Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-13-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
New Member
Burlington , Virginia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Noob in Need of Help! Black magic creating voltage?

Interior outlets producing 237vac when plugged into 120vac shore power...

Hello everyone,

I just bought my first Airstream project - a 1971 Ambassador. I picked it up a couple weeks ago and have jumped into repairs. I tore the interior out to get a look at everything. I just today decided that everything looks good enough for me to try the ac power. Everything (with the exception of the AC which I have not messed with) seems to work. All outlets get power. The 12vdc accessories are not working, although they were until the battery died. Now the weird thing is that the trailer seems to be producing 237 volts from the 120 shore power, and I have no idea what to do.... Any ideas??? Am I missing something here?

71Ambassador is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
Site Team
azflycaster's Avatar
2002 25' Safari
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,392
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
Could you be plugged into a 240 volt outlet? You would not be the first person to do that.



Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #3
New Member
Burlington , Virginia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Nope. It's defiantly 120. I even double checked with a multimeter. And I am getting 120 at the breaker... I am in the trailer now doing this real time. :P
71Ambassador is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 03:26 PM   #4
New Member
Burlington , Virginia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
If anyone has any ideas, I'm open to them. And I am in the trailer now to test any theories.
71Ambassador is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #5
Rivet Master
68 TWind's Avatar
1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,450
There will have to be a double pole breaker in the main house panel box if you are getting 240V at the trailer. The black wire will have 120 and the white wire will have 120 when each is checked against the green wire. Check the outlet and make sure only one leg is hot.
An Airstream can do a lot of things but it can't make voltage. If you are seeing 240 in the trailer it is getting 240 from the box that the trailer is plugged in to.
Bruce & Rachel
68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
68 TWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
Silver Hilton
Mark Wiltrakis's Avatar
1959 24' Tradewind
Astoria , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 227
We recently had a high voltage experience at a beach cabin. A tree limb had worn insulation off the supply line running to the house from the street. This allowed a hot wire to short with the neutral lead, melted the neutral and severed it, and fried circuit boards in washer, dryer, refrig, and garage door opener. 5 GFI wall plugs were destroyed, as was the microwave and a clock radio. I'd suspect a problem with the neutral feed in your circuit and would disconnect power and check the shore power outlet (or maybe the power cord) connected to your trailer. Good luck!
Mark Wiltrakis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
Rivet Master
garry's Avatar
1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,379
Images: 7
I agree with 68TWind you can't make 240VAC from a 120VAC plug-in however 120VAC on the neutral (white) and 120VAC on the hot (black) side will give you the 240V in reference to each other and 120V individually to ground.

Sounds like you have plugged into a 240VAC outlet.

This is a bad situation for all the AC operated devices in the AS and you may have already blown the converter so no 12VDC and no battery charging.
garry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 05:13 PM   #8
New Member
Burlington , Virginia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Ok! I figured it out. ...And unfortunately, yes, it was mostly user error. The previous owner, or previous previous owner, (who knows) wired in another outlet at a junction box in the right rear. This was in the form of a cable and plug running out of the back hatch... Who knows why. I assumed it was the plug in for the camper since the original appears to not be connected (which it is stealthily ). So, essentially I believe I was running power into an outlet. That was being be converted somehow by the inverter into 240vac at the outlets.

Now, I am too tired to even contemplate what exactly was going on in that inverter, but I am alright with just having everything working and surprisingly nothing damaged. Now it's time to call it a night.

On the plus side, I've checked a lot of the connections, and hopefully removed the last bit of owner engineering.

71Ambassador is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.