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Old 03-11-2021, 03:51 PM   #1
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New to this scene with old unit and problems.

I am David, married to Robin for 40+ years and we just bought a 2002 24 foot Minnie Winnie. We live in Georgia, near Lake Lanier.

Don't know if this is the right thread, but I just bought a 2002 Minnie Winnie 24F, and took it on my first trip. Three issues have arisen and I wonder what common causes might be suggested. First, I hooked up to the campground water supply and turned on the water pump and water heater. Three first couple of times the pilot went out but then it stayed on. When I ran hot water, the heater fired up and the panel on the outside of the rv was warm but the water never got hot. Is there something else I have to do for hot water? Second, the seller told me he had put a new house battery in but I found on this trip it doesn't charge. Where should I start? It also has solar but I can't tell it does anything. Finally, on the left rear corner the corner trim seems to be coming loose and away from the plastic wall, exposing the plywood underneath. What should I do? Can I just put longer screws in the trim? Thanks for any help anyone can share!
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:32 PM   #2
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A guy that can hold onto a robin for that long deserves a lot of credit, so a little help is inline!! I've got an old bird that has hung around for around fifty!

Let's start with what might be the easier?
The water pump doesn't need/shouldn't be on when you have a water connection, so turn that off. There may be a valve on or near the back of the water heater to divert water around the heater when using antifreeze to winterize the RV. That valve may still be in the diverted position, so that the cold water just bypasses the heater. I recommend NOT using the heater until you are sure it has water in it.

One sure way to tell is to go to the outside and you will find a couple things on most heaters. One is the drain plug about 1 1/8 inch size that can be taken out to drain the tank. Pulling that will let you drain and tell you for sure there is water there!
A second way to check is to slightly open the pressure and temp safety valve. It will look like a small level on a brass looking thing with a pipe opening. Don't do it when the tank is hot but if pressure is one and you pull on that lever, it opens and water is likely to gush out. AVOID HOT water!!
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Old 03-11-2021, 05:50 PM   #3
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I suggest looking at one problem at a time to avoid info overload!

The water has a few easier things, so let's look there first. One is the way to use the pump. When not connected to water turn it on and it should then run for a bit to build pressure and then shut down until you use some water and the pressure drops so that the pump comes on again.
Leave it off when connected to water supply as you don't need both.
You probably have a fresh water fill port or there may be a valve to change from filling the tank to using the water direct, so if you have a valve, be sure to change it to the right "normal" position when done filling the tank---or your pump will not be able to pump up pressure!

The water heater sounds like it has a bypass valve setup that is left in the wrong position so that water is going past the heater, not into it to be heated. Don't run the heater while dry to avoid possible damage!
Try finding the bypass valve setup on the back of the water heater. one or two valves that turn to align the handle with the direction you want the water to flow. You can usually see a pipe that goes into the heater and you want the water to go in there and there may be other valves where it needs to come out. You will get water at the faucet the same but once you get it right the water will heat up pretty quick. Not unusual for the heater to have to fire a couple times to get it right after one has set for a while. Just need to get the water and fire together?

The battery charge process is a whole confusing ball of wax but not that difficult once we understand the setup. Are you familiar with solenoids? There is a big solenoid near the batteries and it does two things.
You likely have a switch on the dash which might be labeled AUX or boost. It is a momentary switch when held to the right position, it connects the start and coach batteries together to give the start battery a "boost" if needed to start.
But it also works to connect them when the engine is running to get the alternator to do some charge on the coach battery while we drive.

So to tell if things are working, this drawing shows a small wire that comes down from the dash switch, runs through the solenoid coil and gets to ground through the solenoid body to wire FM. When there is battery on LR, it makes the coil inside the solenoid move the contacts to connect the big cables on right and left side together!

One way to know it is getting the signal is to have somebody push the boost/aux switch while you feel for the solenoid to "clunk" as the contacts move. It should also do it when you start the engine but it's a little harder to hear/feel it when all the engine noise is going on.

But if the solenoid is closing but the left and right are not connecting together, the contacts inside the solenoid may be burned/ corroded too much and need replaced.

EDIT:
Sorry about the double post, that little bird called me to dinner and I lost my mind!
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Old 03-11-2021, 06:42 PM   #4
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Thanks a million!

I will try those fixes this weekend! Thanks so much for the quick and clear response! I pulled the rubber strip off the trim of that corner that was loose, removed the sorry screws that were there and replaced them with 3 inch screws which pulled it all tightly together. Replaced the rubber strip to cover the screws and hope to caulk this weekend.
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