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Old 01-21-2013, 12:59 AM   #11
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Just got back from 6 nights in Yosemite, where there was snow on the ground and nighttime temps of low 20s. We were nice and toasty at night! Wen we got back to camp (see pic), I would turn on the trailer furnace. It would take the camper from 34 degrees to 55 in a few minutes. I'd let the furnace cycle on and off for about an hour until we were ready for bed. I'd then turn off the furnace, and turn the Big Buddy heater on low. Two canisters would last through the night keeping the trailer around 60. I vented both the small window (at our feet) and the ceiling vent. We had condensation on the windows in the morning, but other than that, very reasonable humidity. The trailer battery had plenty of juice to run this way all week. Note: we also don't use the trailer lights inside. We have a portable solar battery to run LED lights. Makes a big difference.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by handbuilder View Post
I have a portable propane heater (Buddy Heater) that I use when I tent camp. My spouse takes it when he camps in our truck camper. He pops the vent as a precaution but the unit also has a CO2 detector. Our A Frames have same detectors, just open the vent or crack a window. I love that Buddy heater! Havent had a need to use with the A Frame, as the furnace works fine for our needs (so far)
Is the CO2 detector in our Aframe in with the LP detector? I could only see the smoke and LP detectors in my rig.

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Old 01-21-2013, 09:17 PM   #13
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Hi KO777 - The Safe T Alert detector 35 series in my unit is a combination carbon monoxide and gas alarm. It detects both CO and explosive gases simultaneously (CO, Propane and Methane). The power supply is hard wired, NOT a battery like the smoke alarm...

I mistakenly said our truck camper was the same, but its not...that one is definitely battery operated but thought my husband said it was a combo "like the A frame". I cant check because he went to AZ & CA a couple weeks ago with it on his annual trip south to help both our Moms. He drives down with his construction tools and does maintenance and remodel projects for them at their request....

I would guess you have the same in yours as mine?

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Old 01-22-2013, 02:00 PM   #14
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Hey Everybody. We returned from our 3 days at City of Rocks, New Mexico. I used several different tips, and they all worked together to make sure we had power for the whole trip. I bought a Mr. Heater Portable Buddy -- runs off 1 green 1lb propane "tank." The night routine that worked was as follows:
Swapped out regular lights for LED lights.
It got down to about 30 at night.

1) Use coleman lantern for light before bed.
2) Have Mr. Heater ready to go with full tank and pilot lit.
3) Have coffee ready to go in percolator on the stove.
4) Open roof vent a little. Mostly for condensation, but preventing CO poisoning a plus!
5) Go to bed.
6) Wake up when it gets a little chilly and turn on Mr. Heater. That lasted about 4-5 hours. Probably from 12 - 5 AM
7) Wake up fully around 6:30, turn on coffee.
8) Run heater for about 5 minutes.

That was it. Worked great. Thank you to everyone for their great ideas. I think I may get one of those little 50W or 80W briefcase style solar panel setups to make sure that battery stays charged. But honestly, I think the major draw on the battery was the water pump -- mostly doing dishes.

I couldn't get the voltmeter to show me the battery voltage. I must be doing something wrong -- it kept showing 0V. Probably why I got a C in circuits.

Thanks again,
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:20 PM   #15
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Was the meter set on a/c or d/c?

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Old 01-22-2013, 03:04 PM   #16
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It was on DC. I thought the 0V indicated there was a "clear" electrical path between the two probes. I was sticking them in the two sockets of a three prong electrical socket (not the neutral)

I also tried putting the probes on the terminal heads of the battery itself. I did not disconnect the wires, which is probably the problem there.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:28 PM   #17
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Is your meter auto ranging? Placing an auto ranging meter on the battery posts, set on DC volts should give you a reading, even on a battery that appears dead.

Don't test the AC 3 prong outlets with the meter set on DC. You'll blow the fuse (and likely get a nice pop! and arc). The 3 prong outlets are AC only when plugged to shore power.

Make sure your probes are in the correct connections on the meter too.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:13 AM   #18
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I have a 2013 T12RB Flagstaff, which I haven't used yet, and I have a battery question also. I will have 30 amp service but I'm wondering what runs off the battery if I'm plugged into the electricity? I'm hoping nothing, including the radio, but scanning through all the manuals, I can't find a chapter that explains what runs off electricity and what runs off the battery when hooked to the parks power supply. If anyone has experience with the model I have, I would dearly love to hear from you. Also, does the park power supply charge the battery or is the battery only charged from the tow vehicles power?
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:48 AM   #19
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To make things easier to understand ... if the trailer is not plugged into shore power, everything will run on 12 volt (from your battery) except the cool cat heat exchanger/air conditioning and your fridge. In this scenario you run your fridge on propane. The hot water heaters ignition is supplied by 12 volt, and your hot water heater runs on propane.
When plugged into shore power, the converter takes over and recharges your battery, seamlessly .. meaning there is no switching involved. In this scenario you can run everything to your hearts content, with the fridge running off of the 120.
When dry camping ... which we do alot ... the fridge is switched to propane, not 12 volt, as 12 volt is for when you are hooked up to your tow vehicle.
Sounds a bit confusing at first .. but it really is a simple system. One of the reasons i purchased this trailer is because it all runs so well when camping without shore power.

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Old 02-11-2013, 09:12 AM   #20
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And to clarify a bit further, when not plugged in to shore power the Cool Cat and microwave won't run at all, since they're 110v only, but the furnace will run, as its fan and ignition system are both 12v.

Also when not plugged in to shore power all the 110v outlets are dead. That may seem obvious, but I at first thought the power center in my trailer was an inverter, believing it would produce 110v from a 12v supply. I soon found I was wrong. It's a converter only, changing 110v into 12v for most of the appliances and lights, and shunting 110v (when on shore power) to the micro, outlets, and Cool Cat. It's also a "smart charger" for your battery then.

The charging that happens when you're hooked to the tow vehicle is very slight, not really enough to bring a dead battery all the way back up.

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a128, a128s, battery

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