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Old 07-26-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
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Some dumb questions from a novice

Hi all! Purchased a 26DBH last month, have already had it out on multiple occasions. As such, I have accumulated some questions.

A/C - mine seems to be terrible. It's hot outside and I only have the 12,500 BTU model. The air coming out is cold.. but doesn't seem to come out fast enough to cool the entire unit. If l close off the ducting and close the doors to the bedroom and bathroom, it does finally manage to cool off a bit but I am wondering what kind of project I would be looking at to upgrade to a 15k BTU. I've also heard good things about reflectix, but looking for input on that.

Battery - the last 2 times I went to pickup the trailer, the battery was completely dead. Is there some sort of shutoff switch or anything? Also, is there a way to add a second battery so I can watch TV without running the generator? I like to watch TV when going to bed, but I am also a late owl, don't think my fellow neighbors would appreciate that very much.

Fridge - it takes forever to cool down. Is this normal? Which should I use to cool it off the fastest, the propane or electric?

Dumping - when at a place with full hookups, do you leave your black water open or let it build up and dump all at once? Also, when we got the unit, it came with some sample packets for the black water. It says to drain the tank, then add the packet and add approx. 2 gallons, then repeat after next time its drained. Can someone give me best practices on this? Ive also seen little stands for the black water hose.. what is the purpose/need for those?

Maintenance - what are your suggestions for keeping this beast in tip top shape?

Thanks for your time, sorry for the long winded post!
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:40 AM   #2
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I have the 27DBH and it takes a while to cool down . I always open the air dump to make it cool quicker.
The refrigerator is what it is. I usually run on propane starting the afternoon before departure and switch to electric once set up.
I installed me a battery disconnect switch near the battery and turn it off when in storage. Just remember to have it on when traveling. The battery is required for the trailer brakes.
As for the black tank , always leave it closed until it's at least three quarters full or it will pyramid on you. And you don't want that. After dumping I always put about 2 to 4 gallons in my tank for travel so it sloshes around.
As for maintenance , keep the slide seals lubricated and the slide roof clean. Other than that, annually clean roof and check caulking.
Have a great time.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:00 AM   #3
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Quick cool dump feature for fastest cool down on a/c

Fridge may take 24 hrs to cool down.

Leave all tanks closed till full

Disconnect battery when not in use "phantom battery draws"

15k a/c will run you around $600.00
And won't cool your camper much if any "quicker"

For the black tank a lot of us use the blue streak, puts chemicals in every time you flush for "no" hassle.
http://www.bluestreakchem.net/




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Old 07-27-2016, 08:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenretta View Post
A/C - mine seems to be terrible. It's hot outside and I only have the 12,500 BTU model. The air coming out is cold.. but doesn't seem to come out fast enough to cool the entire unit. If l close off the ducting and close the doors to the bedroom and bathroom, it does finally manage to cool off a bit but I am wondering what kind of project I would be looking at to upgrade to a 15k BTU. I've also heard good things about reflectix, but looking for input on that.

I don't think you'll notice enough difference in a 15k to justify it. As mentioned, open the dumps on the AC and don't use the ducting until after it's cooled down a little.

Battery - the last 2 times I went to pickup the trailer, the battery was completely dead. Is there some sort of shutoff switch or anything?

If it's been dead twice, you've probably ruined the battery (or damaged it to some extent at least ). If you're always plugged in, it probably won't matter as much but, if you run things off of battery, you may not have near the charge as when it was new. There are some things that are "always on" that will kill a battery in about a week so you want to disconnect your battery when not in use or plugged in. Many trailers have a disconnect switch from the factory now (cheap and easy to install one if it doesn't) and the newer ones seem to be located by the battery on the inside of the frame. Mine looks like a red key.

Also, is there a way to add a second battery so I can watch TV without running the generator? I like to watch TV when going to bed, but I am also a late owl, don't think my fellow neighbors would appreciate that very much.

Yes, but (especially since you've killed a battery several times) you really need to buy two at the same time and not just add to the one you have. In general, same size, type, and age. Search the forum for 12V and 6V to research some options there.

As to watching TV with battery power...that depends on whether or not your TV is 12V or 110V. If it's 110V, you'd need an inverter in addition to more battery.

Fridge - it takes forever to cool down. Is this normal? Which should I use to cool it off the fastest, the propane or electric?

Perfectly normal and, like stated before, start it up a day early if possible. Mine takes about 7 hours to cool down. Propane tends to cool them down faster and colder than 110V.

Dumping - when at a place with full hookups, do you leave your black water open or let it build up and dump all at once?

Always let the black tank fill to at least 50% before dumping for reasons already stated.

Also, when we got the unit, it came with some sample packets for the black water. It says to drain the tank, then add the packet and add approx. 2 gallons, then repeat after next time its drained. Can someone give me best practices on this? Ive also seen little stands for the black water hose.. what is the purpose/need for those?

Just dump them in and add water. It's kind of like Rid X and deodorizer. Helps to dissolve...stuff and keeps it from stinking.

Maintenance - what are your suggestions for keeping this beast in tip top shape?

The generic manual usually contains a maintenance schedule. Follow it. You should also have received a big stack of manuals (I'm assuming it's a new trailer ) for everything installed in it. Read through them. They will list maintenance instructions for everything down to the axles. Reading through will also help in the event that you have a problem on the road and need to troubleshoot or fix things. It rolls, bounces, and vibrates...sometimes things break.

Thanks for your time, sorry for the long winded post!
Any questions, feel free to ask.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenretta View Post
Dumping - when at a place with full hookups, do you leave your black water open or let it build up and dump all at once? Also, when we got the unit, it came with some sample packets for the black water. It says to drain the tank, then add the packet and add approx. 2 gallons, then repeat after next time its drained. Can someone give me best practices on this? Ive also seen little stands for the black water hose.. what is the purpose/need for those?
See if this helps - expand the part about "At a campsite that has sewer hookups":
Learn To RV: How to Dump RV Tanks (it's not so icky!)

