Battery charging question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-25-2010, 10:39 AM   #1
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Name: Joe
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Battery charging question

Hi, everyone, my first post here, and my first RV, as it happens. The battery that came with my new/old Scamp wasn't hooked up when I got it, but it's got a charge in it, reads about 12.3 volts, I think it was. Question - when the trailer is running on shore power with the battery not connected, should I expect to see any voltage on the battery connections from the trailer, or is the converter smart enough to only send charging power if it 'sees' a battery there? I suppose I could just hook the battery up, unplug shore power, run the battery down, then plug in again and see what happens, but that sounded like the hard way (and perhaps not even an effective way) to find out if the converter is actually going to charge...

Edit: I'm not seeing any voltage on the battery terminals when on shore power with the battery disconnected.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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Joe:

I think you should expect to see voltage on the battery connections whether the battery is connected or not if you are on shore power unless
1. a fuse on the circuit is missing or blown
2. the converter is not providing charging power

I suggest you check the last page of the Scamp Owner's Manual you will find at Scamp Trailers - Owners Manuals

There is a complete wiring diagram there.

Brian
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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I expect when you're running on shore power with no battery, you'll see voltage on the battery terminals, so keep them isolated from one another and ground or you'll blow the converter output fuse. Other than that fuse I expect you'll find the battery terminals are at the same potential as the rest of the 12v system. The converter monitors the impedance of the entire load (lights, battery, pumps, whatever) and shifts from trickle to charge voltage based on that changing load. If there is no battery connected, or a fully charged battery, it should see a high impedance and remain in the trickle mode. Depending on the converter design that could be a float voltage with or without periodic pulses.

You can put a DC voltmeter across the battery terminals and monitor it.
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, everyone! The battery terminals were just dangling by the tongue while I was being shown the trailer before buying it (and it was on shore power at the time), and they've been that way ever since, so I'll bet there is indeed a blown fuse somewhere. Will check that out. Seems obvious now that it's been pointed out, but there it is...
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:06 PM   #5
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Okay, next question - the exterior battery fuse checks out fine, but there seems to be no sign of the second fuse that's supposed to be located under the front bunk per the Scamp wiring diagram - I followed the wiring bundle a bit farther on, into the side bathroom, and didn't find anything fuselike there either, and after that the wiring disappears behind the galley where it's going to be quite a bit harder to look (and therefore also a silly place for them to have put a fuse in the first place). Did Scamp ever get creative with fuse locations? Alternatively, I suppose a creative previous owner might have made some wiring changes here, but that hypothesis opens up a whole lot of possibilities that I'd rather not think about just yet. Resistance is effectively infinite on the battery connectors in a no-power situation. Brian's option #2, bad converter, is starting to look a bit more likely unless there's a blown and well-concealed fuse yet to be found.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:29 PM   #6
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I have no idea what kind of converter you have, BUT in my 2009 16' Scamp the converter has an ordinary 15 A plug that plugs into the BACK of the breaker panel.
Also there is a fuse on my converter.

Bill K

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Originally Posted by Joe in MN View Post
Okay, next question - the exterior battery fuse checks out fine, but there seems to be no sign of the second fuse that's supposed to be located under the front bunk per the Scamp wiring diagram - I followed the wiring bundle a bit farther on, into the side bathroom, and didn't find anything fuselike there either, and after that the wiring disappears behind the galley where it's going to be quite a bit harder to look (and therefore also a silly place for them to have put a fuse in the first place). Did Scamp ever get creative with fuse locations? Alternatively, I suppose a creative previous owner might have made some wiring changes here, but that hypothesis opens up a whole lot of possibilities that I'd rather not think about just yet. Resistance is effectively infinite on the battery connectors in a no-power situation. Brian's option #2, bad converter, is starting to look a bit more likely unless there's a blown and well-concealed fuse yet to be found.
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