2019 Scamp 16 refrigerator 12v wiring - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-16-2021, 09:16 PM   #1
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Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
NY
Posts: 21
2019 Scamp 16 refrigerator 12v wiring

Hi all,

I'm a new owner to a 2019 Scamp 16 Layout 6 for a few weeks. Ever since I got the trailer, I've been reading this forum, other Scamp forums, checking Facebook groups, watching Youtube videos, and all other the internet articles about the Scamp and fiberglass trailers in general. This is my first trailer so everything is new to me. There is so much to learn!

The work/addition I've done so far:

- I've added a wireless backup camera purchased from Costco,
- Changed all the interior light bulbs to led,
- Added a propane tank cover (drilled a while to run the hose through),
- Added a 7 way plug cover to protect from the rain,
- Purchased several locks for the trailers (a Proven Industries coupler lock, wheel boot lock, and a Master lock for the coupler handle, threaded hitch lock),
- Installed brake controller (Tekonsha P3) to my tow vehicle
- Purchased extended sewer hose
- Many other accessories (too much to list)

There are 3 electrical projects that I'm planning to do:

1. Add a breakaway switch - I need to find the correct brake wire inside the trailer. From reading this forum, I believe one end of the brake wire connects to the positive end of the battery terminal and the other wire connect to the "dark blue" wire. I do see a light blue wire and a dark blue wire twisted together in a wire nut inside the front closet next to the bathroom. Am I correct about this information?

2. Install a hard-wire surge protector - I've purchased a Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C surge protector. I think I will mount this next to the inverter below the fuse box. I've watched some Youtube video and it doesn't look too difficult to do. Rather then cut the 30 amp cables, I will connect the load end to the surge protector and use a separate 10 gauge wire to the other end of the box and into the inverter. Am I correct about this step?

3. Install a 12v refrigerator - This Scamp trailer does not have a 3-way refrigerator installed. Right now the refrigerator space is just a big open closet. I'm too far away from the Scamp factory to have them do any work. Even if I do have scamp install the 3-way fridge (or have someone local to do the installation), it would cost me $1500 - $2000 just for the installation not including the fridge. It is too expensive to me. I want to purchase a 12v only refrigerator like this one. This is a cheaper solution which I believe I can do myself without cutting any vent on the exterior shell.

However, I need some guidance and advice on installing this 12v fridge. In the 12v fuse box, I see a 15 amp fuse (#5 slot) dedicated to the fridge. I took the 15 amp fuse out and put a meter on the slot but there is no voltage. I do see a dark brown wire going out from slot #5 going around the back of the trailer. I believe the reason it has no voltage reading is that the wire is open. The brown wire probably terminated somewhere without connecting to anything. In order to connect the 12v fridge, I need to trace this brown wire. I'll probably need to open up some carpeting to trace the wire. Or, I can unscrew the brown wire and put a telephone toner on it (one used for the phone lines) and trace the other end. When I do find the other end, I'll need to complete the circuit with the fridge. I believe I need to pigtail the neutral wire coming out of the fridge to the "white" wire group which I believe is neutral or ground. Am I correct with this step?

Now, please tell me if I'm doing all these things right? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks so much for reading this long post!
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Old 03-17-2021, 07:33 AM   #2
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,525
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The one thing I would want to know about that fridge is ventilation requirements. One that does not require a vent to the outside is a plus, no holes to cut into the shell of the camper.

The ones like this that don't vent outside vent indoors of course, there needs to be provisions for that.
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:32 AM   #3
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Ontario
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Originally Posted by PeterNY View Post
Hi all,
However, I need some guidance and advice on installing this 12v fridge. In the 12v fuse box, I see a 15 amp fuse (#5 slot) dedicated to the fridge. I took the 15 amp fuse out and put a meter on the slot but there is no voltage. I do see a dark brown wire going out from slot #5 going around the back of the trailer. I believe the reason it has no voltage reading is that the wire is open. The brown wire probably terminated somewhere without connecting to anything. In order to connect the 12v fridge, I need to trace this brown wire. I'll probably need to open up some carpeting to trace the wire. Or, I can unscrew the brown wire and put a telephone toner on it (one used for the phone lines) and trace the other end. When I do find the other end, I'll need to complete the circuit with the fridge. I believe I need to pigtail the neutral wire coming out of the fridge to the "white" wire group which I believe is neutral or ground. Am I correct with this step?

