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Old 05-01-2008, 11:58 AM   #1
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1973 Argosy 26
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Ground Wire Help Please

I had to replace the floor in my argosy and doing some frame work but the wire(plain copper wire) coming out the the main panel box (from AC main plug) is attached to what looks a ground connecter. However there is a white wire coming from the the other box (assuming the DC power box) that is also connected at the ground connecter. Is this supposed to be attached to the frame? Are both wires supposed to be grounded?

1st Pic - Both wires and Ground Connecter ( where I think it attaches to frame - but need reassurance)

2nd Pic - Copper wire going into AC Box

3rd Pic - Bad pic of white wire into DC Box
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:15 PM   #2
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Well 110 STREET POWER has three wires black (hot)...white (neutral) and copper or now green (ground)

12v BATTERY POWER has two wires black or red (hot) and the other could be one of many colors (ground)

So the two systems work different and my guess is Airstream used the same post to ground off of... If the negative side of the battery is not gounded to the frame then the 12v power will not work...

When I rewire anything in 12v I always reground to the negative side of the battery... As the frame ages the ability to find a good ground lessons.

To be honest the grounding of the 110 is good to do, however the trailer is not really grounded because of the tires...(reason to always use jack stands when parked)

Please make sure the white wire is not part of the 110!!! If so find out what it connects to and give further information!
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:52 PM   #3
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No it goes to the 12v system. Thank you I will ground it to the frame and make a good mental note to always use my jack stands. Thanks
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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In any AC supply there are 3 wires Black is hot , White is netural, and green or bare wire is the ground. The AC ground MUST be connected to the trailer frame and inside the braker box. That ground is your MANY PROTECTION against electrocution. The converter input side will have all 3 wires in the cord suppling the converter and there will be a bare copper wire going to trailer frame

The converter output side will only have 2 wires, as there is no electrocutioin potential from 12 volts, a red to battery positive and a black or whit to battery negitive.

Make sure you reattach the ground from the converter and the ground from the shore line to the trailer frame. The jack stands will not say you if there is a problem. I have seen 70 volts on a trailer skin and that will set you back a step or 2.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:14 PM   #5
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yes, attach it to your frame.

when you plug your trailer in the chassis will become the same potential as the utility ground.

this is a good thing as far as your health is concerned.

john
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
To be honest the grounding of the 110 is good to do, however the trailer is not really grounded because of the tires...(reason to always use jack stands when parked)
caution here.

Code says that the trailer neutral and ground should not be connected or bonded together for the AC system in the rig. That connection is only done at the service entrance where there is a proper earth ground. This means at the point the park attaches to the grid or at a genset (but for portable genset systems this is optional)

The tires and earth grounding the trailer has nothing to do with the safety precautions of the AC wiring system. It may be of some interest in the case of lightning but even there it doesn't make much difference.

You want to avoid multiple earth grounds in an electrical system because they can create what are called ground loops and other interesting phenomena. This is why you don't lie down on the ground but rather just crouch if you get caught out in a lighting storm.

For 110 the main safety feature of the ground is in the GFI or ground fault interrupter which detects any leakage between the power leads and ground and throws a breaker if that happens.

The ground in the plugs does allow all plugged in devices to have a common 'ground' reference and this should not be at any voltage difference from earth ground. Keeping any current from using the ground path is how that can happen.

Do not depend upon RV plugs, even at reputable parks, to be properly wired. That is why many of the older airstreams have this odd little light out on the rear skin so as to warn of a common miswiring. Melting the plug has more on an example of an Oregon state parks wiring misery and things you should check each time you plug in.

For the 12VDC systems, the chassis is often used as a power conductor. This is to save on wire cost. As noted, 12VDC generally is not hazardous for human electrocution but you do need to exercise proper care and make sure to avoid shorts or loose connections that can create heat and maybe fire.

The chassis ground return path is a common source of 12VDC problems, especially between tow vehicle and trailer.

There should be no box in your rig that has both 12VDC wires and the 110VAC wires in it. If you look under the skin in your rig, you'll find that Airstream even separates the wiring paths as much as possible. AC over here and DC over there.

Also be careful about wiring color codes. There are some customs often used but the AC folks and the DC folks have different customs. When these meet, there are sometimes clashes. And then the repair folks get into the act with fixes that further confuse the issue. Always verify the purpose of the wire before assuming you know what it is connected to.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Leipper
caution here.

Code says that the trailer neutral and ground should not be connected or bonded together for the AC system in the rig. That connection is only done at the service entrance where there is a proper earth ground. This means at the point the park attaches to the grid or at a genset (but for portable genset systems this is optional).......
I was not aware of this. I'm almost certain that the neutral bar and the ground bar are indeed tied together in the breaker panel....and that is how it came from the factory. It does make sense, tho. I better check that out TODAY. Thanks for the heads up.

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Old 05-05-2008, 08:53 AM   #8
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First off the white wire, if it's coming out of the AC box shouldn't go to the frame. It's the return ground for all the outlets and it should be connected to the neutral side of the box on the inside. There should be a plain piece of copper wire that comes off the box body itself providing the base ground and safety for the AC side. On the other side the DC side that is usually the white will be the ground for the system and it should go directy to the body as most manufacturer's use the body frame and or shell as the grounding unit. So if the configuration is a I describe then you are safe. PS. Tires will not protect you from Lightning.
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