Battery - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2011, 07:17 AM   #1
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Name: Clint
Trailer: 13' Scamp
Missouri
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Battery

Hello,
Got a 95 scamp that does not have a converter. The only way I currently have to charge my battery is trickle feed it is when it is plugged into my car. This usually isn't a problem because the fridge has a switch to run off 12v or 110. The only problem I am having is that the heater fan runs exclusively off the battery. So, even when I am at an electric camp site it still renders the heater useless on extended cold weather camp outs. Any suggestions? I currently have a small electric space heater in the Scamp. However, that just adds one more thing to bring, and something in the way of this small footprint trailer. any ideas are welcome.

Thanks,
Clint
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:57 AM   #2
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Clint,
You may want to consider solar.
There are several recent posts regarding solar. The cost for solar is coming down, making it a realistic option. Check out the panels that honda03842 installed on his Scamp. ( New solar install.... )

Whatever method you choose for charging should provide "staged" charging, typically, 3-stages: absortion, float, and equalization.
Ron

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Originally Posted by Clankster View Post
Hello,
Got a 95 scamp that does not have a converter. The only way I currently have to charge my battery is trickle feed it is when it is plugged into my car. This usually isn't a problem because the fridge has a switch to run off 12v or 110. The only problem I am having is that the heater fan runs exclusively off the battery. So, even when I am at an electric camp site it still renders the heater useless on extended cold weather camp outs. Any suggestions? I currently have a small electric space heater in the Scamp. However, that just adds one more thing to bring, and something in the way of this small footprint trailer. any ideas are welcome.

Thanks,
Clint
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clankster View Post
Hello,
Got a 95 scamp that does not have a converter. The only way I currently have to charge my battery is trickle feed it is when it is plugged into my car. This usually isn't a problem because the fridge has a switch to run off 12v or 110. The only problem I am having is that the heater fan runs exclusively off the battery. So, even when I am at an electric camp site it still renders the heater useless on extended cold weather camp outs. Any suggestions? I currently have a small electric space heater in the Scamp. However, that just adds one more thing to bring, and something in the way of this small footprint trailer. any ideas are welcome.

Thanks,
Clint
There's several ways you can go. The least expensive is with a Battery Tender or similar device. These things charge slowly, but won't overcharge. I use one when the trailer is parked at home.
On the road the tow vehicle will charge the battery which will 3 days in below freezing weather. The warmer the weather longer it will go.
A smart battery charger, cost less than $100 to get a nice one, is another option. A smart charger will charge the battery then maintain it with out overcharging.
Solar is a good one too, but a lot more expensive, more fuss, etc.

I rarely connect to shore power, have nothing that runs off 120 Volt except the fridge, which I run off propane. I carry a solar panel that's set up portable. I only use it when I'm in a place for more than just 2 or 3 days.

The one thing want to be aware of is the fridge when run on 12 Volt will run the battery down very fast. Very few tow vehicles can keep up with battery charging and running fridge.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clankster View Post
Hello,
Got a 95 scamp that does not have a converter. The only way I currently have to charge my battery is trickle feed it is when it is plugged into my car. This usually isn't a problem because the fridge has a switch to run off 12v or 110. The only problem I am having is that the heater fan runs exclusively off the battery. So, even when I am at an electric camp site it still renders the heater useless on extended cold weather camp outs. Any suggestions? I currently have a small electric space heater in the Scamp. However, that just adds one more thing to bring, and something in the way of this small footprint trailer. any ideas are welcome.

Thanks,
Clint
Hi Clint,

I gather that the problem you want help with is how to run your heater fan without drawing down the battery? If you are handy, I have a cheap solution for you. You can hook up an old computer power supply to your 110V circuit, then use a double pole double throw switch (DPDT) to connect the 12V output to you heater fan. That way you can run the 12V fan when you are plugged into shore power without using your battery at all, and then switch back to the battery when you want to run it from the battery.

Last year I replaced my old converter with a computer power supply that runs all the electricity in our trailer. It puts out 12v at 15 amps, far more current than you would need. I had some lying around, but got this one at a computer shop for $5. Plus, the 12V is electronics grade perfect DC voltage, not the horrible waveform produced by the older converters (I donít know about modern ones). It is important to get an old, obsolete computer power supply because the newer ones have some requirements for operation that make them difficult to use outside of a computer. You can find information on how to do the wiring on the internet.

If you are not handy, you can buy a similar small converter fairly cheaply at camping or automotive stores or Wal-Mart. I bought one that converted 110V into 12v at about 5 amps for use with an electric cooler for $35 at Canadian Tire. It will do the same job, and you can then run your heater fan from the 110V without using the battery at all. You would still need to have a switch to switch the fan between the two voltages.

Hope that helps,
Rick G.
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clankster View Post
Hello,
Got a 95 scamp that does not have a converter. The only way I currently have to charge my battery is trickle feed it is when it is plugged into my car. This usually isn't a problem because the fridge has a switch to run off 12v or 110. The only problem I am having is that the heater fan runs exclusively off the battery. So, even when I am at an electric camp site it still renders the heater useless on extended cold weather camp outs. Any suggestions? I currently have a small electric space heater in the Scamp. However, that just adds one more thing to bring, and something in the way of this small footprint trailer. any ideas are welcome.

Thanks,
Clint

Clint the truth is that I have a converter but when plugged into power I always use the small electic cube space heater. It is way more quiet than the trailers furnace.

When not plugged in I run the fridge on propane, lights are LED so the only things that do a big draw down on the battery power are the water pump and the furnace. I have a solar panel I use if camping unplugged for any length of time.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:44 PM   #6
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Every trailer needs a cube heater . That's the best use of 215 cubic inches of storage you can get.

David
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:55 PM   #7
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Every trailer needs a cube heater . That's the best use of 215 cubic inches of storage you can get.

David
Hey, I don't have a cube heater. You would like to provide me with then "needed" item?

For some of us it would be a total wast of space. Electric hookup doesn't usually exist in vocabulary.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:43 PM   #8
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Hey, I don't have a cube heater. You would like to provide me with then "needed" item?

For some of us it would be a total wast of space. Electric hookup doesn't usually exist in vocabulary.
I hear you Byron. That is almost always my case too! However, last spring and summer I lived on a remote ranch in Wyoming. The "spring" lasted till July and was nonstop snow, wind, and rain. There was no water or facilities of any kind except electric! The cube saved my butt because it was 3 hours round trip to refill the propane. I'm just sayin,..... it's pretty small...and it might come in handy.

If you come to visit, yes, I will buy you a cube heater, cause friends shouldn't let friends go without one

David
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:50 PM   #9
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Trailer: 13' Scamp
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Great advice. Lots of good options to think about. The good thing about Scamps is they are very efficient. It doesn't take much energy to warm up a 13' Scamp. Thanks so much for the replies!!

Clint
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:30 PM   #10
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I hear you Byron. That is almost always my case too! However, last spring and summer I lived on a remote ranch in Wyoming. The "spring" lasted till July and was nonstop snow, wind, and rain. There was no water or facilities of any kind except electric! The cube saved my butt because it was 3 hours round trip to refill the propane. I'm just sayin,..... it's pretty small...and it might come in handy.

If you come to visit, yes, I will buy you a cube heater, cause friends shouldn't let friends go without one

David
You're listed as being in Oregon, so am I. So where do I come and visit?
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:32 PM   #11
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You're listed as being in Oregon, so am I. So where do I come and visit?
Southern Oregon coast between Bandon and Port Orford. I'll send you a PM
David
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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Misc Supplies, RV Supplies items in Bottom Dollar Surplus Inc store on eBay!, they have inverters
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