Electrical help needed! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-29-2015, 03:36 PM   #1
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Name: Mark
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Electrical help needed!

I have an electrical problem with my recently acquired 2006 Scamp 16'. Had some moisture get inside during recent heavy rains. I dried things out, hooked up a box fan and turned on the fantastic fan to dry things out. When I stepped outside the tailights were on. I removed the bulbs and the fantastic fan stopped. Put bulbs back and it started again. Pulled each of the four fuses at the fuse panel and discovered that pulling either the second or third fuse would stop the fan. The converter was recently replaced before I bought the camper and all the wiring looks good. Talked to factory and they feel I have a short. I am leaning towards a faulty wiring job of the new converter. Anyone have ideas.?
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:14 PM   #2
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I think you have a ground problem and you have a ground loupe. Resecure your converter ground to the frame and it should go away.
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brunsy View Post
I have an electrical problem with my recently acquired 2006 Scamp 16'. Had some moisture get inside during recent heavy rains. I dried things out, hooked up a box fan and turned on the fantastic fan to dry things out. When I stepped outside the tailights were on. I removed the bulbs and the fantastic fan stopped. Put bulbs back and it started again. Pulled each of the four fuses at the fuse panel and discovered that pulling either the second or third fuse would stop the fan. The converter was recently replaced before I bought the camper and all the wiring looks good. Talked to factory and they feel I have a short. I am leaning towards a faulty wiring job of the new converter. Anyone have ideas.?
You didn't specify your tests with TV connected or just home/shore power plugged in. Please be more specific, also with any other light bulb ON or OFF during your tests, BESIDES THE TAIL LIGHTS(brake lights, turn signal lights..or else?????) In electrical world, LOOKING BAD ( burned out, smelly) IS SERIOUS PROBLEM, but...LOOKING GOOD is.....NOT A RIGHT THING, DEFINITELY. It must be came up with READINGS, POLARITIES and HOW THE ELECTRICAL CURRENT FLOWS, TO...WHERE WITH WHAT LOAD/ ITS RATING?????
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
I think you have a ground problem and you have a ground loupe. Resecure your converter ground to the frame and it should go away.
Darwin is on the right track .The fan and the lamp are in series. The light should be dim and the fan running slowly because voltage is divided across the two loads .Check for a missing or high resistance ground,
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:43 PM   #5
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Correct me if I am wrong, but there should be NO (electrical current) connection between any of the exterior running lights and the fan or lights. Looking at the Scamp Wiring Diagram, the only part of the separate circuits that is shared is the ground.

So something has to be wired wrong or shorted out. (Maybe the person who replaced the converter did not know that white is ground).

I hate to say it but I would go over every inch of the wiring.
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:49 PM   #6
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I don't know how it could have possibly been wired correctly such that the tail lights and the fan somehow got together. An interior light & the fan I could understand, but the tail lights are so separated from the rest of the trailers circuitry that I would suspect a wiring error that has really gone bad or a short between the two circuits somewhere where it got wet.


I would want to confirm that the TV cable is disconnected.



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Old 07-29-2015, 04:57 PM   #7
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A ground loop will drive you nuts.
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:38 PM   #8
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p

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I don't know how it could have possibly been wired correctly such that the tail lights and the fan somehow got together. An interior light & the fan I could understand, but the tail lights are so separated from the rest of the trailers circuitry that I would suspect a wiring error that has really gone bad or a short between the two circuits somewhere where it got wet.


I would want to confirm that the TV cable is disconnected.
There is only one ground wire that is common to all the 12 volt loads
The running ,brake, turn signal lamps ,fan, etc are all connected to one common
ground. . If removing the tail lamp shuts off the fan. and shutting off the fan
turns off the tail lamp then the two loads are in series . Put a voltmeter across the lamp socket you should read a voltage less than 12. If the hot feeding the fan is shorted to the line feeding the lamp ,removing the light bulb would not shut off the fan. I am sticking with Darwin on this one!
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:52 PM   #9
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Ya, But.... The + side of the tail light(s) should be an open wire leading to the plug so where is he circuit completing to light the light(s) There has to be a short or a wiring error. But this is sorta like Surgery by Braille, with very limited information and at least one unknown variable, that we don't really know if it worked correctly in the first place.



