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Old 09-06-2010, 08:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Clyde43 I would hold the electrician financially responsible for the damages if any to your trailer..... Present the bill to the electrcian and get payment before he repairs your house. If he refuses to pay report his actions to the local power authority before he erases his mistake and repairs your house. Any qualified electrician should not have made this grave error...
Before Clyde43 proceeds I think the SRO (Service Requisition Order) needs to be examined...if the original SRO says something like "Install an RV 30 breaker..." then maybe there is a valid claim. On the other hand, if the SRO only says something like "Install a 30 amp breaker...", then without further guidance from purchaser/homeowner, the installer could easily (mis)understand that his job is to install a 30 amp dryer type of receptical (much more common).

If the whole thing was done verbally - well it's the installers word on what he UNDERSTOOD against Clyde43's word on what he WANTED.

Avoid verbal communication - especially where money and liability is concerned - get it in writing.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Clyde43 View Post
Had electrician wire 30 amp at my home. Got Bambi home plugged in and breaker threw with smoke and flames. Have I fried my whole trailer? Lights still work on batteries. Don't know is reversed polarity or something else. I think electrician ran 220 to 30 amp plug is it suppose to be 120 run to it? Help please!
You don't say where the smoke and flames were. If in the trailer expect to replace what ever was on fire. If at the breaker box, breaker may have limited the damage to the trailer.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:59 AM   #17
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Here's the details...

Plugged into 30 amp one 20 amp breaker threw and hot smell. Then we tried (like idiots) 110/20 household plug. Fire and smoke shot out of breaker box (no breakers thrown) and we unplugged. We took off breaker box cover but saw not damage visually.

Sounds bad to me. What do yall think? Do you think breakers stopped damage or everything is gone? Now I have to find a Rv service place I trust. Any reccommendations in Alabama? Wish we were close to Ohio.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:57 PM   #18
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Here is a site with some very good information about RV electrical in layman's language. The Shocking Truth About RVís | No~Shock~Zone There are currently five brief articles with some good diagrams and explanations on how to test your outlets for proper voltage and polarity.
Everyone.... My name is Mike Sokol and I'm the writer of all the No~Shock~Zone articles. Please pass on the link www.NoShockZone.org to everyone you know who has an RV, and especially your contacts at Airstream itself. I'm trying to gain industry support of these articles and a series of No~Shock~Zone clinics we want to do across the country this fall and winter. As you can see from this thread, there's a lot of confusion even among electricians about RV plug wiring. Plus the casual RV owner wiring an extension cord or using a "dog bone" adapter can make a costly and dangerous mistake if they don't understand the basics about current draw and polarity.

The other real danger with any RV, and especially the aluminum skin of an Airstream, is that a mis-wired campsite receptacle or extension cord can electrify the entire body of your Airstream up to 120 volts, producing what's commonly called a "hot skin" condition. After that it just takes you standing on the wet ground and touching the body of your RV and you can be shocked or killed. Don't let that happen. Please take the time to read this No~Shock~Zone series on RV electrical safety and send me any comments about your own electrical issues. I'm all ears...

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Old 09-06-2010, 06:23 PM   #19
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Similiar problem/issue

I have a '92LY and wanted to be completely prepared for all camp site electric posibilities, so I bought a 50A to 30A adapter to use at campsites where only a 50A outlet is available.
I was told that the 50A is like the other service at campgrounds and are 110/115v.
When I asked a sales person at an RV store if the camp site 50a service can be 220v.
He said that it could and that the 50/30A adapter directs each 110 leg to where it does no harm.

ANY TRUTH TO THIS INFO???
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:39 PM   #20
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I have a '92LY and wanted to be completely prepared for all camp site electric posibilities, so I bought a 50A to 30A adapter to use at campsites where only a 50A outlet is available.
I was told that the 50A is like the other service at campgrounds and are 110/115v.
When I asked a sales person at an RV store if the camp site 50a service can be 220v.
He said that it could and that the 50/30A adapter directs each 110 leg to where it does no harm.

ANY TRUTH TO THIS INFO???
Take a look at RV Electrical Safety: Part III and you'll see that a 50 amp campsite outlet is typically wired for 240 volts, which works out to 120 volts plus 120 volts on each leg. Using only one of the hot legs gets you 120 volts, while using both hot legs gets you 240 volts. So you can use a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter that only uses just one leg of the 240 volt feed and you'll get 120 volts. But be aware that with that sort of adapter you'll have a 30 amp rated power connector and extension cord being powered by a 50 amp circuit breaker. That's not a problem until you draw more than 30 amps down that cable by turning on too many appliances. If you were hooked to a 30 amp circuit breaker, it would trip and save your power cord from damage. But since you're hooked to a 50 amp circuit breaker it will allow you to draw more than the 30 amps of current that your cable and connector is rated for. This will cause overheating of your power cable and possibly cause a fire. See my latest article on what amperage is at RV Electrical Safety: Part V.

