Shocking situation in our Scamp 2009 5er - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:15 AM   #1
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Shocking situation in our Scamp 2009 5er

My wife & I both have noticed mild electric shocks when we step on the door step or touch frame when connected to shore power. Not a full 110v zap but definitely​ a tickle. Do any of you have any suggestions for where and how to check for the voltage leak.
Thanks, Bill
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:57 AM   #2
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unplug the fridge and see if it goes away. I would suspect anything with 110 volts and a heating element.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:07 AM   #3
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You have a bad ground somewhere, or a miswired cord or outlet (where the trailer is plugged).
If you have a high impedance leak somewhere it should 'drain' through the ground wire. Now it looks like it drains through you. Not good. Very dangerous actually.
A low impedance leak will also drain through the ground wire but will usually trip the circuit breaker.

I'm no electrician but I know we have a couple on this forum. Hopefully they will comment.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:11 AM   #4
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The guy in this video also wrote a very interesting and easy to understand book about RV electricity and how to properly check RV AC circuits.


Read this:
Are “Little” Shocks OK? | No~Shock~Zone
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:57 AM   #5
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I'd also check all your AC wiring, starting with the power pedestal outlet, and continuing on downstream, checking all your wiring terminals,appliances and plugs for a "reverse polarity" condition. With A/C power, if the white and black wires are hooked up to the wrong terminals, respectively, the appliance would still work, but any poorly insulated appliance, (including the trailer frame,) could be carrying enough current to give you that tingle you felt.
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:24 PM   #6
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Check your plug that you pluged into for shore power.
Chances are that its not grounded. You can use a cheap three light tester to do so.
Dont ask me how I know��
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:36 PM   #7
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If the frame of your trailer is properly bonded to the equipment service ground , the equipment grounding conductor in your service entrance cord is good and the receptacle in the campground's pedestal is properly grounded then you should not be getting a shock. The problem is as Greg suggested is finding the source of leakage current and fixing it as well as fixing the issue with the service equipment ground. I may be wrong but I had a talk with Kent Eveland and I was given the impression that Scamp did not bond the trailer frame to the service equipment ground because they mistakenly thought doing that was dangerous . If that is the case then the frame /steps could become energized and when you are standing with one foot on the ground and one foot on the step you are acting as a conductor.
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hoover View Post
My wife & I both have noticed mild electric shocks when we step on the door step or touch frame when connected to shore power. Not a full 110v zap but definitely​ a tickle. Do any of you have any suggestions for where and how to check for the voltage leak.
Thanks, Bill

There a problem with the "Safety Ground". If the problem is always there when the trailer is plugged to any power connection it's in the trailer. If it's only there is one campsite then the campsite power is problem.

If you determine it's in the trailer take to trailer to an RV shop and have them fix it. Key word is Safety. OK
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:50 PM   #9
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Start with o e of these: https://t.harborfreight.com/electric...sis-32907.html
Plug it in to the receptacle where you plug in the extension cord of the camper and if you get good lights then remove it and plug in the extension cord and now go to the camper. Hop on to the step of the camper so you will not have a foot on the ground. Now take the tester and plug it into a receptacle in the camper and see if you have the correct lights on.

Here is what I think the problem is, you have the Hot side of the wiring going to the ground side of the camper and that can be because of a wiring problem where you plug in the extension cord or within the camper its self.

I have seen this problem many times on military vans while in the army.

Wiring, White to lite (Meaning the white wire connects to the silver screw on the plug and receptacle) and Green is ground the world around. So, that leaves the black hot wire that always connects to the brass screw.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:32 AM   #10
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Please post what you find out.
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:47 PM   #11
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I have seen this problem many times on military vans while in the army.

Wiring, White to lite (Meaning the white wire connects to the silver screw on the plug and receptacle) and Green is ground the world around. So, that leaves the black hot wire that always connects to the brass screw.[/QUOTE]



I learned in the Navy it was "black to brass to save your a**."
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:29 PM   #12
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I learned in the Navy it was "black to brass to save your a**."[/QUOTE]

Love the quote.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:55 AM   #13
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Yep, I learned a lot of good ways to remember stuff in the Navy. Like properly setting Torque when tightening nuts and bolts.

Torque = 1/2 turn past stripped.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:03 AM   #14
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Interesting that we have two similar threads going at the same time, both involving newer Scamp 19s...
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post638878
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:06 PM   #15
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Torque = 1/2 turn past stripped.

Army: If it dont fit dont force it, get a bigger hammer.
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bill Hoover View Post
My wife & I both have noticed mild electric shocks when we step on the door step or touch frame when connected to shore power. Not a full 110v zap but definitely​ a tickle. Do any of you have any suggestions for where and how to check for the voltage leak.
Thanks, Bill
The description of a mild shock sounds like one that is coming from a 12 volt source. That is where your investigation could begin. If you have a porch light it might be a good place to start since it possibly could have wires coming into contact with the metal door frame.

