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Old 01-24-2018, 11:23 AM   #1
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New Aire Specific Transfer Box Precautions & Recall

New Aire Specific Transfer Box Precautions & Recall

Hello Forum Members - As many of you might already have heard, Newmar has issued an official recall on the AC power transfer box on certain RV models. Basically, the transfer box monitors the power AC levels of line voltage, inverter and generator power where it has the ability to switch power from different sources automatically or even disconnect line voltage entirely should the levels fall less that 102 volts or more than 132 volts, or have ground or polarity issues.

While the transfer box and procedures are somewhat common between models, this article outlines primarily the “New Aire” model.

The recall on some models, is because the factory neglected to properly tighten "some" lugs on the transfer switch, which may allow the power leads to arc under load with the possibility of even a fire, since the housing is manufactured of plastic rather than metal where an internal fire could penetrate the plastic housing.

On my New Aire, it is my findings that most the internal wiring of the box is fine and properly tightened. Since this device is “Internally” pre-wired at an earlier time, most of the current problems are confined to the field wiring when the box was installed on the coach in assembly. On my transfer box, where the lines come in the box to the main block, I found only one black lead loose which was merely pushed into the block and not tightened, as an error by the installer.

Precautionary Note - Here’s a few items I came up with which might assist those concerned with their transfer box.

If you must use your coach before a repair, I suggest you refrain from using AC power or leaving the coach plugged in. If you must use AC power or living in the coach, until such time you can seek help - I suggest you pick up a few 110 volt standard incandescent element light fixtures, such as a drop light or small lamp and plug them in different 110v sockets locations and pay close attention to their operation. If the lamp flickers or dims at any time, this may indicate an intermittent arcing connection! Immediately turn off and disconnect all the AC power and only use 12v lighting until you visit a dealer. I would also refrain from using the Inverter / charger since it can draw considerable current. Keep in mind - interior 12 volt lighting will not provide this same results since they are powered from the battery. If you need heat, purchase a few space heaters (metal housing) and run an extension cord from the outside service in the coach to power them temporarily.


If you do not have any electrical wiring knowledge, I strongly recommend a qualified Newmar dealer (or same) to perform the work. Since my dealer is 500 miles from my location and I have a background in electrical, I performed the recall work myself. Again, the scope of the article is not to instruct anyone to perform this work themselves, but to only help owners understand the problem at hand and take precautions.




The transfer switch is near hidden behind the cord reel.

Regretfully, on the New Aire, the transfer box is located behind the 50 amp electric cord reel, so it is difficult at best to reach. For this reason the transfer cover has been factory modified. Four of the screws have been removed and outfitted with clips, so there is only 2 screws retaining the cover. The screws are on the upper right and lower left.



Before removing the transfer cover, its important the coaches power cord is “Visually Unplugged”. Using Silverleaf - the Inverter is disabled and the generator is off.



With a bit of difficulty, the cover slips to the left side of the reel.

After the cover is off, I used a thick tipped “Plain” screwdriver and starting at the top, on the block connection, I “Firmly” tightened the six screws on this main terminal. To the right of these connections, is another smaller block with two lugs for the earth ground connections.

While there is 35/45 Inch lb torque suggestions made, it would be difficult to obtain without removing the cord reel. Torque settings are not necessary, just use a screwdriver that fills the slot and fully tighten the connections until they bottom out. This problem is nothing to do with the cable loosening themselves, the problem is; they were never tightened to begin with.



As shown in this image above, the lower connections were pre-wired and confirmed with paint markings. The black lead shown on the upper right on my coach was not tightened.

Below the main block there is two sets of relays with cables on both ends (upper & lower) as shown below, these must be checked and tightened if needed.





As shown, above the pre-wired portion of the transfer box (marked) is neat and orderly. Note the two Ferrite choke beads for RF mitigation.



Finally, to the far right of the box is a grounding bar with a number of connections, make certain all these wire are located in the block sufficiently and tighten as needed.



Again this ground terminal shows the pre-wired marked connections. The field installed two heavier gauge wires were hurriedly installed. I removed them an re-twisted the pair.



Above is the schematic of the wiring of the box. After the screw/lugs were checked or tightened, I used rubber handle of a small hammer to push and locate the wires well within the box to prevent the wires touching the cover or holding the cover from seating properly.

Regards - Mike Mas


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Old 01-24-2018, 11:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idleup View Post
On my transfer box, where the lines come in the box to the main block, I found only one black lead loose which was merely pushed into the block and not tightened, as an error by the installer.
Good write up. Very interesting. On my NA exactly the same black lead (which I believe is Leg 2) was loose. There were 3 threads showing on the screw. The good news is I saw no sign of overheating around that wire.

Also I fully subscribe to the precaution that owners should unplug all shore connections, don't run the generator and turn off your inverter until the transfer box connections are checked. I was amazed that this caution was not included in the Newmar letter that was posted yesterday on this forum.
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:33 PM   #3
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Just for your general information: I did couple of recall items myself, but the dealer told me that if they not do it themselves, it will not be marked as completed on their service network. When one day you try to sell your coach, and they check on it, it will show as recall items outstanding.
Last month they reworked my stuff that was done right by me, and did it again, without even using torque wrenches as per instructions? I just watched and bit my tongue
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:48 PM   #4
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I’ve about had it with newmar‘s wiring. While mine weren’t loose (1/8 turn max), two things: 1) one of the two screws holding the panel in has a stripped head and was lying around - clearly tried to install, failed, and moved on, leaving the screw there. 2) one of the mounting blocks for one of the hot line was broken and just dangling there; the screw that goes into the block was no longer held in and thus could have worked its way loose and short something.