As for the little stands, people believe that they help you attain a proper slope from the camper to the sewer hookup at the site. In a couple of hundred nights of use, I've yet to have a problem without using them. Once, having your sewer hose off of the ground was required (at a park in Las Vegas).

If you're somewhere for a while, they can help to keep from marring the grass with your sewer hose laying on it. I'm really considering one for just this reason:
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:24 AM   #6
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I put reflectix insulation in the bunk windows and in the front bedroom windows for our summer trip when it was 96 degrees and it helped SIGNIFICANTLY! Plus it stays nice and dark in the morning!

The fridge will take a while to cool down, and if you still have problems, you have to move the thermester on the fin in the back of the fridge. Up will make it colder, down will make it warmer. It is on the fin tight, so it takes some gumption to make it move.

I also just installed a battery cutoff switch this spring because all the ups and downs last year killed my battery.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:28 AM   #7
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I actually like to get the sewer hose off the ground. I have one of these:
https://store.lci1.com/flowdown

To be honest, I don't use it if I'm stopping for the night. But if I'm there for a few days, I do. It is easier to set up than it seems it'd be from the pictures.

When I don't use it, invariably I have to lift the sewer hose to get it to flow.......meaning it's hard to get a 'heavy' hose to be all downhill from the cap to the sewer drain. With the supports, it never has an issue.

I am throwing away a Rhino sewer hose because it has pin holes in it. The only place I can think of that it got those holes was lying on gravel, or maybe a rock in the ground, when I used it. It lasted 3 months. The support system keeps the sewer hose from exposure to anything ragged.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenretta View Post
Maintenance - what are your suggestions for keeping this beast in tip top shape?

Thanks for your time, sorry for the long winded post!
Welcome! All good advice given above. You'll find there are some pretty squared away people on this forum, always willing to be helpful. There are the occasional wing nuts

I would add always keep a close eye for water intrusion, whether from above or below. It is the one thing that can turn into a nightmare if not caught. My previous TT was a hybrid purchased used and didn't realize water has made its way to the floor via the outside bottom seam not being sealed. Hence a "soft floor" resulted. Also inspect the roof and the roof seams, at least a couple of times a year. One errant tree branch, hail storm, etc can breach the membrane.

And most importantly: Have Fun!
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenretta View Post
Hi all! Purchased a 26DBH last month, have already had it out on multiple occasions. As such, I have accumulated some questions.

A/C - mine seems to be terrible. It's hot outside and I only have the 12,500 BTU model. The air coming out is cold.. but doesn't seem to come out fast enough to cool the entire unit. If l close off the ducting and close the doors to the bedroom and bathroom, it does finally manage to cool off a bit but I am wondering what kind of project I would be looking at to upgrade to a 15k BTU. I've also heard good things about reflectix, but looking for input on that.

Battery - the last 2 times I went to pickup the trailer, the battery was completely dead. Is there some sort of shutoff switch or anything? Also, is there a way to add a second battery so I can watch TV without running the generator? I like to watch TV when going to bed, but I am also a late owl, don't think my fellow neighbors would appreciate that very much.

Fridge - it takes forever to cool down. Is this normal? Which should I use to cool it off the fastest, the propane or electric?

Dumping - when at a place with full hookups, do you leave your black water open or let it build up and dump all at once? Also, when we got the unit, it came with some sample packets for the black water. It says to drain the tank, then add the packet and add approx. 2 gallons, then repeat after next time its drained. Can someone give me best practices on this? Ive also seen little stands for the black water hose.. what is the purpose/need for those?

Maintenance - what are your suggestions for keeping this beast in tip top shape?

Thanks for your time, sorry for the long winded post!
First, Welcome! I hope you have many, many fun trips in your new TT! I think most of the previous posts have answered your main questions, but I thought I would comment on the Refletix, or foil insulation. Camping World and Amazon both carry pre-cut pieces for the door windows with Velcro tape for attaching it. I have camped in 106 degree heat for several days before, and the AC needed some help. We went to Home Depot (any big box store) and bought a roll of the silver foil material for about $11 I think. Then picked up a small roll of Velcro. We have foil for the door windows when needed, and on both small windows either side of the bed. A lot cheaper that buying for one window at a time and I have a LOT left over. Yes it does help considerably. We have a 15K BTU and 13.5K BTU unit on our trailer and it still takes a couple of hours to cool down in 95+ degree heat. Be patient, it will get there.

You didn't say if this was your first RV, but if not a few hints on keeping it in good shape. Remember we pull these down some very rough roads at times, and into a near-hurricane head wind always. Pretty tough environment. Be sure to pack the correct type of screw driver bit to fit your cabinet door hinges, trim on the trailer, and a general set of tools. I also pack some Gorilla tape (much better at sticking and staying than Duct tape, IMHO) in clear. It doesn't leave the goo residue if you have to use it and it really stays put. Be sure you have the jack and tools needed if you have a flat also; check for Trailer-Aid on this forum for in-depty discussions on jacking up your trailer.
Lots of great information on this and other camping forums, be prepared to sort through what is relevant to your trailer and you will benefit greatly. Again...
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:44 PM   #10
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I just put the reflectix in our TT last week and what a difference it made. You can get it Home Depot. I could not believe how fast it cooled down.

I just bought the hose holder. Hopefully it won't take two of us to empty the tank now. Before we would have to keep lifting it off the ground to keep everything moving.

I am still a newbie but starting to get it down.
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