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Old 07-26-2020, 08:08 PM   #1
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Exclamation 2020 ORV wire nut issue (on our unit) - be aware!

We wanted to pass along a lesson learned about wiring that could have been a serious safety issue. We had two wire nut connections that were poorly done and could have resulted in an electrical fire if some things had gone differently. I had a good talk with ORV service, letting them know this needs to be more carefully checked.

Also, be sure to test your breakers and labeling for your trailer. Ours had an incorrect label for the fridge and hot water heater, which we figured out when I was checking for dead wires before repairing the hot water connection.


When we ran through the checkout on our new 2020 24RKS unit, I thought we had successfully checked both electric and gas hot water, but the electric heat wasn’t actually working. The dealer had warmed up the water on gas, then switched over to electric to keep it warm. I should have been more diligent, insistent we empty the tank and then wait to show heat for each method. That would have been the safer method instead of driving off the dealer lot with two loose connections for the hot water heater.

For our 3-day checkout after leaving the dealer, we went through all the systems, and I did check both gas (worked fine) and electric (did not work). As our dealer struggled to correctly connect our battery (glad I was watching) and couldn’t figure out a problem with the autolevel system, I did not feel great about taking it back to that dealer, and I figured we could fix this ourselves faster, so we didn’t take it back.

After some help from Good Sam care and the internet, we were able to determine the element was fine, and the neutral wire on the water heater was not connected properly. That wire is at behind the wall, and it looked like we were going to need to pull out the unit. So much for an easy repair. I wasn’t comfortable doing that myself. ORV said we could take it to another one of their dealers for repair as they all supported services all ORV units. The other dealer in the area we called, however, would not take it since we didn’t purchase the unit there. I let ORV know about that as well – hopefully, they’ve had a good chat with that dealer.

After taking a break, we figured out we could probably access the wiring from under the sink. See the picture. We were able to gently push the right attached panel off the glue and removed it intact except for a small part of the lower right. Now we have an additional access panel to get under the sink when necessary.

The connection was a wire nut connection that had some completely loose. It was a stranded wire connected to a solid wire, which are difficult to get correct. We connected them much better, and then tested the system. We were able to confirm good electricity to the element. Right then my son, sitting near the convertor panel, started smelling smoke. We saw white smoke coming out of the panel, and I immediately killed the power to the hot water heater. That stopped the smoke. After killing power to the camper completely, we opened the covers to the convertor, where we discovered the red wire nut that had been burned through (see picture). Luckily it was only a small burn through due to a loose connection, and it didn’t go any further.

This was also a wire nut with a stranded wire connected to a solid wire. This was the hot water heater connected to the same A/C circuit for the convertor itself. We were able to clean up that connection and after a clean wire nut, all is working now. But quite the experience.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:11 PM   #2
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Under sink electrical - 24RKS

We also learned that the slide controller is under the sink behind that right panel, which is good to know if we ever need to manually override it. Note that the control panel was installed with the control side facing away from you, so we might need to disconnect the panel to turn it around or use a mirror to see the status.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:24 AM   #3
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Wow!. That was a good catch. Wire nuts are not the best of connectors but what else can you use? I prefer the screw type used in Australia and NZ.
Anyway, glad you located and corrected the problem.
As has been said before, it is hard to get good workers. In this case to install correctly and to repair a fault.

Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:04 AM   #4
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Junction blocks are what should be used as is the common practice in the boat world where things are subject to similar vibration issues as in an RV. Wire nuts are a cheaper, faster way to do it. Just another example of poor craftsmanship and lack of quality control in the RV industry.
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:11 AM   #5
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Junction blocks are what should be used as is the common practice in the boat world where things are subject to similar vibration issues as in an RV. Wire nuts are a cheaper, faster way to do it. Just another example of poor craftsmanship and lack of quality control in the RV industry.
Do you mean a bus bar or similar?
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:42 PM   #6
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Wire nuts are fine in most circumstances.....however, one should always do a pull test on all the wires attached to it. If any of the wires comes out, FAIL... Start over. Finish with a tape wrap.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:21 PM   #7
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oh my god, hearing some bad problems with orv quality control. i am writing everything down that i am reading and making sure this list is going with us to check out our new orv before it leaves the dealers. my husband is a retired fireman and just hearing the new unit could of caught fire really makes me NERVOUS. so glad you are safe. this kind of workmanship should not be tolerated by any company.
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:49 PM   #8
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Informative post. Thank you.
We are trying to take delivery of a 2021 TR 260KVS. Unfortunately we are waiting for an electrical component to arrive so the stabilizers will work AND waiting for a thermal window to be replaced. Condensation in it. I’m sure there will be other items in the PPI but I have to question how a brand new unit makes it out of the factory onto the dealerships showroom floor with these issues.
I had to laugh when a dealership wants me to purchase regardless of the current mechanical discrepancies only to “schedule a time to bring the trailer back” for the warranty work.
Umm. No. Fix it first then you get paid.
Thanks to your post I will move forward with even greater caution.
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:54 PM   #9
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RVs and wire nuts have been used for decades and they are only as good as the floor jocket that installed the wire connections

2020 or 1970....
Owners NEED to go thru all electrical connections, wire nuts (wrap them with tape), terminal/spade connection, main panel Load, Neutral bus, ground buss screws

And while you are at it....check the plumbing fittings


Sad thing...1970 rigs were probably put together better because the work force was 'more inclined' to doing a good job
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:02 AM   #10
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A crimp is nearly as fast as a wire nut and for connecting a stranded to a solid far more reliable. But a crimp might cost 3 cents more.

Our brand new 21RWS lost its awning and slideout after our first trip due to a bad ground. THIS ISN'T ROCKET SCIENCE, PEOPLE! It just takes a little care.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gammel View Post
A crimp is nearly as fast as a wire nut and for connecting a stranded to a solid far more reliable. But a crimp might cost 3 cents more.

Our brand new 21RWS lost its awning and slideout after our first trip due to a bad ground. THIS ISN'T ROCKET SCIENCE, PEOPLE! It just takes a little care.


Another perfect example of why quality control inspectors should be required at all factories!!!

Cheers
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:53 AM   #12
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Same ol thing

I too found my electrical water heater not working. Thought it might be and element so I. Bought a new one. Same result. So I decided to put a meter on it. No power to the element. Old biscuit helped me out here suggesting I go into the 110 box under the cabinet that feeds that circuit. Found three wires with spade connectors. Two were connected, the third was dangling. This seems to be a common problem. ORV should be checking this.
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Old 09-19-2020, 09:29 AM   #13
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This does not make me feel good about the ORV that I expect to have delivered next week.

Electrical and plumbing connections are usually hidden, so it is not an easy task to go around and check them.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:38 PM   #14
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nervous

we have a new 2021 unit coming from the factory by march all these problems are making me want to back out. we traded in our Lance TT wanting a beefier well built unit. sounds like big headaches and some dangerous situations. by the time we do the exchange rate and taxeshere in Canada we are looking at 90,000k. now i am thinking this is WAY to much money for s#&@$y workmanship, the video tours we have watched from the factory were so encouraging the more i read about the ORV problems here and on Facebook the more i am feeling sick to my stomach.
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