Originally Posted by Leetch94
Hi Fred, thanks for the thoughtful answer.
Ok, I set the pup up for the first time today, and what did I find? A tiny little battery! Sits in a box attached to the tongue. It's about 3x5 inches, says its 12 volt. That's all I can read on it.
That little battery is to power your brakes should you lose the PUP off the hitch. There should be an emergency break-away cable - usually a thin piece of plastic-coated wire attached to a plastic plug. When that plug is pulled out in an emergency by the cable, that little battery activates the brakes on your PUP.
I have a seven pin connector, and had my hitch guy put a seven on my TV.
I have electric brakes, heater, water pump and fridge.
Sounds like you got every major option except the battery and battery wiring. You will want the battery if you ever want to camp without a power hook-up. Everything you have will run off the battery or propane.
How much dry camping or boondocking you do, and for how long, will determine how much battery you need. As I said before, the heater and your lights are the big power hogs. Replace the interior light bulbs with LEDs, and the lights go to not very significant (from 2.2 amps per light to 0.75 amps per light or less). The heater fan typically draws about 4 amps. The little PUP fridges use nothing when on propane. And the water pump doesn't run for long enough to matter.
A single size 24 deep cycle battery (about the smallest common size) weighs about 60lbs (adds to tongue weight), and will let you run your heater for about 8 hours (run time) along with other small loads before your battery drops to 50% charge. If you run a deep cycle battery below 50%, its remaining life drops significantly.
Since we live in Colorado, and wanted to camp anytime there's not snow on the ground and night temps are high 20s or above, we need the heater for 4 nights or less on a long weekend. We needed 2 batteries to do it. I switched to two 6V golf cart batteries after I had a failure of one 12V. The golf cart batteries were cheaper, fit in the same box, and gave more capacity.
Plugged in a lamp and got light. But also got constant intermittent buzzing from the converter. Not the hum, that was there all the time, not intermittent. Sounded like some kind of warning alarm?
I did get ceiling lights, so I guess I'm also getting 12 V power. Didn't try the water pump or the fridge. Not that daring yet.
Your converter is working, but may be on its way to failing or just plain noisy. The converter is supplying the 12V when you plug the PUP in. I would seriously consider replacing the converter in the near future with a decent 3 mode converter, especially if you are going to install and use your battery.
The fridge should be normally operated on 120V AC when you are plugged in, and on propane when you are not. The only time I put the fridge on 12V is when I'm towing. The minivan supplies the 12V for the fridge while I'm towing. PUP fridges cool much better on propane or 120V, and usually cool best on propane.
Hope this helps some more...
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
First photo is a battery cutoff switch I installed to save disconnecting battery while camper is not in use. I made wood cover for battery box because plastic one blew off and away while towing. Note emergency disconnect on bottom of frame (left bottom corner). Make sure you have one wired in.
Second photo shows the two golf cart batteries inside the box.
Third photo shows outside vent covers for fridge removed. Green switch in upper compartment turns fridge on AC. Dial selects how cold. Red switch puts fridge on 12V DC (there is no coldness control on DC). Bottom section has propane controls. Propane on is knob with red dot (push while lighting). Red push button is igniter. Cold control is left knob.
Final photo shows tongue jack, propane tanks, and battery box. Not much extra room. Display is remote readout for wireless thermometer I stick in fridge. Fridge is NOT thermostatic controlled.