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Old 02-23-2019, 01:22 PM   #1
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Electrical Problem

When it rains, it pours...and, it's been doing lots of it in Tennessee the last couple months - both literally and figuratively.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed my house batteries were draining and the inverter was not working well. I called a mobile service who diagnosed a bad Magnum inverter and replaced it with the same model - very expensive fix.

Things worked well for a week until I tried to take the motorhome out of the barn yesterday. The dash gauges were all dead and the brakes locked. A call to Freightliner was helpful - put the coach in reverse first, then drive...brakes unlocked but still no working gauges. I shut down the coach, plugged it back in to the 50 amp service in my barn and made plans to find a Freightliner dealer this coming week.

Today, the Oasis will not heat water on electric - green status light will not come on up front (burner works although we don't want to run that inside the barn), and the Power Control System monitor panel shows 120V on line one and 5V on line two. (Line two did jump up to 118V briefly, then back to 5V.) Inverter is working and battery bulk charge has come on at least once.

I checked the barn's 50amp connector with a voltmeter - 120V on each leg.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! We're currently living in the motorhome while our house is being built so having reliable electric service and hot water in the bus is rather critical for us.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:38 PM   #2
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Have you tried the generator? If everything works with the gen then I’d look at the cord reel or surge protector.

Stay safe and dry. It looks bad up there. We’re headed home next week.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.perry View Post
When it rains, it pours...and, it's been doing lots of it in Tennessee the last couple months - both literally and figuratively.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed my house batteries were draining and the inverter was not working well. I called a mobile service who diagnosed a bad Magnum inverter and replaced it with the same model - very expensive fix.

Things worked well for a week until I tried to take the motorhome out of the barn yesterday. The dash gauges were all dead and the brakes locked. A call to Freightliner was helpful - put the coach in reverse first, then drive...brakes unlocked but still no working gauges. I shut down the coach, plugged it back in to the 50 amp service in my barn and made plans to find a Freightliner dealer this coming week.

Today, the Oasis will not heat water on electric - green status light will not come on up front (burner works although we don't want to run that inside the barn), and the Power Control System monitor panel shows 120V on line one and 5V on line two. (Line two did jump up to 118V briefly, then back to 5V.) Inverter is working and battery bulk charge has come on at least once.

I checked the barn's 50amp connector with a voltmeter - 120V on each leg.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! We're currently living in the motorhome while our house is being built so having reliable electric service and hot water in the bus is rather critical for us.
We're you getting 220 or better across the 50 amp receptacle?
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:23 PM   #4
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Electrical Problem

Bill - turned on the generator and got 118 Volts on both line 1 and 2. Oasis green AC light came on and it appeared to be giving us some hot water. Heat pump 2 also came on.

After turning off the generator and plugging back into shore power, Power Control Monitor showed 118V on line one and 5V on line two. Oasis will not come on AC.

lwmcguire - 238V across both sides of 50 amp barn plug.

P.S. Above readings were made both with and without our external surge protector. That doesn't seem to be the problem.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:32 PM   #5
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Looking more like the cord reel. I would check the output side to the coach.
On my coach the surge guard has two red lights. I’m assuming this means both legs are good but not sure. You could take the cover off and check the legs. Make sure you kill the power first.

Hopefully someone who has had this issue before will comment.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:33 PM   #6
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Gregg, I wonder if you have an issue with your transfer switch? The generator side is fine but possibly loose wire on the land line 50amp side? You could take the cover off and see if anything is burnt or loose.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:04 PM   #7
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Bottom line is the transfer switch or cord real or the connections to the TS from the shore power cord/cord real.
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:45 AM   #8
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I was having the same issue. The cord reels of that era had a known problem. Check voltage at the reel side of the transfer switch, and at the house side. This will tell you which is bad.
Here is a pic of the contacts in my reel.
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:31 PM   #9
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Thanks, everyone. This forum is great.

It looks like the cord reel is the problem. Continuity checks out on all electrical cords. But check out the photos of the inside of the cord reel.

Can these parts be replaced or do I have to replace the entire reel?
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:42 PM   #10
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New reel

I would just replace the reel and make sure the contacts have a SMALL amount of conductive lubricant to minimize corrosion and reduce hot spots.
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:50 PM   #11
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I've been a industrial electrician for 50 plus years and worked on too many electric reels with these style contacts. The real is in a location that gets lots of hot,cold climate changes and in some cases dust. Heat is number one disaster for any electrical connection. Heat is caused by a loose contact point . These reels require a designer amount of contact pressure to be top quality and perform as designed. I suggest to add to your maintenance program and simply apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to all brass areas and check spring tensions . A Emery cloth will remove any tarnished areas . If pitted or stuck contacts you need to replace them if a nail file cannot clean them up.
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:25 PM   #12
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QT's #3 will have cord reel problems in PROBLEM SOLVERS and this link will have many more answers for your problem.
If copper contacts can be smooth with emery paper you may luck out temporarily but may still pit up again.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:50 AM   #13
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My 2 cents, I don't know that this makes any long term difference but I've done this since the coach was new. I never adjust the cord length when it is energized.

My thoughts are this could cause arcing and once there is a carbon trace on the brush it may be the start of a growing problem.

So if I need to shorten up the cord, I turn off the breaker and then adjust the cord. John
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:05 AM   #14
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Any benefit to apply electrical grease on the contacts?
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