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Old 03-12-2011, 05:48 PM   #1
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Question Help with 1979 Sunline 21RB Electricity

I just inherited this trailer and this afternoon was the first time i have attempted to plug into electric. I used a plug converter to plug the trailer into a grounded extension cord which i then plugged into an outlet in my house. when i went into the trailer i could get some lights and the added ac unit to turn on but nothing else. I am new to travel trailers so i could be mistaken but shouldn't the water pump come on as well? I located the breaker box and flipped them all off and on a couple of times but it didn't help anything. I also located two tiny switches in the wall one on the wall as you enter near the kitchen sink and another near the floor below the foot of the bed. I have no idea what those are for but it didn't seem to make any difference what position they were in. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:07 PM   #2
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Welcome, and congrats on your new coach!

I'm not sure what the switches are for, but do you have a battery hooked up? The converter may need that in order for you to have any 12v. The converter only has so much output with no battery, so that could be why the pump wouldn't work. If you tried it without any lights on, it may work.

The AC unit is 120V AC, like the plug you plugged into the house, so it didn't have to use any converted power.


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Old 03-12-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
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No, we don't have any batteries. I just assumed that once we plugged in we would be good to go. What kind should I look for and how expensive are they generally? Also how do we charge them? Thanks for your patience, I'm completely ignorant about most of this stuff.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:05 PM   #4
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You need a marine type battery -- not auto. WalMart has them for about $80-90. It should be charged when you get it, then it will recharge while plugged into your TV or power post when at a campsite.

I'm sure one of the guys will be along with a more technical explaination, but that is the quick/nontech answer.

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Old 03-13-2011, 03:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rcarvajal View Post
No, we don't have any batteries. I just assumed that once we plugged in we would be good to go. What kind should I look for and how expensive are they generally? Also how do we charge them? Thanks for your patience, I'm completely ignorant about most of this stuff.
Hi rcarvajal

Welcome to Sunline Owners Club! Congrats to you on your "new" Sunline.

The battery, if you are buying a new one, look for one that is called "Deep Cycle". There are 3 basic types in the lead acid world of batteries.

Starter Battery: This is the one in your auto. Lots of quick power.

Marine/Deep cycle: This is a hybrid between a starter battery and a true deep cycle battery. It can be used on a TT and often times is. This type was geared for boating that sort of did both worlds, started the boat motor and had long drain cycles.

Deep Cycle: This is the better one if you can find them for a TT. You are not starting an engine with it and you are able to do constant discharges and not hurt the battery as long as you do not over drain it. They are made for deep discharges or long periods of use and not hurt them. Starter batteries are made for high power short uses.

As Clueless Camper stated Wal-Mart sells them and the last I knew Johnson Controls made them for Wal-Mart. There are 3 types at Wal-Mart

Group 24 Deep Cycle. This is the standard size battery that would come on a new Sunline even. If you are not doing a lot of boondocking then this battery size will do you well.

Group 27 Deep Cycle. This has more capacity then the Group 24. It has more amp hours of power reserve. It is also a larger case size and most times will not drop into the battery tray on the front of the camper. Not a big deal but you may/most likely will have to make a conversion systm to hold the larger battery.

Group 29 Deep Cycle. This one is even bigger then the Group 27. Again more reserve amps to go longer or be able to use more power and it has a larger case then the Grp 27

I my self have 2 group 27's batteries because we do go camping without electricity often and one of them is a Wal-Mart battery. I did have to make special mount for the TT tongue and needed new battery boxes.

After learning more... if your really serious about camping off the grid, then going to multiple 6 volt batteries offers more power.

So this all comes back to what are your camper needs? We used the standard Group 24 battery system with no issues at all for several years but we also have shore power at the campsites and could plug in. Unless you are wanting to get into boondocking the grp 24 will serve all your needs.

Hope this helps

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Old 03-14-2011, 06:57 AM   #6
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I have one of those mystery switches in the bathroom on my 1983 T-1550. I was told it was pre-wired for the optional vent fan that was never installed, but I never could quite trace where it went. If you have a vent fan, it may control that after your battery is installed. Good luck!!


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