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Old 06-03-2019, 07:54 PM   #1
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Shore cable melted to make plug at trailer....my fault or bad post at CG???

Was camping this weekend at a state park... the 30 amp breaker at the post tripped... as we had AC, WH, hair drier and electric skillet all in service... YEA... wasnít thinking... reset the breaker and no issue the rest of the weekend.
When packing up to head home I could NOT get the plug to disengage from the trailer. After applying a bit more force that I wanted... it broke free... and this is what I discovered...Click image for larger version

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So... was the overload the cause???
OR an issue with the electric post???

Thoughts...

Replacement is about 100 bucks...

Thoughts/reco on surge protector???
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:59 PM   #2
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Shore cable melted to make plug at trailer....my fault or bad post at CG???

Sounds like a faulty breaker on the campground pedestal - should have tripped. You should not have been able to draw that many amps with those appliances youíve listed.

Rough estimate:

AC - 14amps
WH - 9amps
Hair dryer - 10-12amps
Skillet - 5-12amps.

38+ amps

You will likely need to replace the 30amp wire from the panel and obviously replace the male terminal on the exterior of the trailer.

Maybe itís time to upgrade to 50A service.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:10 PM   #3
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Overloaded. Bad breaker also. Run the WH on gas. Just too much total load. Campground probably has some sort of slow blow breaker to keep from tripping a lot.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:34 PM   #4
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When removing the outlet from your Airstream, give each wire a pull at the back of the outlet. My Avenue class b burned out the cord and outlet's neutral wire. Turns out, the neutral was loose and not clamped inside the back of the outlet. I do not suspect Airstream. I figure the previous owner drove away while plugged in, and whoever reintalled the outlet missed getting the neutral wire under the clamp.

Extremely unlikely in your case if the outlet was never damaged, but I'm just saying in could caused by a loose connection. Lucky mine didn't catch on fire, but I figure it's what cost me a new ac.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:22 PM   #5
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Shore cable melted to make plug at trailer....my fault or bad post at CG???

Consider a SmartPlug instead. Has better contact design, fits tighter, and is totally waterproof when connected. Admittedly not cheap, but a lot more durable than the usual twist-lock connector. Fits in the exact same hole and locks on much better. Google it!

Besides the cover is shiny stainless steel. Bling!
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:12 AM   #6
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Thanks Rich for your smart plug for a superior product!



Peter

https://smartplug.com/rv/
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:24 AM   #7
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I see what you did there Peter

So hereís a question. If that was a result of demand exceeding supply, would an EMS like the Progressive 30A have helped? I think of it as helping protect only from problems on the supply side (like - low voltage, shut off power coming to trailer from post) but not from demand side...am I wrong about that?
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:20 AM   #8
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I had the same question. Is the “surge” of excess juice something the protector would stop?



Rich?
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:59 AM   #9
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What about the AS breakers? They should they have prevented the damage....no?🤔

I had damage very much like in the pic. Poor contacts, corroded, dirty....my bad.

I know the EMS has a very good warrantee policy and great CS...one thing they won't cover...the plug.

Bob
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:06 AM   #10
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Each single AS breaker will trip only if that circuit or appliance is drawing more that that single breaker can handle. If the total amps being drawn by all the circuits exceed the CG pedestal’s 30 amp breaker, then it should have tripped.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:09 AM   #11
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This is a case of a poor contact at the plug. Either inadequate physical contact between the plug and socket or corrosion on one or the other or corrosion on one of the contacts. This is a well established issue with the design of this plug from the Ď30s(?). Often the spring tension has been lost so the pins arenít held tight or they have become slightly worn so they donít grip well. The contact patch is inadequate for the current flow so heat builds up. The heat starts melting the plug and eventually, if unnoticed or untended, will result in a fire. This is NOT a case of current in excess of any breakers. You got lucky. A current even in the single digit amp rating could cause this damage.
As previously mentioned, the smart plug is a massive improvement in contact and was designed specifically to address this issue. It was initially designed for the marine world where poor connections like this one have resulted in entire wharfs burning up.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debnw View Post
. . .
Thoughts/reco on surge protector???
Always . . . Progressive Industries . . . although not clear whether it would have helped here.

Rich and wulfraat?

