Fuse Under front Bunk on Scamp and shorting out - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:32 AM   #21
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
California
Posts: 781
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About 8 hours until the repair guy arrives.
Silly as it sounds, I'm not all that keen on someone else working on my Scamp.
It's not about privacy, but more about how some people are rough on stuff, and I fear breakage. My last trailer guy broke my two rear tail light lenses...yes, they were brittle with age, but I removed one of them and put it back without incident.

So I will just hope he's professional and doesn't create holes etc that I don't pre authorize. I'm glad I'm typing this as I'll be sure to let him know my concerns when he arrives.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:01 AM   #22
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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your repair guy

lisa I wish I was close maybe you need to join a local camper club. How does that sound you singe I think and all?

the best

bob
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:15 PM   #23
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OH
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I'm assuming everything was working just fine and then one day this began...

If it were me, I'd start at the trailer plug and follow the wires. Every time I reached electrical tape, I'd remove it and see whats there. If I saw a connection, like those yellow ones, I'd cut it out, strip a little plastic covering off of each of the ends of the wire to reveal a little bit of clean copper wire, and replace it with crimp-on marine connector like in the following link.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXTK37Y...a-305661720131

Then I would use my friend's lighter to heat the connector, which will shrink around the connection with the heated glue sealing it all up. This helps prevent corrosion in the connection. (This heating part is just for marine connectors, not the regular ones like those yellow ones).

Whenever I found a spot that was just electrical taped, I'd prefer to use marine shrink wrap, here's a link.

https://www.amazon.com/Ancor-Marine-.../dp/B000QCPKE8

Its a plastic tube that, when heated with a lighter, shrinks down around the wire, connection, whatever, and glue melts in there sealing it all up. You have to be able to slide it onto the wire though, so where you cant, use a good quality electrical tape like they say.

Whenever I found a little blade connector, ring connector, etc., I'd cut it off and crimp a fresh marine connector on in its place out of the box of connectors in the earlier link.

The idea here is to (1) eyeball every inch of your low voltage system, (2) freshen up the corroded and loose connections along the way - as there will be many found in any trailer and (3) possibly stumble on a broke wire, frayed cover or, most importantly, some melted mess that is slowly charring until it can flame the next time someone hits it with a brief amount of electricity before the fuse blows. Of course if you find that, fix it.

You will need a pair of electrical pliers / crimper / cutter like in this link here:

https://www.amazon.com/Wire-Stripper...s=wire+crimper

Those are found anywhere and usually have red handles for some reason. The line-up of different size holes is to strip the plastic cover off the end of the wire without cutting the copper wire inside. You'll be using mostly the 16 gauge hole for thin wire, 14 gauge hole for thicker wire and, maybe 10 gauge. But just see which one fits the wire you have in your hand so it bites the plastic but not the copper inside.

You will quickly get to know your camper. Electricity flows like water along the positive wire until it is used in something (like a light bulb) and then flows back along the negative wire to return home to the battery or, depending on the circuit, the tow vehicle.

All of the interior lights and accessories will flow from the battery and back to the battery.

All of the exterior trailer lights will flow from the tow vehicle and back to the tow vehicle.

If you have a four prong plug that's it. If you have more than a four prong plug the Tow vehicle sends a charge to the battery flowing along a black wire, and that returns to the tow vehicle in a white wire.

Take your time, read a lot, look at various trailer diagrams and... Have Fun!
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:40 PM   #24
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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Your trailer light wiring should have nothing to do with the fuse on the battery. since you have only a 4 wire trailer plug you have no charge to the battery so you have no load on that line. Where you have a problem is in the 7 wire harness of your trailer being converted to a 4 wire harness.

If you take out the fuse that keeps blowing all of your trailer to car lights should work properly, brake, turn, markers and flashers and ground from car to trailer. none of this should be looped into the battery on the trailer.

The fact that your simple 4 wire hookup is the cause of this failure is not logical. If you were having trouble in your 4 pin set-up you should be blowing fuses in your car.

