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Old 04-13-2015, 11:28 PM   #1
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New Owner - Overwhelmed

We took possession of a 2011 Rockwood Roo 17 last year and, thankfully, managed to get it out a couple of times before the end of the year. I say thankfully, because the previous owner quick run through sank in then but has sunk out now!!

We are gearing up for the coming camping season and for the life of me I am drawing a blank on how to get the water heater and furnace turned on and running again?!?!? I know, I know - should be second nature, but we only used it twice last year and managed to get by, and I know it will become second nature, but any insight would be appreciated.

Also, any start up tips for newbies? The previous owner left some scratch notes about start-up (something about a valve and a water tank), which I think sounds important!??!?

Thanks very much and sorry to make the first post the needy one.

Thanks again,
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:37 PM   #2
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Nothing is second nature yet, so don't sweat it. With one or two exceptions, everyone was a newbie here once.
Yes, very very important to have water in the tank before starting it or you will burn out the electric elements.
Bleed the air from the gas lines at the stove until you get a good flame before trying the other appliances. A 2011 should have auto light, but if you can provide either model numbers or pics, we can help a bit more.
Personally I have to pack in for the night but another helpful soul will be alone any second.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:45 PM   #3
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Thanks very much for the reply and details. Yeah, I recall him mentioning, and the manual stating that no water in tank - bad for water heater.

So, if I get the pilot light lit on the stove does that then take care of the furnace?

I will look to get some additional details or pics up if possible too.

Thanks so much again,
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:36 AM   #4
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The stove and furnace are on the same line - and it is a lot easier to see that the line is clear if the stove is lit than the furnace, water heater or fridge.
Once the furnace has gas going in it should light. Water heater too. Some models have an extra switch on the outside, so number or picture would help.
One thing I do is flip breaker on the water heater after a trip to make it even less likely to try turning it on without water.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:42 AM   #5
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Howdy, a good place to start is the FAQ section we try to maintain here of the more common things you will encounter:

Forest River FAQs - Forest River Forums

If you have the Suburban water heater that can be run off of propane and/or the electric heating element, then this FAQ may help out in the understanding/operation of the two different ways to use it.

Suburban's electric switch and much more

Hope it helps
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:25 AM   #6
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My tips for newbies.

#1 Practice towing/turning/backing for an hour or so a couple days before your first trip. Get a feel for how your unit handles. 9:00 at night at the campground is not the place to be finding these things out.

#2 keep a pad and pencil by the door on your first few trip. Anytime you have a "We should have brought a..." moment, write that thing down so you remember to get one. You dont want to have to open a can of beans with a hammer and screwdriver just becasue you forgot to pack a can opener more than once.

#3 Checklists are your friend.

#4 RELAX! understand that the first few trips will be learning experiences. We have all been there. Nobody is gonna kill you because you needed 4 tries to get your trailer positioned right in the campground.

Tim
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:38 AM   #7
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I actually camped in mine several times without hot water, (or any water) and did not use the stove or furnace. After wintering over in FL in Jan and Feb, we still do not use the furnace preferring to use a small electric heater which is all that we have needed.

The point is, you can grow into using all of the extras built into your camper as you are ready to take them on.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowracer View Post
My tips for newbies.

#1 Practice towing/turning/backing for an hour or so a couple days before your first trip. Get a feel for how your unit handles. 9:00 at night at the campground is not the place to be finding these things out.

#2 keep a pad and pencil by the door on your first few trip. Anytime you have a "We should have brought a..." moment, write that thing down so you remember to get one. You dont want to have to open a can of beans with a hammer and screwdriver just becasue you forgot to pack a can opener more than once.

#3 Checklists are your friend.

#4 RELAX! understand that the first few trips will be learning experiences. We have all been there. Nobody is gonna kill you because you needed 4 tries to get your trailer positioned right in the campground.

Tim

So true all of it and checklists save you frustration when you least need it . Great Advice


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Old 04-14-2015, 11:05 AM   #9
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Even after five years, I still feel myself get a little anxious when pulling out the 33-foot from my parking space.

I just calm myself by remembering the basics...watching the mirrors (especially when turning) and keeping a safe stopping distance when in traffic. No need to rush!!

Before heading out, I walk through inside the trailer to ensure the gas is working on the fridge (and it's shut tight). Then I'll double-check my hitch (and chains), and sway-control arms, safety shut-off strap, tires and trailer stairs. I also do a brake check on a short stretch of road after pulling out of the camper and will also do a light and blinker check on the truck and trailer. Oh, I keep a torque wrench in my truck with a socket for the trailer tires and always ensure they are at 100 pounds torque. (I'm always amazed at how at least a few nuts are a bit short of the 100 pounds.)

Usually everything is great but, once in a while, I'll look at the truck gas tank and realize I forgot to fill-up...so I know where the nearest truck-stop is so will swing by to fill-up.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsdata View Post
I actually camped in mine several times without hot water, (or any water) and did not use the stove or furnace. After wintering over in FL in Jan and Feb, we still do not use the furnace preferring to use a small electric heater which is all that we have needed.

The point is, you can grow into using all of the extras built into your camper as you are ready to take them on.
Yep, our first winter trip last year we learned real quick that a small electric heater is WAY better than using the furnace that used up our propane pronto over the course of a few days!

Sometimes, you learn letter from your own experience but it's nice when you get helpful tips from others
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