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Old 09-24-2013, 01:38 AM   #21
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So you are saying it is SOP to turn off all breakers, hook up the 120 volt power and then turn all the breakers back on? Does hooking up this way wear out the breakers by using them as power switches? If you turn everything off before you travel and your fridge switches over to propane what his there to cause an arc on the plug when connecting it up? Maybe I'm missing something? Anyone?
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:22 AM   #22
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Hi, I'm sure everyone already does this, but connect your shore power cord to your trailer first and make sure that you make the twist before you tighten the locking ring. Then plug your shore power cord into the receptacle while checking to see if it fits fairly tight. [not feel like it will fall out] In my trailer, there will only be two thing on while this is happening; One the converter/charger and my polarity tester. Never plug in or unplug while your air conditioner is on.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:22 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by John Geisen View Post
So you are saying it is SOP to turn off all breakers, hook up the 120 volt power and then turn all the breakers back on? Does hooking up this way wear out the breakers by using them as power switches? If you turn everything off before you travel and your fridge switches over to propane what his there to cause an arc on the plug when connecting it up? Maybe I'm missing something? Anyone?
They're talking about the breaker on the pole where you connect the cord, not all of the breakers in the camper. Turn off the breaker, plug in, turn it back on. Turn it off when removing the plug. (I generally leave it off at that point.)

Ever see a spark as you plugged in a 120 volt appliance that was turned on? THAT's what you're trying to avoid with your 30 amp plug. I wonder how large the spark would be if some high-drain device happened to be left on, like the A/C.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:00 AM   #24
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Skater,

Ok, thanks. Of course that is what we all do, or at least should be doing and makes perfect sense. It has been a couple of years since we have been able to travel and I wasn't thinking about the park side of the power cord. I've been plugged in at home and haven't been removing power from the Airstream. Normally I'd have it in storage mode but due to the heat in Florida I've tried to have the AC connected with the air conditioner thermostat set around 80 degrees. After listening to everyone's input I believe my connection at the input was weak and caused the damage I've found. Here are a couple of photos I was able to upload from the iPad.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:53 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by John Geisen View Post
So you are saying it is SOP to turn off all breakers, hook up the 120 volt power and then turn all the breakers back on? Does hooking up this way wear out the breakers by using them as power switches? If you turn everything off before you travel and your fridge switches over to propane what his there to cause an arc on the plug when connecting it up? Maybe I'm missing something? Anyone?
John...The person providing the information on disconnecting a breaker was referring to the breaker in the power post in the campground that you are receiving your power from. When hooking up shut off the breaker in the power post, plug your trailer power cord into the receptical and then turn on the supply side breaker in the campground power post. Not the breakers in your trailer.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:33 AM   #26
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Bob is absolutely right: Turn off the campground breaker before connecting to it; then turn it on. Same on departure: Turn off the breaker, then disconnect.

You'd be surprised by how many bad plugs we find on RVs here, and how many have disconnected without turning off the breaker first. I don't allow folks with screwed-up plugs to connect to our power when parking rigs: I pull out my (sacrificial) pocketknife and clean the prongs first.


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Old 09-26-2013, 02:05 PM   #27
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That's a very good point. Never really thought about it that way. The damage could really build up over the years.

Does anyone ever use the electrical silicone for spark plug wires? It helps to keep moisture off the connections, and current can pass through it. Could it be used on 110 vlt connections? I'm sure the heat is much lower than the temp of a spark plug.
In general silicone grease, though it is an excellent product for spark plug boots, is a poor choice for high-current connections like these. When arcing does occur the silicone breaks down and forms an abrasive, nonconducting sand-like material which can cause excessive wear and other problems.

Ordinary chassis grease will work better, but the best product to use is the antioxidant electrical grease sold at home centers and hardware stores for use with aluminum wires. There are also specialized products like "contax" available through electrical supply houses but I'm not convinced they're much better than the home center stuff.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:19 PM   #28
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Never connect or disconnect any power connection with power present. Always turn off the breaker at the source before connecting or disconnecting your power cable. Once the connection has been made, then turn on the breaker [...]
This isn't necessary because any arcing that occurs is only one of many sources of connector wear, and because the design of the receptacle and plug is such that arcing tends to take place away from the components that carry current when the plug is fully inserted.