Do you have unused wiring for trailer brakes and or a break away switch? If you do and have open wire ends make sure to crimp an insulated cap on those wires and any charge line used in the original 7 pin wiring Harness on the trailer.
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:41 PM   #25
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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Thank you k0wtz and Buggeee, I do have a guy coming at 2pm Pacific time and hopefully his services will be reasonable enough.
It is worth something to me to have it done by someone who knows electricity.


stevebaz, I just saw your post, we must have been typing at the same time.
I do believe your assessment has merit, I will show that conversion done by the prior owner to the repair guy.
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:28 PM   #26
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Fuse Under front Bunk on Scamp and shorting out

Well the repair guy just called to cancel for today.
Bummer
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1992 Scamp 13' Standard, 2017 Casita 17' ID,
2008 Scamp 16' Deluxe Layout 4
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:42 AM   #27
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OH
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Has it always done this since you've owned it or is this a new problem that's cropped up at some point?
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:07 AM   #28
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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canceled out

lisa find yourself a good electrian an honest one this is not rocket science! Don't get scared!

good luck we are watching

bob
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:38 AM   #29
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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Buggeee, I've only owned the Scamp for 2 months. I have been on 4 outings with it and the fuse will blow somewhere between leaving home and reaching the campground.

k0wtz, I have an appointment at a local RV repair center today. The service guy sounded very knowledgeable and confirmed many things that have been pointed out in this thread, so my confidence is back that they will do the job correctly, and hopefully swiftly.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:48 AM   #30
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
California
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Scamp is now in their hands.
I am having them check (I think the term is drop test), the propane lines and replace the line nearest the trailer tongue with the newer flexible style that Scamp now uses.

Hopefully, will have the Scamp back later today.
I'll post the update.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:26 PM   #31
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
California
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Fuse Under front Bunk on Scamp and shorting out

LP line looks good.
Fuse blew on my way home.
Don't know what to do now.
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1992 Scamp 13' Standard, 2017 Casita 17' ID,
2008 Scamp 16' Deluxe Layout 4
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:32 PM   #32
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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Lisa you are going to have to take my advice get someone who can dig this problem out for you by coming by. I wish I was closer and could help you please learn a little about 12v. wiring.


by the way do you have a schematic of your 12v circuits?


bob
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:03 PM   #33
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Mmmmmm.

Ok I'm going to assume from reading between the lines that your RV center checked the basic layout of how your trailer cord and battery compartment is set up and ran a check of the electrical functions of everything (lights, charger, fans, turn signals, brake lights, etc., etc) just as you have done, and everything worked for them, just as it did for you.

If that's the case then something may getting jostled, pinched or moved from the bumps of traveling and causing a power wire within your system to short. That means that the electricity flowing through a hot/positive wire (in an RV usually black, sometimes red) is jumping to the ground/negative before reaching the light bulb or whatever it is that is supposed to run on the electricity. This could be through an exposed wire (like from a tear in the plastic cover that exposes the copper inside it to the copper inside the negative/neutral/ground wire)(in an RV that is usually a white wire.)(In boats it's usually a little different with red being hot and neutral being black - but this is an RV).

Some RV systems have a floating ground, meaning they also use the metal frame as a huge ever-present neutral wire. I don't like that at all on a trailer RV but that debate belongs somewhere else. Just be aware that sometimes exists so a frayed or pinched hot wire can short against metal things like the frame too, in those systems. (If you find a wire leading from your battery neutral to the frame, or from the TV plug white wire to the frame, then you have a floating 12v ground).

When the electricity jumps/shorts directly from hot/positive to ground/negative it flows super fast, without being slowed or controlled by the light bulb or other "load".

When it flows out of control like that, the inside of the fuse heats up and melts at a predetermined point ( instead if being expressed in temperature, fuses are labeled according to the power flow that will create the failure temperature, like 10 amp, or 15 amp or whatever). The fuse size is is related to the size of the wire. If the fuse melts before the wire, the electricity stops. If the wire melts before the fuse, you have a fire. The wire becomes, essentially, a filiment glowing in a light bulb... a torch.

