stupid question

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by viciw, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. viciw

    viciw New Member

    Happy new year....

    OK, I just purchased a 2000 winnebago chalet 24W. I am ordering the owners manual on monday. I purchased it from a nice couple at a reasonable price, but of course, being a first time rv owner I don't know anything.

    My question. Are regular electronics supposed to work when you plug them in? I have turned everything on and the lights are working, but I plug in something and it doesn't work. My husband thinks that the electronics must be a differant amp or voltage and we need an adapter for things like a hair dryer or TV. Is that true? Or is there something we are not doing?

    I'm taking it in next week for a full check up by a RV center and will pay for them to go over everything with me at that time, but I'm out there playing with it today and want to make everything work!


    ARCHER Senior Member

    stupid question

    VICIW, Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of RVing. If you have not plugged in your Chalet to (what we call) shore power, the only electronics that will probably work will be those that are driven by a battery 12 volt system. Most outlets, Frig, that require 120 volt (like your house) require that your plugged in to that kind of power or if you have a generator, it must be on for this to happen. Try it and send out more questions today and tomorrow for'll get them quickly. By the way, on plugging into power from the house, you may need an adapter to go from RV type plug to house type plug. If you can do it, use a circuit that is 30 amp protected by circuit breaker. Try not to use an extension cord, or you might pop the circuit breaker. Try it and let us know.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR Oops...forgot to tell you the power cord is probably in a compartment when you can't see it unless you open the door....should have a label the outside of the door that says 120 volt power cord inside or something like that. It will pull out to about 20-30 feet so position your rig close to outlet (hope you have one on the outside of your house or in garage.
  3. viciw

    viciw New Member

    stupid question

    Thanks so much. OK, we do have a generator that we can turn on from the stove hood. We also have the electrical hookup and the plug adapter. We are going to drive over to camping world this morning to get some sort of getting started book, then come back and play. I want to sleep in the RV tonight for fun (outside the house of course) husband thinks I'm nuts as it is pooring rain. Hmmm. who will win :)

  4. Gruffy

    Gruffy New Member

    stupid question

    I'm not sure there is such a thing as a book... but sleeping in the drive way is a great idea. After you get organized then try an over night close to home... so it's easy to quit and go back for what you have forgotten. A month from now you'll be old pros.

    Don't know how your rig is set up but...

    The generater is gas or propane powerd, and you can hear it running much like a lawn mower.

    An inverter give you 120 volt AC from batteries, and may be the control panel you found. Batteries must be charged for it to work.

    A converter is built into your AC power panel. When you plug into "shore power" it supplies 12 volts to charge the battery and runs the lights. Just a high tech battery charger.

    Have a look at your RV power cord. The adapter to plug it into a regular household outlet can be purchased at Camping World or Wal-Mart..... ask the automotive guys where their RV section is.

    Hope this helps you get started.
  5. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    stupid question

    Welcome to the world of RV living. Since Archer answered the power question, I'll not rehash the same things. I will say that the converter that changes the 120V-ac to 12V0dc is hardly high tech and while it will supply the 12V power for lights, water pump, furnace and such quite well, it is only a fair to poor battery charger. It will do a fair job if it has long enough, but it would be a good idea to also carry a quality battery charger form Schrader or another manufacturer to recharge the coach batteries when you wish to do so from your genset as it will do the job far more quickly.

    As to good books, there are several good ones. "RVing Basics" is one but there are also several others. And if you really wish to know how things work so that you may be able to do some of your own repairs and maintenance, the best book that I know of on that subject is the "RV Repair & Maintence Manual" written by Bill Estes and published by Trailer Life Press.

    The spending a night parked in the drive is a good way to begin. And paying an RV tech to go over things is also a great way to get started. You will also find that most RVers are more than willing to help if you ask. When you are out in your RV, be quick to greet other campers and feel free to ask questions. We tend to be a very friendly and helpful bunch.
  6. Gruffy

    Gruffy New Member

    stupid question

    Well, you've just found out that there is a lot of old fashioned ideas still out there. Years ago converters were brute force devices and were lousy battery chargers. Modern converters are much improved... improved at least as much as modern battery chargers. My converter (a 2003) charges at 50 amps, tapers the charge as the battery charges... then floats the battery at just over 13volts.