Now, please tell me if I'm doing all these things right? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks so much for reading this long post!
Somewhat;
first: verify the current your DC only fridge will require, it may be more than 15 amps

second: bring the appropriate sized feed wire from the fridge to the fuse panel, you may need to oversize the wire if it is a long run. at the same time pull a negative wire the same size

third: make sure the fuse is correctly sized, double check your wiring and then connect.

Joe
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:55 AM   #4
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Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
NY
Posts: 21
Bill & Joe,

Thanks for the reply. Here's the fridge I'm looking at and it's specification:

RecPro 12v fridge

Details:

RV Refrigerator
Full fridge with freezer
Dimensions: 19"W x 21 1/2"D x 43 1/2"H
Requires 20" or larger doorway to fit into RV
Freezer dimensions: 12"H x 19"W x 14"D
Interior space: 4.3 Cubic Feet
UL listed
Stainless steel
Double door
Frost free
Great for RVs and going off-grid
Less maintenance required
Refrigerator temperature controls
Adjustable glass
Adjustable front legs allow you to level the unit
Reversible door
Vibration dampening technology withstands RV travel
No venting required
Does not work with propane
Lasts for long periods while dry-camping
Right hand refrigerator door, but can be reversed to left hand
Technical Data:

Voltage: 12V DC
No plugs included
6 Amps at startup and 1 amp or less at operating temperature
72 Watt
Refrigerant: R134a (Tetrafluoroethane)
Brushless compressor motor

It said no venting is required. The startup amp is 6 amps and running amps is 1 amp (I hope that stays true.) With this spec, I think I can install this fridge and it will just fit right into the space underneath the microwave space.
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Old 03-17-2021, 02:41 PM   #5
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Name: George
Trailer: 1997 16' Scamp
Michigan
Posts: 73
fridge venting

We have a 1997 16' Scamp with a 120v dometic fridge. It lives below the counter on the driver's side of the trailer next to the stove top. The person before me had installed it with no thought to venting. There were wood spacers above and below the fridge to fill the empty spaces. I drilled a number of holes in the bottom spacer for air intake and used a a pipe knock-out to put an additional hole in the metal pan of the base of the stovetop for exhaust. The fridge works fine with the little freezer section doing it's job at a low to med setting. Discharging in the trailer does mean your keeping the heat. A few years ago I installed a 5,000 btu air conditioner which we've maybe used 6-8 times with maybe 8-10 weeks of camping a year in weather that is usually less than 80 degrees. The 120v fridge draws about 1 amp running. I had originally purchased a small 400watt Black& Decker inverter for about 40$ in the event I wanted to run the fridge while towing with power from the TV. That didn't work out as we found that the trailer bounces to much at speeds above 60. The food moves too much. We've found emptying the food into an insulated bag works best with some ice added as needed. We prefer camping with 120 ac at state parks but national parks are generally without power. We carry a 1000 watt generator but hardly ever use it. Good luck with sorting out your fridge needs.
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Old 03-17-2021, 03:56 PM   #6
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Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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If it cools it has to put the heat somewhere. The picture in the back shows vent holes. Me, I would add a vent to the outside to expel the heat. The unit also comes with a 120AC to 12VDC convertor for $40 more. If you want to run it off your camper battery, Consider the power consumption and length of time your battery will last.
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:35 PM   #7
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Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
NY
Posts: 21
Thanks for all the replies. I think I will go for the 12v 4.3 cu ft fridge. Today I put a toner and try to trace where the brown wire but I couldn't find the end. It seems it goes toward the direction of the furnace. Not sure if there is any wire ran underneath the floor or the carpet. I'm just going to run two 12 gauge wire from the fuse box to the fridge location.

