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Old 01-10-2008, 10:23 PM   #1
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grannytosix
Need help, advice, ideas, information or manuals

Hi everyone,
I have just joined this group as I have just purchased a 1995 Sunline Solaris 23 ft trailer. Now in my younger years I have camped in a tent trailer, thinking that just have a stove and table inside was great, but this new to me trailer seems like a luxury. Problem is being a single granny to 6 and still having two sons 12 and 13 at home I know nothing about trailer life. I am hoping for some help, every little bit will be read carefully. I have a lot of questions, especially since I have started looking for a campground to park it on and the owners have been asking me things I know nothing about. So here goes for my questions some of which are probably pretty dumb...
1. What is the difference between 15 amp and 30 amp...which would I need?
2. Do I have a marine toilet or house toilet and how do I tell the difference?
3. Where is the hot water tank hiding? How do I turn it on...I do know that it needs to fill first.
4. How do I turn the gas on? Should I turn it off if I leave the trailer for a few days or is it left on all summer?
5. Does the furnace run by gas or electricity?
6. On the range hood there are controls for something but am not sure what.
7. On the ceiling in the living area there is a small crank...for what???
8. The fridge is made by Dometic...anyone have a manual or instructions for it?
9. The furnace says Magnetek Power Plus...anyone have any info on running this one.
10. I have never had an a/c even in my house. I see the control is the same one as the heater so hoping there is not too much more than that...any hints on running one in a trailer.
11. There are about five 5in circular vents? in the ceiling that I am not sure what they are.
12. What do I need to know about toilets in a trailer. Some campgrounds have sewers, some have dumping service. The sewers seem much more convenient to have. What do I need to know about trailer toilets?

I know that this is a lot of questions but I am going on the assumption that you are never to old to learn and am thinking that this is going to be a positive experience for me. I would really be grateful for any input anyone can give me, a little information is better than none at all.

I am very glad I found this group and am looking forward to hearing back from anyone. If there is a book out there that I could buy that could help me I would like to hear about that also.

Many thanks
Sharon
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:15 AM   #2
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Re: Need help, advice, ideas, information or manuals

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
Hi everyone,
I have just joined this group as I have just purchased a 1995 Sunline Solaris 23 ft trailer. Now in my younger years I have camped in a tent trailer, thinking that just have a stove and table inside was great, but this new to me trailer seems like a luxury. Problem is being a single granny to 6 and still having two sons 12 and 13 at home I know nothing about trailer life. I am hoping for some help, every little bit will be read carefully. I have a lot of questions, especially since I have started looking for a campground to park it on and the owners have been asking me things I know nothing about. So here goes for my questions some of which are probably pretty dumb...
Hi Sharon,

