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Old 07-30-2019, 10:58 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
Upgrade the Airstream end of your power cord, and the trailer inlet, to the Smartplug system. Massive increase in connection surface area, and a very solid connection. Not always necessary, but when it counts, it really count. I can feel the connection with my hand, and compared to the archaic decades-old connector system, it's much, much cooler when running heavier loads in the trailer.
Fully agree. I changed both of my inlets and went with the smartplug cable two years ago. One less problem to worry about and easy connect/disconnect.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:01 AM   #22
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"My argument was that if Airstream felt this unit needed a 50 amp circuit it would have installed one,"

Yes and no.
I have a 2005 Safari 28 foot with a convection / microwave oven.
I will kick either my on board breaker or the post breaker when ever I run my A/C and convection oven unit at the same time. This is not just my unit I attended a AS rally and several AS owners have the same problem. This is a known problem to AS and they should not have installed the two appliances with a 30 AMP breaker, so AS does make mistakes.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:33 AM   #23
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I've been an electrician for 35 years.

If you were plugged into the 30amp shore power distribution box receptacle and that receptacle was backed up with a 30 amp circuit breaker, the breaker should have tripped on a short circuit or an overload, but that didn't happen because there was no short or overload. You had power for most of the the night.

Your Airstream has a 30 amp service so it was probably connected properly.

The reason that you have a fried connection at the airstream side of the power cord, there was loose a connection on one or all 3 blades inside the rubber housing of the power cord. Through use, connecting and disconnecting it will wear on the cord connecting points. When you have a loose plug even the slightest gap between your Airstream connection and the twist lock blades in the rubber housing of the cord it causes a tiny spark between the blades of the plugs. Thats what melts plugs and how electrical fires start. The electrical load of the trailer changes constantly while you’re connected to shore power. Turning appliances on and off inside the coach determines how hot that spark will be. Turn on the AC and you’ll have one big spark. As the spark continues, over and over, that poor connection causes so much heat that it will melt either the male or female plugs or both. That is what happened to you.

Periodically I use Penetrox (Amazon) as a lubrication for all my plugs and electrical connections. Penetrox is an anti oxide inhibitor but it does more than that. Squeezing some in on the female shore power cord side will slow down its wear through use and it will also maintain a good electrical connection when you plug in. On the electrical distribution box end put a little Penetrox on the blades of the plug before you connect to the box.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by fotoman1527 View Post
I always pay close attention to the voltage readout on my surge protector and on the plug-in AC meter in the trailer.

Thanks for your reply!

What plug-in AC meter do you recommend?
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I use one of these. Easy to use and easy to monitor
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:56 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
Fully agree. I changed both of my inlets and went with the smartplug cable two years ago. One less problem to worry about and easy connect/disconnect.
Yes, but you must realize that the 'smart' plug is not smart enough to stop corrosion or bad connections, the OP's original problem.

As noted...
No matter what you are using it must be clean and corrosion free.

Bob
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:58 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Yes, but you must realize that the 'smart' plug is not smart enough to stop corrosion or bad connections, the OP's original problem.

As noted...
No matter what you are using it must be clean and corrosion free.

Bob
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Fair enough. OP, was your plug corroded?
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:59 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotoman1527 View Post
I always pay close attention to the voltage readout on my surge protector and on the plug-in AC meter in the trailer.

We run the fridge and water heater on propane unless we are well within the green on the plug-in AC meter inside the trailer.
Thanks for your reply!

What plug-in AC meter do you recommend?[/QUOTE]

This one. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:11 PM   #28
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If you had drawn too much current (defined as more than 30 amps) either your main breaker or the pedestal breaker should have blown. If neither did, either the current was less than 30 amps or they were both bad. Two concurrent failures is extremely unlikely. So the problem almost has to be a high resistance connection at the point of failure. Low voltage does not cause high resistance; corrosion or loose connector blades do. My very strong suspicion is the problem was on your side and the campground was very responsive, even generous, to provide the parts for repair.


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Old 07-30-2019, 12:39 PM   #29
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I do know for a fact that my Airstream does require more than a 30 amp circuit dependent upon the appliances used. I have a Progressive EMS unit that I use to provide surge protection and power management.

