-2015, 10:22 AM   #17
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If on your trailer your black tank/grey tank use the same drain, on mine, the handle that sticks out the furthest is the black....pull first, then the other and it'll flush the 'stinky-slinky' somewhat.....If your takes a different drain hose connection, one for each tank, add some food coloring to grey tank, then you'll watch for that color when draining and you''ll be able to identify which handle does what.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:53 AM   #18
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The winterization valve,if you have one, will be very near your water pump. It will be a valve with an extended hose leading off of it and no coupling on the end. Make sure that the valve is turned so that it goes across the hose to the off position. Geeze I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:35 PM   #19
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The winterizing line will be close to the pump. It will be open ended so that it can be put in a jug for drawing antifreeze into the system. In order to work with mine I have to remove a drawer from the counter to be able to reach in and to see the valves etc.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:48 PM   #20
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I will do some digging when I bring my trailer back home next weekend - sadly we have to store it
I have some idea of where to look for the valve. I did get pressure - I am not sure how this works - I am thinking it is pressurizing the water tank to push water up - it seems to turn on and off for a while - but when low - it never turns off at all.
I guess we all are hunting for dumping locations - so my thought is fill the black and grey tank with soapy water and dumping friday when setting up to camp.
Here is hoping it all comes clean
Thank you all for soo much help.

Kevin
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