Need help with battery mistake - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:45 AM   #1
Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 36
Need help with battery mistake

I have a Scamp fifth wheel. Unfortunately I crossed the positive and negative connections when I hooked up my battery. A bad mistake, I know...
I am out dry camping right now and I have a nearly fully charged battery and have my solar panel hooked up. Right now I have dim lights -- when I first turn on a light it comes on very bright for a second and then I get a steady dim light. All lights are working. However, none of my extra 12 volt, cigarette lighter style plugs are working, nor is my water pump or furnace.
I checked all fuses and replaced the (20 amp) one for the battery at the panel which was blown. The in-line fuse for the positive lead at the battery is good. At the converter, I took out the 30 amp fuse and re-plugged it in and heard a click. This is when my lights started working.
It seems like I do have some battery power but apparently, not enough to power up anything but the lights.
Can anyone suggest other things I can try to do to get the pump, furnace and outlets working?
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:32 AM   #2
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Name: Paul
Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, TV:Tacoma 3.5L 4door, SB
Posts: 1,828
A cheap multimeter from a hardware store will help you diagnose this. You may have a battery that is damaged (dead). It may have close to 12 volts with no load, but as soon as you connect any load, it drops way down. The voltmeter will tell you.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:56 AM   #3
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Posts: 1,559
One of the very first things I did when I got my trailer was to take all the wires that were attached to the positive battery post and wrap them in red electrical tape. I could see something bad happen if i was in a hurry.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:16 AM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 1,890
At your battery check all your connections. The positive side and the negative side can have several connections depending on how it is set up and how many people have been in there before you. The positive side should have at least a charge line and a power out wire with fuse. Scamp like to put another fuse in that wire where it enters the trailer on the inside of the trailer then off to the converter. If you have a modern converter there is usually fuse where the 12 volt line to the battery is connected in the panel then the individual fuses for each circuit. You usually will blow the fuse in the converter panel to protect the circuitry for the converter. Some old panels had a push in circuit breaker. If you have one of those reset it. Your dim lights may be coming from you just running off the solar panel and not the battery at all.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:17 AM   #5
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Trailer: Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette
Posts: 1,278
Where in Iowa are you?
Have we seen you at any of the Scrambled Eggs gatherings?
We are in Dubuque
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:55 AM   #6
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 8,516
Reversing terminals at the battery is a common mistake.
I have seen it often, most of the time it is simply corrected by putting the terminals back and recharging the battery.
You might disconnect the battery and try jumper cables from your TV to recharge the battery. then put it back in service.
Skip this part if you actually have 12.7V at the battery with it disconnected.

Are you aware that there is a fuse inside the bulkhead where the wiring from the battery enters the trailer?
It is behind the steps to the loft on the RH side.(or inside the couch storage) depending on which trailer
There is also one at the battery of course, and should be one at the converter..
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:08 PM   #7
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
Posts: 578
Make sure your converter is plugged in.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:57 PM   #8
Name: G
Trailer: Damon
Posts: 43
battery mistake

Hi one of the most common electrical problems for RV's is the lack of a suitable ground. Dimming or blinking light is a very good indicator of this problem. Next, are your battery connections clean and tight? Don't just wiggle them! Get rid of all the pretty green stuff. Tinned connectors are less prone to corrosion than brass or copper. Don't mix metals if possible, you really don't need a mini battery happening on your terminals!!

First thing I would check is the battery negative to chassis ground. Don't just look at it! Physically remove and thoroughly clean all metal parts and lightly grease everything with axle grease before reassembling things Star washers are a wonderful thing. Messy but necessary for your peace of mind.

If this does not do the trick, and it uusually does, then open up every connection and for best results solder them! Failing that separate them, clean and reassemble using die-electric grease and heat shrink tubing.

Sounds like a lot of effort? it is, and that is why the manufacturer doesn't bother. You reward for all this work is good lighting both inside and out plus the knowledge that you'll never have to this again.
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Old 05-01-2018, 01:02 PM   #9
Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 36
Thanks all for your quick replies. As it turns out, the next morning I disconnected the battery leads and put them back on and voila-- everything was working as normal. It seems the only casualty was to the Charge Wizard I installed three years ago right after I purchased the Scamp. The indicator light on it now only stays on constantly, a sign that it must no longer be functional. I think it is fried. Nothing critical, but it was nice to have to ensure proper (three stage) battery charging from the converter. On the bright side, it is a very inexpensive replacement.
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Old 05-01-2018, 01:05 PM   #10
Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 36
Hi Wayne. We are in Monroe -- about 30 miles east of Des Moines, near Pella. We haven't been to any Scrambled Egg rallies yet, though we did attend a fiberglass rally (mostly Escapes) in the Quad Cities area in Sept. 2016.
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Old 05-01-2018, 01:57 PM   #11
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Name: Paul
Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, TV:Tacoma 3.5L 4door, SB
Posts: 1,828
If you are not looking to upgrade, a straight replacement can be found. That is what I did when my American, model CS2000XL bit the dust. It only cost about $70, including shipping. It cam from a guy who must have bought a whole lot of surplus RV stuff.
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