How to troubleshoot Scamp 16 12V lights, pump (weak)? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-03-2016, 11:35 AM   #1
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Name: Rebecca
Trailer: Scamp
Kansas
Posts: 44
How to troubleshoot Scamp 16 12V lights, pump (weak)?

[Problem Solved]

I've been happily living in my Scamp 16 (2012 layout 6) and working at my volunteer job for about a month now. I'm hooked up to 120 V hookup, sewer and water.

Just the other day, I noticed that the lights that would run off 12V are dim. Today I noticed that the pump in the bathroom seems to be weak. The fan above the bed is slow...

Where to I start to troubleshoot? I tried resetting the switches/breakers at the 120V source first. Then I tried resetting the breakers in the trailer. None of this helped.

What little I have read says I should be getting power, so the issue "should not" be the battery, even if the battery is dying (I am guessing the battery is original - I just purchased the trailer about a month ago).

It looks as though somebody has been into the converter area before (screw on hinge doesn't match, another screw missing at base of seat/below cabinet door that opens to converter... and a crack in the fiberglass in that area.)

I'd appreciate your help.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:18 PM   #2
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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unplug the trailer from 120 Volts AC. Check the battery voltage. Then hook up the 120 Volt AC and check the battery voltage again. Battery without the 120 volt ac hooked up should be above 12.3 volts to 12.7 volts DC. With the 120 volt ac hooked up the the battery voltage should be over 13 volts DC.

While your at the battery clean the terminals and check and add distilled water to the battery if low. If the water in the battery is below the plates inside the battery, permanent battery damage can result. Check the battery for a sticker for a date when made. Your battery is at least 4 years old if it hasn't been replaced yet. I start worrying about battery at the 5 year mark but if your battery hasn't been treated well it can have an early demise. From here it is hard to tell.

Battery fluid can be very dangerous causing permanent damage to the eyes and skin and ruin most anything if spilled so take proper precautions.

Here's a little light reading on the subject.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:24 PM   #3
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Virginia
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Sounds like your converter is not charging. But first thing with a Scamp make sure the converter is still plugged into the duplex under the bench. That is the number one charging problem but since you have been in one site it should be plugged in unless you may have knocked it loose by moving stuff around. The next step is check voltage and fuses then move on to troubleshooting your converter.
Eddie
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:31 PM   #4
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Rebecca, it sounds like your converter/charger is not working, thus your battery is now drained down to the point that things are starting to shut down.
You'll need to check the charge condition of your battery, and then hook up a battery charger to it (make sure that if it is a flooded lead acid battery, the electrolyte is topped off with distilled water first). You will next need to have the converter/charger checked out to see if it is operational, but as long as you have a battery charger connected to the battery, you need not be in any hurry to find a repair shop, so you could finish your volunteer job first.

Dave and Paula
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:34 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca3 View Post
I've been happily living in my Scamp 16 (2012 layout 6) and working at my volunteer job for about a month now. I'm hooked up to 120 V hookup, sewer and water.

Just the other day, I noticed that the lights that would run off 12V are dim. Today I noticed that the pump in the bathroom seems to be weak. The fan above the bed is slow...

Where to I start to troubleshoot? I tried resetting the switches/breakers at the 120V source first. Then I tried resetting the breakers in the trailer. None of this helped.

What little I have read says I should be getting power, so the issue "should not" be the battery, even if the battery is dying (I am guessing the battery is original - I just purchased the trailer about a month ago).

It looks as though somebody has been into the converter area before (screw on hinge doesn't match, another screw missing at base of seat/below cabinet door that opens to converter... and a crack in the fiberglass in that area.)

I'd appreciate your help.

Here's my suggestions.
1. Start at the battery. If you don't own a mulimeter get one, they pretty cheap.
2. The battery is stamped with sold date, often with take out of sticker dots. Old battery might need replacement.
3. Pop the caps off and look at the liquid level. This should be done annually and fill with distilled water when low. The liquid level will get low.
4. Get a good smart charger, I paid about $30 10 years ago. Today still under a $100. Charge the battery with the charger. There's another option here. Take the battery to a battery shop and have them charge and check the battery.
5. You can also take your trailer and ask them to check the "converter" to make sure it's charging properly.
6. I also recommend a Battery Tender to keep the battery charged while plugged in. The Battery Tender also performs some other maintenance tasks without intervention.

If you take the battery out write down the color of the wires and which terminal they go to. If the wiring has been messed with anything is possible. You don't want to put the battery back backwards.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:56 PM   #6
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Name: Rebecca
Trailer: Scamp
Kansas
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Checked battery water level

[Problem Solved]

Editing my last entry:

I noticed a fuse on the wires going to the battery and changed it.

I also noticed a fuse on the outside of the converter and changed it.

Everything is working OK now! Whew! Think I'll go ahead and charge the battery and buy a volt meter for future use.

Thanks again for your help!

-------------------

Thanks, all! The converter is plugged in.

