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Critters n Me
Hi! It's me! I bought my very first ("vintage") RV last fall, and have been on the road since. Sold my house, my car etc etc. It's just me and my critters (3 dogs/2 cats/1 grumpy 45 year old lady!)
Ok....promise not to laugh? I have a couple of SO basic questions I'm embarrassed. I'm in a 1978 Coachmen Leprecaun.

After a winter (warm, luckily since I've been on the Oregon Coast since mid-November), I notice that there is some kind of heater thing under the "couch". Seems to be hooked up to the vents (circular) that I always thought were just...well...airholes?!? (You promised not to laugh!!) I can't seem to get the cover off of this heater thing. Says Coleman on the side ....


Second. I've been "plugged in" everywhere I've stayed so far. Ya know, electric/sewer/water/cable. There's a power inverter next to the circuit breaker box on this, and when I bought it the guy told me that I needed TWO new batteries so it would work right (got those). I'm confused about the inverter thing. It BUZZES something fierce all the time, beyond what I'd call 'white noise'....I have to turn the TV up extra loud to hear over it for instance. I don't see any kind of shut off on it, and don't know if I need it on anyway. None of the cord-thingies that go into it will unplug, and when I flip the one circuit breaker off that seems to control it, I also lose power to a couple of outlets (regular plug in outlets). SO.... what IS this Power Inverter thing, do I need it? Can I safely rip out one of the cords on the side of it so I can get rid of this buzzing?

I'm NOT stupid (really!!!!!!!!) I have a Masters Degree (in Biology) even!!! But, I'm kinda naive about a LOT of mechanical stuff, and I sure don't know ANYTHING about the innerworkings of this!!!
I'll have more idiotic sounding questions in the future I'm sure!!!
Thanks you guys!!
RV-folks are just the greatest!!!! biggrin.gif
John Blue
You do have some odd problems. The heater is a Coleman and used to heat inside, runs off LP gas. I have never found one on under side of unit. It should be mounted inside about floor level.

The power inverter is used to charge the house batteries. Some units have a inverter/charger and others only have a battery charge. If you remove the AC input this will stop the noise but house batteries will soon die. We have a 2000 watt inverter/charger and no noise from it. You need to replace it or have someone pull it out and ship it off the the repair shop. Also note this may cost more than a new one. Also keep in mind that batteries that feed this unit have a lot of power and will burn you if you short them out, same on AC input feed. If you do not have skills in this field let someone who can fix it do so.
Markfoto
Our inverter makes a buzz from the fan. I think the OP needs to do a little homework on his rig.
pianotuna
Hi There Critters,

There are no foolish questions.

I'd say you have an old style converter that may be failing. Best to take it to your favorite RV store and have them listen and test it.

You need it, but usually the buzz you speak of is a gentle hum, and hardly noticeable.

After a winter (warm, luckily since I've been on the Oregon Coast since mid-November), I notice that there is some kind of heater thing under the "couch". Seems to be hooked up to the vents (circular) that I always thought were just...well...airholes?!? (You promised not to laugh!!) I can't seem to get the cover off of this heater thing. Says Coleman on the side ....
Second. I've been "plugged in" everywhere I've stayed so far. Ya know, electric/sewer/water/cable. There's a power inverter next to the circuit breaker box on this, and when I bought it the guy told me that I needed TWO new batteries so it would work right (got those). I'm confused about the inverter thing. It BUZZES something fierce all the time, beyond what I'd call 'white noise'....I have to turn the TV up extra loud to hear over it for instance. I don't see any kind of shut off on it, and don't know if I need it on anyway. None of the cord-thingies that go into it will unplug, and when I flip the one circuit breaker off that seems to control it, I also lose power to a couple of outlets (regular plug in outlets). SO.... what IS this Power Inverter thing, do I need it? Can I safely rip out one of the cords on the side of it so I can get rid of this buzzing?

