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RECREATIONAL VEHICLES TENT CAMPERS TRAVEL TRAILERS FIFTH WHEELS TOY HAULERS MOTORHOMES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Electrical
What is the difference between 12 Volt & 120 Volt Electricity?
What is the difference between an “automotive” and a “deep-cycle” battery?
How important is it to maintain the battery on my unit?
I lost power to some of the receptacles and the circuit breaker in the “Power Center” is not tripped. Why?
When I run a coffee maker and a toaster at the same time, why does the circuit breaker trip?
What causes the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to trip?
How do I hook up Cable TV?
How do I hook up an outside satellite antenna?

Exterior
How do I drain my holding tanks?
Can I walk on my rubber roof?
I noticed some air bubbles in my rubber roof, will they cause any problem?
What should I use to coat my rubber roof?
Can I install a hitch to the rear bumper or frame of my RV?
What should I use to clean the fiberglass/metal siding of my RV?
Where is the low point drain for my fresh water tank?

Interior
I have noticed my windows sweating, should I be concerned?
How do I combat condensation and what will it hurt if I don’t?

General
Where can I obtain an Owner’s Manual for my Forest River RV product?
How do I obtain parts for my Forest River RV product?
How can I obtain schematics of my Forest River RV product?
How do I contact a manufacture for components installed on my forest River RV unit?
How do I winterize/de-winterize my unit?
What do the different “Weight Rating” abbreviations mean?
When I add up the weight capacity of the 4 tires on my trailer, it is less than the trailer weighs (or the GVWR).
        Does this mean the tires are not heavy enough for my trailer?

What does the LED light on my Atwood water heater panel mean?
Where can I locate the Serial Number of my RV?
How do I determine the value of my RV?
How do I know what my vehicle is capable of towing?
Should I cover my RV in the winter?


Electrical
Q- What is the difference between 12 Volt & 120 Volt Electricity?
12 Volt-Direct Current (DC). 12 volt is the type of electricity you would find in an automobile. Your battery is the foundation for the 12 volt system in your RV. A fully charged battery will operate the 12 volt equipment (furnace, water heater, most lighting, range hood, monitor panel, roof vent fans, etc.) in your unit until the battery becomes discharged. The level of discharge for operation to cease will vary by each piece of equipment.

120 Volt-Alternating Current (AC). 120 volt is the same type of electricity you typically find in a home. Plugging your shoreline cord into a power source (campground or other appropriate receptacle) is the foundation for the 120 volt system in your unit (optional generators produce 120 volt electricity as well). Certain equipment (air conditioner, microwave, most televisions, etc) in your RV can only operate from 120 volt electricity thus require the unit be plugged in to a power source or a generator running.

Your unit is also equipped with a “Converter”. When the shoreline cord is plugged in at a campground (or other appropriate receptacle), this device “Converts” 120 volt electricity into 12 volt electricity. Most 12 volt equipment in your unit will operate from this power source, even if your battery is discharged. The “converter” is also equipped with a “battery charger” which provides a “trickle charge” (slow, low amperage charging) to your battery as long as the shoreline is plugged in to a power source.

Q-What is the difference between an “automotive” and a “deep-cycle” battery?
An “automotive” type battery, like in your car, is designed to provide a “heavy load” (required during starting) for a short period of time and to be recharged continuously.

A “deep-cycle” battery is designed to be slowly discharged (like during camping) and recharged over and over. While an “automotive” battery will work in an RV, the life expectancy is very short compared to the “deep-cycle” battery which was designed for this type of use.

Q-How important is it to maintain the battery on my unit?
Very Important! The battery in your RV is the foundation for the entire 12 volt system. Without a good battery, any 12 volt component in your RV can experience intermittent operational problems which can be extremely frustrating. This continuous discharging & charging is very hard on your battery.

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Q-I lost power to some of the receptacles and the circuit breaker in the “Power Center” is not tripped. Why?
Per Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) code, certain receptacles in every unit are protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) system. Try pushing the reset button on the receptacle itself. The GFCI receptacles are typically located in the kitchen and/or bathroom. If the problem persists, try a different component in the receptacle. If the problem goes away, it could be a problem with the component, if the problem still persists, there could be an electrical problem in the trailer. To be safe, have your local Forest River RV dealer check it out.

Q-When I run a coffee maker and a toaster at the same time, why does the circuit breaker trip?
The receptacles in the RV are protected by a circuit breaker and/or the GFCI system. Hair dryers, curling irons, toasters, coffee makers, etc. use a very high amount of electricity (amperage). Each circuit is rated at 15 amps. Typically, any combination of two of these types of accessories will draw more than 15 amps which will cause the breaker to trip. It may be necessary to operate only one of these types of accessories at a time.

Here are some running amps on components that are commonly used in Recreational Vehicles.

