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 > Electrical issue (AC Power)

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Racer-X-

North Georgia, USA

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Posted: 04/28/19 02:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm doing some repair/restoration work on a 1995 Fleetwood Flair (built on a 1993 Chevrolet P30 chassis). I'm pretty good with the mechanics of the chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, the "motor" part. The "home" part is foreign to me.

One issue I've discovered (the hard way) is that there's something seriously wrong with the AC wiring in this one. We have it plugged in to an outdoor outlet on his house (GFCI protected). The RV has a 30 amp plug on it, but we've got an adapter to a "normal' three prong, 12 Gauge extension cord for now. We're not running the AC in the unit or anything significant. We haven't even turned on the fridge yet. Mostly, just a "boom box" to listen to while we're cleaning up and dealing with various issues.

Here's the first major issue. When I'm working on the thing, the frame and chassis are live with AC power. If it's plugged in, and I'm kneeling on the ground and I touch anything metal on the frame, engine, suspension, whatever, I get a serious shock, like I stuck a paper clip in an electric outlet. There's no issue if I'm working through the doghouse from inside to work on the top of the engine. The issue is only when I'm on the ground and touch the thing with my bare hands or with a metal tool/wrench. If I unplug the power, there's no issue. Actually, working on the thing with it plugged in is borderline dangerous.

I checked the AC outlets in the RV with one of those plug in analyzers (something like https://amzn.com/B00170KUPC ) and it's reading "Hot/Neutral Reversed" for all the outlets in the RV.

I don't even know where to start to diagnose and fix this. Is there any obvious place where something could be connected incorrectly to cause this problem?

UPDATE:
I'll be looking at the "shore power" cord plug and the connection at the junction box in the motorhome later this week, May 2 or May 3.

Thanks to all who answered on this topic.

On a related AC Power issue. We've hung a flat screen LCD TV on the wall behind the dining table. I used the tri-split rivets to hold the bracket for it to the wall. I think that's the best fasteners for that job. It seems to be secure and strong.

There's a power outlet in that wall on the bathroom side. Will I be able to get power from there and install a new AC power outlet on the side toward the table? Should I add another circuit with breaker to the panel and run more wires? or should I just wire in parallel with the outlet in the bathroom?

And why are all the AC power plates in this thing "single outlet" with a faux second outlet (molded to look like one, but the socket slots aren't open, they are solid plastic). Can I replace any of them with dual outlets? Or even dual + USB power type outlets for charging phones, tablets, etc.

* This post was edited 04/29/19 01:34pm by Racer-X- *

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 04/28/19 02:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Has the male cord end been replaced? If so, someone wired it backwards.

If not, then the shore power cord is reverse polarity at the power distribution center.

I'm quite surprized the gfci has not tripped out.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 04/28/19 02:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes that is a dangerous situation and you definitely need to get it fixed before you plug it in.

What do you get when you plug the tester into the GFCI outlet on the house, Does it read a correct connection?


Any idea if the power cord or battery charger has been replaced? As Pianotuna said it sounds like something is wired backwards.


2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton
2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH
1986 Coleman Columbia Popup.

Racer-X-

North Georgia, USA

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Posted: 04/28/19 03:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:


What do you get when you plug the tester into the GFCI outlet on the house, Does it read a correct connection?

The outlet at the house tests good. He had an extension cord with the third prong cut off the male plug where it plugged into the house. I brought my own 12 gauge extension cord with all prongs connected and unmodified, and that didn't help anything at all.
opnspaces wrote:


Any idea if the power cord or battery charger has been replaced? As Pianotuna said it sounds like something is wired backwards.

I have no idea what has been replaced. He bought this one used a month or so ago. I'm helping with mechanical "maintenance catch up" and fixing some of the mechanical issues with the chassis, engine, suspension. I'm new the the "home" part of motorhomes.