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Old 01-24-2018, 01:24 PM   #5
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The top red and black wires in the 4th photo look like dikes vs wire strippers for 6 ga wire were used to cut the insulation. Alle 3 wires also look like they were cut too long. This is "quick and careless" work that happens when production deadlines rule vs quality. I wonder if Newmar requires the employees to supply their own tools? If so than dikes would be used vs the employee buying the appropriate sized wire strippers.

I would check to see how many wires were cut off the cable, which would make a 6 gage cable connect as an 8 or 10 gage.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:45 PM   #6
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Cinergi

Looks like you had a real butcher working on yours. Do you think it was your dealer? Not really sure how they could strip those little screws they are only in a little bronze insert in the plastic housing and there is only two of them. Lol stripping those screws took more effort than wiring it right.

Anyhow Thanks for the reply,s. Let’s all hope no one loses their coach for this senseless problem.

Mike
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:01 PM   #7
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guys....they are amish....they ride to work in horse drawn carriages and bikes....what do they know about electricity ?



and relax, fanboys....i'm kidding.....
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:04 PM   #8
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guys....they are amish....they ride to work in horse drawn carriages and bikes....what do they know about electricity ?



and relax, fanboys....i'm kidding.....


I made a similar statement on another list. That’s why the cabinet work is so nice, but electrical, is way off.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:24 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reply's guys! LOL
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:43 AM   #10
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Regretfully, on the New Aire, the transfer box is located behind the 50 amp electric cord reel, so it is difficult at best to reach. For this reason the transfer cover has been factory modified. Four of the screws have been removed and outfitted with clips, so there is only 2 screws retaining the cover. The screws are on the upper right and lower left.




Just a quick note, as coincidently, I just happened to have my Surge Guard transfer switch replaced on Monday in my Tifffin gasser....... I don't think the cover (2 screws and 4 clips) was modified by Newmar as noted above in the OP; it's made that way by Surge Guard. While not the same model as shown in the OP, the 3 year old one that came out of my coach and the new one that went in, straight out of the box, both look exactly the same as the one shown, with 2 screws and 4 clips.

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Old 01-25-2018, 10:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Betr2Trvl View Post
Regretfully, on the New Aire, the transfer box is located behind the 50 amp electric cord reel, so it is difficult at best to reach. For this reason the transfer cover has been factory modified. Four of the screws have been removed and outfitted with clips, so there is only 2 screws retaining the cover. The screws are on the upper right and lower left.




Just a quick note, as coincidently, I just happened to have my Surge Guard transfer switch replaced on Monday in my Tifffin gasser....... I don't think the cover (2 screws and 4 clips) was modified by Newmar as noted above in the OP; it's made that way by Surge Guard. While not the same model as shown in the OP, the 3 year old one that came out of my coach and the new one that went in, straight out of the box, both look exactly the same as the one shown, with 2 screws and 4 clips.

Regards
Thanks for the reply, I sort of feel this cover was modified for Newmar or same since there is a place on my box for the permanuts to fit. If it were designed for clips the four clips should be on the sides and the screws centered on the top and bottom.

I’m not really sold on the design either, as the conduit entries and exits are assuming it’s going to be mounted on a wall rather than a small compartment. Also manufacturing the housing and cover of plastic rather than metal is another cost saving method which can be dangerous considering the main panel in the coach is metal.

Regards Mike
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:28 AM   #12
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Thanks for the reply, I sort of feel this cover was modified for Newmar or same since there is a place on my box for the permanuts to fit. If it were designed for clips the four clips should be on the sides and the screws centered on the top and bottom.

I’m not really sold on the design either, as the conduit entries and exits are assuming it’s going to be mounted on a wall rather than a small compartment. Also manufacturing the housing and cover of plastic rather than metal is another cost saving method which can be dangerous considering the main panel in the coach is metal.

Regards Mike
The screws and clips on my old and new one, are in exactly the same positions as you have shown.

As for the question of plastic, not sure about "why", but my guess is that it is for the insulation properties of the plastic as it could be an electrocution hazard if metal and a hot wire was touching the box; as everything is grounded via the ground bar as you have shown; just speciation on my part . In any case, mine is / was plastic as well.....

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Old 01-25-2018, 04:34 PM   #13
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The screws and clips on my old and new one, are in exactly the same positions as you have shown.

As for the question of plastic, not sure about "why", but my guess is that it is for the insulation properties of the plastic as it could be an electrocution hazard if metal and a hot wire was touching the box; as everything is grounded via the ground bar as you have shown; just speciation on my part . In any case, mine is / was plastic as well.....

Regards
Thanks for the reply - yeah the clip spacing is really puzzling LOL. The two screws were the only ones half accessible on my box.

Regarding the plastic, the AC box in the coach has a metal case - I'm sure cost has to do with everything I seen these are very reasonable in price.

Regards - Mike
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:50 PM   #14
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Thanks for alerting everyone to this issue. We pick up our 3343 on Monday.

On Friday I spoke to Newmar customer service. Based on our unit number, we are not included in the recall, although units with numbers both a few below and a few above ours were. Folks picking up about now will want to check with Newmar customer service before accepting delivery.

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