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Old 08-10-2017, 08:17 PM   #21
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Thanks! We will put the toggle switch to off when not using the camper. We were told from the local dealer that it was put in in place of the plunger switch. He mentioned the same as you that if a light was left on by mistake it would cut the power so as not to have a fire or other damage to the interior when trailer is down. Will have to research the battery tender that you mentioned. We keep the trailer in our driveway so could keep plugged in if we opted to. Really appreciate your input and advice.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:21 PM   #22
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The plunger switch is made to be automatic so you don't have to remember it. It is triggered by the top going down. The only reason I can think of to replace it with a toggle switch is that it did not work and they did not have another plunger switch. If possible order a plunger switch and replace it.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:47 PM   #23
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Thanks! Good to know not to run the fridge on the generator. We will use the propane when dry camping. Will definitely look into the battery disconnect switch from Walmart!! Thanks
Oh, not saying you can't run the fridge on the generator, I just don't think you'll be popular nor will they allow running it during quiet hours.

I'm assuming that you don't know about campground generator rules.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:49 AM   #24
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Dan, your assumption about me not knowing about campground generator rules is wrong and a bit insulting. I am fully aware of campground generator rules and where we are going that we are taking the generator we can only run it from 8 am until 11 pm. I appreciate your previous assistance, but don't appreciate your last "assumption" which as I said is insulting. I am a very courteous camper and not one that causes issues. I respect those camping around me!
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:33 AM   #25
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If you have breaks on your trailer then One BIG WARNING with the battery disconnect switch: always make sure it is in the ON position before driving. Battery power is required for the emergency break lanyard.
But they are the easiest solution to save the battery from draining
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:47 PM   #26
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Dan, your assumption about me not knowing about campground generator rules is wrong and a bit insulting. I am fully aware of campground generator rules and where we are going that we are taking the generator we can only run it from 8 am until 11 pm. I appreciate your previous assistance, but don't appreciate your last "assumption" which as I said is insulting. I am a very courteous camper and not one that causes issues. I respect those camping around me!
I'm apologize if you felt that way, it wasn't my intention.
I was simply saying, since you were considering a generator to run the fridge, that campgrounds have specific generator hours.
I had no idea if you knew that nor of your experience level or camping knowledge.

But running a generator continuously from 8am to 11pm, will not be popular. Complaints could bring the Ranger or campground staff.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:04 AM   #27
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Before you install a battery disconnect and/or take the neg cable off the battery, let it sit for a day off any charger and then measure the voltage with a multimeter. The battery may not be in good enough shape to get you through an evening depending on its voltage and your nightly amp draw. If it's good, then you can run the genny a couple hours to top it off.
( do a search on google or this forum for 12 volt battery chart for reference)

We just returned from a 4 night dry camping trip. Ran the fridge on propane, a couple LED lights at night and ran two small fans off 1 group 24 battery.
Each morning ran the genny to charge it up again. We even ran the A/C here and there on the humid days. Worked like a charm. And as others said, install the battery disconnect switch or keep it plugged in. Much easier than having to open box and take off neg cable every time. IMO. Have fun.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:45 AM   #28
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Where we are going it not to a campground but to a big field where there are many many people who are running generators for the full time allowed. We will only run it when we need to to charge up our battery and run a heater before bed to take the dampness out.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:49 AM   #29
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Thanks. We will do as you suggested and run the generator to top off the battery in the morning. We have been reading and a lot of people are using the LED lights so will be looking to purchase them as well. We were dry camping this weekend with no generator. The fridge was running on propane but apparently still draws some power from the battery as does the converter and CO detector. We did not use any of the trailer lights just battery operated lanterns. Was woke up at 6 am as the alarm for the low battery came on. Luckily we had two batteries with us and disconnected the negative during the day. Thanks for your help
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:34 AM   #30
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Don't be concerned too much with propane use from the fridge. It has a flame about the size of three pilot lights (about an inch wide). It's inconsequential compared to the HW heater or stoves. You still need 12v from the battery for the fridge controller board even when propane. Get a battery disconnect for when it's just sitting at home. Don't forget to check the water level in the battery more often if your leaving it plugged in as some converters can boil it off fairly quickly as they don't have a good "float" charge setting.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:43 AM   #31
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Thanks. We will do as you suggested and run the generator to top off the battery in the morning. We have been reading and a lot of people are using the LED lights so will be looking to purchase them as well. We were dry camping this weekend with no generator. The fridge was running on propane but apparently still draws some power from the battery as does the converter and CO detector. We did not use any of the trailer lights just battery operated lanterns. Was woke up at 6 am as the alarm for the low battery came on. Luckily we had two batteries with us and disconnected the negative during the day. Thanks for your help

secret squirrel suggestion is important. If you go with a separate battery charger, make sure it has a float setting. This will help keep the water from burning off. (Even though it is still a good practice to check time to time.)

