Scamp Electrical Problems - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-31-2008, 08:21 AM   #1
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I had all afternoon yesterday to hook up our new to us Scamp 13. I turned the gas on, lit both burners successfully. I don't have a leak detector, but left the gas valve open for about an hour and used my built in leak sniffer around the lines and couldn't smell anything. Dumped a bucket of water into the fresh tank, had some trouble getting the hand pump primed, but got it to work. Checked for leaks and everything looked good. The hand pump won't hold a prime, I think the hose connection at the pump needs a clip. Hooked up the water hose, no leaks. Drained the fresh tank without any problems.

I ran an extension cord and plugged the trailer in. I checked the light above the sink, that worked fine. Checked the 120v outlet, that was good. Read the owners manual for the fridge and followed the instructions. No go, the fridge won't run. I turned it off, then turned it to 12VDC, nothing. Turned it back off, then to 120v, still nothing. I had other things to do and figured I would come back to it tomorrow.

Before bed, I went out to button up the trailer. It was dark so I turned on one of the 12VDC lights, nothing. So that is where I am today. I am thinking that the DC fuse might have blown and will check that. But not sure where to start with the fridge. I think I will try plugging the fridge directly into the extension cord from the house. The previous owners said they used the fridge the last weekend, no idea what is going on, any suggestions
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:07 AM   #2
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Check fuse 1st.
When I use my frig on propane I light the stove first to get the gas to flow through the lines then start the frig.
Also check the wire connections on the frig.
Good Luck
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:27 AM   #3
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bear in mind the fridge takes a couple of hours to cool down, and it doesn't make noise like a regular one.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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bear in mind the fridge takes a couple of hours to cool down, and it doesn't make noise like a regular one.
Well, maybe that is the problem. I was listening for the familiar compressor sound. Does it make any noise at all? Is there a coil I can touch to see if it has started? Or any other immediate sign I can check for?
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:04 AM   #5
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Well, maybe that is the problem. I was listening for the familiar compressor sound. Does it make any noise at all? Is there a coil I can touch to see if it has started? Or any other immediate sign I can check for?
Hi: Lars...3Way 12v./110v/propane absorption fridge... Trailer must be LEVEL to work. Takes at least 24hrs. to make icecubes. Requires air cir. and venting at the outside of the trailer. No comp. only gravity feed thru the cooling tubes heat rises and the ammonia boils in the boiler from the heat source to remove the heat from the fridge chest!!! Not too much to go wrong but seems funny using heat to cool but essentially thats how they work... in a nut shell!!! Lots of Forum posts on this subj. elsewhere. If you don't have a coach battery in/on the trailer 12v. lights only work when plugged to the tug. You will get the hang of it...I did!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 08-31-2008, 01:12 PM   #6
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Yep, I further what Alf said about leveling your fridge. The problem I have is that my fridge is not level in the trailer. We thought that our fridge was toast as I was leveling the trailer off the counter. In the end we just have to be very finicky leveling it. You should either put your level right on the freezer tray or if you cannot see it put in on the shelf below.
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Old 08-31-2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
1. I was listening for the familiar compressor sound. Does it make any noise at all?
2. Is there a coil I can touch to see if it has started? Or any other immediate sign I can check for?
To expand on Alf's explanation:
1. These fridges do not have compressors. Mine is almost totally silent; sometimes I can detect a [b]faint ticking or knocking-like sound of the ammonia fluid starting to heat up and circulate.
2. Outside, if you open the lower vent, you would feel the heat of either the gas or the electric heating element, but be careful because it gets [b]HOT and could burn you.
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Old 08-31-2008, 03:37 PM   #8
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Good News -- Likely your pump isn't holding prime because the operator headspace needs adjustment -- Instructions (<<Hold Prime --Drain>>) should be on side of pump -- Leaving the pump lever in one position drains the line and in the opposite position holds the prime.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:56 AM   #9
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Well, not sure what was going on with the 12VDC, I checked the fuse and it was good, put the fuse holder back together and everything started working. The wire/fuse holder was tucked up nicely but I was playing around with packing arrangements in that compartment. I checked the wire, no nicks or crimps but that does seem like a small gauge wire and it was pretty hot. Anyone else think the factory gauge is a little small?

I moved the camper to a different part of the driveway and have it level front to back but not side to side so I have not attempted to try the fridge again. I plan on getting the BAL Tire Leveler for next season but gonna have to use some boards for the couple of camps left this year.

Thanks for the info on the hand pump, hopefully I will remember if I ever have to use it

Poking around inside the storage compartments I found some screws loose. These are the screws that hold the little floor braces down. I will take a picture this afternoon. I think these braces are just used to hold the compartments down? But it does make me wonder if I should be checking for other mounting hardware after 16 years of travel?
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:12 AM   #10
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Anyone else think the factory gage is a little small?

Yes, I think they nickeled and dimed some wiring both DC and AC.

A larger gage for the Air Conditioner so a smaller generator may be able to power it.
A larger gage for the Battery in front of the egg to the converter in the rear.
A larger gage for the brake wire from the connector to the wheel.

Yes, it works the way they wired it however I think a larger gage in the above areas would give a little better performance.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:00 PM   #11
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Here is one of the loose screws:


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Old 09-01-2008, 04:40 PM   #12
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Well, not sure what was going on with the 12VDC, I checked the fuse and it was good, put the fuse holder back together and everything started working. The wire/fuse holder was tucked up nicely but I was playing around with packing arrangements in that compartment. I checked the wire, no nicks or crimps but that does seem like a small gauge wire and it was pretty hot. Anyone else think the factory gauge is a little small?
Most refrigerators draw about 10 amps when operating at 12V (about 120 watts) which makes them the most power hungry device in your camper (unless, of course, you have a big inverter to provide 120VAC from your battery). The refrigerator will kill your battery quickly if you're not connected to shore power.

It wouldn't hurt to put in a heavier wire since the factory 12V DC wiring in most campers I've seen is a bit flimsy for 10 amps. Remember that the 12V heating system in the refrigerator does not go through a thermostat. It is a continuous draw. The 120V and propane system, if your refrigerator has them, are on thermostats.

Since you mentioned that the refrigerator started working after you checked the fuse and put things back together I would check for corrosion on the fuse and in the fuse holder as well as a possible poor connection nearby in that line. With a 12V system it doesn't take much to block the current flow. Also check the fuse very carefully. I've seen several fuses that had intermittent internal contacts. They check good with a meter but after a few minutes of use they open inside the end cap. Ya gotta watch those inanimate objects. They can get sneaky on you.
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:15 AM   #13
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We just did our first camping trip and everything worked great. Once I had the trailer level and had plugged in I turned the fridge on. Totally silent but 2 - 3 hours later it was nice and cool. I think I will try to run it off propane on our next camp, just to get the hang of that. Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:42 AM   #14
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LOL!!!
Lars is the first person I know of that has openly ADMITTED to having one (or more) loose screws!!!

....Good thing its Monday!!!!

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