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Old 01-30-2010, 10:19 PM   #1
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No shore power in Argosy, HELP!

Ok heres my dilemma. Have an 1975 Argosy 26ft that we just bought. Im the one who bought the MH for $120. I am having some bizzare electrical issues. I have a 5k portable generator that I am trying to use for temporary shore power while we work on the MH in our lot. The Generac Generator wont start so were trying to use the portable unit. I plug in the shore power cord into the generator and I get no power in the MH, only battery power. The generator has a 110v and 120v setting and I have tried both with no luck. FYI I have 2 new batteries installed, one to start the engine and the other for deep cycle for the MH.

Then I went in and checked voltage in the main breaker box. Only 30amp breaker checked out ok providing 120v AC. The other 3 breakers in the box seem not to work. None of the other 3 checked out for polarity! A quick stop to home depot for a 4 new breakers was in order. Replaced all 4 and still nothing for shore power. Onto the univolt and fuses.

Checked all fuses including the one in the front engine area. none were blown and polarity was checked on each removed fuse. Fuse connectors were a bit corroded but just rotating and moving the fuse about made a better connection. After all these checks on the fuses and univolt still nothing! No hum from univolt and when peering inside the univolt the epoxy coated circuit board has a ton of cracks in it.

Today went out and replaced Univolt with intellapower 45 unit and new fuse panel from best converter. Hooked up the same way as previous setup and still nothing.

Really at a standstill here, any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:48 PM   #2
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I'm going to make a guess that the 30 amp breaker is the main power breaker. if it has power in and out, but none of the other breakers have power coming out, than it may be a bad or non-existant connection to the bus-tie. this is the main point that the other 3 breakers clip onto. Check that all the connections are tight and not corroded. if they are corroded, disconnect them, clean them to shiny metal and re-connect.

without seeing it, this is just a guess, but there shouldn't be too many options there.

Mike
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:52 PM   #3
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Checked the breaker box throughly and like I said even installed all new breakers. Zero corrosion visible. I will double check them tomorrow. Thanks for the ideas, keep em comin
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:08 AM   #4
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Just disassembled the original Univolt. Looks dead to me, I did not test this on its own but when I saw this cracking through the vent holes I decided to replace it. Any thoughts on the white wires in left photo's use? It was connected to the "power on" circuit with the 4amp fuse
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:28 PM   #5
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Could your transfer switch be the culprit?
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:43 PM   #6
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the power on circuit was just that. it just sent power to a light to the control panel to let you know the univolt was energized.

Any luck with the power today?

do you have a volt/ohm meter? pictures of the power panel with cover removed.

Mike
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99 View Post
Could your transfer switch be the culprit?
Not sure, where is that part? Might it be that cylindrical part in the front engine bay wit 4 wires connected to it? Attached is a picture. It it located under the black box on the left? Also just fyi the battery in this picture are is not like this anymore. I have 2 seperate ons hooked up to their respective wires
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olielulu View Post
the power on circuit was just that. it just sent power to a light to the control panel to let you know the univolt was energized.

Any luck with the power today?

do you have a volt/ohm meter? pictures of the power panel with cover removed.

Mike
Thanks for the power on tip, thought that was it. Attached are some rough iphone pics on the breaker box and fuse panel. The interior of the breaker box looks spotless. I did change out all breakers for new ones. Now they all have continuity. When I replaced them seemed like I had 120v at the 30amp main. Kept the volt meter on the 30amp and activate the other 3 breakers, breaker 1 and 3 go on and dont change voltage but when I activate 2 it sends the voltmeter crazy like drops to 3v. This seems strange but I am going to recheck this to be sure my statements are correct.

One thing I noticed is that the shore power cord is large. On my old airstream trailer this cord goes directly to the breaker box. On the Argosy MH thet same cord does not. It looks like a piece of larger gauge romex, slightly bigger than the general romex coming out of the box. Is there a junction somewhere that Im missing?
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:26 AM   #9
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a little help

ok, the gen is putting out 120VAC correct? and I suppose it also has 240VAC? Your info on 110 vs 120 is confusing. Now, you measure 120VAC at the 30 amp brkr? BOTH sides of it? Cuz all the breakers get their juice from the same place. You purchased new brkrs-I assume single pole, 120VAC brkrs, right? If you have juice to one of the brkrs, but not the others, there is something wrong in the service panel. The service panel is just a common buss to which the breakers connect. Your source will connect to this buss via the main breaker-the other breakrs will be your loads. I cannot give any more info without more photos or words from you.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmarsha View Post
ok, the gen is putting out 120VAC correct? and I suppose it also has 240VAC? Your info on 110 vs 120 is confusing. Now, you measure 120VAC at the 30 amp brkr? BOTH sides of it? Cuz all the breakers get their juice from the same place. You purchased new brkrs-I assume single pole, 120VAC brkrs, right? If you have juice to one of the brkrs, but not the others, there is something wrong in the service panel. The service panel is just a common buss to which the breakers connect. Your source will connect to this buss via the main breaker-the other breakrs will be your loads. I cannot give any more info without more photos or words from you.
There is a switch on the gen for 110 and 120, the 240v uses the twist 4 prong twist that I do not have. I have set it to both settings with no luck. I have tested it with VM and 120 is definitely coming out. Breakers were purchased at home depot, they only had one type that fit so I assumed this was ok. Yes I measured 120 coming out of the 30amp breaker. look at previous post for more about those breakers.
Thanks
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:49 AM   #11
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I will be over in your area this aftnoon-want me to come by and give your electrical a look-see?
ol' bill
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmehal View Post
Not sure, where is that part? Might it be that cylindrical part in the front engine bay wit 4 wires connected to it? Attached is a picture. It it located under the black box on the left? Also just fyi the battery in this picture are is not like this anymore. I have 2 seperate ons hooked up to their respective wires
I'm not sure where your transfer switch is but it should be near where shore power comes in to the rig and near the 120 V breaker box. The function of the transfer switch is to make sure that the 120 V get power from the generator or the Shore power connection but NOT both. Here are some links to the sort of switch I am speaking of:

Automatic Transfer Switch

Transfer Relays

Mine failed the first year we had our MH. This meant I couldn't get power from the generator. But if the output side failed (don't know if this can happen), you wouldn't get power from either source.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:46 PM   #13
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Well Bill was kind enough to stop out today and we both spent a couple of hours troubleshooting the electrical gremlin. What we have been able to come up with after MUCH experimentation and testing is that the original shore power cord end might be bad as well as the adapter. Both are original and look really old. Were thinking that inside the plug end might be very corroded.

What happens is we get 120v to all outlets but as soon as we put any king of load on them voltage drops like a rock and fluctuates. Bill and I think that the next step will be to replace the 30amp plug end and adapter and see what happens.

Any other thoughts would be appreciated. I will report back this week after I change out the plug ends.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:16 PM   #14
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A quick test you can do is bypass all of the culprits by making a suicide cord. Remove the female end from an extension cord (while it is unplugged is preferable) and disconnect the main power in at the breaker box (again, best done while unplugged.) now connect the suicide cord directly to the breaker panel where you disconnected the power in previously, then plug in and check for better results.

from what it sounds, you most likely do have a bad/loose/corroded connection somewhere. having voltage until there is a load is a good indicator. you may also want to look for grounds or shorts using your Ohm meter if fixing the cord doesn't fix the problem.

Mike
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