Do batteries outgas when used? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-09-2016, 10:54 AM   #15
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Paul cleaned up the original battery area inside our 73 amerigo.
It had once been in a wooden box under a dinette seat. The wood was in very bad shape so he took it out. We could tell where the battery had been anyway, from the discoloration and residue in a horrible little rectanble on the fiberglass, with ragged holes all over the area..

He scrubbed and patched and now it's clean and primed and painted.

We didn't want to have that mess inside again, and having heard about the off-gassing, we decided to carry ours on the tongue in standard battery

Paul has chained them down now, so they don't run off and get into trouble.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:24 AM   #16
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Your approach requires good planning and then camping according to your plan. If you left the battery at home, you are limited to electric sites only. That would not work for me. We plan, but not to that level of detail, and dealing with surprises along our journeys is part of the fun! Also, I would probably drop and damage the battery while moving it around so much - hopefully not on my toes! I think the "standard" 12Volt setup is better.
We don't travel far, our campsites we stay at are all within an hour drive so it's not too bad. Just about all the campsites are electric to begin with so the only time we would "plan" to bring the battery is when we would like to reserve a spot down in this valley where they only allow tents and pop-up size campers.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:28 AM   #17
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As Paul suggests I think you will find it far more convenient in the long run to just wire the the trailer up to the battery the conventional fashion so you always have the option of camping without power or with power without having to do anything.

Not clear by your profile what year Scamp you have but it should already be wired to allow for the battery on the tongue and lines to your convertor. ....... so your good to go with or without power, that is unless the PO decided to reinvent the wheel a mess with the wiring. ;-)
Nope, no wiring whatsoever in the trailer. I will probably be the first one in thirty years with power, and water lol. There is no place for a battery on the tongue so unless they sell bolt on brackets I probably will not have one welded on right now. Does anyone know where I can buy brackets that I can screw or bolt on to mount a battery box? Thanks

The Scamp is a '75.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:45 AM   #18
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I'd just like to add that battery out-gassing is a cause for caution. Years ago, I was putting jumper cables on the battery in the engine compartment of my VW bus, and it exploded, sending me into the car behind me. Luckily, the battery blew mostly upward, and not in my face. AGM batteries are safer, but avoid the sparks!

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Old 05-09-2016, 12:21 PM   #19
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Nope, no wiring whatsoever in the trailer. I will probably be the first one in thirty years with power, and water lol. There is no place for a battery on the tongue so unless they sell bolt on brackets I probably will not have one welded on right now. Does anyone know where I can buy brackets that I can screw or bolt on to mount a battery box? Thanks

The Scamp is a '75.
You might want to put the year with the trailer model in you profile. I have a 77 Scamp 13 and no it does not have a set of angle iron bars for a battery mount, and did not have a place in the wiring harness to hook up a battery. Just the line for power from the TV which goes directly to the fridge and two lights on the upper cabinets.

Those three items are my entire original 12 volt system. Original wiring confirmed that this is what came with the camper. You had to be plugged into the TV to run the lights and could run the fridge on 12 volt while going down the road. Your car wouldn't start if you left fridge on 12 volt and trailer plugged into your TV.

According to my measurements any normal sized RV battery box on the tongue has to have the cross pieces of angle iron welded to the bottom of the "A" made by the frame. Not the top. Otherwise battery won't fit between the front wall of the scamp and the propane tank.

The propane tank can't move forward to create more clearance for battery from wall of scamp without being in the way of the side of tongue mounted jack, also original that has a handle which rotates on the horizontal.

Getting angle iron rails welded under tongue might run $50 at a utility trailer shop or welding shop. I would think any "bolt on" would cost almost as much and clamps that bolt tighten around tubular frame are a good way to dent and crush the frame. I would avoid them. I don't want to talk about how I know, but clamp on jack wheels are evil and I have one in a garage sale I'm selling cheap.