In my little trailer, (different make) they had run wires that went to the tail lights underneath the door frame. When I pulled up the door frame to repair the wood floor in front of the door I found that a screw from the metal door threshold had actually penetrated into the wiring for the tail lights. These things do happen and it was not the first time I saw that problem with screws going into the wires. I also have a fiberglass mini motorhome as well and on it the screw from the tail light mount had penetrated through the wiring that went up to the roof vent. Wiring that was meant to be used for an air conditioner. Fortunately they never did install air conditioning in it.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
If the frame of your trailer is properly bonded to the equipment service ground , the equipment grounding conductor in your service entrance cord is good and the receptacle in the campground's pedestal is properly grounded then you should not be getting a shock. The problem is as Greg suggested is finding the source of leakage current and fixing it as well as fixing the issue with the service equipment ground. I may be wrong but I had a talk with Kent Eveland and I was given the impression that Scamp did not bond the trailer frame to the service equipment ground because they mistakenly thought doing that was dangerous . If that is the case then the frame /steps could become energized and when you are standing with one foot on the ground and one foot on the step you are acting as a conductor.

Scamp is not all wrong i.e since the unit is sitting on only rubber tires it is not a reliable path to ground. If a short occurs and the ground at the source of power is not reliable then when you touch the frame and the ground at the same time you become the ground connection.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:16 PM   #18
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I tend to think it's a 120 volt issue. Certainly, that's not certain. But, that's what I tend to think.

Approaching the problem that way, at least focusing on the 120 volt system first, is the more conservative approach as the 120 volt system generally has a higher capacity to do harm.

It's not uncommon to get a "mild" shock from 120 volt sources.

On the other hand, I still put my tongue across the terminals on 9 volt batteries as a quick check to see what shape they are in, just as my older brother taught me when I was 8 years old. Yes, 9 volts is a bit less than 12, but I still think the comparison makes sense as these two voltages are much closer together than 12 and 120 are.

I've had many cases when I've received mild shocks from 120 volt household wiring sources due to improper wiring and leaky devices. I ran across this quite a bit when I did maintenance work on older rental properties, particularly in the winter working on old places without grounded cable systems.

A poor or non-existent bond between the frame and the ground bus in the 120V panel definitely sounds like it could be a factor. On the other hand, it's still very important to figure out where the current is escaping from the 120 volt "hot" wiring to the frame and step in the first place, and also finding why it is not flowing through the ground to the service you are plugged in to.

Starting at the source where you are plugging in is the way to start. From there, it takes a combination of knowledge, care, perseverance and sometimes a bit of luck to trace these things.

The axiom of electrical testing is "if it tests good, it might be good" because some faults and shorts are intermittent.

Consulting an electrician generally has value. Getting advice on a forum can result in a wide variety of responses, not all of them necessarily good or safe.

My two cents is on sale today. It's worth exactly what you paid for it.

By the way, my brother once got locked up when he contacted 120 volt power while laying under a sound mixing board some 50 years ago. He told me that if someone hadn't pulled him out from under there, he would not have been able to do it himself as his muscles and grip were locked up due to the current flowing through him.

At least he never told me to lick 120 volt wall receptacles. I think he likes me.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Bob in Mb View Post
Scamp is not all wrong i.e since the unit is sitting on only rubber tires it is not a reliable path to ground. If a short occurs and the ground at the source of power is not reliable then when you touch the frame and the ground at the same time you become the ground connection.
I agree with you 100% , my point was that if Scamp does not effectively ground / bond the frame then the only path for current flow is through the tires or through you and I'm betting on the you.
When I wired campgrounds we pulled an equipment ground to each pedestal and bonded / grounded the pedestal's metal housing as well as the pedestal receptacles . In some cases we drove a ground rod at each pedestal to supplement the equipment ground. We also had to perform a test of the equipment grounding system during the electrical inspection as well as check all receptacles for proper polarity.
Most of the problems I have encountered with campground wiring is from the owner or some maintenance man do their own wiring.

The grounded conductor is the neutral and is a current carrying conductor
The equipment grounding conductor is for safety and under normal circumstances does not carry current.
They are two separate systems and perform different functions.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:22 PM   #20
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Anytime you're plugged there's two systems that can cause you problems. There's the trailer and it's wiring and the power box at the campground. I suggest that you purchase an adaptor to go from 30amp 120 volt to 20 amp 120 volt. Then get an outlet tester, both are cheap. Plug the tester into any outlet in the trailer and notice the lights. If it indicates a problem plug the adaptor and tester together into the campground power box. If it lights good and does not the problem is in the trailer. If it lights no so good the problem in the campground power system.
You can find version of these items at most RV stores.
The adapter looks like this.http://www.amazon.com/Camco-55233-El.../dp/B00192QB3I
Outlet tester looks like this.https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008E07HM2...DE20H7S1&psc=1
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