Converter Replacement - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-19-2022, 05:57 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Kelly
Trailer: Scamp 16
Washington
Posts: 17
Converter Replacement

Hi All,

I have a 1990 Scamp 16 with the original converter and would like to upgrade it to something more modern. I've been scouring related posts which have been helpful. I am not an electrician by any means and need all the help I can get.

While browsing through various posts there was a lot of discussion around grounding the converter to the trailer frame. After reading I came away with the understanding that I should not ground the new converter to the frame. My original converter was not wired to the frame either. Unless a previous owner changed something but I doubt it.

The various posts on grounding seemed to indicate that the only ground is the green wire from the shore power. I guess I'm still confused if there is supposed to be a actual wire grounding the shore power to the frame somewhere? I don't see one on my trailer. I did the power cord conversion a few years ago and replaced with the external twist lock. I'm just wondering if I screwed something up when I changed that. I don't recall seeing any wires running to the frame and I can't imagine I would have removed it but you never know.

As far as installing the new converter I am not planning on grounding it to the frame. Did I misinterpret what I read or is that correct?

I have not ordered anything yet and am just trying to make sure I understand how exactly to wire the new converter and fuse box before I purchase something I can't install.

Generally my understanding is that I connect the positive (black wire) from the battery to the fuse block and the new converter. I connect the negative (white wire) from the battery to the ground bus terminal on the fuse block. I also connect the negative from the converter to the ground bus terminal. From there connect the various appliances (water pump and heater) to the fuse block. Am I missing anything there?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Kelly
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Old 01-20-2022, 06:42 AM   #2
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Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 1,819
Registry
Check the site I linked below. Everything you want to know, and stuff you never thought to even ask. They will also answer calls and answer any questions. Very knowledgeable, friendly, and there prices are as good as anybody out there.
FWIW, I bought my replacement converter" lower unit" made by Progressive Dynamics, to replace my original factory installed Parallax unit. Big improvement.

https://www.bestconverter.com/
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Old 01-20-2022, 07:27 AM   #3
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Name: jon
Trailer: 2013 Casita 17' SD
Illinois
Posts: 131
2X for Randy at Bestconverters. They know their products. i have replaced two converters in two different campers and bought both of them from Bestconverters. One thing Randy mentioned to me is the converters he sells come with a factory warranty and to beware of many of the suppliers on Amazon...as they do not provide a factory warranty. Their products have instructions and are easy to follow.





It is not difficult to replace a converter. Read up on it first.
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Old 01-20-2022, 10:05 AM   #4
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Scamp 16
Washington
Posts: 17
I will give Randy a call and ask. I have seen him recommended before. Has anyone bought the Boondocker converters he sells or do you just order a progressive dynamics through him?
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Old 01-27-2022, 08:47 AM   #5
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjackson82 View Post
Hi All,

I have a 1990 Scamp 16 with the original converter and would like to upgrade it to something more modern. I've been scouring related posts which have been helpful. I am not an electrician by any means and need all the help I can get.

While browsing through various posts there was a lot of discussion around grounding the converter to the trailer frame. After reading I came away with the understanding that I should not ground the new converter to the frame. My original converter was not wired to the frame either. Unless a previous owner changed something but I doubt it.

The various posts on grounding seemed to indicate that the only ground is the green wire from the shore power. I guess I'm still confused if there is supposed to be a actual wire grounding the shore power to the frame somewhere? I don't see one on my trailer. I did the power cord conversion a few years ago and replaced with the external twist lock. I'm just wondering if I screwed something up when I changed that. I don't recall seeing any wires running to the frame and I can't imagine I would have removed it but you never know.

As far as installing the new converter I am not planning on grounding it to the frame. Did I misinterpret what I read or is that correct?

I have not ordered anything yet and am just trying to make sure I understand how exactly to wire the new converter and fuse box before I purchase something I can't install.

Generally my understanding is that I connect the positive (black wire) from the battery to the fuse block and the new converter. I connect the negative (white wire) from the battery to the ground bus terminal on the fuse block. I also connect the negative from the converter to the ground bus terminal. From there connect the various appliances (water pump and heater) to the fuse block. Am I missing anything there?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Kelly

I had to replace my scamp converter. Can't find the model, but got a 60 amp so I would not run out this time. And it was within 15% in price of the smaller units. Now I bought one which has a separate battery connection. The converter then float charges the battery when it is on AC. It does not pass through the ground from the AC so I did that. Then if I am running any of my equipment I have to ground anyway. Also if I am running on generator I ground and bond the generator. I also grounded to the frame.

I then put in a fuse block so I could have the existing wiring on a 15 amp fuse and add more legs for other power.
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Old 01-27-2022, 10:22 AM   #6
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Trailer: 2000 Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette
Posts: 695
What is the make and model of your converter now, and is it working? If it is working, why do you want to replace it?

