Step by Step what to do and when.
How to operate your Living Quarter Horse Trailer
Other areas of FAQ have a lot of detail about specific items in your Living Quarters, but the information below will help you with the do's and don't about operating your Living Quarter Horse Trailer.
You should never use an extension cord to extend the length of the power/shore cord to operate the roof air unless it's of the proper wire size. You can normally use a standard 12 or 14 gauge extension cord if your just wanting to run the frig or other smaller appliances.
*** While your trailer is just sitting at the house waiting to go on a trip.
1) If there is a Main ON/OFF Switch at or near the Batteries, Turn it OFF.
2) If you want any of the appliances on, plug in the Power Cord (shore cord). (batteries still OFF)
** The Power Cord has a large 3 prone 30 amp plug on it. If you want to run the Roof Air you need to use this plug. If you don't have a large 30 amp receptacle for this size plug, you can't (normally) run the Roof Air. If you want to run the Roof Air, start the Generator if so equipped, and don't plug in the Power Cord.
** If you just want to run the Frig and smaller appliances, use the Adapter and plug in to your normal 120 volt AC Receptacles. Set the Frig to Automatic at the Mode setting if so equipped, or set it to AC if that's the only choice.
An Adapter is a thingy that makes the big plug a small plug. (see FAQ > Electrical > Adapter Plug)
It's possible the air conditioner will function off the smaller plug, but it's a strain on the system - and if it's very hot, the compressor has to work harder and the Roof Air will probably trip the Breaker in your barn or wherever you're plugged in.
*** The Day before you leave on a Trip.
1) If you haven't already done it, Plug the Power Cord (shore cord) in. Use the Adapter if you don't have 30 amp service where your trailer is parked.
2) If it has one, turn the 12 Volt DC Battery Switch "ON". This will insure the Batteries are fully charged before you take off. >> more in FAQ
3) Turn your Frig ON. It will take 8 hrs or so to really cool it down. If you've got the large Frig, set the Mode to Automatic. If you have a smaller Frig, set the switch to AC. (see also, FAQ > Living Quarters > Refrigerators)
*** The Day you're ready to leave.
1) If there are two Propane Bottles, turn them both ON. (see also, FAQ > Living Quarters > Propane Bottle Regulator) If you have an LP Detector that turns OFF and ON, turn it ON. ( see also, FAQ > Living Quarters > Detectors, Safety)
2) Set your Frig to operate on LP (propane). That will keep the food cold while you're driving. If your Frig was in the Automatic Mode (if so equipped) while it was plugged in, make sure it automatically switched to run on LP.
(see also, FAQ > Refrigerators > LP/Propane Operation)
3) Make sure the Fresh Water Tank (if so equipped) is full.
*** When you get to where you're going.
1) You're either going to be Dry Camping, which means you'll be using all the power sources and water that you brought with you, - or you'll be at a facility where you'll be able to Plug in the Power Cord and hook up to a City Water service or ( faucet ) - or maybe a little of both.
2) If you're DRY CAMPING - Turn the Water Pump ON. If you're going to use a garden hose and hook up to City Water - DO NOT TURN THE PUMP ON, you won't need it and it could damage the water pump.
3) If you're DRY CAMPING and you want to use any of the 120 volt AC appliances, i.e. the TV, Satellite, Microwave, Roof Air and etc., - you'll have to start your generator.
4) If you're at a facility and have access to the large 30 amp 3 Prong Receptacle, you can plug the Power Cord in and run all the 120 volt AC appliances including the Roof Air without starting your Generator. Note: Never use an Extension Cord to gain extra length when using the Power Cord, unless it is of a proper size. If the extension cord is to small, it could start a fire.
5) If your only option is the smaller 120 Volt AC Receptacle, you can run some of the smaller appliances like the TV and Frig and keep the batteries charged, but normally you can not run the Roof Air, you'll have to start the Generator.
6) If you want to run the Roof Air and you are not using the Power Cord - Start the Generator first, watch for the Microwave Clock to come on, wait a couple of minutes and start the Roof Air. If the Microwave Clock does not come on, check the 30 AMP Breaker Switch at the Generator and Re-Set if necessary.
7) Make sure the Hot Water Heater has Water in it. If you're not sure, turn the Hot Water side of the Faucet on and see. Let if run for a couple of minutes. If it runs steady with no air sputtering out of it, it's full. If it starts coughing up air, you'll need to let it run longer. What's happening is, the Hot Water Heater is filling up with water and pushing the air out. When you get a steady stream of water with no air hiccups, it's full and it's safe to turn it on. ( see more at, FAQ > Living Quarters > Hot Water Heater)
8) You can turn the Hot Water Heater "ON" and leave it on, or you can turn it on only when needed. It takes about 20 min to heat 6 gallons of water which is the most common size. Using it only when needed will save on propane (LP). You might also have a Hot Water Heater that runs only on 120 Volt AC or you could have one that runs on LP and 120 Volt AC. Most Hot Water Heaters use Propane and 12 volt DC Battery as the ignition, which make them self starting, - you don't need a match. If you don't have a Switch inside you'll need a match to light it outside. The Switch is normally on the Monitor Panel. If you don't find it there or if you don't have a Monitor Panel, it could be a stand alone Switch. Flip the Switch ON and a Red Light should come on. The Red light will come on for a moment while it's trying to light then it will go out. If it lights, the Red Light will not come back on, if it does not light, the Red Light comes back on. Turn it OFF, wait a minute and turn it back on. That starts another lighting cycle.
9) When DRY CAMPING, - always check the Power Status of the Batteries especially when the generator is not running. If the Batteries get to low, the Frig will shut off, the Hot Water Heater will quit, and the Furnace will cease to operate. You will then need to charge the battery(ies). Either from your Pickup or a Generator.
10) Solar Panels are also a great way to keep your batteries charged so you don't have to worry about them running down. (see also, FAQ > Living Quarters > Solar Panels)