Battery Issue (?) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-18-2006, 10:14 AM   #1
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We came back from our very first trip, 8 days, in our 1985 Scamp 13' last week. One glitch we encountered was that the interior lights, which previously worked, started to dim and/or die, which we assume was because the battery wasn't being recharged. We were hooked up to the campground's 110 power, and the battery was new. The problem didn't begin until about two days into our camping trip. We also blew the fuse under the bunk twice and the fuse next to the battery once.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:21 AM   #2
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It sounds to me like you have a power converter that is not working.

When you plug in to shore power, the batery should be charged and the lights should run off of the converter.

Scamp can supply you with a wiring diagram for your trailer. Sounds like you have other electrical problems with the blown fuses.

I just replaced the power supplies in both of my trailers with newer units that have electronic filters so i have clean 12 v supplies. With my old converters i had 27 volts of AC on the 12v DC side.
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Old 07-20-2006, 09:15 AM   #3
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your battery may not be connected to a charging lead from the converter, or it may have a bad fuse on the charger output , or you may not have a charging section on the converter.
What brand and model is your converter?
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:21 AM   #4
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We also blew the fuse under the bunk twice and the fuse next to the battery once.

Anyone have any thoughts?




This is a serious situation that requires attention.

Blowing fuses says you have a problem. The fuse blows so it will protect you from catching it on fire so do not overfuse or eliminate the fuse, you must find out whay they are blowing.

Could be a pinched wire grounding out on something or a bad converter.
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:13 PM   #5
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Scamp typically is fused at main fuse and the battery at 20 amps. If the fuse size is less than 15 amps you could be under fused. Since the fuses aren't blowing right away it's not a dead short. Here's what I would do.

1. Check the sizes of the main fuse and the one at the battery. (20 amp is normal)
2. Go to the converter and remove all fuses.

3. Get a current meter. Most Digital Multimeters have a current range. Make sure it will handle around 40 amps or more amps. An inexpensive one can be purchased at any Radio Shack, automototive parts, etc. Place the current meter in the power line. At the battery is probably the best place. With everything off and the fuses at the converter pulled the current should read 0.

4. Replace the fuses one at a time and check the current. Without turning anything on the current should still remain 0.

5. Start turning stuff on, one a time, and checking current. There should be some current depending on what is turned on. Turn each item back off before turning on the next.

6. If you haven't found something by this time that's drawing more current than 20 amps, turn on all the stuff that you would normally have on and check again.

This should tell you where the excessive current is going.


A little bit about fuses. A fuse rating is specified in amps and time. A 20 amp fuse might take a 40 amp load for 30 minutes. A 100 amp load would blow the fuse almost immediately. A 25 Amp load on a 20 Amp fuse could take weeks to blow, or may never blow. That's the nature of fuses and circuit brakers.
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:05 AM   #6
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Byron, I tend to disagree with your estimation of fuse/time ratings.
Most fuses will withstand a short duration surge, such as starting a motor.
They will not usually last a prolonged time with a large overcurrent.
Circuit breakers however may operate as described in your post
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Byron, I tend to disagree with your estimation of fuse/time ratings.
Most fuses will withstand a short duration surge, such as starting a motor.
They will not usually last a prolonged time with a large overcurrent.
Circuit breakers however may operate as described in your post
Here's link to Little Fuse's data sheet on they type of fuses we're using. There a chart indicating 110% of rated up to 100 hours before it blows. 135% up to 600 min. 115%, 120%, somewhere inbetween.

At one time I had to run tests on fuses. It was not uncommon for them to take 150% overload for a couple of hours.

It sounds like in Tirah's case there could be an overload in that 120% area.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:00 AM   #8
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I've popped the breaker in the trailer a couple of times before I found out that I was using the wrong Extension cord. Once I got rid of the standard "lawnmower" cord and got a propper heavey duty one my problems vanashed.
Good luck Jim
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
your battery may not be connected to a charging lead from the converter, or it may have a bad fuse on the charger output , or you may not have a charging section on the converter.
What brand and model is your converter?
You know, this is really dumb, but is the converter that grey box under the sink with the on/off switch on it?
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
We also blew the fuse under the bunk twice and the fuse next to the battery once.

Anyone have any thoughts?

This is a serious situation that requires attention.

Blowing fuses says you have a problem. The fuse blows so it will protect you from catching it on fire so do not overfuse or eliminate the fuse, you must find out whay they are blowing.

Could be a pinched wire grounding out on something or a bad converter.
I'm thinking it's the converter. Plus, I think the grounding on the wires is screwed up, too. The wiring had been "jimmy rigged" a bit when we got it.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Scamp typically is fused at main fuse and the battery at 20 amps. If the fuse size is less than 15 amps you could be under fused. Since the fuses aren't blowing right away it's not a dead short. Here's what I would do.

1. Check the sizes of the main fuse and the one at the battery. (20 amp is normal)
2. Go to the converter and remove all fuses.

3. Get a current meter. Most Digital Multimeters have a current range. Make sure it will handle around 40 amps or more amps. An inexpensive one can be purchased at any Radio Shack, automototive parts, etc. Place the current meter in the power line. At the battery is probably the best place. With everything off and the fuses at the converter pulled the current should read 0.

4. Replace the fuses one at a time and check the current. Without turning anything on the current should still remain 0.

5. Start turning stuff on, one a time, and checking current. There should be some current depending on what is turned on. Turn each item back off before turning on the next.

6. If you haven't found something by this time that's drawing more current than 20 amps, turn on all the stuff that you would normally have on and check again.

This should tell you where the excessive current is going.
A little bit about fuses. A fuse rating is specified in amps and time. A 20 amp fuse might take a 40 amp load for 30 minutes. A 100 amp load would blow the fuse almost immediately. A 25 Amp load on a 20 Amp fuse could take weeks to blow, or may never blow. That's the nature of fuses and circuit brakers.
We replaced the fuse at the battery and the fuse under the bunk a while back with 20 amp fuses, which got the electrical working but then blew out a few times. I am going to try the above and see what we find. Thanks very much for the tips!
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Old 07-21-2006, 01:08 PM   #12
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I found that in house applications on air conditioners, I`ve had to use slo-blo plug fuses because of the starting loads, whereas breakers never tripped.....and in auto cartridge fuses, the slightest arc and the fuse was gone.....don`t know about the percentages vs loads though.....I know a lot of electricians that told me that you can`t beat a fuse versus a breaker and they use, but don`t trust, breakers.....some breakers will trip early as they age and others won't trip until they`re very overloaded....will have to do some more research on this one.....Benny
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