New Scamp 16’ owner-Battery issue - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:55 PM   #1
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Name: Rafael
Trailer: in the market
Colorado
Posts: 7
New Scamp 16’ owner-Battery issue

Greetings everyone,

Just bought a 2018 Scamp 16’ last month. Been using it on and off boondocking.
Wonder if any of you could help me out with the Scamp battery situation:

Here’s the “story:”
Was having issues with the seven pin connection between the pick up and the Scamp. Only the brake lights would work. Took it to camping world and after 5 hours of working on it, they were able to re wire the corroded wires on the pickup. Now all the lights work, brake, turn signals etc.
They said they didn’t work on the camper, though they asked me to leave both there for the service.

I get home with the camper and the battery power won’t work. The lights flicker for a few minutes as the furnace fan sputters and then the power goes out completely. Now, none of the 12v appliances work on just the battery. The battery was working fine before the service as I made sure to charge it back on the generator every day.

Have done the following:

-Volt meter tested the battery cold and while connected to shore power (generator) and the battery reads 12.5 connected and not connected to shore power.

So I thought it could be either fuses or the converter/charger

-Tested all the fuses in the breaker panel and the fuse connected to the yellow positive wire at the battery and they’re all good

-volt meter tested the converter/charger and it reads 13.6

Spoke with Scamp on the phone and they said without looking at it that they wouldn’t know what else to do, but that it may be a break in the connection somewhere else..

Open and appreciative of all ideas you may be able to offer.

Thanks very much

Rafael
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:35 PM   #2
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,679
Quote:
Originally Posted by rafa View Post
...now, none of the 12v appliances work on just the battery. The battery was working fine before the service as i made sure to charge it back on the generator every day.

Have done the following:

-volt meter tested the battery cold and while connected to shore power (generator) and the battery reads 12.5 connected and not connected to shore power.

so i thought it could be either fuses or the converter/charger...

-volt meter tested the converter/charger and it reads 13.6
...
It's nice to see someone ask question and also provide enough information about their situation and troubleshooting to guide an educated answer.. which I hope this is....

I have bolded the two statements in your post that I think are the biggest clue to the problem.

When on shore power (gen or grid) with a charged battery, the converter should provide a voltage close to the float voltage which is about 13.7 (give or take). The voltage might be lower when the battery is charging or under load, or higher if the converter is in desulf mode.. but the important thing to know is that the converter should always provide a voltage that is higher than the battery does alone when it is disconnected. Maybe a lot, maybe a little.. but never less.

You have confirmed that the converter does in fact read a higher voltage (13.6) vs the voltage at the battery when it is disconnected (12.5). So it looks like the converter is working OK.

However when the battery is connected to the converter, the voltage from the converter should be fairly close to the voltage reading at the battery (and also everywhere else in the system). The voltage at the battery will be a little lower because of voltage loss from the wiring or loads but a great deal. With a battery connected to the converter, and a reading of 13.6 at the converter but only 12.5 at the battery is appears that the converter IS NOT connected to the battery and not charging it. If it was I would expect a reading at the battery of something over 13 at least.

If this is the case and the converter is not charging the battery, then even on shore power, your battery will become depleted, the voltage will go lower, and things will stop working.

But if the battery alone powers your 12 VDC things, with no shore power, then we would expect it to be charged on shore power. So one thing to test is does your 12 VDC items (such as roof fan) work on shore power with the battery disconnected?

Thats all probably confusing but here is the executive summary... When on shore power I would expect to see over 13 volts measured at the battery. If not at first, then at least within an hour or two at the most and without heavy loads like the water pump running or fridge on 12 VDC alone If you are not seeing that then the troubleshooting should be focused on that.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:49 PM   #3
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Name: Rafael
Trailer: in the market
Colorado
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
It's nice to see someone ask question and also provide enough information about their situation and troubleshooting to guide an educated answer.. which I hope this is....

I have bolded the two statements in your post that I think are the biggest clue to the problem.

When on shore power (gen or grid) with a charged battery, the converter should provide a voltage close to the float voltage which is about 13.7 (give or take). The voltage might be lower when the battery is charging or under load, or higher if the converter is in desulf mode.. but the important thing to know is that the converter should always provide a voltage that is higher than the battery does alone when it is disconnected. Maybe a lot, maybe a little.. but never less.

You have confirmed that the converter does in fact read a higher voltage (13.6) vs the voltage at the battery when it is disconnected (12.5). So it looks like the converter is working OK.

