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Old 09-28-2006, 08:23 PM   #1
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A SHOCKING new development

I have a new feature that has deveolped on my RV that is well... a shocking development to say the least...

When I plug in to shore power, you can feel a strong electric "tingle" when you touch anything metal on the coach. If your hand is damp or sweaty, it can actually hurt quite a bit.

Obviously a short of some kind... Any ideas for where to start?
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:36 PM   #2
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Unplug it till you solve the problem!


Are you at home or a campground?
Have you done or had any work done recently?
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:44 PM   #3
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Check Everything

First place I'd look is a worn cord when you hook up. Then I'd suspect worn insulation somewhere on a wire inside the A/S. Tracking this stuff down can be time consuming. If you have a friend who is an electrician I'd ask her/him for help.

Good luck and be careful.

Paula
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardT
Are you at home or a campground?
Have you done or had any work done recently?
I am at home, thank goodness. But we are leaving for a long distance, week long trip Saturday... I don't have much time to solve this problem!

No work done since the problem developed (darn, nobody to blame!)

I also just confirmed that the problem does not appear when on generator power, only shore power.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx-lawman
I am at home, thank goodness. But we are leaving for a long distance, week long trip Saturday... I don't have much time to solve this problem!

No work done since the problem developed (darn, nobody to blame!)

I also just confirmed that the problem does not appear when on generator power, only shore power.
Check where the shore power cord goes into the coach, the insulation may have frayed.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:55 PM   #6
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Should I be looking for a bad ground? or a short ("leaking") between the two primary wires?
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:02 PM   #7
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Troy,

My first recommendation to you (after advising to disconnect shore power), is to seek out someone who knows how to use a multi-meter to determine if a short is occurring, and possibiliy locate it through circuit tests. If worse comes to worse, you'll need to put off your trip a day or so until you can locate the source of where the grounding (leakage) to your Airstream's body or frame is occuring (if indeed that is the case). Don't shrug this off as it can likely be a fire hazard.

Good luck and let us know what happens...
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:07 PM   #8
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Leak to Ground

You likely have a leak to ground, that is a short through a fairly high resistance. If it did not have a high resistance, you would not get a "tingle" but would get K'd On Your A. You also have a poorly grounded coach. If it wqs well grounded, you would not get a tingle. What you are doing when you touch the coach is providing a ground path. You can use a multi meter betwee the coach body and a ground To see what it is, but it will not tell you the strength (amps).

First, check the ground connection between the coach and the receptacle. If you are not sure of the ground at the receptacle, ground the coach to a water pipe. This may eliminate the tingle if it is a minor leak. If it is a major leak you will kick the breaker. If the breaker doesn't kick, check your plug for signs of arcing at some prior time. This can provide a carbon track that will conduct current to the ground. Then, check your breakers and breaker box for arcing or carbon tracks. You can also open the breakers in the coach one at a time to see if the problem is eliminated. If it is related to one cicuit, then you can start to narrow down the point of the problem.

Use a multimeter to test the ground. You may be dealing with a strong short that can deliver a potentially fatal shock if you are well grounded.

Be sure to unplug the coach when you are making changes. I do not mean to insult your intelligence, but, from one who has been K'd on his A , be careful.

Harry W
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:10 PM   #9
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Turn off the breaker that feeds the water heater if its electric. This is a very common problem when people are tripping GFCI breakers as well.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:10 PM   #10
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sounds like reverse polarity. A couple of buck tester from camping world and anyother rv/marine store is in order.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:13 PM   #11
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short

I would check the main cable going into the camper then inspect back behind the fridge then follow wires from the breaker box. It may be as simple as a mouse chewed the insulation or the insulation from vibrating against a sharp object like a screw or a sharp corner rubbed threw.
One things for sure. You will know when you find it and make sure you fix it proper electricity is a deadly thing. Esspecially knowing your propane tanks can conduct it
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry W
from one who has been K'd on his A , be careful.

Harry W
What he said!
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:25 PM   #13
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I agree with Tarheel about the polarity. I have also heard of people plugging into a cloths dryer outlet because it looks almost the same, it is not. Have you used this power outlet before with no problems? The only difference with a generator and a shore hook up is that the generator does not have a ground.
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Old 09-28-2006, 11:46 PM   #14
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Hi, O.K. Lets start with the basics. No problem with generator. Only problem when on shore power. When the generator is running, it is grounded to the frame in-which is grounded to the body. Works fine no shock. When hooked up to shore power the trailer is grounded through the power cord and the outlet receptical. In other words; grounded from the power source. Test the outlet with polarity tester. [has three lights and a chart on it to tell you if the three wires are in the right position and working right.] If that test shows good, then the problem must be in the power cord ground wire connection or the ground connection on your RV cable connector.
Generator O.K. ----------- Problem not in trailer / motorhome.
Shore power not O.K. -----problem in shore power ground.
Shorts, blow fuses, kick circuit breakers, and burn wires. Don't waste your time looking for a short. You are getting a feed-back due to a bad or open connection to ground.
Bottom line you are looking for an open circuit or poor connection to ground.

Bob
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