New (to us) Scamp... with some issues to work out - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-20-2009, 07:32 PM   #15
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You probably had a sick battery and need to replace it with a marine *deep cycle*. Marine batteries come in three flavors:

1. Starting
2. Hybrid of starting and deep cycle
3. Deep cycle, aka trolling

You want the last kind, not one that says starting anywhere on it.

You also want to install the wiring to recharge the egg battery with the tow vehicle's charging system.

If the fridge won't light, and depending on the control board it may not light if you don' t have adequate voltage from your battery, one thing to check is the burner tube outside for insects or nests or webs blocking the air flow -- Probably the number one cause of no workee...


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Old 04-20-2009, 08:08 PM   #16
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Hi Parker,

We did hear a "pop" so I wonder if it was lit and we just couldn't tell. We left it "on" for a while and it didn't feel appreciably cold...but then it was a cold environment so our hands were chilly before we started.


You may be expecting to feel more refrigeration than is possible in that short amount of time. Not much is happening inside the fridge except heat transfer via the fins in the back. You should be able to feel that they're cooling off after a few minutes. You're more likely to feel the heat over the propane burner a lot sooner!

Have fun!

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Old 04-27-2009, 11:38 AM   #17
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2. We couldn't get the 3-way fridge to work on propane. Several very helpful campers in the cg tried to help us, but to no avail. We followed the instructions inside the panel but we could never see a pilot actually light and the fridge didn't get cold! We had to use a cooler with ice... Anyone have any ideas? We KNOW we had propane in the tank because we filled it before we started, and we used the propane stove with great success.

Crystal the suggestion to plug in and start the fridge up the day before is a good one! I do that. It takes a long time for the fridge to get cold. I can never tell when I first start it up if it is cooling or not! I put a plastic milk jug with frozen water in it when I first start it up. It helps it out a little & if it stays more or less frozen over night I know the fridge is working.
I use a cooler outside for drinks - keeps the number of times the fridge needs to be open down and helps to keep things in the fridge safe and sound. This is important in hot weather as the fridge is designed is such a way that it does not do so well in real hot weather if the door is being opened often. I bought a small fan for mine to try out this year - will see if that helps out.

The other thing you might try is to start the stove up first. My water heater will never light unless I have started the stove up before hand. It helps to clear the gas lines.

The other suggestion to look for spider webs etc is also a good one. I had that problem last year.

You can also add a few stick on LED Dot lights around the trailer to cut down on DC use.

I also use large bins for storing stuff. One holds everything needed for set up & another holds all the dogs things. I like Brandy do the set up & take down myself. Faster, less confusing as I know where everything is & that it gets put back where it belongs. LOL Must be a "girl thing"! The bins make good wine & cheese or jello shooter tables ouside while camping (Brandy did you hear that? I'm looking forward to Fort week-end - its a highlight!) and the bins go back into the trailer when on the move.

Re the dogs. I also like to use those small hooks with suction cups on them. Attach them to the outside of the trailer by the door for hanging leashes and messy dog towels.

You REALLY are a brave person having that crowed in a 13'. I once spent a few very rainy days on the wet coast with a girlfriend, two kids and two large dogs in a 16' and I thought that was over load! LOL

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Old 04-27-2009, 12:30 PM   #18
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Crystal, Welcome to the fiber family. Hope your outings become easier, I agree with Chris about the fridge issue maybe from the whole battery issue, But you may also want to check the fuse's, cause the one and only time I couldn't get my fridge to run on gas, there were fuse issues. (though no one at the time could see the fuses were an issue) (long story about people who want to help when they have been drinking tooooooo many beers) But was told that 'our' fridge had an electric start! So if the battery was an issue then it wouldn't help start the fridge. Well battery charged, still didn't run on gas so on to what I questioned in the beginning.................... The fuses.

I also agree with others, make reservations ahead of time so you won't be moving camps every night. I would never! To much work! It's suppose to be fun. As others have said, you have a crowd in your little egg, but if it works for you that's wonderful! It will just take time to get a system down for what to take, where to store it, etc to make it a comfortable journey. The first few times camping it's trying to figure out what you want with you, the rest of the camping season is about deleting all the stuff you don't/won't use so no use in dragging along. Enjoy! Robin
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:59 PM   #19
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I also like to use those small hooks with suction cups on them. Attach them to the outside of the trailer by the door for hanging leashes and messy dog towels.
Ooh, I like that idea. Brilliant! I even have two extras that I can use for that now.


True, a 13' is not huge for four people and a dog, but on the other hand, a lot of people set up a screen tent or an awning (or both) and then cook and lounge outside - so maybe that's an idea (not that you said you were too crowded, but just in case). Also, some folks set up a tent for the kids to sleep in (depending on how old they are and if they would like that).

On the battery running down. Well, even if the battery is in top shape (which it likely isn't), one battery can run down faster than you think. I've lived on boats where we lived 24/7 on our battery power, and even with a "house bank" of four or six batteries, we had to watch our consumption. And we had solar and wind generation.

I don't say this to discourage you, but only to let you know that it's not at all hard to run a single battery down, even just with lights (with conventional bulbs). If you enjoy figuring, you CAN plan it all out so that you know what you have and what you're going to need. If not, just ignore the next section

Basically, everything electrical draws a certain number of amps (which really means amps per hour). Any given battery stores a certain number of amp hours. You shouldn't run a battery below 50% charge (it greatly reduces its life). If you can keep it up to 60% so much the better. So if you have, say, a 100 amp hour battery, you really have 50 amp hours to play with (we're not counting recharging here).

So you can calculate the amp draw of things like lights, furnace fan, water pumps, personal fan, etc. and compare that to your battery reserves. Then if you come up short after doing your calculations, you either need to use fewer amp hours, have a bigger battery, or recharge faster (or use slower).

Light bulbs can be real hogs, especially if you have two or three on at once. As others have mentioned, LED bulbs, cold cathode bulbs, etc. draw much less. We used kerosene lanterns quite a bit (that might not be so great in a small camper though). I've taken to wearing an LED headlamp (Petzl tactikka, like this one: -- it runs forever on 3 AAA batteries and the light is always right where you want it (unless you are looking at someone you're talking to )

If your bulbs or electrical items list watts but not amps, you can convert to amps (which is what you want to use in your figuring). You simply take the listed watts and divide it by volts (in this case that would be 12). The answer is amps.

It sounds a bit complicated, but it's not that bad once you sit down with pencil and paper, and like a friend of mine says: "If you can't put a number on it, it's voodoo"

The second half of the equation is how much you're putting back into your battery(ies). The most practical ways for most small campers are either to plug in at a campground (and run a converter or charger) or to use a solar panel.

But really (and this is backing up a bit), a lot depends on how you plan to camp most:

1) Full hookups all the time? Then plug in, burn 110v electricity with abandon and perhaps just put 110 volt items in your camper instead of 12 volt items.

2) Some hookups and some "dry camping"? Then you probably do want to keep the 12 volt items in your camper for when you dry camp. You now have two choices for when you are plugged in: You can either install a converter, and convert the campground's 110 volts to 12 volts and use your 12 volt stuff that way. Or, you can install a a 12 volt charger, and charge your battery with that, and then use battery power.

3) Mostly dry camping (or another option for #2 scenario): Install a solar panel to charge your battery and run your 12 volt items from that. This dovetails well with the 12-volt charger in #2.

There are also meters that can help you to know how much amperage you're drawing and how full your batteries are. One of these would be worthwhile, IMO, if you were going to camp on 12v most of the time or use the 12 volt charger scenario.

I hope this wasn't too lengthy or confusing... Also I'm sure others here know more and can probably explain better.


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