So don't oversize the fuse when you replace it. There are readily available charts you can Google that track the relationship between wire thickness (gauge) and wire length and maximum amps, so you can select the correct size fuse. Basically, the thinner the wire and longer the length, the less it can handle so the smaller the fuse. Visa versa.

Ok. Now, aside from a short, the other circumstance that can blow a fuse is a loose and/or corroded connection. A loose or corroded connection causes "resistance" to the electrical flow. You would think that resistance would simply discourage the electricity from doing its job. Not so quick. Electricity has a really strong work ethic, and it really wants to do it's job, which is to flow if something is asking for it to provide power - say a light or something. So... The electricity just works harder to get access that loose/corroded connection, generating heat in addition to the power asked for by the light bulb. The heat causes moisture and more corrosion and the condition gets worse, repeat. At some point it is working so hard to get across that connection and producing heat (which is power pulled through the wire ) in order to also deliver the small amount that the light bulb is asking for, that it pulls more power than the fuse can handle (with most of it being wasted on heat anyway) and the fuse does its job by melting to protect the wire it is matched to.

So with that in mind, take a minute to consider whether you are willing to go through the tedious but rewarding process described in my earlier post. If you approach it slowly, patiently, like an investigator in a good novel, and follow every lead, and replace every connection along the way, you may find it to be more enjoyable than you would think. Just work along as far as you care to and, when you feel frustration. Stop. Call it for the day and come back when you are in the mood.

I'd probably start by replacing the four yellow connectors. Not because they are likely the cause, they are likely not the cause. But... They are readily accessible, you have extra wire there so its easy to move around, and you can sit on a stool! This would be great practice. Then I'd stop for the day and pat myself on the back. Come back later and look at your success on this and follow some more. As soon as you feel anxious or frustrated or impatient Stop. Even if in the middle of doing one. Stop. Come back fresh and pick it up.

In the meantime, if you have to go camping. Take the fuse out of the case for the traveling part. That is essentially turning off the switch, so to speak, when it is out.

Along the way, you may stumble on the frayed wire, loose connection, or dislocated screw that landed accross a connection or some other oddity that solves this mystery. Or you may not. But you will have learned a lot, narrowed the possibilities and performed some maintenance that is much needed on almost all older campers but never thought about.

If you run across a connection that is truly tight and clean and shiny then fine, but at least you've confirmed that.

Note:. In my experience older wires have oxidation even within the covering. If the copper looks dark, or gray/green after the plastic is stripped, I draw the end of the strands accross a piece of fine sandpaper or Scotch Brite pad to clean that oxidation off revealing bright copper before crimping on the new connecter.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:28 PM   #34
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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I wish you were closer too k0wtz.

Buggeee, I am going to take your advice and try the steps you outline.
First I am going to find those four yellow connectors and replace them.
Is there a spot where they are? Seems like I saw some yellow connectors in the refrigerator area along the outer wall....could that be them?

I must admit I went through a little low spot today because I felt as though I gave good money to a professional place and even they couldn't fix it. I started wondering that maybe I should buy a new one, but I do love this little Scamp, I just want it to be electronically safe.

It is definitely happening once the vehicle is in motion.
I do have some camping trips coming up soon, so if it's not fixed by then, I'll remove the 20 amp fuse from within the battery area and put it back in when I get to the campground.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:34 PM   #35
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k0wtz View Post
by the way do you have a schematic of your 12v circuits?


bob
I have a printout of the Scamp wiring.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:54 PM   #36
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OH
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You posted a picture of the connection between the trailer plug and the camper. Those are the connections I'm mentioning as a starting point. They are easy to get to and you might do those and say "Hey forget about this!". Or you may find yourself saying "Hey I can do this.". Either way stay within your comfort zone. Go slow, study your diagram (and other generic diagrams available on the internet), and remember that parts of your system will be unique because I can guarantee someone has been in there before and changed things around. Disconnect your battery before you work on your 12v system!

