Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-02-2012, 03:58 PM   #1
EJ2
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Port Rowan, ON
Posts: 15
Default Newbie questions re DC/AC power, water, LPGas, etc.

Greetings all,
Hope everyone is enjoying this great Labour Day weekend. Now to my concerns and needs to get up to speed with RV-ing.

I recently purchased a 1992 RoadTrek Independent 190. After two trips - one up north to Ontario Teacher's Camp near Parry Sound (with shore power) and the other to the Pinery Provincial Park near Grand Bend, ON (dry camping) - I think I'm hooked. I love it. However, with not having had the chance to get specifics from the seller, I have fledgling concerns about batteries, AC/DC, LP Gas and how to operate accessories using it.

So far, I've only used DC to operate the 3way fridge while enroute (great) and AC to operate the interior lights, fridge, and micro wave when connected to shore power. No problems encountered. I disconnected the engine battery when connected to shore power as advised by the seller (still not sure why). I've familiarized myself with the test monitor and while on AC and I think I understand the different colour codes. The downloaded manual doesn't really explain details though. However, while "dry" camping for 3 nights, we never used the lights, fridge, micro wave; but I decided to check the DC levels anyway and they were low. I reasoned that because I was not connected to shore power that I didn't need to disconnect the engine battery. Luckily enough the engined turned over well when it was time to depart. I'm wondering whether there is a problem with some switching (isolater?) and the house battery is drawing on the engine battery, or a power drain somewhere.

Next, I have not use the water tanks, toilet, shower, sink etc. I fill up a 5 kg container with water at my camping destination instead of hauling full tanks of water/waste. This has not been a problem. But, when cool or cold whether hits, I'm probably going to want to have the convenience of water and water heater. Is there a switch/ control for pumping the water through when boondocking? I assume connecting to city water, the pressure will be enough to be able to run toilet and faucets.

Finally, I'm not at the level of comfort and confidence to use the LPGas yet. I know where the on/off valve on the tank inside the utility panel is, but I'm not sure whether I have to have a pilot light off or on. I don't even know where I can locate that if necessary. We've been cooking outside with a 2-burner coleman, but it would be great if I knew how to operate the stove safely. It looks like original equipment. The 3 way fridge is new, but I'm unsure of using the LPGas to operate it (again lack of experience and knowledge of pilot light etc.). In addition, I discovered the LPGas alarm one night. I didn't know what the low level pale light under the bed in the back was till I could get me head in/under to read the label. Naively, I thought it was a switch for the LPGas and turned it off, at least I thought I turned it off. I'll have to double check the next trek. I now realize this is similar to a smoke detector to alarm us if there is a gas leak. As for the furnace and water heater, I'm still in the dark.

The previous owners suggested I keep to 80 km/h and to refrain from using the OD. I'm not sure why. I'm guessing the age and kilometres (172,000) might have something to do with it. The front end has been serviced and the steering box tightened. All brakes, wheels etc. are in proper order and I've had a tune-up (with new air filter), oil, lube and filter; but I intend to get the transmission checked soon to determine whether the OD is malfunctioning. I understand that these older 318 have tappet knocking, but so far the engine has been quite reliable (approx 2000 km in a month).

My apologies for all the newbie concerns. As I said, I really didn't get a chance to become familiarized by the previous owner on all this stuff, so I thought I had better ask here where seasoned/experienced RoadTrekers are. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
__________________

__________________
Cheers,
Jim
EJ2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2012, 02:31 AM   #2
Platinum Member
 
markopolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 7,846
Default Re: Newbie questions re DC/AC power, water, LPGas, etc.

RV-ing is fun. Congratulations on the purchase of your Roadtrek. It is easy to get hooked on this stuff.

There is no need (usually) to disconnect the engine battery when connected to shore power. The isolator usually handles this detail. There maybe a problem with your isolator but we don't have enough info to know for sure.

Yes, the next step is to test the on-board water system. That is a primary reason to have these vans. Sinks, toilets etc. Sanitize it: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...anitize#p11791

LP gas has an odorant. Trust your nose. Leaking gas should smell like rotten eggs.

Supply us with model numbers and we'll be able to let you know if your appliance has pilot light or not.

There should be a propane detector and a C0 (carbon monoxide) detector. LPG (propane) is your friend. Get comfortable with using it. It is efficient.

Stoves are usually lit manually in older RV's.

Yes, you probably have a propane gas detector.

I do not understand the 80 km/h speed request. You'll have to figure that out.

No apologies from you are needed. in fact, you are to be commended for asking your questions. Everyone will learn by the ensuing comments.

If you have a Suburban water heater the this link might be of interest.: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...29&t=263&p=381

Welcome to the forum. Your comments and questions are valuable.
__________________

__________________
Two bikes on sliding cargo box: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/m...icture206.html & 1997 GMC Savana 6.5L Turbo Diesel Custom Camper Van Specifications: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...vana-5864.html
markopolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
markopolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 7,846
Default Re: Newbie questions re DC/AC power, water, LPGas, etc.

Consider having the propane system checked out by an RV technician. They will test it all and you will then know that it is safe to use. At the same time they could test the isolator.

There is a very informative topic about isolators here:
http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...php?f=9&t=1204
__________________
Two bikes on sliding cargo box: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/m...icture206.html & 1997 GMC Savana 6.5L Turbo Diesel Custom Camper Van Specifications: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...vana-5864.html
markopolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2012, 02:56 AM   #4
AGP
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: HOLLAND MICHIGAN
Posts: 9
Default Re: Newbie questions re DC/AC power, water, LPGas, etc.

I would have your tranny fluid checked and flushed if dirty. I have a problem not being able to use overdrive. It provides lower rpm and better fuel economy and most important... Why??? Does it work??
AGP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2012, 02:56 AM   #5
AGP
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: HOLLAND MICHIGAN
Posts: 9
Default Re: Newbie questions re DC/AC power, water, LPGas, etc.

I would have your tranny fluid checked and flushed if dirty. I have a problem not being able to use overdrive. It provides lower rpm and better fuel economy and most important... Why??? Does it work??
AGP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary
Posts: 76
Default Re: Newbie questions re DC/AC power, water, LPGas, etc.

My '95 has the 318 engine,, also with, coincidentally, 170,000 Km. I consider it to be totally (well, almost - there are no guarantees) reliable. I know of no mechanical reason to hold to 80Km max, or to leave the overdrive off. Having said that, fuel consumption deteriorates rapidly with increasing speed above about 80 clicks, so I generally stay below 100. I kick off the overdrive whenever the tranny starts "hunting" on uphills, and I also kick it off on long or steep downhills to gain a little engine braking and save brake wear.

Les
LesM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2012, 05:28 PM   #7
EJ2
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Port Rowan, ON
Posts: 15
Default Re: Newbie questions re DC/AC power, water, LPGas, etc.

Thanks for all the replies and recommendations, folks.
__________________
Cheers,
Jim
EJ2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2012, 07:56 PM   #8
Gold Member
 
Hallibagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Picton, Ontario
Posts: 77
Default Re: Newbie questions re DC/AC power, water, LPGas, etc.

Hi E32,

I have an 89 and I have more than 170k kms on mine and I use the Overdrive all the time on flat land, you might want to drop it off in hilly or mountainous country and use the engine for braking. The gearbox hunting will give you an indication.

As for speed, I run up to around 70mph on the highway but it is more economical to drive slower when able, on the secondary roads.

You should be able to download a brochure for your model from the Roadtrek web site. Maybe someone has an Owner's Manual they could copy and e-mail to you.

Have fun!
__________________

Hallibagger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×