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Old 08-16-2011, 11:40 AM   #1
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1969 29' Ambassador
blacksburg , South Carolina
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Help !

Hello, I am an absolute "Newbie" to the Airstream Family. I recently purchased a 1969 Ambassador. When I picked it up, the power was being supplied via extension cord from the guy home. When I connect the rv power cord to my generator, I get a warning light on the console panel showing "polarity warning". Can someone please explain to me what this means. Its pulling my 3500 generator way down and then trips the reset on the generator.

thanks in advance.
Scott
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:30 PM   #2
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Hi Scott,

Are you talking about the polarity light on the airstream? If yes, that means that the hot and neutral wires are reversed somewhere. Maybe in the shore power cord, or if you're using an extension cord, I would suspect that too. But if memory serves, if shore power is grounded, the polarity light doesn't work properly. If you do a search on the forums for the "polarity light", you should find several threads that talk about it.

Do you have a 110 VAC outlet tester? They're about $15 or so, and worth it. It can tell you if the generator is wired correctly, and the extension cord if you're using one. Once plugged into shore power or the generator, you can use it to check the 110 VAC outlets and see if they are all wired correctly as well. If everything up to the trailer checks out, and the outlets all show hot and neutral reversed, then the shore power cord at the breaker box is probably wired wrong. Perhaps it was replaced at some point.

Chris
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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1969 29' Ambassador
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Thanks Chris, I used this same generator on a smaller tag along camper and it worked great. Its actually a pretty new generator. The former owner did say he had recently installed a new electric water heater and refrigerator. Possibly one of these may be wired wrong. Thanks for the "starting points",,,I sure didnt want to get a Shock from this trailer
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:51 PM   #4
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Yes you definitely need to do a polarity test.

Start at an outlet on you house. Then plug in you extension cord and test the cord. If both test OK go in the trailer and test all AC outlets. Dont' forget the frig has an outlet hidden in the back if it runs on 120 volts.

If all this tests OK your generator has a problem.

A tester should cost under $15.00 at a Big Box Store.

I suggest starting at the house because that is a known good standard.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:24 PM   #5
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1969 29' Ambassador
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Thanks for the help. Generator checks out OK,,but when I trailers power cord in to the generator, I only show 24 to 30 volts on any outlet in the trailer. Not sure how the former owner had the everything working when I went to look at it prior to buying, but something is def wrong now. I think a trip to an RV service center is in order since my electrical expertise is limited, and if my wife get a nice shock, I may be forced to sell HaHa !
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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Odds are you never looked at anything that was 120 volts when you inspected the trailer before buying.

How did you check out the generator? If not with a polarity tester go back and test from the house with a tester.

If you still have a problem I would not go to an RV shop, 120 volts is not their area of expertize, I would get an electrical to look at it. First thought is something is wired in series and dropping the voltage.
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