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Old 08-27-2019, 10:49 PM   #85
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Lesson 0 — an awful lot of what you read posted and postulated on blogs is from folks who simply don’t really know what they are talking about.....
Thanks for that warning. I would hate to really invest my time in the wrong information. Some of the people on this forum seem to have a lot of knowledge. I just wish they could come up with a definitive answer to help the OP.

There is one question that I have. Would a second surge protector hooked between the power pole and the power cord have protected the surge protector/transfer switch? Or is that just overkill? Does the transfer switch protect a motor coach from a malfunction in the generator?

Also, when the DW told the OP that the door to the box was uncomfortably hot to touch, would that ordinarily have sent up red flags that something was wrong with the electrical system?

Thanks to all for some very detailed possibilities for the failure. It just made me realize how much I need to learn by the time I actually get an RV and afterwards.
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:45 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Linda Bohr View Post
Thanks for that warning. I would hate to really invest my time in the wrong information. Some of the people on this forum seem to have a lot of knowledge. I just wish they could come up with a definitive answer to help the OP.



There is one question that I have. Would a second surge protector hooked between the power pole and the power cord have protected the surge protector/transfer switch? Or is that just overkill? Does the transfer switch protect a motor coach from a malfunction in the generator?



Also, when the DW told the OP that the door to the box was uncomfortably hot to touch, would that ordinarily have sent up red flags that something was wrong with the electrical system?



Thanks to all for some very detailed possibilities for the failure. It just made me realize how much I need to learn by the time I actually get an RV and afterwards.


Yes, absolutely that is a red flag that something is definitely wrong! Abnormal heating in electrical circuits is generally indicative of high resistance flow — usual causes are loose or corroded connections. Things might get “warm to the touch” but they should never get hot and especially never uncomfortably hot....

Perhaps start by learning what a surge protector does and how it does it.

The thing overlooked by many folks is that, unless connected to a good earth ground, a surge protector really doesn’t have anywhere to shunt all of the “excess” energy to....
Sooo, running with shore power a SP has a path to ground to shunt the energy to but running in a floating ground type of situation there really is nowhere for that excess energy to go! It’s only recourse is to open up via fuse or breaker, both of these way too slow to operate to hamper the much faster transients of many (most?) surges.

Surge protectors are, by nature, sacrificial devices. Over time small surges, or a very big surge, will damage the device enough to leave it ineffective in doing its job. It is not uncommon in the sensitive electronics world to find expensive, high quality surge arresting devices protecting the electronics and cheaper devices protecting the high quality devices from the “day to day” trash from the power feeds.

As a side note, while they do occur, perhaps one of the least common causes of surges is lightning....
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:35 PM   #87
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I recently installed a Progressive Dynamics battery charger in place of the old battery toaster. When I did this I tightened every connection of the existing fuse and CB panel. Surprising how many were loose that could have caused a fire down the road.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:07 AM   #88
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I think the answers to the original post to help the OP have been answered. Generator polarity not issue.
1- Probable cause - loose connection on neutral busbar causing overheating . Could have happened with pedestal power or a generator.
2- Fix by replacing power center and wiring. May be difficult to get enough undamaged wire. Leave that to the professional electrician.

As stated earlier a surge protector normally protects from improper power conditions from the power source/connection and not power downstream internal to the RV as in the OP’s rig. Some energy management systems in RV might be able to detect issues like this due to their monitoring functions inside the RV power system.

Loose neutral and ground connections: good to check in power center. I do it each year at the start of season. I had posted earlier in this thread regarding the loose neutral power connection burning up the shore power connection in our garage- not the RV. Was plugged into shore power at home. In our old Class A the neutral lead came loose and with the neutral connected to ground inside the RV, all of the RV load current went into the ground wire - except in our older home, the shore power ground wire was too small to carry the RV load current and overheated. So the damage from this sort of connection problem could be in the RV or elsewhere. Nuff said...
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:12 AM   #89
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Was plugged into shore power at home. In our old Class A the neutral lead came loose and with the neutral connected to ground inside the RV, all of the RV load current went into the ground wire - except in our older home, the shore power ground wire was too small to carry the RV load current and overheated. So the damage from this sort of connection problem could be in the RV or elsewhere. Nuff said...
There is not supposed to be a connection between then neutral and ground in the coach itself. Only one such connection is allowed and it is at the main house panel only or even in the meter box. The generator side of the system will have its own neutral to ground connection, generally at the generator itself.

However, a loose neutral on a 50 amp RV can generate extremely high voltages on one or the other side of the panel which will potentially destroy a lot of stuff due to overvoltage.
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:18 AM   #90
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Scott- Agreed with “should not be connected to ground”. Good input. Our coach was 30 Amp. I found the mystery ground neutral connection immediately after the problem occurred. After replacing the shore power cord, traced all of the AC circuits in the coach. Found problem.The Ground - Neutral connection occurred in the uncovered AC outlet for the overhead TV in the front of the coach behind TV. The neutral White and the bare copper Ground were pushed together in the box. As soon as I pulled the ground away from the neutral terminal problem went away. Taped neutral terminal to prevent happening again. Used continuity buzzer on DVM to trace. Pays to check these things occasionally. Best I could tell, the issue either came from the factory or occurred over time due to vibration.
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