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Old 05-28-2020, 05:32 PM   #1
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Complete newbie -- with a few newbie questions (free beer!)

I grew up with an RV, but admittedly never paid much attention to how things were run.

My father bought a Sunseeker by Forest River last year and barely used it. I asked him if my wife and I could use it this summer, and he agreed. Unfortunately, when we asked him for the tour of the vehicle, he wasn't quite sure how a lot of things worked. I took down what I could from him, and I watched some videos, but I still have some areas where I am hazy.

If anyone could provide some insight on these, I would be forever grateful...and I'll gladly provide all the free beer and food you can handle should our paths ever meet!:
1. If the vehicle is parked (not plugged in, no generator on), will the toilet work?

2. We are staying in the driveway of a friend's beach house this weekend. I am a bit hazy on what tasks will require us to use the generator, and which can be done without it.

3. Likewise, we are a bit hazy on when to run the pump --- and if it can be done without the vehicle plugged in or the generator running.

4. Overall, we are concerned that we will run out the battery. We have the main power switch on because, as far as we can tell, the refrigerator won't run without it (even though I think the fridge runs on propane?).

5. Is there anything else a newbie should know?

Thank you in advance!!!! If any of you are in New Jersey (or passing by), the next beer is on us!

John
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:56 PM   #2
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1. The toilet requires water pressure to work, just like at home. So you have to be hooked up to city water or run the water pump to use water from the FW tank.
2. You can plug your shore cord at your friends house and get electricity from them. You just need a 30 to 20amp adapter. The generator is used when you don't have any electricity to plug into.
3. The water pump is 12v and will run off the house battery IF it's charged up. You can use the generator to recharge the house battery.
4. Your fridge should be a 110v/propane RV fridge. It needs 12v battery power to ignite the propane side. Again you use the generator to recharge the battery, as needed.
5. The list would be too long. But you definitely should Google "the 12 Volt Side of Life". It's a good Beginner guide to understand how the two different RV electrical systems work.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:03 PM   #3
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1. Yes, as long as the water pump is turned on.
2. Anything that requires 120VAC will require the generator or to plugged into a sufficient sized power outlet. Such things would be the Air Conditioning, and coffee maker. Lights and water pump run on 12VDC from the batteries. After a while the batteries will get low on power and you will need 120VAC for the converter to recharge them. Since you will be in a friend’s driveway I would suggest connecting a power cord to the electric in the house to keep the batteries charged and limit or not use high power draw appliances. If you can't connect to the house power you will want to run the generator for about an hour a day to keep the batteries charged.
3. The water pump ( I suspect that is the pump to which you refer) will run on 12VDC from the batteries, so it will not require the generator or plugged in, as long as the batteries are not low on charge.
4. See above about charging the batteries. It is true the Fridge needs 12VDC for the control circuits to operate while it uses propane for the majority of it’s energy.
5. Yes, hundreds of things but you will figure out most of them on your own. My biggest warning would be water use, the fresh tank and the holding tanks are not really all that big so conserve water as much as you can, yet be sure to use sufficient water in the toilets so it can help carry out the solids when you dump the tanks.

You have already taken a large step toward a successful trip by joining this forum and asking questions. Just post more questions as they come up.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:12 PM   #4
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If plugged into to your friends house, do not run the air conditioning. Run the generator for that. Just my opinion.

And test the generator before you leave to make sure it works. Along with water pump and heater.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:20 PM   #5
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If you are filling your fresh water tank, you need the pump on with power of some kind. Additionally, should you be hooked up to your friends outside water, then no pump! It will be under pressure from the house. Good luck and by all means use this form along with YouTube for information.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:29 PM   #6
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Also i wouldn't run the ac just pluged into your friends 110/120 outlets. Not good for either side.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:07 PM   #7
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If you are filling your fresh water tank, you need the pump on with power of some kind. Additionally, should you be hooked up to your friends outside water, then no pump! It will be under pressure from the house. Good luck and by all means use this form along with YouTube for information.
Guess you meant "using" not "filling" the fresh water tank and the water pump will run powered by the coach batteries if they are not disconnected. No shore/genny power required.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:43 PM   #8
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I appreciate all of the replies! I'm starting to get a handle on it now. Thanks!

The power at my friend's beach house is very poor, so we aren't even going to attempt it. We shouldn't need the AC this weekend. With social distancing being in effect, our plan was to not stay in their house and, instead, stay in the RV when coming down for the weekend. I guess that will be good as long as we can make it without AC.

