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Old 10-11-2020, 06:23 PM   #1
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2000 30' Excella
GTA , Ontario
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Anybody else have the power cord melting on the 30 Amp extension Cord?

I replaced the female end of my 50ft 30 amp extension cord, because 1 leg (I assume the hot leg) was slightly melted, I test fitted a blade in it and it was loose ( spread out) the Male plug on the trailer is old looking but Clean, but understandably brown on the same spot.

So we do use the A/C this summer But not the fridge or water heater or microwave during the 30'C heat.

So I chocked it up to much draw by the AC for a lone time of use 3- 1 week trips All during AC season.

I noticed it was melting and slightly deformed, test fitted a blade and it was loose, Ordered an female end replaced it, and last week We used the heat pump ( so AC) and while in hooking noticed it was melted again? But tight connection still ( with a blade test)

AC voltage tested with my Fluke meter was 111v ac

So I guess maybe we are drawing to much current with the Convertor, AC (heatpump), and maybe a popcorn air popper for 5 minutes OR no A/C , instead a electric 1500 watt heater, and convertor?

If this is in the spec. The next step is to clean and tighten all connections at the 30amp panel, replace the female (again) replace the male on the trailer cord (anyways)
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:05 PM   #2
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2021 27' International
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Time to get a clamp on probe for that Fluke and see what the amerage draw is. Something isn't quite right.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:41 PM   #3
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KW , Ontario
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If the connection is loose it will a cause a higher resistance point therefore heating up. I had this on my 100' foot cord. Replaced the end and got a better quality connector and now there's no issue.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:49 PM   #4
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2018 30' Classic
Williamsburg , VA
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I recommend the smartplug. It holds the connector tighter and won't sag along with having larger connections to allow higher amperage. Also a voltage monitor and protector that will disconnect with low voltage (higher amperage) to provide protection. I like the one from progressive industries.

I had a plug melt on a previous trailer. One campground I frequent has low voltage in the summer with everyone running their AC. I learned my lesson and with the above it hasn't happened again.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:50 PM   #5
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2019 ​Interstate Nineteen
Austin , Texas
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plugged into a 30 amp breaker circuit at the source end?

If there is a problem internal to the trailer the internal breakers may not protect any over current.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:37 PM   #6
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NCR , Ontario
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After a warm cable with oem chord
I replaced it with the smartplug
No issues In three yrears
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:22 AM   #7
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Replace both connectors (male and female). They should fit tight, if they don't one or the other is defective.

The wires need to get tightened down *hard*. It's amazingly easy to not quite get them tight enough.

If by some weird chance, you have aluminum ( or aluminum core ) wire then the connectors will need to be designed for aluminum wire. A normal copper connector will not do the trick ( = it will be prone to overheat).

Having a multimeter handy when doing this sort of thing is a really good idea. If you don't already have one (and know how to use it), this is a fine excuse to spend the $20 to buy one. A clamp amp meter would cost a bit more. They are not vital, but still a good thing to have.

Bob
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:31 PM   #8
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2019 27' Flying Cloud
Yorba Linda , California
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Melted 30 amp cord

I had the same problem with my 2015, 27 ft flying cloud. But it wasn't the cord it was loose wires at the plug on the trailer. I took the plug off the as and torqued the connectors and solved my proplem.
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:20 PM   #9
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
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Make sure your circuit breaker wires a tight in the screw down lugs and the buss bar side contacts are pinching down tightly.
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:25 PM   #10
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I haven't wanted to spend nearly $200 on the Smart Plug, but I will eventually, I am sure. It is a very nice piece.

