Questions after first trip.

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by KJMcNeil, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

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    Finally got our 2009 westlake on the road. We played it safe and stayed fairly close so we could avoid canyons until I felt comfortable with the electric brakes, but it was a great location with a pool and a cute small town nearby. We had a blast, but it brought up some questions.

    I'm a single mom of a 13 year old girl and I am muddling through and the repairs and such myself. This forum has been indispensable in this journey! Here are the new questions I came across:

    Hot water heater: I am getting the impression the hot water runs only on propane. Is that right? I'm nervous to start up the gas. How dangerous would it be to test the hot water if I haven't had the system checked?

    Water pump: it has been sitting empty for quite some time. When I turned on rhe hotel faucet (testing for heat on shore power) the water was spurting even after running it for 5 minutes. Is this to be expected?

    Ac: a portable ac is not going to be optional. It was so hot in this 100 degree weather! The PO said he had a portable unit. It's prewired for AC. There is a GFCI outlet right under the cabinet where he said he put his next to the galley. There is a standard outlet a few inches away. Is it safe to assume the GFCI outlet is ok to use for AC, or is there work that needs done such as new fuses? Or is there somewhere else all together I should plug it in?

    Thanks for any help you can offer!
     
  2. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and congrats on your first outing!
    Water heater heat source will depend on the heater. Some are propane only while others also include electric.
    The water will spit and spudder while it is purging the air out of the lines. Were you on tank water or hooked to the city water?
    If you use a portable AC any outlet should work. They most likely are all on the same circuit as the GFI. Just make sure the portable AC unit doesnt exceed the outlets rated amperage. If it is pre-wired for a roof top AC, I would strongly suggest you look into one of those.
     
  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Can't answer the water heater question except yes, it's propane.
    2) As far as the water. If a system sat unused for a long time and especially if the lines were aired out for winterizing then there is going to be a lot of air in the lines when you use it. Question, did you hook up to city water or were you using the onboard tanks. If on board tanks, how much water did you have in your tank? If you only had a couple buckets full the pump hose may be sucking air as well as water.
    3) on my unit I have a dedicated outlet for my AC which is 20amps. It already has a fuse specific for that circuit. It is possible yours is set up the same way. So if that is the case then your good to plug your AC in.
     
  4. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    Your LP leak detector probably should be replaced, they're only good for about 5 years. Check the pigtail at the tank and the soft line under the galley for cracks in the rubber. You can mix a table spoon of dish soap with a pint of water and pour it over the lines, it will bubble if it finds a leak. I wouldn't worry too much about the hard lines unless you think they've been messed with.
    Probably a sign of of a slight leak between the tank and the water pump, so it's sucking in air along with the water. Could be that the line is partially blocked, check for crimps in the line under the galley. If you have an internal water filter that could need cleaning. If you haven't already search the portal for posts on sanitizing the water system.
    I would use the 20 amp outlet for the AC circuit. I don't know where this is on a Fleetwood, mine is inside a dinette bench. Any other outlet will limit what else you can use on the other circuit.
     
  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Another option for the heater, if you stay at places with electric, is a portable electric heater. I used the heater once in my camper then went with the portable electric one. I plan on always using electric hook ups.
     
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  6. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    If you're on city water don't run the pump. The pump is for water in the storage tank for camping without hookups.

    No idea what water heater you have, ours is propane only. Every PUP I've seen has a 30 amp service so I'm guessing your water heater is propane only.

    For AC, they are kind of pricey but it's hard to beat a roof top unit. A portable is better than nothing and the two hose portables work the best, but are close to the cost of a rooftop unit. If the PUP is prewired for AC there should be a dedicated 20 amp outlet somewhere that would be your best choice to power AC. Try to setup in the shade. Use reflectix in you windows. Close bunk curtains during the day. Taking these steps may get you by using a larger inexpensive single hose portable. We camp some during 100 degree weather, but it isn't as much fun. If we're going to move indoors after lunch and remain there until dark everyday we generally stay home and save the money for cooler weather.
     
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  7. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    The portable electric heater is great if you have hookups. I have one (with remote) in each of my campers.

    I did get my propane system tested before I used it on my clipper. It just seemed the best thing as I didn't know or talk to the prior owner (bought at a dealership). It wasn't very expensive to have done. They found a leak in the furnace. So I just had them close off the line. If I don't have hookups (most of the time), I use a Mr Heater. I only use it when I'm awake to keep the chill away.

    With the FnR, I talked extensively with thd prior owner and tested the propane system at home. Didn't bother getting it tested. The prior owner mentioned that they rarely used the heater because it was too much for the small space.
     
  8. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I don't think I fully understood the question before. If you're running the hot water and the water heater has not been previously filled it will take some time to actually fill the tank. Depending on how widely you open the tap it could conceivably take 5 minutes. It will sputter and spit air until the tank is completely full.
     
  9. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

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    Thank you! We were on a city water hookup. The cold water didn't sputter, just the hot.

    On the water heater I looked at the owners manual and it doesn't specifically say if it is two way, but all the language says "light the water heater." I know the pilot light is run on gas, right???
     
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  10. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

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    I will check on the 20 amp! I do know our outlets weren't working until I looked at the fuse box and noticed he had all 15 amp fuses but there was one marked as 20. As soon as I switched the fuse and reset the GFCI and breaker, outlets worked. My guess is that means our outlets are 20 amp?
     
  11. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

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    Sorry for the typos. The hot water heater was bone dry. I drained out the antifreeze (there wasn't much) to replace the anode rod.
     
  12. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Ok. So hot water heater is propane. Also if you have antifreeze in some of the lines you might want to disinfect them. This involves some bleach and water in the fresh water tank and then running it through the system. After its in the lines wait 3 hours then flush it all with fresh water.
     
  13. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

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    Sounds like I'm on the right track. I just bought attachments to fill my tank with a water jug because I can't reach the hose at home. So i will take on that massive task this week. I didn't do it at the campground because I wasnt sure where to drain it!
     
  14. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    It should have a plug that unscrews on the bottem or side of the tank under the camper. Get a longer water hose and attach it to the one you have, you do have one safe for drinking for the campsite?
     
  15. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

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    Yup! I also got a hose for grey water and a connection to go straight to the sewer line. It worked well. I could probably have used it in my tank as well.
     
  16. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    The fuses have nothing to do with house type outlets. Fuses are for 12 volt lights and devices on your PUP. If the PUP is wired for AC you should have one 15 amp home style breaker and one 20 amp home style breaker. There may also be a 30 amp main breaker. The 20 amp would be for the AC and the 15 amp powers the converter and your outlets.
     
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  17. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

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    Steve -- could that slight leak be from an incorrectly seated anode rod? The threads were so rusted and corroded it only screwed in about half way. I watched a video about tapping the threads, and have ordered the tapper hoping to get the anode rod fully installed. Could that cause enough air to explain the sputter? And how nervous should I be about tapping? I ordered the exact part the guy on the video used to tap his, but don't want to damage my water heater.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  18. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

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    Thanks Billy! Is there something in particular I need to do in order to route my AC to that breaker? Or does its existence offer the protection needed? My apologies, I have zero experience with electrical systems.
     
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  19. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Yes, rust can prevent a full seat and cause a leak. Could you share the part number of the tap you ordered, so we can cross check? As far as tapping, use a little oil on the tap. Only cut out the rust, you don't want to remove any more metal to make the thread fit sloppy.
     
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  20. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    You can try evaporrust and a wire brush first. It depends on the amount of rust and how bad the threads are.
     

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