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Old 05-14-2007, 02:59 PM   #1
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1977 28' Argosy 28
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Getting shocked '77 argosy 28'

Trailer is plugged into its own 30amp grounded outlet connected by 10gauge extension cord. If i touch the ground(Earth)and anything metal on the trailer I get a sting, yesterday my son was entering trailer w/o shoes grabbed the front door handle and cliams he got quite a jolt. I have just recieved stings but I am concerned. I am not that familiar with electricity to begin with. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions on how to trouble shoot!

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Old 05-14-2007, 03:07 PM   #2
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Venice , California
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Watch out! You have a potentially lethal situation. Have a qualified electrician take a look.

"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:10 PM   #3
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You have what's called a 'HOT SKIN'. That means that there is a 120V hot lead that is grounding out to the trailer, causing the hot lead to feed thru the skin. When you touch the metal skin of the trailer, you complete the circuit to ground and the electricity flows thru you and you get a shock.

This can also be caused by a 12VDC positive lead hitting the trailer skin, or a misplaced wire somewhere. If you have a voltmeter, put the positive lead on the skin and the negative lead to a known good ground. If none are close by, you can bang a pipe into the ground next to the trailer and use that as a ground for the test.If you get a reading, you will know that voltage is flowing thru the trailer skin.

Try unplugging the trailer and see if you get it from just battery power. If not, then it is on the 120VAC side. I would double check your extension cord and the outlet it is plugged into. I would also try a different outlet to see if it happens there also. Also check your receptical on the trailer for cross wiring. If you have a circuit polarity tester (the little plug-ins with the 3 lights on them) it might tell you the problem immediately.

It might be a simple thing, but also might require a lot of digging to find it. Good luck!
Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:15 PM   #4
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Another thought!

Who wired that 30 amp outlet? Are you certain that it is a 120VAC 30 amp outlet and NOT A 240VAC OUTLET?

Unfortunately, many domestic electricians have no idea that they are required to wire that 30 amp outlet as 120VAC and NOT 240VAC. That might be the cause right there.
Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:17 PM   #5
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An AC DC voltmeter and a knowledge of electricity is required to solve this problemm, without becoming a danger to yourself and others. If you do not really know what you are doing, it may best be left to those that do. I understand the dangers and would check the outlet first than proceed down the extension cord to make sure that is alright. Then, I would check the ohmeter reading between the various plug terminals going into the trailer and the trailer shell, to see if you have a hot wire short somewhere. After you determine that is the problem, you are in for a lot of looking around for bad insulation or a wire touching somewhere. If your son reported getting stung by touching the skin, but it did not blow a fuse, it is likely you have a partial short or have a wire reversed somewhere. In any event, your trailer and trailer skin is not properly grounded and that is another problem. Make sure your tongue jack pole is setting on the ground (not a piece of plastic or wood). Make sure your stabilizers are in contact with the ground. (no wood or plastic there either). Next, check that the ground at the power distribution box of the house is tightly grounded to the copper bar that should be driven into the ground.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:44 PM   #6
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Danger Wil Robinson....

Absolutely for sure without a doubt this should be solved immediately. The reason why others here are excited but may not know is that 60hz is exactly the right frequency to tetanize heart muscle. If you have a current path through your chest you may initiate a cardiac arrest. Your son's experience between the handle and his foot was a near disaster.
I'm betting that ground has been exchanged for a hot lead - common most likely. This would serve to energize the trailer but not pop a circuit breaker. anytime you get between earth ground (like the ground outside the trailer) and the trailer metalics you make a circuit. I could be wrong on this but I am certain about the physiologic danger.
Donna & Mike
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:04 PM   #7
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Getting Shocked

Unplug the trailer right now,and call a licensed Electrician immediately !!!
Your trailer wiring, the extension cord, or the outlet its plugged into is miswired. This is a life threatening situation. DO NOT use shore power until this is corrected.


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