Wiring help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-25-2014, 09:47 AM   #1
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Name: Kevin & Lisa
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Ohio
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Wiring help

I know plenty about 220/120v wiring .... But 12v and how they interact in a camper..... Not so much. I am trying to get a big picture idea of what I have here, what I need, and how it all works being this is our first camper.... Ever.

Two pics to see if I can get some help with what I have going on in here: the breaker box and some kind of module on top of hot water tank.

So... I see no converter from 12v to 120 or vise versa. Was it removed? Hidden in some other location? Do I need a battery installed for stuff to work if I plug her in at home?

This is just the start of electrical questions in sure...Click image for larger version

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Old 04-25-2014, 02:23 PM   #2
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I think the thing on top the water heater is a thermostat for an electric rod that is screwed inside the water tank from the outside. Look outside on the water heater tank and see if you have an electrical connection.

The first picture looks like 120vac only. To have 12vdc there is a converter connected to 120vac that produces 12vdc. It is like a battery charger and supplies 12vdc to the 12vdc inside lights ant to the battery for charging.

Look to see if you have a place for a battery outside the unit up on the toung. If you have wires up there, plug the 120ac in and take a reading to see if you have DC there.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
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Wiring help

There definitely is a battery box with wired up terminals. Once I make sure all my bare wires from removed lighting are not touching ill plug her in and see what I have. Thanks for the starting point!


Where is the converter usually housed? What do I need to look for coming out of the breaker box to see if there use to be a converter and someone just left me with bare wires?
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer scamp View Post
Where is the converter usually housed?
That may depend on your layout.
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:16 PM   #5
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Under a bench seat or couch and it will have a 110 AC line going to it or to an outlet near it. Essentially a transformer that kicks out 12 volt when you plug in. Metal case, power cord for outlet, or direct wired to AC line. Some 12 volt wires running to and from it.

Follow your 110 lines and you will find it if it's there. Or work from the battery lines.
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:54 PM   #6
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It's an '85 16' layout 4.

Will follow the lines tonight and see what I can find, but i have everything out of the inside but bare kitchen cabinets and front bottom bunk and haven't seen anything like that yet...

On a side note, why is there a water tank under middle of front bunk AND under sink? There is a pump attached to one under bunk and both have external access.... Just extra water storage?
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:04 PM   #7
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May not have one. I think some only came with the battery, no converter. Not 100% sure in FGRV world, heck my scamp did not come with a place for the battery, 12 volt lights and fridge only ran off of the tow vehicle.

I guess they figured 12 volt while traveling only or having a second RV battery installed in tow?

This amazon link and the what others looked at on the page will give you an idea of what they look like. Amazon.com: Powermax 110 Volt to 12 Volt Dv Power Supply Converter Charger for Rv Pm3-55 (55 Amp): Car Electronics
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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My last trailer ,a Scamp did not have a converter . It had a smart charger located in the cabinet below the sink
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:27 PM   #9
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My 98 Scamp did not come with a converter. Everything 12v ran off a battery which was charged from the TV.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:57 AM   #10
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Our uhaul had two water tanks. One was for the swamp cooler on the roof.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:04 PM   #11
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So what I can see are 2 very old and crusty battery terminals both with 2 wires connected to each. The 2 black and 2 white just run inside along with the 7 pin wiring rig then the B&W wires just start connecting and splitting off right along with the rainbow of wires to all exterior lights.

So I guess I'm going with the theory that there was never a converter and the battery runs everything and battery is charged by TV???
So.... Where does that leave me??? Ok to just go with that setup and add a converter whenever or should I just do it now?
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:27 PM   #12
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If this is correct....How does the TV charge the battery? Not seeing how that connection is made between the two systems
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:44 PM   #13
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I my 1988 Scamp 16 the converter is partially under teh driver's side back bunk and some under the refrigerator. It is plugged into the same 120V receptacle as the refrigerator. I think since you have taken out that side reparing rot and not seen it you must not have one. This would be a good time to add a nice converter with smart charger.
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:21 PM   #14
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1. That "Thing" on top of the water heater looks like the electric start module to start the water heater on GAS. There should be a switch labeled water heater inside.

2. You didn't mention the age of your Scamp, but they haven't been famous until the past year or so for using a quality power chassis. I always suggest installing a new Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 power chassis and start rewiring from there.
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