Thermocouples are $8. I would just throw one in it. It can't hurt. The only way to check them is to use a voltmeter and apply heat and measure the differnce in voltage from hot to cold.
Or like I said, they are $8. :)
The new thermocouple will work great if the trailer is 1980 or older, and you have to light the pilot manually with a match. Newer models that have self-ignition do not have a "Thermocouple". They would have a flame sensor, and cleaning it will sometimes let it work properly.
Sometimes just unplugging the flame sensor, and plug it back in, will remove enough corossion from the terminal that it will work for a few more years.
Many times I find people report "The furnace worked great on the first night, and while driving to the campground. But that second night, only the fan would run, and the third morning, the battery was dead, nothing worked then. "
The problem in some cases is that the voltage falls below about 11.5 volts, and then the fan is not running fast enough to close the fan safety switch, and allow the flame to come on. A full battery with no load on it should be at 12.8 volts. Below 11.5, you can damage the battery plates if you continue to discharge it.
So if you are plugged in, and the battery meter reads 13.0 volts or higher, or the battery gauge reads "Full", you should have enough voltage, the fan should be spinning the correct speed.
If the proble only happens when dry camping, (without power) I would suggest turning on the generator the next time, and see if the furnace works great on shore power or generator power, but only messes up while on battery power, in that case, I would suspect low battery water level, to small battery pack, or the charger not fully filling the battery.
You can test the trailer at home, just unplug for a hour, test the furnace (battery should be full, it should work great), then leave on some lights, say 10 of them will draw about 12 - 15 amps per hour for about 1.5 hours, and test the furnace again. IF it stops working before the 10 lights have run about 4 hours, then the battery capacity is either to small, or the battery might be worn out.
I agree this is a great post. I will also be looking to buy a new RV in about a year, and am looking for a toyhauler too.
A couple of things to consider - look at your truck, it is a 3/4 ton, with a limited cargo rating - say 3,300 pounds. Say your plan is to load it up with 800 pounds of stuff, passengers, ect. you now have about 2,500 left for the pin weight. That is a huge limiting factor. Look at the truck again. Trading the "Used" truck for a dually with a 4,000 pound cargo rating (GMC) or 5,700 pound cargo rating (F-350 dually) will give you unlimited options on trailer size, and you can go have fun in safety. So the used truck can be a model year older or newer then your current one, and within a few thousand miles, and still meet your needs without changing the budget drastically.
Then you will have more trailer options.
Another thought is keep looking at toy haulers and consider a couple of modifications to your plan. If you remove the table from a U-shape dinette, does it not become a couch that seats 5? Nobody requires you keep the table in place, everyone can eat with a plate in their lap, just like at home.
One more thingI would install once you have the trailer is a Olympic Catalytic Safety Heater. I have a portble one with leg kit, 18" hose, quick disconnect gas line, and dust cover. I keep mine inthe closet most of the time. Winter camping, and it can keep my 30' motorhome toasty warm at 70F inside with 35F outside, and with minimal furnace use, warm while 18F outside. This prolongs the battery life a lot.
I also have a 400 watt solar system. Most factory installed solar systems are extremely expensive. You can buy a 150 watt panel for about $185, and a 10 amp controller for about $60. Installation brackets should cost about $15 at Home Depot, a tube of rubber roof sealant is about $10. Wire is about $25.
If running on electric, it can take 8 - 24 hours to get from 85F to 40F. It should be cold by morning, enough to put in your cold stuff from the home refrigerator anyway. Running on gas, you get about 2,200 Btu's input to the flame, the boiler will see about 80% of that, or say 1,800 Btu's.
The 120 volt 300 watt electric element if running at 120 volts will produce around 900 Btu's, at 110 volts will have less amperage,and less watts, so will be closer to 800 Btu's. The 12 volt element if you have one will be only a nominal amount of power, say 100 watts or 340 Btu's - and only for a very short time until the battery is dead.
So change over to gas on a hot summer day, it will not only make the RV's power cord carry 3 less amps, it will also provide twice the cooling capacity.
So the answer is yes the refrigerator should cycle off once the temperature is below 40F in the refrigerator, and below abount 0F in the frezer section. However on a hot day, running on electric, it might run 20 - 24 hours before cycling off, and might go well above 46F in the refrigerator section during a typical 100 - 105F day. The freezer can reach 20F on a warm day too. Yet running on gas, the burnger will cycle on and off as needed to keep it cold.
My guess is you heard the fan running near the battery charger / converter. That fan might run for about 1 - 2 hours after plugging in, while giving the battery a good recharge.
