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Old 04-19-2011, 09:12 PM   #197
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Red light on, BAD

Thanks guys. I was just reading a thread about that. Now I understand. I guess that when I was plugged in at the house the last time my extension cord modification was the cause. I have a new extension cord now.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:12 PM   #198
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Lance here is the page from my service manual showing how the polarity light is wired and how to trouble shoot it.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:14 PM   #199
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I should read my service manual a little more often I guess
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:25 PM   #200
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I should read my service manual a little more often I guess
Maybe you also need to remodify that extension cord too.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:26 PM   #201
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Always learning...
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:41 PM   #202
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Chris,
Thanks for the compliments. I'm thinking of having either some louvered slots or some machinery cloth for the bumper storage compartment to drain out of.

Question
Is there any reason that the little red light that comes on when shore power is applied would be wired between the Neutral and the ground? I know it used to work when I had her plugged in. Now it doesn't. I opened the cover and found it is wired like that. I pulled one lead off the N and shoved it up in the L and it came on like it used to.
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That little red light is a polarity light & should only come on if your trailer is plugged into a socket that has the neutral (white) & the load (black) wires reversed. This system is an antiquated system that alerts you to a power source that was wired incorrectly.

If your trailer also had another issue in that the neutral was grounded somewhere in the trailer, you would have what is called the "hot skin" condition. This is very dangerous because if you step out of the trailer & have one hand touching the metal skin & one foot on the ground at the same time, you may get electrocuted. You need to make sure the ground & the neutral never come together in the trailer, anywhere. Also, make sure the entry box & lead cord are wired correctly with the black wire connected to the load side & the white wire connected to the neutral buss.

You should also disconnect the polarity light system, as this will cause problems if you plug into a GFCI protected socket. The GFCI system is a somewhat more sophisticated than the polarity light & will cause the GFCI to "pop" if the differential between any of the three wires (green, black or white) does not meet certain criteria.

As the polarity light is a 120 volt lamp that is wired between the neutral & the ground, it will only light up if the neutral is live. This of course is not a good thing. Although your trailer may be wired correctly, there are many campgrounds out there that have handymen that don't have a clue what they're doing & reverse the neutral & the load somewhere in their system.

Now, even if your trailer is wired correctly & you plug it into a campground that is wired correctly & it has GFCI outlet, the GFCI will pop because of the polarity lamp still in the system. Do youself a favor & take it out & make sure you test your complete trailer with a tester, then you & your family will be safe.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:03 PM   #203
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Thanks Colin. I was just reading a thread about the "hot skin" condition.
I will take your advice and remove the polarity light. I was all over the trailer this afternoon probing for stray voltage. I didn't find anything unusual. Just a light hooked up to the neutral! I'm kinda wondering about the bare ground wire that goes from the ground bus in the service box to the frame. Where is the best place to ground the box to the frame. It was at the rear hold down plate. I know that that isn't the best place. Just anywhere on the main frame rails?
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:19 PM   #204
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Thanks Colin. I was just reading a thread about the "hot skin" condition.
I will take your advice and remove the polarity light. I was all over the trailer this afternoon probing for stray voltage. I didn't find anything unusual. Just a light hooked up to the neutral! I'm kinda wondering about the bare ground wire that goes from the ground bus in the service box to the frame. Where is the best place to ground the box to the frame. It was at the rear hold down plate. I know that that isn't the best place. Just anywhere on the main frame rails?
Yeah, anywhere on the main frame rails. Use a ground lug.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:18 PM   #205
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Good Friday

I hope y'all are enjoying your day. Today I took the shroud off of the air conditioner to give it a good cleaning. I hosed it down with water, blew it out with air, repeat about a dozen or so times. It is sparkling clean now and blowing nice cool air. I had some water leaking inside so I cleaned off the old sealant and applied C-10 Flo-Seal. I need another tube! It is really runny stuff. It was 93 degrees here today so it was getting a workout this afternoon. I don't have the insulation in the walls yet so that doesn't help any. Here are some pics of the AC.
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I then started to replace the road side outer belly skin. It is all dented and corroded. The four or so hidden rivets were a pain to drill out. I'm using 6061 T6 .025"
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I also took the water heater out of the box and placed it in the hole. I kept the stainless cover from the old water heater in hopes of using it again. Don't think I can make that work. I believe I'll re-skin the cover with some 2024 alclad. The white just isn't going to work for me.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:38 PM   #206
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I also took the water heater out of the box and placed it in the hole. I kept the stainless cover from the old water heater in hopes of using it again. Don't think I can make that work. I believe I'll re-skin the cover with some 2024 alclad. The white just isn't going to work for me.
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Until then...spray paint is your buddy. My 56 caravanner had a spray painted cover that was previously white.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:52 PM   #207
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first I've heard of the polarity light actually causing a problem.

never popped a campground breaker. I've also never seen the light "on"...never tested it, either. maybe its not connected.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:23 PM   #208
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Until then...spray paint is your buddy. My 56 caravanner had a spray painted cover that was previously white.
What happened to the Caravaner? I don't remember you ever talking about a Caravaner.

It shouldn't take me too long to put some nice overlay on the door. The more I think of it though, I may just take the tank and control from the new one and put it in the old water heater shell. I'm not too fond of how the new unit's frame was made. It is really flimsy.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:28 PM   #209
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first I've heard of the polarity light actually causing a problem.

never popped a campground breaker. I've also never seen the light "on"...never tested it, either. maybe its not connected.
It won't pop a normal breaker, it'll pop the GFCI.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:31 AM   #210
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yeah...I'm just thinking that if gfci hookups are common in campgrounds, I must have (statistically speaking) plugged into one at some point. I used to plug into one at my house and never had a problem.
Like I said..maybe the polarity light is disconnected.
We'll see when I pull the bathroom out and embark on my own rear floor-rot repair journey.
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