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Old 09-06-2010, 06:59 PM   #21
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John,

I think the RV store was close. A 50A to 30A adapter directs one leg (120V) to your panel, and dead-ends the other 120V leg, where it does no harm.

The hazard here is that the one leg going to your panel is protected by the 50A breaker, and your power cable is only rated at 30A. As long as your main breaker is rated at 30A you'll be OK.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:52 PM   #22
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With 220 feeding the panel you most likely damaged any 120 system that was on when you plugged in. That may be limited to the converter if all else was turned off. If the micro wave was on the controls in it way be fried.

The refig. controls are 12 volt but if it was on the electric heating element may be open now.

You can use the 120 adapter idea to test things as long as you do not attempt to run the AC. That is the only thing that will draw more that the current limit of a 20 amp line.

I would disconnect the converter and test it separately on a 20 amp line as I think it is toast.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:43 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyde43 View Post
Had electrician wire 30 amp at my home. Got Bambi home plugged in and breaker threw with smoke and flames. Have I fried my whole trailer? Lights still work on batteries. Don't know is reversed polarity or something else. I think electrician ran 220 to 30 amp plug is it suppose to be 120 run to it? Help please!
I'm curious as to how long the power was on before the breaker tripped with smoke and flames? And were the smoke and flames from the electrical outlet, circuit breaker, or inside the RV?

Usually electronic gear like an inverter/charger or microwave fails almost immediately when subject to over-voltage (within a few 60 Hz cycles) while heating elements might last a few seconds or more before giving up the ghost. A lot of the international gear we use on stage has auto-voltage power supplies, so we can plug into anything from 90 to 270 volts and it will output the correct voltages to the gear. But I don't think that's the case with any RV electronics.

So did the breaker trip as soon as you turned it on, or were there a few seconds before all the fireworks started?

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Old 09-07-2010, 09:45 AM   #24
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Your trailer is rated for 30 amps, there should be a breaker box inside your trailer with a 30 amp breaker in it. This will provide some protection of your power cord as long as the load is downstream from your trailers circuit breaker. A 50 amp source does have the capacity to destroy your power cord whether is it from a 240 volt source with an adaptor or a 120 volt source with an adaptor.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:05 AM   #25
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Power monitor

We wired our own 30-amp outlet to our garage wall the other day, and were quite sure it was 110 and wired correctly. When we plugged our power monitor into it to see how the thing worked, it showed an error code for an open ground.

Turned out the receptacle the local RV supply place had sold us had a bad ground clamp inside the plug. Quick trip to Home Depot for another receptacle (which fit the original box, thank Goodness) and we were OK. Would not have known this without the monitor unit.

Not cheap, but much cheaper than what happened to start this thread. Check them out at

www.progressiveindustries.net/ems_pt30c.htm
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:30 AM   #26
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Good catch on the open ground. If that had been left undiscovered any hot-to-ground leakage from appliances plugged into your RV could have elevated its skin voltage to something deadly. See The Hawk Eye for the sort of outcome that's possible with a floated ground.

Also know that while 20 amp outlets in campsites are supposed have a GFCI breaker that should protect you from a hot-skin shock, once you plug into a 30 or 50 amp outlet using a dog-bone adapter, your RV is on it's own. If you have GFCI breakers in your RV's service panel, then one "might" trip in time to save your life. But if your RV is "old school" with non-GFCI breakers and outlets, then all that hot-skin current is available to electrocute you if you're standing in a puddle and touch any part of your RV. Airstreams are especially vunerable since their entire body is electrically conductive.

Hey, I hate to be a doomsayer, but getting shocked or electrocuted is serious business.

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Old 09-07-2010, 09:49 PM   #27
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Thanks to all who offered help with my 50 to 30 amp issue

When I hooked up to the 50A box, nothing was turned on in the rv yet and none of our breakers were 'blown'.
I have pleanty of things to check out after my un-informed decision to use a 50 to 30A convertor.
I have noticed our microwave doesn't work on the convection setting and my batteries don't seem to stay charged unless I'm on shore power.
I'll check all the suggestions, especially the converter.

What should I expect to find when I plug the converter into a 110 line?

My thanks to all commenters and I'll post the results of my analysis.

John
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:19 AM   #28
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Quick question: Is a permit required and did you take out a permit (from county or city) to do the elec work? If so, what did the building inspector do or say? I learned the hard way not to let govt building inspectors rubber stamp the jobs. You pay big bucks for the permit, demand a proper inspection, and hold them responseable.
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