I would also suggest checking the battery water level, and refilling it with water if needed, - distilled water only!
When you enter Yosemite from highway 41, you can turn left towards the valley, and go where everybody else is headed, or turn right, to the end of the road in about 2 miles, then take a mile long hike to the biggest tree you will ever see. It is 33' in diameter. That makes it about 100' around the parameter of the tree. The lowest branch at 105' in the air is larger at the tree trunk (in diameter) than any tree east of the Mississippi. Think of a branch that is a couple feet in diameter, going sideways out from the tree trunk!
And there is still a living walk through tree in the same grove, though the drive through tree fell over in the 60's.
I did not have a spray on roof installed, I used the roll on Herculiner, and it worked well. However it is very strong chemicals, and the smell was around for at least a week. I installed Herculiner. For a 30' roof, it took 5 gallons. $125 a gallon, and another $300 or so in supplies, chemical resistant gloves, suit, chemical respirator, ect.
150 watts is a great start to the solar system. Also the PWM solar controller is fairly in-expensive, and will help turn on and off the solar charger at the proper voltages.
Some UV rated grey direct burieal wire and 2' of 2" angle aluminum cut into 4 each 6" long brackets will complete the material list. I used plenty of rubber roof sealant to mount the brackets, and 3 #10 screws into the roof.
When Ford sells the van front end, they have wires run to the back of the RV for things like turn signals already in place, and strapped down to the frame.
Things like the cab light that comes on with the door open will have wiring like you have shown. So will wires that extend to the back of the chassis, for such loads as speakers, or something controlled from the cab that is located in the coach area, such as lights on the outside, or something from the coach wiring harness that is feeding something in the cab, such as lights in the cabover section that are run from the coach battery, or TV antenna, or whatever.
Good luck figuring it out.
WHen posting a picture, use the little postcard looking image - it looks like gray mountains with a yellow postage stamp in the upper right corner. It will open the image post subroutine, and have a place for the URL in the top line. Width and height go in the next line. Don't exceed 640 wide.
If you use the WWW (looks like a globe) subroutine, you end up posting a link to the photo's location on the web, not a photo.
You use the globe picture to link to something like your GMC.com dealer, or other such websites.
I have driven solo 850 miles from Garden Grove CA to Albuquerque balloon fiesta twice. Not a lot of fun, and it takes a day to recover. That was in a pickup with a camper, and much easier to drive a long distance than my current class A motorhome. And I was able to drive around 70 back in the $1 per gallon fuel days. I did stop every 4-5 hours for a 2-3 hour nap.
Now I am much more likely to drive less than 400 miles per day, and might streach it a bit to make it to the destination in one day if it is only about 500 miles. But would rather break it up into two days, and not have to spend the next day recovering and sleeping all day.
If you have kids along, plan on a lot of video games or less than 300 miles per day. That is about 6 hours driving and figure you average about 50 MPH while driving 60, to take into account fuel stops, and restrooms.
5 amp fuse for the coil should be more than enough.
I have a 125 amp rated forklift contactor between my engine and coach battery, and it works great after 12 years. Grainger.com 6C017 It draws less than 1.2 amps when on. It has silver allow contacts, is rated to go on and off 100,000 times under load before wearing out. Cost was only about $18 back then. I see it is $45 now.
I would keep the break in oil for at least 2,500 miles, normally would keep it for about 5,000. IT helps seat the rings into the cylinders.
Then a change to full synthetic would be what I would do.
I had a buddy who rented a car that "Burned a little oil" - it had very low miles when he rented it, and probably had never been driven hard. He drove it back to Chicago, about 2,500 miles, in a time before GPS tracking on the cars. Now if you do over 85 MPH in a rental car, they can fine you a huge amount, but back in the 80's - no problem.
When he got it back, it was no longer burning oil, he had run it hard enough to seal the rings well.
Overall he put about 6,000 miles on the car, enough that they where 1/2 way to selling it as a used car. He had a 2 week unlimited mileage rental for about $250, and it covered everything. But had used about 1/3 of the total miles that the rental company had expected to put on the car before selling it at about a $3,000 loss.
In your coach, starting the generator while you still have more than 11.5 volts will work, and keep the house and engine battery charged while driving.The Allison transmission, and most modern engines as well, are all computer controlled.. Computers eat elecricity, that's the battery's problem, when the battery goes down the computer crashes and... Well, you know what happens next.
