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Old 05-25-2021, 05:42 AM   #1
stashton
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Question My 2006 Mountaineer has been sitting vacant for several years

Greetings! I am a complete newbie to RV's but have technical/mechanical skills and good with tools.

I recently purchased a nice piece of land in the Virginia Blueridge mountain foothills. My property came with a 2006 29 BHS Montana Mountaineer. I have only been to the camper once when I looked at the property prior to purchase. I went inside and everything seemed to be in good order, no odors or signs of leakage. The previous owner took immaculate care of it.

Since the previous owner had to leave the country for an extended period of time, the camper sat vacant for 3-5 years. Now I come into the picture and will be taking over the property and plan to use the camper while eventually building on the property. For now, it will just be used as a weekend retreat.

My question to the forum is: What should be the first things I should do to get this camper operational? I don't yet know what works and does not work. According to the previous owner, everything worked perfectly when he last used it.

I am sure that by sitting dormant for so long, there are bound to be problems with mechanical/electrical systems.

There is a 200 amp service at the site. I have downloaded the owners manual, but that does not seem to be helpful in this situation.

Other than general cleaning, what preemptive mechanical chores should I do prior to connecting power?

Any thoughts or guidance would be most appreciated.
 
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:08 AM   #2
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Are you connected to a well or city water and do you have a sewer hookup or do you need to dump next the 12 volt system you probably need a new house battery. lets just start with that. more will chime in and welcome.
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:26 AM   #3
stashton
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Thank you for that quick response. No water connections, no well on property (yet). No sewer hookup. I'm assuming a marine type of battery?
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:53 AM   #4
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Make sure your shore power outlet to the existing electrical panel is properly wired for 120v service, not 240v, a mistake even experienced electricians have been known to make. You should replace the battery with a typical auto parts store 12v RV/Marine, nothing special. Once you get power and get level, run the slides in/out a few times for exercise, and start up your fridge, AC, furnace, to determine what needs fixing, then grab a beer and enjoy.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:24 AM   #5
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You need to sanitize your fresh water holding tank and water lines before using any water. Do a search for water tank sanitizing. It’s basically adding a little bleach to a full water tank then letting it sit for a day or so and then thoroughly flushing it. It’s not much bleach, but I can’t think of the ratio off my head, thus the search. Some sort of slide seal lube/ protectant would be a good idea as well. Get on the roof and check the condition, the caulking around the edges is prone to cracking. Don’t use regular caulk or silicon, get the dicor sealant from a RV shop and follow the directions. Water intrusion is your worst enemy.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:49 AM   #6
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1. set up 50 amp service for rv.
2. get a couple of 6 volt batteries and connect to equal 12 volt...google how.
3. get water into the tanks to sanitize


get with other rvers nearby and learn what they have to say.
good luck
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by stashton View Post
Thank you for that quick response. No water connections, no well on property (yet). No sewer hookup. I'm assuming a marine type of battery?



Make sure its deep cycle. Walmart sells one for around 80 dollars. No sewer hook up you will need a sewer tote to dump black water unless your pulling it to a dump station. You can leave the grey water valves open 1 in convience center and 1 on the frame driver side by the axles. the black water must be kept close until you need to empty or you will get the pyramid of death. again others will chime in.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:59 AM   #8
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Welcome
If you don't have water or sewer connection you will need a water bladder and portable pump to fill the freshwater tank.
You will need to sanitize the tank and pipes. Look up the procedure. Many you tube videos. Keystone owners webpage has videos and instructions also.
It usually takes 3 tank fulls of water to flush out the bleach smell before you can use the freshwater system.
You will also need a sewer Tote and a macerater to haul away waste.
Keep the Tote in the back of your truck. Too heavy to lift when full. Use the macerater to pump the waste up into the Tote. Haul it to a dump or home and dump it down your sewer clean out pipe outside your house.
Check the roof and slid wipers to head off any potential leaks. Check for mice. The will destroy wiring etc. Use snap traps. Leave no food when not in use.
Enjoy
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:03 AM   #9
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If you don't already have a 50 amp outlet ready for the trailer, here is how to wire one.


https://www.myrv.us/electric/


If you do have an outlet there, use the above to make sure it is wired correctly. 50 amp service is just like a house service. It is 120/240 vac with two hots, a neutral, and a ground. The trailer will have 240 vac power to it, but it only uses the individual 120 vac hot legs independently. Nothing in the trailer uses 240 vac. But there have been too many instances of someone wiring up their outlet wrong and getting 240 vac to things it shouldn't, and causing significant damage.
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:37 AM   #10
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In addition to the previous comments would also flush out the water heater and check the condition of the anode.