Also, if you find out that one of your batteries will not keep a full charge, and you decide to get a new one, make sure you buy two new ones. If you only buy one, the older battery will drain the new one rather quick.

Have fun.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:12 PM   #32
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Thanks
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:13 PM   #33
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Thanks for the advice as we do have electric brakes on our trailer
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:43 PM   #34
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Hi Donna H,

You have not indicated which unit that you have, unless I missed it.

On my 2415g, from my measurements and what I recall, the converter and CO detector consume about 0.7A, so in a couple of days, the charge will drop enough to cause the CO detector alarm to beep intermittently. That is why we were told to remove the white wire (I think) when the unit is not connected.

For camping without electricity, I have 100W (20, 40, 40) of solar panels and I have found that if it is sunny in the morning and the panels are placed towards sunrise and then moved to follow the sun a couple of times after I get up, I have a full charge by about 10-11am. I have a second battery in case of overcast days. I have also rigged up a box that has two measurement devices, one to measure amps coming in from the panels, one to measure A consumption (but I haven't got it calibrated right for some reason), and a lighter socket to plug in a USB converter for the toys (cell phone, tablet, computer, external battery). No genset.

At home, I sometimes leave the 20W panel connected, but with the trailer disconnected (white wire), to keep the battery topped up. The charge controller cuts out at about 14.2V, so the battery does not get overcharged.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:03 PM   #35
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Hi John,

We have a 2002 Forest River Rockwood Premier 2518G hardtop tent trailer. We have been getting a lot of input from various people on this site. We too, disconnect the white (ground wire) when the trailer is just sitting. We went dry camping on the weekend and the battery was fully charged and it was a new deep cell marine battery this year. We only had the fridge running on propane. We did not use any lights as we had battery lanterns which were sufficient. By 6 am we were woke up by the low batter alarm on the converter.

We have been told that even though the fridge is running on propane that it still draws some electricity from the panel as do the converter and CO detector as you have indicated. We have a small solar panel and a 2nd battery that we take with us if dry camping. We removed the white wire during our 2nd night so that the low battery alarm would not wake us in the morning.

There certainly is a lot to learn and there are many great suggestions. We have done more research and others say they only get one day off of a battery. In 2 weeks we will be going dry camping again but will use a generator for part of the day to recharge the battery and so we can run a heat source prior to going to bed.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:11 PM   #36
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Donna,
If you dry camp a lot, like us(90% of the time), you need a dual battery setup.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:19 PM   #37
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Thanks Dan. We typically only dry camp one weekend during the summer.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:35 PM   #38
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Donna H,

Strange, you should not have any trouble surviving the night, even with careful use of the lights, and using the water pump (if you have one), and the heater occasionally, plus the small amount for the CO detector, convertor, fridge controller and the water heater starter. You should get someone to check the amps going to the trailer under various conditions and try to find out what is sucking up the juice. Are you sure that both 12 and 120V switches to the fridge are off?

A couple of things, do you have an electric winch to put up the top? That could take a lot of amps just to start, so you need to get the battery topped up before evening.

And, if you travelled with the 12V switch on for the fridge and you made some long stops, the battery voltage could be way down to start with. I was warned that a one hour stop with the 12V switch on would drain both the TV and camper batteries.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:02 PM   #39
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Hi John,

Yes, the 12V and 120V are both switched to off. We have a crank winch to put up the trailer.

Prior to going camping we plug the trailer into the household electricity for 2 days and turn the 120V to on so that the fridge gets cold. Read somewhere that is what we have to do and it is working for us.

When we travel we just go from point A to point B with no stops in between. We have been considering having someone check out the wiring on the trailer to ensure that all is wired correctly.... never know what has been done over the years prior to us buying it last year. Always something to learn!!!

This past weekend, while dry camping, we put the charger on the battery and took it off when fully charged. We only ran the fridge on the propane as indicated previously. We did not run the pump, hot water heater nor did we run the furnace (we were told by our local dealer that the furnace could not run unless we were hooked up to electricity as blower would not work).
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:33 PM   #40
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Hi Donna,

Here is a link to a lot of information, including one to amps drawn by various equipment that you may find useful. See message #15.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...-141534-2.html
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