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Old 07-27-2017, 07:07 AM   #1
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110 power

Good morning,

I was at a state park in Virginia the other night. I plugged into the 30 amp socket but got no power to the trailer. Breakers were not tripped. I thought there might not be power coming out of the pedestal. Later that evening I saw arching at the pedestal. My 30 amp plugged had been fried. Still no breakers tripped. Yesterday I replaced the plug but I still get no power when I plug into a 30 amp power source. No tripped breakers.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:08 AM   #2
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Good morning,

I was at a state park in Virginia the other night. I plugged into the 30 amp socket but got no power to the trailer. Breakers were not tripped. I thought there might not be power coming out of the pedestal. Later that evening I saw arching at the pedestal. My 30 amp plugged had been fried. Still no breakers tripped. Yesterday I replaced the plug but I still get no power when I plug into a 30 amp power source. No tripped breakers.

Any thoughts?

Yes, you need to be able to "see" where the electricity is in order to figure out what is wrong. In order to do this, since electricity is invisible, you must use a tester. If you are unfamiliar with testing procedures or uneasy about using a tester you will need someone who is qualified to do it. A sparky could pinpoint the problem in a couple of minutes with a tester. If I were there I would do it for you, I always carry my tool bag with me.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:08 AM   #3
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Which trailer? Are you competent using VOM's? Is therePower inside distribution panel?
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chatooga11 View Post
Good morning,

I was at a state park in Virginia the other night. I plugged into the 30 amp socket but got no power to the trailer. Breakers were not tripped. I thought there might not be power coming out of the pedestal. Later that evening I saw arching at the pedestal. My 30 amp plugged had been fried. Still no breakers tripped. Yesterday I replaced the plug but I still get no power when I plug into a 30 amp power source. No tripped breakers.

Any thoughts?
This is a perennial problem at many state parks all across the country, especially the ones near major metro areas that see heavy weekend use. It's less of a problem at Corps of Engineers campgrounds or commercial campgrounds, but can still happen there, too.

What happens is, the outlet gets worn over time, and makes a poor connection to your plug. This loose fit causes increased electrical resistance and therefore heat, neither of which is a good thing.

Before I plug in, I visually inspect the 30-amp outlet on the service pedestal. If the plastic looks at all scorched or the holes look wallowed out, that's an indication that the plug will be a loose fit, and I don't use that outlet. Instead I'll use an adapter to plug into the 50-amp outlet next to it. The 50-amp outlets don't get as much use as the 30-amp outlets, and are invariably in better condition.

And if there's not a 50-amp outlet to use as an alternate, I ask to be moved to another campsite where I might have better luck.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:11 PM   #5
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Okay,

Now what to do? There is power running to the breaker box. When you test the 120 outlets, however, you get 120 when you test hot and ground, but nothing when you test both sides of the plug. Batteries have run dead in the meantime. 2005 Classic twin.

There is a box where the cord enters the trailer but getting at it is difficult
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:32 PM   #6
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Hi

Full drill:

1) Check hot and neutral inside the pedestal
2) Check hot after 30A breaker in the pedestal
3) Check hot and neutral on the socket in the pedestal
4) Check continuity (ohms) for hot, neutral, ground on your 30A cable
5) Plug in cable, check hot and neutral at the trailer end of the cable
6) Power down, plug cable to trailer, power up, check hot to neutral at the trailer distribution panel input
7) Check 110V at the master breaker output on the trailer distribution panel.

Note that many of those steps are quite dangerous if proper precautions are not followed. The first two involve digging into the pedestal. If it was me doing the work, I would not go there. It's somebody else's property. Just start from step 3.

If you want to get fancy, check for zero volts between ground and neutral each step along the way.

Sparks / arching are never a good sign. If they are inside the pedestal, talk to the campground folks about getting it looked at.

If somewhere along the 7 step plan above the voltage goes away, let us know where that was. There are fixes / other steps associated with each step.

Lots of fun !!!