However when the battery is connected to the converter, the voltage from the converter should be fairly close to the voltage reading at the battery (and also everywhere else in the system). The voltage at the battery will be a little lower because of voltage loss from the wiring or loads but a great deal. With a battery connected to the converter, and a reading of 13.6 at the converter but only 12.5 at the battery is appears that the converter IS NOT connected to the battery and not charging it. If it was I would expect a reading at the battery of something over 13 at least.

If this is the case and the converter is not charging the battery, then even on shore power, your battery will become depleted, the voltage will go lower, and things will stop working.

But if the battery alone powers your 12 VDC things, with no shore power, then we would expect it to be charged on shore power. So one thing to test is does your 12 VDC items (such as roof fan) work on shore power with the battery disconnected?

Thats all probably confusing but here is the executive summary... When on shore power I would expect to see over 13 volts measured at the battery. If not at first, then at least within an hour or two at the most and without heavy loads like the water pump running or fridge on 12 VDC alone If you are not seeing that then the troubleshooting should be focused on that.
Thanks Gordon

I appreciate the feedback and focus on where to concentrate.

I forgot to mention that I got a second back-up, brand new battery from Napa yesterday to see if that was the issue. That one didn’t work either.

The cold crank amps on the original battery (3 years old) was down from 650 to 183. Today it’s back to 650 after Napa charged it.

I’ll try what you suggested and disconnect the battery and try turning on some 12VDV items like the fan and see if they work. Would you mind telling me, what am I looking for in doing this test?

Thank you
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:28 PM   #4
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa View Post
...
I’ll try what you suggested and disconnect the battery and try turning on some 12VDV items like the fan and see if they work. Would you mind telling me, what am I looking for in doing this test?
...
If the converter is supplying power to the camper (and battery). I suspect the converter is OK and has power out, but that the power is not getting to camper and/or battery. Also helpful to know where did you measure the converter voltage... was it right at the converter, at the fuse box or power panel, etc..?
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:14 AM   #5
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Name: Kevin
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I may be way off base here, but we had a similar occurrence in our Bigfoot a few years ago. It turned out to be a blown internal fuse in the converter, not one of the easily visible breakers or other fuses on the front. I had to remove the front panel of the converter to find these hidden fuses inside. May be worth a try if other checks fail to turn up something. I blew this internal fuse when I very briefly hooked up my camper battery cables backwards. Perhaps Camping World techs caused a similar problem.
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Old 05-15-2021, 11:13 AM   #6
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Trailer: Casita17'Spirit Deluxe (aka: Tweaker's Casita)
Southwest Ohio
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Exclamation Batteries CCA vs. Deep Cycle

Great insight from Gordon and Kevin on potential issues with your 12v system.

However, after you diagnose/fix your initial problem, you might be headed for your next problem:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa View Post
I forgot to mention that I got a second back-up, brand new battery from Napa yesterday to see if that was the issue. That one didn’t work either.

The cold crank amps on the original battery (3 years old) was down from 650 to 183. Today it’s back to 650 after Napa charged it.
Your Scamp travel trailer doesn’t need CCA when it comes to its battery; you need to have a “deep cycle” battery designed to be used in travel trailers and boats.

Here is an article on the difference between the two and here is another article that (sort of) pants the picture of the difference between the two form the perspective of a boat.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:04 PM   #7
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Name: Rafael
Trailer: in the market
Colorado
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Hey Gordon

I measured the voltage at the converter itself. Took the battery wires off the terminals and tested the 12VDC items like the lights, fan and pumps and they all work while connected to shore power.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:05 PM   #8
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Name: Rafael
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Thanks Kevin
I'll try that
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Old 05-16-2021, 10:52 AM   #9
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Name: Larry
Trailer: 2010 13 ft Scamp
Michigan
Posts: 66
Comment/question for Larry B RE battery types

Hi Larry B,
I quickly read your attached articles explaining the difference between "car" batteries and "deep cycle" batteries.
I'll admit I never knew/questioned/or understood this difference. Thank you very much for explaining the different technologies.

So here's my comment/question:

When, or if, should I use a "battery tender", or "battery tender junior" type maintenance charger ?

Sounds like- never for a deep cycle battery. Use to depletion, then fully recharge.
But if that's the case, won't it be charged while driving attached to tow vehicle ?

And, Keep car batteries fully charged by either driving at least weekly, and charging if driven less frequently.

