RV Advice Q&A Travel Trailers


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Below are questions and answers to RV Advice that are related to service on travel trailers. You can send your question(s) using the form at the bottom of all our Q&A pages. We answer ALL email that comes in to us, even what other RV web sites forward to us.

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This page last updated September 4, 2012 containing letters emailed to Pete from August 20, 2011 - June 19, 2012.

June 19, 2012 Ron of Hendersonville, North Carolina writes regarding replacing skylight lids after hail storm

A hail storm broke the three skylight lids. These are manual crank openings. I want to order replacement lids that will, for sure, fit this trailer's roof openings.

How can I determine the brand, size, type of connection of the lids? Does Fleetwood use a brand?

Dear Ron,

The size is probably a standard 14 inch. Look at the hinge and crank assembly to get the right lid.


June 11, 2012 John of Glenside, Pennsylvania writes regarding hard time draining tanks in 2007 Jayco

My camper is too low and I have a hard time draining the gray and black lines. Can the camper be lifted?

Dear John,

I am sure it could be lifted. Can't tell you without seeing it. You might want to look at the Clean Dump macerator instead of trying to raise the camper.


June 2, 2012 Sam of Rozet, Wyoming writes regarding slide out not working correctly in 2008 Palomino Puma

My slide out doesn't slide out even. The bottom is ahead of top.

I think they are out of time with each other. Is this possible, and if so, how do I correct this at home?

Dear Sam,

Without seeing it, I can't tell you if it's normal or not; but it's very possible that it is normal. If it is sealing properly when open or closed, then it's probably normal.


May 24, 2012 Jason of Bainbridge, Ohio writes regarding power issue in 1996 Fleetwood Mallard

I purchased a 1996 Mallard Fleetwood 31T. I checked everything out on it at home by plugging it in several different times to clean it out. Everything worked great.

I pulled it to a campsite and when I got there I had no AC, no radio and no power to the refrigerator or outside light.

Is there a junction box or something that they could all be connected together in?

I checked fuses and I have power coming in to the fuse box. Just wandered if maybe a ground may have vibrated loose on the way to campground?

Dear Jason,

It could be a loose ground coming into the fuse panel. I would check the battery voltage first, maybe at the fuse panel. It's a little unusual for the refrigerator, radio and the thermostat to be on the same circuit or fuse.


May 23, 2012 Candice of Maple Ridge, British Columbia writes regarding remodeling 1991 Fleetwood Prowler in order to make room for larger bed

We want to remove the small tub/shower in the bathroom and move the toilet to make more room for a bigger bed. Currently we have only a 3/4 size bed. Moving the toilet would allow for a Q/S. The toilet would be turned 90 degrees and moved back about 20-24 inches from it's current spot. It would be raised up to 6 inches to allow for proper drainage into the holding tank and to allow us to have room for the additional piping.

Is this possible or our we stuck with the current configuration? Does the toilet absolutely have to be positioned directly above the holding tank?

Dear Candice,

No, the toilet does not have to be directly above the tank. As long as you can keep the pipe angled to give it flow, you are okay.

The problem is, the more bends you have and the longer the pipe is, the more water you need to wash the solids down to the tank.


May 16, 2012 Angie of Monco, Oklahoma writes regarding having a battery in 2003 Dutchemn travel trailer

Is it necessary to have a battery in the camper as long as you have it plugged in to the appropriate power source? Something keeps burning up the battery, so I just took it out. Is it safe?

Dear Angie,

You should have a battery installed.

Check and see if it was a bad battery or if the power converter is over charging.

The battery acts as a filter in the system. And if your power converter is putting out too much voltage and burning up the battery, then all of the 12 volt circuits are also getting excess voltage and will start failing.


April 14, 2012 Christy of Snohomish, Washington writes regarding slide out in 2003 Dutchman Supreme

When taking the slide out in or out it is shuddering and squealing. Other words not moving smoothly. Do we grease it? It is electric.

Dear Christy,

I would have to say get under it and look to see if it's an electric or hydraulic slide.

And also, if it's gear driven or cable driven. You can grease the gear driven slides.


April 13, 2012 Jane and Chris of Langley, British Columbia write regarding 2012 Cherokee Cascade battery going dead

We just bought a brand new travel trailer, we have not had in our yet. But the battery goes dead just sitting in our drive way.

The dealer, when contacted, said we need more than one battery - I feel they should have told us that before we bought it and or supplied 2 batteries.

What should we do? Get another battery or could we get a bigger battery?

Dear Jane and Chris,

First, determine what is causing the drain on the battery.

How long does it take to drain the battery?

Yes, two batteries are better than one, but if there is a problem, then you will have two dead batteries.