At a campground in June I set up and noted that we were drawing 31 amps according to the Progressive unit. Fridge was on electric, as was the water heater which was actively heating the water, and the 15K A/C unit was on high speed trying to cool the hot trailer down. A/C on high alone with no fridge or water heater on shows 21 amps draw. Bottom line with water heater heating, A/C on high speed, and fridge on electric, I've occasionally tripped 30 amp breakers on campground posts. Also notable if I add the micro wave to the mix of three at any campground, I easily exceed the 30 amps and I always will pop that campground 30 amp breaker. I've sort of learned over the years that in climates where I need High fan speed on the A/C, am using hot water and I need the microwave, just to shut off the electric for the water heater and move to gas.

So technically Airstream probably should have installed a 50 amp option for my trailer since if everything is on, 30 amps is insufficient. At the time my trailer was built, the standard A/C unit was the 13.5K model. I upgraded the unit at build time in Oct 2003 to the 15K Heat Pump/AC option which was available at that time. That probably is the reason why with all the other factory supplied OEM appliances, my true needs exceed 30 amps.

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Old 07-30-2019, 12:43 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by az-streamer View Post
Attachment 348017

Attachment 348018

I use one of these. Easy to use and easy to monitor
I have one of these in my trailer and it reads about 1 volt lower than my Progressive EMS unit out on the power poll. I've had it for about 10 years and it's a good heads up to the fluctuations of park power over the course of a day. Especially when it's hot. I've seen fluctuations from 122 volts to 108 as the day progresses.

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Old 07-30-2019, 12:50 PM   #31
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I never considered that Airstream expected the load of AC appliances would be less than or equal to 30 amps, if all installed appliances were in use. I simply assumed that it was up to the user/owner to understand the limitations because 30 amps was an RV standard.
Since we always run the refrig on electric in a campground, I have repeatedly told my wife that if the A/C is running, use no other electric appliances. While I have never gotten her to understand what she can and cannot use, at least we have gotten to the point where she always asks me if it is all right to use her hair dryer or the microwave.

Larry
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:56 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquared View Post
...<snip>...it is possible that a loose connection or corroded contact on either side of that connection could be the root cause. ...<snip>
II had this very same thing happen at my home, connected to a dedicated 30-amp line. Both the house breaker and the in-lne surgery protecter caught the issue and tripped ...but the frame socket on the trailer and male plug on the cord were melted. Our service guy said there was a loose connection on the interior side of the receptacle...a screw holding the wire in place had worked loose over time, and finally got to the point where it caused a problem. We were lucky we didn't have a fire.But that's what breakers and food surge protectors are for.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:59 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
If you had drawn too much current (defined as more than 30 amps) either your main breaker or the pedestal breaker should have blown. If neither did, either the current was less than 30 amps or they were both bad. Two concurrent failures is extremely unlikely. So the problem almost has to be a high resistance connection at the point of failure. Low voltage does not cause high resistance; corrosion or loose connector blades do. My very strong suspicion is the problem was on your side and the campground was very responsive, even generous, to provide the parts for repair.


Al
The OP specifically stated that there WAS no pedestal breaker (which would make me very skeptical of the pedestal.) The campground owner said the breakers were "concentrated" somewhere else. That leaves no guarantee that there WAS a 30A breaker dedicated to that line to protect the wiring.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:23 PM   #34
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Sorry to hear your power woes. However, Airstream doesn't make the trailer to be able to run everything at once. They make them to be able to adapt to 30 amp power. Airstream could easily say, "If you want AC, hot water, and a microwave at once, get 50 amp service!" I'll bet 80% of Airstreams have 30 amp limits.