Am I even close to correct ?

Larry S
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Old 05-16-2021, 01:51 PM   #10
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Name: Rafael
Trailer: in the market
Colorado
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryB. View Post
Great insight from Gordon and Kevin on potential issues with your 12v system.

However, after you diagnose/fix your initial problem, you might be headed for your next problem:
Your Scamp travel trailer doesn’t need CCA when it comes to its battery; you need to have a “deep cycle” battery designed to be used in travel trailers and boats.

Here is an article on the difference between the two and here is another article that (sort of) pants the picture of the difference between the two form the perspective of a boat.
Thanks for your insight Larry B.

Not sure if this helps with your thoughts..
It is a Northern Deep Cycle 27EV marine battery.
That might have been some extra info the attendant at Napa wanted to share with me about the status of the battery having been depleted on its CCA from 650 to 128-did not know that made no difference on a deep cycle battery.

Thank you
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Old 05-16-2021, 01:55 PM   #11
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Name: Rafael
Trailer: in the market
Colorado
Posts: 7
battery connection issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
If the converter is supplying power to the camper (and battery). I suspect the converter is OK and has power out, but that the power is not getting to camper and/or battery. Also helpful to know where did you measure the converter voltage... was it right at the converter, at the fuse box or power panel, etc..?

Hey Gordon

I measured the voltage at the converter itself. Took the battery wires off the terminals and tested the 12VDC items like the lights, fan and pumps and they all work while connected to shore power.

Will check the fuse inside the converter itself (https://www.scamptrailers.com/produc...verter-charger) if it has one inside and see if that's the ticket. Otherwise, taking it back to Camping World on Friday so they can see if there's a break in the connection elsewhere that I cannot find.

thanks for all your help, and still open to any other ideas you may have

have a good rest of the weekend
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Old 05-16-2021, 02:18 PM   #12
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Name: Tom
Trailer: scamp 13
California
Posts: 8
assuming Scamp still uses progressive dynamics converters this link may help
https://www.progressivedyn.com/servi...er-converters/
I watched one video it was very good
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Old 05-16-2021, 06:04 PM   #13
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Name: Karin & Don
Trailer: 2012 Scamp 13Ft
Maine
Posts: 134
Rafael, look at the back of the converter and see if there is what looks like a regular plug. If it came out, which happens to me frequently, then plug it back in, and that might do the trick (or not). Don.
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Old 05-16-2021, 06:23 PM   #14
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kardon View Post
Rafael, look at the back of the converter and see if there is what looks like a regular plug. If it came out, which happens to me frequently, then plug it back in, and that might do the trick (or not). Don.
OP said the following, which clearly indicates that the converter is plugged in and working because he has 12 volt power when connected to shore power AND the battery is not connected...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa View Post
..
I measured the voltage at the converter itself. Took the battery wires off the terminals and tested the 12VDC items like the lights, fan and pumps and they all work while connected to shore power.
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Old 05-30-2021, 07:20 AM   #15
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Name: Rafael
Trailer: in the market
Colorado
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Resolved!

Greetings all


Thank you for your support and guidance-I’m embarrassed to share that the top fuse was missing! Now everything works off 12V DC as it should

Happy travels to you all


Rafael
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Old 05-30-2021, 03:54 PM   #16
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 1995 19'
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Singer View Post
Hi Larry B,
...
When, or if, should I use a "battery tender", or "battery tender junior" type maintenance charger ?

Sounds like- never for a deep cycle battery. Use to depletion, then fully recharge.

...

Larry S
Ouch. do NOT under any circumstance draw down a lead acid battery of any kind "to depletion". Lead acid batteries were designed for one task, starting a vehicle, then immediately recharging. Short burst of high current.

All LA batteries are rated for some specific current draw, usually no more than 50% before recharge, The problem is simply that it is not simple to figure that out.

The reasons are many but start with the fact that the voltage is usually used to "decide" when a battery is "fully discharged " (50%), but the voltage is always below, usually well below, where it will be once the current is no longer being drawn. You can see the problem here. The "resting" voltage is defined as when the battery has not been charged or discharged for some period of time. Thus you can't read the state of discharge while using the battery, at least not using the voltage to do so.

The best way to do it is to use a shunt (very low ohm) resister in series with the battery and a little controller to measure the voltage across the shunt. By taking periodic voltage measurements and integrating the area under the curve, you can get a pretty good estimate of current pulled from the battery as well as current pushed into the battery. Thus "state of charge".

