RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-22-2009, 10:39 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1986 31' Sovereign
Elkhorn , Nebraska
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 21
Newbie general electrical questions

I have just taken posession of my 'new' 31' 1986 Sov. I brought it home yesterday, and everything appears to be in good working order. However, I have a couple of 'electrical' questions. Please note that the only experience I have with electricity, is turning of a light switch and using the microwave.
My questions are:
1) When I plug the main power cable into my land based power source (cable has 3 way to 2 adapter) I can feel low voltage 'charges' on parts of my trailer, door etc. (slight tingling to touch)??? Short????
2) What is the difference/ purpose of the main chord vs. the 'outlet' on the side of the AS under the flap?
b8sfamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2009, 10:45 AM   #2
Rivet Master
overlander63's Avatar
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,254
The shore power cord is the inlet, the socket under the flap is an outlet.
The shock you feel when you touch the trailer is probably a short, where the insulation has come off the wire, and the wire is touching something metal in the trailer.
If you are using a 30 amp to 15 amp adapter, make sure the 15 amp adapter has a ground prong, and the outlet you are plugging into is properly grounded.
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2009, 10:46 AM   #3
Rivet Master
DEITZ645's Avatar
2006 30' Classic S/O
Currently Looking...
Mohrsville , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,313
Images: 10
If you are getting a low voltage shock, then you are not plugging into a grounded outlet. The 30 aml 3 way plug should be plugged into a three plug adapter that will fir a 15 amp house outlet. If your current adapter does not have the third grounding ptong, go an get one. It should look like this...

The otlet on the outside of the traile is just an accessory outlet to plug in awning lights, margarita blenders, and other such things.

Congratulations on your Airstream and remember to ask lots of questions, no matter how silly you may think they sound.

PS - You may wish to invest in an outlet / cirquit tester. I keep one plugged into the 120V outlet just inside the door. That way I know in an instant if I have shore power and if the circuit is properly grounded.

Carl, Elaine & Finn The Beagle
2006 30' Classic W Slide & Limited Package Katarina
2006 GMC 2500 HD 6.6 Turbo Diesel Crew Cab 8' Bed
AIR #14487
NQ3U (was KB3UOM)
DEITZ645 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2009, 10:47 AM   #4
Rivet Master
overlander63's Avatar
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,254
Originally Posted by DEITZ645 View Post
Congratulations on your Airstream and remember to ask lots of questions, no matter how silly you may think they sound.
Remember, the only truly stupid question is the one not asked.
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2009, 10:53 AM   #5
Rivet Master
HowieE's Avatar
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 7,064
Images: 12
You can not use a 3 to 2 adapter without running the risk of killing yourself. What has happened is you have reversed the polarity to the trailer and now have voltage on the skin.

As noted above go get a 30 to 20 amp trailer adapter. If the problem is there after you have the correct adapter the plug on your house is most likely wired wrong also.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2009, 01:15 PM   #6
Rivet Master
richinny's Avatar
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
while you're checking things you should also buy a volt meter. many newbies try to run their trailer from a cord that cannot carry the current over the distance they want. chances are that if you try to use the air conditioner (if so equippped) you will harm the trailer, your house, your cords or yourself, in the process.

luckily there are many threads that discuss this here at the forum. sit back and start reading the wealth of information here and make your new venture enjoyable!
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
General Overlander Questions surely 1960 - 1964 Overlander 7 06-17-2008 05:55 PM
General Questions dmcclintock 2008 Safari SE 5 05-22-2008 07:34 AM
General Electrical questions LHall Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 7 08-07-2007 01:41 PM
general electrical/wiring in 62 bambi roadtrip07 Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 4 07-07-2005 10:15 PM
General Engine questions from a newbie ErichC Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 1 07-07-2002 06:23 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.