Maiden voyage this weekend! Battery/propane questions.

AngCabral8

New Member
Aug 13, 2022
1
Hi everyone! Thanks so much in advance for reading and helping me out. I recently purchased a new to me 2002 StarCraft meteor pop up. It’s in decent shape, and we’ve already done some driveway camping, which my son thought was so cool. We will be taking it out for its maiden voyage next week, and need to get some battery/ power issues ironed out as the camp grounds we are going to will not have an electric hookup.

The pop up did not come with a battery, or propane tank. I am looking for recommendations on what battery to purchase and how to install/hook it up. I have done some research and am thinking of going with a 27 group deep cycle battery, and getting a battery box, but will gladly take recommendations. The propane seems like an easy enough connection, but if there is any information I may need to know, please share :)

I am assuming I will be able to power the fridge with the propane, and lights with the battery as needed? What about the furnace?? When the camper is plugged in at home, the fridge works great, the furnace blows, but it is not heating up. So definitely need to repair that at some point, but not worried about it for this camping trip.

I’ll attach photos of the front tongue setup and what wiring is there so you can get an idea of what I’m working with for my battery setup and connections.

Looking forward to our first trip, would love to have the fridge and lights to work and am looking forward to your suggestions. Thanks everyone! This forum has been so helpful so far !!
 

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Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,102
The furnace burns propane so that ought to get hot once you get the gas hooked up. (It'll use battery for the fan if not plugged in.)

I'm not an electrical pro--sounds like you're on the right track though. Is your trailer small enough to not have brakes? They'd need to be hooked up to the battery so you probably don't. Makes battery hookup easier. :p

Do bring flashlights or little LED lamps and a cooler...just in case. :)
 

Raycfe

Waterford Ct.
Oct 3, 2007
18,317
Waterford, Ct
20 lb propane tank and 2 j bolts to hold it in place. Mount the battery box right next to it.
It looks like the battery connections are there. White is the negative ground connection and black (with the inline fuse/circuit breaker) is the positive.
Now a couple of hints ….. when installing the propane tank make sure everything propane is off. Connect the tank and slowly turn the tank on and then shut it right off. Do this five times. Now turn the propane slowly fully on. (Opening the tank to a completely empty system the tank will think there is a leak and shut down. Doing the 5 small shots adds a little propane to the lines each time and when you do the last time the system will not be empty)
Like the stove first to bleed off any air left in system. Do this before trying the furnace. Download the furnace manual online the model number is under the inside grille. Some furnaces you have to lit the pilot. When the furnace is first turned on the fan will run for about a minute to clean out fumes etc before lighting and also when it shuts off. The thermostat has 2 switches. A hard to move on/off at the bottom and the temperature switch on top.
As for the battery usually a converter will have a battery protection fuse that will blow if the battery cables are connected wrong.
 

KeizerTrailer

Active Member
Aug 31, 2020
140
Keizer, OR
20# propane tank with a new battery and box and you'll be camping with light and heat in no time. Your furnace runs on propane and from the looks of it a 3-way fridge that runs on 120VAC, 12VDC and propane. If you don't have a 7-pin trailer connector, run it on propane when you're underway to/from your CG. If you do, either 12V or propane would work(not going to start a debate about that here). When you plug into Shore Power, you need to switch it to 12VAC.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,806
Southern California
All of the above suggestions sound pretty good to me. The one thing that might give you some worry or trouble is the 3-way Fridge. They are notoriously finicky. Most folks have them and they work great. Others hate them. Take an ice chest along for perishables on your first trip. At least until you understand how to work the Fridge and its little quirks. The first time you light it on Propane will take forever! Sometimes you have to hold the knob down for 4 or 5 minutes before gas can get up to the burner. Also, use a BBQ lighter to start the burner. It's much easier that way. The fact that the Fridge works fine at home on 120 AC means the system is in good shape. But running it on Propane is a different story. You may have to do some burner, Flue, and orifice cleaning to get it to cool properly on Propane. We are here to help. So when you have questions, just ask. I guarantee someone on this forum will have the answer.

Understanding the electrical system in your camper is also very important. Some things will work on battery and other things won't. Most 12 volt items will work without a battery as long as you are plugged into Shore Power. That's because the controller in the camper is supplying 12 volts when plugged in. None of your 120 volt AC outlets will work if you are not connected to Shore Power.

I would think it would be important to make sure the furnace is clean and in good working order before taking the camper out in the forest. Mud-dobbers and other insects like to make nests in certain parts of the furnace. That can cause a fire. Running the furnace at home for a long time would be a fairly good test. But check it anyway. Another thing, if you run the heater all night long, you most likely will have a dead battery in the morning.

If your camper has a water tank, don't drink the water out of it. Bring bottled water for consumption. The tank must be cleaned and sanitized before you can trust that water. Even then, I still don't drink the water out of my tank.
 

SteveP

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
May 21, 2015
2,605
A G27 is a good start but if you anticipate heater use I would go with the biggest battery you can easily mount. I prefer batteries made by East Penn, which are sold under the brand names, Dekka, Duracell, Super Start and Marine Master, maybe others. What ever battery you buy make sure it's fully charged before install and just before your trip.

You need to install and test the propane before your trip. Because the propane has been open to the air you'll need to purge the lines. Start with the stove burner. It may take a while to purge the lines but you can tell if it's working by the lighter flame flickering. If the lighter flame is not being blown to the side make sure the connection at the tank is correct and try again. If the fridge burner has not been recently cleaned the fridge may not be able to maintain a cool enough temperature.
 

Michael J

Active Member
Aug 9, 2018
176
Michigan
A battery disconnect is really helpful during storage time as the Inverter and other stuff will kill a battery while just sitting there in storage...... I have trailer brakes so them are wired to the battery direct so I can leave Inverter off while driving. Oh I have the same refrigerator by looks of things I hope your burner is not plugged that happens the flame may come out back farther and melt wires so watch carefully..... Or take the 20 min to pull check and clean the Crack pipe assembly..... LoL lots of posts on here about cleaning it.
 




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