Scamp 12v Charging on Road Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-13-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
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Scamp 12v Charging on Road Question

Quick question before we leave on extended trip. Our tow vehicle has the 7 pin connector and I believe that has a live 12v output. Am I correct in thinking that this live 12v will run my refrigerator and charge the battery as I go down the road? Or will the refrigerator draw too much and drain the battery.

Sorry if it's been asked before but I don't have time to check any other threads.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:52 PM   #2
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Don't know your specifics, but I opted not to get a 3-way fridge when I was told that the fridge on 12V would use all the power that could be delivered by the tow vehicle, leaving none to charge the battery. So, if you left camp with a depleted battery, you would arrive with a depleted battery.
On top of that, you would require a #10 ground in the tow wiring or it wouldn't deliver enough power to run the fridge, never mind charge the battery.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:05 PM   #3
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We have found that in general it's not necessary to run the fridge when driving. It stays relatively cold. If you're concerned put some ice into a sealed container and it will keep the fridge cold enough.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:48 PM   #4
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We are driving and on the road 14-16 hours the first and last day and it's hot out! So the fridge draws that much?
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:00 PM   #5
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Chill your fridge a couple of days before you leave. Fill it with cold stuff at least a day before you leave,

In the mean time fill a couple of small containers with water and freeze them solid. Put them in your fridge it will easily keep the fridge cold for your drive. Before you leave to return home buy yourself some ice and put it in a container in the fridge, it will keep the fridge cold for the ride home.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:36 PM   #6
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Why not just run it on LP and forget about 12 volt problems (Which you will have if you try to run the refrigerator off of the charging line) It's safe and legal.....

I run mine n LP all of the time while underway and most of the time when camped.

If it's a regular 2/3 way RV refrigerator it will draw about 9-10 amps on DC. and you will be lucky to get 6 of those out of the charging line, the rest will come out of your coach battery

BTW: towing for 14-16 hours straight is a recipe for bad things to happen.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:40 PM   #7
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So the fridge draws that much?
A lot will depend on how big it is, but yes, you can recharge your trailer battery OR run the refrigerator, but not both at the same time.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:48 PM   #8
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Why not just run it on LP and forget about 12 volt problems (Which you will have if you try to run the refrigerator off of the charging line) It's safe and legal...
A lot will depend on how old the fridge is, and how vigilant you are about inspecting the burner in the back. I had a 40 year old fridge, and just assumed that it was OK without really knowing if it was...

REFRIGERATOR FIRE
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:42 AM   #9
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We have found that in general it's not necessary to run the fridge when driving. It stays relatively cold. If you're concerned put some ice into a sealed container and it will keep the fridge cold enough.
+1. We freeze a gallon water jug. It works well. Raz
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:11 AM   #10
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The Dometic 3 way w/o freezer pulls about 10 ADC. When I run it on DC I almost always arrive with a dead trailer battery. I've checked and my tow vehicle is putting out about 4 amps to the trailer so it's a net loss for me with the refrig on DC. A longer tow time is just a worse situation.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:08 AM   #11
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Don't know your specifics, but I opted not to get a 3-way fridge when I was told that the fridge on 12V would use all the power that could be delivered by the tow vehicle, leaving none to charge the battery. So, if you left camp with a depleted battery, you would arrive with a depleted battery.
On top of that, you would require a #10 ground in the tow wiring or it wouldn't deliver enough power to run the fridge, never mind charge the battery.


Hi Glenn,

I learned something new here today. Always thought driving to or from site how cool it was to keep my fridge cold on 12v while charging my battery too! Guess that's not happening as I thought!

So basically, the fridge gets some amperage from the tug and the rest from the battery while towing? Why does all the power go automatically from the tug to the fridge if it's on then? In my pea brain somehow thought it would split or share between batt and fridge.

Glenn, my mechanic installed my wiring and 7 pin for me. Is there any way I could tell if I got under vehicle if I have that #10 ground wire you mentioned?

Finally, When I'm plugged in to shore power, isn't the battery getting a charge?


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Old 08-14-2014, 07:26 AM   #12
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I'm not Glenn, but my 2 cents worth is that all the current from the tow goes to the trailer battery. The refrig is getting its power from the battery. For many/most, less is going into the battery (from the tow vehicle) than is being drained by the refrig on 12v.

Assuming your trailer has a converter it probably has a charging funtion as well so plugging in to shore power will charge your trailer battery.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:33 AM   #13
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Steve,

Thanks for replying. Yes trailer has a converter. When I'm driving and fridge is on 12v, should I have converter main switch turned to on? I have had it turned off, with 12v switch turned on at fridge. Maybe this is why my fridge wasn't as cold on last long trip I took? Had battery tested and is pushing 500 amps, still good for this year. Tester said battery was good but at 50%. Didn't get that...he used Snap On tester. Said most batteries when good will often push more amps than stated.

Prior owner left trailer plugged in all winter with batt on trailer. Next year I'll get new one, maybe that group 27 once I learn more about it. I keep it on batt tender in basement all winter on a wood block and in garage in summer on same.


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Old 08-14-2014, 09:58 AM   #14
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You probably know this but what might not be understood by some novices is that the charging function of the converter only applies to when it is connected to AC power. While towing it’s inert, just a jumble of electronic parts. It doesn’t charge when the trailer is on DC only and has no effect on drain or recharging. You can have the main switch pretty much on or off as you please. On is probably better since it’s one less thing to remember when you hook up to shore power.
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