And stay away from the household wires, like for the hosehold outlets for example, as that is high voltage 120v. Look at the wires going to an outlet in there or an air conditioner so you can recognize them they are bigger. Unplug your trailer from the shore power and the tow vehicle too. Empty wires is what you want.

Note:. There is a standard color code for trailer to tow vehicle connections for turn signals, brake lights, running lights, auxiliary power and electric brakes. It seems lots of camper trailers do not follow that color code. This results in odd color combination where the tow vehicle wire is mated to the trailer. I can see some of that going on in your picture. Not a problem per se, just be aware that at that juncture, and possibly others within the system, different colors are mated together. I rewired my trailer from scratch, following the standard color code. The 7-prong trailer wire and plug set arrived and when I looked at the diagram that came with it some odd non-standard color combination was in it. (Sheesh!!!).

Bottom line is every old camper is unique, has these issues, and it just takes time to sort them out.

You'd be paying someone by the hour to track all this down.

More importantly this is yours, and you seem to be really into it.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:03 PM   #37
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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wiring

I don't like the hour thing been there done that. Lets think about this do you know anyone a group or otherwise that within that group you might have a helper?

How about a camping club? Thought of that? I am trying to think outside the box here to get you help.

by the way once that fuse is blown in that circuit that short is no longer viable because you fuse is your link to that whole line and it being open breaks the circuit!

Do you have a harbor freight near? if so go and ask for one of their free multimters you need the coupon!

good luck

bob

bob
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:04 PM   #38
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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I do agree with Bungee you have a short of your hot to ground occurring somewhere!


weird


bob
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:40 PM   #39
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Remember the good advice posted by a few in here that you may also have something that is just plain wired wrong. As you make your way through your system, study it. Try to imagine where it is flowing and which direction. Draw lines on paper and work on your own wiring diagrams of your personal camper.

Don't worry if it is not apparent to you the first time looking it through. Keep studying it, keep an open mind, and slowly it will reveal itself to you like shapes in the clouds. Plan to study what the parts do, why they need electricity, who they share with, stuff like that. You may discover that something is hooked up wrong, or backwards, but go slow on that. Just don't go swapping wires all over the place right away or you may get lost. That's why cleaning it up first can be useful, getting to know your system.

Oh this is bringing back memories... Good ones... It is a real sense if accomplishment to sort out the 12v system let me tell you.

Note:. 4 wire plug systems just run the tail/running lights, turn signal lights, and brake lights (the fourth wire is the neutral).

4 wire plug systems do not charge the camper battery or run the interior lights or assecories.

Your system was not originally 4 plug. If it's set up properly on 4 plug right now, you will not find any of the 4 Tow Vehicle wires leading to the camper battery. Instead, the trailer lights will be a separate system run by the tow vehicle. The battery and interior lights and assecories will be a separate system, being recharged only by shore power or solar if you have solar.

If you find that one of your 4 tow vehicle wires is leading to the battery, that mess will have to be sorted out by installation of a proper (read more prongs) plug. You can still adapt the more pronged plug to a 4 plug tow vehicle with a special adaptor for that sold everywhere, like even Walmart. That adapter just drops the extra wires letting the 4 prong tow vehicle plug run only the trailer lights separately from the interior stuff.

Just food for thought and things to be exposed to. Not trying to overwhelm, as you will never memorize it all from words. Study your wires, look stuff up, scratch your head, have a coffee, repeat. Smile.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:09 PM   #40
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
Illinois
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Lisa, Did you get the new hitch wire -- you had mentioned at one time about going to a 7 pin.

When you replace the fuse in a campground, does it work until you leave to go home? That will tell you if it is shorting while on the road, and that is generally a pinched wire somewhere. You might want to look through the camper and see if there is anywhere where the wires go under something, a wall, a heavy load of something, or between two things that are solid.

That might give you something to look for.
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