Technical Data for this fridge:

- Voltage: 12V DC
- No plugs included
- 6 Amps at startup and 1 amp or less at operating temperature
- 72 Watt
- Refrigerant: R134a (Tetrafluoroethane)
- Brushless compressor motor

If I dry camp, I think the fridge can running on the house battery for at lease over night. During the day I can run a small generator (or use a solar panel) to charge the house battery. I'll also install a CPU fan on the bottom of the side walk by the entrance. During the day when the door is open I can vent it outside. At night, it'll just have to vent inside. Hopefully it will not get too hot.
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Old 03-17-2021, 10:23 PM   #8
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
Posts: 699
I had a 3 way fridge in a previous unit. I'm a boondocker so 120AC is a non issue for me. I use propane in the back country. The 12 volt fridge option was really good for traveling as I could operate it on the power from my tug. Using 12 volt while camped didn't work out so well. Killed the battery in a matter of hours.
These units may be energy efficient once they cool to temperature but open the door a few times and see how hard it works and how much power it consumes. Plus there will be other draws on your battery as well.
Is it possible to purchase this fridge and run it on your battery pre install to see how well it cools and how much power it uses? If it's not to spec, can you return it? This will give you an idea of how much battery power you will need, in addition to what you currently use, and how much solar power you will need to keep those batteries charged.
A refrigerator works by removing heat from inside the box and expelling it outside the box. This heat needs somewhere to go. If you put your fridge in a cupboard (box) where will this heat go? If this heat can't escape (ventilation) the fridge will work harder and its efficiency will fall off drastically.
Although I can't speak from personal experience I have seen camper vans with refrigerated 12 volt coolers that may use less battery power.
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:12 AM   #9
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,145
I can't be certain, but I believe that you will find that the curvature of the shell at the top will keep the 43" refrigerator from fitting.
I have thought about adding one to my much modified Scamp ant that is what I ran into. Of course if you have it positioned further from the wall it may fit at the expense of walkway. I suggest that you make a cardboard template the size of the fridge and see it the top rear corner will fit.
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Old 03-18-2021, 09:36 AM   #10
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Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
NY
Posts: 21
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I can't be certain, but I believe that you will find that the curvature of the shell at the top will keep the 43" refrigerator from fitting.
I have thought about adding one to my much modified Scamp ant that is what I ran into. Of course if you have it positioned further from the wall it may fit at the expense of walkway. I suggest that you make a cardboard template the size of the fridge and see it the top rear corner will fit.
Yes, great point. I did notice that yesterday as I stick my head into the opening and realize it curves inward as it goes up. That means I will have less space at the top. I think the fridge will stick out at lease 2 inches. I've seen pictures of other Scamps with their fridges sticking out somewhat. I'm willing to give up some space on the walkway if it doesn't extrude too much. I'm hoping that the whole fridge will fit. It is designed for fitting in that space, but not with the curvature.

As for the venting, I'm trying to avoid drilling a hole on the exterior shell. I will drill an opening on the bottom side panel by the entrance door and add a 12v computer fan for cooling. It'd have to vent inside. I'll see how hot it gets and then decide if I need to vent it outside.
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Old 03-18-2021, 10:24 AM   #11
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 914
Peter, an example of a real world application. I have a 100 amp hour AGM battery in my 13 foot boler. I run a dometic portable compressor fridge that draws 7.7 amps when running. I set the temperature to 38 degrees. I can run that fridge for 2 days without draining the battery below 50 percent capacity before I need to charge it. Your fridge uses even less power when running so unless you keep your interior at 100 degrees and open the door every 10 minutes, you should have no problems with running it if you have at least 50 amp hours of usable power in your batteries. As far as being ventless, they mean you don't need an external vent. You still have to have a way for air to circulate around the cooling fins.

If that brand had a smaller fridge, I would consider buying it for my boler 13 footer.
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Old 03-18-2021, 02:05 PM   #12
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Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
NY
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Peter, an example of a real world application. I have a 100 amp hour AGM battery in my 13 foot boler. I run a dometic portable compressor fridge that draws 7.7 amps when running. I set the temperature to 38 degrees. I can run that fridge for 2 days without draining the battery below 50 percent capacity before I need to charge it. Your fridge uses even less power when running so unless you keep your interior at 100 degrees and open the door every 10 minutes, you should have no problems with running it if you have at least 50 amp hours of usable power in your batteries. As far as being ventless, they mean you don't need an external vent. You still have to have a way for air to circulate around the cooling fins.

If that brand had a smaller fridge, I would consider buying it for my boler 13 footer.
Hi Alex, thank you for the real world application experience. The lead acid battery is about 2 years old so I hope it will last a night or 2. During the day I'll either use a small generator or solar panel to recharge the house battery.

