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Old 07-01-2017, 12:20 PM   #1
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1969 23' Safari
New Orleans , Louisiana
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'69 Safari - Suddenly Dark on Shore Power

I'm currently living in a '69 Safari 23'. It's parked in the rear of a home, and is hooked up to shore power. Its been working fine for several months.

I came back to it last night to no power. Nothing has recently been installed or changed. It's just been hot and wet.

The breaker on the house, which provides the shore power, was tripped. I reset that. Still, no power.

I checked both breakers in the AS, none of the breakers have been tripped.

I checked all three breakers with a multimeter, and show 120V.

I can't find any GFCI.

When I check outlets, I'm getting 120V.

The battery in the rear is not connected, and fuses back there appear to be ok, but don't provide any readings to multimeter.

Any tips?
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:30 PM   #2
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The lights are 12V. If the converter died you would still have 120V at the outlets but no 12V output for the lights. Check to make sure you have 120V going into the converter. Then check the output of the converter for 12V. I'd bet the issue is the converter. It may be fused, depending on the make and model. If it an original, time to scrap it anyway. Give Randy a call at BestConverters.com
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:32 PM   #3
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The AC is off, too. Not sure if that makes a difference, but just wanted to add facts.

Going to test that converter now.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:50 PM   #4
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Just tested the converter. AC outlet has 120V, but output on converter is 0. Neither of the fuses is blown.
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Old 07-01-2017, 01:41 PM   #5
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Just plugged the inverter into an extension cord on the house, and now all the lights and fans are working. The air conditioner is still out though.
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Old 07-01-2017, 02:15 PM   #6
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You mean "converter" right?

Is the A/C circuit breaker (fuse?) tripped? Is there a reset button on the A/C, and is the unit OEM to the 1969 AS?

Sounds like you may have one or more wiring hiccups between the 120-volt distribution panel and the A/C and converter IMO.

You probably need to check voltage at every place you can, but be careful as 120-volt line current can kill or injure.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- Any chance that mice have eaten insulation off the wiring, especially after it leaves the distribution panel and heads for things like the converter and A/C. Can you see any visible wiring which shows evidence of damage like this?
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
You mean "converter" right?

Is the A/C circuit breaker (fuse?) tripped? Is there a reset button on the A/C, and is the unit OEM to the 1969 AS?

Sounds like you may have one or more wiring hiccups between the 120-volt distribution panel and the A/C and converter IMO.

You probably need to check voltage at every place you can, but be careful as 120-volt line current can kill or injure.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- Any chance that mice have eaten insulation off the wiring, especially after it leaves the distribution panel and heads for things like the converter and A/C. Can you see any visible wiring which shows evidence of damage like this?
You were right with the wiring. The neutral wire connected to the AS cuircuit in the distribution panel attached to the house was charred, and had become disconnected. We shut off power, clipped the wire, and reinstalled.

Everything fine. Not sure why the wire was in that condition, though.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:05 PM   #8
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Excellent that everything is working!

The charred wire raises the possibility that a voltage surge (or fire?) may have damaged the wire, and perhaps other wires not yet exposed? Not sure how you test for hidden damage, but checking for proper voltage everywhere you can seems like a good idea. Just a layman here on electrical things. In an older AS, caution is a good thing IMO.

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:13 PM   #9
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Sounds like it was a loose connection. The chared part was probably from arcing. Did you check all of the connections in the distribution box?
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:46 PM   #10
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Glad you fixed it.
If your trailer is one "blessed" with aluminum wiring, make sure all the outlet box connections are clean and tight. Mine has aluminum wiring and has been working fine for 49 years. BUT, I did find several loose connections when I pulled all the 120 outlets and checked and cleaned. Could have caused issues. You might have an outlet that is corroded and the resulting high resistance might have caused your problem. Also, pull the outside outlet cover and outlet and make sure it is clean. The outside boxes are notorious for leaking and then having corrosion inside the box. Many, many folks over the years here on the forums have had the trailer popping a GFCI outlet on the house. The culprit was a wet outside 120 outlet. How do I know this? Yep, I chased around for 2 days before I found the issue.
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:55 PM   #11
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If your trailer has 2 AC power circuits, probably in the original box with one circuit being for the air conditioner as did mine, see photo, there could be numerous hidden issues. The power cord itself had a short. I was amazed what concealed mistakes were later found including loose connections, missing insulation, copper and aluminum wiring joined, and ground wires not isolated from neutral or the body. Wires to the air conditioner, a later addition, were spliced with various gauges, some as small as 14. Yikes!

Now my Safari is totally rewired with a Progressive Industries power conditioner and analysis box between shore power and new distribution box with 4 circuits. I hope your PO was more knowledgeable than mine in the electrical realm.
Jim
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Old 07-02-2017, 02:01 PM   #12
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Another thing to check when you're running the air conditioner on a residential circuit... what's the voltage (measured at one of the outlets inside the Airstream) while the AC unit is running, and what's the voltage with it off?

If the voltage is being pulled down by the operation of the air conditioner, that'll cause the amperage draw to go up and will heat up connections and wires, which could have contributed to the problem you had (i.e. already old, iffy connections get abused by the higher load and temperatures.)
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:04 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the ideas and suggestions. I'm actually not the owner (just renting it while I renovate a new house) but will pass all of these ideas along. It's an old trailer, and all of these issues are things to check!
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