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Old 04-14-2012, 04:52 AM   #1
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Could have caught fire?

About a week ago I was over to the storage lot to check on the RV. It is plugged into 30 amp, and everything was fine at that time.

Thursday afternoon I go over to pick up the RV because I am taking into the Ford dealer for the PRNDL recall and it is over 100 degrees inside. The A/C was supposed to be on. I checked the pedestal and the breaker had tripped. Re-set the breaker and after the surge-guard kicked the elect. on to the RV the breaker immediately tripped again. I then uplugged and brought the MH over to the house and tried plugging
it in at the house. We have 50 amp v/s the 30 amp at the storage lot. Needless to say, when the elect. came on to the MH the breaker tripped. So I unplugged everything and tried the generator, it ran fine, but tripped its breakers. So after making sure I was disconnected from
elect. and no power was to the RV. Didn't want to get zapped! I took the cover off to the TRC transfer switch (Model 41260) and discoverd most of the wiring on the inside was burnt to a crisp.

So I called a local RV repair and they said bring it in, so after I get the PRNDL recall done, I will take it to the shop to get fixed. I do not mess with elect at all.

I have never ran the generator while plugged into shore power. I do run the generator once a month to excerise it though, but always with the coach unplugged. And I have always used a TRC surge guard (Model 34750)
We have approx. 10K on the MH and this is the first problem we have really had with it. I all ready called TRC and they said it only has a 1 year warranty and pretty much said its my problem now. They said it is just something that can happen and said to also look at a Model 40250 transfer switch as a replacement.

Now the question is; could this have caused the MH to catch fire? And why would it do this?

Somewhat of an update:
Took the MH in to the garage. They called TRC (on a speaker phone so I could hear) ref. if the unit could be repaired or would they have to order a new one. They are not repairable any more. Apparently at one time they could be sent in and repaired.
So a new one will be forth coming.
Anyway, while they had them on the phone the service rep. at where I was ask what would cause this to occur. The TRC rep said the most common problem is a loose connection. He added that to the best of his knowledge a fire has never been the
result of this happening. Not that it couldn't, just that he had never heard of it happening.
The TRC rep. also said that all the connections should be checked on an annual basis, as the vibration from driving down the road can cause the wires to come loose.

Just something else to check now. (With electric off!)

R & E
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:38 AM   #2
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Transfer Switch

The only problem we've had with the transfer switch as it sticks and won't turn on the converter so no electric. Forget Newmar. Googled the problem and think I found on this forum that that happens when they sit for awhile. Was told to just hit it on the front cover with my hand. Did it, heard it switch and all was well. Had to have our generator bearings replaced. Mechanic called after completion and said the power wouldn't come on in the coach. Told him to smack the transfer switch box with his hand and he said, "Doggone that worked." I used to restore old jukeboxes and I call that repair the "Fonzie trick"! No problems since.
Sorry about your transfer switch wiring problem. Sounds like an overheating problem somewhere in the wiring.

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Old 04-15-2012, 06:49 AM   #3
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Are you saying the burned up transfer switch was a TRC?
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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Any time that wires burn, a fire is a possibility. If there had been something combustible close by, e.g. a wood panel or upholstery, it might have happened. Transfer switches are generally metal and plastic and enclosed, so the chance of a fire there is slim.

Yes, a loose connection will very likely cause overheating at that point. And a motorhome bouncing and rattling down the road can loosen up most anything.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:12 AM   #5
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When I bought my Allegro Bay in '08, I discovered all of the wires connected in the transfer switch for loose. The cord grips on the outside were loose, which led me to investigate further inside the unit. The wires already showed signs of arcing.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Yes, it COULD have started a fire, but didn't. The next time you take the RV out on the road, you COULD get into a terrible accident, but probably won't.

The next time you are walking along, minding your own business, you COULD be mugged, or worse, but chances are slim.

In other words, IMHO, cudda/shoulda/woulda, can negatively affect a person if dwelled upon. Take care of it and move on is my motto.

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:15 AM   #7
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Electricity can start fires!
Now what are tour chances....
I work facilities for a company and am aware of 2 instances where space heaters have melted extension cords, my wife melted a toaster oven plug that only pulled into a outlet.
Lesson, check your cords, plugs and outlet before you plug them in and check your electrical system in the RV at least once a year, for loose connections (or have someone do it).
In case of the surge protector it could have taken a hitting that was that powerful. I have seen 480 volt lines in companies with 560 volts after a power outage.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by AFChap View Post
Are you saying the burned up transfer switch was a TRC?
Yes it was a TRC transfer switch.

Lesson learned here was to make sure all connections are tight and re-check them at least once a year. And that will not be just at the transfer switch but at other connections throughout the M/H as well.
It is one of those things that happen and I hope that if it saves someone else from having to go through a repair then my mission was accomplished.
R & E
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:51 AM   #9
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A common problem with RV's is that we RVers often have a few screws loose.. If you are agreeing with me you are quite likely wrong cause it's not that kind of screw.. When my rig was new I had all sorts of issues with the air conditioner.. Step one for me was checking the breakers and the connections to them.. One connecting screw took over 2 FULL TURNS before it even started to snug down.. (That was one loose screw)

Another RVer plugged his brand new never been camped in 5er into the 50 amp outlet on the site in front of me.. NO POWER.. We started the diagnosis and when we unplugged the Marinco outlet (cord end) from the Inlet on the trailer... the cord end came off in my hand. ALL the screws were loose, they never tightened a one of 'em.

There are screws in the ATS as well, they hold the heavy duty wires after all.. IF they failed to properly tighten they will arc and .... Well you already know what happens next. You've seen it. (That is one cause of a fire in the box, there are other possible causes as well) .
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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It is interesting to me that Jayco had a recall out on 2011 Greyhawks built from May 2009 through September 2010 due to "improper electrical connection at the buss bar on the affected transfer switches". Goes on to say "This could lead to overheating and melting of the transfer switch, increasing the risk of fire, injury or death". i'm curious as to why Allergro doesn't have the same view?

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