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Old 05-30-2016, 09:29 PM   #43
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Thanks, we ordered the Progressive PT30C plug to strengthen the electrical chain, but not sure about banging a copper rod into the ground for each generator location!

Do many RV users (incl. self) actually do this, assuming the campground pipes are indeed plastic?

Would a 24" copper rod be better than nothing? It could live in our rear storage area along with the various cords and hoses. What AWG made-up cord would suffice to connect to the gen?

Thanks,

Peter






PS -- here is a 4' copper clad rod: http://www.amazon.com/eDragon-4-Feet...ound+rod+clamp

And this kit: http://www.amazon.com/Copper-Groundi...JD1BKZY9MH8NBZ

And a smaller unit for one outlet I guess? http://www.amazon.com/Ground-Smart-E...V976CS992B5D79

Does anyone use something like this for the gen location, assuming no CG copper piping?
Interestingly, not many are even aware of these requirements. Their GFCIs in their RVs don't work when there is no N-G bond @ the generator, but they mostly never research it to find out why, especially when they work on shore power (where that pesky N-G bond is present.......or should be!).

I would think that any ground rod would be better than nothing in case you lose the neutral in your 12VAC circuit. Remember that all of your grounds should have no 120VAC current on them in a normally operating circuit (that's why the ABYC calls them 'grounded' and neutrals 'grounding' conductors) since all of your return voltage should be using the neutral or 'grounding' conductor.

I know.....shut up and crawl back under my rock!
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:01 PM   #44
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Thanks no need to crawl under the rock just yet!

Appreciate the details . . .

Peter
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:11 PM   #45
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Electrical Management System/Surge Protection

I have been thinking about generators and floating neutrals for some time and in my thinking, it seems to me that there is very little if any benefit to grounding the generator to earth, but that it would make everything much safer to connect the generator grounding lug to the trailer frame.

In my thinking while public utilities use the earth as neutral, when using a generator earth is not even a part of the circuit.

Am I wrong? If so why is initiating an earth ground better than grounding to the frame?

I have also considered that a floating neutral might be safer than a bonded neutral in some cases, as the trailer body itself could not itself, by itself, provide a path of electrocution under any circumstance.


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Old 05-31-2016, 10:30 AM   #46
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I have also considered that a floating neutral might be safer than a bonded neutral in some cases, as the trailer body itself could not itself, by itself, provide a path of electrocution under any circumstance.


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I have spoken to a few people who have gotten a mild zap from the trailer body. Is anybody aware of an actual case of electrocution, injury or damage from a ground issue with a trailer?
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Old 05-31-2016, 12:29 PM   #47
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I have spoken to a few people who have gotten a mild zap from the trailer body. Is anybody aware of an actual case of electrocution, injury or damage from a ground issue with a trailer?

In the instance where a trailer is powered by a generator with a floating neutral, a shock by touching the skin of the trailer and "earth" would be near impossible.


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Old 06-01-2016, 04:23 AM   #48
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In the instance where a trailer is powered by a generator with a floating neutral, a shock by touching the skin of the trailer and "earth" would be near impossible.


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"near imposssible" -- but therefore "possible" right?

So -- the very remote possibility of being shocked might occur how? Perhaps from a wiring mistake in the trailer, or in one of the appliances? Perhaps from a change in circumstances over time, maybe due to road vibration, corrosion, loose electrical connections/connectors/etc. etc.?

And what about the GFI outlets? Don't they need a true ground from the generator to earth to work correctly?

Sorry for being such a dult on electricity, but these are serious questions, albeit concerning very unlikely possibilities.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:49 PM   #49
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Installing surge protector

Where does the AS 50 amp receptacle wiring enter the trailer to reach the AC panel? I would like to install a surge protector in my Flying Cloud 30.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:37 AM   #50
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Electrical Management System/Surge Protection

In my study, "near impossible" would be more statistically remote than anytime the trailer is plugged into shore power.

Not having the trailer skin, the earth, and every conductive piece in the trailer connected to one of the two legs of a 120 volt circuit is going to provide safety in its own right.

Further, it is my understanding that GFI's DO work in a floating neutral system, even as the cause for their need is greatly reduced exponentially.

