Discharging while being towed - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-21-2009, 02:46 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1990 Scamp 16 ft
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Hello,

I recently bought a 1990 16' Scamp. All the electrical equipment works (lights, fans, etc.) including the charging system when the trailer is plugged into household current. The battery is less than a year old.

When working on the trailer, I run an electric cord from my house to power the AC light and charger. After unplugging it, I turn on the DC lights and they work fine. It seems to hold a charge in the battery for days.

If I move the trailer and plug it into my truck's 7 pin connector, when I arrive at a campsite the trailer battery is dead. Obviously, there is a problem but can someone describe to me what is happening and what I can do to remedy this issue?

I searched the site before posting this question, but I couldn't locate an answer.

Thanks in advance,

-Carl

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Old 07-21-2009, 03:03 PM   #2
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Hello,

I recently bought a 1990 16' Scamp. All the electrical equipment works (lights, fans, etc.) including the charging system when the trailer is plugged into household current. The battery is less than a year old.

When working on the trailer, I run an electric cord from my house to power the AC light and charger. After unplugging it, I turn on the DC lights and they work fine. It seems to hold a charge in the battery for days.

If I move the trailer and plug it into my truck's 7 pin connector, when I arrive at a campsite the trailer battery is dead. Obviously, there is a problem but can someone describe to me what is happening and what I can do to remedy this issue?

I searched the site before posting this question, but I couldn't locate an answer.

Thanks in advance,

-Carl
Questions
1] What are you running on 12V while towing?
2] Is your Tow Vehicle wired to charge the trailer?
3] What wiresize is used if #2 is affirmative?
4] Is therea fuse in the charge line?

Possibilities...
1]Your battery is not able to take a deep charge.
2] Your Tow vehicle may not supply enough power to both charge the battery and accomodate the load while in transport. I.E. 12V to 3-Way fridge.
3] The wire to the fridge may be small enough to have more line loss than load supply.

Of course there are other possibilities, these should be food for thought for now.

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Old 07-21-2009, 03:28 PM   #3
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Well, you do have me thinking....

1. To the best of my knowledge, nothing was on inside the trailer.

2. My TV is a 2006 Honda Ridgeline and it has the factory tow hitch and plug. How do I determine if it is set up to charge?

3. ?

4. ?

thanks!
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:54 PM   #4
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Check polarity of the trailer connector vs the TV connector.

Check for broken wires in the trailer connector wire, all the way back to the battery.

Check for a poor ground at the battery, frame, and the distribution panel.

Do you have a multi-meter? Do you know how to use it? If you are going to own an older trailer, you will need to have and know.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:41 PM   #5
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Are you cooling the fridge on 12V while on the road? i just checked in the Document Center and a Dometic 211 three way fridge that a lot of manufacturers used is rated for 95 watts. That's bound to be a large drain on a battery.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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Well, you do have me thinking....

1. To the best of my knowledge, nothing was on inside the trailer.

2. My TV is a 2006 Honda Ridgeline and it has the factory tow hitch and plug. How do I determine if it is set up to charge?

3. ?

4. ?

thanks!
The simplest way would be to ask the Honda dealer if it is part of the tow package.[I doubt it]
does it have a factory brake controller?
Another way is to check for voltage at the correct terminal on your RV plug, with the truck running .
Look here for the drawings.......

http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:37 PM   #7
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I disconnect my battery while towing. My TV can barely supply enough amperage to run the frig. So I don't bother with trying to charge the battery, too. Possibly there's a short in your system that's slowly draining the battery.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:48 PM   #8
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Rather than disconnect the battery while towing, I just quit using the 12 volt settng on the fridge. That thing is a battery killer. Instead, we load up with blue cubes and frozen water bottles, then light up the propane setting when we get to camp. I have found the 12 volt setting to be useless. Anyone able to make it work?

Anyway, that may not be the cause of your problem, but it sure was mine!
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:52 PM   #9
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I still run my fridge on the 12V setting. It's wired directly to the TV's alternator, via the accessory connection on the 7-pin connector. That way when I turn the engine off, I don't have to worry about it draining the TV's battery. I have wired my Scamp 13' with a battery disconnect switch that I got from Harbor Freight (the switch with the red turn-key).

The 12V powered fridge works OK, not great, but OK. It keeps everything just cool enough so that it doesn't spoil. That's a real challenge since I'm usually driving a few hours through 100-plus-degree temps. on the way to my destination.
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