Our plan was to shower in here and then, on the way home, pay to dump somewhere. Is it ok to drive if the grey water tank is full?
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:58 PM   #9
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Yes if your tow vehicle can take the weight. I have use the koa to dump at before and it was only 10 bucks. Here in Florida 90% of the time its an oven without a/c.
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I appreciate all of the replies! I'm starting to get a handle on it now. Thanks!

The power at my friend's beach house is very poor, so we aren't even going to attempt it. We shouldn't need the AC this weekend. With social distancing being in effect, our plan was to not stay in their house and, instead, stay in the RV when coming down for the weekend. I guess that will be good as long as we can make it without AC.

Our plan was to shower in here and then, on the way home, pay to dump somewhere. Is it ok to drive if the grey water tank is full?
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:02 PM   #10
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Our plan was to shower in here and then, on the way home, pay to dump somewhere. Is it ok to drive if the grey water tank is full?
Yes. Just remember to take short showers. The water heater tank probably only hold 6 gallons of water.
When you dump, dump black water, then grey water to help clean out the sewer hose.
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:38 PM   #11
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Not experienced yet, but my dealer told me that as long as you are plugged in to either the car, truck, or house power, the batteries will get charged. otherwise, can't answer yet. regards
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:55 PM   #12
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If you get hot it is ok to start the generator and run the A/C. It uses a bit of fuel and makes a bit of noise but it is designed to power the A/C and recharge your batteries at the same time.
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:03 PM   #13
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Well sounds like you will be boondocking in a driveway...and it is LIKELY that you have a SINGLE house battery (probably a group 24 of about 75 amp hours) to take care of your interior lights, keep the propane refrigerator lit as needed and run your water pump if you can't use your friends house hose outlet hooked up directly. Nothing run from a standard wall socket OR your air conditioner will run without your generator running AND you will need to recharge your battery every time you use 1/2 your battery capacity. It will take SIX hours of run time to recharge your battery NOT LESS! If this is only ONE weekend then I recommend you run your genny for 2 hours at a time...twice a day to keep the battery near full and then the drive home (alternator) will let you put it away full.
You can safely run your A/C off the genny.
Yes you can use the toilet...just turn on the waterpump if you're not using the friends water. Toilet goes to BLACK tank...Shower/Sink goes to GREY. Dump both and always black first...grey second.
NEVER let the battery drop below 12.2 volts measured with a voltmeter at the battery terminals...that is with everything turned off.
If you're gonna do this type of camping most weekends... you might want to invest in a bigger DEEP CYCLE battery bank AND a battery monitor that will tell you when to turn the genny on and the moment you can turn it off and how long you have left before you need to recharge. Good luck & have fun!
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:35 PM   #14
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Not experienced yet, but my dealer told me that as long as you are plugged in to either the car, truck, or house power, the batteries will get charged. otherwise, can't answer yet. regards
How do you plug your Motorhome into a car or truck?[emoji848]
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Old 05-29-2020, 03:53 PM   #15
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Welcome from SoCal!
I see your initial questions have been answered
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Old 05-29-2020, 04:10 PM   #16
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Also i wouldn't run the ac just pluged into your friends 110/120 outlets. Not good for either side.
A little tip on "plugging in" at a house so you can use the AC.

MOST outlets in a house that has been wired in the last several decades are 15 amp outlets. However, modern code usually requires that bathrooms and kitchens have 20 amp circuits. If you can snake a heavy duty extension cord (#12 or #10 wire) into either bathroom or kitchen and plug in there there's an excellent chance you can run the AC in the RV with little problem. That is unless it's a 15k btu AC unit. Once running they are both within the limits of a 15 amp circuit but it's that startup current that is the issue.

I've run my AC on a residential outlet on a regular basis but nothing else can be on at the same time. Not converter, water heater, or use of microwave.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:33 PM   #17
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Keep in mind that your generator will stop running once your gas tank gets down to about one quarter full.

If you are planning on using your FW (fresh water) tank you should sanitize it before leaving home. You can find instructions on the web or search for sanitize in this forum.

The battery may be depleted if your father didn’t use it much and it wasn’t plugged in. I am guessing you have a group 27 house battery.

Where in NJ and what brand beer?
Which beach town? You may be able to dump into your friends sewer clean out but you may wear out your welcome by the neighbors.

Make sure that beach town allows overnight RV parking.

Which Sunseeker model do you have?
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