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Old 08-16-2017, 08:28 PM   #1
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Newbie questions

Hi All- I am the proud 3rd owner of a 1998 Jayco Eagle. It's my first camper and we are excited to take the step up from tent camping. I have only minimal experience with popups, so I have been reading lots and lots of forum posts and have gotten a good overview, but I still have a few pretty basic questions. Here are tonight's questions:

I have to park my trailer on the street. I don't want vagrants or stray cats finding their way in, so I close it up at night.

1. When I'm plugged in to shore power at my house, is it ok to have the trailer closed, or do I need to have it open?

2. What about running the fridge on propane... I'm not sure how well it works, and I want to run it overnight to see how cold it gets. Can I close it up?

Thank you!
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:39 PM   #2
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I was just scrolling back through the posts and saw your post for the first time and that no one had addressed your concerns. I must have missed it myself since I usually like to offer ideas that have helped me. I, too, took ownership of a pop-up this past December (and had one 20 years ago for a couple years) and have tried to read up on tips on the forum here. Here's my try at your two questions...

On the first one, it's important to make sure everything works. You'd hate to wake up to a smoldering heap because the electrical devices were tried and true. Read post #17 on this thread

http://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=49687

Everything worked but not when it should have while in a closed position. I think to answer your question, yes you can plug it in, just make sure heat generating devices are off or properly ventilated.

I run my fridge on propane a day or two before a departure while it sits in my driveway, whether the camper is open or closed. It seems to run the coldest on gas verses AC or DC. I also run it on propane while traveling down the road BUT the crowd here on the forum is split on that one. I am very comfortable with my decision though. I was a fire investigator for eight years with the state police where I live. I learned a lot about propane and respect for it during that time. I can also tell you I never investigated a "traveling camper fire" in all those years. It's a mixed bag though and if others begin to chime in here or you search the forum, you'll see.

Oh, welcome aboard too! [emoji4]

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Old 09-08-2017, 10:13 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for replying. We just had a successful maiden voyage over Labor Day weekend. Everything worked as expected, nothing broke, no surprises. Yay!

My trailer has a kill switch that activates when I drop the top, so even if I wanted the lights on they'd go off. When I plugged it in to AC power, I noticed the fan on the converter turned on, so I made sure not to pack anything within a foot or two of it. (I finished the packing the night before we left, and left it plugged in overnight).

I agree that the fridge worked better on gas than AC. At home before we left it ran in the low 50s even after about 48 hours on AC, but at the campground on gas it ran in the high 30s. Granted, it was well over 100 at home, and in the 90s at camp, so I'm sure that had something to do with it.

I don't think I feel comfortable using gas on the road. Seems sketchy. If nothing else, I'd be worried that something would come loose and I'd lose all my gas. That'd be a bummer! I just put a big frozen water jug in there and thought of it as a cooler until we got settled.

Next task is to figure out the best way to charge/maintain my battery between trips and in the off season. Any advice?
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:41 AM   #4
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I have a few thoughts on batteries. The quick answer is a trickle charger. Low amps over a long time verses a lot of amps over a short time = longer battery life.

First, I currently don't have one in my camper. I did in the one I owned 20 years ago, but not now (haven't needed one yet).

If you have a 7-pin (verses a 4-pin) connection at the hitch, then your trailer can take a charge from your vehicle's charging system while traveling down the road (I have a 7-pin myself but is only wired as a 4-pin on the vehicle side so it won't charge a battery if I has one).

I have a charger that has a 2 amp/10 amp option. If I have time, I choose the 2 amp when charging a low battery. If I have a dead battery, I may select 10 amp to kick start it and then go back to 2 amp to complete the charge. Having said all that, there are trickle chargers out there that only use a portion of one amp (maybe .2 or .5 amp). These are the best way to go BUT they are to be used with a fully charged battery to maintain rather than charge your battery.

So, like I said in the beginning, low amps verses high amps are always better. I also bring my batteries in during Michigan winters or at least keep them off the cement floor of the garage. I got nine years out of my riding mower battery before I had to replace it last year using that practice.

Final word, DO NOT CHARGE INDOORS OR NEAR AN OPEN FLAME OUTDOORS SINCE BATTERIES RELEASE EXPLOSIVE GAS WHILE BEING CHARGED.

Jerry

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Old 09-09-2017, 08:45 AM   #5
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I also just came across this a moment ago.

http://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=50733

A search on the forum on this or any other topic may give you endless hours of info/pleasure/frustration/etc...


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