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Bob (WA0MQE) 12-13-2010 05:34 PM

50-amp electrical failure problem
I have a 2006 Camelot that once in awhile, maybe once or twice over a period of three or four days the electric goes out (totally) just like as if the main breaker failed. But the breaker's fine so that's not what's happening. It happens whether I'm plugged into 30 or 50 amp.

I've read some rumors about the power cord reel. I have a TDI Products Model RV5036 and have heard the brushes on the rings can go bad and fail.

Now the hard part. Thinking it could be the reel I started digging around to see how to get to the reel to check it. Wow, what a mounting nightmare. It's under the drawers at the street side of the closet that goes across the back of the bedroom. I pulled the two drawers and removed the panel under the bottom drawer and it opened up so I could see the reel. However, I see know way to get it out through this opening, let alone enough room to get to the bolts holding it in place.

Has anyone looked into this and figured out how this thing can be removed without tearing the hole back of the coach apart?

Mike Canter 12-13-2010 06:15 PM

The question is what do you do to get the power back? If it was the contacts in the power reel then all you have to do is move it to a different area of the contacts and the power should come back. When this happens have you always been plugged into the same shore power campground box or is this happening at more than one campground?

itdave 12-13-2010 06:57 PM

I had the same problem with the same make model of power reel. The only good news is that mine is in an outside compartment so it was easy to get out. Mine started failing like your and if I pulled on the power cord the power would come back. After a few weeks it failed completely. I took it apart and found the phenolic (spelling?) block that held one of the brushes in place had melted and the brush had fallen out. TDI sent me a replacement for less that the cost of a new one. Charged full price then reduced it once they got the old real back. Sorry I can't help you figure out how to get yours out but I would recommend you replace it ASAP.

RJay 12-13-2010 07:00 PM

I am surprised that the power reel is wired in such a way as to cut power to the entire coach if there is a problem with it. It should have its own breaker/fuse in the main panel area. Something for me to look into on my coach since I also have a power reel.

Mike Canter 12-13-2010 08:24 PM

If it was a single contact bad then if plugged into a 50 amp supply you would only loose one leg or worse loose the neutral and do serious damage and smoke something by now

Bob (WA0MQE) 12-14-2010 08:01 AM

The problem is definitely in my coach, because it happens on both 30 or 50 amp and has happened in more then one campground. Most of the time it didn't happen while we were in the coach, we only knew the power had gone off because of the clock on the microwave and coffee pot flashing.

At this time the problem has only happened once while we were in the coach. By the time I got up to check to see if there was a popped circuit breaker the power came back on by itself. So I didn't have a chance to troubleshoot what happened. This pretty much says it's in the main line somewhere feeding the coach.

I've pulled all the covers that contain the 50-amp main line and checked all the connections, so far so good. I also checked the transfer switch, at least visibly and made sure the screws were tight holding the wires. So far so good there too.

So at this point I'm suspecting the weak point of the reel cable, which is the brushes. I guess this is the disadvantage of these reel's. A Google search pulled up a whole bunch of folks having problems with these reel's. I'm thinking I might get me a 50-amp shore cable and change out the reel so I won't have to worry about it.

If anyone else has any information about physically pulling out the reel on this style coach I'd sure appreciate any thoughts.


itdave 12-14-2010 08:42 AM

Have you called Monaco Tech support they may be able to tell you how to get to the reel.

Mike Canter 12-14-2010 10:03 AM

Bob, I highly recommend that you do some troubleshooting before you go through all that trouble with the reel.

Again, if you are plugged into a 50 amp service you have TWO legs of 120 volts each (L1 & L2) so if you lost a single contact on the reel slipring you would still have one leg left so some of the MH would still have AC power. You said you lost ALL power so you lost both L1 and L2 so that would mean two contacts failed at the same time. That is possible but the odds are against it. If you lost NEUTRAL then through an appliance or a heater you would have 240 volts and it would have smoked so it is probably not the NEUTRAL.

You can read up more on 50 amp power here
RV Electric
Open the window then select 50-amp service in the left column.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it is not the slipring contacts but from the information you have supplied it is maybe something else if you lost both legs (L1 & L2) at once.

