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Old 04-19-2012, 07:01 AM   #1
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Default Operating 210WBS with Power from Vehicle?

Greetings all,

Just returned from our first camping trip in our new 210WBS. When I picked up the unit, I told the service person that I like to dry camp a lot and wanted to know how to manually retract the slideout, power awning and power jack, should they fail or I completely lose battery power. He told me to just plug the camper into the vehicle and I'd be able to operate those features.

Well, my battery did die and so I plugged the camper into the vehicle, but still wasn't able to operate the slideout, awning or jack, even with the vehicle running. I ended up having to ask the park staff to charge my camper battery, which they kindly did.

Should I have been able to operate these electrical items when plugged into the vehicle? If so, I'm wondering if there might be a problem with the wiring or connection in my vehicle.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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Yes, the connector has a 12V pin from the tow vehicle so you should be able to operate anything that can run on 12V. You could have a bad connection. The only other thing I can think of was that you're trailer battery was discharged to the point that you needed to allow some time to charge it a bit - but now I'm just guessing.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:37 PM   #3
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Yep, should have run off your vehicle. Either as LJAZ has said, you have a bad connector or or you could have a faulty converter (the 12v for the slide, awning, etc. has to pass through the converter) or your battery is "toast" (internal short or really "bone dry"). Many converters require a battery, with some amount of charge even if it is low, to be connected before it will pass 12v through to your trailer. Those types of converters use the house battery as a kind of "filter" for the 12v. The trailer actually uses the 12v from the battery while the converter is replacing it as it is being used... If the battery is new, and it accepts a charge while connected to shore power, then it is time to start trouble shooting the 12v path from the vehicle to the converter... Goody, now you get to go out and get a good (not expensive, but, a good one) VOM to add to your arsenal of RV tools



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Old 04-19-2012, 11:55 PM   #4
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There's a chance the power isn't connected to your vehicle plug. While testing the plug on my 2011 GMC Sierra, I noticed there was no juice on either the power terminal or the back-up light terminal. I assumed on a factory installed plug all the terminals would be connected, but I guess not.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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After reading this post I experimented with my trailer by turning my truck around and connecting jumper cables from the truck battery to the disconnected trailer battery leads and all 12 volt functions in the trailer operated normally.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:12 PM   #6
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Default Power Issue

Thanks all for the input. Went camping again this past weekend (with an extra battery) and the same thing happened. Dry camped again and this time ran both batteries too low. I ended up having to use the car jack to get the camper off the hitch because the power jack wouldnt work. Gonna take the vehicle in this week to have the connector tested to see if the power lead is functioning properly. My guess is that its not.

Thanks for the tip montanacamper. I will take a pair of jumper cables with me next weekend, just in case.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:13 AM   #7
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What truck do you have? Bouterse's post reminded me that on my 2011 Chevy the 12V pin in the connector isn't hooked up as it comes from the factory. The wires are all there, but you have to make the connection at the fuse box under the hood. The wire is tucked in behind the master cylinder and there is a stud on the front of the fuse box where it attaches to make the 12V connection to the rear.

Not sure which model years this applies to, but probably at least 2010 thru 2012 Chevy and probably GMC as well. Its easy to check. Just pull the fuse box cover and there should be 2 red wires attached to 2 different studs on the front. One is for power to the brake controller and the other is the 12V pin on the connector.
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