    Your gonna hear all sorts of stories about converters boiling batteries, excessive water pressure ruining pipes and other RV myths. Take a careful look at what you have before you decide, Like the converter, my plumbing is residential quality rasted at 200 psi cold, 180psi hot. Things have improved, your 2000 may not have all the bells and whistles, but I bet it's vastly improved over some of the older stuff out there.

    ARCHER Senior Member

    stupid question

    If you have an owner's manual, read it. If not, get one. Be careful about what the RV shop will tell you needs fixed when they check it all over. Much of it, you can do yourself for a whole lot less money. You can asked on this forum and folks will tell ya/walk ya through it to do the fixin.
    Have fun and don't forget the coffee tonight.... :) :laugh: :cool: ;)
  8. viciw

    viciw New Member

    stupid question

    Thanks for all the advise. It has been raining so much, husband talked me into waiting till next weekend where we'll go to the local campground and have a true camping experience. That way we can test everything.

    I'm ordering an owners manual on monday, and did my first shopping trip to camping world. I also think I'll have the oil changed this week in both the truck and the generator to get everything nice and fresh for our first trip.

    Plugging the RV in (DUH!) did the trick and husband is thrilled that the TV works (his only requirement for this RV).

    I take it by myself at the end of January so that will be a real adventure. Fortuantely, I'm going with a friend and she has RV experience. Our husbands think it is really humorous and say they'll keep the cell phones handy!

  9. Bush70

    Bush70 New Member

    stupid question

    Keep in mind if you use the generator some are automatic switching but some have to be pluged in just like shore power. Good luck and have fun!! Don't be afraid to ask. That is what this site is for.
  10. Poppa

    Poppa Member

    stupid question

    Welcome, Below is a few items you may want to consider.
    Hmmmmm! Let's see a newbie, boy I could have some fun here but I can't do that. Welcome to the world of the not so simple life, just kidding it is well spent time.

    First off we always drain and flush our gray and black water tanks at the campground. Then we add some chemicals and a little water to our black tank so it will slosh around on the way home. If you don't dump and prep your black water tank you will have a stinker when you decide to use it again.

    As to the fresh water tank, if the home has been setting a while, you may want to put a cup or two of plain clorox in it then fill it up . Let it set for a few hours and then turn on the faucets to flush out the sytems. Then drain the tank. If you use city water normally you have enough chlorine in the water to suffice unless you plan on laying it up for some time then you need to add some.

    Fuel, always fill up when you come back home, one it helps keep condensate from forming and two when you get the urge you are ready to go. For a long layup you should add some stabilizer to the fuel.

    Hoses, get a couple sections of potable water hose from Wal Mart. Normally a 10 foot section works well but we carry a 10 and a 20 just for grins.

    Sewer hoses keep two lengths handy with a coupler. Rinse them when through. Keep a pair of rubber glove handy when fooling with them cause a small scratch can get infected from the poopee.

    Electrical make sure you have the adapters to get from 50 amp to 30 amp and 30 amp tp 20 amp. most camp grounds have 30 or 50 available but you never know.

    Not knowing how you are set up as far as frig, heat, A/C can't make any suggestions.

    Keep a good Atlas, a magnifying glass and trust me get a good compass because sometimes you will get on some back roads in this beautiful country of ours and get turned slap dab around. a dash mount works fine.

    Get ready to enjoy your self and don't get in a hurry to get some where. Plan your trips on the easy side. Several reasons, you get in a hurry and you miss so much, take the senic route. The other resaon is the difference in 55 MPH and 70 MPH is probably 1 1/2 to 2 miles per gallon difference and when you only get 5 to 7 on a good day it means you can travel more. We went from 4 miles per gallon on a gas burner at 65 MPH to almost 7 miles per gallon at 55. Let the hot rods go, you will be passing them up everytime they stop to fuel up.

    As for the tow trailer, make sure you have a good hitch and watch for the semi's passing their draft will cause some swing and sway. You may look into a sway stabilizer ofter a few trips.

    Again welcome

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