RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-06-2017, 03:24 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 13
Question Newbie questions - forgive me!!

My wife and I have recently ordered a Rockwood Mini-lite 2507s. Having never owned a travel trailer I have many questions, but these are the two main ones that I'm most curious about:

1 - If we're boon-docking how does the heater work? Is a single fully-charged 12v battery sufficient to operate the furnace fan on a cold night? I realize there's propane involved in the equation, but don't really know yet what's involved with running the heater.

2 - Can the refrigerator be operated while in transit using the battery and/or propane to get a head-start cooling it down? I've read that the fridges need about 12 hours to cool down.
ToonArmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 03:33 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Kalamazoo
Posts: 1,805
1. furnace burns propane for heat but needs the battery to run the fan. I would think one or two nights when real cold and running would kill battery.

2. Water heater would run of propane when boondocking and take no electric other then maybe to ignite.

3. As long as the fridge is a electric/propane model it will run off propane and only needs enough power for electronics and igniter.

I would make plans for a second battery or generator to recharge battery if doing allot of boondocking. I supose hooking up the tow vehicle and letting it run to charge the battery could work as a "hill billy" battery charger if needed.

Small solar panel to trickle charge would also help.
Kimber45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 03:38 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 108
you should fire up the fridge at least a day or two before loading it up with supplies while it's connected to power at home. Some people will run their fridges on propane while transiting but it can be illegal in some states to have the tanks open while traveling, just something to be aware of. It's illegal in Connecticut were I live so I will usually make sure it's nice and cold before I leave and as long as the door is closed you should be good for a day or so.

your heater is going to run a fan while it's distributing heat throughout your travel trailer, that fan is going to draw power that will drain your battery. I have never dry camped but I wouldn't think one battery will not be enough.

good luck
__________________
Shawn
Chief, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve
2019 Sport Trek ST270VBH
2018 Chevy Silverado Z71
Shawn.O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 03:38 PM   #4
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 25,109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToonArmy View Post
My wife and I have recently ordered a Rockwood Mini-lite 2507s. Having never owned a travel trailer I have many questions, but these are the two main ones that I'm most curious about:

1 - If we're boon-docking how does the heater work? Is a single fully-charged 12v battery sufficient to operate the furnace fan on a cold night? I realize there's propane involved in the equation, but don't really know yet what's involved with running the heater.

2 - Can the refrigerator be operated while in transit using the battery and/or propane to get a head-start cooling it down? I've read that the fridges need about 12 hours to cool down.
Welcome to the forums. I think Kimber45 got you fixed up.

As a new RV owner, I usually recommend these articles that explain the electric systems in easy terms and also the SWDE Suburban water heater (if equipped)

These are a few things that some (not all) dealers don't really go over in much detail.

You can just peruse them at your leisure:


Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

RV Converters and Amp Draw - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

RV Electric

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...tml#post327988
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

I often say to myself, "I can't believe that cloning machine worked."
wmtire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 03:56 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Bow WA
Posts: 513
Welcome to the forum. You will find most of your answers here.
I would also agree that a small inverter generator should be run at least once a day. A Honda 2000 seems to be very popular.

You will find that there are numerous items on the trailer that will use up battery energy. One not often mentioned is a defroster in the door of the frig. Other items include radio/TV, gas detector. I installed a voltage meter in my new TT so that I know the health of the battery.

---------------
Ram 2500 diesel, 6 speed manual
FR251RKS
debit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 03:58 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
punkaccountant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 367
The refrigerator being on during transit always seems to be a hot topic. Some don't do it as they don't like the propane on while traveling. We've always done it though, especially, long trips. I try to have electric available for a day or two in advance to cool things down faster but have had trips where that wasn't feasible and just took off cooling while on the road.
__________________
https://www.forestriverforums.com/attachments/signaturepics/sigpic20864_3.gif
2013 Rockwood Mini-Lite 2306
2011 Ram 2500HD Hemi
punkaccountant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 07:10 PM   #7
Member
 
Wire Wrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 30
How do you know if you are traveling in a state that mandates no propane use while traveling down the road? I live in Florida and don't know if it is legal or not. Is there a handbook or camper guide on vague rules of the road
__________________
Be ware of the things you say and do for little eyes are watching you. Believe it or not, YOU are a role model
Wire Wrat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 07:36 PM   #8
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 23,915
only a few East Coast tunnels require the propane be turned off before entering.
__________________
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
bikendan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 11:19 PM   #9
Always Learning
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Four Corners, FL
Posts: 20,168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wire Wrat View Post
How do you know if you are traveling in a state that mandates no propane use while traveling down the road? I live in Florida and don't know if it is legal or not. Is there a handbook or camper guide on vague rules of the road

I don't know of any states that it has to be off for.