That's big. 55 years? Things changed a lot in 55 years! Heck, in 1970 were there even microwaves or electric water heaters in RV's? Maybe not even AC.
It's always said the breaker is there to protect the wire, unfortunately, I'd bet there wasn't a separate breaker for every site. There might have been a 100 amp breaker for 8 sites. Yes, it doesn't make sense, but campgrounds don't wire for individual sites. So the high current draw didn't trip the breaker.
Lastly, being in Canada, the campground doesn't experience hot summers often, so they got along until now.
This is one of those things where everyone shared some of the blame and you shake hands and walk away. It happens.
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We have often stayed at the KOA in Maderia Beach, FL. Its an older company-owned campground that is slammed in the winter, but they aren't running AC!

In the summer they can also be slammed on some weekends and the older part of their property is more spacious, so the monster 5th wheel and motorhomes usually go there. When they are pulling 50 amps and I am next to them pulling 30 amps on a July or August heat spell the voltage drops in my unit from 120 to 106 according to my plug-in voltage meter, and with my AC on but frig and WH on propane. Yes the power cord is very warm, too warm to continuously hold in my hand. If the voltage went lower than 106 I was prepared to go to the office and complain and ask for a non-existent other site. It is a fair question to ask when booking a reservation, and if a campground has this problem it is fair to post it on the customer reviews. I use an inline surge protector and line analyzer and it has saved my bacon several times. Trying to save some propane by running everything on electric can be a false economy, depending.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:52 PM   #35
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Fair enough. OP, was your plug corroded?
It has been discarded, and the picture I posted is not of great help due to the burning, but if so it was minor. It was a high quality Furrion cable used less than two years.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:55 PM   #36
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That is correct.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:13 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
The OP specifically stated that there WAS no pedestal breaker (which would make me very skeptical of the pedestal.) The campground owner said the breakers were "concentrated" somewhere else. That leaves no guarantee that there WAS a 30A breaker dedicated to that line to protect the wiring.

Thanks. I somehow, in multiple reads, managed to miss that.


That still leaves his main breaker and his 20A(?) AC breaker (which I hadn't thought of until now) in series with the line. I'm still betting on a loose or corroded connector.


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Old 07-30-2019, 09:35 PM   #38
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Regarding the post by the original owner about his damaged Airstream.....this sounds very much like a low voltage problem which is common at older campgrounds. I learned this lesson the hard way on my first trip to Florida. A friend bought an older home in Ft. Lauderdale that had an existing RV pad and 30amp outlet installed by the previous owner. It probably had not been used since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

My Airstream runs on 50amp but I can cut it down to 30amp with only 1 AC operating and limited other appliances. I did not have a surge protector so when plugged in everything went haywire......it blew up my microwave, tv, and power converter.....and that was before it tripped off!!
Needless to say I now have a 50amp power surge protector which has tripped off at least twice while staying in an older campground. Replacement of the 3 items cost me over $1000 with the microwave/convection oven being the most expensive. I was able to install the power converter myself which was a larger amperage with cooling fan.

Thankfully, no problems since, but I feel the surge protector is like insurance and its got me covered.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:16 PM   #39
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Regarding the post by the original owner about his damaged Airstream.....this sounds very much like a low voltage problem which is common at older campgrounds. I learned this lesson the hard way on my first trip to Florida. A friend bought an older home in Ft. Lauderdale that had an existing RV pad and 30amp outlet installed by the previous owner. It probably had not been used since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

My Airstream runs on 50amp but I can cut it down to 30amp with only 1 AC operating and limited other appliances. I did not have a surge protector so when plugged in everything went haywire......it blew up my microwave, tv, and power converter.....and that was before it tripped off!!
Needless to say I now have a 50amp power surge protector which has tripped off at least twice while staying in an older campground. Replacement of the 3 items cost me over $1000 with the microwave/convection oven being the most expensive. I was able to install the power converter myself which was a larger amperage with cooling fan.

Thankfully, no problems since, but I feel the surge protector is like insurance and its got me covered.
"blew up your microwave and converter" sounds more like it was wired for 240 like a 3-prong dryer outlet, not a low-voltage problem.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:12 AM   #40
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Always my fault

I take the position that it is always my fault. I cannot assume that all campgrounds are up to grade on electricity. I always use my surge protector. If breakers pop, I reduce demand (switch to propane, etc) as needed.

This is an age old problem for campers and marinas. Best to protect your own assets.
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