Pedestal connectors in campgrounds wear mainly from use, from corrosion due to weather exposure and condensation, and from thermal damage causing loss of temper to the spring components when overheating occurs when some other guy uses a failing shore power cord.

So, if you're reading this thread, my advice to you is:

- ignore all the folklore and anecdotal stories.
- keep the blades on your shore power connectors clean and bright, using a wire brush or some kind of abrasive
- if the connectors start to feel quite warm under heavy loads then it's probably time to clean and tighten everything, or replace the components if that doesn't help
- the campground end of the shore power cord may overheat because of problems at the pedestal, so try a couple of pedestals (or different campgrounds) before replacing the plug
- you can use the black electrical grease (sold for use with aluminum wire) if you want to help deal with bad pedestal connections or to prolong the life of a failing connection at the trailer end
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:22 PM   #29
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Here are a couple of photos I was able to upload from the iPad.
Probably a loose screw on the trailer end of the connector, judging by the fact that the damage is worse on that side.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:31 PM   #30
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Thanks Jammer for your insights. I've purchased a new Marinco input plug. Now I can't seem to figure out how to get the burnt one out. I've removed the 4 mounting screws and wiggled the plug enough to break the seal at the Airstream side but can only pull it out about 1/4 inch. Of course the Marinco plug is held by the wiring that is screwed into it. I'm guessing the wire is being held inside the trailer by something. I've looked under the counter but can't seem to find the wiring harness or where it might be held in place. Has anyone replaced one of the these? If so, any idea how I can get to whatever is holding it in place? Thanks again for your help.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:32 PM   #31
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john, this is about a 50 amp install but the info might help.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...in-106918.html
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:12 PM   #32
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Thanks Rich. I'm not trying to install a new circuit or wiring. I'm just trying to free up a little extra cable so I can replace my 30 amp input cable. Does Airstream offer any technical support at the factory? Just wondering?
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:00 PM   #33
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Marinco Inlet

John,

The wire that comes into your inlet is "clamped" on the back side of the inlet on purpose. You won't get much feed through on the wire unless you go on the back side of it and loosen it up. You may not get a whole lot more but should get enough to maybe get enough to work with. I did a change out on my original one to install the stainless version. Hope these photos help.

There was no sealant on the backside of the inlet so it came off easy with the 4 screws on front being removed. There may some sealant holding yours tight.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:58 PM   #34
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That's a very good point. Never really thought about it that way. The damage could really build up over the years.

Does anyone ever use the electrical silicone for spark plug wires? It helps to keep moisture off the connections, and current can pass through it. Could it be used on 110 vlt connections? I'm sure the heat is much lower than the temp of a spark plug.
Dielectric lube/grease is great for protecting against moisture/corrosion also.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:02 PM   #35
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After removing the screws this was as far as I can get the old input socket attached. I can't seem to find a way to feed more wire. It appears to be coming from under the refrigerator or the microwave or in between the two but I can't get to it from under the cabinets for all the "stuff" under there. This is turning out to be quite the challenge. It's almost like Airstream never thought it would ever need replacement.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:40 PM   #36
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It may not be the wires. It is common for there to be quite a lot of sealant applied on the inside, depending on the year and model.

I suspect you'll have to disassemble the interior as needed to get to it.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:21 PM   #37
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john, this is about a 50 amp install but the info might help. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...in-106918.html
That was our upgrade. We removed interior carpeted panel to gain access to wall. I bet yours will be similar.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:56 PM   #38
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I just got off the phone with Airstream. I now realize I've only removed one half of the receptacle. The white square portion is held in with caulking that is very difficult to remove.

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The white portion is glued to the back and must come out before I can proceed. Still learning... :-)
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:13 PM   #39
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The red arrow points to the caulked white part that has to be removed.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:14 PM   #40
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Here is part of what you have to do to remove the inlet plug. Airstream likes caulk. May be necessary.
Well, it was a bear but it is completed and everything looks brand new. Thanks to everyone for you help and patience with my learning.
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