Newbie - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-26-2006, 12:21 AM   #1
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I downloaded and read the manual for the Casita's but still have a few questions.

1. When I plug in at a campsite, does that automatically override the battery usage for lights?

2. Do y'all travel with any water in the black holding tank?

3. Does the water from the fresh water tank supply the water for the shower and sink? If not, what is the holding tank used for? Do ya'll just fill that at the campsite from the white hose? Does anyone use a regulator on the faucet?

5. Can the water heater, furnance, thermostat, and the ignitor be updated to a newer version? Can RV dealers do this in the service department? (I have a 1996 13' Casita Delux)

6. How often should I take to service the Casita for the axel, bearings, see if battery has water etc?

and a little of manual subject...
how can I fix a crack in the back window?
And how can I fix a hole in the side of the sink (in the fiberglass)?
I have a loose live wire under the sink the previous owner didn't know what it went to and told me not to touch it... any idea what it could be?



Thanks,
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:56 AM   #2
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Lisa F,

1-Pretty much! The lights are 12 volt and the voltage goes up about one volt when the trailer is plugged in.

2-After draining black tank, put in 1-2 gal of water and chemical for odor control.

3-Yes. You should use a regulator when connected to water. The grey water holding tank collects water from the sink and shower drains.

4-You can update/upgrade appliances, but it isn't cheap.

5-Service bearings and brakes once a year. Check battery water every 6 months, more often if you are plugged in all the time.

6-Have the bare wire looked at. If it looks like house wiring (romex), definitely don't touch it if the trailer is plugged in!

7-Find someone to fix the window and the fiberglas hole for you.

Happy camping!
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:36 AM   #3
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Lisa,
The 120 volts coming in is split, 120 volts goes to the electric outlets, the rest to a convertor which provides power to the battery, also charges it. The lights are 12 volt and still work off the battery.

Doesn't hurt anything to travel with liquid in the black tank, but does add weight to the front end. Better to drain it if you can. Occasionally, I will dump a bag of ice in a partially filled black tank, which in turn breaks up solids jiggling down the highway.

As Bob says, use a regulator. It screws onto the outside faucet ahead of the hose. Also, use a white hose, sold at rv stores, designed for drinking water.

The water in your fresh water tank will supply water for sinks and shower, operated by the 12 volt system. This is primarily for camping where no water pipe system is available.
Fresh water in the tank also goes to the water heater.

When you hook up to a city water source, the incoming water by-passes the fresh water tank. Still goes to the water heater though.

When we travel we rarely carry more than 4 or 5 gallons of fresh water in the tank, just enough to use enroute for the occasional stop. No need to haul too much weight around.
Hooking up to park facilities, the normal procedure is to dump the contents of the grey and black tanks. Dump first the black, then the grey. CLOSE GREY VALVE before dumping black to prevent dirty water intrusion into the grey tank. \

Your Casita has a zerks fitting on the hub for injecting grease into the bearings. Check the Casita forum for info on this. You may want to save some money and grease your own bearings.

OK, bye ! Have fun ! Don
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:17 PM   #4
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...5. Can the water heater, furnance, thermostat, and the ignitor be updated to a newer version? Can RV dealers do this in the service department? (I have a 1996 13' Casita Delux)
In an industry in which technology changes at a glacial rate, and generally lags a decade or two behind the automotive world, the idea of updating from 1996 components is a little surprising to me. Many of us have Bolers, which haven't been made since before some of their owners had drivers licenses, often with all-original furnace, refrigerator, water heater, and electrical equipment.

Any more advanced water heater or furnace was probably available when this trailer was built in 1996, but the original buyer opted not to pay for the premium features. Used appliances may be available which would be direct replacements, and it may even be possible to upgrade the existing units to Direct Spark Ignition, which is the newer technology. Better thermostats can often be added to existing furnaces, a modification which has been described in this forum.

Unless the Casita owners here know exactly what water heater and furnace this trailer would have, it might help to post the brand names and model numbers.

As for what RV dealers can do... I suspect that any RV dealer with a large and successful service department is probably about as well equipped to build a trailer (other than moulding the shell) as the original manufacturers, which is one reason why Scamp and Casita can get along without special dealers - just about anyone can fix the stuff in just about any trailer.
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
I downloaded and read the manual for the Casita's but still have a few questions.


5. Can the water heater, furnance, thermostat, and the ignitor be updated to a newer version? Can RV dealers do this in the service department? (I have a 1996 13' Casita Delux)



Thanks,
Lisa, I have to agree with Brian... why do you want to? There haven't been any huge strides in the efficiency of these appliances in nine years... so unless you're experiencing some problems with them... that's a lot of money to spend for little return.

Roger
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:59 PM   #6
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Lisa, I have to agree with Brian... why do you want to? There haven't been any huge strides in the efficiency of these appliances in nine years... so unless you're experiencing some problems with them... that's a lot of money to spend for little return.

Roger

I was just curious. I haven't tried any of the appliances and was just thinking ahead. After picking up the camper I slept in a state park because I was too tired to make it home. I'm not sure how the appliances run. After plugging the electric in, I tried running the heater. No heat came out (so I am thinking it runs on propane) and the noise was pretty loud.. which may be due to my not running it correctly. The thermostat didn't seem to turn on/off well, which could have, once again, be from the heater not running the way it should.

I noticed in the manual the fridge has a way to turn it to either be runnng by battery, propane, etc. but I am not seeing that on my fridge.

