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Old 06-13-2019, 05:23 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Little Falls
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RV power

Hi all,

I'm new to RVing and just bought a 2008 Keystone Cougar 29BHS travel trailer. The trailer is on a permanent site plugged into a 30 amp shoreline service. My question is...how do I know if I'm running on shoreline power or my 12 volt battery? I don't see a switch anywhere in the RV that switches between the two.

Thank you.

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Old 06-13-2019, 05:39 AM   #2
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Location: South Jordan, Utah
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The short answer is any time you're plugged in you're running on shore power. The long answer is your Cougar has two electrical systems. 12vdc and 110vac. Shore power is connected to a converter in your Cougar that provides the 12vdc needed for your lights and 12v accessories in addition to charging the batteries. The 110v system is directly connected to shore power through breaker switches just like at home. When shore power is removed, you no longer have power to any of your 110v accessories like the microwave or power outlets. With shore power removed, the battery will power your 12v system without any manual changeover required because the battery is always connected through your 12v fuses at the converter. There are some other details like slide out operation and water pump etc. but that's a brief description.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:39 AM   #3
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We look to see if the clock display on the microwave is lit up, then we know we have shore power.

From my understanding you should "always" be on the 12 volt battery for the 12V load. The converter isn't capable of providing enough current for heavy loads, so it "supplements" (keeps the battery topped off); this is why there is a notice you should only maneuver the slideouts with a battery installed.

By the way, if you don't have some sort of EMS installed, I (and others on this forum) highly recommend you do so. If you get the one with the remote readout this is another way of seeing you have shore power.

EDIT: Canonman types faster than I do!

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Old 06-13-2019, 05:44 AM   #4
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You don't switch between the two sources. Shore power (115v) is routed through the converter to the outlets, TV, microwave, electrical side of the refrigerator and water heater. The converter also provides 12v power to charge the battery, 12v power to the circuit boards in the refrigerator and water heater, the propane detector, TV antenna amplifier, lights, water pump and furnace. Google RV Electrical schematic for some diagrams.
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