So just be careful with any lead acid battery, they can be easily damaged, by drawing too much current, or by using them at too low a temperature.

Batteries are a pretty complex subject and the lead acid manufacturers technically provide the data required but kinda sort of gloss over things.

And finally, while expensive, LIPO4 Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries reduce or eliminate many of the problems of Lead Acid batteries. More real power, steady charge and discharge voltage, lighter weight, MUCH LONGER LIFE... and yes... more money.
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Old 05-31-2021, 04:57 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jwcolby123 View Post
Lead acid batteries were designed for one task, starting a vehicle, then immediately recharging. Short burst of high current.
With all due respect, that statement is totally incorrect. It applies only to lead acid batteries designed and intended to start an engine. Many deep cycle batteries are lead acid and are not designed for starting vehicles. Golf cart batteries are typically lead acid batteries and after 18 holes, are quite depleted. House batteries (onboard the trailer) are deep cycle batteries, but yes, they should not be discharged lower than 50% before being recharged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafa View Post
Thank you for your support and guidance-I’m embarrassed to share that the top fuse was missing! Now everything works off 12V DC as it should

Happy travels to you all


Rafael
You shouldn’t be embarrassed. When something is not working properly and you are trying to find answers, you are in a stressful situation. You want it “fixed yesterday.” Sometimes you overlook the simple situations, sometimes you are even unaware of the presence of a fuse. That is why this forum exists, to share knowledge and suggestions with others.
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Old 05-31-2021, 06:47 AM   #18
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Trailer: Scamp 1995 19'
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With all due respect, that statement is totally incorrect. It applies only to lead acid batteries designed and intended to start an engine. Many deep cycle batteries are lead acid and are not designed for starting vehicles. Golf cart batteries are typically lead acid batteries and after 18 holes, are quite depleted. House batteries (onboard the trailer) are deep cycle batteries, but yes, they should not be discharged lower than 50% before being recharged.
I have spent hundreds of hours studying batteries, not as an engineer but as a user. Deep cycle batteries such as golf cart batteries have a very different internal plate structure, with fewer but thicker plates. And you are correct, they are not designed to start a vehicle. Normal starting batteries have more but thinner plates.

The differences are by design, they do different things. Thinner more numerous plates have greater surface area and allow very fast and high current draw. The thicker plates are designed for slower current draw but longer periods of current draw.

In both cases, drawing lots of current for long periods damages the batteries - PERMANENTLY. When used for deep discharge applications the "starting batteries" are damaged more quickly because of the thin plates. So called "golf cart batteries" are also damaged. just as badly, but more slowly because of the thicker plates.

AGM batteries are an entirely different technology, where the plates are sandwiched between a fiberglass mat. This changes the characteristics somewhat, but mostly the purpose is to eliminate servicing and off gassing.

Deep discharging still damages the lead plates, in all three cases. You mention golf cart batteries being being deeply discharged routinely as if that proves something. It does not. They are damaged, just more often and faster.

The last thing to discuss is the recharge cycle. All lead acid batteries do not take well to staying, living at, less than full charge. To MINIMIZE the damage (it will still occur) they should be COMPLETELY recharged every cycle. In your "golf cart" example, they are recharged every night. Completely? Who knows.

Now take your typical RV with solar. The probability of a full recharge is all over the map. Literally. In AZ with long hours of direct sun and thousands of watts of solar on the top of a huge RV, yea probably.

In a scamp rv with a couple of panels struggling to recharge a pair of "100 ah" AGM batteries... Good luck with that.

The takeaway here is not "I'm right and you're wrong". The takeaway is that lead acid batteries were the ONLY technology available to perform a variety tasks which they are not particularly well adapted to perform. And so they got used for those tasks. And manufacturers struggled to make them perform those tasks better. Better is not well, it is not great, it is not wonderfully, it is just better.

Lead acid batteries are a decidedly poor solution which we had no choice in using. That is all there was. That is no longer true.

In any event, if one wants to use lead acid, know what you are doing. Understand the subject, or expect that your house batteries will die well before they should.

BTW I find Battery University a good source of battery information.

https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...ttery_invented

And finally, my Scamp has a completely dead glass mat battery which died because I left it partially charged for a long time (storage). I am now struggling with whether to just buy another AGM or bite the bullet and buy (or build) a LiPo4 battery, leaning towards building my own.
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