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Old 01-18-2021, 11:44 AM   #1
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Electrical problem

We have a 2011 Winnebago Tour 42qd. When we plugged into the shore power at a new park, only half of the electrical components in the coach work. No fridge, no microwave and the batteries aren’t charging. I get a ‘wiring status error’ on the power control monitor. I did a restart on the inverter...no change. I checked all the breakers and they’re all good. When I power up the generator everything works fine. Monitor panel shows wiring status ok. The park maintenance guy checked the pedestal and he says it’s putting out 50 amps. Any ideas?
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Old 01-18-2021, 12:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearyB View Post
We have a 2011 Winnebago Tour 42qd. When we plugged into the shore power at a new park, only half of the electrical components in the coach work. No fridge, no microwave and the batteries aren’t charging. I get a ‘wiring status error’ on the power control monitor. I did a restart on the inverter...no change. I checked all the breakers and they’re all good. When I power up the generator everything works fine. Monitor panel shows wiring status ok. The park maintenance guy checked the pedestal and he says it’s putting out 50 amps. Any ideas?
If everything, including the battery charging, is good when using the generator, then the problem is likely at the transfer switch as that is the only common point for shore power and generator power. Open the switch, power off of course, and look for evidence of overheating. Then, check all terminal connections for tightness. If everything checks out, test the input from the power cord to see if you have proper voltage on each line. Could have a bad cord, cord end or reel connection, if you have one.
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Old 01-18-2021, 01:50 PM   #3
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Sounds like one leg of the 2 leg 50 amp power is not making it all the way to the breaker box when in shore power mode. Everything is in common starting at the transfer switch, and you said everything is ok when you use the generator. Things it could be:

Shore power contact on transfer switch contactor failed

Shore power hot wire connection in transfer switch box failed

One of the hot wires in the shore cable has failed.

One of the hot wire connections in your 50 amp plug has failed

One of the hot connections in the pedestal has failed - but if the park maintenance guy did a proper test this is not it.

Good luck.
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Old 01-18-2021, 01:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GearyB View Post
We have a 2011 Winnebago Tour 42qd. When we plugged into the shore power at a new park, only half of the electrical components in the coach work. No fridge, no microwave and the batteries aren’t charging. I get a ‘wiring status error’ on the power control monitor. I did a restart on the inverter...no change. I checked all the breakers and they’re all good. When I power up the generator everything works fine. Monitor panel shows wiring status ok. The park maintenance guy checked the pedestal and he says it’s putting out 50 amps. Any ideas?
ask him if it is putting out 240 volts. It does not put out 50 amps. The RV draws up to 50 amps determined by what is being used. The maintenance guy is an idiot. show him this post! Tell him to note my signature marked in red.
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:31 PM   #5
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Step one, try another power outlet. Borrow a neighbors if close enough.
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Old 01-18-2021, 04:54 PM   #6
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Step two. Disconnect power and open up your transfer switch. Probably a Surge Guard 41260. Should look like attached pic. Bottom left is shore power input. If you haven't been doing an annual torque of connections as part of your pm, probably loose or burnt. If connections are all good, check voltage of red and black wires coming in. Those are your two lines, should each be 120v.Click image for larger version

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Old 01-20-2021, 10:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the input. Turns out I lost one of the contacts in the power cord reel causing one leg to be 120, the other to be 70. Installed a new Glendinning power cord reel ($599.00.....whew!) Now everything is wonderful. At least now I have an extension 50 Amp cord. Put a female connector on the end that was attached to the reel. Small consolation.
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Old 01-20-2021, 11:08 PM   #8
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Just stumbled across this comment thread....

I found this somewhere else on the internet a long time ago and saved it in my RV folder on my hard drive.
= = = = = = = = = =
Here's a heads up for anyone who hasn't had the problem yet. If you have a Southwire or Glendining electric cord reel be careful with it. DO NOT repeat DO NOT run the reel in our out with current flowing. Always unplug the cord from the pedestal before you run the reel. The motion of the reel will burn up the brushes and contacts inside the reel.

Per the Southwire tech support "yep that happens. It gets a little debris on the cord, the cord gets pulled when the AC current is flowing, and the debris gets to the brushes, it arcs at the brushes. Then when the reel stops in that exact place again, it arcs some more. Eventually it burns up."

I heard a story about a gentleman with 50 amp coach... The neutral brush in his reel opened up and the result was a toasted residential fridge. The only reason that nothing else was lost was that nothing else was connected / powered on at the time...

In a best case scenario it's one of the hot leads (red or black) that opens up and leaves you with no power to half the coach's loads. If it's the neutral that opens up then bad things can happen... seriously fried electronics all throughout the RV. And how the reel was assembled sucks. You can't take the brushes out to look at them without drilling 4 rivets. You cannot look at the slip rings. You cannot rebuild the $575 cord reel with factory pieces. Southwire will not sell ANY parts. You cannot buy the cord reel without buying the 37' 50 amp cord with it. It's an all or nothing choice.

A creative minded person can fashion a new temporary brush from copper wire and make it work for a while, however, I opted to buy a new reel myself, twice now. On a previous reel the hot, black wire brush burned up and last week the neutral brush on reel #3 burned up. So now I have expensive spare parts and and two extension cords. Actually just one, I gave the other to a gentleman that needed one.

The best way to prevent this is to clean your cord with a soapy-water-dampened rag as it goes into the reel and NEVER run the reel in or out with current flowing. When you arrive at the campsite run the cord out, then plug it in. When leaving, unplug the cord from the pedestal, THEN run the cord reel to wind up the cord and clean it as it goes in.