I just checked the battery water level (called the battery manufacturer and they walked me through it...) The level is OK. The battery is near the end of it's life, based on the age (the person who helped me asked for a code).

So... I don't have a battery tester (am out in the sticks) but will have one on Monday (today is Friday).

If I keep running a fan and the fridge, will I continue to drain the battery, or are these things strictly run off 120V with no impact to battery? I can switch the fridge to propane if I should.

Will the only further drain on the battery be 12V items that I use, such as the pump in the shower? If so, I can do without it for a while.

Do I have to take the entire trailer in to have the converter checked, or can I remove it? I doubt either would be fun, but perhaps one is less fun. As I said, I'm living in my trailer right now (supposed to be here until the end of August for my volunteer stint.)

In the meantime, I'm going to check the converter brand and paperwork to see whether it is an original one from Scamp. I'm worried that since that area already looked tampered with, that maybe this is a persistent problem that was not disclosed to me?

Thank you all - again!
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Old 06-03-2016, 01:44 PM   #7
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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You may be able to hook up your car to the trailer and plug in your trailer connector and run your car to charge the battery. I would disconnect your 120 volt power cord to your trailer before you hook-up. Once you get the car hooked up and running see if your 12 volt lights inside the trailer are back to being brite again. That would indicate that your car is sending some amount of charge to the battery. Kinda of expensive car charger but use what you got to get buy. Draining a battery down to dead is not good and can kill the battery especially an old one. Run a couple of hours and see what you get. Check the car often so you don't overheat it. This all depends on how your trailer connections inside the car is wired. Can always hook up the trailer and take a run with it. The time your disconnected from 120 volts your fridge won't be working so plan for that. putting the fridge on 12 volts and trying to also charge the battery with your car will not help the battery charge in most cases. The fridge will take all the power and leave nothing to charge the battery.

We are currently assuming that you are running your fridge on 120 Volt AC or on propane and not on 12 volts DC. if your running your trailer fridge on 12 volt DC now may be why the battery is not charging. Check your switches for the fridge.
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Old 06-03-2016, 01:47 PM   #8
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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sorry I didn't see your last post that you got it fixed. Blown fuses are not a good sign. They blow for a reason to protect you. I hope you can find the cause of the blown fuse.
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Old 06-03-2016, 02:47 PM   #9
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Name: Rebecca
Trailer: Scamp
Kansas
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Hi stevebaz - we had a storm the other night and the power went off, on, off and back on. I remember my phone beeped... so the fuses protected me I guess. I noticed the dim lights shortly after the storm but none of the breakers were tripped so I had not thought about it.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Originally Posted by Rebecca3 View Post
[Problem Solved]

I've been happily living in my Scamp 16 (2012 layout 6) and working at my volunteer job for about a month now. I'm hooked up to 120 V hookup, sewer and water.

Just the other day, I noticed that the lights that would run off 12V are dim. .....

I'd appreciate your help.
With our 2000 16 ft Scamp, I found a bad wire connection, inside the front closet, where the wires enter the body. It was one of those crimp connectors that was not crimped right. I got rid of that and soldered the wires together.
You may want to, of have someone, get into all the places where you can see the wiring, and just feel them to see if they are too warm. Of course, you need to have all the lights on to be drawing current. On ours, it was particularly bad with the fridge running on 12 volts. I improved fridge performance by running a jumper wire (12 gauge) direct from the battery to the fridge.
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:33 PM   #11
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Scamp 16' Oak Deluxe Layout A - "Kiwi"
Maryland
Posts: 61
Scamp power not working without AC connected

Hi,
I have a 2015 Scamp 16 Deluxe that hasn't been traveled in since March. Usually the 12v lights and fans are operative after a long time. The other night the lights barely came on. So, I plugged in the AC overnight. While plugged in the lights and fan work, but once unplugged again, they don't - the LED lights come on bright and then dim right away. Without connected to the AC I measure 12.6 volts on the battery. There is no change when I connect to AC. Do I have a bad converter? Anything else I should check?
Thanks,

Mike
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:32 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
Pennsylvania
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Check and see if your converter is plugged in, sometimes they work there way out of the receptacle; Carl
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Old 07-03-2016, 04:20 PM   #13
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Scamp 16' Oak Deluxe Layout A - "Kiwi"
Maryland
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It's plugged in

Thanks, Carl. Yes, I checked that and unplugged and plugged it in again, even though it was pretty snug.
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Old 07-03-2016, 05:50 PM   #14
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgellar View Post
Hi,
I have a 2015 Scamp 16 Deluxe that hasn't been traveled in since March. Usually the 12v lights and fans are operative after a long time. The other night the lights barely came on. So, I plugged in the AC overnight. While plugged in the lights and fan work, but once unplugged again, they don't - the LED lights come on bright and then dim right away. Without connected to the AC I measure 12.6 volts on the battery. There is no change when I connect to AC. Do I have a bad converter? Anything else I should check?
Thanks,

Mike
Check the in line fuses, at the battery, inside the front closet where the wires come in from the battery. Check for poor connections with crimp style connectors.
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