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Old 11-21-2016, 04:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: California
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Default Newbie from California with electrical issues


Greetings all!
I just checked another bucket list item off and bought my first RV. Got a 1998 Roadtrek Versatile. Needs a little work, but I didn't pay much. I am soooo excited to get going. Trying to learn all I can.
I am generally good with mechanical things and fixing stuff but the electrical systems still baffle me no matter how much I read. Amps, watts, volts, all sounds like gibberish to me and I can't quite get a handle on how it all works.

Just like I don't have to know how to fix my car to drive it, I'd like to understand enough about the electrical system to use it safely and efficiently.

Can someone recommend a book, website,youtube, or someplace else that I can get some basic understanding of electrical stuff on my rv, that isn't too detailed and technical????

Thanks a ton. I've learned a lot already by reading the forums.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:36 PM   #2
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many of the forum members are using solar systems- which add a level of complexity.

unless you have solar- you don;t have to pay attention to them- same with more "modern" underhood generators.



you probably have a system similar to mine.
where the van motor alternator charges the "coach" batteries as you drive- when you stop, the 12 volt stuff in the back runs off of that battery- the lights, maybe your TV, water pump etc.

you may also have a generator under the van- this will supply 120 volt power ( like your house) and will power the outlets, air conditioner and microwave- and it will also re-charge the coach battery back up to 12 volts if it has been run down.

in a camp ground ( or driveway) you can plug into power and the 120 volt stuff above will work, and your battery will re-charge. ( "shore power")

this is basic over view.

ensure that your battery and cables are in good shape- you can have an autozone test you battery- I buy new batteries at costco

youtube will be helpful for learning your van- how to dump the tanks etc.

you may have a 3 way fridge- use AC when on shore power, DC when driving and propane when parked without shore power- even for short periods like stopping for shopping.

you may find that on an old vehicle that previous owners have modified the systems- these can be an improvement, but can add a level of complexity to repairs if they are not documented

Mike
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:40 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: California
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Congrats, you'll have lots of fun with this RV. Like you I was puzzled about the electrical system but check out this simulator. If you search this forum there are postings that references this site as well.

http://metrotrekkers.org/utility/electrical.htm

Make sure you read the pdf notes on it. You need to input your rv's model & year. Good luck!
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2001 RoadTrek 170, Dodge 2500 5.2L V8
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