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Old 06-11-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
runningbarre's Avatar
1994 34' Limited
Upper Sandusky , Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 94
Electrical issues!

Well, our first trip out this year has so far been our last. I plugged the trailer in a week before we left, to cool the frig, and two days later I walk out there, and the breakers are all tripped. I switched them back on, and issues. So we travel out to camp with our airstream friends over in Wooster Ohio, and when we got there, the electric went out again. As we tried to figure it out I discovered our inverter had quit. Thinking this to be the problem, we headed out to the nearest rv place and bought an Intellipower inverter(I forget the model number). We have a thirty four foot classic that has two batteries. Guess what? They were dead, so I picked up one battery, could't afford two! Back to the trailer and put all this stuff together, being very antisocial , and we figured we would turn the power on and go to bed. more breakers. The gfci breaker was toast. The next morning, very discouraged (and cold) we decided to go home.
The next week, we were trying to figure out the problem, and found a mouse nest near the junction box coming from the electrical hookup. Great! We started taking out cabinetry in the bedroom searching for damage to electric lines. We found a section of wires fused together in the wall above the mouse we figured that the mice ate thru the wires and caused the issue. I spliced in a new section of wire...bought new breakers...and held our breath as we plugged it all in. Boom. No more gfci breaker! Crap.
Well, we have been working on the old girl, doing many projects at once, and after pulling an old hornets nest out of the air conditioner, I thought, well let's just disconnect the air conditioner and see what happens. Hey...waddaya know...the breakers stayed on. Hurray, we found the problem....just leave the dang thing disconnected and replace it later. As I was reaching up to the junction box to isolate the wires, I got a shock. I now have power back feeding thru the chassis ground. Black and white wires to the air conditioner are disconnected and the chassis ground is hot. What the heck? Anybody have any ideas as to what I should do next?

Grumpy old man
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:33 PM   #2
Maniacal Engineer
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1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,224
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First, verify that the outlet you're plugged into is correctly wired.
Now, step by step, verify that the hot & neutral lines are not reversed as you go from the plug to the panel to the individual outlets.

When wacky stuff happens, revalidate all your assumptions and you'll find the problem.

- Bart

Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:11 PM   #3
Rivet Master
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Go to Home Depot or Lowes and get one of these and test the source power, if it is OK then test an outlet in the trailer. Let us know what happens. Sorry about the 2 pics.
It sounds like the trailer is not wired correctly.
I think you are missing the chassis ground for one. If the chassis is grounded properly and a hot wire comes in contact with it, the source circuit breaker would trip immediately.
Here is a web site that might help. Go to the 30 amp section.
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