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Old 07-30-2018, 09:44 PM   #1
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New owner question(s) '16 Winnebago Spirit 22R

Hi,

I'm totally new to RVs, and own a 2016 Winnebago Spirit 22R (just bought it last week). It has an Onan 4KY gas generator. Here are some general questions (I couldn't find answers in the large owner manual, maybe I missed it):
1. The fridge can use either electricity or propane. If I use electricity, I'm guessing the RV either has to be connected to outside power, or have the generator on. First of all: is my assumption correct? If so, do I need the generator on the whole time I'm driving, so to not let the food spoil?
2. Also in the lines of electricity: how is the "coach" battery charged? Is it only charged by the generator (when on) or outside power (when connected)? Or does it charge also from the actual car's engine when the engine's on?
3. The car (Ford E350 chassis) has a switch on the dash that says "BATTERY BOOST ON/OFF". What is that for?
4. I see two separate switches in the "coach" section regarding water heater: the one says "WATER HEATER ON/OFF" and the other "HOLDING TANK HEATER ON/OFF - Turn off when not in use". What is the difference?


Thank you so much everyone!
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rockelino View Post
Hi,

I'm totally new to RVs, and own a 2016 Winnebago Spirit 22R (just bought it last week). It has an Onan 4KY gas generator. Here are some general questions (I couldn't find answers in the large owner manual, maybe I missed it):
1. The fridge can use either electricity or propane. If I use electricity, I'm guessing the RV either has to be connected to outside power, or have the generator on. First of all: is my assumption correct? If so, do I need the generator on the whole time I'm driving, so to not let the food spoil?
2. Also in the lines of electricity: how is the "coach" battery charged? Is it only charged by the generator (when on) or outside power (when connected)? Or does it charge also from the actual car's engine when the engine's on?
3. The car (Ford E350 chassis) has a switch on the dash that says "BATTERY BOOST ON/OFF". What is that for?
4. I see two separate switches in the "coach" section regarding water heater: the one says "WATER HEATER ON/OFF" and the other "HOLDING TANK HEATER ON/OFF - Turn off when not in use". What is the difference?


Thank you so much everyone!
Hello and welcome. Let's see if I can help...

If your fridge is set to run on electric, then indeed you do need to run the generator or be connected to shore power. However if it's set to run on propane it will run and keep your food cold while on the road. If you set it to "auto", it should switch between electric and gas when it senses you are plugged in, on genny power, or not. Do you have the manual for your refrigerator?

Your coach ("house") batteries will be charged when plugged in or running the generator. Also may be charged by the vehicle but not always set up that way.

The battery boost is to be used in case you ever run your chassis battery down and need a "boost" from the house batteries to get the engine started.

The water heater on/off is self-explanatory. The holding tank heater is for times when you are camping in freezing temps and don't want your waste tanks to freeze.

If you didn't get manuals for all your appliances (fridge, water heater, etc.) then google the model numbers to find them. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockelino View Post

1. The fridge can use either electricity or propane. If I use electricity, I'm guessing the RV either has to be connected to outside power, or have the generator on. First of all: is my assumption correct? If so, do I need the generator on the whole time I'm driving, so to not let the food spoil?
your assumption is correct. we always ran the fridge on LP while driving unless we ran the coach air cond using the genny. when we did that the fridge auto switched to electric. running the lp while driving is safe. just be sure to turn off the fridge while fueling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockelino View Post
2. Also in the lines of electricity: how is the "coach" battery charged? Is it only charged by the generator (when on) or outside power (when connected)? Or does it charge also from the actual car's engine when the engine's on?
this can vary by make and model but generally the coach and chassis batteries are charged by the engine's alternator. when plugged into shore power or using the genny will also charge the coach battery(ies). there's an after market device that will keep your chassis battery charged while plugged in or running the genny. i'll look for the name and post it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockelino View Post
3. The car (Ford E350 chassis) has a switch on the dash that says "BATTERY BOOST ON/OFF". What is that for?
if your chassis battery dies that switch will connect the coach batteries allowing you to start the engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockelino View Post
4. I see two separate switches in the "coach" section regarding water heater: the one says "WATER HEATER ON/OFF" and the other "HOLDING TANK HEATER ON/OFF - Turn off when not in use". What is the difference?
the water heater is your hot water tank. the other are your gray and black waste tanks. check your owner's manual
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:38 PM   #4
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the device i mentioned earlier is called Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer. i strongly recommend you get one.
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:02 PM   #5
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your assumption is correct. we always ran the fridge on LP while driving unless we ran the coach air cond using the genny. when we did that the fridge auto switched to electric. running the lp while driving is safe. just be sure to turn off the fridge while fueling.
I just got. 2016 22R as well.
Is running LP safe while driving? I just read that it isn’t, due to possibly leaks occurring while driving. However I did it for 8 years with previous rv.

Turn off when refueling? Are you referring to LP refueling?

Any issues running the generator while traveling down the road? Anything to be concerned about?
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:58 PM   #6
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no. i was referring to fueling the RV although when you are fueling the LP tank you’ll need to shut down all LP appliances and everyone including pets will be asked to exit the RV. the attendant will also close the tank valve while fueling (at least he should).

we ran the lp fridge fir 30-yrs while driving with no issues. suit yourself.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:09 PM   #7
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Recommend turning off gas appliances when gassing up. Otherwise we use them while traveling. Ok to run generator while driving. You can find YouTube videos to learn how to change your generator oil My Onan doesn't have a filter. It was very easy to DIY. Dealer wanted a ridiculous amount to do a 5 minute job. (CHANGE ANNUALLY).

