13 Scamp 120V, 12V, Propane Switches - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-12-2006, 05:54 PM   #1
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Help. I purchased a 13 Scamp and feel there was some after-factory rewiring done by the previous owner. Are all the switches shown in the pic for the refrigerator? If so, are the ones on the left used when I want the propane to power the frig? Are the ones on the right used I want to choose between 120v or 12v to power the frige? This is what how I determine they are used but could use some back up from my "Scamper Homies"

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
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Old 03-12-2006, 06:02 PM   #2
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I am sure your correct.. thats what it looks like to me.....
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:30 PM   #3
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Your picture shows the standard factory setup. As the instructions say use only one power source at a time. If I remember correctly, the higher numbered settings mean more cooling, not a higher temperature, but I'll check my owner's manual to be sure.
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:41 PM   #4
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I've never seen this setup before, but it certainly does look like two separate temperature controls: one with igniter and some sort of control knob for propane; the other for electrical operation with two alternate switches for the power source. I assume that "only one energy source at a time" means only one of the three possibilities.

While I have seen some crude stuff in RVs, I'm still a little surprised that
  • controls are arranged to allow the operator to (incorrectly) use two or even three heat sources to operate the refrigerator at the same time
  • the outside cover must be opened to switch sources, light the propane burner, or even adjust temperature.
Is this common? What brand and model is this unit?

My 1979 Boler B1700 has a Dometic RM360 with a single selector for energy source (or off), one temperature control, and all controls on the front panel under the door, inside the trailer. It didn't think that was anything special, and the only problem I've had with it is that it is hard to see the light from the flame in the provided viewing window (to confirm successful lighting).
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:06 PM   #5
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This is quite close to mine. The controls on the left are for the propane. I assume that the operation is the same. Turn the right knob to ON, press and hold while pushing the red ingniter button several times. There's should be a place where you can see the blue propane flame once ingnited. The numbered know would be to set cooling level. The higher the number would be the colder the box.

The other two switches are as marked for 12 volt. No temperature control when using 12 volt. 120 volt has a temperature control.

Common usage -- When plugged into "shore" power use 120.
-- When in camp but no "shore" power use propane.
-- When traveling use 12 volt.


My usage so far, it may change later in the year, is 120 volt when possilbe, propane when not. Leave it off while traveling.
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Old 03-13-2006, 08:31 AM   #6
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I run 12V while truckn' down the road, 120v when available, and propane otherwise, although propane does the best job. A Casita owner I know uses propane while on the road and has a A/C type filter over the grill to keep the wind from blowing out the flame!

The only problem with propane is knowing if the flame has been lit. I have to listen for the 'pop' of the flame, and/or put my hand on the chimney cover (which gets quite hot) to be sure it's lit. The little door for looking in to see the flame is useless on my 2004 model.

And yes, this is the cheapo Domentic model that Scamp uses that requires, gasp, one to manually choose the cooling method , and gasp, to do it outside in the elements. Oh the humanity!
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:46 PM   #7
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Thanks to you all for your time. I truly appreciate the information and feel I have a keen grasp of the situation. My manual did not cover the logistics of powering the fridge in a method which I could understand. I am surprised however, to learn that using propane is the best way to cool the unit.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:44 PM   #8
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...I am surprised however, to learn that using propane is the best way to cool the unit.
Three-way refrigerators use an absportion cycle, which is fundamentally different from the compressor-based cycle in "normal" home appliances, and is driven by heat. When running on AC or DC electricity, the electrical power is just used to make heat, and the propane burner simply produces more heat, so it works better. This topic comes up frequently, and it seems that just about everyone with three-way refrigerators reports more effective refrigerator operation on propane, regardess of make or model of appliance.
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Old 03-18-2006, 05:39 PM   #9
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Good point Brian, I found when we were in the Okanagan last Aug. and the temp was running in the 90's during the day that when I had the 3 way fridge on 120v it took 2 days to even freeze ice cubes and hardly kept anything cool. Next time I will try propane.
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