Original electrical 1981 Scamp 13 help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-16-2017, 03:23 PM   #1
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Original electrical 1981 Scamp 13 help

I have a new to me 81 Scamp 13. There is a mounting frame on the tongue, but no 12v battery. There were at one time, unidentified devices under the front bench access near the refrigerator side.

Does anyone have a layout of how the missing devices were wired together, and what I might be looking for to bring my camper back to Boondockability?

There is currently a dorm fridge, and I shouldn't expect it to run very long on battery power, but if it would run while I am driving for a while with a gallon jug of frozen ice in it as a booster.

I am considering adding solar for these off grid times. (or when the campground is just too full)
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:31 PM   #2
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If you have a digital camera, it would probably be of great benefit if you could post a few pictures of these "unidentified devices." A picture is worth a thousand words. Sight unseen, you will only elicit "guesses" as responses.

Also, FWIW, that dorm fridge will run your battery down about a quickly as anything you could hook up to it, (and we're talking just a mere couple of hours running off the battery.) That would be the first thing to go if you are planning to set your trailer up for boondocking.

Running your battery down, (and that would be down to 50%, of charge) is also one of the worst, and most destructive, things you could do to it as well. After about a 3 hour drive running it on the battery, your battery would be dead. Very bad for the battery.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:33 PM   #3
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Sorry Greg, but that is my problem.
They were there once, but not now. I have an empty cabinet, and no idea where to begin in building a new setup.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:38 PM   #4
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Aha, the plot thickens. Not being a Scamp owner, there may be others who do have Scamps that may be able to fill in the blanks as to what went where. Good luck with your project. I'm sure there will be others who will also step up to help you here.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:46 PM   #5
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It appears that you might not know what you're doing. Miswiring can cause fires. Therefore I suggest you take the trailer to a qualified person to examine your electrical system and help installing a battery. Color coding in Scamp trailers is different than color coding in automobiles.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:00 PM   #6
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"It appears that you might not know what you're doing" is the story of my life, but that won't stop me from asking. I am trying to get an idea of the necessary electrical equipment to restore the camper. The wires are still there, but the equipment has been pulled out.

It works as a 110 only unit right now, but I would like to get the 12v set up. Having some idea of the items necessary will help me price shop, and figure out where it goes on the priority list.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likeair2me View Post
"It appears that you might not know what you're doing" is the story of my life, but that won't stop me from asking. I am trying to get an idea of the necessary electrical equipment to restore the camper. The wires are still there, but the equipment has been pulled out.

It works as a 110 only unit right now, but I would like to get the 12v set up. Having some idea of the items necessary will help me price shop, and figure out where it goes on the priority list.
Let us know when your trailer burns up.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:16 PM   #8
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I'm not sure at all about setting up solar, if you are interested in that, but our 1981 Scamp works this way:

The battery ONLY runs the two lights on the ends of the cabinets (and a radio the previous owner installed, but that was not original).

The 110volt powers the electrical outlets. Our fridge is an icebox, which takes an ice block and requires no power.

We love having an icebox and it stays cold for a three day weekend.

Under our sink is a little fuse box with an on/off switch which all the wires seem to run into and out of.

In no way at all would I begin to know how to wire a trailer , nor do I want to (this girl leaves those things to the professionals!) but just though I'd let you know that it is a very, very simple set up in our 1982 Scamp.

Edited to add, that our previous owner also installed an inverter and a a solar connection, but we have yet to use either item. It could be that your missing boxes were one or both of these items.

Editing again because I keep thinking of things. Our Scamp 1982 doesn't charge the battery when plugged into shore power OR while driving. So I don't think you will have a converter, unless that was also one of your missing boxes (which I think, would have been an added item from a previous owner, as I don't think the older Scamps originally did that)
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:17 PM   #9
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Sorry, but I fail to see where an inquiry of standard parts will cause a burning down of my trailer. I am trying to get an equipment list so I can price some materials.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:25 PM   #10
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If your 13 foot Scamp trailer was anything like mine was when shipped from Scamp you had a 120 volt AC side that came on from under the rear drivers side of the trailer. The cord went under the seat to under the sink where there was a breaker for power disconnect. From there it went down to a duplex box to plug into the 3 way fridge. from there it went up to the over head cabinet to another duplex outlet on the side of the cabinet and went down to power the florescent light.

On the 12 volt side of life you had the power cord from the trailer connector going to the battery to keep it charged while driving. From the battery it went through a fuse holder and then to the 12 volt side of the fridge and up into the over head cabinet to power the 12 volt lights at each end of the over head cabinet.