 

AMP DRAW
10 amp
0.6 amp
15 amp
5.5 amp              
11.6 amp
11 amp
7.5 amp
15 amp
7.5 amp
10.8 amp
12.5 amp
0.70 amp
1.4 amp
0.5 amp
2.5 amp
0.2 amp
7.1 amp
0.75 amp
1.7 amp
1.66 amp
1.55 amp
0.15 amp
0.27 amp

COMPONENT
13.5k air conditioner
DVD player = 70 watts
Microwave
Refrigerator
Water heater on electric
Vacuum Cleaner
2 Slice Toaster
4 Slice Toaster
Coffee Maker
Griddle
Hair Dryer
Curling Iron
Flat Iron
Satellite Receiver
19" LCD TV
LED Alarm Clock
Printer
Laptop
Computer
Play Play Station 3
X-Box 360
Wiii
Wii U


Q-What causes the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to trip?
The GFCI is a personal protection device that constantly monitors the flow of current through a protected circuit and senses any loss of current to an outside path. If the current flowing into an electrical appliance or fixture differs by a very small amount from what flows back out, the GFCI instantly interrupts the current flow to prevent a sustained, lethal level of electricity from reaching a person. The person may feel a painful shock but should be protected from electrocution.

Q-How do I hook up Cable TV?
If your unit is equipped with an exterior cable TV jack; hook the “Park Cable” to the exterior jack. Turn the TV Antenna power booster (located inside the unit) to the “off” position. Turn the TV to the appropriate channels to receive cable. Note: depending on the TV set, it may be necessary to reprogram the TV from “Air” to “Cable”.

Q-How do I hook up an outside satellite antenna?
If your unit is equipped with an external satellite jack, hook the satellite antenna to the jack and hook the satellite receiver to the connection provided inside.

If your unit is not equipped with a satellite connection, run a cable directly from your satellite dish to the receiver. The cable hook-up that is provided with some units will not carry the satellite signal. For a nominal fee, your local Forest River RV dealer can install an exterior satellite TV jack.

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Exterior
Q-How do I drain my holding tanks?
Remove the termination cap outlet, connect the sewer hose (adaptor) to the termination end, place the other end into an approved dump station inlet, open the black (sewer) water termination valve first, once dumping slows down, open the gray water termination valve, once contents are dumped, close termination valves, flush sewer tank with water, open termination valves one at a time until empty, close termination valves, disconnect sewer hose and store, install termination cap, add approved chemical deodorant as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Q-Can I walk on my rubber roof?
The roofs on most Forest River RV units utilize 3/8” wood underpayment and are designed to be walked on by wearing soft sole shoes. Please, always use caution when working on top of any RV.  

Q-Where is my low point drain for my fresh water tank?
There will be a label on the side of the unit stating LOW POINT DRAINS.

Q-I noticed some air bubbles in my rubber roof, will they cause any problem?
Not at all! During the manufacturing process, the glue used to secure the rubber to the plywood underpayment goes through a “curing” process. In some instances, the glue continues to “cure” after the rubber is in place and the gas causes an air pocket. Typically, they will never get any larger and do not pose any threat for leakage or structural problems. If your unit has an air bubble that is making you uncomfortable, have your local Forest River dealer check it for your piece of mind.

Q-What should I use to coat my rubber roof?
Nothing! The only maintenance to the rubber roof itself is washing it a few times a year. Most standard household detergents are appropriate (avoid petroleum based solvents, harsh abrasives or citrus based products) to clean with warm water. Keep debris cleared to help avoid stains.

Note: While the rubber itself is relatively maintenance free, any sealed openings in the roof do require periodic inspections & resealing. Please review the Owner’s Manual for more information on the Care & Maintenance of your RV.

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Q-Can I install a hitch to the rear bumper or frame of my Forest River RV product?
The bumpers/frames of Forest River RV products were not designed to accommodate this type of accessory installation.

Q-What should I use to clean the fiberglass/metal siding of my RV?
Use automotive/Marine grade “Non-abrasive” cleaners & waxes with a soft cloth. Avoid products with ammonia, caustic harsh cleaners and rubbing compounds. Avoid high-pressure washers, rotating brushes, etc. around graphics or painted areas. Do not “dry wipe” surfaces.

Interior
Q-I have noticed my windows sweating, should I be concerned?
Yes! This is the first sign of condensation. When there is excessive moisture inside the unit, it will attach itself to any surface that is cooler than the temperature of the components inside the RV. The first hint of excessive moisture in the air can usually be seen on the windows. Outside air is cooling the window on the outside, inside air is warming the window on the inside, the moisture is attracted to that surface and the windows begin to sweat.