As for a small 12v fridge. If you go to Recpro.com and search for RP-2019, you'll find a 3.3 cu fridge which might fit your trailer.
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Old 03-18-2021, 03:45 PM   #13
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Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
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Originally Posted by PeterNY View Post
Hi Alex, thank you for the real world application experience. The lead acid battery is about 2 years old so I hope it will last a night or 2. During the day I'll either use a small generator or solar panel to recharge the house battery.

As for a small 12v fridge. If you go to Recpro.com and search for RP-2019, you'll find a 3.3 cu fridge which might fit your trailer.
Thanks. I did see that one but it is still too big for my application.
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:13 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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Originally Posted by PeterNY View Post
....
3. Install a 12v refrigerator -...
I do all the maintenance and many mods and upgrades on my camper.. including gas line and systems, electrical, and plumbing. But I would never attempt to install an absorption fridge. Have you studied the installation manuals? The requirements are extensive. Its a major project. And even Evelands Inc (AKA Scamp) does not follow them all. Worst case is you get combustion byproducts inside the living area and get sick or worse when using it on propane.

Instead I would look at Danfoss / Secop compressor fridges that work efficiently on 12 VDC. And for boondocking, with enough solar and battery to support it. The cost is likely similar unless you add in the cost of a generator for those few times when a properly sized solar / battery system is not sufficient.
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Old 03-18-2021, 09:59 PM   #15
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Trailer: Trail Cruiser
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My 2500 watt generator uses about a liter of gas per hour. I don't know if that's a lot or not. It works great for winter camping, lots of furnace heat. Dual batteries and 200 watts of solar can't keep up. With gas over a dollar a liter plus propane makes this type of camping expensive, especially if you stay a while.
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Old 03-18-2021, 10:05 PM   #16
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With gas over a dollar a liter plus propane makes this type of camping expensive, especially if you stay a while.

Gets even more expensive when a neighbouring camper throws your genset in the creek.
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Old 03-19-2021, 12:25 AM   #17
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I didn't see any mention of hte brake breakaway switch question that was asked.

the blue wire is the brake power wire from the 7 blade RV connector, this should go in parallel to all wheel brakes, the other side of the brakes is chassis ground.

the breakaway switch is wired between the brake wires and the trailer battery +, so if the trailer comes unhooked, the trailer's battery is jumped directly across the trailer brakes and should immediately lock all trailer wheels. because this is an emergency circuit, it should be unfused and unswitched.

the power on that 7-blade brake wire normally comes from the tow vehicle's brake controller, usually aftermarket such as a Tekonsha P3. the brakes are proportional, more current means more braking power. the brake controllers have a gain control so you can set it so the trailer brakes don't lock up under normal hard vehicle braking, but they do provide significant trailer braking power.

the brake controller on your dashboard should be within reach while driving, so you can manually apply the trailer brakes for emergency situations, like the hitch breaking and the trailer is on the chains (lightly brake the trailer while bringing the tow veihcle to a stop off the side of the road)

I've needed to do this exactly once, and it worked very well under the emergency conditions

edit: (oh, to be clear, the breakaway switch did NOT engage during this incident, as the chains held, so the trailer stayed plugged in, and I could modulate the trailer brakes and bring the combined rig into control)
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Old 03-19-2021, 12:22 PM   #18
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Name: Peter
Trailer: Scamp
NY
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the blue wire is the brake power wire from the 7 blade RV connector, this should go in parallel to all wheel brakes, the other side of the brakes is chassis ground.

the breakaway switch is wired between the brake wires and the trailer battery +, so if the trailer comes unhooked, the trailer's battery is jumped directly across the trailer brakes and should immediately lock all trailer wheels. because this is an emergency circuit, it should be unfused and unswitched.
Hi John, thanks for your reply. To be clear, the CURT breakaway switch comes with 2 blue cables. One end should connect directly to the battery + terminal and the other blue cable get pigtailed (twisted together) with the darker blue & light blue cables inside the trailer by the front bathroom?

Edit: I just did it. Took me about 2 hours. My question is that when the breakaway switch is activated, the brakes will get 12v which means it will apply maximum braking power to stop the trailer right?
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