Recharging the battery on Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-09-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
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Name: Judy
Trailer: Scamp
Oregon
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Recharging the battery on Scamp

We had our Scamp out for our first excursion about 10 days ago. Used shore power at the campground. Have a connector for the car that supposedly powers the refrigerator while we are driving down the road, that seemed to work.

Had a great time! Came home and parked it, turned off all the switches, left it until yesterday. Went out to check on it to get ready to go next weekend, the 12 volt lights did not work. Battery dead?

We decided to plug it in to the house overnight. Got the brand new adapter and extension cord out, hooked it up...we had lights! Great! We left it hooked up until this afternoon. Unhooked it...no 12 volt lights.

Should the battery have recharged overnight? Are we doing something wrong? Are we totally off track? Do we need to flip something in the breaker box? How do we recharge the battery?
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:53 PM   #2
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brand new

We just took delivery in late March...battery is brand new. I'm thinking we are doing something wrong.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judy in Oregon View Post
We had our Scamp out for our first excursion about 10 days ago. Used shore power at the campground. Have a connector for the car that supposedly powers the refrigerator while we are driving down the road, that seemed to work.
Had a great time! Came home and parked it, turned off all the switches, left it until yesterday. Went out to check on it to get ready to go next weekend, the 12 volt lights did not work. Battery dead?
We decided to plug it in to the house overnight. Got the brand new adapter and extension cord out, hooked it up...we had lights! Great! We left it hooked up until this afternoon. Unhooked it...no 12 volt lights.
Should the battery have recharged overnight? Are we doing something wrong? Are we totally off track? Do we need to flip something in the breaker box? How do we recharge the battery?
Just going to throw out a couple things Judy. Running the refer on 12V while towing may not be working for you. The size of your tugs alternator & wire gauge running to the TT may not be up to the fridge. Plugging it in to shore power should have brought the battery up unless it really got wiped out. Might want to take it to an auto parts house and have them run a test on it. Having the lights working, being on shore power, would light them from the converter and not the battery. As far as turning off all the switches, I'm taking that to mean the breakers also. If you have a factory CO monitor, it's probably wired directly to the battery and is always on and drawing off the battery. The only way to kill all the power draws while parked/stored is disconnecting the battery. I put a switch on my CO to kill it when parked. Have to ask, when you unplugged from shore power did you flip any switches on? Others will be along soon but that's my story and I'm sticking to it . Good luck to you.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:14 AM   #4
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Name: Frank
Trailer: Casita
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Dead battery

If you left the trailer plugged into the tow vehicle when stopped there is a good chance that either one of the batteries could have been dead. Cure... Never leave the trailer plugged into the tow vehicle unless the motor is running.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:45 AM   #5
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Assuming this is a new trailer? Not all converters have a built in charger for battery.
I own a Boler and it didn't have a converter/charger so I replace it a few years back, with one that does charge while pluged into shore power
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judy in Oregon View Post
We had our Scamp out for our first excursion about 10 days ago. Used shore power at the campground. Have a connector for the car that supposedly powers the refrigerator while we are driving down the road, that seemed to work.

Had a great time! Came home and parked it, turned off all the switches, left it until yesterday. Went out to check on it to get ready to go next weekend, the 12 volt lights did not work. Battery dead?

We decided to plug it in to the house overnight. Got the brand new adapter and extension cord out, hooked it up...we had lights! Great! We left it hooked up until this afternoon. Unhooked it...no 12 volt lights.

Should the battery have recharged overnight? Are we doing something wrong? Are we totally off track? Do we need to flip something in the breaker box? How do we recharge the battery?
Judy, your profile indicates that your trailer is a 2017 model so the converter should be charging the battery when plugged into shore power. To diagnose the problem, check the voltage at the battery terminals when plugged into shore power. It should read somewhere around 13.4 volts dc. That would indicate that the battery charging circuit is working properly. If not, contact Scamp and they should send yo a new converter. If you don't have a meter or know someone who does, an inexpensive one can be purchased at Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowe's. A meter is invaluable for checking other malfunctions, most notably, problems when trailer lights fail to work after connecting to the tow vehicle.
After checking the battery voltage on shore power, disconnect the negative cable from the battery and check the voltage again. If the voltage is below 10.7, it is likely that the battery was irreparably damaged from too deep a discharge and will need to be replaced. The refrigerator running on 12 volts can drain a battery in 2-4 hours if the battery isn't being adequately charged concurrently. It would be prudent not to run it on 12 v or leave it on 12 v when stopped. You might want to get a large mouth gallon sized plastic jug at the Dollar Store and fill it with ice cubes when traveling, leaving the refrigerator off. If you don't open the door, it will stay cool enough until you can plug in. Many people run on propane when traveling, others don't because they perceive it as "unsafe." That is something you have to decide for yourself.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:44 AM   #7
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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May be something simple like a blown fuse. On our 2000 Scamp there was one in the + line right at the battery. Also, the hot wire at your car battery that feeds the trailer should have a fuse.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
May be something simple like a blown fuse. On our 2000 Scamp there was one in the + line right at the battery. Also, the hot wire at your car battery that feeds the trailer should have a fuse.
Agree. An inline fuse could be a problem. But it would be a real coincidence that both fuses, the one in the tow vehicle and the one in the trailer would blow at the same time. If the trailer is not plugged into shore power and the internal lights work it cannot be the fuse on the battery's positive line.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:03 PM   #9
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Name: Cathi
Trailer: Scamp 13'
Nova Scotia
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thermostat and furnace blower motor

I have a 13' 2004 Scamp. The first time it was hooked up to the tow vehicle, i went into the trailer to make sure everything was battened down....and i heard a sound...bent down to get my ear closer....the furnace blower motor was running. The truck was not running, so that meant the blower motor was drawing down one or both batteries. Turns out the thermostat was not turned off all the way...it looked like it was off, but it needed to move another millimeter to the left before i heard a click...which told me it was truly off.