I do know a couple of tunnels it has to be off for (some well marked and some I found by dumb luck after driving through them and reading online). And some that you're not allowed in at all (sort of well marked- but way too late by that point).
__________________
2018 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | Was a Fulltime Family for 5 years, now we're settlin' down for a spell
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2017, 12:20 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
tuckerdog1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 713
On running the fridge while driving, my own experience would say don't do it.
Had a tire come apart ( hasn't everyone? ). Before the tread completely separated from the tire, it whipped up under the kitchen slide, grabbed the wire bundle AND propane hose that fed up into the trailer. Ripped the whole thing out. By the time we got pulled over & saw what had happened, at best we'd have been empty a propane tank. However, had there been any ignition source, I have no doubt we'd have lost our trailer and possibly or truck to a fire.

Tuckerdog1

In one of these pics, the black hose is the propane line. The top section is pulled tighter than a banjo string, as the tire whipped the wires & hose around the axle, and got wound up real nice and impossible to unwind tight.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1000820.jpg
Views:	103
Size:	499.6 KB
ID:	131278   Click image for larger version

Name:	P1000822.jpg
Views:	121
Size:	308.2 KB
ID:	131279  
__________________

2016 RAM 2500 Cummins SLT Lone Star 4X4 LB
2016 Windjammer 3029W Platinum
I'm not an expert. But I play one on the internet.
You live & learn or you don't live long.
Remember those that died for us. And remember who killed them.
tuckerdog1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2017, 12:26 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10,907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimber45 View Post
1. furnace burns propane for heat but needs the battery to run the fan. I would think one or two nights when real cold and running would kill battery.

2. Water heater would run of propane when boondocking and take no electric other then maybe to ignite.

3. As long as the fridge is a electric/propane model it will run off propane and only needs enough power for electronics and igniter.

I would make plans for a second battery or generator to recharge battery if doing allot of boondocking. I supose hooking up the tow vehicle and letting it run to charge the battery could work as a "hill billy" battery charger if needed.

Small solar panel to trickle charge would also help.
Not necessarily true.

It's true the fridge will run on propane and needs 12VDC for the "brains" and the igniter.

However, many fridges have a 12VDC heater around the door to prevent condensation. This heater can pull several amps. Older fridges had a switch to shut it off, but the newer ones don't. Disconnecting this heater will extend the time your battery will last. So if you plan to do any boondocking, you'll want to disconnect the heater.

Here's a pic of the wiring diagram on my fridge. The heater is item "K" in parallel with the inside. Look on your fridge for a similar diagram and see if you have the heater.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Fridge schematic 2.jpg
Views:	116
Size:	223.3 KB
ID:	131280

I've attached a document from another guy on how he disconnected the heater while keeping the inside light working as usual. If you don't need/want the inside light, you can just pull the wire off the J2 connection. OR you could install a switch in the wire on the J2 connection to more easily turn it on/off from the back using the switch.

I haven't disconnected mine, and the battery lasts just fine for an overnight pre-cool. But if you really want to run it "a few days" as in boondocking, I think you'll have to disconnect the door heater.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Refer door heater switch mod.pdf (345.8 KB, 34 views)
__________________
1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
rockfordroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2017, 01:35 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
satdog01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Franklin, TN
Posts: 709
Was in Costco yesterday, saw they are carrying a 1000 watt inverter battery box for $1000 bucks. Pricey, but is susposed to run refrig for hours on end. For dry campers, has a solar input plug! Manufacture was Yetti! Had 110 outlet on it!
__________________
2020 Georgetown 31L, Safe T steering, Sumo springs, Onan Geny
2015 GMC Canyon 4X4 TOAD w/Blue Ox tow plates, InvisiBrake
Pepper 🌶 Pomeranian rescue 372 nights as camping buddy
Days camped in FR, 2011-12 = 77, 13-14 = 98, 15 = 52
16 = 77, 17 = 81, 18 = 44, 19 = 83, 20= 45, 21 = 45 schedule
Retired :
satdog01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2017, 02:10 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
CYAH OUT THERE!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 293
I suggest that you call your dealer and have them add a second battery and box for you. You will never be sorry you had it done. We have new Mini Lite 2502KS. We have had 2 hybrids with same Dometic refrigerator. We always start our fridge at least one day before departure. To help the cool down we put ice made in leftover lemonade bottles in both the fridge and freezer. One of those little battery operated refrigerator fans is very helpful. We run our fridge on propane while we are traveling.
ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY!!!
CYAH OUT THERE! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2017, 02:35 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Oakman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Jefferson County, MO
Posts: 5,410
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuckerdog1 View Post
On running the fridge while driving, my own experience would say don't do it.
Had a tire come apart ( hasn't everyone? ). Before the tread completely separated from the tire, it whipped up under the kitchen slide, grabbed the wire bundle AND propane hose that fed up into the trailer. Ripped the whole thing out. By the time we got pulled over & saw what had happened, at best we'd have been empty a propane tank. However, had there been any ignition source, I have no doubt we'd have lost our trailer and possibly or truck to a fire.

