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Old 10-06-2014, 04:35 PM   #1
Rob
 
2014 25' International
Littleton , Colorado
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Shore power cord connector

One of the holes in the female connector (the end of the cord that plugs into my AS) of the shore power cord for my 2014 International Onyx Special Edition slightly melted today after 6 months on the road, visiting 57 campgrounds/RV Parks. I'm positive the 30amp breaker was off before I plugged in one week ago and before I tried to disconnect this morning; I'm particular about this and have never had a problem before. When trying to disconnect this morning, I noticed the female connector on my power cord would not easily twist away (as it normally does) from the male outlet in my AS. When I forced it to disconnect (by twisting and pulling harder), I noticed one of 3 holes in the female connector seemed a bit melted. I did not notice any problems with electric all week at this campsite. After moving to a new campground 150 miles away today, and lacking a replacement cord, I hesitantly used the same, original equipment, shore power cord; I have electrical power, including running the AC. My questions:
1. What caused the melting? (NOTE: I'm sure the breaker was off before connecting and disconnecting).
2. Does the melting present a safety problem?
3. Do I need to replace the cord?

All the best,
Rob
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:06 PM   #2
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I had that happen before. If you do not have both pieces connected tightly with each other, an arc can be created and melt the part. Keep it tight.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:11 PM   #3
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My cord also has this evidence of arching and sparking. I suppose the smart thing to do would be to get a new cord.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenstream View Post
1. What caused the melting? (NOTE: I'm sure the breaker was off before connecting and disconnecting).
Loose connection is the usual culprit; a loose connection increases electrical resistance and thus heat.
Quote:
2. Does the melting present a safety problem?
Yes! Once the insulation is damaged, you can never trust that cord again.
Quote:
3. Do I need to replace the cord?
Yes! BUT— While the cord may have taken the brunt of the damage, the cord may not have been the cause of the problem. A worn socket that you plugged in to could have caused it, and if that's the case the same thing will happen to the next cord you use. Check the socket as well, and don't use it until you're sure it's also in good condition.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:38 PM   #5
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Two weeks ago I plugged the 30A cord on our '65 Caravel into a nearly new outlet with the breaker off, then turned on the breaker. There was power to the TV, Dish box, clock on the microwave etc. We have not used that trailer for several months, so decided I should to turn on the A/C and let it run for a few minutes. It came on just fine, but in a few seconds it started to run poorly so I shut it off. I then got out a meter, and I had a good 120 volts, so gave it another try. Same thing so I shut it off. At that moment the young lady from the trailer next door came running over and said that there was smoke where the trailer was plugged into the park, and that her husband had turned off the breaker.
The rubber plug on my trailer cord was hot and smoking. When it cooled, I unplugged and fould that one of the flat connectors remained in the socket, which I removed. I got a replacement at the park's little store and everything was fine.

It seams that over time, that flat connector had broken inside the rubber plug, but was still making enough contact to show voltage and allow small draw items to work.

All's well that ends well.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
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To the OP: Since your unit is a 2014 and under warrantee I would take it up with a dealer to fix. I had a problem with my cord on my 2014 and it was replaced with no questions at all.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your replies; I plan to seek warranty coverage and ensure future connections are tight
Best,
Rob


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Old 10-07-2014, 04:10 PM   #8
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If you are handy and have some free time you might see if you can get AS to let you keep your damaged cord. A new connector won't cost much, and will be easy to replace. Then you'll have a backup cord in case something like this ever happens again.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:25 PM   #9
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Loose connections

I read this thread when it was originally posted. I had never had any problems with my electrical connections. However, after two 7-10 day stints in Houston, the last week of September and the second week of October, when I disconnected to leave last Thursday, my connectors were difficult to turn and separate. Signs of overheating were obvious so I checked it out when I got home. When I removed the recessed male device from the AS, the lug holding the neutral wire was not tight. It appears that on assembly the lug screw was cross threaded and when tightened stripped the slot/Phillips head before making adequate contact on the wire. I had never run AC for the extended time it was used in the Houston heat and humidity. While the insulation on the wire was not affected, the copper was discolored. I repaired the lug and screw, cleaned the residue with contact cleaner, and tightened the screws to make good contact. I have had it connected for about 24 hours and no sign of excess heating. However, it is not under much load. I will do that next. A loose connection was the cause of my problems, as someone suggested in this thread as a likely cause for the OP.
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Old 10-19-2014, 02:35 PM   #10
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Likely the problem is just at the female connector ... chop it off and add a Camco or other brand connector to make an extension out of this cord ...when AS replaces the cord.
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