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Old 06-20-2015, 10:37 PM   #1
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Scamp fan

The roof fan in my 13 foot scamp will only run when the camper is plugged into external power source (and runs perfectly fine). The deep-cell battery is brand-new and fully charged. And when I do try to turn on the fan, all the lights dim or turn off and the fan still doesn't run. However, through all this the voltage meter still reads 12.3.

Any suggestions, fellow fiberglassers? Please help. It's prime this camping season and it's getting pretty warm.

Tx
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Old 06-21-2015, 03:27 AM   #2
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Hi, I don't know the wiring layout of a Scamp but kind of wondering if there is any kind of breaker/fuse that may be tripped to caused 12V from getting to your fan. Hopefully somebody with more experience with a Scamp will chime in soon.
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:03 AM   #3
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Sounds to me like a dead short somewhere, But it is odd that it works on shore power but not on the battery as you would think it is the same 12V wiring circuit. The fan is just 12V right?
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:23 AM   #4
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What year is your Scamp?

I am assuming it has a converter. If its one of the older ones - open it up (you need to unscrew the top off of it) and check the fuses inside it.

Do other 12V items such as lights all work when plugged in? If not check the inline fuses - there should be two on your trailer - one outside just off the battery and the other just inside the trailer where the wiring harness connects into the trailers main wiring.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
Sounds to me like a dead short somewhere, But it is odd that it works on shore power but not on the battery as you would think it is the same 12V wiring circuit. The fan is just 12V right?
I tell you it's NOT a dead short. A dead short would blow a fuse, or burn a wire up if the fuse way over sized. This one is pretty dangerous, if allowed to continued wiring will probably heat up, burn up, and possibly cause a fire.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:35 AM   #6
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To partially explain how this can happen. The converter is where the power distribution point is located. Wire has a resistance per foot, the longer the more resistance. The battery is located on the tongue a ways from the distribution point.
UNKNOWNS -- The amount of current the fan is attempting to draw from the battery or how much it draws from the converter.
The condition of battery and battery voltage at the battery and at the distribution point.

I STRONGLY SUGGEST that this trailer be taken to some body that understands electricity and trailer wiring to trouble shoot and fix.
What would do if this was happening in your home? You call somebody. Just because the trailer runs on 12 volts doesn't mean it's any less dangerous than 120 house wiring. In fact it can be more dangerous.
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Old 06-21-2015, 12:45 PM   #7
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Check for tight connections just inside the bulkhead right front. There is also usually a fuse in that location and one at the battery.
The one at the battery should be on the positive + post.
Check for polarity at the battery and check for tight connections.
Check the polarity switch at the fan to see that it is firmly seated in one position or the other. Do not switch it while the fan blade is moving.
After this, report back and we will continue.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:35 PM   #8
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I would suggest that the problem is mechanical rather than electrical . It sounds to me that the bushings or bearings are either worn out or in need of lubrication . The battery may not have enough power to get it spinning , whatever the case do not use it at all until you locate the problem and repair it . Also a fully charged battery should have 13 + volts .
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Old 06-21-2015, 02:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bob in Mb View Post
I would suggest that the problem is mechanical rather than electrical . It sounds to me that the bushings or bearings are either worn out or in need of lubrication . The battery may not have enough power to get it spinning , whatever the case do not use it at all until you locate the problem and repair it . Also a fully charged battery should have 13 + volts .
Since the fan runs "fine" on shore power maybe its not the fan. Even though battery is new, it could be bad. What is voltage with nothing on, with just lights, and then with lights and fan on? Dimming lights likely indicates too much power being drawn. Now is that too much because of bad wiring or bad fan, etc.. or is it too much draw for the battery because it is weak / bad.. thats a question to answer.
If the battery is not sealed, its time for a hydrometer check. An auto / RV electrical shop can test it the battery under load also. If you can rule out a bad battery then you can move on to other things.

And oh yes, battery corrosion at the battery terminal(s) is a frequent cause of insufficient power.. how do the battery terminals look? Maybe just needs a good cleaning.
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Old 06-21-2015, 03:48 PM   #10
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I think Floyd is on to something, suggesting to check that all connections are tight. That should also include those on the deep cycle battery. The 12 volt wire lugs are often thin enough that the nut on the 5/16 stud on the battery barely squeezes them, due to the fact that the thread is not cut (rolled) all the way to the bottom end. I had that problem and a simple washer under the nut (not under the lug!) provided a tight connection.

The battery will be charged, but if the connection at the battery is loose, then the voltage drop right there at the loose contact will be too high. The fan wants to draw much more current than the lights, so it will not quite get running and the lights will dim. If this is the case, nothing unsafe about it, but if there were a wire too thin for the amperage, that could get too hot and melt or burn something. The original wiring in the Scamp should be adequate, the gauge they use is heavy enough, unless something got damaged somehow.
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Old 06-21-2015, 03:52 PM   #11
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One more comment. When running from shore power, the battery is being charged and the 12 volt fan will run OK, since it is fed by the convertor.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
One more comment. When running from shore power, the battery is being charged and the 12 volt fan will run OK, since it is fed by the convertor.
Exactly why this points to a bad battery.. or a bad connection to the battery, as the most likely (but not the only possible) cause
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:37 PM   #13
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Exactly why this points to a bad battery.. or a bad connection to the battery, as the most likely (but not the only possible) cause
Actually the battery as it is new may not have been connected correctly - a common error when folks get a new battery for a Scamp. We have seen/heard of a very issues in that regard a number of times.