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April 6, 2012 John of Marion, North Carolina writes regarding problems with power after replacing converter in 1999 Skyline Layton

I have a 1999 Layton camper by Skyline with one slide out

I had to replace the converter and after I got done doing so I have power going to everything except my lights, AC, and my slide out.

What could be causing that to happen?

I have already checked all the fuses and they are all good. I hope you can help me with my problem.

Dear John,

First, I would need to know what model of converter, to know if changing the converter had any thing to do with your problem.

You need to determine if you're having an AC and DC problem since the air is not working; or if it's strictly a DC problem and not getting 12 volts to the thermostat.

I would take another look at the wiring to the converter.


March 20, 2012 Eric of Phoenix, Arizona writes regarding how to check power converter in 2005 Fleetwood Prowler

I have a 2005 Prowler that has been giving me electrical problems. I replaced the batteries and had it plugged in to shore power. everything seemed to be fine. A few days later the smoke detector started beeping and I checked the charge on the batteries. Low! Checked the circuit breakers and fuses on the converter and panel, all ok.

How do I know the converter is working?

Dear Eric,

Use a volt meter and check the DC voltage out of the converter before and after plugging into shore power. Depending on what brand of converter is being used, you might find some fuses on the side or ends of the converter.


March 6, 2012 Bruce of Lecanto, Florida writes regarding electrical in 2004 Keystone Sprinter

I just bought this unit. Everything was working, drove it 10 miles to storage area, plugged in 110 and it keeps popping the GFI plug. Unhooked the 30 amp pig tale from camper and it did not pop the GFI. The breakers are off and outlets are disconnected.

Can you tell me what the problem is or what to look for?

Dear Bruce,

Does the plug on the power cord look like it's been over heated?

If you have all the breakers turned off and you're popping GFCI breaker on the power supply, it has to be in the cord or transfer switch (if it has a generator).


March 4, 2012 Ronald of Bay City, Michigan writes regarding electrical issue in 21' 2003 Forest River Surveyor

Interior lights get bright when you step on floor in front of convertor and when you step back the lights go back to normal. This doesn't happen all the time but it seems like it does this after we have been plugged in for awhile (we could be just thinking this ).

One time the convertor fan ran on high all night and no lights were on, fridge was on. After I bought trailer I had to put a new convertor in, so there is a new convertor installed.

I have also noticed that my battery had some battery fluid leak out from the battery caps (not a lot), cells were still covered with fluid and there was a sizzling at the battery.

I just had a new battery put in last year. Under the cupboard next to the convertor there is a piece of the floor opened and I can see electrical wiring traveling underneath the floor to what I think is going to the fridge and furnace. Any idea's what I should do?

Dear Ronald,

Check all of the connections going to the converter for tightness.

Sometimes, just behind the converter, the manufacturer will tie a bunch of ground wires together, check there also.


February 29, 2010 Bill of Salem, Massachusetts writes regarding replacing battery for 2006 Fleetwood Mallard

I have to replace the battery and would like to know what kind and where to buy one.

Dear Bill,

It really depends on the size of your battery compartment. Is it using one or two batteries?

The batteries should be a group 24 or group 27 deep cycle battery. You can get them just about any place that sells batteries.


January 25, 2012 Sandra of Yelm, Washington writes regarding three outlets in 2001 Avion Platinum suddenly no longer working

Three outlets in my RV are not working all of a sudden and I cannot figure out why yet - it seems unrelated. I have checked the fuse box and all are ok. One outlet is in the kitchen and the other two are next to the sink in the bedroom. Could you help me figure this out?

Dear Sandra,

Check the outlets for a GFI reset that is probably tripped.


January 14, 2012 Tom of Ocala, Florida writes regarding problems getting slide ins "in"

This morning I tried to get the three slide ins - two went in without a problem but the third (and largest), wouldn't budge. Finally with my wife holding the button in and my pushing on the outside, it kicked in and went in all the way.

Now, I tried the front hydraulic jacks to get it connected to my truck, but they won't go, they are all the way down and won't go up. What to do, look for? Any suggestions?

Dear Tom,

Look for power in and out of the switch and for power and ground at the motor with the switch engaged. Check your connections at the battery.

And look for any fuses or breakers between the battery and switch.


January 9, 2011 John of McHenry, Illinois writes regarding floor repair in 2000 Fleetwood Terry travel trailer

Water heater has a leak (unknown to me till now), for many years due to an accident and I now have to replace the heater and of course the floor. I have instructions for the heater, but I need to know how to replace the floor (water damaged). It is located in the back corner under the bunk bed area. I need to know what type of flooring and how to replace this section of the floor.