As a 2006 it may not be a 50 amp rig - you may get by with 30 amp depending on how many a/c units it has.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:44 PM   #11
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My 2006 Mountaineer has been sitting vacant for several years

Thank you for all of the great advice. It all seems pretty straight forward. I'll update this post after the weekend and I am able to get in find out more.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:45 PM   #12
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Great advice! I especially like the beer part. I will comply.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:20 PM   #13
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The thing I would do is make a dump station. Dig a big hole put two 55 gallon drums in and an individual four inch pipe in the top of each one and a four inch hole about a third from the top and fill with ten to fifteen tons of gravel with a fifty foot long three foot wide ditch and fill a foot deep with gravel. I have two dump stations and they work great.
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:23 AM   #14
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I like this idea. I'll most likely go with a full septic system with additional hookups for the RV.
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Old 05-26-2021, 09:44 AM   #15
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In addition to what everyone has said, your tires will be shot. RV tires are good for 5-7 years at best and then need to be replaced due to age damage. If you need to move it for any reason change the tires.
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Old 05-30-2021, 03:34 PM   #16
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Hydraulic system

I am not sure about the slide system on a 2006. But before you try to open the slides, be sure the hydraulic reservoir is up to the required fill line. You do not want to suck air into the hydraulic system.
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Old 05-30-2021, 04:42 PM   #17
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OK, lots of folks above gave you good advise, but let's get practical and back down to earth.

Probably the first thing you should do is see if the camper will power up. You say you have 200 amp service on the property. I don't know what that means though. Is there a breaker box, is the breaker box in any kind of an existing building, or is it just on a temporary post. Are there receptacles available to plug things into, and if they are, what kind of circuits are they on? Looking at the breaker box will tell you, 15, 20, 30 amp breakers.

If you have a 20 amp house hold receptacle, then use that (initially) to power up the camper. Get an RV 20 amp to 30 amp adapter. If the camper electric cord has 4 prongs on it, and not 3, then the camper is a 50 amp camper. If it has 3 prongs, then it's a 30 amp camper. If it has 4 prongs, you'll need to get the adapter to plug into the regular house hold receptacle (15 or 20 amp). The other end is a 30 amp RV Plug. Then you'll need to get another adapter that will transition from the 30 to the 50 amp plug for your camper. But, you will only have 30 amps in the camper, not 50.

If you have the 3 pronged plug, then you just need the 20 to 30 amp RV adapter.

Anyway, plug in and see what works.

Here's some things to look for.


Your power converter will run on 120 volt AC and do two things. It will power all your AC appliances, like the microwave, the air conditioner(s), and all the normal house hold receptacles in the camper.

The converter will also power everything that runs on battery DC 12 volt.
This will include house lights, water pump, and furnace.

The refrigerator is no doubt an RV refrigerator. It will run on both propane or electric. But regardless if it runs on propane or electric, the circuit boards are all run on 12 volt DC battery, powered from the converter.

Slides also run on 12 volt DC battery and use both the battery and the converter. More than likely, slides will not operate on the converter only. They draw too much power and need the battery for the extra umph. The slides will operate off the battery with no shore power plugged in. But they probably will not work if plugged into shore power and no battery or a dead battery.

The converter also charges the trailer house battery and keeps it topped off.

So, all of the electronics in your camper is dependent upon the power coming through the converter. So, that is why this is the first thing you should check out. Everything else in the camper depends on this. It's the heart of the camper.

After that, the water system. The water system can be operated from your fresh water holding tank (comments above about sanatiazing are dead-spot-on!), or can be operated directly from a garden hose connected to an outside water faucet. I'd get the water going and check for leaks. This is second.

Third is the health of your holding tanks. If the trailer was used on the property and never moved, you could have a poop pyramid in the toilet (black water) holding tank. Slide valves may be stuck. Freezing temperatures may have frozen water in the drain pipes that were not drained, they could be cracked and have leaks. The P-traps under your sink in the kitchen and bathroom may be cracked from freezing, if the camper was not winterized.

4th is the Propane system on your camper. Propane is needed for the refrigerator, the furnace, the water heater, and the stove. The water heater can probably be run on both electric, or gas, or both at the same time.

Check the date codes on the propane tanks and check for leaks with soapy water.

These are the 4 things to examine careful and proceed one step at a time. If the trailer is going to sit and not move anywhere (like used for actual travel and camping), then there is no need to worry about tires, brakes, and the electric system for towing, running lights, suspension and all of that at this time. However, if you are taking it on the road, then this is also paramount that everything is examined careful before hitting the road.

Congrats on your camper and lets all hope when you plug in, power up, connect the water, and flush the toilet, absolutely everything works flawless!
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Old 05-30-2021, 05:03 PM   #18
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I like this idea. I'll most likely go with a full septic system with additional hookups for the RV.

A full septic system is certainly better.
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Old 05-30-2021, 05:06 PM   #19
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Your power converter will run on 120 volt AC and do two things. It will power all your AC appliances, like the microwave, the air conditioner(s), and all the normal house hold receptacles in the camper.
Not exactly. The converter does run on 120V AC. But that is all it does with 120V. The 120V devices in the RV are fed from the circuit breaker panel, which is desperate from the converter in a Mountaineer (and Montanas). The converters only produce 12V DC to charge batteries and run 12V DC devices.

But otherwise a handy explanation of what needs to be attended to.
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Old 05-31-2021, 07:50 AM   #20
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One thing I come across on older rvs and especially one that have been sitting is the plastic on the roof gets brittle and breaks. When you are on the roof, give a little tap to your vent covers, refrigerator cover and vent caps. If these break, they are water entry points and can cause major damage. I have seen them literally disintegrate when you touch them or they are already broken. If there are issues, cover with plastic and tape them up until you can get replacements. Amazon usually has anything you need fairly quickly. I like putting vent covers on all my vents in case I accidentally leave one open. These can be installed in about 15 minutes.
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