A listing of great RV
usage tips from an experienced RV enthusiast can be found at RV-camping.org,
the following is a bit of general information on operations.
Propane is used to power the refrigerator, furnace, and hot
water heater. The propane tank is located in an outside lower storage
compartment. On the tank is a gauge and there is another gauge, usually over
the stove. On the tank there is also a valve which is usually in the open
position, except when filling. By law, the tank may be filled only to 80% full
and only by a certified technician. Have all propane appliances turned off
prior to filling. Propane tank is full on departure and must be full on return.
A 12-volt direct current system is the main source of power
for the operation of lights and motors of certain appliances and accessories.
The power is stored in 12-volt batteries which are charged by the alternator on
the RV engine, by the power converter attached to the 110-volt power cord, or
by the generator. There is a 12-volt system for the coach portion of the RV and
a 12-volt system for the engine.
AC power is used primarily for a roof top air conditioner,
refrigerator, color TV and VCR and to supply electricity to wall outlets for
operation of other appliances which you may bring along such as toasters and
electric razors. 110-volt electricity is supplied by running either the
generator or plugging in the RV.
Your RV has two sources of water. One source is via a direct
connect to a pressurized water system. The hose and water pressure regulator
supplied can be connected to the city water inlet on the RV and provides
pressurized fresh water. The RV also has a water tank which can be filled using
the supplied hose. To use the water tank, turn on the water pump at a switch
usually located near the kitchen sink or above the stove. Leave the pump off
when not in use.
The refrigerator works on propane and 110-volts. Leave the
refrigerator switch in the auto mode and it will select the available source of
power. If electric power is available it will use that, otherwise it will
automatically switch to propane. It is not unusual for your refrigerator pilot
to blowout occasionally as it is subjected to strong gusts of wind. If this
happens, turn the refrigerator off and restart it after about 10 seconds. The
check light should remain out if the refrigerator is working properly.
The water heater is propane with an electronic ignition.
Simply turn the switch to on and when the red light goes out, the water heater
is working. Most water heaters produce six gallons of hot water at a time and
take about 15 minutes to completely recycle.
Your RV heater consists of a propane burner and an electric
(12-volt) blower motor. The heater can be operated by turning the heat switch
to on and setting the thermostat to the desired temperature. The heater will
cycle on and off continuously as needed. If the RV is not plugged in, the
heater may drain the coach battery overnight. Insure the battery is fully
charged (see gauge over stove) before retiring. If not, and the motor home is
not plugged in, simply run the generator or engine for 20-30 minutes to insure
a full charge. If the battery gets weak during the night, run the engine until
Your RV comes equipped with a dash air conditioner and may
have one or two roof top air conditioners.
The TV, VCR, or DVD supplied with your motor home operates
on 110-volt current only. As you move from location to location, most TVs
require rescanning to locate channels in that area. There also are some RV
models that have a 12-volt system for the TV and VCR.
The generator is a gasoline powered engine. It uses the
gasoline from the engine fuel tank and burns about 3/4 to 1 gallon of fuel per
hour. It is recommended that the generator is used sparingly. Generators do get
hot in the summertime and are not considered reliable for extended periods of
The monitor panel, usually located above the stove, will
tell you how much battery power you have, amount of propane remaining, levels
of holding tanks and water tank, and sometimes will have the generator start
The dump valves for draining the holding tanks are located
to the rear of and under the unit. There are two holding tanks, one for the
toilet only and one for all sink and tub waste water. The dump outlet has one
common outlet and two valves, one for each tank. The gray water (sink waste
water) outlet is the smaller of the two and the black water valve is the
larger. Make sure the valves are closed before removing the cap. Twist the cap
to remove, connect the supplied drain hose securely and place other end into an
approved dumping station. Never empty into a ditch, gutter, bucket, or anywhere
other than an approved dump station. Pull the large valve and dump your toilet
first. After the toilet is dumped, close the valve and flush the toilet several
times to rinse the toilet. Open the valve again to rinse the tank. Now open the
gray water valve and rinse the gray water tank. When complete, insure both
valves are closed, remove the hose and store it away, and replace the cap. Add
the appropriate toilet chemicals and a toilet bowl full of water and you're
ready to go.
The sinks and showers or tubs work the same as those in your
home with some small exceptions. When using water from the water tank, you must
turn on the water pump. The water pump switch is usually located on or near the
monitor panel. Since the capacity of the hot water is only six gallons, showers
must be quick and efficient. We recommend that you rinse completely, shut the
water off at the shower head, soap completely including shampoo, and rinse
again. This will not only conserve water, but insure a refreshing and hot
shower. If you will be staying at a campground that has showers, please enjoy
your long showers there.
