Control Panel: The Control Panel in an RV varies from unit to unit as to where it is located and what information or switches that it contains. Most are by the front door or above the refrigerator. The Control Panel will show the levels of your black and grey tanks, fresh water, battery and propane. It also may contain the switches for the hot water heater, water pump and slides. Oftentimes, there is also a generator start switch here.
Electrical Systems: Your RV has both 12 Volt power and 110 Volt power. Certain items such as light and in some RVs, the TVs, will operate on 12 Volt power but as a general rule, everything behind the driver seats, “the house” operates off of 110 Volt power provided by the generator or by being plugged into shore power. This includes your appliances, A/C and electrical outlets.
Generator Use: If the RV is not plugged in, it will be necessary to use the generator to power most everything other than the lights. Some RVs also have TVs that run on 12 Volt power. The generator start button is located inside the RV either in the dash area or on the control panel or both. It is powered by the same fuel that is in the fuel tank and uses approximately ¾ of a gallon per hour. As a safety precaution, always make sure all systems such as A/C are shut down prior to starting the generator. This will prevent tripping of the breaker on the generator. During your orientation, you will be shown where the generator breaker is located in case this occurs. The generator automatically shuts off when your fuel tank reaches ¼ of tank as a safety precaution. We offer complimentary generator usage for the duration of your trip.
Shore Power: RV camping sites generally have 30 AMP or 50 AMP service or both. During your orientation or before, you will be advised as to what amperage of power your RV requires. All RVs come with an adapter (30 to 50 AMP or 50 to 30 AMP); this is part of the Start-Up Kit. Note that if you have a 50 AMP RV plugged into a 30 AMP power source, all systems will not be operational such as the rear A/C. Make sure to turn off the generator prior to hooking up to shore power and also make sure that the breaker on the power source is switched on. NEVER PLUG THE RV INTO A PLUG THAT IS NOT RV APPROVED SUCH AS AT YOUR HOME. This can be a very costly mistake.
Power Tip: Whether you are plugged into an RV-approved power source or using the generator, if the light on the microwave is not lit up, that is an indication that you are not receiving power. If using the generator, check the breaker on the generator. If hooked up to shore power, check the pole to make sure the breaker is turned on.
Propane: Your RV will come full of propane. Propane is used to power the stove, furnace and hot water heater as well as the refrigerator when you are not plugged in. The propane tank is located in an outside storage compartment. There is one gauge in the storage compartment with the tank and another usually located on the Control Panel inside the RV. Propane tanks must be filled by a certified technician. Guest may choose to have the tank topped off prior to their return or we can top it off for them.
Water: When you pick up your RV, the water tank will be full of water. This water will allow you to use the sinks and toilets while driving or if hook-ups are not available. When using water from the fresh water tank, it is necessary that the water pump be on. The switch for the water pump is located on the Control Panel. This water can be replenished via the Fresh Water Fill or Water Fill Quick access points on the RV. Your RV also can be directly connected to a water source (spigot) using the hose supplied connected to the City Water Fill Access. You should turn off the water pump when using a direct connect source as that will provide you with the necessary pressure.
Air Conditioning: Your RV will have both dash air conditioning as well as, depending on the size of the unit, one or two rooftop units. The rooftop air conditioners require 100 volt power which can be supplied via the generator or by plugging in. When using the generator, make sure to turn off the air conditioning prior to shutting down the generator. This will prevent the chance of tripping a breaker when turning on the generator. Depending on the number of rooftop air conditioners, there will be one or two thermostats in the RV.
Heating: While use of the heat is not popular here in Florida, many of our guests travel to colder climates that require the use of the heat. The heat in your RV runs off propane and usually is controlled by the same thermostat as your A/C. You can run the heat without being plugged in or running the generator, however, it will wear down the battery. It is necessary to make sure the battery is fully charged before running the heat and remains charged throughout the duration. You can charge the battery by running the engine or the generator for 20-30 minutes about every 7-8 hours. On some RVs, if you are plugged in or running the generator, it is possible to bypass the use of propane by switching on the heat pump (this is usually located on the Control Panel).
Sewage System: On the driver side of the RV in one of the basement compartments in the rear are the dump valves for the sewage system used to evacuate the sewage system. Unless you have prepaid, it will be necessary to evacuate the tanks prior to returning the RV to avoid additional charges. There is one are two holding tanks, one for the toilet (black) and the other for waste water (gray) from the sinks and shower. Many campsites have sewage drains at the site. It is best to wait until both the black and gray tanks are more than half full for optimal evacuation. To evacuate the sewage, whether at your campsite or a dump station, first put on the gloves provided. Next, place the curved end of the sewage hose provided into the ground and stretch back to the RV. Make sure that both the black and grey tank valves are closed (pushed in) prior to taking unscrewing the cap off the outlet. Attach hose to outlet and then pull (open) black tank (toilet waste) first. Once you hear this drain out completely, open the gray valve for the waste water and drain. DO NOT DRAIN BLACK AND GRAY TANKS AT THE SAME TIME. Once both are completely emptied, close the valves; remove the sewage hose, rinse with the water hose and stow away. In the bathroom, you will find the provided “toilet drop-ins”. Toss two in the toilet, flush it a couple of times and you are ready to go. The drop-ins will help break down stuff in the tank and prevent odors.