So I think I'm hearing I need to check in the cubby where the big power cord for the motor home is, and see if the end of that cord where it attaches to the motorhome coachwork wiring system is connected correcly (hot to hot, neutral to neutral, ground to ground and to the chassis). That could be wired backwards, I guess. The big power cord looks newer than a lot of the other parts on this one, so it might have been replaced.

opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 04/28/19 03:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes definitely check the cubby and see if the wires are connected correctly. Also with the possibly replaced cord, is the plug end molded to the cord; Or does it look like the plug was cut off at some time and replaced? If it looks replaced I would definitely open it up and see if the hot and neutral are correct.

Maybe plug the tester in with all breakers off in the coach. Then flip them back on one at a time while watching the tester.

[image]

MrWizard

Traveling

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Posted: 04/28/19 04:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

house outlet is ok !
new 120v 3 prong/duplex extension cord !

check both ends of the RV shore cord for a swapped/reversed connection
could be the outside/Male end of the shore cord
or where it connects to RV in the connection box


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RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 04/28/19 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I carry one of these safety checkers with me to tell if the electric wiring is correct. The only place the frame ground on the trailers is through the shore power connection cable... I got mine from LOWES...

You can plug this into the outlet and the lights on it will tell you if it is wired correctly... You may also have a bad-wired outlet in your garage or where you are picking up 120VAC...

[image]
Google image...

Different folks take the shock differently. What you have could be very dangerous to some people... Especially small children or pet animals...

If you can't figure this out then you should get a licensed electrician to test it for you and make the proper connections...

Back in the day a lot of people would always tear out the ground pin of adapters for whatever reason haha...

Roy Ken
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oldave

Tx

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Posted: 04/28/19 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Careful you guys don't want to kill your self .
If you are not confident working with elect then see if you can find a mobile
RV tech .
He could probably diagnose it real quick .

cavie

Port Charlotte Fl/ Hindsdale MA

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Posted: 04/28/19 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Racer-X- wrote:

I'm doing some repair/restoration work on a 1995 Fleetwood Flair (built on a 1993 Chevrolet P30 chassis). I'm pretty good with the mechanics of the chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, the "motor" part. The "home" part is foreign to me.

One issue I've discovered (the hard way) is that there's something seriously wrong with the AC wiring in this one. We have it plugged in to an outdoor outlet on his house (GFCI protected). The RV has a 30 amp plug on it, but we've got an adapter to a "normal' three prong, 12 Gauge extension cord for now. We're not running the AC in the unit or anything significant. We haven't even turned on the fridge yet. Mostly, just a "boom box" to listen to while we're cleaning up and dealing with various issues.

Here's the first major issue. When I'm working on the thing, the frame and chassis are live with AC power. If it's plugged in, and I'm kneeling on the ground and I touch anything metal on the frame, engine, suspension, whatever, I get a serious shock, like I stuck a paper clip in an electric outlet. There's no issue if I'm working through the doghouse from inside to work on the top of the engine. The issue is only when I'm on the ground and touch the thing with my bare hands or with a metal tool/wrench. If I unplug the power, there's no issue. Actually, working on the thing with it plugged in is borderline dangerous.

I checked the AC outlets in the RV with one of those plug in analyzers (something like https://amzn.com/B00170KUPC ) and it's reading "Hot/Neutral Reversed" for all the outlets in the RV.

I don't even know where to start to diagnose and fix this. Is there any obvious place where something could be connected incorrectly to cause this problem?


Start at the beginning and work your way to the RV. Check the source voltage. Plug in the cords and check the voltage at the RV with it not plugged in. Next turn off the main breaker in the RV. Remove the circuit breaker panel cover. Plug in the RV. Check the power at main breaker with it turned off. L1 to neutral = 120 volts. L1 to ground = 120 volts. Neutral to ground = 0 volts.


2011 Keystone Sprinter 323BHS. Retired Master Electrician. Retired Building Inspector.

All Motor Homes are RV's. All RV's are not Motor Homes.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 04/28/19 10:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

+1 to use the three light tester inside the RV.


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
675w Solar pictures back up

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