Battery recharging? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #1
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Battery recharging?

This is probably a dumb question...but........the battery sitting in my camper.....how does it recharge? When I'm working on the interior, I'm plugged into my household power to use the lights so I don't use the battery. However, when I'm using the battery while camping, all I'm doing is using it up. Sorry, but I had to ask.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:17 PM   #2
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If your Scamp has a power converter, that should charge the battery when plugged in to your house power. It also could be wired so it charges when towing it, otherwise you'll have to use an automotive battery charger. I'm not familiar with how Scamp does their wiring, and it probably varies for different model trailers.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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This is probably a dumb question...but........the battery sitting in my camper.....how does it recharge? When I'm working on the interior, I'm plugged into my household power to use the lights so I don't use the battery. However, when I'm using the battery while camping, all I'm doing is using it up. Sorry, but I had to ask.
Your battery is being charged when:
a, You're connected to shore power.
b. When towing, provided there's a charge line.
or c. when you some other charging device like a battery charger connected or solar panels connected.

Not a dumb question, no such thing.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
If your Scamp has a power converter, that should charge the battery when plugged in to your house power.
Linda, your profile says you have a 1982 13' Burro; if it's something else, let us know.

Most converters do charge the battery, but some older ones - including the one in my 1979 Boler - do not; I don't know what's in a Burro, and I hear some were sold as "kits" so perhaps the original owner could have put anything in. For those of us with non-charging converters that leaves the other options mentioned: a connection to the tow vehicle, solar panels, or a separate charger run by AC power.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:31 PM   #5
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Brian.......I just checked the description the PO posted.....he listed a 20 amp power converter........that's what you're referring to? Then I guess that's a good thing! All I have to do is plug it in before and after and I'm recharging? The PO also installed a new battery, new charger, new control panel, new wiring and outlets. Sounds like he did some good things.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:51 PM   #6
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Byron..........can I overcharge my battery by keeping my camper plugged to my household outlet?
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:15 PM   #7
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Byron..........can I overcharge my battery by keeping my camper plugged to my household outlet?
Not Byron, but the answer is yes - if you have an older "dumb" charger. If you post the brand and model number of the charger, we can tell you if it is a smart charger that will not damage the battery by overcharging.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:09 PM   #8
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Byron..........can I overcharge my battery by keeping my camper plugged to my household outlet?
It depends entirely on the converter/charger installed in your trailer. Mine shuts off when the battery gets to 12.2 volts, according to the manufacturer, this causes an under charge situation. The newer units should stop charging when about 13.8 volts to 13.9 volts. A volt meter will give you a pretty good indication.

You could also look at the converter/charger and determine the manufacturer and model number, look it up on the internet or call the manufacturer.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:18 PM   #9
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If there is a 12 volt outlet, cigarette lighter type thing, there are cheap battery condition meters you can get to plug in. I got one from Amazon, it came with some other stuff I ordered, not sure how accurate it is. I have a much more expensive battery tester that the average person would not have, but one of these cheap things would give you an idea of battery voltage.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:39 PM   #10
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It depends entirely on the converter/charger installed in your trailer
Agreed.

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Mine shuts off when the battery gets to 12.2 volts, according to the manufacturer, this causes an under charge situation. The newer units should stop charging when about 13.8 volts to 13.9 volts.
... and some never shut off, risking over-charging.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:40 PM   #11
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Not Byron, but the anser is yes - if you have an older "dumb" charger. If you post the brand and model number of the charger, we can tell you if it is a smart charger that will not damage the battery by overcharging.
Not necessarily true. Many older chargers use an analog comparator circuit to switch the charger to trickle charge. Newer chargers use an A/D converter to a microcontroller to achieve the same end. Raz
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:45 PM   #12
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Not necessarily true. Many older chargers use an analog comparator circuit to switch the charger to trickle charge. Newer chargers use an A/D converter to a microcontroller to achieve the same end. Raz
Such a converter would not be a 'dumb" charger, then would it? It would have a controlled output.

I'd like to see the OP post the band and model number, then we would know what the actual risk is of leaving it plugged in for long periods.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:50 PM   #13
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I guess we could distinguish between "smart" (having some intelligent behaviour) and a switching power supply managed by a microprocesser (one way to build a "smart" charger)... or just find out what Linda has and answer her question.

Linda: your turn...
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:23 PM   #14
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Such a converter would not be a 'dumb" charger, then would it? It would have a controlled output.
In the field "smart" generally refers to a micro-controller software controlled circuit so yes an analog circuit is considered dumb. There are two solutions to most electrical designs, analog vs digital. Cost usually determines the approach used. Designing a charger without a switching point would be like designing a car with out brakes. Even the old stuff had a shut off. Raz
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