Now I'm having an electrical problem! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-21-2016, 02:21 PM   #1
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Name: Jan
Trailer: '96 Scamp 5th Wheel
Texas
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Now I'm having an electrical problem!

This seems to have been a season of problems. I have (at least temporarily) resolved the furnace problem and the propane leak (recertification tanks, new hoses and fittings) and now light bulbs are overheating. I have LED's in most of my scamp fixtures and some of the little tabs in them have been burning out tho the rest still work. I put a new brighter LED in one fixture and it overheated to the point of starting to smoke and the tabs came off. checked and all of the bulbs are getting too hot. Am plugged in to shore power and checked the volts in the fixtures and they are around 14.6 volts. Unplugged from shore power and now get 12.57 volts. Have also noticed that when I charge my phone etc that the plug and charger get pretty warm. What do I need to start looking at? Someone suggested I may need a new converter.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janb313 View Post
This seems to have been a season of problems. I have (at least temporarily) resolved the furnace problem and the propane leak (recertification tanks, new hoses and fittings) and now light bulbs are overheating. I have LED's in most of my scamp fixtures and some of the little tabs in them have been burning out tho the rest still work. I put a new brighter LED in one fixture and it overheated to the point of starting to smoke and the tabs came off. checked and all of the bulbs are getting too hot. Am plugged in to shore power and checked the volts in the fixtures and they are around 14.6 volts. Unplugged from shore power and now get 12.57 volts. Have also noticed that when I charge my phone etc that the plug and charger get pretty warm. What do I need to start looking at? Someone suggested I may need a new converter.
14.6 volts is way too high. Typical automotive electrical systems and components like LED lights are designed for 13.8 volts.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:31 PM   #3
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To get away form converter over voltage I have done this. Battery charges while traveling. When stopped a 65 Watt solar panel is used with 13.8 volt charge controller. (that's out put to battery). I plug in the solar panel about every 3 or 4 days. Most of the time I simply run lights on the battery.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:47 PM   #4
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14.6 volts looks like a "rapid charge" mode from the converter. It enters to the mode when the battery voltage is too low. Maybe the battery is dying? Get it checked. Also could be defective LEDs, like the most sold on ebay for cheap. Actually they are not defective, but are designed to work in car's turning lights. The symptoms are - when turned on it lights bright, but after a few minutes becomes dim, colour becomes blue-ish and the LED "bulb" becomes very hot. Been there, know that...
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:23 PM   #5
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I would add the more expensive LED fixtures include a switching voltage regulator that should handle up to 15 volts. Prices have dropped but you still can expect to pay $7-8 for them. While they can handle the voltage variations, they do generate electrical noise that can interfere with other electronic devices if too close. In fact an AM radio in close proximity makes s great "noise" detector.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:27 PM   #6
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Many (most?) of the LEDs sold on eBay (& other sources) are designed for a single voltage (12vdc) tho they'll operate at a slightly lower or higher voltage (approx 1 to 1.5 volts over or under). I've found it is better to use LEDs that are designed to use 11-18volts if there is any chance you'll have voltage fluctuations. The variable voltage LEDs generally cost a little more iinitially but they work & don't get hot at slightly more voltage. Many of the 'plug-in' type LED bulbs are variable voltage bu they're usually more expensive than the 'cheapies'...
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:35 PM   #7
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Name: George
Trailer: 1997 16' Scamp
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High voltage on Scamp converter

I have the original scamp converter that came with a 1997 Scamp 16'. I noticed that my stereo would sometimes shut down, I think because of high voltage. Then the battery charger quit. I went to the converter and found that there were some circuits that are 12 volts from the converter and others that are 12v from the battery. There is a schematic of sorts on the inside cover. I found that I was getting 17 volts to the 12v converter circuits. If I turned on a number of lights that were incandescent, the load would pull the voltage down to less than 15v. Checked the battery and there was no voltage change with or without shore power. I did a little online checking and found that there is a ballast resistor that often burns out in the converter in the battery charging circuit. The converter is shoe-horned in there and i wasn't to inclined to get my 67 year old body in there. I opted to take one of the converter circuits, run it to a ballast resistor, on to a toggle switch mounted in the small angled portion of the dinette seat storage area and on to the battery. as the battery comes up to voltage, the charging circuit with the ballast resistor will be about 14.2 v. I run my LEDs and the stereo on a fused battery circuit from the panel. All seems well after about 18 months and a few weeks of camping. I can check the level of the battery by switching the toggle switch in the evening and seeing how much brighter the light becomes. It's not the way it came from the factory but it works well for me.
Lead acid batteries are quite forgiving of charging voltage as lon as you keep it below 14.5v and watch the water level. The warning cry is the smell of rotten eggs that comes from gas boiling off which is flammable.
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