Scamp fridge compartment terminal block troubleshooting - Fiberglass RV
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Old 12-03-2021, 12:18 AM   #1
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Name: Max
Trailer: Scamp
Massachusetts
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Scamp fridge compartment terminal block troubleshooting

Hey all,

The previous owner of my 2013 13' scamp wired a voltmeter+USB-port into the scamp's fridge-compartment 12v terminal block. After a few months of owning it, the voltmeter went offline and I noticed a loose wire in the outside fridge compartment.

I will be the first one to admit I am a novice with electrical systems, but I am trying to learn. This seemed like a really simple fix where I just had to slightly unscrew the "port" on the terminal block, insert the wire, and screw down tightly to hold the wire in place. That's what I did (see red wire in attached picture)... no luck, voltmeter still isn't working. In the process I managed to break the plastic fuse holder that's wired into the voltmeter, so I have to replace that first.

But any advice for troubleshooting literally placing a wire back into this 12v terminal block? Or troubleshooting the terminal block in general?

I tried this fix without disconnecting the battery. Was that a dumb move?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 12-04-2021, 10:07 PM   #2
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Name: Jack
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Max,
The volt meter would go across the terminal strip, but it's difficult to tell what wire is what and a sharper picture would help.


Label the wires so we can tell you which go where.
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Old 12-04-2021, 11:12 PM   #3
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Name: Max
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockman View Post
Max,
The volt meter would go across the terminal strip, but it's difficult to tell what wire is what and a sharper picture would help.


Label the wires so we can tell you which go where.

Thanks, Jack. I'll get a sharper picture and label what's going on. I appreciate the reply. Essentially I'm trying to wire in a 12V charger/socket. The voltmeter simply plugs into the 12V socket that the previous owner mounted outside the bathroom.
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Old 12-06-2021, 05:29 PM   #4
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Better pictures and descriptions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockman View Post
Max,
The volt meter would go across the terminal strip, but it's difficult to tell what wire is what and a sharper picture would help.


Label the wires so we can tell you which go where.
OK. Hopefully this helps with getting help! Make sure to click on the photos to make them larger.

Attempting to wire in a 12V-outlet station into the fridge compartment:

Photo 1) shows 12V outlet (and plug-in voltmeter) that the previous owner installed years ago. Currently both are dead. That's the point of this post.

photo 2) in the stove-drawer. A black and a black+white wire from the 12V outlets are capped together with a black and green wire, respectively. Then the black wire and green wire are braided and fed down the right side of the fridge to the exterior compartment. Pretty smart of the previous owner.

photo 3) This is in the exterior fridge compartment. Start with the black arrow I drew on the left. This wire goes behind the copper pipe and is fed into top-right port of the terminal block (there's another black arrow where it connects). Ignore the red squiggle. That is a different black wire for fridge fan that the PO put in as well. Lastly in this picture, in the bottom right of the whole image you can see the stripped green wire.

photo 4) I'm now holding that green wire. The red question mark represents my main question... where does this plug into? I found it loose after some towing, so it must have gotten knocked out of place. I will install an in-line fuse before completing this circuit. The red wire in the very original post is the broken fuse line that was wired into this green wire. I clearly put that old red fuse line into the wrong spot of this terminal block. I broke it with a brute force accident... a fuse did not blow.

I hope this was helpful. If not, I'll make a youtube video where I'm narrating the problem.

And yes, I'll disconnect the battery before I plug "green" anywhere.

Thank you!
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IMG_0477.jpg   IMG_0478.jpg  

IMG_0479.jpg   IMG_0480.jpg  

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Old 12-06-2021, 05:34 PM   #5
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Name: Max
Trailer: Scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scampa View Post
Hey all,

The previous owner of my 2013 13' scamp wired a voltmeter+USB-port into the scamp's fridge-compartment 12v terminal block. After a few months of owning it, the voltmeter went offline and I noticed a loose wire in the outside fridge compartment.

I will be the first one to admit I am a novice with electrical systems, but I am trying to learn. This seemed like a really simple fix where I just had to slightly unscrew the "port" on the terminal block, insert the wire, and screw down tightly to hold the wire in place. That's what I did (see red wire in attached picture)... no luck, voltmeter still isn't working. In the process I managed to break the plastic fuse holder that's wired into the voltmeter, so I have to replace that first.

But any advice for troubleshooting literally placing a wire back into this 12v terminal block? Or troubleshooting the terminal block in general?