When you say all switches were off, does that include the switches for the fridge that are accessed through the exterior hatch?
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:41 PM   #10
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Check and see that your converter is plugged in. Sometimes the plug works it self loose. In my scamp the converter is located under the back end of the dinette seat in the lower cabinet, where it is in a 13 I would not know. The plug is behind the converter. It cost some $$$ at a RV shop to find that info out. Kicked myself all the way home. Good Luck. Carl
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Carl Pa View Post
Check and see that your converter is plugged in. Sometimes the plug works it self loose. In my scamp the converter is located under the back end of the dinette seat in the lower cabinet, where it is in a 13 I would not know. The plug is behind the converter. It cost some $$$ at a RV shop to find that info out. Kicked myself all the way home. Good Luck. Carl
I had a similar problem with our Scamp and as Carl pointed out the converter some how came unplugged. . I removed the residential grade receptacle that Scamp uses and installed a 15 amp commercial grade receptacle. The converter cord cap will be more difficult to plug in but it will not vibrate loose .
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:12 PM   #12
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Name: Ray
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I agree that first thing to check is the inline fuse by the battery. I had exact same symptoms after buying my used Scamp. It was that fuse.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:28 PM   #13
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Battry discharge lower safe limit

At what voltage should a 12V battery stopped being used to avoid damaging the battery?
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:16 AM   #14
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I've found that running a fridge off 12 volt DC unless under shore power has always been a loosing battle for the Battery.
In fact when I baught a new fridge a couple of years back I just got a 2 way (110 V-AC & Propane) and run Propane while on the road.
Are you sure your Fridge was not running on 12 V-DC when you first parked it?
This, as Carl said, would depleat the battery fast and maybe permmanently.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:04 AM   #15
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At what voltage should a 12V battery stopped being used to avoid damaging the battery?
Post 7 in this thread: Never let it drop below 10.7, but that is absolute. Personally, I start getting concerned when it gets down to 11.5 volts.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:12 AM   #16
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Battery discharge lower safe limit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgilardi View Post
At what voltage should a 12V battery stopped being used to avoid damaging the battery?
Each battery brand has different discharge guidelines, so you must check with the manufacturer. For a typical 12vdc wet cell deep-cycle battery, safe lower cutoff is about 11.9 volts. Battery damage is incurred at about 11.5 volts. These are open circuit voltages, i.e., measured with no charger and no loads applied.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:41 AM   #17
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At what voltage should a 12V battery stopped being used to avoid damaging the battery?
And to add to the prior replies... It also depends on if it is under load when the voltage is measured, or how long it has been under no load. Voltage is not the most reliable measure of battery use. Better to install a recording amp meter that measures current in and out of the battery. And for lead acid deep cycle batts, keep it above 50% of the battery's rating.

But if you must use voltage to guess at your state of charge, see "Care of.." section of this page: The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:55 AM   #18
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I agree with gordon2's comments. Also:

1. These are "open circuit" or "resting" voltages measured after waiting at least 1 to 2 hours after charging/discharging has stopped.
2. These voltages are for wet cell batteries. AGM battery voltages are quite a bit different.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:40 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
And to add to the prior replies... It also depends on if it is under load when the voltage is measured, or how long it has been under no load. Voltage is not the most reliable measure of battery use. Better to install a recording amp meter that measures current in and out of the battery. And for lead acid deep cycle batts, keep it above 50% of the battery's rating.

But if you must use voltage to guess at your state of charge, see "Care of.." section of this page: The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
If you read the OP's post, the trailer had been sitting for 12 days. I think it is safe to say it is at rest or not under load. The only question is whether it was parked under a heavy load which then drained the battery or if the battery was drained before the trailer was parked. From what has been stated, the battery is currently (no pun intended) "dead," or an inline fuse has blown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
I agree with gordon2's comments. Also:

1. These are "open circuit" or "resting" voltages measured after waiting at least 1 to 2 hours after charging/discharging has stopped.
2. These voltages are for wet cell batteries. AGM battery voltages are quite a bit different.
I would disagree with statement 2. I have had both flooded lead batteries and AGM batteries and the resting voltage of a fully charged AGM is approximately the same as a flooded lead battery. My Lifelines (AGM) rest at 12.8v; my previous Interstates (flooded lead) rested at 12.7v. Ford is now using an AGM battery in the F150. At rest (not really rest because of constant small drain) is reads 12.7v.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:55 AM   #20
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When ever there's a battery or symptoms of battery problem, I always take to a battery store. I have some equipment but the full complement that a battery store will have and I'm a retired electronic engineer. The biggest problem with backyard mechanics is the lack of really good and efficient equipment to evaluate a problem. I have never had to pay for the evaluation.
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