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Old 09-02-2020, 04:08 PM   #1
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Flagstaff SE Questions

Hey everyone- still getting used to our new camper and more questions are coming up.

Does anyone know if there is an switch we need to flip when using 120v power? We have had our camper plugged in to 120V power when garages in recent months and never had a problem with losing power. However, we had the camper in for service related to the outlets not working with 129v. That issue was supposedly resolved but I havenít had a chance to pop it up to confirm. The camper has been plugged into shore power in my garage for the last few days and today I can hear the CO detector chirping and the outside yellow light doesnít work, making me think there is no power. I tried to raise the camper and confirmed there is no power to the motor lift either.
Is there a switch I need to flip on the inside to covert the 120v to 12v?

Second question is, how long should it take to manually raise the camper top with the crank? In lieu of power I tried the hand crank for the first time and it seems to take a very long time to get any movement. I cranked for 5 minutes and the top didnít move it all.
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BoulderT4R View Post

Second question is, how long should it take to manually raise the camper top with the crank? In lieu of power I tried the hand crank for the first time and it seems to take a very long time to get any movement. I cranked for 5 minutes and the top didnít move it all.
I have been told that if we ever need to manually crank up, pull up a chair & bring a lunch, as it could take an hour or two! I tested mine once so I knew what to do if I had to go manually and was totally shocked by how little movement we got from turning the crank handle. I always now bring along a cordless drill with a socket (I use this to lower & raise my stabilizers also) so that's my back-up plan if I didn't have power. Altho, I haven't tested it yet

Sorry can't help you with the electrics!
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BoulderT4R View Post
Hey everyone- still getting used to our new camper and more questions are coming up.

Does anyone know if there is an switch we need to flip when using 120v power? We have had our camper plugged in to 120V power when garages in recent months and never had a problem with losing power....The camper has been plugged into shore power in my garage for the last few days and today I can hear the CO detector chirping and the outside yellow light doesn’t work, making me think there is no power. I tried to raise the camper and confirmed there is no power to the motor lift either.
The converter (converts 120V to 12V) should come on automatically. In the meantime, your battery is dead from carrying the 12V load. The propane/CO detector beeps when the battery voltage gets too low. The failure of your porch light (yellow outside light) is also an indicator of too low battery voltage.

The converter not working has a variety of causes. The converter itself is on a circuit breaker on the AC panel, as are the non-functional outlets. Makes me wonder if your AC is actually getting through to the camper. Does the microwave work? Microwave is 120V only, so if that's not working (clock flashing) when plugged in, it's an indication the 120V system is not getting power. Start with the AC side of the converter.

When that checks good, then move to the 12V DC side. DC power - both to run the camper 12V and recharge the battery - is supplied by the converter only when plugged in to shore power and 120V reaches the converter.

Otherwise, the battery supplies the 12V DC. In pop-ups and A-frames, Forest River (and most other brands) do not install a battery cut-off switch. When your camper is stored, and not plugged in, the battery dies within a couple of weeks from things like the stereo, the CO/propane detector, and anything else that does/is not turned off completely. Dead batteries happen frequently at RV dealers because they don't bother to disconnect the battery or keep the camper plugged in.

Recommendations:
1) get a voltmeter and learn how to use it.
2) install a battery cut-off switch at one of the battery terminals for when the camper is stored, but not plugged in.
3) solve the AC power problem first, and then check the converter output
4) have your battery tested to see if it still holds a charge. Most converters will not recharge a battery if it drops too low.

I don't know your level of understanding of the electrical systems of your camper, so if this is too basic or too complicated I apologize.

Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:11 AM   #4
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3) solve the AC power problem first, and then check the converter output
Thanks! It didnít occur to me that the converter would be on a breaker on the AC panel. Checked that, and sure enough they were all tripped. Flipped them back and everything is working. Iím guessing the service folks flipped them when fixing the converter wiring and never flipped them back on.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:47 AM   #5
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Easy fix!!! Thanks to pgandw!!
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