It can be very effectively argued that a floating neutral adds a layer of safety at the foundation of all other layers of safety with no safety down side whatsoever.

To really understand this issue, I think it is important to know WHY our nationwide electric grid chose the earth to run the "neutral" leg through. My study of the issue indicates that this was done primarily to save wiring cost, especially in early electrification, where 110 volt service could be brought into homes with only a single wire.

There are other reasons for why a large grid might tie one leg to an earth ground, but these reasons simply do no apply to a trailer running on a generator.


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"near imposssible" -- but therefore "possible" right?

So -- the very remote possibility of being shocked might occur how? Perhaps from a wiring mistake in the trailer, or in one of the appliances? Perhaps from a change in circumstances over time, maybe due to road vibration, corrosion, loose electrical connections/connectors/etc. etc.?

And what about the GFI outlets? Don't they need a true ground from the generator to earth to work correctly?

Sorry for being such a dult on electricity, but these are serious questions, albeit concerning very unlikely possibilities.

Thanks,

Peter




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Old 06-06-2016, 06:16 AM   #51
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Our trailers are wired typically with black, white and green wires. If the trailer is wired and functioning correctly, black and white will never cross except at point of load, and the ground is always isolated.

People get shocked because they complete the path of a circuit.

On shore power, the ground, everything on the ground, the trailer skin, frame and essentially everything in the trailer is one leg of the circuit.

If a person touches a black wire and any conductive part of the trailer at the same time he is subject to electrocution even if everything is working perfectly.

Conversely, if everything is identical, except that the properly wired trailer is not on shore power but running on a floating neutral generator, touching the black wire and the shell at the same time will NOT result in a shock.




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Old 06-06-2016, 06:24 AM   #52
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Our trailers are wired typically with black, white and green wires. If the trailer is wired and functioning correctly, black and white will never cross except at point of load, and the ground is always isolated.

People get shocked because they complete the path of a circuit.

On shore power, the ground, everything on the ground, the trailer skin, frame and essentially everything in the trailer is one leg of the circuit.

If a person touches a black wire and any conductive part of the trailer at the same time he is subject to electrocution even if everything is working perfectly.

Conversely, if everything is identical, except that the properly wired trailer is not on shore power but running on a floating neutral generator, touching the black wire and the shell at the same time will NOT result in a shock.

IMHO, When Honda and Yamaha etc. designed their products with floating neutrals, it was not a mistake but a safety enhancement that is possible because earth is not part of their circuit unless it is MADE part of the circuit.

(Technically speaking, the white wire from a floating neutral gen set is not really a "neutral", but a leg of a 120v circuit, it only becomes a "neutral" when it is bonded to ground at the gen set)


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Old 06-07-2016, 07:14 AM   #53
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. . .
Conversely, if everything is identical, except that the properly wired trailer is not on shore power but running on a floating neutral generator, touching the black wire and the shell at the same time will NOT result in a shock.
. . .
Thanks for the replies.

In your hypothetical scenario above, what if there is an electrical error in the trailer, and the hot leg is somehow connected to the shell of the Airstream,

and the owner, while standing barefoot on The Earth, touches the trailer's shell, or other metal part such as the frame, tounge, hitch components, etc.?


Without a true GFI function via the generator's connection to earth via an actual physical ground wire/rod, won't the human being experience some kind of . . .



*****... Zap ... ***** ?





Thanks,

Peter
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:18 AM   #54
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What if there is an error in the wiring in any instance?

A simple reversed neutral and ground in a trailer on shore power can be deadly.

getting electrocuted while touching the shell and anything else at the same time is much less likely with a floating neutral generator, this is even so while holding the bare black wire while touching the shell.


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Old 06-07-2016, 11:23 AM   #55
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It is my informed opinion that a floating "neutral" generator, with the generator ground lug connected to the trailer frame is going to be overall safer than any connection to shore power.


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Old 06-07-2016, 11:33 AM   #56
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It is my informed opinion that a floating "neutral" generator, with the generator ground lug connected to the trailer frame is going to be overall safer than any connection to shore power.

Superat stultitia.
Thanks for the replies. And what about the Progressive 30 amp surge protector which we just got for shore power use -- is there any point in using this when the generator is supplying the power, or will the Progressive sense the lack of a true ground and refuse to connect?

Thanks
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