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Old 06-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
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low level shock

I have a very mild electrical shock when I touch the skin of my trailer. It appears to be there both when hooked to the car only, and when hooked to shore power. I need to check, but do not think it is there when unhooked from all outside power. Any ideas on where I start looking for the ground?
2007 23ft safari, with solar system from AM solar that is a couple of years old. I just noticed it recently when hooking and unhooking, and am going on the Alaska caravan next month and want to make sure I am not bringing a solvable problem along. (6 volt AGM batteries if that makes a difference)
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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Since it is not likely you are getting a shock from the TV, DC 12 volts could not generate a shock. Your mention of a solar system is the first place I would look.

Disconnect from both the TV and shore power and measure for voltage then using a voltmeter while testing attached to a good earth or house ground completely separate from the trailer. If the problem is there at that point disconnect the solar panel as it comes into the controller and see what you have then. If there is power at that point the wires from the panel to the controller are shorted to the body.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:19 PM   #3
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Did the Solar package come with a 120VAC inverter?
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
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Trailer ground wire

I would check the ground wire which on our 2007 23' Safari trailers is located under the trailer in the front street side near the spare tire.

I would make sure both wires are attached and not corroded. You could unscrew the wires and remove any corrosion and then replace the wires.

Read how Rich Luhr did it in the last three paragraphs of his Tour of America posting, "Manatee Springs State Park, Chiefland FL", (4-25-08).
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:55 PM   #5
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thanks for the feedback

I think I got lucky, I cleaned all the battery connections(slightly corroded, but not bad), and then followed the ground to the frame. It was slightly different than the picture posted, I think because of the solar system, but the mount was slightly loose. I can not seem to get the little tingle off the trailer now, so I hope that was it, I don;t really know enough about electrical stuff to much more than clean, reattach and tighten. The feedback and ideas are appreciated.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
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You're welcome slpiotro... it's so nice to get an occasional "thank you" from those who post a question, get responses, and then to hear how the situation turned out.

Looking forward to your reports and photos on your Alaskan caravan next month!
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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But wait - the grounds should be a safety and not have current/voltage on them - if there were issues with a swinging ground connection you maybe should be looking deeper into what is 'leaking'.

Not trying to amplify the significance of tingles with a floating ground but it IS an issue to be addressed.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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grounds, leaking electrons... sneaky little buggers

I am not sure, but I understood that if you had a loose ground, you could get all sorts of odd behaviors. Ground that was loose could allow the "normal" electrical currents to find a bypass for part of their flow into the frame and or skin of the trailer.
My first thought was that I had a loose ground somewhere, and I will continue to look for another loose connection in the solar and the regular panels. My understanding of electrical stuff is that the ground is intended to keep the electrical charges flowing away from equipment and sensitive parts and redirect it to the ground. That doesn't sound quite right when I type it, and I can understand how this works with I read the instruction books and wiring books, but can't really conceptualize it so that I can explain it. Like I say, what I did seemed to take the little charge off the trailer, and I will look for other loose connections or bare wires (I know that other than the ground, bare wires are a bad thing). Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slpiotro View Post
I have a very mild electrical shock when I touch the skin of my trailer. It appears to be there both when hooked to the car only, and when hooked to shore power. I need to check, but do not think it is there when unhooked from all outside power. Any ideas on where I start looking for the ground?
2007 23ft safari, with solar system from AM solar that is a couple of years old. I just noticed it recently when hooking and unhooking, and am going on the Alaska caravan next month and want to make sure I am not bringing a solvable problem along. (6 volt AGM batteries if that makes a difference)
I do not think you have solved the problem by tightening a ground wire.

You did not say where you were standing when you got the tingle, touching inside skin or outside skin. If you were getting that tingle while touching the outside skin of the trailer while standing outside on earth surface, your body was completing a circuit to ground. That can only happen where that same circuit's supply is connected to ground at a different location (the grounded breaker panel of shore power). If it was static electricity you would only get a short sharp spark, not a tingle. This is why it is important that you MEASURE with a meter from the skin of the trailer to a known earth ground. If you find there is current flowing from the trailer skin to earth ground, I would suspect a reversed ground/neutral wire somewhere in the 120v system.

If you were standing on wet earth you could get electrocuted or a person with a pacemaker could be in trouble with just a small shock, so don't take a chance!!!!!
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:27 AM   #10
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Judging from the age of this thread, I'm guessing it is caused by ZOMBIES!!!!!

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Old 06-28-2014, 11:57 AM   #11
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Electrical safety is always relevant. Hope the OP wasn't electrocuted.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:22 PM   #12
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Hope the OP wasn't electrocuted
That was my first thought too...

For future readers doing quick research it was a fully adequate & timely reply, Airstreams are lasting monuments to their previous owners!!
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:35 PM   #13
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Electrical safety is always relevant. Hope the OP wasn't electrocuted.
I figured that's why he didn't tell us what he found.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:49 PM   #14
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Maybe his ghost subconsciously contacted me to resurrect the thread;-)
I don't know how I opened that old thread? I guess I was reading current posts and clicked on a link within. I responded to what I thought was a current post. I glance at the date and saw 17 June, but the year did not register in my brain.
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