While replacing the converter with a PDI Li version, I noticed (inside the power distribution center) several neutral wires were loose to the point of getting hot. With the power off, I would check every wire termination for tightness; including at the breakers. Not related, but you could check the DC connections while in there. Disconnect shore and battery power for this work.
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Old 10-13-2020, 05:58 AM   #11
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Colleyville , TX
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We had that happen once!
I learned not to plug in another source of heat, in this case a portable heater, and not to turn it up to full power! While it was quiet, it did weld the plug to the 30amp extension cord!
Happy trails!
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:54 AM   #12
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Fayetteville , Georgia
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Once a connector has been damaged both sides need to be replaced. When connecting, make sure the breaker is off at the power pole. Once everything is connected, turn the breaker back on. The plug on the power pole is often an issue. Do not connect your power cord to a loose or burned receptacle.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:55 AM   #13
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2005 25' Classic
Conroe , Texas
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corrosion might be an issue

This happens a lot on boat shore power cords, particularly the ones moored in salt water. High current draws are partly to blame but actual overcurrent issues should be protected by the breakers on both ends. The heat is coming from additional resistance, generally at the plugs.

Obviously you can look at the male end and sandpaper it off but the female end of a jumper is a bit more problematic. About the only way I've found to check them is to plug in another jumper and check the resistance. If you just stick a test lead into the female end, you might scratch through the corrosion. I've never found a decent way to clean them although you could probably try muratic acid.

If its the connection at the power pole, you can disconnect the shore power at the main breaker and test the resistance between the individual breaker and the female end of a known good jumper.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:43 PM   #14
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1999 28' Excella
Lake Mary , Florida
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You need to measure the voltage both at the source and inside the RV. Nothing melts unless poor (corroded, loose connections) or high amperage (result of too much power use - watts, or low voltage
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:02 PM   #15
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2014 22' FB Sport
South Shore , Massachusetts
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melted cord

Yes my cord welded itself to the outlet because of loose connections at the outlet (inside the airstream). I notified airstream and they reimbursed me the $179 for a new cord and outlet. The loose connections are a potential fire hazard.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:10 PM   #16
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Seattle , Washington
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I was going along for 4+ years watching others report melted plugs at the female end saying to myself they just need to make sure that plug is firmly seated and twisted...idiots!


Well, it happened to me one outing. My standard 30 amp twist on plug melted and there was potential for fire.


Replaced it with the SmartPlug and all is good. However, one needs to pay attention when DIY installing the SmartPlug, especially when inserting the wires and tightening them down. There have been reports of burning, but it's not the fault of the SmartPlug, but rather the installer.
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:06 PM   #17
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2002 34' Classic S/O
sault sainte marie , Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrhnco68 View Post
This happens a lot on boat shore power cords, particularly the ones moored in salt water. High current draws are partly to blame but actual overcurrent issues should be protected by the breakers on both ends. The heat is coming from additional resistance, generally at the plugs.

Obviously you can look at the male end and sandpaper it off but the female end of a jumper is a bit more problematic. About the only way I've found to check them is to plug in another jumper and check the resistance. If you just stick a test lead into the female end, you might scratch through the corrosion. I've never found a decent way to clean them although you could probably try muratic acid.

If its the connection at the power pole, you can disconnect the shore power at the main breaker and test the resistance between the individual breaker and the female end of a known good jumper.


Try and old skool points file in the female plug (unplugged, I should say), but you are only trying to remove corrosion or dirt, so don't open up the clearances. Loose connections will overheat, particularly under a heavy load, generally, whether a screw connection or a friction connection.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:45 PM   #18
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2018 25' International
Knoxville , Tennessee
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This happened to ours as well, so we moved to the Smart Plug x 2.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:57 PM   #19
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I suspect you built up some oxidation or pitting on your connection over the years resulting in the first instance. That occurrence worsened the situation and resulted in the more substantial melting on the second plug.

I'm working to keep my setup safe by periodically applying contact cleaner into the socket along with some lubricant. I closely watch the blades on my plug looking for pitting or oxidation. I also always apply a squirt of contact cleaner to all pedestals that I connect to.

When I do start experiencing issues on my trailer, i will upgrade to the Smart plug or whatever may be on the market when I need it.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:07 PM   #20
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1992 29' Excella
Bradenton , Florida
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Connection resistance

Something I picked up dealing with high current 12 and 24 volt DC applications so I apply it to any of my high current electrical connections, I apply permatex copper anti seize lubricant to the terminals. I have seen in the “DC” connection application that it provided a more conductive Connection which in return reduced resistance and temperature. Just my 2 cents
P.S. really like this site and the info on here is invaluable to us newbies like me
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