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Old 02-01-2019, 08:45 PM   #1
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30 amp trailer plug hot

I have had my 2009FB 25’ Classic for 10 years and have had to replace the shore power 30amp male electric connector twice due to it becoming hot and melting the plug insides. Has anyone else has had this problem? Yes I have a working surge protector inline. I have never found a tripped C/B on the RV park post or in the trailer. I’m thinking that we are using to many watts and not amps so the C/B’s are not seeing a over load and not tripping, but the watts are going over the limit and causing the heat to melt the plug. What are your thoughts? 30amp x 110votes = 3200 watts.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:05 PM   #2
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Since volts are constant in that equation, amps will rise proportionally to watts. Not possible to use too many watts without using too many amps unless your volts were higher than normal, which would tend to fry your electrical system.

First thing I'd look at is the condition of the blades on the plug. Are they clean and rust free so that they can make a good low resistance connection? Melting the plug is definitely not normal.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:51 PM   #3
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Problem also can be caused by a loose or worn receptacle where the plug is connected. That is hard to detect, but distorted, stained, burned or broken receptacle face is a clue.

I usually take a strong LED flashlight with me when I’m hooking up in the dark. If the pedestal looks beat up or ‘toasted’ it’s not a good bet for delivering full power. A loose connection gives lots of heat. I use sturdy replacement 30 amp plugs made of hard plastic and carry a spare just in case it gets fried. I also use an EZConnector on the side of the AS to minimize issues on that end.
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Problem also can be caused by a loose or worn receptacle where the plug is connected. That is hard to detect, but distorted, stained, burned or broken receptacle face is a clue.

I usually take a strong LED flashlight with me when I’m hooking up in the dark. If the pedestal looks beat up or ‘toasted’ it’s not a good bet for delivering full power. A loose connection gives lots of heat. I use sturdy replacement 30 amp plugs made of hard plastic and carry a spare just in case it gets fried. I also use an EZConnector on the side of the AS to minimize issues on that end.
What rmkrum said covers it very nicely.

That visual insp of the post receptacle pre connection and maybe just feeling the plug once in a while when the load is on the rig and if it's hot to the touch, not good. I carry a spare plug.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Julie-Bob View Post
I have had my 2009FB 25’ Classic for 10 years and have had to replace the shore power 30amp male electric connector twice due to it becoming hot and melting the plug insides. Has anyone else has had this problem? Yes I have a working surge protector inline. I have never found a tripped C/B on the RV park post or in the trailer. I’m thinking that we are using to many watts and not amps so the C/B’s are not seeing a over load and not tripping, but the watts are going over the limit and causing the heat to melt the plug. What are your thoughts? 30amp x 110votes = 3200 watts.
You may find out you can’t run electric micro wave, hot water heater along with the ac......when on 30 amp we only use 1 of the above at a time...never any problems
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:36 AM   #6
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30A Plug

How long is your cable? More than 25 feet can result in high temp and voltage drop depending upon actual voltage available at the pedestal.

Clean the blades every few months using a wire brush. Spray the female post receptacle with electrical contact cleaner or WD40 every time you use a new pedestal. And buy a quality connector plug, such as Hubbell or Cooper.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:53 AM   #7
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Your fighting the resistive loads inherent to the system. The point of highest resistance will be the hottest (in this case the plug). As temperature increases so does the resistance until the plug melts. You can decrease some of the system loads which are drawing extra current. The extension cord you use to plug the trailer in is one. Use a heavier gauge wire that is shorter when using a lot of current. Use dielectric grease inside the plug when you assemble it next time. Anywhere something feels warm you are wasting current, so see what can be done to minimize that heat. I also carry a spare plug always.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:00 AM   #8
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I think you have a poor connection and there is some internal arcing creating the heat. If you were drawing enough current to get that hot it would trip the circuit breaker.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:11 AM   #9
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Classic example of loose connection at the pedestal.

Most male prongs on the connecting cable is a folded over metal strip. Periodically insert a thin knife blade and carefully work the strips apart so they have a slight outward bow. This, and periodically cleaning the prongs should minimize the overheating due to loose connection.

That said, there is another point where electrical wire overheating can take place; the wire screw terminals in the transfer switch (30 A models) as well as all the wire screw terminals in the circuit breaker box. My yearly dewinterizing procedure
includes checking these connections.

