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Old 07-27-2021, 03:55 PM   #1
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Newmar Owners Club
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Location: Irwin, PA
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BSS 2813 Potential fire hazard

I have a BSS 2813 2019 model. On my last trip had a power outage to the coach and traced it to the genny transfer relay panel. Anyone who has this coach (or similar) may want to pop the cover and take a look. A bad connection on the neutral line caused the meltdown of the feedthrough connector. Fell apart in my hands when I found it. Smoke coming out of the compartment when it happened.

Luckily I had a large wire nut and was able to splice the wires together. Seems when it was manufactured there is a stranded wire and solid wire just connected together in the feedthrough. This is the main neutral line for the coach. Probably on the stranded wire only half of the strands were in the feedthrough.

I am out of warranty and out of luck but the wire nut is probably a better connection anyways. Other wires seem to be intact and have a solid connection.

I am posting this so others are aware and may want to inspect their transfer relay panel. Just pop the cover off and look inside to check the connections for any indication of overheating (discoloration).

Tom

https://www.dropbox.com/s/03xpjm86hu...84726.jpg?dl=0
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Old 07-27-2021, 04:35 PM   #2
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Recently discovered a burned neutral in Romex white wire going to the neutral bar in the breaker panel of our ‘02 coach (we bought in January).

A lot of people will tell you, check all wiring connections at least yearly, particularly breakers, buss bars, etc.. I didn’t do it on our last coach (a ‘91 that we acquired in ‘18) and didn’t experience any issues up until we sold it in January, but with what I saw on our current coach, it will become a part of my yearly routine.

Don’t understand why it happens - coach breaker panels do some some greater thermal extremes than home breaker panels, but even then I would expect the incidence of loose house wiring would be more prominent.
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Old 07-27-2021, 06:32 PM   #3
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We had an incident with our 2018 Thor Chateau on our last camping trip. I say last because it's been at the repair facility over a month so far with no repair technician to look it over, but that's another story.

Basically - CHECK that you DO NOT have wire nut on the hot neutral.!!

It must be clamped, or you will have thermic migration of the wire nut until failure.

Our wire nut blew off into the transfer switch door and almost punched through. A real mess.

Even clamps can fail, so check those too.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:24 AM   #4
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Thanks, Lab00Rat

I have not heard of the problem with using a wire nut but understand how they may become loose with vibration. It seems that mechanical clamping can also fail as I have witnessed. This was how it was assembled in the first place. The coach is not very old and only has 8000 miles of travel. I believe the connection was defective from the beginning.

After I wire-nutted and taped the connection I ran the coach at near full power for some time (AC & HW heater on). I have an amp meter on the input to the coach and it was reading 27 amps. The wire nut barely got lukewarm.

I will take a look to see if I can find another feedthrough connector and maybe replace the wire nut or solder the connection and use a wire nut.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tksly92 View Post
I have a BSS 2813 2019 model. On my last trip had a power outage to the coach and traced it to the genny transfer relay panel. Anyone who has this coach (or similar) may want to pop the cover and take a look. A bad connection on the neutral line caused the meltdown of the feedthrough connector. Fell apart in my hands when I found it. Smoke coming out of the compartment when it happened.

Luckily I had a large wire nut and was able to splice the wires together. Seems when it was manufactured there is a stranded wire and solid wire just connected together in the feedthrough. This is the main neutral line for the coach. Probably on the stranded wire only half of the strands were in the feedthrough.

I am out of warranty and out of luck but the wire nut is probably a better connection anyways. Other wires seem to be intact and have a solid connection.

I am posting this so others are aware and may want to inspect their transfer relay panel. Just pop the cover off and look inside to check the connections for any indication of overheating (discoloration).

Tom

https://www.dropbox.com/s/03xpjm86hu...84726.jpg?dl=0
That ATS is one of the worst you can have or use. It's under wired in the first place and not a typical type unit, 10 awg in lots of spots. I'd swap it out for a Progressive Dynamics PD52V 5200 Series Automatic Transfer Switch - 240 VAC, 50 Amp.

The guts will look similar to the picture, but without the built in surge protector.

Look at the difference within each for the wiring as well as a POSITIVE lockout between the gen and shore power.
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:44 PM   #6
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It is a good idea to once check the connectors on your automatic transfer box. With all the movement in the AT box the connectors can come lose which then can lead to a electrical fire. Had this happen in our Essex in 2010.
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