Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-22-2011, 06:06 PM   #1
New Member
1972 23' Safari
Golden , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3
Flash of Light !!

Hello----I'm a new member of this site as far as posting any threads.

I have tried doing a search for my question/problem but was unable to find anyone else with the same situation .

I have a 1972 23ft Safari. It is connected to house current. I was going to add a short string of small x-mas lights in the area above the cookstove and sinks. I was going to temporarly hold them up with some binder clips from an office supply store. The lights were not plugged in.

I clipped one end of the string to the left front corner of the "rim" that holds the filter over the stove. I started to attach a clip to the left rear corner of the rim, and all of a sudden there was a big flash of white light. There was no noise and I felt no shock. Yikes!

My first thought was that the skin of my AS had become "hot". I retreated to my shop to get my Pen-type AC power detector. I touched the pen to a corner of the filter rim and got another flash of light. I dragged the pen underneath the overhead cabinets and when I got in the area over the sinks, I got another flash of bright light.

I checked the polarity warning light on the outside of my rig and it was out. I have had this rig for over ten years and have never had such a situation before. I got an outlet tester (the one you stick into an outlet and it has three lights on it) and started at the outlet where my rig was plugged into and then went inside the rig and plugged the tester into a number of outlets and all the tester lights showed as being a correct connection. Anyone have any more suggestions? ---Don---

donking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2011, 06:55 PM   #2
Well Preserved

1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,573
Welcome to the forums.
It may be as simple as a light bulb with a loose filament in the galley light fixture. It briefly makes contact if you move it just right.

overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2011, 10:09 PM   #3
Rivet Master
TG Twinkie's Avatar
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,675
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
How big of a flash was it?
Do you have carpet in the trailer?
Has the wind been blowing hard around there?
Was the flash of light where you copnnected the clip or was it a near by light fixture?
Is the tongue of the trailer supported on a block of wood?
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2011, 10:22 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Fyrzowt's Avatar
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
TG Twinkie, congrats on 600 posts!
AIR #15800

"Wimpy" 1/2 ton 2002 GMC Sierra 4X4 Z-71 Gasser
2000 Safari SS 25'
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2011, 07:45 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Ahab's Avatar

2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,174
Are you a regular church goer?
Ahab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2011, 08:00 AM   #6
Rivet Master
noreen&sal's Avatar
1981 27' Excella II
mays landing , South Jersey
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,179
Images: 9
Maybe you shorted the 12V wire going to the exhaust fan. Just a wild guess. Sal.
Sal & Nora
Let us live so that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain
AIR 42483
TAC N.J. 17
WBCCI 24740
noreen&sal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 11:08 AM   #7
New Member
1972 23' Safari
Golden , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3
"Flash of Light" Update

Thanks for the replies. I typed this message out once before, but lost it somewhere, so here goes: Overlander63---the lighting fixture in the galley is the original 3-bulb 12vt unit, and it was not on.

TGTwinkie---the flash seemed quite large, of course my nose was about a foot away from the first flash, I do have carpet on the floor in that area, the wind has been blowing quite hard at times and may have been doing so about that time, the flash was not near the light fixture, the trailer tongue is setting on a concrete block.

Ahab---my "church going" is mainly for marryin's and buryin's !

Noreen---I don't think the exhaust fan wire is the culprit, because the last of the 3 flashes occurred while running the AC tester pen under the cabinet over the sinks, over 2 feet from the stove area.

I was out to the trailer last night and I could not duplicate the flashes. Also, why did I get the first flash when I installed the SECOND clip and not when I installed the FIRST clip. ---Don---
donking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
Rivet Master
vswingfield's Avatar
1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,726
Images: 32
There shouldn't be any AC going to your over the stove vent. The only AC in an Airstream should be to outlets. Even the refrigerator plugs into an outlet behind it. No lights, vents, or fans are AC, originally. I'm not sure what kind of AC tester you are using. Most volt meters will test for DC as well as AC.

DC will still make a spark, but you will not be shocked by 12v DC, which is a good thing. Have you checked your (DC) fuses after the flash incidents?
vswingfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
Rivet Master
TG Twinkie's Avatar
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,675
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
My guess is; especially with the fact that you can't seem to duplicate the problem. It could have been static electricity. If your trailer doesn't have a good earth ground to the skin. You would be surprised how much static electricity can build up in the hull (skin) when the wind is blowing. I would check the 120 volt AC power panel and make sure there is a wire going from the ground buss (not the neutral buss with the white wires) to the skin of the trailer and that it has a good connection to the skin.
The reason I asked about the tongue jack is that with it setting on the concrete block and rubber tires on the trailer. If there is not ground wire in the 120 Volt AC panel. The hull could act like one great big capacitor.
When you did the thing with the string of lights you may have caused it to discharge.
I know it sounds goofy. But airplane hulls when flying, build up static electricity.
A ship going thru water does the same thing. That's why both have what is known as a sacrificial anodes. These anodes are consumed when there is electrical current present. It is called electrolysis. The sacrificial anodes are the protection from the hull being damaged by electrolysis.
The wind blowing across the skin of the trailer is no different than a plane flying.
This could be the reason that some trailers show severe skin damage, especially where there are multiple layers of metal.

Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie 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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tail Light Monitors? MDSilverado Lights - Interior & Exterior 3 10-19-2015 07:15 PM
How to Light the Pilot in the Oven lcurrie Stoves, Ovens & Microwaves 3 08-01-2011 07:16 PM
LED light upgrade BarnacleBill Lights - Interior & Exterior 11 01-31-2011 10:50 AM
Installing Propane light lucymcdog LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 69 01-22-2011 11:12 PM
Panel indicator light for water pump and Water heater DJW Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 3 01-05-2011 07:01 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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