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Old 07-29-2015, 06:08 PM   #10
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:54 PM   #11
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Well, so far I have cleaned up all the grounds that attach to the frame. I also checked all the wiring connections at the converter. Still no change. What really puzzles me is that pulling either the second or third fuse will kill the Fantastic Fan. Should that be wired to both fuses? Without going outside of the camper, one would probably never catch the problem. May have been this way since the. Converter was changed out and nobody ever noticed.

Obviously I am not an electrician or I probably would have figured this out by know. Any more ideas for me to try tomorrow?

Thanks for taking time to help.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:02 PM   #12
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If you don't know if it was working right before the water issue, it might just be time to disconnect everything and put it back one wire at a time, checking each load with a jumper before connecting.
Unless a lot of additional stuff has been added, that shouldn't be that big a deal on the DC side. If that's an American brand converter be careful, they are very sensitive to short circuits and accidental reverse connections.



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Old 07-30-2015, 01:21 AM   #13
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Polarity wire markings

Trailer wiring is a..backwards, i.e. white is hot- black is not.

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Old 07-30-2015, 06:30 AM   #14
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Hard telling what's been done since it was new etc. Always confirm polarity and what's hot and what's not before anything is assumed.



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Old 07-30-2015, 06:44 AM   #15
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The trailer lights (running) and the 12 volt interior lights should only be joined (if then) at the ground connection.
My thoughts are that the running lights should be completely separate and have their own ground and be powered from the trailer plug. There is one common and that would be the 12 volts from the TV for trailer power while connected. The grounds would be common of course.
I suggest that the ground connection from the TV pigtail be checked since the trailer power is common to that and the power is common to the trailer power as well.
My thoughts on the matter as I rewire my 16' Scamp is that each power user is wired with two wire cable and the ground is brought back to a common ground buss at my power distribution center. Each circuit group is protected by a circuit breaker and the ground for the TV pigtail is bonded to the frame and the ground buss is separately bonded as well.
In this way each circuit can be checked individually and a failure in one will not affect any other.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:04 AM   #16
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All grounds, both in the TV and the trailer have to be common and bonded. If for no other reason than that the charging line will be compromised if otherwise. For example, it doesn't make any sense to run a heavy charging line and not have an equal sized ground wire.



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Old 07-30-2015, 07:25 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Brunsy View Post

Obviously I am not an electrician or I probably would have figured this out by know. Any more ideas for me to try tomorrow?

Thanks for taking time to help.
Not necessarily. Electricians wire according to the code and there are standard practices
that most electricians follow. Homeowners or DIYers do things that make no sense to an electrician . Troubleshooting an installation done by a homeowner can be difficult because only GOD knows what crazy thing he has done. Don't get frustrated and just because it did work at one time does not mean it worked correctly or it was safe. You cannot "ASSUME " that the new converter was wired correctly or incorrectly , the problem may lie elsewhere,
When I worked in the trade , I hated trying to straighten out some homeowners mess.
Most of the time it was faster and cheaper to rip it all out and start over !!
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:47 AM   #18
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Personally, you state you're not an electrician..and that's not a problem! BUT, I would consider taking it to an RV repair shop (find a reputable/recommended one if you can). These kinds of problems can cause a fire if you're not careful (shorts).

Just a thought... and be careful!
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:04 AM   #19
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your tail lights have nothing in common with the 12 volt system in your trailer, tail light power is supplied from tow vehicle, along with stop/turn and etc. thru the power plug. Now since u have power to the fan thru 2 fuses u probably have both wires from fan hooked to fuse 2/3. which will supply ground thru power source, if u have a meter check for power on both wires going to the fan, if power is present remove wire from either fuse and put it to ground, hopefully this will solve u'r problem, Good luck
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:16 AM   #20
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How does a 2 wire fan run if both wires are hot ?. There would be no difference in potential across the fan motor .If one wire of the fan was hooked to fuse #2 and the other fan wire was hooked to fuse #3 ,both leads to the fan are at the same potential.

*I am assuming you are referring to a 12 VDC circuit and not a 240/480 VAC circuit,
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