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Old 04-08-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
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Default 2003 T-139 questions

I just bought a 2003 T-139 Shadow Cruiser and we are thrilled. It is our first camper and we can't wait to use it. I have some questions and I'm sure I'll have more.

1. Does anyone know if there is a battery disconnect? I've looked every where and I can't find one. It didn't come with battery and I'm not sure what kind to buy and how to care for it. Can I leave it in the camper when in storage or will the florida heat damage it (It's in a sealed box inside the camper)? Should I keep it charged when not in use?

2. There is a small soft spot on the floor, rear passenger corner inside the closet right at the corner, about 4 inches. I'm not real concerned about it because I'm going to keep it covered when not in use but is there anything I coud do to mitigate future damage other than making sure the outer shell is sealded well?

3. Refrigerator doesn't work, with electric anyways, haven't tried gas yet. I opened the outer panels and the pipes are hot, which I think to mean the compressor is working at that it has freon in it, or am I incorrect in that thinking.

4. Can anyone tell me step by step and/or provide photos on the process of lowering and raising the awning?

I'm sure I'll think of more but I'll leave it at that for now. I appreciate any help you all can provide. Thanks.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:21 PM   #2
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We had the same unit. There was no battery disconnect on mine -- I installed one. The soft floor is a concern -- go under the trailer and make sure that the plywood is not rotted out. If it is, you have a leak somewhere. Sigh.

The awning depends on which model you have. We had a Carefree of Colorado awning. Here was our open and close instruction list:

Open Awning:

Close door and get wand.

1. Press detent on both arm locks and swing latches up.
2. Loosen black star wheels.
3. Push up on locking pawl on forward arm. Put loop end of wand over brake lever and push lever up to "open" position.
4. Pull awning out all the way. Then make sure that brake lever bracket is all the way in the "open" position, so that awning stays open.
5. Slide arm braces all the way to the end of the track until aluminum clips poke into holes.
6. Tighten black star wheels.
7. Loosen knurled knob on flap catcher and rotate split end toward awning. Trap awning and tighten knob.
8. Undo lock and push up on lock handle to slide support arms up and out. Hold as high on the on arm as possible. Donít pull so high that track uncouples. Close lock into last hole.

Close Awning:

1. Close door and window and get wand.
2. Slide support arms all the way down and re-lock.
3. Loosen knurled knob and retract flap catcher.
4. Loosen star knobs. Release aluminum clips at top of arm braces and slide arm braces all the way back toward the trailer. If necessary, lift up on the lower part of each arm brace. Don't tighten star knobs yet.
5. Engage wand and hook it into hole on brake lever bracket. Pull down to move brake lever into "close" position.
6. Tug gently on awning strap to begin rollup. Roll the roller by hand to get it started, if necessary. Engage wand. Do not let it snap into place.
7. Lock the arm locks and tighten the black star knobs.
8. Make sure that both arms are really locked. On the forward arm, press down on additional locking pawl. Align outer channel with inner arm.

Hope this helps! The awnings on the 2012 models are a lot easier than the old ones.


Don't know what is up with your fridge. Ours worked only on gas -- we think the control panel was busted. But it worked great on gas -- used almost no gas -- worked at high altitudes, silently.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:25 AM   #3
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Your refrigerator doesn't have a compressor or freon. It uses an ammonia/water mixture that needs to be heated either from an electric heater on 120V power or from a gas burner.

If you don't have a manual for it, you should be able to get one on online somewhere. The most common brand is Dometic, but there are others like Norcold. The model # & brand should be marked inside the fridge somewhere.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. It turns out the fridge is working after all, it just took a long time to get cold and I had it on the lowest setting. Not sure if there's a problem or if that's just how these are but I'm happy..

Another thing I'm confused about is the fresh water system and water heater. Is the heater gas or electric? Is the a power switch? And is there some sort of bypass valve for if you are hooked up to a water supply? If you are hooked up to a supply, I assume you don't need to turn on the water pump, correct? Sorry for so many rookie questions. Would've been so much easier if this thing came with a manual, and I have so far been unable to locate one on line.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:39 PM   #5
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Default Water heater and water supply

The water heater is gas -- on that model, it should have a pilot light -- open the panel on the left side of the trailer -- the instructions should be on the inside of the panel door -- make sure that you use an air compressor to blow the crud out of the gas orifice if it has been sitting for a long time -- spiders build nests in there and you can get a flare-up -- don't ask me how I learned that.

The pilot is "old school" and I like it better than electronic ignition, which is what I have on my shiny new X-139. The electronics work great, but if it ever breaks, I can't fix it myself.

And yes, if you hook up a hose to the "city" inlet on the left side, it will bypass the pump. No need to turn the pump on at all, when you are in an RV park.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:56 PM   #6
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Thanks again. Don't know what I'd do without you. One more question if you don't mind. Does this unit have brakes? I have to get the electric connector installed on my tow vehicle and that was the first thing the guy asked me. I think I read that it does have them. I assume this means an additional wire to run to the harness. And then I read somewhere that they will install some sort of control box to adjust the brakes I guess.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:52 AM   #7
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Not familiar with the 139 but I would think so. Just take a look at the electric connector. If it has brakes it will have a roun 7 wire plug.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #8
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Default Yes, T139 has electric brakes

It does have brakes -- it is a good idea to get them serviced every year, along with bearings. Some folks do that themselves. I don't, although I do a lot of other maintenance myself. You can take the trailer to a dealer. I take mine to my local car mechanic, who also knows how to service trailers. But ask around for a local person -- it is often much cheaper than taking it to a dealer.

And yes, you will need a brake controller. Your tow vehicle has to be modified to accept the controller. Not difficult, not expensive, but not a job for an amateur.

Finally, although the trailer has brakes, they are tiny and weak. Do not count on them for doing anything other than straightening out the trailer when it is trying to pass you! (Joke.) Seriously -- rely on your tow vehicle's transmission and brakes to slow you down. A panic stop with a trailer often leads to more panic. (Not a joke.)
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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Great advice. Thanks a lot!
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:27 AM   #10
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OK, one more thing Professor. It has a vented battery box but came with no battery. There are only 2 wires coming into the box, 1 red and 1 white. Is this right? I would think you would need wires coming from the charging source (tow vehicle) then wires going to power lights, etc. And there is a hole in the bottom of the battery box open to the outside. Is this just for positive ventilation? Currently there is a daddy long legs who has made the box his home.
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