What might this switch be for? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-03-2015, 09:14 PM   #1
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What might this switch be for?

Sorry to ask stupid boring questions but I just got my first fifth wheel. It's a Dutchmen sport 27b and a 2003 model. I've got a couple switches right above the stove. The one shows the battery level and maybe looks like it has a switch below it for the pump in case I'm using water from my own supply tank. Is that seem right? The other Atwood switch I've figured out is the hot water heater but the last one is more like a normal light switch with box but a light comes on above it when switched on. Kinda lame description I know, but anyone got any ideas what it's for? The guy I bought it from didn't know anything as it was left to him from a grandfather and he had no interest in it. Thanks for any help or ideas!
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:22 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by TroutBum View Post
Sorry to ask stupid boring questions but I just got my first fifth wheel. It's a Dutchmen sport 27b and a 2003 model. I've got a couple switches right above the stove. The one shows the battery level and maybe looks like it has a switch below it for the pump in case I'm using water from my own supply tank. Is that seem right? The other Atwood switch I've figured out is the hot water heater but the last one is more like a normal light switch with box but a light comes on above it when switched on. Kinda lame description I know, but anyone got any ideas what it's for? The guy I bought it from didn't know anything as it was left to him from a grandfather and he had no interest in it. Thanks for any help or ideas!
The easiest way to figure out the switches is to flip them on and see what happens.

What you have described sounds about right. The switch with the light could be either controlling a 12V or 120V circuit. Does it look like it's an add on or like it came from the factory?
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:55 AM   #3
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Here's a picture

Yeah, that's pretty much how I've figured out the others. Flip them and wait and see what happens. On this one though I flip it on and the only thing I'm seeing is the light right on the switch coming on. It does look factory to me. I have tried attaching a picture of that helps, but may not as it's just a switch. I wouldn't think battery only because the battery on the camper seems weak as it doesn't hold a charge for very long and everything still works as it should when no power is plugged in and the switch is off. Thanks for the help! I'm sure with having a 5 year old, a 3 and a 1 year old if I can't figure it out now that they'll be flipping switches soon enough and something will happen!

In the picture, it should be the battery gauge and the small Atwood switch for water heater going up the right hand side with the switch in referring to on the left more by itself, instead of being on the bottom like the picture shows. It's just turned and I can't get it to let me rotate the picture.
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:35 PM   #4
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Of the two switches you have there one services a 12 volt circuit and the other a 110 volt circuit based on the switch profile. The mystery switch by all indications controls a 110 volt circuit.
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Old 10-04-2015, 03:19 PM   #5
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I don't know if they had a electric water heater back in 2003, but one switch is for the gas and the other for electric????????????
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:55 PM   #6
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I'm guessing what RVNevada suggested. I think the 120V AC looking switch is for the electric heating element of the water heater. If so, hopefully you had water in the tank when you switched it on (if the LED came on to confirm it turned on). A 120V AC electric heating element will fry quickly if turned on in a dry hot water tank.

With water in the hot water tank and while disconnected from shore power, flip the switch on and see what happens. If it is an 120V AC power item, the LED next to it will not turn on. Try repeating this while you are plugged into shore power and if the LED comes on at least you know if it is a 120V AC item or a 12V DC device switch. If it comes on when plugged in, wait for a while (20 min?) and then check if you get warm or hot water to come out of a tap. An electric water heater element is completely silent so there will be nothing to hear if that is what the switch controls.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:28 PM   #7
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What ewarnerusa said.

Kind of an unusual looking set up, almost looks like some has added an after market 120V hot water element. My 07 Colorado has both hot water switches on one small panel next the monitor.

If you have a factory installed application check to see if there is another switch inside the HW service panel. I have to turn on the switch inside the service panel to be able to control the 120V from inside the trailer. Kind of a safe gaurd against powering the element when the tank is empty. Course that would only work if you are in the habit of turning the switch at the tank on and off.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll check this out and get back with everyone.
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:56 PM   #9
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My guess would be the electric element of the water heater. Easy enough to check if you can use a volt meter.

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Old 10-05-2015, 06:14 PM   #10
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Agree 100 % that's for the 110 power for the water heater. Yes they had them in 2003, my 2003 Teton has electric/propane hot water heater. I had a 2002 Montana that had it. They have been around for quite a while.
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