I guess I am just a little nervous since I don't have the means of fixin things up (I live in an apt - 3rd floor) and being single (not knowing how to do things)

I washed the casita in/out today... It was pretty nasty from sitting for 6 months. I even filled the tires by myself I am sure I will feel more comfortabe once I learn how the Casita operates

thanks for everyone's responses!
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Old 03-26-2006, 08:19 PM   #7
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I understand the idea of planning for possible requirements. Fortunately, in this case there should be no problems; the 1996-vintage bits will be maintainable for many years.

If the heater is a forced-air propane furnace like my Suburban, the noise may be normal - I'm astounded by how loud this thing is, although I have not yet heard others (newer, or different models) for comparison. A normal furnace (not Direct Spark Ignition) has a pilot light, so if you didn't get in there with a match or lighter, there isn't going to be any heat. Just like a traditional home furnace, the pilot always burns and the thermostat turns the fan and main burner on only when required. Of course, I don't know what Casita puts in, so maybe manual lighting isn't required.

In some model of three-way refrigerator, the controls are on the back, accessible by opening the vent panel on the outside wall of the trailer. Maybe that's why you're not seeing them, Lisa? Again, post the make and model and someone can probably explain.

With the collective centuries of experience among FiberglassRV members, all "newbie" questions should be answerable. While there are lots of things in a trailer to learn about, none are rocket science, so I don't think lack of experience should be a problem. We all start somewhere.
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:02 PM   #8
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Lisa,

I'm only been in one Casita in my life. Fortunately, most of the appliances are fairly standard. If you'd like me to come over later this week and walk you through what I can, PM me.
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:32 PM   #9
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Lisa,

I'm only been in one Casita in my life. Fortunately, most of the appliances are fairly standard. If you'd like me to come over later this week and walk you through what I can, PM me.

that would be awesome Benita. I won't driving home till this Saturday, but next week I am available all day Monday and then Wed and Thurs before 2pm. I am going to Skidaway Island April 7-10th (to meet my parents and do the dog switch ) It would be very nice to be able to use my "bathrom" and appliances...

Still trying to find storage around us
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Old 03-30-2006, 06:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
I downloaded and read the manual for the Casita's but still have a few questions.

1. When I plug in at a campsite, does that automatically override the battery usage for lights?

2. Do y'all travel with any water in the black holding tank?

3. Does the water from the fresh water tank supply the water for the shower and sink? If not, what is the holding tank used for? Do ya'll just fill that at the campsite from the white hose? Does anyone use a regulator on the faucet?

5. Can the water heater, furnance, thermostat, and the ignitor be updated to a newer version? Can RV dealers do this in the service department? (I have a 1996 13' Casita Delux)

6. How often should I take to service the Casita for the axel, bearings, see if battery has water etc?

and a little of manual subject...
how can I fix a crack in the back window?
And how can I fix a hole in the side of the sink (in the fiberglass)?
I have a loose live wire under the sink the previous owner didn't know what it went to and told me not to touch it... any idea what it could be?



Thanks,
Hey y'all....
I took the camper to an RV dealer/service place and they
1. cut the live wire (they had no idea what it was for)
2. fixed the hole in the fiberglass - covered with a plain, solid faceplate
3. fixed the hole in the floor, under the sink, with spray foam
4. installed a new fan: http://www.maxxair.com/products/MaxxFan.aspx
LOVE IT!!!
5. Replaced bulbs (turn signal, brake light) and
6. Replaced 2 locks
The best part about it....
The manager did a mini walk through

I know there are other things I need to learn, but I am sure I will learn in time and with trial/error

I bought the 1" memory foam topper from Wal-Mart (that is the only one they had) and it fits perfect on the bed. I also bought a PUR water filter for the faucet...

I am ready to go camping


see some of y'all, in May, in the North GA mountains
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Old 03-30-2006, 07:15 PM   #11
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Well, I guess you don't need a second walk thru. I'm sure you are going to enjoy your camper more now that you understand it better.
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Old 03-30-2006, 09:09 PM   #12
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Well, I guess you don't need a second walk thru. I'm sure you are going to enjoy your camper more now that you understand it better.
Hopefully, I will be OK, I am camping at Skidaway Island next week... I might be coming home with some questions.

Maybe we can get together and go camping before May. I'm going to get in touch with another member, Diane, and see if she wants to go to the NGA mtns one weekend. She enjoys bird watching and I would love to go with her


Thanks for the offer and I can't wait to meet you!
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:00 AM   #13
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Congrats, Lisa, on getting this far with your new-to-you Casita. All those systems seem overwhelming at first, but you'll get used to them soon enough. Obviously you're approaching it with a positive, can-do attitude. I know you're gonna have a good time with your little house.

Be sure to take pics when you have her out next week. And then post some to the board. As they say, "we like pictures!"

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Old 03-31-2006, 10:56 AM   #14
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Congrats, Lisa, on getting this far with your new-to-you Casita. All those systems seem overwhelming at first, but you'll get used to them soon enough. Obviously you're approaching it with a positive, can-do attitude. I know you're gonna have a good time with your little house.

Be sure to take pics when you have her out next week. And then post some to the board. As they say, "we like pictures!"

Thanks Mary... will do. Lots of pics - I am picking a friend up (at midnight) tonight from Hobby airport and we are headed back to Georgia... stray cat in tow

y'all beep and if you see me
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