Scamp 5er electrical problem - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-11-2012, 04:35 PM   #1
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Scamp 5er electrical problem

Most of my new used 5er's electric doesn't want to run off shore power. I've got a 20amp line plugged in and the trailer outlets work but the lights and pumps are running off the battery. Every few days the battery charges enough to give me temporary lights. This wouldn't be a big problem except that it's supposed to go to the low 20s and I can't pump the antifreeze through the lines! I'm going to try hooking the electric up to my (running) tow but if any of you have suggestions I'd love to hear them. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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Can you plug in a battery charger and attach it to the battery? It sounds like the converter is not working or has blown a fuse.

Or attach jumper cables from the tow vehicle to the trailer battery and let it run for a while to give a quick boost.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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Sounds like your converter is not charging the battery. To solve the immediate problem of pumping the antifreeze, I would connect my tow vehicle to run the pump. Make sure you disconnect afterwards so as not to run down the tow vehicle battery. Next, I would start by looking for a bad fuse between the converter and the battery. I think there are wiring diagrams in the document center. Raz



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Old 12-11-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
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I tried hooking up the tow - didn't get any power I have a wiring diagram; the trouble is that it shows the fuse under the front bunk. I don't have a front bunk! I've searched and can't find the darn thing... Off to buy a battery charger and jumper cables
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:44 PM   #5
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Found the front fuse under the stairs. All the fuses to the converter are good. Hope the charger works!
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
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could the battery be bad?????
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:21 PM   #7
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I sure hope not! There are no stores left open to buy a new one. The charger blinks like it's working... Otherwise I'll hope my little electric heater from the Jr. will keep everything above freezing tonight.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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Since you're plugged in, and the 110v outlets work but the 12v appliances don't:

You don't say what year the fiver is or what model converter it has, but it may require that you manually switch the converter from "battery" to "shorepower" in order for the 12v fixtures to operate off 110v.

The fact that the 110v outlets work is a distraction- they're completely separate from the 12v system.

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Old 12-12-2012, 06:35 PM   #9
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It's a '98. It is supposed to be automatic - there is no switch on the box or anywhere else I could find. The wiring diagram shows power goes to the AC, refrigerator, and wall outlets before it gets to the converter box. Those things all work. It took 24 hours to charge the battery at a 10V charge; do I need a new battery too? (It was completely dead)
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:41 PM   #10
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What's the converter model name and number?

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Old 12-12-2012, 06:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeliaL View Post
It's a '98. It is supposed to be automatic - there is no switch on the box or anywhere else I could find. The wiring diagram shows power goes to the AC, refrigerator, and wall outlets before it gets to the converter box. Those things all work. It took 24 hours to charge the battery at a 10V charge; do I need a new battery too? (It was completely dead)

Here's my suggestion.
First take the battery to a business that sells automobile batteries. There's should be many close by. A battery store might be best. Let them charge the battery and test it, they'll usually do this as a free service. Once you know the condition of the battery you move on from there.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:51 PM   #12
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The Scamp owner's manual at this link indicates that on the 20 amp systems there are nine circuits, all of them fused. (see page 9, "electrical system")

No indication as to where those fuses might be located, but it sounds as if there are more than just the one up in the front of the trailer. Could they be inside the converter itself?

A search of the 'net of the converter name/model number might answer that question...

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Old 12-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeliaL View Post
...... It took 24 hours to charge the battery at a 10 AMPS charge; do I need a new battery too? (It was completely dead)
You might need to replace it, or not. As suggested, take it to a battery shop and have it tested.

If it has removable caps, you can do a hydrometer test on each cell, but this may be more than you want to tackle. How to Test a Battery With a Hydrometer | eHow.com
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:50 PM   #14
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There is a fuse immediately off the battery, one just inside the trailer under the stairs, and one on the converter. The rest are all before the lights, stove fan, etc. All the fuses are good. Every thing works now that the battery is recharged - except the pump. I think I ran it dry trying to get all the water out of the tank (the tank drain doesn't work) I have a friend who is an electrical engineer coming to look at it next week, I guess I'll just order the converter so she can install it if needed. Is there any hope for the pump?
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeliaL View Post
There is a fuse immediately off the battery, one just inside the trailer under the stairs, and one on the converter. The rest are all before the lights, stove fan, etc. All the fuses are good. Every thing works now that the battery is recharged - except the pump. I think I ran it dry trying to get all the water out of the tank (the tank drain doesn't work) I have a friend who is an electrical engineer coming to look at it next week, I guess I'll just order the converter so she can install it if needed. Is there any hope for the pump?
It seems obvious to me that the converter has failed- it's not doing the "automatic changeover" to 12v operation of the interior appliances/fixtures.

It also seems obvious that your immediate problem is powering the pump so that you can get antifreeze into the system before it freezes and all H-E-double-pitchforks breaks out in the tubing that makes up the plumbing in the rig.

I think the best we can do for you at this moment in time is to suggest ways to power the pump long enough to freeze-protect the water system. My ever-so-ignorant suggestion would be to just cut the pump wire and hook it directly to a running vehicle's battery while you add the antifreeze through the tubing.

I'm sure there are better ways, perhaps involving ordinary household "adapters"... maybe someone more educated about these things than I am will make a suggestion.

Good luck!

Francesca
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:32 PM   #16
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I poured antifreeze down all the drains and have sealed up all the windows, skylights, vents, and the AC with bubble wrap, plus leaving the drawers and cabinets open. My little electric heater is keeping it at about 50-60F inside so I think I'm OK until I can get a new converter and pump installed.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeliaL View Post
I poured antifreeze down all the drains and have sealed up all the windows, skylights, vents, and the AC with bubble wrap, plus leaving the drawers and cabinets open. My little electric heater is keeping it at about 50-60F inside so I think I'm OK until I can get a new converter and pump installed.
Do make sure to either place a dehumidifier inside or allow for some ventilation/air circulation...failure to do so can result in very serious mold problems!

Per replacement of the pump:
If I were in your position I wouldn't do so until I was assured that it had a problem other than a simple lack of 12v power. That seems to me to be the most likely cause of its present "failure" to operate.

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Old 12-12-2012, 09:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeliaL View Post
There is a fuse immediately off the battery, one just inside the trailer under the stairs, and one on the converter. The rest are all before the lights, stove fan, etc. All the fuses are good. Every thing works now that the battery is recharged - except the pump. I think I ran it dry trying to get all the water out of the tank (the tank drain doesn't work) I have a friend who is an electrical engineer coming to look at it next week, I guess I'll just order the converter so she can install it if needed. Is there any hope for the pump?
I wouldn't be too quick to jump to the conclusion that the converter is defective. You said earlier that the battery was completely dead when you got the trailer. From all you've said, it appears to me you've got a battery with a shorted cell. This happens if a battery is run completely down and left in the state for a period of time, and can happen even if the battery is just run completely down. It's not hard to remove the battery, and take it to a automobile repair shop and have it tested.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:51 PM   #19
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While you're on the line, Byron:

I think you must have looked at the Scamp wiring diagram:

If the converter is working properly, shouldn't it be putting 12v power directly to the various fixtures, and working independently of the battery?

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:20 PM   #20
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At least on my scamp the converter will power all 12 volt circuits without a battery hooked up
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