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Old 02-17-2024, 01:07 PM   #1
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1958 17' Pacer
Seattle , Washington
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no line voltage power in my 58 pacer

Hi. I have a 1958 Pacer. I keep it in my backyard for guests. I have it hooked to a power supply from the house. The cord says there's power. It's grounded. All of a sudden, I don't have power in the trailer. I did put a small space heater in the trailer to keep it from freezing in the winter and to keep mildew down. Wondering if my heater overloaded something and that's the reason. Could anyone offer me guidance as to how to proceed? I'm happy to hire a trailer electrical expert to take a look, but so many don't work on vintage trailers or understand old Airstreams. I see there is a glass fuse in the area near where the battery is. Wondering if I should replace that as maybe it blew through an overload, but not sure what to do. Also there are two glass fuses where the power supply enters the rear of the trailer. Maybe it's those. Advice on what to do or advice on a qualified mobile person to contact to troubleshoot would be most welcome. I'm in Seattle. Thank you for the help.
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Old 02-18-2024, 09:37 AM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Welcome to the Forums!

You ought to be able to look at the glass fuses and see if they have burnt. If they have, then disconnect the trailer from power and replace them.

What it none of them are burnt? If you are familiar with how to use a volt-ohm meter, then you could remove each glass fuse and check it for continuity (thus proving it is OK). You might find a fuse that isn't obviously burnt, but still has no continuity, in which case it needs to be replaced.

If the fuses aren't the problem, then you are going to need to systematically follow the line and check for voltage. So you would put your voltmeter on the end of the power cable to ensure you are getting power there, and then you will go to the next available set of contacts/connections and check for power there, and so on.

If you have power coming out of all of the fuse boxes and going into the wall, but you have nothing downstream of that, then you should pull the first outlet out of the wall and check it (again, before handling any electrical items, disconnect from shore power). In these older trailers, there is typically only two main circuits, one running the air conditioner, and one running all of the 110V outlets.

So every outlet is on the same circuit, and they are essentially "daisy-chained" together. So if the first outlet in the circuit fails, it might bring down the rest of the circuit. It might not be obvious which one is the first in the circuit, but it is likely the one nearest the fuse box. I would pay particular attention to the one you had the space heater plugged into.

Not feeling comfortable with working around electricity? I would say that you probably don't need a mobile RV specialist, any household electrician ought to be able to figure out where the trouble is.

good luck!
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Old 02-19-2024, 10:09 AM   #3
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1958 17' Pacer
Seattle , Washington
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thank you

Great. I will do just that. Very useful advice. Thank you!
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Old 02-22-2024, 04:59 PM   #4
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1958 17' Pacer
Seattle , Washington
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This worked perfectly. I replaced all the fuses as you recommended. I used dielectric grease on the threads of the fuses to keep them from oxidizing as they're in unheated compartments. All of the power and lights work now. Many thanks for guiding me on that.
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Old 02-22-2024, 05:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrametak View Post
This worked perfectly. I replaced all the fuses as you recommended. I used dielectric grease on the threads of the fuses to keep them from oxidizing as they're in unheated compartments. All of the power and lights work now. Many thanks for guiding me on that.
I hope you avoided the temptation to replace them with bigger ones, those old fuse holders will let you put up to 30 amp fuses in them which unfortunately seems to be the norm on old houses with 15 and 20 amp wiring.
There are tamper proof inserts you can install to restrict the fuse to the correct size and licensed electricians are required to install those by code if over fusing is present.
Your 15 amp branch circuits should have blue fuses, your 20's orange and if there is a 30 amp main it will be green.
You can also buy re-settable circuit breakers that screw in to the fuse holder.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell in case you wanted to know
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Old 02-23-2024, 10:56 AM   #6
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1958 17' Pacer
Seattle , Washington
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size of fuses

Quote:
Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post
I hope you avoided the temptation to replace them with bigger ones, those old fuse holders will let you put up to 30 amp fuses in them which unfortunately seems to be the norm on old houses with 15 and 20 amp wiring.
There are tamper proof inserts you can install to restrict the fuse to the correct size and licensed electricians are required to install those by code if over fusing is present.
Your 15 amp branch circuits should have blue fuses, your 20's orange and if there is a 30 amp main it will be green.
You can also buy re-settable circuit breakers that screw in to the fuse holder.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell in case you wanted to know
I replaced 3 fuses. Two where the power comes into the trailer in the rear compartment and one in the battery compartment under the seat at the kitchen table. They were all 20amps, so I replaced them with 20amps. To your point, maybe a previous owner put bigger fuses in. I've had the trailer for about 20 years. It's the first time I've touched the fuses. That's cool that there's breakers that can be used in lieu of the glass fuses. Good to know.
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