So, how does that relate to a Smithwire Corp. SurgeGuard or Progressive Industries EMS?

Either one will protect against open neutral.

I've installed mine after the cord reel to protect the coach from an open neutral. I am going to move it to between the transfer switch and the coach electrical panel to add protection (for free) from an open neutral in the transfer switch (that happened to a friend), the reel or the generator.

So I repeat - DO NOT run the power cord reel in or out with current flowing.
= = = = = = = = = =
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherMike View Post
Just stumbled across this comment thread....

I found this somewhere else on the internet a long time ago and saved it in my RV folder on my hard drive.
= = = = = = = = = =
Here's a heads up for anyone who hasn't had the problem yet. If you have a Southwire or Glendining electric cord reel be careful with it. DO NOT repeat DO NOT run the reel in our out with current flowing. Always unplug the cord from the pedestal before you run the reel. The motion of the reel will burn up the brushes and contacts inside the reel.

Per the Southwire tech support "yep that happens. It gets a little debris on the cord, the cord gets pulled when the AC current is flowing, and the debris gets to the brushes, it arcs at the brushes. Then when the reel stops in that exact place again, it arcs some more. Eventually it burns up."

I heard a story about a gentleman with 50 amp coach... The neutral brush in his reel opened up and the result was a toasted residential fridge. The only reason that nothing else was lost was that nothing else was connected / powered on at the time...

In a best case scenario it's one of the hot leads (red or black) that opens up and leaves you with no power to half the coach's loads. If it's the neutral that opens up then bad things can happen... seriously fried electronics all throughout the RV. And how the reel was assembled sucks. You can't take the brushes out to look at them without drilling 4 rivets. You cannot look at the slip rings. You cannot rebuild the $575 cord reel with factory pieces. Southwire will not sell ANY parts. You cannot buy the cord reel without buying the 37' 50 amp cord with it. It's an all or nothing choice.

A creative minded person can fashion a new temporary brush from copper wire and make it work for a while, however, I opted to buy a new reel myself, twice now. On a previous reel the hot, black wire brush burned up and last week the neutral brush on reel #3 burned up. So now I have expensive spare parts and and two extension cords. Actually just one, I gave the other to a gentleman that needed one.

The best way to prevent this is to clean your cord with a soapy-water-dampened rag as it goes into the reel and NEVER run the reel in or out with current flowing. When you arrive at the campsite run the cord out, then plug it in. When leaving, unplug the cord from the pedestal, THEN run the cord reel to wind up the cord and clean it as it goes in.

So, how does that relate to a Smithwire Corp. SurgeGuard or Progressive Industries EMS?

Either one will protect against open neutral.

I've installed mine after the cord reel to protect the coach from an open neutral. I am going to move it to between the transfer switch and the coach electrical panel to add protection (for free) from an open neutral in the transfer switch (that happened to a friend), the reel or the generator.

So I repeat - DO NOT run the power cord reel in or out with current flowing.
= = = = = = = = = =
How would one run a power reel in or out with it plugged into short power??Equiring minds want to know. Why would one replace a cord reel TWICE? Mommy didn't teach you about hot stoves??? Cord reels are an expensive toy.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:54 PM   #10
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Running it in or out with it plugged could happen if a person decided to either lengthen or shorten it. Most probably wouldn't do it but it could happen.
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:56 PM   #11
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When the park guy said 'it's putting out 50 amps', is that 50amps/leg or 50amps period??? Does the pedestal have a double 50 breaker or a single breaker. If it's a single, then it's a 'phony' 50, and your EMS should identify it as a 30A service. Since your coach works OK on the genset, I'd assume there's a problem with the park service.
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Old 01-27-2021, 02:01 PM   #12
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When the park guy said 'it's putting out 50 amps', is that 50amps/leg or 50amps period??? Does the pedestal have a double 50 breaker or a single breaker. If it's a single, then it's a 'phony' 50, and your EMS should identify it as a 30A service. Since your coach works OK on the genset, I'd assume there's a problem with the park service.
The problem was with his cord reel, last week.
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:23 AM   #13
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I know the OP has discovered his problem but I thought I would add some info to the post. Not sure why or what happened to the OP’s cord reel. In my case I purchased my 2015 Newmar used and the second night in the coach mine started acting up. I bumped the cord and it worked fine. Two days later it quit all together. After an hour or so of diagnostics I determined it was the cord reel and removed it from the system, hard wired the cord and all is fine. This did cause a number of issues when it surged and kicked out. One being it kicked my inverter and it had to be reset. After returning home I disassembled the cord reel and discovered they are a piece of junk and wouldn’t waist my money on a replacement with contact brushes and a commutator ring setup. After looking at the design I can see why you would not want to retract or extend the cord while it is plugged into shore power. All they have for contacts are thin copper strips and are made to be under power when extending or retracting. If they had real brushes and commutator rings this would not be an issue.

Glending distributes two types of reels the type in this post and the type that is in my Country Coach. The one in my CC does not have contacts/brushes, it pulls the cord in and pushes it out with compression drive wheels. When the cord is retracted it self coils in a drum. The cord is in one piece with no breaks and hard wired to the coaches electrical system. Unless you cut the cord it is pretty much fail safe. It is a little more costly than the type in question and a few feet shorter but as long as you don’t try to pull it out or manually push it in they are pretty much trouble free. The one in my CC is 15 plus years old and still operating fine. These newer coaches could sure learn a few things from what I have seen when comparing various coaches.
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