We are 2 years into owning our MW and love it. Try to work in a visit to Forest City sometime.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:22 AM   #8
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Recommend turning off gas appliances when gassing up. Otherwise we use them while traveling. Ok to run generator while driving. You can find YouTube videos to learn how to change your generator oil My Onan doesn't have a filter. It was very easy to DIY. Dealer wanted a ridiculous amount to do a 5 minute job. (CHANGE ANNUALLY).

We are 2 years into owning our MW and love it. Try to work in a visit to Forest City sometime.
You will find that all gas appliances including the fridge MUST BE TURNED OFF WHILE FILLING THE PROPANE TANK. It is not an option. Everyone must also exit the coach before filling can begin. These are standard safety requirements. If the person filling the tank does not verify that they have been turned off and the coach is empty, it is likely he is not qualified to do the job.
You might want to consider adding a Fumoto valve to your generator to make the oil changes even easier.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:33 PM   #9
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While we're on the propane (and other utilities) topic, I was wondering (and yes, I'm a brand new first time RV Class-C owner, so please excuse my lack of knowledge):
1. When you're "storing" the RV, i.e. not using it for a month or so, I'm guessing you want to shut the propane valve off. What if you're just parking it outside your house for a week or two before taking it on a trip? Do you just open the valve before the trip and close it when the trip is over? The previous owner said he "never turned it off, unless fueling the car chassis, or refilling the propane tank".
2. With regards to the fresh water tank: I plan to mostly use the RV in campsites with electric/water hookups: hence, I'll be primarily using the "city water" hookup and not using any of the water in the fresh water tank. How often do you empty it, just to make sure "old" water doesn't sit idle in the tank? Or does it not make any difference?

Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:14 AM   #10
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We have been rving for 45 years and have always run refrig on propane going down the road. Just set it on auto and it will take care of itself.



When fueling the vehicle we always turned off the refrig or the entire propane system so there could not be any accidental flame.


We have never had to leave the coach for refueling the propane tanks. First I ever even hear of that and I have followed a lot of forums over the years. When in winter camp we are filled directly from the propane truck and he has never requested us to vacate the rig.



Your rig may have a Trik-L-Start already. Our Winnie did.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:21 AM   #11
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What's "Trik-L-Start"?
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:24 AM   #12
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See #4, has a link.............
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:56 AM   #13
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Fresh Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockelino View Post
While we're on the propane (and other utilities) topic, I was wondering (and yes, I'm a brand new first time RV Class-C owner, so please excuse my lack of knowledge):
1. When you're "storing" the RV, i.e. not using it for a month or so, I'm guessing you want to shut the propane valve off. What if you're just parking it outside your house for a week or two before taking it on a trip? Do you just open the valve before the trip and close it when the trip is over? The previous owner said he "never turned it off, unless fueling the car chassis, or refilling the propane tank".
2. With regards to the fresh water tank: I plan to mostly use the RV in campsites with electric/water hookups: hence, I'll be primarily using the "city water" hookup and not using any of the water in the fresh water tank. How often do you empty it, just to make sure "old" water doesn't sit idle in the tank? Or does it not make any difference?

Thanks!
We don't drink water from any tap (RV or otherwise). We have refillable jugs and for 39c get good tasting water free oof chlorine and other chemicals.

To answer your question, we drain the fresh water tank in-between trips and during long term periods ofstorage. Some folks sanitize the tank periodically with diluted bleach.

We store our jugs under one of dinette benches set inside a plastic tray in case one leaks or spills.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:11 PM   #14
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The OP is back. A follow up question regarding propane and electric powered refrigerator:
Say I want to run my refrigerator via the propane (gas) power source, does the coach's battery need to be on at all? Or all I have to do is open the propane valve, and select "GAS" option on the refrigerator?
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:25 PM   #15
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The house battery must be on for Norcold fridges always as the fridge control system runs off the battery regardless of the cooling mode selected.
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockelino View Post
The OP is back. A follow up question regarding propane and electric powered refrigerator:
Say I want to run my refrigerator via the propane (gas) power source, does the coach's battery need to be on at all? Or all I have to do is open the propane valve, and select "GAS" option on the refrigerator?
Your refrigerator needs 12V to operate the control panel.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:16 AM   #17
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My class-C RV has a gas generator, AC, propane-driven furnace, etc.

Question: if boondocking, can I use the furnace with the generator off? (i.e., just the coach battery on)
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockelino View Post
The OP is back. A follow up question regarding propane and electric powered refrigerator:
Say I want to run my refrigerator via the propane (gas) power source, does the coach's battery need to be on at all? Or all I have to do is open the propane valve, and select "GAS" option on the refrigerator?
Your refrigerator has an electronic ignition so you do need to have the battery turned on for it to run. Same with your water heater and the furnace. However, if you are plugged into shore power, the converter will be supplying DC power so the batteries do not need to be on.
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:04 PM   #19
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My class-C RV has a gas generator, AC, propane-driven furnace, etc.

Question: if boondocking, can I use the furnace with the generator off? (i.e., just the coach battery on)
The furnace (and blower) run off DC power.
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:50 PM   #20
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Point to confuse lots of new folks? If the propane tank is shut off or the RV stored for some time like a month or so, it is not unusual for the gas frig to come on and run for a bit but then go out. We always make a habit of checking after we get on the road for a few miles, just to see that the gas is still working the frig right. Seems like there are times when a "bubble" gets in the propane line and when that bubble reaches the frig it goes out until you light it again and it may take a couple relights to make it stay running. Unable to understand why a full propane tank with no leaks will do it but it does. We have had several different RVs which do this. Not a big issue but just don't panic and take it to repair!
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