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Old 03-24-2014, 12:00 PM   #1
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Can someone help explain battery/shore power?

We purchased our Aliner last March. It was not a good day at all as my grandmother ended up passing away that afternoon and I was trapped at the dealer as they finished getting my hitch fully wired and finish up prepping the camper.
Needless to say I apparently didn't ask all of the questions I needed to nor did they explain a lot.
I believe our battery is dead which whatever we can get a new one--but what I am not sure about is what runs on what?

When I have it plugged in with the converter line into a regular plug in at home--what is running on battery and what is running off of the plug in?

There were multiple times this summer where we camped and things would quickly go dead even though we were plugged in to the outlet at the camp site.

Generally the only way we could get power going again would be to reconnect to my vehicle.

I guess I thought that when you are plugged in the lights and stuff should work?

I should note we would always 'charge' at least 24 hours connected to the house before we go.

I do understand the refrigerator is shore power/propane/battery--we generally leave it off all together and use a cooler or have it set to shore power only.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:30 PM   #2
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Here is some good reading. Any questions, report back.

http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm

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Old 03-24-2014, 12:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlbuffalo1 View Post
We purchased our Aliner last March. It was not a good day at all as my grandmother ended up passing away that afternoon and I was trapped at the dealer as they finished getting my hitch fully wired and finish up prepping the camper.
Needless to say I apparently didn't ask all of the questions I needed to nor did they explain a lot.
I believe our battery is dead which whatever we can get a new one--but what I am not sure about is what runs on what?

When I have it plugged in with the converter line into a regular plug in at home--what is running on battery and what is running off of the plug in?

There were multiple times this summer where we camped and things would quickly go dead even though we were plugged in to the outlet at the camp site.

Generally the only way we could get power going again would be to reconnect to my vehicle.

I guess I thought that when you are plugged in the lights and stuff should work?

I should note we would always 'charge' at least 24 hours connected to the house before we go.

I do understand the refrigerator is shore power/propane/battery--we generally leave it off all together and use a cooler or have it set to shore power only.
Did the dealer install a fuse in the battery lead? I believe the standard battery is a gr24 marine battery. My dealer, Roberts Sales in Denver, upgrade all their new campers to a battery box and a gr27 battery. On my new T12RB, I had them upgrade that to a 31 deep-cycle marine battery. They install a fuse in a weather-proof holder in the positive lead so the smoke/CO/propane detector does not drain the battery. Also, if the fuse is removed when connected to shore power prevents cooking all the electrolyte from the battery.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:53 PM   #4
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Don't think of it a what runs on battery and what runs on house current. Think of it as having two electrical systems. One 12 volt and the other 120 volt. The 12V system can be powered through the converter by either plugging into 120V shore power, or if no shore power is used, by the battery. The converter also serves as the battery charger.

For practical purposes the 12V system includes the lights, furnace, stereo and water pump. It can power the fridge, but only do that when driving and getting power from the TV. If you have a power tongue jack or power flush potty, those are 12V also.

The 120V system will power the household type appliances; AC, microwave, fridge and whatever is plunged into the wall outlets.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:56 PM   #5
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Here is another good website to explain RV electrical basic.....

RV Electrical Systems
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by girlbuffalo1 View Post
We purchased our Aliner last March.

Please ask what question you need answered, we are happy to help. But be aware this is a forum for Forest River (Rockwood and Flagstaff branded) A-frame campers, which are different than Aliners in some ways. So the answers and discussions you see here may not apply to you.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:53 PM   #7
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yes Rockwood

Yes we have a Rockwood--I guess I just used the term Aliner--it is NOT Aliner brand.

I will read through the links posted.

I guess I just need someone to walk me through what I need to do--to work everything? I really have no idea I guess--I thought when plugged in everything would work but that is obviously not the case.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlbuffalo1 View Post
Yes we have a Rockwood--I guess I just used the term Aliner--it is NOT Aliner brand.

I will read through the links posted.

I guess I just need someone to walk me through what I need to do--to work everything? I really have no idea I guess--I thought when plugged in everything would work but that is obviously not the case.
You are correct - if you are plugged in, everything should work. And the converter should be charging your battery while you are plugged in. If it goes dead when plugged in, but re-charges when you hook it to your vehicle, then either there is a problem with the converter itself, or you have a blown fuse.

I'm not familiar with your model, but most camper panels will have a set of "reverse polarity fuses" which are designed to blow if the battery gets hooked up backwards. Start with your electrical panel - check the breakers and the fuses. Some converters have lights to show you if a fuse is blown, but if not, you can pull them out and look to see if the metal piece inside is broken.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:06 PM   #9
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Well, with it plugged in, everything should work. Towards the front interior, you should see a black cover over the converter. Lift up on the cover and you should see some circuit breakers (I think, as my camper is in the garage) check to see if they are on. There should be a led light on.
Is the battery connected?
Is the outlet you are plugged powered (if at a site) is their breaker on?

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Old 03-24-2014, 02:07 PM   #10
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we have looked at the fuses and even bought a tester and set of replacements as we thought that might be what it is--no fuses are blown--and if we follow the instructions in the manual it also confirms no fuses are blown.

If we plug in to shore power nothing works except the microwave and maybe a few other things? The water pump, lights etc do not work.
If we charge overnight it appears the water pump, lights, radio work--but then out camping and plugged into a site we get maybe an hour and we are blacked out

If I plug back into my vehicle things are working again. We have actually had to get the propane furnace working in the middle of the night as the heater thing stopped working and we were going to freeze to death.
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