I've tried to answer your questions below. First of all, welcome to the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
1. What is the difference between 15 amp and 30 amp...which would I need?
- 15 amp is the service you have to the small common outlets in your house. 30 amp is what your trailer needs to fully function. There are adapters available that go on your 30 amp plug and allow you to plug into a regular household outlet. This is helpful when you bring it home and want to plug it in to charge the batteries or turn on the refer to get cold. However, you can't run very many things when on 15 amp service, and never the AC, so it is recommended you don't camp with this service. Most campgrounds have 30 and 50 amp service to the site (along with a 15 amp plug). This allows you to run the AC and many interior appliances at the same time. Just don't run every single thing at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
2. Do I have a marine toilet or house toilet and how do I tell the difference?
- Well, it sort of depends on how you define each. In a way, it's sort of a combo between both. I define a marine toilet as a fully self contained unit that has the tank just below the toilet. The whole toilet and tank can be removed for dumping. The water supply for this type has to be hand pumped. The RV toilet is sort of in between, because it has water supplied to it, is not removable, and operates much like a household toilet except for you have to do more stuff manually than the household one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
3. Where is the hot water tank hiding? How do I turn it on...I do know that it needs to fill first.
- The hot water tank is probably in the left rear corner. I don't know exactly what model you have, so I can't tell you exactly. It has a square door about 14"x14" with a vent in the upper left corner. I need more info before I tell you how to work it because there's two different types of WH's and the lighting instructions are very different for both. If you could get me the model number of it and/or a pic, that would be great. If you are unable to do both, I need to know if there's a blue knob inside the WH door itself that says "ON", "OFF", and "PILOT" or "LIGHT". I can't remember which term it is. That is the manual style, or there's an automatic kind that you light from inside the coach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
4. How do I turn the gas on? Should I turn it off if I leave the trailer for a few days or is it left on all summer?
- Simply turn the valves on the top of the LP tanks. They "unscrew" to open. Make sure there is gas in the tanks too. The only way to easily do this is take them off and pick them up. I wouldn't recommend leaving the gas on all the time, but if you turn it off, make sure all appliances are off as well. If you leave like Sunday night and come back the following Friday, I wouldn't worry about turning it off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
5. Does the furnace run by gas or electricity?
- It's sort of both. The furnace itself runs off gas, but the blower kicks on using battery power. So, if you're boondocking, the battery will drain quickly if the furnace is on and kicks on and off all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
6. On the range hood there are controls for something but am not sure what.
- It depends on what model you have. Most likely, you are going to have the water pump switch, the switch for the hood fan, switch for the hood light, and a lever for opening the vent on the outside. Depending on the model you have, you may also have a "test" switch for checking the levels of the holding tanks and battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
7. On the ceiling in the living area there is a small crank...for what???
-That crank will lift up your TV antenna on the roof. Simply crank it clockwise to raise up the antenna. If it is stuck, don't force it because the handle will break. Don't be surprised if it still does, because the sun gets to them through the windows and the plastic gets brittle. If it won't budge, get a ladder and help it by climbing up next to the roof and lift it while someone cranks. You can also turn the round thing just above the crank handle to rotate the whole antenna for better reception. It rotates a total of about 340 degrees. You also probably have a booster switch for the antenna on a cover plate near one of the TV hookups. Once I know your model #, I can help you locate this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
8. The fridge is made by Dometic...anyone have a manual or instructions for it?
- Yes, I hope to be scanning it soon. You should have lighting instructions inside the refer on the bottom for how to light it. If you could get the model number (RM ####), that would be great so I can tell you if I have the correct manual or not. The 5 cubic foot model was standard, but some coaches were equipped with an optional 6 cubic foot model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
9. The furnace says Magnetek Power Plus...anyone have any info on running this one.
- That's not the furnace. That's your power converter, which converts the power coming in from the power cord (if it's plugged in) to the 12 V required to charge the batteries. So basically it's converting 120 V house current to 12 V "trailer" current. This box also houses the fuses and breakers, so if anything stops working, this is probably the place to check first. You also may want to have this appliance checked out if it makes a lot of noise. I have been fortunate to have some quiet ones, but I have heard plenty that make very loud noises. They would be annoying to sleep with. On the subject of the furnace, again, I think I have the manual and will be scanning it shortly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
10. I have never had an a/c even in my house. I see the control is the same one as the heater so hoping there is not too much more than that...any hints on running one in a trailer.
- It's quite easy, just slide the lever for heat or cool whichever way you want and set the temp. There's also a high/low switch, but it only works for the AC. I hope to pop a pic in later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
11. There are about five 5in circular vents? in the ceiling that I am not sure what they are.
- Since I've now determined you have ducted AC, those would be the AC vents. You can screw them up to close them off or unscrew them all the way to get maximum air flow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannytosix
12. What do I need to know about toilets in a trailer. Some campgrounds have sewers, some have dumping service. The sewers seem much more convenient to have. What do I need to know about trailer toilets?
- Basically, before you use it, pull the white lever to fill the bowl, just a little, with water. When you're all done, pull the gray lever, which does pull the white lever, and that releases everything into the black tank. When you're all done flushing, fill it up with water again. However, your tank will only take so much of this because it is most likely about 30 gallons. This is when you will either have to have a spot at the site to dump or you'll have to take the trailer off the site and go to the dump station. There is one other option, and that is to dump your tank into a portable tank on wheels. You can get them in a variety of capacities and you simply haul that, most likely behind your vehicle, to the dump station. I believe I heard you mention that you were planning to leave it somewhere, so getting full hookups would probably be your best bet.

Make sure to let us know if you have any more questions,
Jon
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:48 AM   #3
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grannytosix
Many thanks

Hi Jon,
Thank you for all the information, I am starting to understand some of these mysterious things now. The model number of my trailer is T2670. It has a queen sized bedroom at the front and bunks at the back. I love the layout, it is perfect for my two sons and me.
I would be thrilled with any manuals you could send me. Is it easier to send them to my home e-mail or is there a way to access attachments through this forum.
I appreciate all the help!
Sharon
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:42 PM   #4
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Sharon,

Here's some pics. I've edited them to include details:



















Here's a pic of the Refer Model #. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics that are close enough to see what the number is. But, it is easy to find since it's printed right on the door of the refer:


