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Old 12-10-2013, 11:13 AM   #1
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Forest River Surveyor Questions

Hello folks

Since I'm new to this RV TT thing I have been reading a lot of the post these last few days trying to learn more from your experiences, and for this I Thank YOU ALL !!

It's an interesting learning curve ..............

I do have a few questions;

1. My wife has a friend who has TT, don't know what brand or year, but information was relayed to my wife that if we have or TT's electrical cord hooked to our house current as it sits out side in our RV pad, that it could over charge the batteries.

I have a 2014 220 Surveyor Sport, does anybody know if this could be true on this new model?

2. In addition the dealer during their inspection of the unit filled the 46 gal. fresh water tank, we do not plan to use the water in the TT as it sits at our home, would it be recommended to drain the tank? The Grey and Black tanks are empty according to the meters.

3. What would be the best way to tell just how much Propane is in my two tanks ? A gauge ? and or one of those strips you can magnet to the side of tank ?

4. Lastly I understand that the batteries may not have a cut off switch unless you disconnect the cables, if this is correct? does anybody have a diagram of how to install one. I use to have a 30' Fairliner Boat that have one but it came with it. Or is it even necessary to have one ?

Thanks Again for any input !!

Avan
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Surveyor world!
Plugging into your house will not overcharge the batteries. (I have a SP220 as well)
I think your fresh water tank is actually 36 gallons and yes you should empty it. There is a hose hanging down with a cap on the end between the steps and your tire. Take off the end to empty. If you see two hoses together, that is your low point drain lines.
You can try to use a gauge or a magnet on your propane tanks (or even just run your hand down the side to feel the temperature difference while using propane) but none of these have worked well for me. You have dual tanks with an automatic change over so when it switches over, you know the first tank is empty. That is what we did and it worked for us.
The battery shut off switch is up to you. You will drain your batteries but not if you have it plugged in all the time. I just disconnect the battery manually on mine as I like to lock up my battery for safekeeping.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
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Cool! Thank You (tanddc) I will drain it as soon as I get home.

Do you have a 2014 Sport?

According to the FR website the SP-220RBS has a 46gal fresh water tank. Could they be fibbing ? LOL

In any case Thanks

Avan
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:35 PM   #4
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A few thoughts:


1. The converter in your TT will continually charge the battery if the TT is plugged in. It won't fry it or anything, but the factory supplied converters are fairly low end. There is a lot of science (and some voodoo) to maximizing/optimizing battery performance for people who frequently camp without electric hookups. The constant charging from a factory converter is probably not the best way to maintain your battery. I just unplug the TT if is going to be stored more than a few days. If its in storage for the winter, I pull the batteries and give them a trickle charge every few weeks.

2. I would drain it - it will probably get a stale taste/smell sitting there, and most people don't travel with water in the tanks - 46 gallons is adding almost 375 pounds to your trailer weight. Fill up when you arrive if going to a cg without water hookups.

3. There are bbq grill add-ons that connect between the tank and the regulator with a gauge. Never broke down and bought one, or there are the strips. Not sure how accurate either of them are. If you have an auto-changover setup on your regulator where it draws from one tank until empty then switches to the other, you know when one tank is empty and can fill it while running on the other one. If your tt doesn't have this, it could be added.

4. I think if you search the forum (and the library) you will find this. Or somebody else has the link handy and will post it. The disconect switch is handy, but our last camper didn't have one, so I just pulled the wire. Not a huge deal to just do that - the key whether its the switch or the wire is always remember to disconnect so your battery isn't drained by the CO detector and other small draws. Completely draining the battery absolutely kills the charge capacity and lifespan of a battery.

Enjoy the Surveyor!
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:47 PM   #5
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here's my opinions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avan View Post
I do have a few questions;

1. My wife has a friend who has TT, don't know what brand or year, but information was relayed to my wife that if we have or TT's electrical cord hooked to our house current as it sits out side in our RV pad, that it could over charge the batteries.

I have a 2014 220 Surveyor Sport, does anybody know if this could be true on this new model?
this is leftover info from the old days of single stage converters.
your trailer has a three stage converter and will not overcharge the batteries, unless it becomes defective.


2. In addition the dealer during their inspection of the unit filled the 46 gal. fresh water tank, we do not plan to use the water in the TT as it sits at our home, would it be recommended to drain the tank? The Grey and Black tanks are empty according to the meters.
it's always good to have some water in the FW tank when on the road, for bathroom stops. but if you're not going to be using it for awhile, then drain it.

3. What would be the best way to tell just how much Propane is in my two tanks ? A gauge ? and or one of those strips you can magnet to the side of tank ?
weighing the tank is the only way to be really accurate. the other methods you mention are famously inaccurate.

4. Lastly I understand that the batteries may not have a cut off switch unless you disconnect the cables, if this is correct? does anybody have a diagram of how to install one. I use to have a 30' Fairliner Boat that have one but it came with it. Or is it even necessary to have one ?
a battery cutoff switch is something many of us install, because it's very necessary due to parasitic power drains. most install it at the battery. not sure if there's a diagram but it's very simple.

Thanks Again for any input !!

Avan
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avan View Post
Cool! Thank You (tanddc) I will drain it as soon as I get home.

Do you have a 2014 Sport?

According to the FR website the SP-220RBS has a 46gal fresh water tank. Could they be fibbing ? LOL

In any case Thanks

Avan
I doubt they are fibbing and I stand corrected
Mine is a 2013. What size is your gray tank? It is easy to add to the fresh but we always fill up the gray.

By the way, there are a few of us on the boards with this model. If you get a chance you should take look in the Surveyor section at some of the mods/issues etc that we have had and feel free to share your experiences.

Tim
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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Welcome!!!


1. Plug that camper in whenever you want and when ever you can! The camper should be set up to charge the battery/ies when on shore power. Once the batteries are full they will be maintained and not over charged.

2. You will want to drain and all water in the system if you are not using it! Standing water will attract bacteria and will begin to grow and infect your whole system...

3. checking the volume of tanks, you can shake the tank, weigh the tank, use the meter strips or an infrared gun can show you as well!

4. I installed one and I just cut the ground wire (black) from the battery to the frame rail. I put the switch in between those two new points as this will open and close the ground circuit...
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avan View Post
Cool! Thank You (tanddc) I will drain it as soon as I get home.

Do you have a 2014 Sport?

According to the FR website the SP-220RBS has a 46gal fresh water tank. Could they be fibbing ? LOL

In any case Thanks

Avan
Hard to know what is right. I looked at two sites today on the 2014 220, and one said fresh 46, gray 40 and black 30. The other 2014 (appeared to be the same trailer) said fresh 36, gray 30 and black 30. Those latter are the sizes I THINK I have on my 2013. But who knows?

As mentioned earlier, check the Surveyor part of this forum. A number of us have the Surveyor 220, and there are lots of ideas and mods and problem-solving.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:29 PM   #9
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It's even harder as we have had reports of manufacturers changing tank sized due to code issues.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:32 PM   #10
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Thank You!! Much Appreciated Advise!!
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