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Old 02-02-2019, 11:13 AM   #10
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If you are not tripping breakers in your trailer, the plug should not be overheating. I'd bet on the campground pedestal's receptacle. I carry a plug-in 50 to 30 adapter. If the 30A pedestal receptacle doesn't feel tight or looks off in any way I use the 50A receptacle with my adapter. Since there is a 30A breaker at the trailer end of the poser cord there is little to no risk of any damage sourcing from a 50A receptacle. There are many more trailers out there with 30A service so the 30A receptacles take more of a beating than the 50A ones.

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Old 02-02-2019, 11:15 AM   #11
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You say you've replaced the male fitting. Have you ever replaced the cable (which includes the female fitting)? You may be replacing the symptom while keeping the problem in service.

The problem isn't always the man's fault, you know. Wait... what am I saying? Don't tell my wife I said that! 37 years of marriage to the same woman would not have been possible if I voiced radical thoughts like that. ;-)
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:19 AM   #12
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Watts = E X I

Watts = Voltage X Amps. The problem could be a large resistance some where between the plug and what ever appliance that you may be using. It could even be in the Cable. Measure the Ohms of the cable to eliminate that. Then check where it plugs into the AS. Using the ohm meter you may find a faulty ground connection or partially shorted to the hot side.

Good Luck~!
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:47 AM   #13
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The plug is rated for 30A. If it is getting hot,that can only be caused by two things:

1. Too much current flowing through the connector into the cable (can't be the problem, the 30A breaker in the trailer would trip and the cable would be getting hot) or,

2. Too much resistance in the connection generating heat from current less than 30A. The connector is rated for 30A. Either it is defective or the connection to the receptacle is poor (increased resistance).

Resistance in the cable or trailer would result in less current being drawn, not more.

Al
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:30 PM   #14
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Steve D.

The style of plug used on airstreams is the same style that has been used on boats for many years. As these plugs age and begin to corrode, they tend to build up resistance. Many boat fires have been attributed to these plugs. A few years ago a new style plug hit the market in an attempt to solve this resistance problem. It’s called “Smart Plug”. You can retrofit both the Trailer side and the Cord side.
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by hallbergstev View Post
The style of plug used on airstreams is the same style that has been used on boats for many years. As these plugs age and begin to corrode, they tend to build up resistance. Many boat fires have been attributed to these plugs. A few years ago a new style plug hit the market in an attempt to solve this resistance problem. It’s called “Smart Plug”. You can retrofit both the Trailer side and the Cord side.
After observing some charring and melting at the trailer end of our shore power cord, we upgraded our shore power inlet and cord to the SmartPlug and I don’t look back. The manufacturer claims 20 times more contact area in the plug, reducing resistance and the potential for fire.

Note that you must replace both the inlet on the trailer and the cord.

Airstream installed ours at Jackson Center, but it could easily be a DIY project if you’re up to it.

https://smartplug.com/rv/

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Old 02-02-2019, 01:24 PM   #16
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30 amp trailer plug hot

Thanks to all. The cable is the cable that came from Mothership. The end that plugs into the RV Park power has never need the problem, the male connector on the AS is where the problem has been. Yes the female end of the power cable was changed both times that we had the male connector replaced. If we have another problem we will go with the Smart plug. Thanks for the different ideas. Will try them.
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:24 PM   #17
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Sorry, I completely missed that the problem was on the trailer end of the cable.

Al
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:55 PM   #18
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Remember, if voltages goes low amperage must increase. This could occur anywhere down stream of the circuit protector and cause a rise in temperature. Most plastic melts @ 350 F. I have seen low grade (high resistance) shorts melt wires. If you can’t make the necessary change at least lower the load. The fix it.
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Old 02-02-2019, 04:40 PM   #19
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The waterfront has been covered......

The three possible culprits have been covered: crud in the contacts, over current, and loose components. While not a "solution", one of the "helps" is a neat thing at Lowes or Home Depot in the electrical instrument areas, in the form of an infrared thermometer that you point at something, and pull the trigger. You don't have to touch anything, but it'll give you the temperature of the target. Neat thing is they cost less than 20 bucks. You can use them to do a quick temperature check on all your trailer's tires as well, among other things.....


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Old 02-02-2019, 07:01 PM   #20
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This happend to me 2014 27FB. I upgraded to the Smart Plug cord and recepticals. When running a electric house total amps can be close to the 30 amp max. When every one runs electric house sometimes line voltage drops this increases amps thru all the connections. Eg HEAT. The Smart Plug product is notably heavier duty. I also added the Micro Air Easy Start which seems to have reduced start and run amps on A/C. Also a line voltage meter Worst case you choose your electric consumers. Water heater and refrig can run on gas.
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