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Old 06-23-2007, 10:40 AM   #1
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Hot Skin

On my 2004 30' Classic I recently discovered "hot skin". I have read several other threads but need a bit of advice so here is the set-up.

From my 30-amp RV outlet at my home I have attached 2ea. 30ft heavy duty RV extension cords to my power cord on the trailer. The trailer is sitting on concrete, no contact with the ground/grass.

So, several issues at this point.

1. I have voltage on the frame when my #2 (110vac, marked BDR/Convertor on the electrical panel) ciruit breaker is on. From reading the skematic (can I trust it?)this breaker does feed the BDR outlet, several others on its way up to the "Converter". The skematic shows a converter off/on switch in line with this circuit near the door but I cannot find it anyhwere and I have looked behind the curtains and so forth. My '95 had it behind the curtain but apparently it is not there on the 2003 even though the 2003 book shows it on the skematic. When this #2 breaker is off the hot skin goes away. This tells me it is not the amount or type of extension cords causing the probem, I think. It also appears to have isolated this issue to this circuit only. In addition, with the 12dcv ceiling light on in the BDR, when I turn on the #2 breaker, I get a bit of a surge or brown out on this light. In other words it has a visible change in intensity.

2. This issue seems to be seperate from the first issue. When I test from an earth ground to the ground poll of the electrical outlet near the magazine rack near the front door I get 6-vac. This is with #2 breaker off but the others all on.

3. With only the Main 30amp breaker on and all sub-circuits switches off I get 1.5vac between earth ground and the trailer frame.

What is normal? Any idea what may be going on? I have not yet disconnected the converter from the power source and then turn the breaker back on to attempt to isolate but I think I need to do that next. I have used the plug with lamps on it to check polairty but that seems to be ok as well.

HELP!
Earthcreeper.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthcreeper
On my 2004 30' Classic I recently discovered "hot skin". I have read several other threads but need a bit of advice so here is the set-up.

From my 30-amp RV outlet at my home I have attached 2ea. 30ft heavy duty RV extension cords to my power cord on the trailer. The trailer is sitting on concrete, no contact with the ground/grass.

So, several issues at this point.

1. I have voltage on the frame when my #2 (110vac, marked BDR/Convertor on the electrical panel) ciruit breaker is on. From reading the skematic (can I trust it?)this breaker does feed the BDR outlet, several others on its way up to the "Converter". The skematic shows a converter off/on switch in line with this circuit near the door but I cannot find it anyhwere and I have looked behind the curtains and so forth. My '95 had it behind the curtain but apparently it is not there on the 2003 even though the 2003 book shows it. When this #2 breaker is off the hot skin goes away. This tells me it is not the amount or type of extension cords causing the probem, I think. In addition, with the 12dcv ceiling light on in the BDR, when I turn on the #2 breaker, I get a bit of a surge or brown out on this light. In other words it has a visible change in intensity.
What do you mean by "hot skin"? 120V on the skin?

The change in light intensity is normal, because with the breaker off, the light is supplied with battery power. When you turn on the breaker, and subsequently the converter, the light now gets a boost from the converter.

Your extension cords, unless defective, have nothing to do with your symptoms. You might want to check the ground wire for continuity on both extension cords, though. In other words, make sure all three wires are indeed intact, and make good contact.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthcreeper
2. This issue seems to be seperate from the first issue. When I test from an earth ground to the ground poll of the electrical outlet near the magazine rack near the front door I get 6vac. This is with #2 breaker off but the others on.
Which earth ground?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthcreeper
3. With only the Main 30amp breaker on I get 1.5vac between earth ground and the trailer frame.
Again, which earth ground? Like a pole in the dirt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthcreeper
What is normal? Any idea what may be going on? I have not yet disconnected the converter from the power source and then turn the breaker back on to attempt to isolate but I think I need to do that next. I have used the plug with lamps on it to check polairty but that seems to be ok as well.

HELP!
Earthcreeper.
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Old 06-23-2007, 11:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
From my 30-amp RV outlet at my home I have attached 2ea. 30ft heavy duty RV extension cords to my power cord on the trailer. The trailer is sitting on concrete, no contact with the ground/grass.
one: is your 30amp house outlet wired correctly? are you sure?

two: does it do it without the extension cords?

john

ps. unplug it now before someone gets hurt.
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:43 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.

