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Old 10-23-2012, 09:17 PM   #1
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Everything Electrical Fried

I'm asking this for my son who has a 2010 travel trailer.I'm not sure what brand.. As I understand it: He plugged the camper into the electrical hookup at a camp site, but nothing would work. This includes the AC, Fridge, TV etc. After much investigating the main breaker in the camper was tripped. After resetting the breaker he had power but TV, microwave etc wouldn't work. He then pulled the camper home and got a fan from his house and discovered the outlets now work but everything in the camper that was plugged in is fried.It seems to me the breaker should have protected the appliances.He experimented by plugging the microwave into an extension chord from his house and the microwave wont work now. He thinks everything is ruined. Could that be?? He thinks the inverter is probably ruined also. Any ideas?
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:20 PM   #2
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First guess, someone mis-wired the outlet and he got zapped with 220VAC blowing everything out. Second guess, he has a problem that shorted everything out. Last guess? Without more information it is a C-shoot.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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Its rare but yes everything in an RV can be fried. If he has tested everything and it doesn't work it's fried. If the outlets are working it is possible he got a surge into the trailer. Circuit breakers protect against over amperage, not surges. Surges are fast on the order of milliseconds. A spike in the supply line can exceed anything your appliances can handle and burn them out instantly. Surge protectors are available from a variety of sources. Even an ordinary one from Home Depot will work although whole camper protectors are available as well.

If you do not have a surge protector turn off the breaker in the pedestal and the main system breaker in the trailer before you connect or disconnect your shore power. Most surges happen when you make the physical connection by plugging in.


BTW Replace that 30a breaker too, if possible replace any other circuit breakers with ground fault type, the GFCI.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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I never worried about power surges on my previous RV's, but after reading many, many horror stories online, when we bought our present
TT I spent the $75 and bought a Surge Protector that plugs inbetween
the post and the TT's power plug.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:44 PM   #5
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We always use a surge protector plugged in between post and trailer. A lot cheaper than the repairs and appliance replaced after a surge.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #6
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SO - any particular surge protector recommended for a simple older 30-amp 5er?
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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I'm sure there are whole RV surge protectors. The idea is a surge protector is rated at voltages, they are designed to burn out if the ever reach their maximums. Check the labels on the bottypo0m of the device. It has to have the max operating voltage and current ratings listed there. No recommendations on a particular brand. Althoiugh I am going to have to get one.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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Sounds like it was plugged into a 240VAC dryer or welder outlet.

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Old 10-27-2012, 10:09 AM   #9
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Buy him a early Christmas present.
RV 30 AMP surge protector
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:41 PM   #10
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I can not speak of the campground but for sure when you plugged in at home and burned out the fan that was very clearly a 240 volt outlet you plugged into.

I know folks who say "Can't happen" you know for a fact it can (So do I but the easy way).

At the park.. it is possible that no mistake was made.

The term I am about to use is from cooking class but it works very well here.

Normal service to a house, or 50 amp service to a RV, is 240 volt divided.

(IN cooking you will sometimes see something like 1 1/2 cups divided, this means it is split into two different measures and you must read on to find the split)

In this case it's split 50/50, 120-0-120 volts (240 end to end). The lead are called L-1, Neutral (0) and L-2 (The "L's are the 120 volts) 240 volts is L-1 to L-2

The electrical diagram is a center tapped coil (Transformer secondary) that supplies the power. I would wire like all the ODD sites to L-2 and all the Even to L-2 (or the other way around).

now, let's assume the neutral, somewhere near the distribution box, gets fried, or cut by some idiot pounding something into the ground or otherwise opens up on us.

We have several rigs on L-1 and you are the lucky guy who plugs into L-2.

Yup, you are now the "Return" path for several times the amount of power you can sink and .. ZAP goes your reverything.

Not a mistake (Perhaps) just a failure.

On the other hand, I have both read about many, and seen one very stupid electricians in my time. (The one I saw hooked the black wire to the green screw and could not figure out why the fuse blew Folks, that's a dead short).

Now.. If I was wiring a park for 30 amps,, I'd wire
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:16 PM   #11
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Just got back from a trip where I plugged in my progressive surge into the box and it said the neutral was open. Got the CG owner and he put us in another spot. That too had a neutral open. He then tried to tell me it was my SP. We went to another part of the park and plugged it in and it was fine. Found out that whole section had a neutral out in it. Anyone plugging in that section without a SP would be fried. A SP is cheap insurance and Progressive has a lifetime warranty.

Looks like your son will be buying a few appliances.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triker56 View Post
Buy him a early Christmas present.
RV 30 AMP surge protector
NICE - but a bit pricey...

Wonder whether or not the "you get what you pay for" principle applies here - here's another possible option - lots cheaper:

RV Portable Surge Guard Power Protector 120V 30Amp TRC | eBay
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #13
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Camping World sells a Surge Guard unit. I had the 30 amp hard wired unit for the last 8 years and I had 3 instances on vacation when the neighbors around me had their refrigerators and AC toasted from storms. When I purchased our new 5er, I immediately bought a 50 amp hard wired unit for it.. This unit uses a motorized breaker to connect the power like a 3 phase electric motor starter. If the power surges, it opens for a minimum of 90 seconds to protect the ac compressor and if the power is clear, it closes to restore power. I really like the operation of this design. Best part about the hard wired unit is that it cannot grow legs and walk away while you are away sightseeing, or asleep!
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:30 AM   #14
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There are only so many ways these things can be designed and built. A $70 surge protector will work as well as a $250 one. The main differences is the less expensive one is designed to burn out protecting your hardware while the more expensive one is designed to reset itself. On a surge protector when you pay a bit more you just get a more sophisticated gadget not necessarily a better one.
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