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Questions from a Newbie

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Doneworking

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Questions from a Newbie
« on: September 19, 2013, 03:26:01 pm »
We bought our 2013 2350 a couple of weeks ago from a guy locally that owned it only for a few months.   I have been going over it with a fine comb trying to understand all the systems.  The seller furnished me the "manual" which is very abbreviated and generic.   This is not our first motorhome so I can figure out most of the stuff myself with a little investigation and reading.  

A couple of things I need help with:
We bought our 2013, 2350 a couple of weeks ago from a guy locally that owned it only for a few months and wanted a Class A.   I have been going over it with a fine comb trying to understand all the systems.  The seller furnished me the "manual" which is very abbreviated and generic.   This is not our first motorhome so I can figure out most of the stuff myself with a little investigation and reading.  I also got all the stuff for the appliances and systems. 

A few things I need help with:

1.  There is a rocker switch that has been installed by PC on the lower dash immediately to the left of the steering column.   It seems to activate something under the hood.  Is this a temporary transfer switch to start the vehicle with the coach battery in case of failure of the chassis battery?   That is the only thing I could think of.  What is this switch?

2.  In the rear exterior storage area there are three pvc valves mounted to the right side of the cabinet which I assume are the low point drains.  Is that correct?   Is there any "trick" or "secrets" to winterizing that are unique to PCs?

3.  Is there a bypass for the water heater and if so, where is it located? 

4.  The inverter is 1800 watts and I suspected that it ran more than just the tvs and entertainment systems, but I was apparently incorrect.   My refrig is two way and I am use to a three way, using DC only to run down the road.  I was hoping the inverter would operate the refrig 110v AC heating element (normally only a 200-400 watt element) but I guess it does not.   I used a voltmeter and determined which AC outlets are wired to the inverter.   I was also hoping the inverter could be used for the microwave but apparently not wired there either, which makes sense because someone would surely try to run the convection side also and that would blow the overload.

5.  In regard to the refrig, I assume with these two ways (I have not had anything but a three way) you just run down the road on gas like the trailer folks do.  Or, just keep the doors shut for a short trip and keep the thing shut off.   That is not an option with my wife!   

If anyone could please respond to my questions, I would be very appreciative..............and I hope I have posted this in the correct spot, since I am new to this forum.

Paul


« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 03:57:42 pm by Doneworking »

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jampodd

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Re: Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2013, 06:42:24 pm »
Welcome and I hope you enjoy your new PC. On to your questions:
1. You are correct in your assumption. It is a switch to be able to start the rig off your coach batteries.
2. Again your are correct and there are not tricks I know of. I think on the water pump you will find a valve and hose to insert into a RV anti freeze bottle.
3. By-pass is located under the kitchen drawers, pull them out and you should be able to locate them.
4. The inverter is only wired to certain receptacles and it sounds like you found them with your meter.
5. When traveling I do run the frig on propane. I have had no issues with that.

Hope that helps, sounds like the manual you got is the one that came with the unit. It could use some updating.

Jim
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Barry-Sue

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Re: Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2013, 07:05:40 pm »
Paul

1.  The rocker switch is used to connect the van battery to the coach batteries for charging only.  The wiring was not designed to handle the current required to start the engine.

Barry
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GeorgeB

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Re: Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2013, 07:14:58 pm »
I'll tackle a couple of these with which I have first hand experience:

1.  There is a rocker switch that has been installed by PC on the lower dash immediately to the left of the steering column.   It seems to activate something under the hood.  Is this a temporary transfer switch to start the vehicle with the coach battery in case of failure of the chassis battery?   That is the only thing I could think of.  What is this switch?

Barry is correct:  The white rocker switch is NOT an emergency start switch.  It is used to boost the engine battery using the coach batteries.  Put the ignition switch in the accessory position just before the start position, then press and hold the white rocker switch for a count of 30 (about 20-25 seconds - I count fast).  Release the switch, then turn the ignition switch to start, and the engine should fire up.  This may need to be repeated a second time, if so, wait five minutes.  I've never gone past twice.

Some models may work with the generator running and charging the coach batteries.  I'm pretty sure that's not the case with the older models with different inverters.  I haven't tested this.  Yet.

And FWIW, a word of caution based on personal experience:  don't forget to turn off the lights in the outside compartments; I have one in the side rear compartment, and the macerator compartment.  Also the wardrobe closet.  That's why I have personal experience with the white rocker switch.

5.  In regard to the refrig, I assume with these two ways (I have not had anything but a three way) you just run down the road on gas like the trailer folks do.  Or, just keep the doors shut for a short trip and keep the thing shut off.   That is not an option with my wife!   

Again, different models/years will result in slightly different responses.

The refrigerator should automatically switch to propane when disconnected from either shore power or generator power, and switch back when one of those is operating.  In my 8,000+ miles over the past 13 months, it has worked flawlessly, except on two occasions:  once when the sensor at the back of the refrig went gunnybag, and once when the propane dealer forgot to turn on the propane at the tank -- I now monitor that personally.

So far we haven't forgotten to turn the house disconnect switch back on after refueling.  I'm sure that day will come for us.

