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Old 09-18-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
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HELP...shorting somewhere

I have a 69 safari, great condition. It still has the stock univolt and electrical system. This is going to sound strange, but when I touch the exterior, anywhere, it feels like the skin is charged with low voltage. It feels alive. The door is the strongest sensation, and it is not comfortable. I think something is grounding to the body, but i dont even know where to start to check for problems. I have been waiting to change to a power dynamics inverter, I have one sitting in a box. Could the univolt be the problem? everything seems to work inside, except the first lite switch right inside the door. Nothing happens when I flip it, and I dont know what that is supposed to control I have installed led lighting for both overhead fixtures. they are fine. the battery does run down in a few days of not being connected to shore power, i just thought it was an old battery. As ya'll can tell , I am not electrically proficient, but I have people who are. thanks for any help at all. Richard in Texas...69 safari, 68 International, 75 international, and a 68 safari,.under rebuild.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:22 PM   #2
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It sounds like the neutral and hot leg are reversed. Along with the neutral being bonded to the ground plane in the trailer.
You should have a competent electrician determine the cause.
The neutral should NOT be bonded in the trailer panel.
The reversal of the hot leg and neutral could be anywhere between the outlet where you are plugged in and the panel inside the trailer.
Again, a person with electrical knowledge is in order here.
This is a SAFETY problem. Immediate attention should be given. In the mean time. DO NOT PLUG THE TRAILER IN!!!!!!!
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:38 PM   #3
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Yes, if you are not good at electricity, have a professional look at it.

One thing that can cause the problem you mention, and is often overlooked, is the refrigerator 120 volt heater having a small internal leak. You can test it by unplugging the refrigerator (may be hard to see/find the plug, but there is one).

Another thing to try is to unplug the Univolt converter charger, if it has a cord and plug arrangement. Sometimes they develop internal leaks.

If either of these solves the problem, you are in good shape. Otherwise, the pro is needed.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:22 AM   #4
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Hi, the very first thing that you should do is to plug a polarity checker into the source of power. [your house, garage, or camp ground] If that shows bad, you found your problem. If not, then plug the polarity tester in one of your trailer's outlets. If this shows bad, try another shore power cord. If the cord is good, then you have a problem with your trailer.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:27 AM   #5
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The skin of the trailer should NOT be hot. Even if the neutral and hot leg are reversed.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
The skin of the trailer should NOT be hot. Even if the neutral and hot leg are reversed.
I have owned two different Airstream trailers, and both had a very slight charge that could only be felt if.
1 they were plugged in, (one has a polarity checker permanently installed)
2. I was standing on wet ground (like when washing the trailer)
3. I touch the skin of the trailer with the back of my arm, I cannot feel the charge with my hand, or measure it with my amp probe.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:29 AM   #7
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skin is charged

This forum never fails to give good advice and help. Let me re state what is happening. The ground is dry,(driveway). I have plugged two different trailers in, my 68 and a 75 international. Only the safari feels charged.I am having an electrician come out today, from what everyone has said, I dont want to fool around with this. Can the univolt be going bad or shorting? It is buzzing, and I realize that they make some noise, it is just a question of how much. I can feel the charge with the palm of my hand as well as the back of the arm. It seems especially present on the door and screen door, get a tingle there. I am curious to see what has happened. I had a pro install a c in the safari, since it did not come with air, , so I am confident that the overhead wiring is good, He found the harness after a lot of debate, but it was there, and right where Andy at Inland RV said it would be. I have not changed anything except the light fixtures, went to led fixtures.The original fridge is gone, we use a 110 only. So we will see what happens today hopefully. I will post the results . I am glad others name their airstreams also.. we have the Gypsy(69 safari), the continental (75 international), the ace of spades( 68 safari) and bullet... a 68 international. thanks guys.. Richard
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