Electrical problem - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-17-2008, 11:59 PM   #1
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So, its been a year since either Scamp has been moved or used. Just too busy with buying new houses and trying to get everything else done to have any Scamp fun. However, I did just recently get them each moved to their new parking spaces and decided to get them all cleaned up and so forth.

Well, I had the 78 all plugged in and the a/c on and whilst it was cooling I went outside to check the jacks one more time. I just happened to touch the frame and much to my surprise, I got quite a jolt.

Nothing else is shocking me, I touched the tongue and some metal stuff inside and it was all OK. So I don't know what is causing this. For all I know- it has ALWAYS been that way and I have just never been under there touching the frame when it is plugged in- but it is certainly bothersome to me and I would like to figure out the problem!

Suggestions?

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Old 07-18-2008, 12:26 AM   #2
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Well it would seem that you are not grounded properly possibly at a wall outlet that your air conditioner is plugged into. I would think that if you had a bare hot wire touching the metal than that would blow the breaker but maybe not. I think it's a ground issue and you should find someone who knows how to work on electricity to check it out for you. Regardless, you need to find out why you are getting shocked because that should absolutely not be happening.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:45 AM   #3
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Purchase one of those 120 Volt AC receptacle testers and plug it in to see what lights up.
It is possible that you have the hot side of the connection reversed.

Tester: A small yellow or red thing that you plug in and it has 3 lights to indicate what is wired to what. Just check at your local hardware store for one.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:17 PM   #4
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So, its been a year since either Scamp has been moved or used. Just too busy with buying new houses and trying to get everything else done to have any Scamp fun. However, I did just recently get them each moved to their new parking spaces and decided to get them all cleaned up and so forth.

Well, I had the 78 all plugged in and the a/c on and whilst it was cooling I went outside to check the jacks one more time. I just happened to touch the frame and much to my surprise, I got quite a jolt.

Nothing else is shocking me, I touched the tongue and some metal stuff inside and it was all OK. So I don't know what is causing this. For all I know- it has ALWAYS been that way and I have just never been under there touching the frame when it is plugged in- but it is certainly bothersome to me and I would like to figure out the problem!

Suggestions?
Hey seems like you have a gounding issue. I am an electrican buy trade, and i would recomend getting it checked out buy a pro. It could be anything from a loose connection or screw to somthing more complicated. When you got the shock off the frame of the trailer chances are if you were checking the jacks you were probally kneeling down on the ground or touching the ground with some party of your body. That would create a path for electricity to flow. If you were standing with a pair of shoes on when you checked the tounge of the trailer the bottom of you shoes would insulate you to some extent. So you may not feel anything. The same thing would happen if you were just touching metal parts on the interior of the trailer. They may be insulated from the frame or the part of the trailer that is in contact with the current leaking to the trailer frame. One thing you can check your self is to make sure that your cord connecting the trailer when pluged into shore power that it has the round 3 prong plug and that that 3rd round or u shaped prong is present and it hasn't been cut off, or damaged. That U shaped prong provides a path to ground if there is a short to the trailer frame etc. With out that path to ground this could cause the current to flow in the frame of the trailer, instead of shorting out the circuit breaker which it is designed to do. If you wish to go further make sure your trailer is unpluged and, if it similar to mine a 1977 boler there is a single curcuit breaker under the main cuboard where you fridge is etc. Remove the cover to the breaker and check the bare copper wire without any insulation and make sure it is connect securely to its proper spot. It should be a terminal strip with a couple screws that the green wire from the cord going to shore power, is connected too. Tighten and check the connections on everything, other than that ide get it looked at. It could even be the plug on you house that your pluged into causing the problem. Good luck hope i could be some help. Fixing it your self leaves more money for camping.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:45 PM   #5
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Hi Jaye,

It goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, before you touch, tighten, torque or tangle with anything electrical, be sure you UNPLUG from your power source. Of course you'll have to have power to troubleshoot, but any touchy feely with wires, breakers, or grounds, FIRST UNPLUG FROM THE JUICE.

It often only takes one lesson to learn this, but sometimes that lesson can be a FINAL EXAM.

Old electricans tricks...work with one hand in your pocket, and touch things first with a knuckle, not a hand. (It's why they became 'old 'lectricans)

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(Now, someone tell me why with a knuckle)
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:24 PM   #6
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Hi Jaye,

It goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, before you touch, tighten, torque or tangle with anything electrical, be sure you UNPLUG from your power source. Of course you'll have to have power to troubleshoot, but any touchy feely with wires, breakers, or grounds, FIRST UNPLUG FROM THE JUICE.

It often only takes one lesson to learn this, but sometimes that lesson can be a FINAL EXAM.

Old electricans tricks...work with one hand in your pocket, and touch things first with a knuckle, not a hand. (It's why they became 'old 'lectricans)

ConwayBob
(Now, someone tell me why with a knuckle)

Muscle contraction. Open hand the muscles contract and grab the item and won't release. With knuckle the muscle contraction is away from the hot item.

Byron
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:28 PM   #7
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Muscle contraction. Open hand the muscles contract and grab the item and won't release. With knuckle the muscle contraction is away from the hot item.

Byron
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:13 PM   #8
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SURE REMINDS ME OF A PROBLEM I HAD ALMOST 2 YEARS AGO. I'LL COPY WHAT I FOUND. SCARES ME TO REMEMBER:

Since I got so many attempts to help me solve this problem, I just thought I'd share what I FINALLY found.
Sure makes sense to me and I finished putting all back together this weekend. I was determined that this wan't going to beat me and had switches and plugs and wiring all apart in my garage.
In a junction box inside my garage, I noticed that the ground wire leading to this plug was free. When I put my meter on it, I measured 120v from this ground wire to the metal junction box! Traced this down to a old wire in the circuit with steel casing that was shorting out to the hot wire. Since the ground was not connected to anything, the breaker didn't flip. To top this off, the polarity was reversed between the slots in the plug.

Therefore large slot in plug and ground pin were both hot. Small slot in plug was neutral.
When I originally put my meter on the plug, 120 between the two slots was OK, 120 between the ground pin and small slot was OK, and 0 volts between ground pin and large slot (120 to 120) was OK.

Little yellow tester said it was correct. Apparently reversing the polarity and putting 120v at ground pin looks OK to the tester. Just like what I saw.

If all you ever did was to plug in lamps or anything with just a simple two prong plug, you probably wouldn't notice it. I suppose that is all I've ever done lately.
Just glad nobody ever got seriously injured!!
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:52 PM   #9
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Nobody asked why one hand in pocket -- It's to avoid current going from one hand to the other, directly across the heart... I learned about the contraction stuf when I went to take the spark plug wire off a running mower
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