amp draw - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-28-2008, 08:31 AM   #1
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We were camped over the holiday weekend with shore power plugged in all the time. Had the winegard tv system powered up most of the time. Noticed the lights on the 12 volt side were getting dimmer and the vent fan ran very slowly. How much amp draw does the tv antenna system use up? How many amps does the vent fan use?
How much does the factory converter put out to recharge the battery?
My thinking is that it should be able to keep up with that much demand. also running was the fridge and the tv set itself part of the time. Do I have another bad converter or am I just expecting too much from the factory model? They replaced it for me 1 year ago because it did not seem to be able to keep the battery charged up.
How much does it cost to step up to a better converter?
Please advise.
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:42 AM   #2
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Best Converter sells the Progressive Dynamics converters which, I think, are the best.

You're right, the converter should be able to keep up with your demand, both AC and DC as well as battery charging.

One question, you weren't running the refrigerator on DC were you? That setting is only for towing when the tow vehicle should provide the currrent.
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:44 AM   #3
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was the converter actually on? was the charger running?

It sounds to me like you were drawing off the battery and it wasn't getting recharged. If you were running of your convector, (And it was working correctly) you should not have seen any "Brown" loss like that.

You could totally remove the battery and still have 12v power in abundance with the converter on.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:11 AM   #4
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In the Casita, in the breaker distribution panel, there is a seperate breaker for the converter/charger. After all, the converter/charger is just another 120v load like an outlet.

In other words, it's possible for me to be plugged in but the converter/charger is turned off. In this situation I would have 120v to those outlets but 12v stuff would be running from the battery only.

You might have a fuse or breaker tripped to the converter/charger.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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Best Converter sells the Progressive Dynamics converters which, I think, are the best.

You're right, the converter should be able to keep up with your demand, both AC and DC as well as battery charging.

One question, you weren't running the refrigerator on DC were you? That setting is only for towing when the tow vehicle should provide the currrent.
good question, makes me think maybe i should take another look at the controls on that. i know it runs on 12 volt when we tow. are there actually 2 different electric settings on it? when i had a pkup camper that was the way it was set up, either 12 volt or 110. will take a look and let you know.
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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Best Converter sells the Progressive Dynamics converters which, I think, are the best.

You're right, the converter should be able to keep up with your demand, both AC and DC as well as battery charging.

One question, you weren't running the refrigerator on DC were you? That setting is only for towing when the tow vehicle should provide the currrent.
went home and checked the fridge controls. it has 3 setting available, electric, gas , and off. is almost always set on elec unless we are boondocking.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:00 PM   #7
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Most converters (there are many, both modern and elderly, with options) have two 12VDC specs, one as a pure 12VDC power supply and another as battery charger; the charger amps are usually much lower. If the power supply side drain is more than the converter's spec, the excess will come from the battery and there may be no charging going on as it drains.

A fridge on 12VDC option is a heater drain and is quite high.
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:24 PM   #8
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went home and checked the fridge controls. it has 3 setting available, electric, gas , and off. is almost always set on elec unless we are boondocking.
My guess is that it is AC and gas, not DC and gas. Only a fellow Scamper would know.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:22 PM   #9
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What type of power cord are you using? Is it heavy enough to carry the power or are you using a utility/lawnmower type? These extension cords were not made to carry the loads that we tend to put on them.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:23 PM   #10
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You have to keep in mind on a Holiday weekend with a crowded campground the chance of mini brownouts are very high.
Try everything on at home and see if it's any better.

When we had a permanent site the power got real weak on crowded weekends.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:27 PM   #11
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My guess is that it is AC and gas, not DC and gas. Only a fellow Scamper would know.
have sent an email to scamp asking for advice. my thinking is that it is either gas or 110. now all i have to do is find out if it is actually charging or not. will have to check the fuses. only have 3 of them on the panel and there is not a seperate breaker for the converter/charger as far as i can tell. it is possible the fuse between the converter and the battery is blown.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:29 PM   #12
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What type of power cord are you using? Is it heavy enough to carry the power or are you using a utility/lawnmower type? These extension cords were not made to carry the loads that we tend to put on them.
using a heavy 30 amp rated cord. same size as the cord on the trailer.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:35 PM   #13
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It so easy to check to see if you're charging the battery while plugged in.
Before plugging to shore power measure the voltage at the battery.
Plug into shore power measure the voltage again. It should increase.

NOTE: This will only work when the battery is not at full charge.

Once you know the answer that charge no charge question you can then trouble shoot the problem.

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Old 05-28-2008, 07:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
have sent an email to scamp asking for advice. my thinking is that it is either gas or 110. now all i have to do is find out if it is actually charging or not. will have to check the fuses. only have 3 of them on the panel and there is not a seperate breaker for the converter/charger as far as i can tell. it is possible the fuse between the converter and the battery is blown.
Rather than asking Scamp, get the numbers off the plate on the fridge and find the service manual for it, using Helpful-Links. That will have lots of useful info.
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:22 PM   #15
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it is possible the fuse between the converter and the battery is blown.
That still would not explain your brown outs completely. When your converter is on, it bypasses the battery. A blown fuse between your charger and battery would certainly explain why it wasn't recharging tho.

As mentioned above, with the converter on, you can pull the battery out of your rig and STILL have 12v power. Thats what a converter does. Many folks here do not have a battery, they run strictly off the converter because they only camp with shore power.

I don't know about other models, but mine throws a relay which switches on the charger, and then disconnects the battery from the 12v system while it is charging from the charger built into the converter. The converter, and *only* the converter supplies the 12v system for the house.

I have breakers on the converter unit which also serves as a 110v distribution system. I also have a separate breaker to turn the converter/charger section off. It is set permanently to "Off". The charger that comes with the converter stinks, so I use a small outboard one instead. When I am plugged into shore power, the charger charges the battery and I run off of it.

I think the "Brown Out" theory in the park is a good one, or you are somehow not recharging your battery.. but why your system would be running off the battery when the converter is on, I do not know. Once you switch the converter on, it should drop the battery out of the house feed.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:51 AM   #16
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Different converters operate differently and some require a battery to be connected to filter certain circuits while others require a battery to be connected just to function properly....

Lots of converter manufacturers and lots of models from each over the years.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:28 AM   #17
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I removed the face plate from the converter this morning bofre gong to work. It took me a while but I found a small 8 amp fuse at the bottom of the panel was blown. ONe of the glass tube types. Have replaced that and guess will see what results I have tonight. The unit had been plugged into shore power since Monday morning and the lights were still browned out on 12 volt.
I did get an email reply from Kent Eveland at Scamp. He told me to disconnect the positive side of the battery and try the 12 volt to see if the converter was working. Is nice to have such promprt sevice.
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:02 PM   #18
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There should be an in-line glass fuse holder right near the positive terminal on the battery, so it's easy to disconnect. There will be another fuse like it inside the bunk near the door (upper inner corner under ratfur).

BTW, for new Scamp owners, apparently the new Scamps are being wired without these two fuses -- That would NOT be my choice, but there it reportedly is...
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:50 AM   #19
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I replaced the 8 amp fuse I found behind the face plate of the converter and things starting working right away.
Just wanted to say thanks to all who took the time to offer advice!
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