Try to arrive during daylight hours for easy location of
your campsite. Some campgrounds have obstructions and trees, which can damage
the overhead or undercarriage of an RV.
Always ask for a campsite that is level so your refrigerator
will work properly.
If you plan to arrive after the campground office is closed,
it is helpful to call ahead so the campground doesn’t give out your site. You
may run the risk of not having full accommodations. While you can run your
generator for electricity, you may be restricted from using it after dark.
Whenever possible, ask for electrical hookup. If your stay
is for longer than one day, you should ask for full hookup (electric, water,
and dump facility). This will make your stay more enjoyable, because you will
be charging your coach battery, and also running your appliances, without using
the 12-volt battery.
Connecting your motorhome to the campsite electric supply is
simple and easy. Just remove the shore line from the receptacle inside the
shore line compartment, and plug into the campsite 120-volt receptacle. You can
also use the provided adapter in case the campground only has a 15-amp
Remove the fresh water hose, connect it to the RV and the
campsite water faucet. Caution: some campground water supplies are on wells and
the water may not be fit to drink.
campgrounds have very high water pressure, which may cause a leak in your water
system. If you encounter very high water pressure, we encourage you to use a 30
– 50lb water pressure regulator (available at most campground stores) to
prevent water lines from rupturing.
WARNING: If the
overnight temperature is expected to go below freezing for an extended period,
you must insure that the RV is winterized. Please follow the instructions in
the fresh water system (winter operation and freeze damage) section of the RV
manual. You will be liable for all freeze damage to the motorhome.
Remove the sewer hose from its storage compartment and
connect to the motorhome sewage drain outlet. Keep the two waste dump valves
closed, even while connected to the campground sewer system. Monitor the tank
levels, and empty the tanks only when the panel reads 3/4 or above. After
dumping, close the valves and fill the toilet 1/4 full. Add toilet chemicals,
and flush so waste can dissolve in the water.
CAUTION: If you
are camping and are able to leave your sewer hose hooked up, please keep the
valves closed. Open the valves only for dumping and then promptly close them
again. Dump only after the tanks are 3/4 full so there will be ample pressure.
If you simply leave the valves open, solid waste will settle and your waste
tank will become clogged!
Do not leave valuables in the RV while you are away. Take
valuables with you. Secure all windows. Close the curtains and the front
Overnight at Primitive Sites
If your campsite does not have electrical, water or sewer
hookups, ask the campground office where their dump station and water fill are
1.If not hooked up to electricity, be sure the engine fuel tank has
enough fuel to run the generator. (The generator will use about 1 gallon of
fuel per hour of operation and will shut down when the level in your fuel tank
drops below 1/4 full.)
Be sure that the fresh water tank is full.
Light the water heater only when you need hot water. Turn off after use.
Use the generator for all electrical operations inside the coach. <b>
THIS WILL ENSURE THAT YOUR COACH BATTERY REMAINS FULLY CHARGED.
<u>IMPORTANT:</u></b> Using the furnace and your interior
lights and appliances will quickly drain your coach battery.
Check that the refrigerator pilot light is still lit. If necessary, relight the
pilot light per the instructions on the refrigerator section of the RVs Manual.
1. Disconnect the shore line from the campsite receptacle,
plug the end of the electric cord back into the 120-volt receptacle in the RV
shore line compartment. If you used the 15-amp adapter, store it in the shore
line compartment also.
2. Close both dump valves. Disconnect the sewer hose from
the RV. Lift the hose to drain any remaining liquid.
3. Turn off the water spigot and disconnect the fresh water
hose from the RV.
4. If you need to add fresh water to the tank, remove the
fresh water fill tap and place the hose end in the fill hole. Only turn the
faucet partway as the tank has to vent as it fills. Fill the fresh water tank.
5. Stow the sewer hose back in its compartment.
6. Turn off the water and disconnect the fresh water hose
from the campground spigot, allowing excess water to drain off before stowing
the hose in its compartment.
7. Secure all compartment doors before departing the
8. Turn off the water heater. We advise this because the
water heater is a rapid recovery system.
9. Secure the refrigerator door and check to ensure that
your refrigerator is operating on L.P. Gas while you drive
10. Close roof vents.
11. Make sure all loose articles inside the motorhome are
secured and stowed away.
12. Check all tires. If any tires are low, air them up as
soon as possible.
13. Adjust side mirrors if necessary.
14. Always have someone outside the vehicle to guide you
while you are parking or backing up.
15. Retract any awnings or exterior extensions.
16. Latch and deadbolt the entry door.
17. Before driving away, make sure all passengers are
buckled up with seatbelts.