It was the most minimal set of wiring. There was no converter or ability to charge and maintain the battery if you weren't driving and hooked up to your car. You had to supply a separate battery charger to maintain your battery.

I gutted this and added the PD-4045 control center with smart wizard charging for the battery. One of the best modifications I have done. I also added 2 - 30 amp solar panels that I use to keep my battery charged when there is no 120 volt AC available. When I chose my battery I went with a Walmart group 27 marine type battery. Its a little bigger battery and I had to put a board on the original battery rails and use a larger battery box.

I do not run my fridge on 12 volt DC its either on 120 volt AC or on Propane.

I would look at the wiring diagram that Scamp uses on its modern trailers to get an Idea on how everything works together.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:32 PM   #11
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Is here you head with this depends on whether you want original or something that works.

Our Campster has minimal wiring, and I do mean minimal, but it works for us. It also has a dorm fridge which I believe replaces te original ice box. It's 110 only. The rest of the 110 is a plug in light and a couple of outlets.

It has a battery that powers 2 light fixtures, a fan, and now a ham radio. The battery is charged by a 45 Watt solar panel and optionally, a battery maintainer. There is no converter and no power from the tow.

When I was installing the radio, I discovered that the lights and fan were not fused. I added a small fuse panel that sits on the battery terminals to rectify this potential hazard.

Our Casita was at the other end of the spectrum with the converter, lots of fuses for both the 12v and 110v appliances as well as a charge line from the tow.

Our dorm fridge seems to stay cold for a few hours with some blue ice packets. Once we are at our destination, we can plug in to refreeze the ice packets. We have not tried to run it off the battery with an inverter. We also have plug in coolers that we can carry inn the tow a run off the accessory plugs.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:33 PM   #12
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Steve you are my new hero. A straight forward answer. This pic from the original 4 page "owners manual" is all I have about the trailer wiring, and none of it mentions the 12v battery system. I will be looking at the system you suggested and consider adding a solar system at that time. In the meantime, food will stay iced in the cooler until the fridge gets to a reasonable temperature.

Thank you for your information.
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1981 Scamp Owners Manual pg 3 of 4.jpg  
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:38 PM   #13
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Thanks Dave. Fuses will definitely be part of the setup.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:13 PM   #14
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Your wiring diagram appears to only cover your outside lights for towing. It's not much help for your inside questions. From other responses that were being typed parallel to mine, it looks like the decade others with similar setups.

Do you have interior 12v lights? Do you have a water pump (ours has a hand pump)? How about a furnace? If any of these are still there, they will want the 12v circuit. You should follow the wires to see where they lead.

If not, then you have a blank slate. The wiring is not too complex. I suspect that one of your missing components was an inverter.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:38 PM   #15
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No A/C or heat but they are on the list, so planning ahead at this point. I want to add lighting inside as well as an exterior light (and maybe an outdoor outlet) for campsite conversations.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by likeair2me View Post
Sorry, but I fail to see where an inquiry of standard parts will cause a burning down of my trailer. I am trying to get an equipment list so I can price some materials.
Ignore the trolls.. they live everywhere now days.

Learn what you need to learn to do what you can safely, and also learn enough to know when you need someone else to do the work.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:35 PM   #17
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Yeah, but it does get a little tiring. It's not like I am twirling my hair, asking how to change a tire so someone will do it for me. This is a legit inquiry to those who have had previous experience with this setup, and how they managed to upgrade their own systems. I have electricians on hand, but I want the best setup for the space.
The whole reason to ask is to AVOID burning it down.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:02 AM   #18
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The belief that 12VDC wiring cannot cause a fire or physical injury or that a couple hours reading Wikipedia makes you an electrician is a false assumption .
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:41 PM   #19
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Find one to look st

My first thought would be to find a nearby scamp owner and ask to inspect it. Track the wires, take pictures and take notes. That would be a good start.
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:06 PM   #20
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If you have a blank slate, start over - it's the perfect opportunity to install a robust system. I gutted my Burro and completely replaced the wiring, lighting and a new power control center - a converter/fuse panel that has controlled charging rate for better battery life. The only thing powered besides lighting is the water pump and the 120V fridge (and 120 & 12V outlets)...I have no AC or furnace (we use a 120V space heater when connected), but there's plenty of capacity for it all in the fuse panel.

The converter runs everything off 12V (except the fridge) until you connect to shore power, at which point it runs it on 120V. The 12V receptacles run anytime, the 120V receptacles only run when shore power is connected.

Forget a 12V fridge...you can spend $1200 or so for a two-way fridge (120V /propane), that will allow you to keep stuff cold while towing.

I probably still have the wiring diagram somewhere if it will help.
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