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Old 08-08-2017, 06:06 PM   #1
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Surge Guard 35530 and generator use

I am a new Airstream owner, own a 2016 that has a Surge guard Model 35530 hard mounted inside my trailer. Over the weekend, I purchased a new Champion 3400 inverter generator and was planning on running it off LP Gas. However, I can not get my trailer power on, using the 30 amp RV plug attachment to the generator or even when I put on my 110 v, 15 amp pigtail on and plug it into the standard outlet.

I know the generator is working fine, will run a bunch of other tools without a hitch. I believe the surge guard is the problem. Has anyone had this problem? I assume I need to find a way to bypass the Surge Guard when using the generator, but that is a sad engineering flaw if true...

Thanks for any input. Ed-
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:34 PM   #2
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Hi

Quick and simple, you need a plug that will connect the generator ground and neutral.

More details:

A good surge protector will check for wiring errors. It expects to be fed from a proper shore power panel. In that panel (or upstream from it) the ground and neutral are hooked together. It's only done at one point in the upstream system. The surge protector looks for this connection.

A normal generator is designed to be hooked into a normal electrical panel. That's the panel that has the single point connection in it. The generator can not connect the two without violating the "single point" rule.

In an RV you are stuck with an odd situation. Your panel is not what the generator expects to see. You need to adapt things to make it work.

Bob
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Quick and simple, you need a plug that will connect the generator ground and neutral.

More details:

A good surge protector will check for wiring errors. It expects to be fed from a proper shore power panel. In that panel (or upstream from it) the ground and neutral are hooked together. It's only done at one point in the upstream system. The surge protector looks for this connection.

A normal generator is designed to be hooked into a normal electrical panel. That's the panel that has the single point connection in it. The generator can not connect the two without violating the "single point" rule.

In an RV you are stuck with an odd situation. Your panel is not what the generator expects to see. You need to adapt things to make it work.

Bob


Great advice, thank you! I wondered if it could be a ground issue. I do have an extra bolt on my generator for Neutral/ground. I will try that thanks.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erudolph View Post
I am a new Airstream owner, own a 2016 that has a Surge guard Model 35530 hard mounted inside my trailer. Over the weekend, I purchased a new Champion 3400 inverter generator and was planning on running it off LP Gas. However, I can not get my trailer power on, using the 30 amp RV plug attachment to the generator or even when I put on my 110 v, 15 amp pigtail on and plug it into the standard outlet.

I know the generator is working fine, will run a bunch of other tools without a hitch. I believe the surge guard is the problem. Has anyone had this problem? I assume I need to find a way to bypass the Surge Guard when using the generator, but that is a sad engineering flaw if true...

Thanks for any input. Ed-
You can use a drop cord replacement end to build your own bonding plug. Just connect the ground and neutral using a jumper wire.
this video explains the issue:
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:22 PM   #5
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Oh my goodness, that is amazing! At dinner, but look forward to the video. Thank you so much...
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:37 AM   #6
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I had the same problem. It is the surge guard that is preventing you from using your generator. Progressive Dynamics has two work arounds. They have a "surge guard" with a switch that allows you to by pass the "surge guard". (Their own surge guard protector) They also have a plug that you can plug into your generator and then connect your AC power cord into that plug. You will have to wire your AC cord into the plug. Consequently you will not be able to use that AC cord for anything else safely.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by graysailor View Post
I had the same problem. It is the surge guard that is preventing you from using your generator. Progressive Dynamics has two work arounds. They have a "surge guard" with a switch that allows you to by pass the "surge guard". (Their own surge guard protector) They also have a plug that you can plug into your generator and then connect your AC power cord into that plug. You will have to wire your AC cord into the plug. Consequently you will not be able to use that AC cord for anything else safely.


Thank you. I am feeling empowered to wire my own plug. Got all the goods from the hardware store for $10.00. Will report back if it all works. Thanks again.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:51 PM   #8
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Thank you. I am feeling empowered to wire my own plug. Got all the goods from the hardware store for $10.00. Will report back if it all works. Thanks again.
Silver screw(neutral) to Green screw(ground)
Gold screw (load) do not connect to anything.
If the flat blade screws are the same color, make sure it is wired correctly.
Getting it wrong, could damage something.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:16 PM   #9
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Thank you
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:51 AM   #10
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It is an easy fix

During our first dry camping using the Yamaha inverter generator, I knew something was wrong as the batteries weren't getting charged, the microwave not working, etc..

Finally, a friend found the answer regarding the floating N, and simply wiring a plug with a connection between N and G was all that was needed. Getting home I immediately made one, and bingo - the generator worked as it should.

I wondered why I never found this simple solution in the AS manual, the Surge Protector the dealer installed, nor the Yamaha.

Having this simple solution sure made us happy! I'm sure it will make you happy too.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:41 AM   #11
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Interesting that this info was so hard to dig out. I spent two days scratching my head wondering what was going on. Most that I talked had never heard of this issue. Now I am assuming that not many people have any type of surge guard protection so they would never know.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:49 AM   #12
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I just tried my Honda EU3000is and saw open neutral on my 3 light tester. Shut stuff down.

My rig has hard wired and I called Surge Guard spoke with a tech and got same answer and results as noted above.

But each component or owners manual doesn't know that you're using an inverter gen + surge guard + trailer at same time. But all together and it's time for another learning curve.

Mike Sokol has put a series of darn good videos that are a must watch, in particular the RV Hot Skin.

Gary
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