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Old 05-31-2019, 08:18 PM   #1
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My trailer got fried!

We are at Alumapolosa and are at the Holloway camp area. The Airstream folks provide a Hodge podge of electrical wiring and 4 trailers split 20 amps. When we hooked up the electrical my outer skin was electrified! They brought back the electricians to repair the lines on the ground. Yesterday I adjusted my hitch and as I was kneeling and grabbing the hitch, I got knocked backward by a charge of electricity.

In the afternoon a wire nut got hot and melted through so the wires shorted against the metal box. It sent the voltage through 8 trailers including mine. It completely fried two trailers converters, blew out a surge protector and fried my HDMI mono price box and melted my HDMI cables ends.

I am now getting power on the skin of the trailer. It has shorted something to the metal.

I talked with Airstream service today and they sent a guy our to look. He did not find a short. I took my fried splitter box into service and the had another they gave me. They also set an appointment for 7 AM tomorrow to see if they can determine why power is shorted to the body. This is serious as it is a full 120 volts at 20 amps. They can't replace one of the HDMI cables running to the bedroom as it takes about 6-7 hours to run to that area.

We have an appointment in mid-July for this and all the other stuff we need to be fixed. If they can't find the short, we will be without our trailer for the summer.

Not a very good end to a great two-month trip. I hope they find the short tomorrow so we can be safe.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:24 PM   #2
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Man you’ve had a rough week! Hoping you’re ok - that could be very painful!!

Hope they fix whatever got crossed! Good luck!
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Old 05-31-2019, 09:36 PM   #3
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Yikes! I hope it gets resolved quickly.

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Old 05-31-2019, 09:48 PM   #4
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Is anyone offering an explanation? This is highly rated gathering....so why would I want to go to any of these given this situation? I remember a gathering in Northern NY where they backed in a circle and the bonfire got so hot it started melting backsides of trailers.....the next year they invited me to join them and give up my full hookup site on the campground side to be one with them...
Uggh. No, from what I am seeing is these gatherings are a recipe for disaster.
If you enjoy them, then good on ya mate!!! I am not feeling the vibe.
Just my opinion.
And to get back on track of the post, I really hope they get the electric figured out so you can enjoy what you are seeking by being there.
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Old 05-31-2019, 09:48 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about you problems. I'd expect more from the "mothership".

I was a bit nervous about the daisy chained electrical arrangement at the Salem International Rally this past summer. My surge protector/service analyser kept rejecting/blowing. The electrical technicians kept busy trying to keep up with the problems. I'm not sure that I'll do another event with that brand of service.
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Old 05-31-2019, 09:48 PM   #6
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you should also use a protection device for network, power and water. you have a lock on your door, the same goes for other systems

this is what we installed inside

it has saved our AS more than once as it does over and under voltage as well as bad ground and cross neutral lines

IMHO, they should build these inside at the factory for all units
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:04 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear about you problems. I'd expect more from the "mothership".

I was a bit nervous about the daisy chained electrical arrangement at the Salem International Rally this past summer. My surge protector/service analyser kept rejecting/blowing. The electrical technicians kept busy trying to keep up with the problems. I'm not sure that I'll do another event with that brand of service.
Ah, so like anything it is buyer beware. Certainly with these types of events with well meaning volunteers, but also similar to the KOA in Nebraska that had a ground fault in the wiring and told me that my trailer should take care of any issues it created......and this was the owner talking to me after I brought it to his attention.
So the word of the day is caution and take calculated steps to protect yourself in the wild world of camping.
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:02 AM   #8
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Are the "Airstream folks" fellow Campers or JC peep's?
Whose idea was it to daisy chain 4 trailers...?🤓

We stay a lot on 'Fairgrounds' when dog showing. Most all have hook-up options for the roustabouts and show folks. We test them all, use a PD PT-30c and NEVER split.

A convenience that can make you dead is nothing to treat foolishly. ⚡️
If in doubt...go without. 🤔

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Old 06-01-2019, 06:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turk123 View Post
<snip>
In the afternoon a wire nut got hot and melted through so the wires shorted against the metal box. It sent the voltage through 8 trailers including mine. It completely fried two trailers converters, blew out a surge protector ...
Sorry to hear of this problem.

Did the surge protector save that trailer from your situation? What about the other trailers you mention - what damage did they sustain?
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:20 AM   #10
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Yup! Had the same situation at an A$ Rally in Colorado a few years back.
Electrical power cords that were way too small for their intended use ran all over the place.
It was 108 degrees F for three days straight.
I refused to plug my trailer into that mess of wiring.
No need to burn up the old A/C unit or the converter.
Power monitoring devices and surge protectors are a good thing.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:17 AM   #11
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That is terrible - I would rather run genny or go without and run on solar. This daisy concept is not a safe or wise way to go
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
you should also use a protection device for network, power and water. you have a lock on your door, the same goes for other systems

this is what we installed inside

it has saved our AS more than once as it does over and under voltage as well as bad ground and cross neutral lines

IMHO, they should build these inside at the factory for all units
Ditto on the surge protector. I use the external version of the Surge Guard, which plugs between my power cord and the outlet. I also bought a lock box that secures it to my power cord to protect it from casual thieves.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:04 AM   #13
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Hi

First up - indeed, always use a *good* surge protector. The EMS variety from Progressive is a good choice. Yes, they will disconnect you from time to time. That's exactly what they are supposed to do !!!

