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Old 08-08-2012, 03:10 PM   #1
chofujohn's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 69
Burned out my automatic switch LPT50CA...


It's been a while since I've been on IRV2, but I feel a responsibility to other RV'ers now that I'm full-timing and learning as I go. There are guys on this forum who have forgotten more than I've learned about DSDP Dutch Stars, but I'm getting there gradually. What I'm writing about relates to RV park electrical sources and the price we owners must pay for their mistakes.

The power went out during a storm one day and my power pedestal was included in the outage. Since I had the coach batteries online and the inverter switched on I didn't really notice a problem, except that my A/C units were off and would not come back on. I went to my power diagnostics panel up front and saw that I was losing my coach batteries at a pretty fast clip. So, I started the generator and went looking for the park manager. He told me there had been a lightning strike over by the street and that it had caused the outage. When power was restored to my power meter I could not power up my coach. I was relegated to my generator for 3 days. Good thing I had a full tank of fuel. FL&P showed up in the rain to restore power to the park. FL&P and the park blamed God and I was the only one who will be out of pocket for the damage that God caused. My question is do parks ever accept responsibility for damage that was clearly their fault?

I researched the net for a replacement LPT50CA switch box and it turns out none are available, but according to PPL there is a direct replacement called an LPT50MRD. I ordered one and it arrived promptly in two days. When I opened it up for my service tech to see he commented that the wires looked too light for 50 amp service. I called PPL and they will take it back minus restocking fee. I then called Newmar directly and they informed me that they are now using Progressive Dynamics PD-52 automatic switches in their new DSDP3852 Dutch Stars. I ordered one today for $180, but had to have a licensed service tech to complete the order and to take delivery. They won't just send it out to an owner because of liability reasons. I hope to have it in two days.

Just a word to the wise about RV park power sources. I've had to learn this lesson the hard way. Get a premium surge protector and put it between your coach and your RV park power source. The wiring in this park is simply inadequate and as it turned out it is also incorrect. I've heard this park is not atypical. The grounds are corroded completely through by the salt air and I was getting major current through my neutral, which is what I'm speculating caused my LPT50CA circuit board or switch to quit on me. I have during this time of crisis bought an inline 50 amp surge protector with LCD diagnostics. I believe the expression is "penny wise, dollar foolish". I was stupid to not have one from the beginning. Had I spent the $298 ($400 msrp) before then I wouldn't be writing this note now. When I did finally plug the surge protector into my 50 amp service line it immediately and automatically tripped and cut out one of the 120V legs at my power pedestal. Turns out I was being serviced by one 120v leg and the other was at 135v's. The surge protector considered that voltage to be harmful to the coach and did its job and cut that leg out. That put my A/C out of service, which was not acceptable. Florida Light and Power ended up having to come out and red tag the grounds/neutrals at the meter pole before this park would lift a finger. According to FL&P it was improper maintenance that caused the grounds to fail. I was also told that on Jupiter Island a 4 or 6 gauge ground wire will only last five years because of the salt air. Needless to say the park will not accept responsibility and will not reimburse me. They, too, are blaming God.

I'm off to the Western National Parks next week and glad to be leaving this park behind here in Hobe Sound. I'm a full-timer on the road to... Best, John
2002 Newmar Dutch Star DSDP3852, Spartan Chassis, ISC 350, MH 3000, Banks Power Pak, Blue Ox Tru-Center for Spartan IFS, Onan 7500, Toad Nissan Pathfinder 4x4, Remco driveline disconnect, Hobie Kayak, Dish HD Satellite, Driver John & Maltese "Romeo"
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