I've also seen recommendations that the switchover after disconnecting from an AC power source should be checked to make sure that it has actually switched, but I frequently forget to do that also, but so far it hasn't caused a problem.

Welcome to the forums.  We had absolutely no experience with RV'ing prior to getting our 2008 2551 13 months ago.  No RV, no trailer, just some tent camping 30+ years ago.  These forums were our primary source of education on the functioning of the PC, and a major source of RVing in general.  The search function on this site works extremely well (in most cases).

Make sure you set your preferences to monitor the forums so that you'll get an email notifying you of new posts.  Invaluable.

Hope this helps,

--GeorgeB
Accidental Full-Timers 8/2012-6/2013, Now Just RVers
-={carpe cervizi}=-  ...perfecting the art of procrastination...
<=-- DO NOT LOOK BELOW THIS LINE --=>
You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck

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Sparky

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Re: Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 07:20:51 pm »
Congrats and welcome to the world of PC,,,, we had some experience  when we joined in Jan. this year.  Since you have some experience make sure you read the tips section, Lots of neat things to do on the PC to make it more homey....  No comments on your post since all your questions were answered...
David Sparks
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jampodd

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Re: Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2013, 07:00:52 am »
Sorry if I mis-spoke about the rocker switch, guess they told me wrong when I picked the unit up. Thanks for the clarification, now I know also.

Jim
Jim Poddany - 2552

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Doneworking

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Re: Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2013, 07:48:21 am »
Thanks to all for your responses.   I suspect I will have a few additional "discoveries" and it is nice to know this forum can be so helpful. 

As to the rocker switch on the panel to provide momentary charging, I have always just carried a good pair of heavy duty battery cables, assuming if trouble came about I would start the generator and then jump from the coach batteries to the chassis battery.  The switch could be really convenient and is a nice feature. 

One of the fun things I did was taking the "Remove by Owner Only" tags off the generator.  I don't think the previous owner had ever even looked at the genset, but it did have a dozen hours on it.  Since he stored it in a garage and the unit is only ten months old, I am sure the lack of use/exercise didn't make much difference in that short time frame.  Another fun thing, the original protection wrap had never been removed from the floor mats, and that plastic wrap shows no scuff marks or abrasions.   Talk about "light useage".   

Again, thanks!

Paul
Oklahoma City

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Doneworking

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Re: More Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 06:24:26 pm »
Anode?   What anode?   I have never had an rv that had a hot water tank that did not use an anode.  I have always replaced them long before most folks do, figuring they are a heck of a lot cheaper than a new tank.    I didn't know that Atwood has no anode.

Has that worked OK for everybody?   Anyone ever just pull that drain plug and put an anode in there?   The plug appears to be 1 inch and I am used to a (as I recall) a 1 1/8 plug on my previous rv with a Suburban.    Maybe I just worry too much!!

Paul

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TomHanlon

Re: More Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2013, 08:38:27 am »
Anode?   What anode?   I have never had an rv that had a hot water tank that did not use an anode.  I have always replaced them long before most folks do, figuring they are a heck of a lot cheaper than a new tank.    I didn't know that Atwood has no anode.

Has that worked OK for everybody?   Anyone ever just pull that drain plug and put an anode in there?   The plug appears to be 1 inch and I am used to a (as I recall) a 1 1/8 plug on my previous rv with a Suburban.    Maybe I just worry too much!!

Paul

Do not put an anode rod in the water heater or you will be buying a new heater real soon. Only use the plastic plug, it works just fine.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2013, 12:06:52 pm »
As to the rocker switch on the panel to provide momentary charging, I have always just carried a good pair of heavy duty battery cables...
Bingo!

I carry an extra long set of heavy duty jumper cables and have used them when my chassis battery died, jumping power from the pair in back to the under-hood dead one up front.  It worked great.  Having them along on trips is also handy to help a stranded camping neighbor.

The rocker switch up front by the driver's left side is pretty much a novelty to me.  It won't charge a truly dead/failed battery, only help a discharged one, and then it takes a very long time.  Jumper cables are always dependable and quick.

Adding: About the hot water tank plastic drain plug.
If memory serves me right, that requires a 15/16" socket.  I bought just the socket and keep it loose inside my RV tool box along with my travel socket set.  Just make sure your HWT socket works with your socket set.  It may require an adaptor.

The inverter is a real sweet feature, but it won't power up the serious stuff.  It's great for watching TV while in transit or parked.  It will also power the coffee maker.  But when parked we've learned to just run the generator for those 5-10 minutes for coffee as not pull-down the battery reserves.  But no concern while driving because the engine up front supplies adequate amperage through the inverter.

PCs are really nice rigs for dry camping (no hook-ups).  Our trip last month was for 30 days out west.  We had 110v hook-up for only 2 nights (or was it 3?) of the 30, and only because it was available.  Never any water/sewage hook ups.  Just dump and fill as needed.  This considering just us two adults.  But I could see it being a bit different with kids.

BTW:  Welcome Doneworking/Paul!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 01:25:13 pm by ron.dittmer »
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keelhauler

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Re: Questions from a Newbie
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2013, 11:53:23 am »
The reason you do not need an anode is this is an Aluminum hot water tank, not steel. (exactly)