How to not blow up your camper?

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by LTAnderson, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. LTAnderson

    LTAnderson New Member

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    I just purchased a 2001 Rockwood Freedom 1640LTD. It has a furnace, inside/outside grill and refrigerator. I want to turn on the gas but I don't know what needs to be checked before hand. I don't know how to switch the refrigerator from AC to DC or to Gas. I don't know how to check to see if the furnace needs a pilot light. I honestly don't know anything about the appliances when it comes to gas. The manual on Popupportal for the 2004 Rockwood does not have any information about the appliances. Can someone please assist me with understanding how these devices work with out blowing myself and family up

    Thank you for any help you can provide. It is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Spend some quality time with the RV and crawl around gathering info from all the appliances. Write down the brand, model number, and serial number of each. Use that information together with your favorite internet search engine to find the manual for each appliance.

    We will then be happy to answer any specific questions you have. Your post is too general and would require writing a book to give you all the info you can gather from the downloaded manuals.
     
  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Every appliance has their own manual and the manual for the trailer would very rarely help. There is just too many brands/models manufactures use in the campers. For us to give you specific info. For the furnace open up the grate for the blower inside (mine has the turntable clips that kept it in place). Make sure everything is fairly clean and not alarming. Outside us an exhaust outlet for the furnace just make sure it is clear of bugs or nests. For the fridge you should see two grates outside for the fridge. Turn tabs usually on those as well. You should see the fridge info back there along with knobs and switches. The stove is different among all trailers but usually very simple. Although sometimes there may be a gas knob near or underneath the stove that allows you to turn the gas on or off to the appliance. My new to me trailer did not have this knob. It was simple as turning the dials on the stove until you hear the hiss and light it with a lighter. Just make sure your carbon dioxide detector is working and areas accessed from the outside are not nesting sites for critters and you should be fine. Just play around, open every nook and cranny write down the model numbers and names for your appliance and Google it for the manual.
     
  4. rjhammetter

    rjhammetter Husband, Dad, Engineer & Camper

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    I can sympathize because I was in this boat too about six months ago. A new trailer and zero knowledge of how to use it. The trailer manual doesn't get into the details of the appliances. For me, figuring it all out was reading manuals, some of which do a terrible job with instructions, and then taking leaps of faith (trial by fire). Although I can't speak to your Rockwood or specific appliances therein, all trailers typically consist of similar or identical components. Things may have changed since 2001.

    Re: what to check - honestly, that's a drawback of buying used. You can try to inspect/follow the lines to ensure continuity. You can purchase a sniffer. You can take it to a dealer to let them test it out. You can trust the CO/propane detector, which would be 15 years old and highly likely needing replacement. Or you could trust the previous owner took care of it. Hopefully you would smell odor before spontaneous combustion occurred, but there are threads here where a camper blew up overnight (some speculate it was a stove knob left open) and another where a user found an unterminated gas line to where a stove used to be (wide open hose). I wouldn't anticipate those issues - then again, I would like to know for certain before I was about to blow myself up.

    Re: switching fridge - there should be an access panel on the exterior of the trailer to the back of the fridge. It doubles as a vent for the fridge heating element. That is where you can switch the power source and adjust the temp. Probably the same 15 years ago.

    Re: furnace pilot - mine doesn't need one. Electronic ignition (shore or battery required).

    The water heater is the most "exciting" appliance. That involves holding the starter button with a lighter held to the pilot.
     
  5. aslag

    aslag Pacific Northwest

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    I had a 2003 Rockwood and I imagine a 2001 would be the same. Outside directly behind the fridge are 2 access panels, the lower panel is where the fridge controls are located. On the lower corners of this panel are 2 black square screw like things (I don't know their proper name) they have a slot in the middle like a screw head. Turn them both 90 degrees and pull the panel away from the bottom. Inside you'll see 2 rocker switches, one is labeled 120V the other 12V, there are 2 knobs, one is numbered 1 thru 7 this is the coldness setting knob when running on electric. The other is labeled Lo-Med-High this in the coldness setting when running on propane. There is also a red button which is piezoelectric generator that will light the propane when pressed. Only use one power source at a time. To run on propane made sure the 2 electric switches are in the off position and the propane tank open, press and hold the Lo-Med-High knob and press the red button several times to light the fridge. To run on 120V have your popup on shore power and turn the 120V switch to on. To run on 12V just turn the 12V switch on be sure to have your popup connected to your tow vehicle and be sure it's charging the popup, if not it will kill your battery in a very short time. Your furnace doesn't have a pilot light just turn up the thermostat, the fan will start and the furnace will light on it's own.
     
  6. CamperMike

    CamperMike Member

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    It definitely should have an electric ignition furnace. The previous advice on the fridge is exactly how my old 2004 Rockwood worked. What I would do is first hook up the stove and attempt to use it, then try the furnace (turn the thermostat on and move the temp up), then test the fridge on gas if you want to last as it's the trickiest one to light.
     
  7. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Carbon monoxide (C0) detector. Carbon dioxide (C02) makes your soda fizz.
     
  8. LTAnderson

    LTAnderson New Member

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    Thank you! These ideas give me a place to start and was exactly what I was looking for. I was a little overwhelmed and wasn't sure where to start. This gives me a few things to look at and start working on. PopUpPortal is a great community and I very excited to join and start learning more about Popup camping!

    Thank you again for your help!
     
  9. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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  10. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    The title of this thread made me laugh out loud, literally. I know exactly how you feel. With my first camper, it was months before I would touch that propane knob. I felt like there was a 50/50 chance of explosion. Owner's manuals are useless past set up and take down.

    To be honest, I'm still very nervous about propane. I use it because it's the only way to get the fridge cold or water hot, but not entirely comfortable with it.
     
  11. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Don't smoke while lighting the pilot light. Once you put away your cigarette or cigar, the chance of explosion lessens vastly.... [:D]
     
  12. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    As noted above, you should track down the appliance manuals. But in general (this may not apply to your situation, but probably does):

    • The furnace will light itself when the "call for heat" comes.
    • The stove (you said grill, but I'm assuming stove) probably needs to be lit with a lighter or match. Make sure all burners are turned off before turning on the tank(s)
    • The refrigerator needs to be lit manually. This is done via the access panel, outside the camper directly behind the refrigerator. You will have 3 choices of power: 120V, 12V, or gas. Only use one at once, and pretty much don't use the 12V until you read up on its limitations. For the gas, you need to turn the control to "high", then press and hold it while pressing the red ignitor button. On my unit that doesn't work so I light it with a long lighter. You then keep holding the button down for a minute or two to warm the thermocouple, then you can let go.
     

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