Fried converter .... hmmm ..... real easy way to do that is to loose the neutral on a 240V circuit. You then get some nutty high voltage on the lightly loaded side of the circuit. The EMS will not detect the neutral going wacky. It *will* detect the leg going above 120V and disconnect for that reason. A normal "non smart" surge protector should do the same thing.

Strange nonsense on the TV cable grounds ( HDMI is on the TV ground) ? That suggests that you either had the ground to neutral or something like that. The "normal" hookup isolates power neutral from power ground. Neutral goes nuts and ground stays solid. If somebody "up the chain" hooked ground to neutral ... yikes ....

To be abundantly clear about this: Page 8-20 in the 2019 Classic owners manual shows the inside of the power center. There is one "lump" labeled "ground bus" another one is labeled "neutral bus". They are separate for a reason. You very much do *not* want to get them confused. If you are playing around in the power center, keep that in mind.

Just to complete things, this is also the reason you put in a ground jumper when you hook up a generator. The trailer does not connect the two lines. It expects them to be connected outside the trailer (at the power source and *only* at the source).

Bob
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:14 AM   #14
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That daisey chain set up has been usedfor years. Works as long as everyone follows the rules. Does not surprise me that the new type owners and new type trailers fouled this up. Old school as so much easier! Did the factory set this up?
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:14 AM   #15
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IMHO, you need these to protect your AS
  • power surge suppressor
  • arc fault outlets in the food area
  • GFI outlets in areas that may get wet
  • lightning arrestor on any antenna, cable or satellite inlet
  • water pressure regulator and filter
  • wheels locks
  • hitch lock
  • door lock
  • VPN for network connections
  • DC- DC converter to isolate TV from AS

as a wise man once said, if you can think about something occurring , it can occur. thus its not if, but when.

cheaper to protect yourself that fix it afterwords
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:17 AM   #16
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Geo
Very interested in the lockbox. Can you show a picture or give some specs (ei. manufacture or dimensions). I would like to have something like that for when I have to use an extra 30 amp extension.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xrvr View Post
That daisey chain set up has been usedfor years.
That does not make it good or right. Sounds like a nightmare to me.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:38 AM   #18
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That does not make it good or right. Sounds like a nightmare to me.
If it's a nightmare to you, then obviously you haven't ever attended any Airstream rally in the last 50+ years, where you are provided rally power. That is 3 amps, which is enough to only operate your converter, and NOTHING ELSE. PERIOD. Every rally I attend, there are entire rows of trailers that lose power because some yahoo decided that 3 amps couldn't apply to them, because they needed to use a hair dryer or microwave.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

First up - indeed, always use a *good* surge protector. The EMS variety from Progressive is a good choice. Yes, they will disconnect you from time to time. That's exactly what they are supposed to do !!!

Fried converter .... hmmm ..... real easy way to do that is to loose the neutral on a 240V circuit. You then get some nutty high voltage on the lightly loaded side of the circuit. The EMS will not detect the neutral going wacky. It *will* detect the leg going above 120V and disconnect for that reason. A normal "non smart" surge protector should do the same thing.

Strange nonsense on the TV cable grounds ( HDMI is on the TV ground) ? That suggests that you either had the ground to neutral or something like that. The "normal" hookup isolates power neutral from power ground. Neutral goes nuts and ground stays solid. If somebody "up the chain" hooked ground to neutral ... yikes ....

To be abundantly clear about this: Page 8-20 in the 2019 Classic owners manual shows the inside of the power center. There is one "lump" labeled "ground bus" another one is labeled "neutral bus". They are separate for a reason. You very much do *not* want to get them confused. If you are playing around in the power center, keep that in mind.

Just to complete things, this is also the reason you put in a ground jumper when you hook up a generator. The trailer does not connect the two lines. It expects them to be connected outside the trailer (at the power source and *only* at the source).

Bob


Bob....could you please explain, in layman's terms what you mean by this...

Just to complete things, this is also the reason you put in a ground jumper when you hook up a generator. The trailer does not connect the two lines. It expects them to be connected outside the trailer (at the power source and *only* at the source).

Thanks
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turk123 View Post
We are at Alumapolosa and are at the Holloway camp area. The Airstream folks provide a Hodge podge of electrical wiring and 4 trailers split 20 amps. When we hooked up the electrical my outer skin was electrified! They brought back the electricians to repair the lines on the ground.
. . .


Did this initial connection to their appararently bad wiring causing some arcing inside your trailer [and a new hidden short?], which then caused the remaining problems? What is the chain of causation here, if you can take an educated guess?

Did you use a surge protector when you did your initial connection to the "Hodge podge?"

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