There are buttons that activate your inverter. Buttons that kill every battery draining thing in the RV. There are buttons to set what powers the fridge (propane, the coach battery or tiny fairies that live in the undercarriage on a tiny little treadmill), buttons that control the furnace, buttons that turn on the air conditioning.)
There are a LOT of buttons and I am going to have to learn what each one of them does.
The affable Kent was constantly saying things like "Well...this is really simple because the overhead combubliator is regulated by the camshaft zizzenflugel." He'd pause to look at me, waiting for me to nod. I always nodded since it made him so happy.
To be honest -- I am a little concerned about all the things that I need to remember in order to keep our little home on the road.
Here's a summary:
1) There are TWO kinds of batteries in our RV. The chassis battery runs the engine and the coach battery (we will have two of them) runs everything inside the coach.
2) The coach batteries are charged by the solar panels, although this charge tends to be slow. It can also be charged by the "genny" (RV Guy Talk for 'generator') AND may be charged by the RV when it's in motion if there is a "charge" line.
3) Putting solar panels onto the roof can be a mess unless the holes are tightly sealed, since holes need to be drilled in the roof. "Water's your enemy," said Kent. "Any place water can get into your unit has to be fixed. You don't want rot."
4) When you stop for the day, you want to turn things on in a specific order: light the stove top first, fire the furnace second and start the fridge last. ( I wrote this down because it was, at the time VERY important...but I cannot for the life of me remember why.)
5) RV Refrigerators don't work well in colder weather because they sense the temperature in order to set the thermostat on the fridge. If it's cool outside, the fridge won't turn on because it thinks it's aready cold enough. The ever resourceful Kent suggested turning a light bulb on OUTSIDE the refrigerator area to make the fridge think it's warmer...which will allow the fridge to turn on.
6) In Hawaii, I am remembering a trip that took us deep into the island. In the bathroom there was a sign that said "If it's brown, flush it down. If it's yellow, let it mellow." Obviously the homeowner was protecting the septic tank.
It's going to be the same in the RV. We don't plan to use the toilet unless we have to -- which will mean some early morning trips to McDonald's to...unload...get tea...and troll for Splenda. (This is where your Gypsy Turtles turn into Gypsy Pooping Pirates.)
7) Don't start a road trip with a full water tank. The extra weight will be a terrible drag on your already crappy gas mileage. Have nearly empty water tanks before you leave.
8) There are two kinds of waste water: the grey waste water is left over from showers and dishes etc. Black waste water is from the toilet. They both get drained in specific waste areas.
9) There are two kinds of charges: AC refers to the charge you get when you plug into power. This can be erratic -- especially if there are a lot of people plugged into the same system. DC is "direct power" -- meaning the charge comes directly from your batteries in precise, measured amounts. And if you put them together? You get one of the greatest rock bands on the planet.
(Sheree differs with this opinion.)