Whole reason I suggested wire from 12 volt line with spliced line running out to the tongue with battery box on the ground, or sitting on a board set across tongue is that the wire to the tonge and the box are both purchases/work in the eventual direction of having a battery on the tongue where it really belongs. I think it was just optional back when ours was built.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:37 PM   #20
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You might want to put the year with the trailer model in you profile. I have a 77 Scamp 13 and no it does not have a set of angle iron bars for a battery mount, and did not have a place in the wiring harness to hook up a battery. Just the line for power from the TV which goes directly to the fridge and two lights on the upper cabinets.

Those three items are my entire original 12 volt system. Original wiring confirmed that this is what came with the camper. You had to be plugged into the TV to run the lights and could run the fridge on 12 volt while going down the road. Your car wouldn't start if you left fridge on 12 volt and trailer plugged into your TV.

According to my measurements any normal sized RV battery box on the tongue has to have the cross pieces of angle iron welded to the bottom of the "A" made by the frame. Not the top. Otherwise battery won't fit between the front wall of the scamp and the propane tank.

The propane tank can't move forward to create more clearance for battery from wall of scamp without being in the way of the side of tongue mounted jack, also original that has a handle which rotates on the horizontal.

Getting angle iron rails welded under tongue might run $50 at a utility trailer shop or welding shop. I would think any "bolt on" would cost almost as much and clamps that bolt tighten around tubular frame are a good way to dent and crush the frame. I would avoid them. I don't want to talk about how I know, but clamp on jack wheels are evil and I have one in a garage sale I'm selling cheap.

Whole reason I suggested wire from 12 volt line with spliced line running out to the tongue with battery box on the ground, or sitting on a board set across tongue is that the wire to the tonge and the box are both purchases/work in the eventual direction of having a battery on the tongue where it really belongs. I think it was just optional back when ours was built.
For sure I will put the battery on the tongue in the future this was just meant as a temporary fix. I probably will do what you suggested and run the wires out to the front where there battery box would be.

I did call just about every shop around my area and nobody welds anything and there are no trailer shops around unfortunately. Eventually if I find someone that is a good welder and won't ruin my paint job then I will have them do it.

The PO was a construction company that had it parked in their shop for over ten years as a home for one of their workers. I guess since they never planned on towing it they just decided to rip anything useful out of the camper such as the electrical, water and angle iron for battery mount.
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:28 PM   #21
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For sure I will put the battery on the tongue in the future this was just meant as a temporary fix. I probably will do what you suggested and run the wires out to the front where there battery box would be.

I did call just about every shop around my area and nobody welds anything and there are no trailer shops around unfortunately. Eventually if I find someone that is a good welder and won't ruin my paint job then I will have them do it.

The PO was a construction company that had it parked in their shop for over ten years as a home for one of their workers. I guess since they never planned on towing it they just decided to rip anything useful out of the camper such as the electrical, water and angle iron for battery mount.
Back as old as our trailers are the whole battery on the tongue was an option, these days it is pretty much standard to have a battery just for the trailer. As in "oh look dear we have lights in the camper when we pull off in a rest area" Running a whole lot of 12 volt stuff would have been sort of high end for the Scamp market. I'm sure they offered it, just not standard.

Yep your paint job on the frame there will take a hit from the weld heat but that should be easy to touch up, will only be right around the welds.

I sort of figured this was something of a temp solution, that is one of the reasons I was thinking in terms of box or wiring you can use now and then use later for the permanent solution.
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:36 PM   #22
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A slight change in the topic.
For those that think they don't need a breakaway switch I suggest you do some research. You can start here.
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Old 05-09-2016, 02:12 PM   #23
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As someone above mentioned trailer "Break Away" systems and since they also require a battery I thought I would add this to the discussion.

Most all trailer "Break Away" systems are self powered with their own battery/box. Most states now require a trailer WITH brakes to have a "Break Away" system installed either electric or hydraulic depending upon the type of brake system on your trailer. Check with your states DMV for the laws that will apply to you in your state of registration concerning trailer "Break Away" system requirements.

Since most older Scamps (maybe new ones also) did not have factory installed brakes they did not have factory installed "Break Away" systems. I have seen some folks power their "Break Away" systems by a battery that was installed in the trailer for other purposes. I would avoid that situation.

