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Old 02-15-2013, 09:25 AM   #1
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50 amp cord frayed at plug in head

GlenB 2005 Expedition, Fleetwood 38N. Went to plug in my 50 amp Power Cord which has a Surge Protector connected to it. Could not find the power cut off on the power box so I plugged in and got chatter on the surge protector. Unplugged.....looked things over. Still could not find the power box cut off.... The Surge protector was laying funny at a angle because the box was low to the ground. So I unplugged the surge protector and went straight into power box with just the RV cord. No issue power came up fine on the Panel and all power showed up on inside board. Then I noticed on my RV power cord where the cord enters the cord plug head I could see about a 1/2 inch of the inside cord insulation. No wires visiable just insulation. I guess in the past I had bent the cord in such a way it pulled out of the plug head??? What do about this. It is still plugged in and no issues over night with power....I hate my surge protector is not on the cord but no issues at this point....I will be at this site another week and then home....tks for your help....glen
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:59 AM   #2
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If I am reading it right your 50amp cord is frayed a little and causing the surge to have a problem?
Replace it. If it's frayed on the outside there may be a problem on the inside. If you try to fix it you maybe able to get 6 mths more out of it but you are only delaying the replacing of the cord. Yes they are expensive but having a surge into the coach would cause way more problems.
If it's the surge then replace that.
All in all just replace where it's frayed, lol.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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In some cases the exterior wire insulation comes lose from a molded plug, not a problem unless the inside wiring is also lose and from what you are describing that is happening. I would however replace the plug as it is just not worth any risk and the results could be catastrophic with harm done to your electrical system and attached components not to mention a potential fire hazard.
The choice is about $19 for a replacement plug or risk, with very expensive potential consequences. Replacement Electric Cord Ends/ Plugs for your RV
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:17 AM   #4
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You can only need to replace the 50 AMP head. Not the whole cord.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #5
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The 50 amp cord consists of 4 insulated wires inside an outer jacket,, What happens over time is the outer jacket, which of course is exposed to sun and elements, SHRINKS, this is 100% normal and does not indicate any wrongdoing on your part.


IF it is on the plug end, and the plug is one you can remove (NOT molded on) you can simply cut back the leads an inch or whatever and re-attach.

If your cord has a Marinco "Outlet" end that plugs into an inlet on the RV, that one will be bolted on and you can shorten it at that end too, as needed,

However you have to shorten the end with the problem.

I do recommend stocking a spare pplug end, Epically on 30 amp cords.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
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If the interior wiring is OK & it is just the outer jacket that has shrunk away from the connector (it doesn't sound like that is the case in your situation since you mentioned the chattering problem), there is something you can try prior to replacing the connector.

Get the cord warm (out in the sun or an inside room), have someone hold (or clamp between boards in a vise) the power cord well away from the connector. Grab the cord a couple of feet from the connector & try to slide the cover towards the connector. You may have to do this a couple of times to work the outer jacket towards the connector.

When the outer jacket is close enough to slide back into the connector, coat it with a good flexible glue ( I like Barge Cement) and do the final slide to put the cord back into the connector. While it doesn't always work, it will save the cost of buying a new connector & the time to install it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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Cut the frayed end off and install a new 50 amp plug. Easy to do and cost effective. Lawn mowers really mess the ends up when the campground gets lazy. Been there and replaced the plug less about 3 feet of 50 amp cord. Good luck..
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenB View Post
GlenB 2005 Expedition, Fleetwood 38N. Went to plug in my 50 amp Power Cord which has a Surge Protector connected to it. Could not find the power cut off on the power box so I plugged in and got chatter on the surge protector. Unplugged.....looked things over. Still could not find the power box cut off.... The Surge protector was laying funny at a angle because the box was low to the ground. So I unplugged the surge protector and went straight into power box with just the RV cord. No issue power came up fine on the Panel and all power showed up on inside board. Then I noticed on my RV power cord where the cord enters the cord plug head I could see about a 1/2 inch of the inside cord insulation. No wires visiable just insulation. I guess in the past I had bent the cord in such a way it pulled out of the plug head??? What do about this. It is still plugged in and no issues over night with power....I hate my surge protector is not on the cord but no issues at this point....I will be at this site another week and then home....tks for your help....glen
OK, granted that the outer insulation separating from the power cord head is an issue that should be resolved, two other things REALLY caught my attention.
1) Regardless of everyone's experiences, there should be a disconnect switch or circuit breaker for the campground electrical pedestal, be it switch or circuit breaker.
2) The surge protector chattering would tell me the LAST thing I would do is by-pass it and connect the motorhome directly into the (always hot) 50 amp campground pedestal outlet. The surge protector may be bad, but I would verify that it is bad and that the voltages and grounding were correct on the pedestal before I would ever think about connecting the MH. Under/over voltage, under/over frequency, bad ground, bad neutral are just a few of the things that the surge protector might have been "complaining" about and that might not show up immediately as a problem in the MH.

Just a thought, and before everyone beats me up about what a surge protector does, I used that term because the OP did.

Hope all is well and you get the plug fixed.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:17 AM   #9
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Two things come to mind. First move that surge protector to the fuse box location in the MH. That way it is protected and not out in the sun or rain, it won't get beat around every time you plug and unplug the cord.

Second it is time to replace the plug cap. No reason to replace the cord If done correctly a new plug cap will outlast the cord as the outer sheath has already shrunk from being out in the sun and water. The cord is serviceable until it shows cracks in the outer sheath or mechanical damage.

BTW a lot of the surge protectors just watch for overvoltage and when present just short out and trip the supply breaker. The better ones add a GFI to watch for ground faults. Have not seen a Arc Fault Protector yet. It would do all of the preceeding plus watch for lose connections. Same as the code requires in bedrooms now.
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