Lights went out - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-01-2014, 10:08 PM   #1
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Lights went out

So I grabbed a metal cup from my cabinet just now, and it hit one of the wires that either goes to the cigarette lighter or the dome style light. When it touched the wire all my lights and the stereo went out. I am an electrical novice. I don't think there's a fuse to check. The only fuses I see are on my solar and my furnace.

First question is...Do you have any idea what I did so I don't do this in the future? Second question....What's my steps to find/fix the problem?

Thanks.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:19 PM   #2
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Gotta say, unless someone has removed it there has to be a fuse. Sounds like it's time to find the little bugger.
After it's fixed you might want to build some kind of a small barrier behind those wires so this doesn't happen again.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:19 PM   #3
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I'm sure how your boler is wired, but my Scamp came new with a fuse inside the box, on top of the battery. There was another fuse under the curb side goucho. Both of those are in line with the main battery power.
If not there there should be a fuse panel someplace. Usually attached to the converter, if you have one.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:33 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention that we did a complete remodel a couple years ago. New Axle, frame off, windows rebuilt, re-fiberglassed, etc. And at the same time we completely rewired everything. Nothing is stock. I had a professional do the electrical hookup after I pulled the wires. There aren't any fuses except for the furnace and solar.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:57 PM   #5
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If a professional did the rewiring then there should be fuses protecting all circuits. Does the furnace still work? If not, that fuse may protecting all the circuits and might be blown. There might also be a fuse near the battery itself.
Do you have a converter to run the 12 volt circuits when plugged into shore power? If so, it should also have fuses.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrecluse View Post
I forgot to mention that we did a complete remodel a couple years ago. New Axle, frame off, windows rebuilt, re-fiberglassed, etc. And at the same time we completely rewired everything. Nothing is stock. I had a professional do the electrical hookup after I pulled the wires. There aren't any fuses except for the furnace and solar.
Not a very good professional is there's no fuses and he left bare connections that could be shorted. I'd ask for electrical license number.

If there are no fuses like you say you could have a real problem. A wire acted like a fuse someplace and burned open. Could be hard to find.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:34 PM   #7
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That's what I was afraid of. The furnace, solar, and inverter all work. The vent fan, all lights, and stereo don't. I'll have to call in an electrician.


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Old 12-02-2014, 06:31 AM   #8
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Lights went out

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrecluse View Post
First question is...Do you have any idea what I did so I don't do this in the future? Second question....What's my steps to find/fix the problem?
Question 1. Cannot really answer without further information, specifically, do you have a converter which converts 120v AC to 12v DC? And we're you plugged into shore power when this happened?

As a previous poster stated, a professional who doesn't install fuses is not much of a professional. But please answer the questions as to whether you have a converter and what the source of power was at the time of the incident.



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Old 12-02-2014, 09:55 AM   #9
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Exposed hot wire anywhere in the system? NXG (eXtra No Good).
Encouragement: If that exposed wire is the only flaw and there are fuses, you can certainly fix all of it yourself before you have to call the electrician.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:15 AM   #10
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Diy???

Please don't assume that anyone can fix anything. Many owners are smart enough to know that there are things they shouldn't attempt to fix and prompting them to do otherwise can lead to a disaster.

As examples: I have found everything from masking tape to metal aluminum tape used to make or repair splices and bare wires and something that looked like chewing gum stuffed into an LP fitting to stop a leak.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
Exposed hot wire anywhere in the system? NXG (eXtra No Good).
Encouragement: If that exposed wire is the only flaw and there are fuses, you can certainly fix all of it yourself before you have to call the electrician.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:20 AM   #11
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My shore power wasn't hooked up. I'm running off all solar. I don't have a converter.


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Old 12-02-2014, 10:28 AM   #12
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Sounds like you grounded something and something blew. Not a very scientific response but about the best I can come up with given the desription. Could also have shorted just enough to break electrical connection but still be mechanically connected. If so it could be hard to find.

And I will jump on the "should have been fused" band wagon. Fuses are cheap insurance and a way to help identify, localize, and isolate problems. I will say that based on my research in the area I think there are a lot of solar installations out there improperly fused or not fused at all.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:35 AM   #13
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Those cigarette lighter plugs have the hot wire attached to a metal stud that is in the rear tip of the socket. The metal cup most likely touched the stud and shorted and went to ground then a fuse blew. I'll bet you have a fuse somewhere and suggest you keep looking for a fuse.


To protect the back of the cigarette lighter socket you could do what I did. I took a piece of foam pipe insulation for 1" pipe. (Home Depot or Lowes etc.) and cut a piece about 2" longer than the socket. The insulation is split to fit over the pipe or in this case the socket and it has a cellophane that you pull out to seal the foam. Put the insulation around the socket so it extends past the socket connection about 2 inches.You can also secure it with zip ties if needed.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:44 AM   #14
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After my previous post I thought of another possibility. The hot wire Is attached to the stud with a nut and that could have come off. The hot wire also should have a ring terminal crimped on it to attach it to the stud and there should be a lock washer on the connection.
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