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davidz71 07-01-2002 10:16 PM

Disaster Weekend
I planned to have a great time with my wife and 16 yr. old this past weekend. I was meeting a hunting buddy, his wife and grandchild, his brother (also a fellow hunter) and his 2 daughters. One had a popup, one had a 4 yr. old. Coachman 5th wheel camper and I had my Excella. Our sites were next to each other except the popup which had another trailer in between him and me. I left Tullahoma, Tn. at 12:30 p.m. and arrived at Cheatham Dam Lock A around 3:15 p.m. I pulled up to my site and backed in. After leveling, disconnecting, hooking up water, I pulled the 110/120 volt power cable off the reel and attempted to plug up to the 30 amp. circuit. It kicked the breaker every time. I tried connecting with breaker off and breaker on. Since there is a splice 3" down from the end of the plug, I took the tape and wirenuts off, examined them and wired them back up. Same thing happened again. I tried the 15 amp. circuit with my dogleg but no go. After getting the gang together and a thinktank started, we disconnected all 110 volt sources (Nutone, converter/charger) and tried again. Same thing. The breaker box inside the trailer was opened, breakers pulled out and put back in. Those breakers had all been off when we tested so we turned them all on. Same thing again. I checked the power reel and then cord from the reel to a junction box. Looked OK. The 10/2 Romex wire looked suspect where it left the box and passed through a wall next to an aluminum divider. Brown discoloring was due to grey sealer used in that area so I moved to the storage compartment next to the water heater. Looked OK. Checked back compartment where Romex goes into the fuse box. Hmmm, clamp was loose. Breakers checked again. No go! T

Time for a Bicardi Silver, then another. Game plan: Run a 50' cord from the 15 amp. circuit through the screen door and run a box fan to cool the trailer so that it was tolerable to sleep that night. Also, we decided to pull the Romex out and run a 30 ' piece of Romex straight from the Excella fuse box to the campground box. Time for another Bicardi Silver. Glad I brought more than I thought I would drink.

I'm awakened at 5:30 a.m. to see if I want to go fishing. I pass. Wake up at 9:30 a.m. and ready to get started but have slight headache. OK, trailer is starting to get hot and I have to have this fixed by the time my wife gets there at 1:00 p.m. She pulls up as I am leaving. "I'll have the A/C running in no time dear!" I drive 10 miles to find the Romex but no RV plug. Drive 6 miles, no plug. Check 2 more sources with no luck. Pass a package store and my friend buys 12 pk. of Coors Light which he knows I don't usually drink. Back to the campground. I splice the old plug to the Romex and connect the other end to the fuse box. Trips the campground breaker every time like before. Wife says, "Maybe it's a bad breaker" but I don't listen. I take the plug off, desperate now, I run the bare wires into the 30 amp. plug. Trips the camp breaker each time. The guys are all standing around now betting how long it will take me to get electrocuted. One of them reaches over, wiggles the wires and turns the breaker on AND IT DOESN'T TRIP. I go inside the Airstream and turn on the main breaker then the other 3 with no problem. It's 99 inside so I turn on the A/C and it works. YEA. It works fine for 3 hours and my wife and kid are happily playing card inside until I walk around the side of the trailer and trip over the wire. There goes the A/C and we never could get the circuit to connect over the next 4 hours. We slept with the fan keeping the inside at 74 degrees, tolerable. We leave by noon the next afternoon without really enjoying ourselves. I did get to fish a little but not enough to overcome what's troubling me with the elec. system.

Figure what's wrong by now? I replaced the 30 amp. plug today and tested the main breaker again. It had 119.7 volts going into the breaker and 118.9 every 3rd. time the breaker was turned on. Yep, bad 30 amp. main breaker! Moral of the story: 1. Keep an extra 30 amp. plug and extra breakers for the 110 circuit. I had plenty of 12 volt fuses but no 110 volt breakers. 2. Listen to the wife for a change. I'm all better now.

53flyingcloud 07-02-2002 07:04 AM

Ref: elec
Thanks for sharing the story and, that tip abt the circuit breaker Dave. I know I don't have a spare either. I wonder how many of us do? I' know that, the next time I'm at Home Depot that's something I'm gonna throw in the cart.
Sorry abt your weekend..Was this like a shakedown trip?
Good seeing you on..wish you well~

davidz71 07-02-2002 10:29 AM

Hello again Vern,
I guess this was the first trip this year where I was going to be hooked up to 110 volts and using the A/C and it sure was a shakedown trip. I spent every weekend the month of April turkey hunting out of the trailer but did not have 110 at the site. I knew that the 12 volt system has been perfect. What I couldn't understand is that the 110 had been hooked up all night until I turned it off before leaving. I guess that was just enough to give it a problem and the movement of the trailer to the campground finished it off. Electricity can be a strange thing. My buddy with the 5th wheel got an eyefull and picked up an extra plug and breakers on Sunday. He gave me some advice in the middle of my misery, "Don't sweat the small stuff" the followed with "Everything in life is small stuff". Somehow it just didn't make the weekend all better. I guess on the bright side, the vase of flowers mentioned by Jim Clark could have been the alternative so I feel better.