Tuckerdog1

In one of these pics, the black hose is the propane line. The top section is pulled tighter than a banjo string, as the tire whipped the wires & hose around the axle, and got wound up real nice and impossible to unwind tight.
In today's modern propane cylinders when the propane line breaks the flow of propane should shut off automatically. If it didn't shut off you have a defective cylinder and you should replace it immediately.
__________________


Bob and Joyce
2013 CC Silverback 29RL
2010 Ford F250 XL Crew Cab 6.4 liter diesel
ATU Local 788
Oakman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2017, 03:16 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 246


Another option to keep your batteries up to charge is a solar panel/controller..Its gives the batteries (and you should have 2 of them) a nice slow charge all day.. Suggest you make it portable and that way you can move it to the sun. And it is quiet !!!
__________________
Clint...
2015 F350 4x4 gasser.. 2017 Rockwood 2506S TT
Ardenvoir, Washington (near Wenatchee)
clintbonnie73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2017, 03:26 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
tuckerdog1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
In today's modern propane cylinders when the propane line breaks the flow of propane should shut off automatically. If it didn't shut off you have a defective cylinder and you should replace it immediately.
Was not aware of that, thanks. I still ain't doing it

Tuckerdog1
__________________

2016 RAM 2500 Cummins SLT Lone Star 4X4 LB
2016 Windjammer 3029W Platinum
I'm not an expert. But I play one on the internet.
You live & learn or you don't live long.
Remember those that died for us. And remember who killed them.
tuckerdog1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2017, 11:47 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Mid Michigan
Posts: 952
I keep three half gallon jugs of ice in the home freezer to use to help cool the fridge before we go.
markb422 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2017, 07:28 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Warsaw,NC
Posts: 7,184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToonArmy View Post
My wife and I have recently ordered a Rockwood Mini-lite 2507s. Having never owned a travel trailer I have many questions, but these are the two main ones that I'm most curious about:



1 - If we're boon-docking how does the heater work? Is a single fully-charged 12v battery sufficient to operate the furnace fan on a cold night? I realize there's propane involved in the equation, but don't really know yet what's involved with running the heater.



2 - Can the refrigerator be operated while in transit using the battery and/or propane to get a head-start cooling it down? I've read that the fridges need about 12 hours to cool down.


Since you are a newbie the best advice I can give you is install a tire pressure monitoring system on your tires (TPMS). That way if you should lose air in a tire the tire will not do any damage to your camper. When I had a camper that the refrigerator used propane it was never shut off except at campgrounds that had full hookups
spock123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2017, 07:52 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 844
A search will find lots of 1500W to 2000W inverters for $150 to $200.

These are for large trucks so can take the vibration.

They will operate a fridge or micro wave just fine, but NOT an air cond.

Wagan Proline 1500W AC to ...
$144.90
Walmart

Free shipping
FFred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2017, 08:10 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Wolverine 1945's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: SouthWest Michigan
Posts: 5,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToonArmy View Post
My wife and I have recently ordered a Rockwood Mini-lite 2507s. Having never owned a travel trailer I have many questions, but these are the two main ones that I'm most curious about:

1 - If we're boon-docking how does the heater work? Is a single fully-charged 12v battery sufficient to operate the furnace fan on a cold night? I realize there's propane involved in the equation, but don't really know yet what's involved with running the heater.

2 - Can the refrigerator be operated while in transit using the battery and/or propane to get a head-start cooling it down? I've read that the fridges need about 12 hours to cool down.
You should be able to go to Forest River.com and download an owners manual ???
Wolverine 1945 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
newbie

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:02 PM.