--Dan Meyer
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Old 01-28-2022, 08:09 AM   #7
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Name: David
Trailer: 2014 13' Scamp -standard w/ front bunk
Vermont
Posts: 313
Kelly,
You ask an interesting question regarding grounding. My scamp (13) factory-installed PD converter was not grounded. The PD instruction manual however is clear that it should be grounded (grounding as in connecting the lug on the PD enclosure to the trailer frame, not as in the (-) battery connection which is additional). Here is the language from the manufacturer:

2. Connect ground lug (found on unit base) to
chassis.
• Ground wire to be between 6 and 12AWG
wire.

On my Scamp the location of the ground lug made it nearly impossible to see and I didn't realize it was not connected until I upgraded to a new converter for a lithium battery. When installing the upgrade, I did decide to follow the instructions from of the manufacturer and not repeat Scamp's practice.
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Old 01-28-2022, 09:40 AM   #8
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDavidG View Post
Kelly,
You ask an interesting question regarding grounding. My scamp (13) factory-installed PD converter was not grounded. The PD instruction manual however is clear that it should be grounded (grounding as in connecting the lug on the PD enclosure to the trailer frame, not as in the (-) battery connection which is additional). Here is the language from the manufacturer:

2. Connect ground lug (found on unit base) to
chassis.
• Ground wire to be between 6 and 12AWG
wire.

On my Scamp the location of the ground lug made it nearly impossible to see and I didn't realize it was not connected until I upgraded to a new converter for a lithium battery. When installing the upgrade, I did decide to follow the instructions from of the manufacturer and not repeat Scamp's practice.

Part of the key here is that it is supposed to be grounded. But it will work in almost all situations if it is not. BUT!!!! it can be a disaster if it is done badly. Make sure both connections are solid and that the wire is big enough. The ground connection should be as big or bigger gage as any of your other wiring. For anything mobile I always use stranded as solid wire can be vibrated and broken or worse, half broken
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Old 01-28-2022, 10:03 AM   #9
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 2010 Scamp 16
Michigan
Posts: 3,719
Your 110 system has a ground wire for shore power hooked into the load center / fuse box. This is not the same "box" as the converter. it is the one that 110 outlets are wired to and they have a ground wire that comes back to the box where I'm pretty sure they are connecting to the shore power ground or neutral through the round center pin on plug going to shore power.

Look into a charge wizard for PD converter. Or a PD model that has the features of the charge wizard built in. Those features help maintain the battery during periods of storage.
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Old 01-31-2022, 07:17 AM   #10
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Trailer: 1981 Trillium 5500
Posts: 1,109
sorry to pipe in, but this discussion needs a bit of clarification, and it's all about terminology.
Many of the wiring diagrams show the 12v negative terminal going to the trailer frame. That is only necessary if you have equipment that takes the negative from the frame instead of a direct wire. it is not actually a "ground". In our small trailers, there is no reason not to run an individual negative to each device in the trailer

the connection from the converter to the frame (green wire) is also not a "ground", it is a "bond", the purpose of which is so that if a short circuit occurs on the 110v hot side, it will trip the circuit breaker feeding it, rather than potentially energizing the frame of the trailer , which could cause you to get a shock if you touched a metal part of the frame, and the ground at the same time.
hope this explains a bit, rather than confusing it.

Joe
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Old 01-31-2022, 06:55 PM   #11
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Name: Dennis
Trailer: Currently shopping
Idaho
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjackson82 View Post
Hi All,

I have a 1990 Scamp 16 with the original converter and would like to upgrade it to something more modern. I've been scouring related posts which have been helpful. I am not an electrician by any means and need all the help I can get.

While browsing through various posts there was a lot of discussion around grounding the converter to the trailer frame. After reading I came away with the understanding that I should not ground the new converter to the frame. My original converter was not wired to the frame either. Unless a previous owner changed something but I doubt it.

The various posts on grounding seemed to indicate that the only ground is the green wire from the shore power. I guess I'm still confused if there is supposed to be a actual wire grounding the shore power to the frame somewhere? I don't see one on my trailer. I did the power cord conversion a few years ago and replaced with the external twist lock. I'm just wondering if I screwed something up when I changed that. I don't recall seeing any wires running to the frame and I can't imagine I would have removed it but you never know.

As far as installing the new converter I am not planning on grounding it to the frame. Did I misinterpret what I read or is that correct?

I have not ordered anything yet and am just trying to make sure I understand how exactly to wire the new converter and fuse box before I purchase something I can't install.

Generally my understanding is that I connect the positive (black wire) from the battery to the fuse block and the new converter. I connect the negative (white wire) from the battery to the ground bus terminal on the fuse block. I also connect the negative from the converter to the ground bus terminal. From there connect the various appliances (water pump and heater) to the fuse block. Am I missing anything there?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Kelly
I have a Samlex 300 in my 1999 Scamp and it works fine. I just use the plug outlet for 110 so don't have wiring advice other than in my experience black is ground and white is hot. Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2022, 10:45 PM   #12
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Name: Elizabeth
Trailer: TrailsWest
Washington
Posts: 53
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Originally Posted by denswaer View Post
I have a Samlex 300 in my 1999 Scamp and it works fine. I just use the plug outlet for 110 so don't have wiring advice other than in my experience black is ground and white is hot. Good luck.

Is the Samlex 300 permanently mounted in your Scamp? If so, where and how did you mount it? I'm looking for ideas for my Campster.
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