Q-How do I combat condensation and what will it hurt if I don’t?
Condensation needs to be taken seriously! Ignoring it can damage to the RV which is not warrantable and more importantly could lead to mold issues which could be a health hazard. The key to controlling condensation is ventilation. A family in the course of normal use (breathing, bathing, cooking, washing dishes, wet towels/clothes, etc.) can put gallons of moisture (water) into the air. If that moisture is unable to escape the RV, you will experience condensation.

Tips to proper ventilation: crack a window, crack the roof vents, utilize the roof fans when showering, use the range hood fan when cooking or washing dishes, avoid hanging wet towels/clothes inside to dry. If these basic tips are unsuccessful in controlling condensation, it may even be necessary to consider purchasing a Dehumidifier.

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General
Q-Where can I obtain an Owner’s Manual for a Forest River RV product?
The Forest River Owner’s Manuals are posted on this web site and can be downloaded easily. It requires Adobe Acrobat Reader which can also be downloaded free from this site as well. (Note: For appliance owner’s manuals, contact the respective component manufacturer direct. See the list of Forest River Components.)

Q-How do I obtain parts for my Forest River RV product?
The Forest River RV dealer network is the exclusive distributor of Forest River RV parts. Utilize the dealer locator to find the dealer nearest you.

Q-How can I obtain schematics of my Forest River RV product?
Forest River RV does not publish schematics of our products. Should a technical concern arise, we would recommend contacting your local Forest River RV dealer.

Q-How do I contact a manufacturer of a component installed on my Forest River RV unit?

View a list of common suppliers of our products here. Feel free to bookmark the page to use as a quick reference.

Q-How do I winterize/de-winterize my unit?
The step-by-step proccess for winterizing/de-winterizing your unit can be found in the Forest River RV owner’s manuals which can be downloaded for free on the Customer Service page.

Q-What do the different “Weight Rating” abbreviations mean?
The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has adopted the following definitions:

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) means the maximum weight limit of the unit. The GVWR is equal to or greater than the sum of the Unloaded Vehicle Weight plus the Net Carrying Capacity.
UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight) is the weight of the unit as built at the factory. This includes full fuel tanks, full generator fuel tanks, engine oil and coolants (if applicable). The UVW does NOT include cargo, fresh water, LP gas or dealer-installed accessories.
NCC (Net Carrying Capacity) is the maximum weight of all personal belongings food, fresh water, LP gas, tools, dealer-installed accessories and other items that can be carried by the unit.
GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) is the value specified as the maximum allowable loaded weight of a tow vehicle and a towed trailer or towed vehicle.

Q-When I add up the weight capacity of the 4 tires on my trailer, it is less than the trailer weighs (or the GVWR). Does this mean the tires are not heavy enough for my trailer?
Not at all! This is a common miscalculation in the industry. In order to calculate the actual weight on the tires, it is necessary to subtract the hitch weight. The hitch weight is actually being carried by your tow vehicle not the tires on the trailer.

For example, if the tires are rated at 2000 lbs each x 4=8000 lbs and the unit weighs (or has a GVWR of) 9000 lbs with a hitch weight of 1200 lbs, the actual weight on the trailer tires is 7800 lbs which is within the weight rating of the tires.

Q- What does the LED light on the Atwood Water heater panel mean?
This light will come on if there is a problem with the system; most generally it will come on if the water heater does not light after 3 attempts.

Q-Where can I locate the Serial Number of my RV?
Your Bill of Sale, insurance paperwork, Registration or Title will have the Serial Number listed. On the unit it would typically be stamped on a tag which is mounted on the frame. It would also be on the Federal Sticker mounted to the lower forward roadside of the unit.

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Q-How do I determine the value of my RV?
The value of a unit is determined at the “Retail” level. As a “Wholesale” manufacturer, we have no influence on the value of a unit. A few of the factors which can influence the value of any product are: the RV’s condition, geographic region and general market conditions. Here is a link that is commonly used in the RV Industry which will provide a general guideline, NADA Guide, ultimately though, the true value would need to be determined at the dealer level.

Q-How do I know what my vehicle is capable of towing?
Tow guides for vehicles over the past five years are available free for download on the Customer Service page.

Q-Should I cover my RV in the winter?
Storing your RV under a roof type cover or within a building when the RV will not be used for an extended period of time is always a good idea when this option is available to you.

When you must store your RV outdoors during periods of non-use you also have the option of using a temporary cover that is draped over the RV, then fastened onto the RV tightly. Many of these covers have a DuP ont TTY® top or roof panel and polypropylene side panels.

Many RV owners prefer to cover their RV’s with the drape-over style covers to protect the surfaces and finish from UV breakdown, dirt, leaves, birds and other airborne contaminates. On the other hand, many RV owners feel that to cover an RV with the drape-over style covers may lead to chafing and that chafing can lead to rubbing the decals off and other finishes. In our opinion we would rather have the RV covered than exposed to the outdoor elements.


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