The cords need to stay until I move the trailer but when I check polarity in the camper with the plugin tester with lights on it the 2 yellow lights come on and that means it is OK.

With all the breakers on I get 18.6vac. on the frame of the trailer or the screen door lets mention. This is using the earth ground as a test point. The earth ground is a screw driver pushed in about 1-foot into rain saturated Iowa soil with a 12-awg wire attached to it and I am confident it is a great great. I tested a 110 outlet in the camper across both poles. It is 125.5vac. When I do that test using the earth ground as a test point and 1 hot side of the 110 circuit I get the same reading.

The house wiring is a simple 30-amp circuit. 1-hot, 1-neutral, 1-ground. Again, the polarity checks out OK.
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:51 PM   #5
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Check the voltage of the nuetral wire in the trailer to your earth ground. There should be no voltage. If there is then the house nuetral is not properly grounded. There should be a copper rod pounded into the ground some where around where the power comes into the house. Check that the wire is properly tight to this ground. You may need to move it around a bit to dislodge any corrosion. If the ground is good there then you need to check the voltage of the nuetral in the main box to the copper ground bar and work from there to make sure you have a good ground.

The hot skin on the trailer could also be due to a partial short from some of the high side wiring in the trailer. That is a harder thing to track. Basically you need to follow from outlet to outlet in the trailer and disconnect them one at a time until you discover the run of wire which is causing the problem. Then it is a decision whether you rip the walls out to find it or abandon using that section of wire. Unless that section of wire supports a critical function, I might just abandon it.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:53 PM   #6
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I will test the feed to the trailer. Great idea. That should further isolate where I need to be looking. Should have done that first I guess. That's why ya get the big bucks Dwight!!
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Old 06-24-2007, 06:46 PM   #7
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I tested the cords for foreign voltage on the ground and did an ohms test as well. Nothing wrong. The home has the proper ground rods etc.

There is no voltage on the neutral but there is voltage on the ground pole of the electrical outlets.

Any idea if a solar panel for charging batteries can be doing this?
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:13 PM   #8
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We experienced a "hot skin" (an occasional electrical tingle when touching the outside of the AS) and then a popped 120 volt breaker, all when plugged into 30 amp shore power. Upon investigation, I found that the 120 volt wire from the converter for that circuit had rubbed against a sharp edge of the metal converter box and rubbed through the insulation, causing a short. It was barely touching the metal box and making intermittent contact. Glad I found it (and glad the circuit breaker worked!) before something more exciting happened. This was in our 2002 22' CCD..... owners of that AS model should check to be sure no wires are rubbing against the metal edge of the converter.
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:21 PM   #9
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Wayne, the voltage I measure is about 25.5 volts AC with all breakers turned on and no breakers are popping off. As I shut off 1 breaker at a time and re-measure voltage there is a drop in the voltage measurement. Even when all breakers are off I still get 2.1 volts AC. I don't get it.
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthcreeper
Wayne, the voltage I measure is about 25.5 volts AC with all breakers turned on and no breakers are popping off. As I shut off 1 breaker at a time and re-measure voltage there is a drop in the voltage measurement. Even when all breakers are off I still get 2.1 volts AC. I don't get it.
2.1 volts with all breaks off is nothing to worry about. That could be inductance. It could be a pinched wire with a high resistance connection.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:34 PM   #11
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I wonder if I don't have water in a conduit or something like that. I hooked it up to my hitch and therefore the power jack is not touching the concrete. I then hooked up to power again. The measurement went up to 45.5vac on the frame.

I took it to the dealer. Will let you know what they find.
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:07 PM   #12
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The dealer has told me there is no voltage like I was explaining. Hands full of hair at this point.
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:19 PM   #13
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? have you checked bonding lug from buss bar in breaker box (trlr) to frame of trlr. ?. this used to be a common cause of hot skin in the old days.
make sure all connections are tight and clean.
a/c wire rubbed to bare metal should short and blow breaker if frame is properly grounded. I gather polarity has been checked and is good?
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:20 PM   #14
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back to basics

first from uwe

Quote:
Your extension cords, unless defective, have nothing to do with your symptoms. You might want to check the ground wire for continuity on both extension cords, though. In other words, make sure all three wires are indeed intact, and make good contact.

second, from me

Quote:
does it do it without the extension cords?
third

did your dealer use your extension cords?

john
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