I tried this fix without disconnecting the battery. Was that a dumb move?

Thank you in advance!
I wish I could edit the original post. I still need some help figuring this out, but I at least understand why it failed the first time. I plugged the red fuse line into a terminal block port with no wire coming out the other side. I simply had no idea how terminal blocks worked. now I know a little better.
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Old 12-06-2021, 07:04 PM   #6
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Name: Jack
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Max,
The wiring you should be concerned with are the black/green twisted pair. They are the wires that go to your meter and usb.


These are the wires to connect to your terminal two outer connections.
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Old 12-06-2021, 08:14 PM   #7
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Name: Max
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockman View Post
Max,
The wiring you should be concerned with are the black/green twisted pair. They are the wires that go to your meter and usb.


These are the wires to connect to your terminal two outer connections.
Jack, this was so helpful. Thank you for taking the time to help me out. It means a lot to me.

Just to clarify since there was a lot of info in your photo: black wire from the twist (-) should probably stay where it is (top right connector [black arrow added by you]) and green wire from the twist (+) should go in either of the two lower connectors [two black arrows added by you]?

Should be a pretty easy fix if that's the case! Thank you very much. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 12-06-2021, 11:03 PM   #8
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Max,


That is correct, only swap the wires around if your meter reads (minus) - 12 volts instead of + 12 volts. That would correct your USB connection.
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Old 12-09-2021, 10:32 PM   #9
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Unfortunately, nothing did the trick, yet.

The screws on the bottom terminals "ports" are both very rusty, so maybe that's the issue.

Maybe to troubleshoot this I should first see if the 12V fridge is even working. I know it works on 120V. To test this, would I turn the fridge on, get a multimeter and put the probes in the terminal block "ports"?

It's not very urgent/essential, I just want to learn how to better service my Scamp. I've only owned it for a few months. Cheers.
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Old 12-09-2021, 10:47 PM   #10
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Trailer: Scamp 13
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Max, worse case scenario is, to cut the two wires off the bottom rusted screws and use a wire nut to attach them together. Can always leave it like that until You get a new terminal block.
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Old 12-09-2021, 11:13 PM   #11
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That's a fantastic idea!

I'll update this thread once I spend some more time on this tiny, but finicky project.

Doing work in the tiny fridge compartment makes me want to just say f*** it and wire a 12V socket and voltmeter directly to the battery. We'll see...
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Old 12-10-2021, 09:25 AM   #12
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..
Doing work in the tiny fridge compartment makes me want to just say f*** it and wire a 12V socket and voltmeter directly to the battery. We'll see...
Agreed.. return the fridge to original.

Any voltmeter downstream from the battery will read slightly lower (and inaccurate) voltage, and so is a little less useful for monitoring battery State of Charge (SOC). Measure voltage at battery or even better get a battery monitor with shunt.

For 12 volt outlet wire it on separate circuit with appropriate wire gauge and fuse. Either from the power panel (fuse block) or straight from the battery.

IMHO the outlet and meter in the fridge compartment is a kludge.
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Old 12-10-2021, 11:02 AM   #13
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I wish I could edit the original post.
You could edit your original post, but readers may never realized you edited it. -- See, I just edited this post and you don't see anything different.
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Old 12-10-2021, 03:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by parmm View Post
You could edit your original post, but readers may never realized you edited it. -- See, I just edited this post and you don't see anything different.
No there is a time limit for editing posts (unless a mod).. and that time has expired for the original post.
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Old 12-10-2021, 04:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
...Any voltmeter downstream from the battery will read slightly lower (and inaccurate) voltage, and so is a little less useful for monitoring battery State of Charge (SOC). Measure voltage at battery or even better get a battery monitor with shunt.
FWIW, thats only true if there's significant current running through those wires. OTOH, a USB charger can be as much as an amp or more at 12V, the fridge in DC mode is a LOT of amps, and a cigar outlet can be as much as 10 amps safely, some folks run 15A+ through them, it all depends on what you've plugged into it.

I agree with the battery shunt/monitor idea, however. and for my aux cigar/USB/powerpole connectors, I ran fresh wire from spare fuses in the main fuse panel to each of the three functions (AWG12 for the cigar outlet, AWG 12 for the dual USB charger, and AWG 12 for the dual powerpole, each of those three wires on its own spare fuse). Each one also had its own AWG 12 to the main DC negative/grounding post.
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