I'm NOT stupid (really!!!!!!!!) I have a Masters Degree (in Biology) even!!! But, I'm kinda naive about a LOT of mechanical stuff, and I sure don't know ANYTHING about the innerworkings of this!!!
I'll have more idiotic sounding questions in the future I'm sure!!!
Thanks you guys!!
RV-folks are just the greatest!!!! biggrin.gif
[/quote]
denbroncs
QUOTE
and when I bought it the guy told me that I needed TWO new batteries so it would work right (got those).

What did the inverter do before the batteries were replaced? It is possible that when the new batteries were installed something as simple as a connection was left loose - that could account for the buzzing. If the person installing the coach batteries was not familiar with RV's, you may have been oversized/undersized or not even hooked up correctly. I'd hate to see you go to an dealer repair center & pay their $150/ hour shop rate that a reputable service center might diagnose for free. Anyhow, welcome to the community & good luck!
DXSMac
Critters, when I first started RV'ing, I had a weird thing happen to my RV. The furnace kept conking out. Each time I made a trip into warranty repair, I was told "loose wire." I made THREE trips only to be told "loose wire." On the fourth trip, I threatened legal action unless the exact cause was found. Ok, here is what happened.

The RV I had at the time (Fleetwood Jamboree 24 foot Class C) had four vent outlets. The dealer discovered that all the other Fleetwood Jamboree 24 Foot Class C's had only THREE outlets. Nobody knew why mine had FOUR. Well, the fourth outlet was causing the ten amp furnace to pull 12 amps. So the dealer picked one of the outlets and PLUGGED it. Had no problems with the furnace after that! WEIRD!

Hope your issue gets fixed!

JJ
HappiestCamper
Like Blue said, it's there to charge the batteries. You said you have two - are they hooked up correctly? If you connect both batteries (assuming they're both 12 volts), how you hook them up can make it a 12 volt system or a 24 volt system. Now someone correct me if I'm wrong on the next part (I'm chicken, and will only hook up one battery at a time) - if you hook the batteries up + to + and - to -, they will be 12 volt - but if you hook a + to - then you have 24 volts.
DXSMac
QUOTE(HappiestCamper @ Mar 27 2008, 06:58 PM) *

Like Blue said, it's there to charge the batteries. You said you have two - are they hooked up correctly? If you connect both batteries (assuming they're both 12 volts), how you hook them up can make it a 12 volt system or a 24 volt system. Now someone correct me if I'm wrong on the next part (I'm chicken, and will only hook up one battery at a time) - if you hook the batteries up + to + and - to -, they will be 12 volt - but if you hook a + to - then you have 24 volts.


OH REALLY?????? I hope you are correct about this!!!!

JJ
pianotuna
Hi Critters,

DO NOT CONNECT TWO 12 VOLT BATTERIES IN SERIES! It is unusual for an RV to have a 24 volt system. 24 volts may burn out many of the control systems for things like the furnace, fridge, water, heater, etc. In a unit as old as yours parts may be hard to come by and expensive.

QUOTE(HappiestCamper @ Mar 27 2008, 07:58 PM) *

Like Blue said, it's there to charge the batteries. You said you have two - are they hooked up correctly? If you connect both batteries (assuming they're both 12 volts), how you hook them up can make it a 12 volt system or a 24 volt system. Now someone correct me if I'm wrong on the next part (I'm chicken, and will only hook up one battery at a time) - if you hook the batteries up + to + and - to -, they will be 12 volt - but if you hook a + to - then you have 24 volts.

John Blue
Post is correct on 12 volt only in most RV units. The large motorhomes (class A bus) use 24 volt systems to start engine and run motorhomes outside lights. This is done with two 12 volt 8D batteries hooked end to end or + to -. This is due to 500 to 625 HP engines need a lot of power to start them. One's you have will be 12 volt only and you can hook up 10 batteries if you wish. Hook them end to end by + to + and - to - only.

The noise is a problem that needs to be fixed and soon. This noise could be from the large transformer in unit. The plates in transformer will move at high speed and make a lot of noise. You fix it by removed unit and replacing unit. Cost to replace parts will be more than a new unit.
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