Shakedown cruise - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-26-2003, 12:50 AM   #1
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Shakedown cruise

The new Scamp towed nicely and was easy to maneuver on back roads. The only modification needed was to adapt the American RV connector on the trailer to the Euro connector on our Volvo. But for a ready-to-go trailer it is amazing how many accessories we felt compelled to get before heading out! Little things like a propane tank cover, small hangers to go in the small closet, a cutting board for over the sink, a door mat, etc., etc.

The big shocker was the 30% drop in gas mileage pulling this lightweight with a 5-cylinder turbo. I expected a drop of a couple of mpg but 7... yikes! The loaded trailer amounts to no more than half of the car's towing capacity but makes its presence felt. Is this typical for mid-sized cars?

Also, is it normal for the trailer's inside lights to be dim when the 3-way refrigerator is running on the battery? Switching the refrigerator to propane allows the lights to shine fully but that may not always be a convenient thing to do because the refrigerator controls are on the outside.

And what is the best way to determine the battery charge and propane tank level?

Other than those questions the trailer is great. It seemed like every other person we talked to commented on how cute it is. Except for the guy who added that he tried one and "found it so small he had to step outside to change his mind." :o

A few photos from the shakedown cruise to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon:

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ed1aa8bf23d2Malheur-trip.jpg/>
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ed1aabc64240Scamp-camp-1.jpg/>
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Old 05-26-2003, 03:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Big Eddy
Also, is it normal for the trailer's inside lights to be dim when the 3-way refrigerator is running on the battery? Switching the refrigerator to propane allows the lights to shine fully but that may not always be a convenient thing to do because the refrigerator controls are on the outside.
Hi Eddy,
Nice rig! :) I like the first photo ;)

>>The big shocker was the 30% drop in gas mileage pulling
My drop in gas mileage pulling is about 20%.

About the fridge and the battery:
Probably the fridge consumes 100 W or something like that.
If your battery is 12V, the Amps the fridge takes is more then 8.
How many Ah is your battery? The fridge will empty your battery in a couple of hours.
So, fridge on battery only when driving, use propane when installed (or mains of course).

>>And what is the best way to determine the battery charge and propane tank level?

Battery: simple, cheap digital multimeter.
Propane tank: weigh it when full.
:wave
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Old 05-26-2003, 07:46 AM   #3
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>>inside lights to be dim

Eddy ... glad you enjoyed your shake down cruise.

Lex is right on the money about running the fridge on battery ... you should only do that as "maintenance" mode while running down the highway.

And yes, because of the big draw, if you have a trailer light on, and switch the fridge to battery, the light will dim.

If you've been running down the road for a couple of hours, with the fridge on battery, and then stop, turn on a light ... and the light is really, really dim, then probably the refrigerator is drawing down your trailer battery faster than your tow vehicle alternator can recharge it.

>>gas mileage

It's not unusual to get a 20- 25 percent drop in gas mileage, depending on your load, tow vehicle and speed. (I don't get that much of a drop with the Suburban, but then again, I don't get very high gas mileage without the trailer either :) )

How fast were you running? Slowing down a bit really increases your gas mileage!
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Old 05-26-2003, 10:46 AM   #4
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**How fast were you running? Slowing down a bit really increases your gas mileage!** strange that you say that Charles. when I drove, I got about 14.5 mpg. I drove about 55 mph when my friend drove, she did it at 70 mph and got 18.75 mpg. Now I didn't know she was going 70. freaked me out when I found out. (I was in the back seat) feels better on the road at 60 mpg. that's the important part to me.
just an oberservation, I hope people don't go 70 trying to improve their milage.
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Old 05-26-2003, 10:55 AM   #5
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There are other factors besides speed, of course. Headwind vs. tailwind and/or climbing vs. going downhill are two of the more obvious.

We always get better mileage on our way back to central Texas from northern New Mexico, and it's for both of the above reasons.

Of course, there's no beer in the fridge on the way back, either! :laugh
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Old 05-28-2003, 01:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Lex Meuldijk
I like the first photo ;)
This one is fun too:
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ed450f2dadffScamp-vs-home-small.jpg/>
We could park under their awning. I've seen smaller ocean-going ships!

Quote:
About the fridge and the battery:
Probably the fridge consumes 100 W or something like that.
If your battery is 12V, the Amps the fridge takes is more then 8.
How many Ah is your battery? The fridge will empty your battery in a couple of hours.
So, fridge on battery only when driving, use propane when installed (or mains of course).
The fridge can draw as many as 10.5 A and the battery is a standard 24EV rated at 80 Ah. So, it might last 7.5 h? A typical trip may be 4 h and many camp spots we go to don't have hookups. Sounds like we may have to be extra careful by cooling items ahead of time, using a low power setting, turning the fridge off when possible, and switching to propane when camped.

Quote:
>>And what is the best way to determine the battery charge and propane tank level?

Battery: simple, cheap digital multimeter.
Propane tank: weigh it when full.
I was hoping for something more convenient. Measuring the battery is not as easy as it sounds and weighing the tank would be quite a chore. Surely there must be some RV accessories that do these things. Does anyone use an installed voltmeter in the trailer? Or how about gas level indicators that attach to the tank?

As for the gas mileage, we were typically going 55-60 mph (about 90-95 k/h) on the highway, slower on secondary roads. I figure the 30% drop in mileage amounts to about an extra gallon consumed every 60 mi (95 km).
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Old 05-28-2003, 01:52 AM   #7
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propane/battery level

I don't measure nothin.

Have two of everything. When one runs out, switch to the other! :)

But you can pour hot water on the propane tank, and feel it, to determine the liquid level. And like Charles says, easiest way to check the battery is to notice if the lights are dim. But then whaddya do. Driving to charge it up isn't gonna help much!
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Old 05-28-2003, 09:11 AM   #8
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Solar power?

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Orginally posted by PineConeDon

I don't measure nothin.

Have two of everything. When one runs out, switch to the other! :)
Adding capacity is certainly one approach but batteries & tanks are heavy. Not practical for a lightweight 13' trailer.

Has anyone tried a solar battery charger? Expensive but it might keep the battery happy.
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Old 05-28-2003, 11:09 PM   #9
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<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ed450f2dadffScamp-vs-home-small.jpg/>
This is the best. Some find it hard to believe someone can live in a 13ft, but then THEY have never tried it. You either love'um or hate'um. Now, it's hard to believe someone thinks taking one of those big suckers is camping. :lol
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Old 05-29-2003, 12:09 PM   #10
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solar

Eddy:

Solar is helpful, I have a 50 watt panel. How helpful depends on your eledtrical usage.

The way I think of Solar is that it'll keep your battery up, til you start using power. If ya quit using stuff before the battery is depleted, you're OK. But once depleted, the solar is gonna take a long time getting you back to full capacity. Need somethng else for 'emergencys'.

Yur right, all that stuff is heavy.
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