Electrical problems with Scamp 13' - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-14-2008, 12:29 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1991 Scamp 13 ft
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Hey all,

I'm new to scamping and have recently purchased a used 13' scamp from an older lady who never used the trailer. It is a 1991 model with the shower option in front. The problem I am having is when I am operating the trailer on 12v battery, the interior lights do not work, except for the one in the shower area, also the 2 speed roof fan works as well, even the water pump and furnace works. But when I disconnect the battery, and run the trailer on 110v, everything works fine. The battery is new, a deep cycle rv battery recommended by the local Napa guy. I checked all the fuses and they are fine as well. The ground wire from the power converter under the bench is tight and grounded to the frame properly. But the oddest thing of all is when I first installed the new battery everything worked fine for about 5 minutes, then the interior lights did not work at all. Then after fooling around checking all the connections, fuses etc. they came back on for only about 5 min then off again. I finally had enough and had this big family camping trip to go on in the next few days and decided to just deal with the issues and take some battery powered lights. Well I am now back at home and have this issue to deal with, I am now considering taking the trailer to a rv technician and have them figure it out, but decided to try here first, to see if anyone had any similar problems. Sorry for my long-winded question, but any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Russell

P.S. I love the trailer and cant wait to use it more often, It also looks pretty funny pulling the trailer with my 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited, I should post some pics for you guys to see.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:05 AM   #2
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Back track the ground from the light fixture to the source of the battery, I have had the rivets used in the fixtures as the ground conections oxidize and fail...next look at the battery ground and back track to the light "I know this sounds dumb"...the converter uses a separate ground...Not to sound insulting but I traced a bloody circuit for days and it turned out to be the bulb and its connection solder at the base... lastly in my moms 16 foot the slide switch was the problem in two lights being intermittent connections...boy did I feel like a first year cadet.
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Old 06-14-2008, 03:03 AM   #3
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As Byron pointed out in another thread, Scamp doesn't use the chassis as a negative battery return for any of the 12VDC stuf -- They run a white return wire to every circuit.

Check the glass fuses because they, and their in-line holders, have been known to malfunction in a lot of applications. There are two involved with the battery; one is very near the positive battery terminal, and the other is inside the under-bunk storage compartment nearest the door, in the upper left inside corner (might be hidden under rat fur, so follow the wiring from where it comes inside).

There is a Scamp wiring diagram in Doc Center > Trailer Brand > Scamp OM.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:20 AM   #4
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Get yourself a voltmeter so that you measure the voltages.
Do things work with everything connected, battery and plugged into 120 volt?

Even without knowing the above I would suspect that the battery is faulty or hasn't been fully charged. Use that volt meter you're going to get and measure the voltage at the battery.
Measure under these four conditions.

1. When the battery unconnected, 120 AC not connected
2. When the battery is connected, 120 AC not connected, everything in the trailer turned off.
3. When the battery is connected, 120 AC not connected, two or three lights on.
4. When the battery is connected, 120 AC is plugged in.

Once I know those numbers I can probably give a better answer to probable causes.

The wiring and connections are probably OK since things work for a bit, then not. And everything works off the converter.



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Old 06-14-2008, 01:57 PM   #5
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Well my results are as follows:

12.5v when the battery is unconnected, 120 AC not connected
12.5v when the battery is connected, 120 AC not connected, everything was off in the trailer
12.2v when the battery is connected, 120 AC not connected, 3 lights and 2 speed fan goin
12.5v when battery connected and 120 AC connected

The same thing happened as before as well. When I connected the battery all the lights worked interiorly, but after about 5 min, they all quit working, except for the shower light and the 2 speed fan-they still worked fine. Even connected to 120 AC, they still wont work. But if I disconnect the battery and connect it to straight 120 AC, they work fine. And again, thanks for your time.

Russell

Quote:
Get yourself a voltmeter so that you measure the voltages.
Do things work with everything connected, battery and plugged into 120 volt?

Even without knowing the above I would suspect that the battery is faulty or hasn't been fully charged. Use that volt meter you're going to get and measure the voltage at the battery.
Measure under these four conditions.

1. When the battery unconnected, 120 AC not connected
2. When the battery is connected, 120 AC not connected, everything in the trailer turned off.
3. When the battery is connected, 120 AC not connected, two or three lights on.
4. When the battery is connected, 120 AC is plugged in.

Once I know those numbers I can probably give a better answer to probable causes.

The wiring and connections are probably OK since things work for a bit, then not. And everything works off the converter.
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:37 PM   #6
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Well my results are as follows:

...
12.5v when battery connected and 120 AC connected
...Russell
Well, I don't think that's good. If the converter were working and it has a charger function I'd expect to see 13+ volts even with a few 12v devices running. I'd expect more than 0.3v DC from the charger.

On the Casita, the converter is on a separate 120v circuit breaker. Do you have one and is it tripped? There should be a pair of wires (pos and neg) from the converter to the battery, again, if the converter has a charger function.

Intermittent failures I often suspect the thermal breaker on the side of the battery box, but I don't know if you have one and besides it would cut out all battery operated devices and you still have some things working. It's a poser!
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Old 06-14-2008, 03:09 PM   #7
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>snip<

The problem I am having is when I am operating the trailer on 12v battery, the interior lights do not work, except for the one in the shower area, also the 2 speed roof fan works as well, even the water pump and furnace works. But when I disconnect the battery, and run the trailer on 110v, everything works fine. The battery is new, a deep cycle rv battery recommended by the local Napa guy. I checked all the fuses and they are fine as well.

>snip<
I'd bet that you have a bad fuse somewhere. Don't forget to check the one near where the 12v battery connections come into the front of the trailer. See the wiring diagram in the owners manual at http://www.scamptrailers.com/Portals...nersManual.pdf

Good luck, and let us know what you find!

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #8
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From the numbers you gave it appears that the converter charge circuit isn't working.
All symptoms you reported lead me to think that. I would expect the voltage at the battery to be as Steve said when the converter is on and working properly. Converters are supposed to shut off the charging circuit when the batter reaches a predetermined charge level. It appears that the converter charge circuit isn't coming back on.

If you know how to measure current you can check the current at the battery with the converter on and the battery connected. There should be a charge current under those conditions.

Other than that you might want to have somebody check it out.

Good luck. And let us know what you find.



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Old 06-14-2008, 04:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your valuable input. I checked bothe the fuses, the 1 after the battery and one in the bunk storage and both are good. Probably need some converter work. I'll see if I can trouble shoot it some more. If all else fails, there is a rv place not too far away . Thanks again.

Russell
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