IF your states trailer registration laws require you to install a trailer "Break Away" system installed on your trailer just a buy a self contained kit/system, install it, be safe and be legal.

The Hopkins system below is good along with others that are cheaper. Basic difference is generally the quality of the battery provided with the system.

Hopkins Towing Solutions Engager Breakaway Kit with LED Test Light | Trailer Brake Controllers| Northern Tool + Equipment
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Old 05-09-2016, 02:24 PM   #24
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As someone above mentioned trailer "Break Away" systems and since they also require a battery I thought I would add this to the discussion.

Most all trailer "Break Away" systems are self powered with their own battery/box. Most states now require a trailer WITH brakes to have a "Break Away" system installed either electric or hydraulic depending upon the type of brake system on your trailer. Check with your states DMV for the laws that will apply to you in your state of registration concerning trailer "Break Away" system requirements.

Since most older Scamps (maybe new ones also) did not have factory installed brakes they did not have factory installed "Break Away" systems. I have seen some folks power their "Break Away" systems by a battery that was installed in the trailer for other purposes. I would avoid that situation.

IF your states trailer registration laws require you to install a trailer "Break Away" system installed on your trailer just a buy a self contained kit/system, install it, be safe and be legal.

The Hopkins system below is good along with others that are cheaper. Basic difference is generally the quality of the battery provided with the system.

Hopkins Towing Solutions Engager Breakaway Kit with LED Test Light | Trailer Brake Controllers| Northern Tool + Equipment
That's interesting, I've never heard of a breakaway switch, looks like it would save a possible dent in your car or a totalled trailer.

In Ohio you only need brakes for trailers over 3000# but eventually if funds allow when I get my axle replaced this would be a good thing to get.
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Old 05-09-2016, 02:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
As someone above mentioned trailer "Break Away" systems and since they also require a battery I thought I would add this to the discussion.

Most all trailer "Break Away" systems are self powered with their own battery/box. Most states now require a trailer WITH brakes to have a "Break Away" system installed either electric or hydraulic depending upon the type of brake system on your trailer. Check with your states DMV for the laws that will apply to you in your state of registration concerning trailer "Break Away" system requirements.

Since most older Scamps (maybe new ones also) did not have factory installed brakes they did not have factory installed "Break Away" systems. I have seen some folks power their "Break Away" systems by a battery that was installed in the trailer for other purposes. I would avoid that situation.

IF your states trailer registration laws require you to install a trailer "Break Away" system installed on your trailer just a buy a self contained kit/system, install it, be safe and be legal.

The Hopkins system below is good along with others that are cheaper. Basic difference is generally the quality of the battery provided with the system.

Hopkins Towing Solutions Engager Breakaway Kit with LED Test Light | Trailer Brake Controllers| Northern Tool + Equipment
The house battery works better than an additional battery just for the breakaway system. Therefore you don't need the additional battery. A breakaway switch is easy to install, but if don't feel comfortable installing one your local RV store can handle it.
The law as I remember it (federal) if brakes are required so is a breakaway system (switch for electric breaks).
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:16 PM   #26
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The house battery works better than an additional battery just for the breakaway system.
Assuming you have a "House" battery in/on your trailer.
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:33 PM   #27
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Assuming you have a "House" battery in/on your trailer.
True. If not the federal law requires a big enough battery to hold the brakes for 15 minutes, as I read it.

That said most trailers have house battery or two.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:23 AM   #28
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I think the key point is if trailer is required to have brakes. I'm sure in some state or states for at least some FGRV's brakes would be required by the state department of motor vehicles. However I doubt it applies to most FGRV owners. Either they have a low enough trailer weight that no state requires brakes (*cough* 13 ft. * cough*) or don't live in a state that mandates brakes for the weight of trailer they own.


The breakaway switch is common on heavy equipment trailers because the trailers can be loaded with a pair of bull dozers so they are set up for their potential max weight capacity. Have seen some pretty large campers licensed here in Mich. that don't have them. Well over the weight of most FG campers.
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