So does your MH have a safety monitoring circuit that will automatically shut off the incoming AC power if it drops down too low or goes up too high. In this case you would loose everything for a short period of time until the incoming power settled down and it turned back on again. It works like that on my MH and it took me a while to figure it out.

wa8yxm 12-14-2010 11:18 AM

There are 3 possible issues I can see
1: Some coaches have a Power Line Guard device. often called a "Surge Supressor" these devices really are..(Most surge surpressors are not really surge supressors.. but that is a long story and since these are)

IF the park's supply voltage goes too high, or too low or the frequency goes high or low, or some other quality factors go out of spec.. These devices WILL cut you off.. that's what they are designed to do. Part of my coach is so protected ((part is not))

Problem 2: Has been discussed above.. the rings and brushes on teh cord reel (Contacts)

problem 3: I have found many RVers have a few screws loose.. One popular location for these loose screws is the main power distribution box.. Some of the screws in my breaker box took over 2 turns to properly tighten.

nodine 12-14-2010 04:51 PM


If you loose power long enough to get the generator running that should prove your theory about the reel being the problem. If you have power with the generator on but not without it then sure would point to the reel or the transfer switch.


Mike Canter 12-15-2010 11:28 AM

Bob, I did some research and your 2006 Camelot came with Intellitec's Smart Energy Management System. This system maybe protecting your coach, or may be setup wrong or maybe malfunctioning and causing all your problems. Since I don't know exactly which model you have here is an example of one:

You can read that it monitors the current draw in the MH and if it senses too much current draw it will shut down the loads then go into a two minute wait until it switches things back on. Does this sound like what is happening?

You can check your MH records and look up the actual data for your model here here
Service Manuals

Or call Intellitec Technical Support and tell them what is happening,
Technical Support

Bob (WA0MQE) 12-19-2010 05:31 AM

Thanks for all the ideas. I am looking into, including calling Monaco Support. Since when the problem does pop up it only lasts a matter of minutes and comes back on on it's own, so it makes it a bit difficult to troubleshoot. I agree with the system maybe protecting the EMS system doing it's job by protecting the coach.

ShapeShifter 12-19-2010 10:58 AM


Originally Posted by Mike Canter (Post 753381)
Bob, I did some research and your 2006 Camelot came with Intellitec's Smart Energy Management System. This system maybe protecting your coach, or may be setup wrong or maybe malfunctioning and causing all your problems.

Unless there is something drastically wrong with the way this system was installed, I would guess this is not the issue. This system is built into the main breaker panel, and takes some of the branch circuits and routes them through relays. It then monitors the total system power consumption, and if it gets too high for the power rating (it has 50, 30, and 20 amp settings) then it cuts off a few of those loads to shed power and bring the total power consumption under control. The loads are prioritized and are shut off in order until the total current is acceptable.

The units I have seen have a maximum of 6 circuits that can be shed. On my rig, they are the water heater, rear A/C, washer/dryer, and front A/C. (Two slots are not used.) Only those circuits that are connected to the load shed relays can be controlled by this unit, it never cuts power to any other circuit. Since the OP claims a total loss of power to the rig, it does not sound to me like this unit is to blame.

While this system is called an EMS (Energy Management System) and is often installed by the coach builder, it is not the same as an EMS (Electrical Management System) sold by Progressive Industries and others, which is also commonly called a surge supressor, and which is not usually installed by the coach builder. This other type of EMS system installs in-line to the power source, monitors it for various voltage and wiring issues, and if there is a problem it cuts power to the whole coach. Once triggered, there is usually a delay (15 seconds or two minutes) that the power must be valid before it is turned on again. This sounds like what the OP is reporting, but I'm not aware of this type of system ever being installed by Monaco. Is it possible that such a system was installed as an after-market item?

The problem sounds to me like a lose connection or bad transfer switch contact, or one of these EMS/surge systems that was installed as an after-market modification.

When the power goes out or comes back, is there any flickering involved? This may be hard to tell since all of the lights are 12 volt, so it would be necessary to watch something like the microwave or TV when it happens. (Or plug in a 120 volt table lamp and wait for it to happen?) If there is some flickering/stuttering of the power, I would be inclined to take it as a strong indication of a bad connection.

joaxaca 03-24-2013 05:36 PM

Shorereel TDI 5036 Warning
I have a 2001 Tiffin Zephyr E/W a TDI Shorereel 5036A. The 50 amp service on one trip was off and on We had RV park Electrician check pedistal twice in two days. We found nothing and later the same trip it smelled like somthing was burning I tracked the smell to the Shorereel. If you have one be carefull it can't be opened it sealed no screws all pop riveted. I contacred TDI and they told me that the unit was UL approved and could not start a fire. Well I'll match there report with pictures I cut the reel out and opened it up all the leads had shorted and had started to melt the wireing insulation. Which TDI says can't happen. I have pictures and asked them if they'ed like to see they didn't. I explained that It would not have happened if they not used pop rivites and allowed the owners to maintain them. The baklite pads had become brittle the screws lose and the wire had all shorted out. I wanted parts to repair the reel it still would have worked if parts and screws could be replaced. They explained they never expected anyone to maitain them only replace the with newer models from time to time and at what a costly price. I have pictures if you have one and would like to see if you might have a problem.:bow:

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