Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-10-2012, 08:38 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 119
Open Ground ?

Have one of those little plug in testers. Always shows proper connection with shore power. When on gen, it shows "open Ground" ?
All applicances seem to work fine. Do I have a problem ? What does "open ground" mean ?


rrray is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-10-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
Senior Member
shortlance's Avatar
Nor'easters Club
Mid Atlantic Campers
KZ RV Club
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Southeast Pa.
Posts: 277
Just a guess but I have a box wired for a generator in my house. It is a seperate box with it's own outlets just so we have some power if electric go's out and I had to put in a ground steak and ground the generator to it when in use. Maybe the generator needs to be grounded. Ours works without the generator grounded but you need that ground if you get a short. I'm not an electrican but just going by what I was told. I hope this helps but you really need an answer from a real electrican.

Thane & Sharon
shortlance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2012, 09:11 AM   #3
Senior Member
Steve N Sal's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,590
An open ground could be caused by the grounding conductor being loose at the receptacle but in the case you describe the generator is not hooked to any earth ground thus giving you the reading that you're getting.
Steve & Sally / HiTee & Hudson Our Little Poms / Heidi & Houston Forever in our Hearts
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22 / 05 PT Vert
Michigan (Summer) Florida (Winter)
Steve N Sal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2012, 09:30 AM   #4
Senior Member
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 21,178
Open ground on generator is 100% normal and not a problem. Epically if the generator is a portable. I have, from time to time, explained why, but code does not reqire bonding on generators up to a specific size, that size is larger than a portable or most installed Onan or equivalent Motor home generators.

Now if you have a 50,000 watt home power plant... I think those need bonding. (But frankly I'm not sure since the only time I have ever dealt with something that big.. I was a user, not a service technician/installer, someone else took care of that).
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2012, 09:51 AM   #5
Senior Member
wb7auk's Avatar

National RV Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Spokane Valley, Wa
Posts: 1,945
Let me see if I can sort this out for you. You did not say which type of hook-up you have will start with the 30 amp service. This service has two grounds on the outlet
one for the ground spade(you know the one people break off so they can use an older
outlet) and a ground to the normal spade. Both are the same ground just hooked to different places.On the 50 amp service you have the same two grounds but the wire
size is larger to handle the increased current. Now when you use a adapter to go from 50 to 30 amp service a lot of the testers will show open ground meaning what we call case ground is missing.( every touch one item and then touch another at the
same time and get a tingle that is caused by a open case ground) and the reason for
safety and is required now days. Some more expensive line testers will not allow power to go the the MH if all grounds are not present. Now comes a generator some
do not switch all grounds or one of them is loose ect ect, bingo open ground.
The items still works but you have lost one of your safety grounds. A lot of the things we use in life have plugs with the old way of doing things and they do not have this
added ground. The bottom line is some thing is not up to code but not a major major
wb7auk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
Senior Member
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 21,178
He specifically said WHEN ON GEN (Generator) It shows open ground.

You hit it on the head when you said SAFETY ground. I have a bit more time now. At one time.. .To save on wire... They only ran one wire from the pole to the house. GROUND was the "Neutral" (Houses were usually 120 or rather 110 volt back then)

Today they run 3, 120-0-120 L1-N-L2 take your pick.

But the neutral is still grounded, SOMEWHERE in the system (often at the pole)

Now,, imagine there is a hot to case short as you are standing there in your tennis shoes in water ankle deep drilling a hole (Perhaps routing out the drain)

Been nice knowing you.

HENCE the invention of the safety ground.

With the safety ground that same short trips the breaker, instead of breaking YOU.

Why is it not needed on a generator?

Because the generator IS NOT GROUNDED, hence if you are drilling away in that same puddle of water and the hot to case short happens.. You won't know it, You will camly finish the job, drain the water, and walk away, uninjured.

That is why safety ground may be left open on a portable generator. It is not needed.
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 119
Thanks all for info.
Will go with WA8YXM's assurances and quit worring about it. Was good to learn terms and importance of bonding in home applications.
rrray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2012, 11:15 AM   #8
Senior Member
RJay's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,589
check you automatic transfer switch to be sure it is working properly and there are no signs of anything burnt.

2007 Newmar DSDP 4023
Discovery is seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.
If you want to see what man made go East; if you want to see what God made go West.
RJay is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Open range Cartist 5th Wheel Discussion 3 03-09-2012 01:43 PM
American Eagle - door "hold-open" mechanism H.Huester Fleetwood Products Owner's Forum 8 03-09-2012 09:53 AM
Gen need ground 1stCougar iRV2.com General Discussion 1 03-04-2012 09:48 AM
camp ground & storage for rv new rver Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 0 03-04-2012 05:33 AM
Camp ground on the Gulf side in Flordia Beacher Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 16 03-03-2012 09:07 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.