Charger/Converter Settings & Voltmeter/Battery Health Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-20-2015, 12:17 AM   #1
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Charger/Converter Settings & Voltmeter/Battery Health Question

I have attached a photo of the Charger/Converter we have in our 98 Scamp. I am new to the whole rv/egg trailer thing. I have a question as to what settings the charger/converter should be on when plugged into shore power and also while towing? When I got the trailer (not that long ago), it was set on 10 amps and Conventional Low Maintenance. I switched it to Maintenance Free Deep Cycle and 2 Amps. The reason I did this and I am not that knowledgable, hence the question, is because I have a group 24 battery which I believe is Deep Cycle, and isn't it good to charge a deep cycle battery slowly?

I also accidentally left an interior LED light on all day and though I finally did turn it off while is was still shining, I now 2 days later don't have any juice to turn a light on at all. So, I am wondering if my battery is shot, as I think I read it is not good to run down below 50 percent, which leads me to my next question, what kind of volt meter to use to check your battery health, and at what point should I get another battery?

Once again, I have no clue, so any advice would be great.
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:46 AM   #2
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10 amps won't hurt a Group 24 at all, so I would stay with that. Digital multimeters are pretty cheap nowadays, and can be gotten at any autoparts or hardware store. Once you get one set to to DC volts, and put the leads across the battery. red on the positive terminal. Read the voltage. If you are plugged into power the lights should work regardless of the battery.

Do some reading on RV electrical systems, like on battery university, it really not to complex.

A single discharge usually will not kill a battery, so something else might be going on.

Good Luck and let us know what you find out


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Old 11-20-2015, 04:47 AM   #3
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No photo?


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Old 11-20-2015, 08:32 AM   #4
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That's just a battery charger, (not a converter) suggesting that the original Converter, especially if it was the "American" brand Scamp used to use, smoked long ago.


I'd suggest finding someone that is RV electrical savvy to check out what's been done and see what's actually happening/working. I usually install a Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 in Scamps that have smoked their original converters.


I also see a few odd things in the plumbing department that might also need to be checked out.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:46 AM   #5
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Here is the photo of charger, battery, etc.

The charger in a 13ft 1998 Scamp. The battery is a 24 group Deep cycle. Oh and there is no grey water tank. That green hose just goes from the kitchen sink to the exterior drain port. We are using one of the blue 6 gallon cubes to catch the water. Same thing up front for the little sink in the restroom. The lights work when plugged into shore power. So when I am plugged in, I am able to use lights and the charger is charging the DC battery right? If we were to be plugged in for say a week or a month, would I want to flip the switch to 2 amps, or just leave it on 10 amps and the Deep cycle mode all the time, regardless how long it is plugged in?
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:03 AM   #6
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That is NOT a safe device to run "continuously" for maintaining your battery. It will boil a good battery dry if left unattended. We've had several discussions lately on this very subject.

I would HIGHLY suggest you look up a Deltran Battery Tender or Battery Minder. These devices will not only charge your battery, but will SAFELY maintain the charge without over-charging the battery. The Battery Minder will actually keep the battery from "Sulphating" as well. I own both brands that I mentioned above.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:23 AM   #7
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Gezzz another DIY gone bad....... That is not a converter.... its a basic battery charger that does not belong in a trailer.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:27 AM   #8
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Ok good/bad to know. I just went outside to unplug the shore power from our house, so I don't overcharge the battery. I originally plugged in to run a small heater inside the camper, assuming it was charging the battery in a good way at the same time. So could someone clarify, that basically if i am at a campground with shore power, or if I am at my house, I do not want to be plugged in very long, due to the battery charger running non stop? This is going to get pretty confusing knowing when to be plugged in and when not to be plugged in. Basically if the charger's needle is at the 100% mark then it is time to unplug right? That is if the charger needle works. For instance how would I run the heater more than a night or two, without shore power? Well there is the Yamaha 1000 generator that came with it, which the guy perhaps used with this old charger to charge the battery? Sounds like I need to install a better, newer system like what Bob M. suggest.
Imagine I bought the trailer, thinking it would be a simple thing to sleep in, making my life easier than sleeping in a tent, instead it has just eatin up all my weekends, trying to figure things out and fix them. Perhaps I will just sell the trailer and go back to my tent. Being a wildland firefighter I spend half my summer/fall in one. This year 3 weeks in Alaska, 2 weeks Idaho and 3 weeks in the south, so a nice warm bed and little set up to use while camping and surfing a bit on a few trip in the winter sounded great, but i am starting to wonder if it is worth all the hassle, when I am not even over the hill yet. Especially having to winterize each time I come back from the coast to the cold Sierras.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:53 AM   #9
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Do yourself a favor and get a converter for the camper. That way you're safe on shore power as that's what it's designed for. And no, before I went with my battery "maintainers" I did NOT leave my Scamp plugged into shore power continuously. When you're camping, it's a different story....burning lights, pumps....the battery is not sitting there idle so it will not hurt the battery.

The "Progressive" converters are one of the best on the market. They have a device that can be purchased with the converter called the "Battery Wizard". With this device installed, it "maintains" your battery and therefore the camper can be left plugged in indefinitely.

I'm sorry for the discouragement, but I'd get that "regular" battery charger OUT of that camper.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:57 AM   #10
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Thanks for the knowledge Darral, I appreciate it. I will look into installing a converter with a Battery Wizard.
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:28 PM   #11
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heck of a charger....

where I live a "starting" charger like that costs well over a hundred bucks!

too bad you don't have the owers manual....from the faceplate the word "automatic" probably means that if set on 10A it will throttle down to 2A on it's own when the battery reaches full charge

the 10A setting is probably overkill for your application... you have losts of time.... "ordinary" three stage chargers (like the one I use... I don't have a converter) have 2, 4 and 6A settings....

a "starting" charger like that is real handy if the battery in your car is dead and you don't have the time to charge its battery....instructions for that on faceplate and I bet that 50A position is spring loaded....

you did not show a picture of an electrical panel or converter...didn't find anything like that in there?
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Old 11-20-2015, 12:44 PM   #12
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It's like the gear on your truck. Once it's right, it stays right.
Yours has just had the opportunity to be (technical term) "Screwed with" by previous owners who tried to get by with lesser solutions.


The best bet is to go at it and fix all the problems and it will be, once and for all, done. The entire PD-4045 power center is less than $200 on-line and is fairly easy to install, and becomes an updated plus when you want to sell. That price includes the built in 3 stage charger, no optional "Battery Wizard" needed, it's built in.


We have tackled similar jobs on other FGRV's and, even after using them for a year or two, sold them at a profit.
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Old 11-20-2015, 03:36 PM   #13
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panel?

It looks like you have a 2 breaker AC panel...see pic...that being on the small side I'll assume it's a 13' Scamp....not knowing how those come from the factory...the fact that the wiring seems to have been seriously screwed around with and your level of understanding of these systems I'll have to agree with Miller on this one get it done, done right and be done with it. This will involve taking it to somebody to install something appropriate and clean the whole wiring mess up
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:01 PM   #14
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I agree with Franswa, don't mess around with this fire trap. Take is someplace where to get it done properly. Since you don't seem to understand much about electricity (most don't) it would be better not to mess with yourself.
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