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Old 10-02-2016, 07:15 PM   #1
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Ground and neutral connected?

The attached pic is from a 1984 Avion 30R, which appears original since the converter/110 panel appear to be factory. What concerns me is that the neutral bar appears connected to the ground since 1. The neutral bar is attached to the skin, and 2. A copper wire can be seen leaving the neutral bar which I assume probably connects to the trailer somewhere (not to mention it's running alongside the ground from the 110 circuits).

I thought ground and neutral should be separated for a trailer just like a subpanel. Shouldn't the only place ground and neutral be bonded is at the MAIN panel???

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Old 10-02-2016, 07:25 PM   #2
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You are correct for the 120VAC the neutral and ground should be isolated and bonded at the main house or campground panel.

I suspect the picture shows the 12V ground and not the AC neutral.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:38 PM   #3
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Ground and neutral connected?

Thanks, Garry. I should have realized that. Opening up the box shows the neutrals are where they're suppose to be.

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Old 10-02-2016, 07:40 PM   #4
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Any thoughts on that converter? Previous owner claimed he left the trailer plugged in all the time and that his batteries would last about 5 years. I thought those older converters were known to cook batteries. This one is by B-W Manufacturers, once made in Kokomo, Indiana.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:25 PM   #5
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Garry is correct and that sure is a clean install. Wish they all did it that nice!
Lineage of that 6300 series unit was Phillips, B-W Manufactures (Kokomo), Magnetek, Parallax Power Products, Parallax Power Supply (Bought by Connecticut Electric) and now just sold again but still Parallax Power Supply (8300 series)
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:26 PM   #6
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The photo in your initial posting is probably the 12VDC negative bus and NOT the 120VAC neutral bus, as is shown later in the thread.
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:45 PM   #7
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That's what Garry pointed out Lew and I agree.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garry View Post
You are correct for the 120VAC the neutral and ground should be isolated and bonded at the main house or campground panel.

I suspect the picture shows the 12V ground and not the AC neutral.
I'm curious why the neutral and ground wires are separated in the home/RV circuits, but bonded at the main 'panels'.

If they are bonded anywhere, (ie. the panel) wouldn't that make a common ground for the whole entity??

I saw a schematic one time last year that showed to main panel bonding, but the question was never answered.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:15 PM   #9
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The 120 VAC neutral should NOT BE BONDED anywhere, as it should be floating in the RV.

120 VAC grounds are bonded to the frame, as is the 12 VDC ground wires, but NEVER the 120 VAC neutral.


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Old 10-03-2016, 10:49 PM   #10
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They are "bonded" at the pole though
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:29 PM   #11
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Ground is connected to trailer frame. Stray voltage going from neutral to ground could then find a path through a person touching the trailer to ground. In a house and at the pole there is normally a very good ground connection to earth through grounding rods and most building materials are not good conductors, providing higher level of safety against stray voltage to ground. Path of least resistance. A trailer on rubber and plastic leveling blocks is pretty well insulated, so a person could make a nice electrical path.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:13 AM   #12
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The converters on the 80s Avions appear not to boil the batterys. I've had zero problems and mine is plugged in at all times. I add water about twice a year.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:53 PM   #13
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They are "bonded" at the pole though

Correct! External to the RV in one and only one place.


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Old 10-04-2016, 11:00 PM   #14
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If the ground and neutral are bonded in the trailer, you'll likely run into problems if your campground uses a GFCI. Here's why: suppose you run your air conditioner; you'll see a few volt drop across neutral and hot... but note that half of the drop is the hot line dropping - and the other half is the neutral going up. Now since the neutral and ground lines are incorrectly bonded(connected) in the Airstream, the ground line in the trailer is above 0 and carries current through the ground connection, promptly tripping the ground fault interrupter.

It turns out it doesn't take much load to produce this problem, but the AC will make it happen every time.

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