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Old 08-16-2014, 07:44 AM   #1
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2002 Flagstaff Basic Electric Questions

Greetings,

I have just purchased a 2002 Flagstaff.

It does not have a battery - previous owner only plugged into shore power.

When I plug into 30 amp the air conditioner works, and the water heater works, and all of the inside and outside power outlets work fine.

Question #1: The refrigerator does not work, even though I have gone in the backside and turned on the "120v" power switch. Should I just buy a dorm refrig like previous owner did?

Question #2: How can I turn off the water heater electric supply so that I can plug in even though I may not have water hooked up? The only switch inside the access panel (exterior) has to do with the propane. I find no switch for electric. That seems weird, since you don't want both systems working at once do you? Where else might the switch be located?

Question #3: The interior lights do not work when 30 amp is plugged in, but previous owner says they worked fine, and so far everything he has told me has been spot on, so I do not think he is BS'ing me. It's not a huge deal as I prefer incandescent lamps, but it would be nice to know what's up.

Thanks very much for any ideas. I am very new to owning a tent camper and have only basic electric skills. I found the inverter and the breaker/fuse panel, and everything seems to be in order there - all the fuses look fine and breakers don't trip.

Greg
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:05 AM   #2
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Since it is a tent camper and I am not all that familiar I will try to help, but to answer your questions, a bit more is needed from you.

What is the maximum rated weight of your camper? Many states will not allow you to tow a heavier (brake equipped) camper without a battery. (add the "manufactured" weight from your yellow sticker and your maximum payload number from the same sticker together)

As to the fridge, what model do you have and maybe we can help you get it fixed. Most fixes are very easy and cheap. (Photo of outside or model number will help here)

The switch on the outside is normally for the shore power electric side of the camper's hot water heater in most dual powered water heaters. There should be a lighted switch inside for the propane/DC side.

There are several current limiters for DC circuits in all campers and a fuse for the lights. Locate your panel and check all fuses for an "open"

Most DC current limiters have a reset button on the short side. (See photo)
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Greg and co grats on your NTU pop up.

I keep a battery on my pop up so I am not quite sure of the total impact if one removes it.

I would think your fridge would work on straight electic but obviously it does not. Maybe someone will confirm that there is a required DC component here.

The water heater should have a switch on the inside that you have to turn on for it to work. Search around. My switch also has a red light next to it to indicate when there is a problem. It is a bit of a safety item as it stops the water heater from heating up until you hook up the water. Plugging in is usually the very first thing people do.

Same as qoestion #1. The lights might have a DC component to them like an auto light and will not work on AC power.

I hope this helps a bit.

Vin.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAllen View Post
Greetings,

I have just purchased a 2002 Flagstaff.
Welcome to the forums and congrats on your new trailer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAllen View Post
It does not have a battery - previous owner only plugged into shore power.
If it has trailer brakes, then you should see about adding a battery. Doesn't have to be anything special, a basic marine/rv dual purpose like the dealers toss in are about $70-90.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAllen View Post
When I plug into 30 amp the air conditioner works, and the water heater works, and all of the inside and outside power outlets work fine.

Question #1: The refrigerator does not work, even though I have gone in the backside and turned on the "120v" power switch. Should I just buy a dorm refrig like previous owner did?
If the previous owner purchased a dorm fridge, then there must have been a reason. Most likely it quit working for him and he never bothered to check and/or fix the issue. I'd first check to see what the issue is with the old fridge. Might have just been a fuse or reset. If it turns out the old fridge is busted, and if you only ever plan to be plugged in, then a dorm fridge is fine. In that case, I'd have the old one removed. Might as well save on weight/space right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAllen View Post
Question #2: How can I turn off the water heater electric supply so that I can plug in even though I may not have water hooked up? The only switch inside the access panel (exterior) has to do with the propane. I find no switch for electric. That seems weird, since you don't want both systems working at once do you? Where else might the switch be located?
1) It's fine to run both at the same time, you'll get the fastest hot water recovery that way. But in most cases, I wouldn't bother running propane for my hot water. My propane I pay for, the campground's electricity I don't.

2) Where are you planning to camp that you'll have electricity but won't have water? Remember, even if you don't have a water hookup you'll still have the ability to have water from the freshwater tank that will supply the hot water tank.

3) As stated in another post, the outside switch is the one for electric for the hot water tank in most of our units (Suburban SW6DE). A model number or a picture will help us tell which kind you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAllen View Post
Question #3: The interior lights do not work when 30 amp is plugged in, but previous owner says they worked fine, and so far everything he has told me has been spot on, so I do not think he is BS'ing me. It's not a huge deal as I prefer incandescent lamps, but it would be nice to know what's up.
This is a popup right? So, are you talking about overhead lights on the ceiling? I don't have a popup, but from what I've read through these forums there's some kind of kill switch usually to cut power to the ceiling while it's folded. Somebody familiar with these might be able to direct you where to look.

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Originally Posted by GregAllen View Post
Thanks very much for any ideas. I am very new to owning a tent camper and have only basic electric skills. I found the inverter and the breaker/fuse panel, and everything seems to be in order there - all the fuses look fine and breakers don't trip.

Greg
This seems to be a common mixing of terms. What you have with the breakers/fuse panel is a distribution panel. Behind that panel is a converter. A converter turns the AC you get from the plug into DC like you would get from a battery.

An inverter does the opposite. It turns the DC from the battery back into AC for using plugs. Most units don't come with inverters, though they are commonly added by people who camp without being plugged in.

Ok, glossary aside, you said you checked all the fuses? Did you pull out each one to look at it or just from the top? Sometimes they can look fine but still be broken. Best bet would be to get one of these:



It'll help you pull the fuses, and if you touch the fuse to those probes it'll light when the fuse is good.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAllen View Post
Greetings,

I have just purchased a 2002 Flagstaff.

It does not have a battery - previous owner only plugged into shore power.

When I plug into 30 amp the air conditioner works, and the water heater works, and all of the inside and outside power outlets work fine.

Question #1: The refrigerator does not work, even though I have gone in the backside and turned on the "120v" power switch. Should I just buy a dorm refrig like previous owner did?

Question #2: How can I turn off the water heater electric supply so that I can plug in even though I may not have water hooked up? The only switch inside the access panel (exterior) has to do with the propane. I find no switch for electric. That seems weird, since you don't want both systems working at once do you? Where else might the switch be located?

Question #3: The interior lights do not work when 30 amp is plugged in, but previous owner says they worked fine, and so far everything he has told me has been spot on, so I do not think he is BS'ing me. It's not a huge deal as I prefer incandescent lamps, but it would be nice to know what's up.

Thanks very much for any ideas. I am very new to owning a tent camper and have only basic electric skills. I found the inverter and the breaker/fuse panel, and everything seems to be in order there - all the fuses look fine and breakers don't trip.

Greg
Even with a healthy converter, its important to keep a 12 volt battery in parallel with it. The battery provides reservoir current for oncoming load and also smooths the ripple from the a/c charger and provides flat DC as needed by many items.
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