First time owner questions - 1988 StarCraft Starmate

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by JoekBert, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. JoekBert

    JoekBert New Member

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    First time PUP owners. Wife and I just bought a used 1988 StarCraft Starmate SD camper (pictures included). It's in great condition and will be great for our little 2 boys (age 3 and 2months) and us as we plan to do a lot of beginner/modern camping at some state parks in/around Nebraska and western Iowa. We won't be doing any dry camping for some time...if ever! So with that, here's my initial list of questions we'd like to work out in a backyard run before we venture out to actual campsites. Please chime in and offer any input/answers/suggestions for us:

    1) The camper is wired with a 15amp plug. Our garage is wired for 20amp, so will we have any problems plugging into the garage to run/test the electric? We mostly want to run the Carrier a/c unit to see how it runs on the 15amp alone.(BTW - the a/c has it's own cord/plug separate from the camper 15amp plug) Also should the electric switch under the sink be on "converter" setting when it's plugged in? It also has an OFF and BATTERY setting.
    1b) Can I plug the a/c and the camper electric cord to a power strip and then plug the strip into my garage post?
    1c) I have a 30amp adapter for a 30amp site if needed, but when plugged in will I only still be pulling 15amps into the camper?

    2) Camper has both a city water hookup AND a 7 gallon fillable tank. When we hook it up to the city water does it run directly to the faucet? Or does it fill up in the tank, too? When the camper is hooked up to electric is that what enacts the 'pump' to get the water to come out? How the heck does it all work? Lol. Tips on getting the water lines ready for use? Will our house water spigot provide enough pressure to test it out?

    3) The weight of the air conditioning unit causes the roof to lean a bit on one side. Any way to add support within the camper to that side of the roof to try and compensate a bit for that weight? I assume prolonged leaning is not good for the structure of the camper?


    IMG-1814.JPG IMG-1815.JPG IMG-1816.JPG IMG-1817.JPG IMG-1818.JPG IMG-1819.JPG

    I'm sure I'll have more questions after we get it popped back up, deep cleaned and tested this weekend. Thanks everyone, so glad I found this forum!

    David & Tiffany
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
    J Starsky and 1380ken like this.
  2. Kampus

    Kampus Active Member

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    This looks 100% identical to a pup the wife and I were looking at a few years back. It was listed on craiglist about a 2 hours drive from us and when I asked the seller a few detailed questions before we took the 2 hour drive to look at it...he went all nuts about the global warming and shear winds blowing over the pop up that's why he was selling it....needless to say, we never ventured out to see it...i hate craigslist....i digress.

    1. A normal 15 amp plug should fit in a 20 amp outlet....just not the other way around. Not sure about the convertor switch though. Most convertors will convert 120 house/shore power to 12v to run lights, small water pumps, etc. Sounds like you may have the option to draw that 12v from a battery, or from the convertor when plugged into shore power.

    2. Really depends and I cant tell from your sink pictures. My onboard tank works off a pump faucet, meaning you have to pump the facet to pull water from the tank. If hooked to city water, the pump handle all the way down allows the city water to flow and all the way up turns it off. If there is a water pump to pull from the tank, there is normally a switch to turn on the pump. I dont believe the city water hookup will fill the tank....two separate options as far as I know.

    3. Im not sure about the AC as I dont have. Im sure there are multiple others here that can offer suggestions for that.

    4. Welcome from PA!
     
  3. JoekBert

    JoekBert New Member

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    Thanks! I’ll try to report back after the weekend back yard test and will likely have more questions!
     
    J Starsky likes this.
  4. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    I would not plug them into a power strip. You will still only draw what the appliance/pup draws if plugged into 30 amp cord/service.
     
  5. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    1. The switch should be on converter when plugged in
    1b. Dont use a power strip for the ac. It will probably burn out the strip.
    1c. Your camper will only pull as many amps as the circuit breakers will allow. If you try to pull more than 15, the breaker should pop.

    2. When you hook up city water, it shouldn't fill the tank. The water pump with pull water from the tank if you're using that as your supply. If you are planning on using the tank, mix a tbsp of bleach with a few gallons of water and run it through. To clean the city water system, just hook your hose to the house and run it for a while. You may need an external grey water tank.

    3. I cant help you with that. Sorry. Happy camping!
     
  6. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    I can run lights. a vacuum, and A/C off of a single 20 amp circuit at home, but I haven't tried anything heavier. I'm pretty sure that the above is right at the limit of that circuit.

    Get a 30 to 15 amp adapter and plug the A/C into the 30 amp outlet and the camper into the 20 amp outlet at a campground to have more available power.

    Do not try to run both camper and A/C off of a single extension or power strip, that will only decrease your available power.

    Use a pressure regulator when connecting the camper to city water, the plumbing may not be able to handle full water pressure. The tank should not fill when connected through the city water connector, it should go straight to the sink. It looks like you have a manual hand pump, the water should flow when you pull up on the handle when connected to city water.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
    BillyMc and Rusty2192 like this.

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