Thanks,

Peter

PS — bb the OP listed all the uses in play. Probably exceeded 30 amps?
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:32 AM   #13
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I cannot see why any surge device or EMS would protect on a minor overcurrent event. This is just a case of drawing a bit more current than the rated value. yes you would expect the pedestal breaker to trip but all of those breakers trip based on a curve of overcurrent vs time. Maybe it was not enough overcurrent for a long enough time.
I think the response about bad contact is spot on.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:45 AM   #14
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Sounds like a combination of several things could have been going on - failure to trip power pedestal breaker on load exceeding 30amp , failure of primary breaker inside of AS to trip on load exceeding 30amp, potentially weak physical connection between shore power cable and AS.

Surge protectors of the RV variety would not have seen this as a problem unless the voltage spiked high- surge protectors are not current overprotection devices - circuit breakers are used for that purpose.

A good EMS would have shut you down on a fault condition as as the plug melted further and certainly if it flashed / shorted over from terminal to terminal .

Count yourself as lucky and have the system gone over top to bottom by qualified electrician. In the end each of us are responsible for what goes on inside the boundaries of our AS. Your main breaker should have acted on an overload. Invest in a Progressive EMS hardwired so itís out of the weather and eye sight of sticky fingers - watch your loads .
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:57 AM   #15
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Probably a a bad contact. If you have a loose contact, there will be arcing and heat at the contact. When you hear of a house fire caused by electrical wiring, it is usually due to wires at a switch or wall socket coming loose over time and heating up to the point it ignites material around it.

I have a PI 30 amp. I haven’t checked the manual, but I’d be real surprised if it didn’t protect against overcurrent conditions. I know it monitors current because it displays it.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:07 AM   #16
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I purchased an extension 30 Amp cable for my previous trailer. While attempting to power a small compressor on the outside trailer 110 plug, my cable connector exploded as yours did. Not at the trailer connection, but at the connection between new and old cable.

Cause, me overpowering the circuit and corroded blades on the old extension cable. Looked just like yours! Burned out.

My Progressive shut down the power. I replaced the ends with Camco Plugs and it now works fine when needed. Not difficult to do.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:13 AM   #17
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Another vote for using a SmartPlug connector if you are going to replace something on the trailer. They work better, look better and are much safer. It's an investment to replace it all, but I would not want to go back to the OEM stuff after using the SmartPlug connectors. I replaced both on my trailer.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:26 AM   #18
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Shore cable melted to make plug at trailer....my fault or bad post at CG???

If the voltage drop from the bad contact was enough, the EMS would have shut down for at least the delay time of a couple minutes or so. That looked toasted enough to drop the voltage a lot.

The problem with the twist lock connector is that they do wear, and donít have big enough contacts, which can quickly generate a lot of heat. The SmartConnector has a lot of contact area and strong spring tension to reduce resistance. It would have been more likely to pop the circuit breaker in the pedestal instead of cooking itself.

I replaced mine because I could feel the connector getting loose. I also put a much heavier duty RV-30 plug on the other end, and made sure the screws were tight. My molded plug was also starting to look worn, but no signs of heat damage. The new one is a Camco with a big pull handle to make it easier to disconnect.

As always, turn the pedestal breaker off, plug in your connectors on both ends, and then turn on the breaker. Prevent arcing and damage at the connections. Pedestal breaker off before you disconnect for the same reason.

With an EMS you can be a bit sloppy because it will not draw power until it senses proper connections and closes its internal relay after a time delay. Much easier on the wiring. As always, inspect all connectors before plugging in. If the pedestal feels loose or looks damaged, donít plug in. Get it fixed or go elsewhere. Bad receptacles on campground equipment are a big part of the problem. Inspect it with a flashlight if at night.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:37 AM   #19
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More often than not, the problem I face is at the pedestal. I use the Progressive EMS so it wants to hang down from the pedestal. Sometimes, like those white ones with the angled faces, the pedestal is at a weird angle that doesnít hang straight down so the plug of the EMS wants to pull out of the pedestal. Long Velcro straps sometimes help - propping with boards helps too - itís just that those pedestals can be really worn and that creates bad connections and heat on the supply end of the cord - as I understand the Smart Plug, it addresses the trailer side beautifully, but doesnít do anything about the pedestal side so that remains a pretty weak link...
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:40 AM   #20
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Shore cable melted to make plug at trailer....my fault or bad post at CG???

Yup. And it depends on the maintenance at the campground. If you spot a bad one, and they say ďthatís normalĒ Iíd try another pedestal, or get my money back and move on. Not something to be casual about. Some places get pretty ratty and they donít want to spend the time and money to maintain their hardware. Bad sign.
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