Dear John,

Replacing a section of flooring can be quite detailed. You have to take things like walls, cabinets, toilets, etc., into mind. And figure the best approach. You don't want to lift the box off the frame and replace the floor unless you're replacing a large area, or the whole floor.

The flooring sits on top of cross beams attached to the frame, so you need to cut out the section that needs replacing so the new section can rest securely on the cross beams.

It could involve removal of cabinets, toilets, etc., for access.

Go to Home Depot and buy the floor boarding. You will need to check the thickness of the existing board used to match it.


January 8, 2012 Bill of Lake Stevens, Washington writes regarding converter fan continuously running in 2011 Thor Rainier travel trailer

The power converters fan is always running, when plugged into 30 amp shore power. Dealer tells me that this is normal. I have been in several other friends travel trailers and the cooling fan only comes on when they have a lot running in their trailers. Can you please tell me if the dealer is pulling my leg and should replace the power converter?

Dear Bill,

Some power converters run more frequently than others. Usually, depending on load and condition of battery or batteries. The less battery power you have, the more the converter has to work and cause the fan to run more frequently.

You might want to check and be sure the converter isn't running excessively hot.


National Mutt Day (December 2), 2011 Vance of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma writes regarding problems with slide out in 1998 Sierra

The slide out comes out fine and the retracts fine.After slide out is retracted the motor starts cycling on and off without activating the switch. The pumps does not activate just the motor?

Dear Vance,

Do some testing to see if the switch is bad or if it's the solenoid before the pump. You might try disconnecting the switch and the signal wire at the solenoid, one at a time, to determine where the problem is.


Homemade Bread Day (November 17), 2011 Al of Charleston, South Carolina writes regarding black water overflow in 2003 Mountaineer travel trailer

Put off dumping too long. Black water tank overflowed on ground, a lot! Why not backed-up in toilet bowl? Is there an overflow? A leak in top of tank?

Dear Al,

You have a seal around the vent tube and where the plumbing is from the toilet enters the tank.

Flush the tank, then fill it with water and see if you can tell which seal is leaking, or if the tank is cracked or busted.


International Tongue Twister Day (November 13), 2011 Harry of Greenville, California writes regarding front jacks on 1997 Westport travel trailer

We had problems with the front jacks the last time we moved it, which was about six years ago. We went to move it today, and the electric motor just makes a click. So we went to hand cranking, but that's not working either. It mentions something on the crank handle about not overextending the jacks. When cranking by hand, it feels like they're working but they don't go anywhere. We had to fight it with a couple of floor jacks. The workings of the jacks are all hidden behind cowling, so you can't see a thing.

Dear Harry,

You will need to open the cowling and find out what is going on with the jack. It could be stripped gears, a sheared roll pin, etc.


World Kindness Day (November 13), 2011 Stephen of Amityville, New York writes regarding larger slide out on 2010 Keystone Hornet coming in at an angle

I have two slides on my 2010 Keystone Hornet travel trailer, one is small for the bedroom and the other is larger for the living room and kitchen. The smaller slide goes in and out nice and smooth. The larger slide goes in and out by going, then stopping. This happens several times. As the slide gets near going in all the way, it starts to go in on an angle. There is nothing stored in any of the compartments. The travel trailer is level at all points. There is 12 volts at the battery. The first year we left the slides out. This year we brought them in. Could that be a problem? The slides have rack and pinion.

Dear Stephen,

Leaving the slide out should not have caused the problem. I think you are stating it's a hydraulic system. Read the operator's manual to see if there are instructions on equalizing or centering the hydraulic cylinders so the room comes in straight.


World Teacher Day (October 5), 2011 Dean of Maylene, Alabama writes regarding running extension cord to power up travel trailer at hunting camp with two other campers

I am putting a travel trailer in at my hunting camp. There are two others already there and each have their own 30 amp breaker. Can I connect another wire to one of those breakers and run it to my own 30 amp outlet? In other words, can two travel trailers run off one breaker but with two 30 amp outlets?

Dear Dean,

If you have a separate breaker, yes. But if you tie two 30 amp leads to one 30 amp breaker, you're going to trip the breaker with a light load on in both trailers.


National Good Neighbor Day (September 28), 2011 Candan of Lindenhurst, New York writes regarding 30 amp plugged getting ripped out of side of travel trailer

My 30 amp plug got ripped out of the side of my camper for direct current and I have a 30 amp outlet and I want to fix it . How can I fix it?

Dear Candan,

It should be able to look at and replace if you understand basic electricity. I have no idea how much damage was done.

If you don't understand electricity (load, neutral, ground), have someone fix it.


Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), 2011 Joel of Minneapolis, Minnesota writes regarding new battery not being able to power up interior or exterior lights with 2009 Keystone travel trailer

I have a 2009 Keystone travel trailer. I thought I had a bad battery sine the old one would not seem to hold a charge. I put in a new battery and I still have no power in the cabin. The strange part is that the slide out and leveling jacks still operate on battery power. So I know the battery is good, but only getting power to the slide out and jacks. Nothing else works such as the interior and exterior lights.

Dear Joel,

Check for an in-line breaker between the battery and converter. Usually on the positive lead before it goes into the travel trailer. If there is no breaker, test your power converter.


National Women's Friendship Day (September 18, 2011), Virginia of Chester, Earth writes regarding city water hookup not working in 1995 Jayco Designer

I have a 1995 Jayco Designer and the water is hook up outside from the house but won't come through the inside. Is there a shut off valve and where or why isn't it working? What's the procedure to it?

Dear Virginia,

Sounds like a stuck or plugged check valve in your city water hook up.


National Creme-Filled Donut Day (September 14), 2011 Greg of Coffeyville, Kansas writes regarding two electric heaters that keep blowing breakers in 30' travel trailer

I have a 30 ft. travel trailer and when I lived in it last winter I ran two electric heaters inside it to cut down on propane. I kept blowing breakers switches. I'm hooked up to a 50amp site now. I got me a reducer for now. When I go back to my 30amp plug in, what do I do to stop the problem?

Dear Greg,

Make sure you have the electric heater on different circuits and be aware of what else is on the circuit.

Two heaters, the refrigerator, power converter and hot water heater; you're going to trip breakers.


National Creme-Filled Donut Day (September 14), 2011 Kathy of Roy, Utah writes regarding cracks in exterior of newly purchased 2011 Keystone Outback travel trailer

Where can we get legal help? 2011 Keystone Outback 260 travel trailer. Bought 6/24/11 from a large RV dealer in Utah. Braking system not working immediately upon pick up. Fixed.

Four cracks in the outside siding: 1st time: Three inches going up from upper left of front door plus two inches going up from the amber light just to left of front door=patched.

Second time: cracked as they were pulling it out of the dealership service garage=patched again.

Third time: Two 2-inch cracks going up from upper left of front door=much more in depth patching.

Fourth time: 1 1/2 inch curved crack starting from upper right of front door. Taking it in today.

Frame bars under trailer are only 6" wide. Other trailers, we now find, have 8" or 10" framework. Possible problem?

Utah lemon law only covers autos. What about Federal "Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act"? How can we find someone to help us with this?

Dear Kathy,

Contact a local attorney in your area to see what your options are in Utah. But you have to let the manufacturer exhaust their warranty first.


Skyscraper Day (September 3), 2011 Adam of Redding, California writes regarding converter clattering when plugged into electric with no batteries hooked up

I have a 1990 28 ft Layton travel trailer, the problem is when plugged into power with no batteries hooked up, after about 30 minutes there is a clattering sound coming from the convertor/fuse box.

Now with one battery it does not do this and with both batteries hooked up the sound comes back. If I flip off the main breaker the sound goes away.

I was wondering what is going on and what do I do to fix it? The batteries are both brand new deep cell RV/marine batteries as well.

Dear Adam,

I would say listen to the noise with both batteries until you change the converter. If you're plugged in most of the time to where you don't need two batteries, disconnect one and take the load off of the charge circuit.


VJ Day (September 2), 2011 Brian of Ontario, Canada writes regarding power shutting off on 2008 Rockwood while plugged in to clean

I have 2008 Rockwood travel trailer. Used extension cord to plug in electricity from house garage to clean it. After a few minutes of ceiling lights working, power shut off, I cannot get power to come back on. Is it a fuse? I do have a three way power converter.

Dear Brian,

It's possible; some of the converters have a couple of fuses on the side of the converter you can test. They can be hard to see sometimes.


Cadillac Day (August 22), 2011 Lee of Zepherhills, Florida writes regarding getting shocked when touching exterior door or exterior of 2007 Fleetwood Redline toy hauler

I have 2007 Fleetwood Redline 26' toy hauler. Just started to get a shock when touching the door or outside of trailer when hooked up to shore power 30 amp.

Dear Lee,

You have a short in the AC somewhere. Try turning all the breakers off and see if it's in the trailer or your shore power cord. Then turn on the breakers one at a time to isolate the circuit.

If you're not comfortable with working with AC, have a technician check it out before someone gets hurt or the unit catches on fire.


National Radio Day (August 20), 2011 Dee of Lumberton, North Carolina writes regarding inside tire wear on double axle travel trailer

I have a travel trailer with double axles and all four tires are wearing on the inside. What can be the problem?

Dear Dee,

Alignment.

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