Question: (WIth implied suggestion)
My coach has a bi-direcitonal isolator, this means if the house converter is operational the chassis is charged as well as the house. (Likewise the house is charged by the engine)
In your coach, starting the generator while you still have more than 11.5 volts will work, and keep the house and engine battery charged while driving.
I also carry jumper cables and other means to jumper if needed.
If you have a Bi-directional isolator skip the next sentence and go the the all caps line.
Why not jumper the house and chassis batteries together and...
START THE GENERATOR to provide for battery charge?
In the case of the person posting, he did not notice that the voltage was low, until it was well below 11 volts, and it would not start the generator at that point. So to late to save himself from a expensive tow - even if it was the insurance company paying for that towing job.
If he had noticed the voltage at 12.0 or 11.8, he still could have started the generator, at at least kept much of the 12 volt load off his coach battery, and also save the engine battery a lot of power. But running at night, with over 40 amps going to the lights, you can run down all the batteries fairly quickly once the alternator went out.
Most RV's you can start the generator, and the normal system will connect the coach battery output to the engine starting battery. When My alternator went out, I was in Yellowstone, and started the generator right away. (belt broke, the alternator was actually fine). I turned on the charger, and drove to Flag Ranch, stayed a few days, drove into town for a new belt, was fixed in a short time by me.
I could have driven farther if needed, because the power steering was on another belt, and the water pump and cooling fan is served by both belts on my 97 F-53 Ford motorhome with a 460" engine.
Good to know that a small power failure will stop most of the things from running. The engine will not get a signal to run, the fuel pump will also stop. You where lucky to find a rest area.
Now I hope that you recharged all the batteries before starting the engine. It takes a lot of amperage to recharge the battery, and this can overheat the diodes inside, causing the new alternator to have a very short life.
If you have a inverter, my suggestion is to not run the battery low, and to use the generator to recharge the coach battery if you have been dry camping more than two nights. You probably have a 440 amp hour coach battery bank, and that can put a large load on the alternator. The cost to run the generator is insignifcant, and will take a lot of strain off the alternator and it's belt.
Another thing that the Cummins dealer probably already checked is for a loose conection. Disconnecting a alternator from it's battery is a sure way to melt the diodes inside it. This can happen if the alternator output wire is loose, and does not conduct power to the battery. I have also seen it happen to two people who have electronic battery isolator, where one of the connections melted, and the alternator output was not going to either of the batteries.
I would recommend if you have a electronic type battery isolator to install a mechanical solinoid isolator. Grainger.com has a relay made for forklift contactor, rated at 125 amps max, and has silver allow contacts. 6C017 if I recall right. Albuquerque has a Grainger branch, the Cummins dealer should be able to buy the part, they normally keep one on the shelf.
What I would do to correct the wiring is remove the electronic isolator, and wire the alternator output directly to the engine starting battery, then install the isolator to the coach battery with #4 or #2 wire. Turn on the isolator with a wire that is powered when the key is on or in ACC position, such as the +12 wire that turns on the radio while driving.
Scale your truck ready to travel. Look on the drivers door post and read the manufacturers GVWR. Subtract your scaled weight from that. That is how much pin weight you can handle. Multiply that number by 5 and you will have your answer.
I would have to agree this is the best way to tell what you can tow.
Say your curb weight is about 7,500 pounds with a 10,000 pound GVWR. You can still carry 2,500 pounds of pin weight without exceeding the GVWR of the truck. If 20% of the pin weight is the overall weight of the trailer, then you have a 12,500 pound trailer with 20% - or 2,500 on the hitch. The GVWR of the trailer might be as high as 14,000 pounds, you just need the trailer weight to be below 12,500 pounds.
The F-150 should tow it fine. The only difference in the F-250 is that the curb weight is about 700 pounds more. It might offer a little more stability.
The fuel mileage might be close, the 2011 and later F-250 will come with the 6.2L gas or a 6.7L diesel. Sure the diesel will get better mileage than the 5L while towing or driving solo, but the $6,000 - $8,000 additional cost will never be recouped by driving even 15,000 miles a year.
I would keep the F-150, and not upgrade unless you are going to tow more than 10,000 pounds, or the GVWR of the loaded F-150 is being exceeded. You might have a light duty or heavy duty F-150. Post the GVWR on your drivers door, and we will be able to tell you if you have the heavy duty version or not.
If you change, just to increase the payload, think about a F-350. It has a 4,000 pound payload (+- 300 pounds) while the F-250 is close to 3,000 pounds, and the F-150 with heavy duty package and ecoboost engine has closer to 3,300 pound cargo rating, mainly due to the lighter engine, transmission, frame, and overall a bit smaller than the F-250.