You had asked about the stove hood and what all the buttons do. I tried to explain it earlier, but now that I've researched, I've found that you won't have the lever I talk about. It is in the following pic, but yours should look just like this but without the lever. The old style hood fan had the lever for turning on the fan and as you slid the lever, the outside vent cover opened as the fan came on. On your '95, they put a new style on that doesn't have to seal up as good and the air flow can open it:


The monitor panel you have is on the hood and the WH lights from the unit itself, using the little blue knob. The gas/electric models were lit from the inside of the coach. I'll explain how to work the gas only type later, unless someone beats me to it:



Jon
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:15 PM   #5
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grannytosix
Exactly what I needed

Hi Jon,
That is my trailer exactly except a different color scheme. The diagrams are exactly what I needed. This is going to be a tremendous help...it shows me just what I was wondering about.
Thank you for going to all the trouble to scan this for me.
Sharon
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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Sharon, Welcome!

That's why Jon's the MAN! It's amazing the wealth of information he and others have at their disposal...

OK, for the gas-only water heater like you have...

Make sure the drain valve (the thing with the lever on it and the red tag in the photo) is closed. When you turn on the water to the camper, the heater should fill automatically.

Once propane is all the way through your system, you will open the access panel, and turn the blue knob to "pilot", and hold it there (should be springy).

This will allow the propane to flow though the small tubes to the burner area (the hole in the lower right corner of the photo). Hold a long match or BBQ lighter in that area, this will light the pilot (where the two small tubes go into the pipe- under the sticker).

Once the pilot is lit, and will stay on, remove the lighter/ match, and turn the blue knob to "ON". You will hear a rush of gas and then a large amount of flame will come out of the largest of the gas lines and into the pipe- your water is now warming.

On the control box (where the blue valve is), you will notice a lever on the top. This is the water temperature control.

ON MINE (current and previous), yours may vary (but I doubt it), hotter is to the right, cooler to the left. Be very careful with the settings when the grandkids are around- the tap water can be extremely hot. I usually turn ours down when small children are likely to be aorund.

The water does run out rather quickly, so if you are one to enjoy a long shower (I do), I would crank up the heat, making the water hotter, and use the cool water to give the impression that you have a bigger tank.

With the kids around, you may want to take advantage of campground showers (BRING SANDALS OR SOMETHING TO STEP ON) to save the hot water AND the room in your holding tanks.

Make sure when you winterize your camper or leave it for a long time that you release the water from the tank- it will keep longer that way.

Happy Camping!

Greg
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:15 PM   #7
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It never ceases to amaze me what a great job you guys do answering questions for those of us new to this experience.

In case I have not said it before, thank you to all those who share their wisdom and experience with us learning the ropes!

David
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:55 AM   #8
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grannytosix
More thanks!!!

HI Greg,
Thank you for your information on the water heater. I am putting all the information I have received into a binder and this will be my manual. I also took some information off the file site regarding putting up awnings.

I finally found my campsite today. I trooped through the snow to take a look and found a site I really like, with trees and plenty of space. I never knew finding the right campground would be so stressful. Some places wanted interviews first to see if they thought you would fit in. Most others withing driving distance of Ottawa, Ontario were fully booked or only had spots that were just out in a field or had no services.

I found a family orientated campground where they will place the trailer on site for me (it is being delivered by the dealer) and then put it up on blocks and connect everything (for a small fee). They will also winterize it for me so I won't have to worry about that. A nice small lake and lots of planned activities for the kids. With all the help from Jon and Greg I should be all set for the camping season.

This is a really great site and everyone is so helpful and friendly.
Thanks again
Sharon
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:27 PM   #9
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Sharon:

It sounds like you found a great campground. Our favorite campground has many permanent campers like yourself. Since it sounds like you have a wooded site, I'll mention a few things that pertain to such a setup. Since small limbs can fall on your camper during storms, the permanent campers sometimes build small, vented cupolas which they place over ther ceiling vents to protect the plastic vent covers. They normally retract their awnings whenever they are not using the camper. Lastly, you want to clean the roof periodically (take a hose and step ladder to camp). This is especially important if you have a rubber roof which should be cleaned and treated a couple times per season.

Enjoy your new camping experience.
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:56 PM   #10
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Welcome aboard Sharon!

As for your questions - What Jon Said....LOL

I think just spending a few quality hours per night reading through all the threads on this forum should catch you up to date on the new camper pretty quickly.

Good luck, and you found the right spot to get all your questions answered.

Happy Camping
Pat & Cindy
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