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Old 07-26-2020, 12:25 PM   #1
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New (to me) Forest River Cardinal Owner

Hi everyone!

Recently acquired a 2005 Forest River Cardinal 5th wheel. The main purpose of which is a hunting camp on my place here in North Texas, but may decide to take it out from time to time in the off season. Fortunate enough to have power, water, and sewer on my place. The camper is in really good shape, everything works l’ve tested except the ice maker. There are things I haven’t tested. (i.e. the dual power for refrigerator and water heater) There is some maintenance that I am getting done. All and all a good camper from what I can tell.

I’ve never owned an RV and have precious little experience. I’ve fumbled my way through the initial set up and things are good. The previous owner was good enough to provide me with the owner manual which I find to be generally useless for questions. So I’ll be on here asking dumb newbie question I can’t find answers to from other sources.

If there anything that I should know just starting out please feel free to let me know.

Hope all are staying well.

D.R.
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:36 PM   #2
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First, Welcome. You will get the good answers here.
I would do several items related to your battery. One is add a battery switch so that you can disconnect the battery. There are items that will run the battery down without you knowing. And second, add a voltage meter so that you can always see the battery health. And last, I would be sure that your hot water tank electric switch is off (it is located on the outside, on the hot water access panel). Then use propane to heat the hot water. The reason for this is that if there is no water in the tank, you will ruin the electric heating element. It does happen!



Good idea for a hunting camp!!
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Old 07-26-2020, 01:39 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum from New Jersey, Glad to have you here.
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Old 07-26-2020, 01:51 PM   #4
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Battery disconnect came on the unit. Check!

Is the meter on the systems monitor adequate? I’m also going to put a batter maintainer on it.

Water heater is currently on electric until I confirm no propane leaks. I replaced a hose. The short on for a longer one to go to my 100lbs tank. After replacement I thought I might have smelled propane so I shut it off until inspection.

So the follow up on the water heater is: Is it more energy efficient to use propane over electricity? That 100lbs tank is no joke to move. On a pervious borrowed RV I always turned the electric water heater off when I left.
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Old 07-26-2020, 01:54 PM   #5
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You have correctly read the very general manual. Take time to identify the collection of components, a/c, furnace, water heater, water pump, LP gas regulator thermostat and anything else you can identify and collect and print individual manuals for each component. Check propane, and other alarms for their expiration dates and replace if needed. Battery. volt meter. lug wrench, air pressure gauge will be useful.

Search feature will be useful once you have identified labels on each component,

Welcome, enjoy your new purchase
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Old 07-26-2020, 02:00 PM   #6
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Thanks! Good info!

Battery. volt meter. lug wrench, air pressure gauge all In the storage bins.

Also planning on replacing all alarms needed or not.
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:14 PM   #7
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DRS, I use only propane when we boonedock and when off the grid. We also use a very old Honda 2000 for power, when needed.
Some people disconnect the negative side.
We also disconnected the hot wire to the door on the frig. On some frig units, that hot wire heats the door, and is not needed when we elk camp.
As for the battery, we like the 2 golf cart 6 volt type. They have been perfect for us.
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:42 PM   #8
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:34 PM   #9
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Welcome from SW Ohio ,enjoy your 2005 FR Cardinal 5thwheel !
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:48 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum and the world of RVing. Enjoy and Later RJD
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:35 PM   #11
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:50 AM   #12
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