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Old 08-23-2009, 05:36 PM   #1
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1964 19' Globetrotter
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Electrified '64 Globetrotter

So, first off, I'm a new owner of this trailer......with that said here we go:

When I plug in the shore power the body of the trailer becomes hot. What would cause this? Where should I start looking? I am thinking its a ground problem.

Please help me out!!!
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:29 PM   #2
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Sounds like a direct short to me, not so much a grounding problem. You will need to trace the circuits until you find the source.

Either that, or the Airstream you thought you bought is actually a giant aluminum toaster!!
:-)
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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Start at the circuit box the landline comes in to. Can you post a pic with the cover off? Could be a variety of things.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:46 PM   #4
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Where are you plugging in? Have you had it plugged in anywhere else? That could be the culprit as well.


Welcome to the forums!

Al
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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PS-Surprised it didn't trip a breaker somewhere as well!
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:55 PM   #6
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Thats true. It seems it would have to be a problem on the land side of things. I would think the previous owner would have addressed it if had been happening all along! Ya never know though.......
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:09 PM   #7
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the update....

OK....so here's what I've learned from talking with some sparky's @ work as well as using a gadet that the previous owner gave me:

1. The 3-prong outlet in my garage is not grounded.
This caused the existing short or exposed hot wire to become apparent.
2. Like one of you responded, there is indeed a wiring problem upstream of the land line. I am going to start @ the breaker box and trace from there. It could be as simple as an exposed wire, lying hidden, which is the grand problem. How to actually trace all of the different circuts? Any pointers?
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTreeHokie View Post
OK....so here's what I've learned from talking with some sparky's @ work as well as using a gadet that the previous owner gave me:

1. The 3-prong outlet in my garage is not grounded.
This caused the existing short or exposed hot wire to become apparent.
2. Like one of you responded, there is indeed a wiring problem upstream of the land line. I am going to start @ the breaker box and trace from there. It could be as simple as an exposed wire, lying hidden, which is the grand problem. How to actually trace all of the different circuts? Any pointers?
We had the very same problem with our trailer when we first purchased it. I would start with your shore power cable. Ours was riddled with cracks and dry rot on all of the insulation. Secondly, I would definitely check the wiring in your breaker box, all of ours had to be replaced as well due to bad wiring from age. Once we replaced everything mentioned, we have had no issues.

Good luck!
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:20 PM   #9
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...just takes time and one at a time. Like they said above me, start at the box. Pull the cover and inspect the wiring, looking for any disconnected, the condition of the insulation, then look at the point where the wires enter the box. If they aren't fed right, the vibration can wear through the insulation right there, and the box is mounted to the trailer.....

Step one! lol, remove the power from the AS first!

Good luck
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTreeHokie View Post
OK....so here's what I've learned from talking with some sparky's @ work as well as using a gadet that the previous owner gave me:

1. The 3-prong outlet in my garage is not grounded.
This caused the existing short or exposed hot wire to become apparent.
2. Like one of you responded, there is indeed a wiring problem upstream of the land line. I am going to start @ the breaker box and trace from there. It could be as simple as an exposed wire, lying hidden, which is the grand problem. How to actually trace all of the different circuts? Any pointers?
Hokie,

A couple of thoughts that come to mind. . .

If the safety ground (green wire) in the trailer cable isn't getting grounded at the outlet, that could be the whole problem.

The reason I say that is that we don't know how "hot" your shell is getting. If the trailer isn't grounded there can be enough capacitive coupling from the hot wires to the shell to give you a "tingle" when you touch the shell. You can measure this voltage with a high impedance (for example, digital) voltmeter and it will typically measure half the line voltage, 50 or 60 volts to a grounded point like a water faucet. I've seen that plenty of times, and all it takes to fix it is to properly ground the shell.

The other possibility is that a hot wire could be actually shorted to the shell in there somewhere. In that case you could connect a 100 watt bulb between the shell and a water faucet and it would light to full brightness. That's scary! I have seen that, too--although in a kitchen appliance, not an Airstream.

So the first thing to do is make sure the shell is properly grounded through the green wire of the power cord. If the shell is just a little bit "hot" through capacitive coupling, grounding the shell will solve the problem. And if the shell is really hot because of a shorted wire, the fuse will blow, perhaps giving you a clue to the location of the problem.

If you can, get one of your "sparky" friends to come over and have a look at it. Problems like this are hard to troubleshoot at a distance, and you are dealing with a potentially dangerous situation.

Cheers,
Nuvi
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