is my converter working? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-26-2006, 08:28 PM   #1
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could it be a bad battery? The converter is relatively new, but we just bought this wonderful '82 13' Scamp, and I know very little about how things work so far. Maybe those inside lights are just plain dim?

I've never had it hooked to 120v; we've been going fairly primitive--but the trip home to Virginia from Minnesota was a good one with the trailer pulling smoothly behind our aging Subaru Legacy.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Bruce Johnson
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:45 PM   #2
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The converter/charger will only work when the trailer is plugged in to 120 v. The tow vehicle has to have a charging wire going to the trailer, so that the vehicle alternator can charge the trailer battery, when going down the road.
Then there is lots of stuff in between, to consider. Like a battery isolator, so that you can't drain your vehicle battery when using 12 v. in the trailer when they are connected together, and the vehicle motor (and alternator) is not running.
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:55 PM   #3
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Thanks, Penny. This explains it. May I ask a further question: how big a hassle is it to connect to the car battery and do the isolator thing? I have seen discussions of this elsewhere on the site but never knew what was really being talked about; I guess it's time to learn.

Thanks again,
Bruce Johnson
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Old 08-26-2006, 10:39 PM   #4
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Bruce,
By any chance were you operating a refrigerator on 12 Volts? Many automobile alternators entire output may be used by the refer and there might not be any power left to charge the batteries. If that appears to be your case, the cure is to purchase a heavier duty alternator. They may be relatively expensive, but if you knew exactly what you were looking for, it might be possible to locate what you need at a wrecking yard.
Some other things to check---make sure the ground connections on both trailer and tug are clean and tight. That step alone cures more electrical woes than any other! And make sure there is water in the battery.

Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:54 AM   #5
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Thanks, Penny. This explains it. May I ask a further question: how big a hassle is it to connect to the car battery and do the isolator thing? I have seen discussions of this elsewhere on the site but never knew what was really being talked about; I guess it's time to learn.

Thanks again,
Bruce Johnson
A few questions:
>>>1 What type of electrical connection to the tug? Normal would be the 7-pin bargman but some of the 13's may have the 4-pin.
>>>2 What kind of shape is the battery in? I found that our 99 Scamp had the original battery and it was not the maintenance-free variety. It was very low on water but, when the cells were filled with distilled water, still held a charge.

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