I didn't mention in my story that as I hooked up the Thurs. evening, red wasps had built a nest in my curbside battery box and one of them nailed me. I couldn't get him off, he seemed to stay stuck to my skin and kept pumping the venom in. I had a 3" red mark that actually made a layer of skin peel off. I've been stung before but nothing like this. The mark finally disappeared sometime last night in my sleep and the itching has stopped.

53flyingcloud 07-02-2002 10:37 AM

Red wasp
Ouch~! those lil buggers are everywhere~!~ Just yesterday we had company over and, as we were walking around the A/S I opened the locked door to the fresh water compartment..You guessed it, a nest~! (didn't get stung tho) Did you have any household ammonia with you? That works for me whenever I get stung by those devils..It takes the sting right for other bites as well..We always have a bottle under the kitchen sink.
Now we don't wanta be thinking abt 'flower vase'!! except as a gift.
That has happened to the wife and, she was really surprised ..

Dbraw 07-02-2002 04:49 PM

Camping troubles
Sorry about your electrical troubles. Makes a Tipi seem like a good idea after all.
Question for you. I do a lot of deer and turkey hunting down in Lincoln county and am very interested in whether you had any luck hunting out of your Airstream in April as you mentioned. Seems like all that aluminum would scare the turkeys. We always put on camo and all that mossy oak stuff. Haven't thought of a blind that is bright and shiny. Maybe you have hit on something new. Airstream camo pattern. Even wrap your shotgun in foil? There's always something new out there in the woods.
Good luck with the electric problem
P.S. I found a place here in Lebanon to replace the propane valves on my tanks.

davidz71 07-02-2002 09:33 PM

I guess I should have been a little clearer when I said I was hunting out of my Airstream. I meant to say that I camped in it when I wasn't turkey hunting. There, that sounds better. The elec. problems have been fixed until my next episode, heaven forbid.

I also forgot to mention that while draining my lines after getting home, I opened the water heater compartment and was greated with 6 red wasps who came after me. HA on them, I ran faster than a speeding Airstream bullet going down the highway. One small squirt of wasp killer nailed half of them and the others went away to sting someone else. I guess I will have to get some wire mesh and rivet it to the inside of the water heater door where they are slipping through the louvers. Never a dull moment.

davidz71 07-02-2002 09:35 PM

I have talked with my friend twice since he got back and he has forgotten both times to have the info in front of him. He is so absent minded. Craig

Dbraw 07-03-2002 06:16 AM

I knew what you ment about hunting but, we might as well have a little fun with this forum. I helps to break up all the work we are doing on them. Yesterday, I got my tank back and tested the gas system. So far, tha range top burners are working. Now to try to figure out how to light the oven, water heater and refigerator. If you heal a big explosion, you will know that I did something wrong.
Watch out for them wasps... (Edited by Organic Hosting)

davidz71 07-03-2002 01:22 PM

Just checking. I have a friend who sits on his back poarch in Jackson and will hunt out of a rocking chair while drinking coffee. Another near the AL. border has shot deer out of his bedroom window and another near Nashville who has a balcony off his bedroom. He has shot one after getting up in the morning. These are all out in the country or outside city limits and during the deer season. I have to travel over 100 miles and walk a good ways but I find the social life with the 4 other guys I hunt with worth every penny.

heybeep 07-03-2002 02:37 PM

Today is the hottest of our current heat wave. My daughter called from Boston (we're in the Berkshires so there is some relief) to ask if the A/C was working in the Excella. Just came in. It isn't and she wants to sleep in it tonight. Guess I'll have to make a quick run to town for a new breaker based on this thread. Tried everything else. Thanks for your timely thread. Sorry you were not as fortunate.

FrankR 07-03-2002 03:11 PM

Hunting.......what if........
1 Attachment(s)
Just another view......

davidz71 07-03-2002 05:27 PM

Yep, that's me on the floor after this past weekend. A turkey with at least a 12" beard got the best of me also during the spring season. A hen walked 10 yds. past me, met him coming up the logging road and waltzed right off the side of the ridge. I knew that turkeys could dance but..........

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