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Old 07-30-2017, 03:39 PM   #7
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To echo the earlier cautions, if you are not experienced with line voltage like this, I would ask the campground management to fix the problem. Please don't attempt any detailed testing unless you really know what you are doing.

Better a live chicken than a dead duck!



Good luck!

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Old 07-30-2017, 03:50 PM   #8
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To echo the earlier cautions, if you are not experienced with line voltage like this, I would ask the campground management to fix the problem. Please don't attempt any detailed testing unless you really know what you are doing.

Better a live chicken than a dead duck!



Good luck!

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What he said!!!!!!!! Saw sparking and didn't contact office?
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:14 PM   #9
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Better a live chicken than a dead duck!
Yep, if you mess with electricity without proper training and tools, your goose is cooked!
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:07 PM   #10
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I did, in fact, call the office immediately. The next morning they sent out a ranger with a voltage tester. His opinion was that my plug had a loose prong which caused the arching. Hard to tell because most of the plug was melted.

I am at home now. The power from my house is fine. The power at the plug is fine. I get 120 when I test the bottom round outlet hole with the hot side of the outlet but nothing when I test the two outlet holes. Had an electrical engineer here today trying to figure it out, but of course he is not familiar with Airstreams.

Thanks for your help. The problem is that it is hard to find a service center near me that I can trust. Too many bad experiences in the past.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:12 PM   #11
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Hi

The only way you melt a plug without tripping a breaker is if it's loose or a wire attached to it is loose. Since you've melted it, the only option now is to replace it.

Bob
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:17 PM   #12
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Hi

The only way you melt a plug without tripping a breaker is if it's loose or a wire attached to it is loose. Since you've melted it, the only option now is to replace it.

Bob
Plug has een replaced. Still no power
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:26 PM   #13
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Hi

You have an open neutral wire. See if the cable ohms out ok.

Bob
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:04 PM   #14
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What unclebob said. You have an open neutral. Your solution will vary depending on which trailer.

If your shore power cord plugs into the trailer instead of being permanently wired:

First, disconnect your power cord from shore power. If you have a power connector on the side of your trailer that the shore power cable plugs into, unplug the cable from the trailer and test with an ohmmeter to see if there is continuity between each of three pins on the plug that goes to the pedestal and a corresponding pin on the end that plugs into your trailer. If not, the problem is in your cable. While you have the connector off, inspect the cable end and the trailer connector for signs of damage.

If the cable is good, then go inside and remove the front panel from your AC breaker box. If it is wired like most I have seen, one breaker will be labeled "MAIN" and the power feed wire will be connected to it. Follow the black wire on that breaker back until it joins a multi-wire cable, probably Black, White, and bare or green. Follow the white wire and make sure it is securely fastened to the neutral buss in the breaker box. If all good, then your neutral is open somewhere between the connector and the breaker panel. This will probably require professional help.

If your shore power cable is permanently attached, you will need to find the junction box where that cable is connected to a cable that runs to the breaker panel. On both of my trailers, the 2001 Safari and the 2002 Classic, it was on the road side of the rear storage compartment since I have twin beds. I don't know where it is on other styles of trailers. Once you find the junction box, everything I said above is the same but consider the connection in the junction box to be the same as the connector mentioned above.

Good Luck. Make sure shore power is off before handling any power wires.

Al
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:43 AM   #15
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How hard is it to replace a transfer switch? Getting access to it will be the tough part, I assume, but once the bed is out how tough is the job itself. I am moderately handy, but not an electrician.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:54 AM   #16
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Since you worked on the plug I would start there and recheck your work.

1. Neutral not connected.
2. Neutral and ground reversed.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:11 PM   #17
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On my 2012 the transfer switch is an integral part of the fuse/distribution panel box, on the back side of it. You cannot just change it out. I replaced mine with a new transfer switch mounted in the locker next to the distribution panel and rewired the AC to the new ATS. If you are not an electrician-type, then pay someone to do it.
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