White is - Negative and Black is + Positive.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:49 PM   #14
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There is one thing you can check easily. Check the fuse at the battery. The fuse could be ok but the contacts corroded.

FYI I had that happen to me. The furnace fan wouldn't run on battery. But I'm never connected to shore power.
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:16 PM   #15
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You say through all of this it's still reading 12.3 v. Does "through all of this" mean WHILE you have lights on AND the fan trying to run? OR, afterwards and there's nothing running and the "idle" voltage is 12.3?

No offense, but I'd REALLY suggest that if you're not familiar/use to a volt/ohm meter and doing some serious trouble-shooting, to take this to a professional before you do some SERIOUS AND expensive damage to your trailer!

Backwards battery hookup?? From what I've read, it sure sounds possible!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Darilyn View Post
The roof fan in my 13 foot scamp will only run when the camper is plugged into external power source (and runs perfectly fine). The deep-cell battery is brand-new and fully charged. And when I do try to turn on the fan, all the lights dim or turn off and the fan still doesn't run. However, through all this the voltage meter still reads 12.3.

Any suggestions, fellow fiberglassers? Please help. It's prime this camping season and it's getting pretty warm.

Tx
Lady D


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
There is one thing you can check easily. Check the fuse at the battery. The fuse could be ok but the contacts corroded.

FYI I had that happen to me. The furnace fan wouldn't run on battery. But I'm never connected to shore power.
But the lights still work inside?
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
You say through all of this it's still reading 12.3 v. Does "through all of this" mean WHILE you have lights on AND the fan trying to run? OR, afterwards and there's nothing running and the "idle" voltage is 12.3?

No offense, but I'd REALLY suggest that if you're not familiar/use to a volt/ohm meter and doing some serious trouble-shooting, to take this to a professional before you do some SERIOUS AND expensive damage to your trailer!

Backwards battery hookup?? From what I've read, it sure sounds possible!
No offense taken.

The meter just plugs into the 12.v outlet and gives a digital read out. No skills required.


And yes, it reads 12.3 before anything is on, after lights are turned on, and after fan is turned on and didn't run.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:27 PM   #18
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If it's a freshly charged battery and it immediately reads 12.3, then something else is seriously eating your power BEFORE you turn anything on on the battery side.

You need a meter to do this...but you need to disconnect the battery; charge it externally; test it with a meter BEFORE attaching the wires. Coming off the charger fresh, it should read somewhere above 13volts. Then attach the wires and immediately check the voltage again (NOTHING turned on inside at this point). If the voltage drops as you say (12.3), then you've got something serious going on in the camper and you will have to trace it starting at the battery. OR...you may want to take the battery in for a defect. Start with the simple and easily-overlooked things....

But what EVER you do....try to notice and see if you smell anything getting hot. If you DO, immediately disconnect the battery!! To me, this is a very touchy situation you have....if it's not the battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Darilyn View Post
No offense taken.

The meter just plugs into the 12.v outlet and gives a digital read out. No skills required.


And yes, it reads 12.3 before anything is on, after lights are turned on, and after fan is turned on and didn't run.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Lady Darilyn View Post
But the lights still work inside?
Perhaps.. what many in this thread are suggesting is that there could be a point of high resistance in the wiring. This would not show up with a light load on the battery (a few lights for example) but would cause the power to drop out if a large load was turned on (such as a fan).
The cause could be a bad connection that was made worse by vibration, corrosion, or something else.

Many have warned of dire consequences. I would feel confident troubleshooting this if I had my hands on the trailer but the cautions do have some merit. High resistance is what makes the wires in your toaster glow red hot, and sometimes burn the bread. The same thing can happen on the trailer. And there is A LOT of energy in the battery, it is to be respected.
You can certainly disconnect the battery and then do a visual inspection of the connections. perhaps something will look bad / burned. Maybe even tug on the wires at the connections and see if they come apart. With the battery unhooked and no shore power its safe. Beyond that, yes I agree to get someone who is knowledgeable enough to be safe getting this fixed. And soon too, I hope.. we have all made our guesses and are looking to win the prize for being right.

Yes, as Darral said, with a regular multi-meter.. check the battery voltage AT the battery with it charged and disconnected. My guess is still a bad battery or connection to it.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:33 PM   #20
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But the lights still work inside?

The light don't draw enough current to be adversely affected. It's an easy check. Simply remove the top of the battery box and remove the fuse from the holder. You'll know very rapidly if it's corroded.
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