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Author Topic: Electrical Issue  (Read 772 times)
Awilson
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« on: July 23, 2011, 10:27:49 am »

I read the forum here when I have the time but I wanted to give everyone a heads up in case this has never been mentioned. My wife had to go out of town for several days on a family emergency and we always stay in out PC when we leave for more than a day or so because of the convenience. Our temperature has been horrific high in our part of the country so the air conditioning on the cruiser was working OT trying to keep up. The second day there she calls me upset because there are burning wire fumes in the cabin. I assured her that if the wiring was that hot the breaker would trip, which it did twice. I assumed the the length of the power cord was not providing enough power so I had her start the generator. Problem cured, so I thought. She came home a couple days later and when I walked inside the camper she was right. The smell of burned wiring was very strong. Upon further investigation and disassembling the electrical panel i discovered a mass of burned wiring on the left side of the power panel connected to what is called a neutral bar. It turns out the neutral wire for the air conditioner was loose and that heated the bar up to the point of melting the insulator backing plate and turning all the wires attached to the bar black. It was burned all the way through the backing plate and fractions of an inch from grounding to the panel wall. Disaster averted and the lesson here to me is that the breaker will not always trip and that you should take time to shut the power off, disconnect it from the coach and check that all electrical connections are tight or pay a professional to do it for you. Probably bouncing down the road and the vibration of it all got the screw loose and was the cause of this potentially disastrous problem. I had the electrician go through the rest of the cabin to be sure it is in tip top condition. He found others.
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billy
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2011, 11:12:29 am »

Thanks for the heads-up
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bigbadjc
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2011, 11:41:32 am »

Just out of curiosity, did you use an rv dealer or repair shop or a professional electrician to do the checkover and tightening?  I'm asking because I'm not sure the typical rv shop is that competent to do electrical troubleshooting.  Anytime you have a loose electrical connection, you will generate heat due to the increased resistance.  I never put two and two together and thought about the jiggling that they take in an rv.  Good tip!

Jerry
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2011, 12:03:41 pm »

Thanks for sharing!  If I start to smell anything, I will quickly pull the panel and tighten any loose connections.
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TomHanlon
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2011, 12:13:17 pm »

Like Ron said. I will do the same.
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Awilson
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2011, 10:03:08 pm »

I am glad there are so many people that took this so serious. I have been rving for years but had not had a motorhome so the electrical was a new thing for me. To answer how I took care of it is I hired a licensed electrician to come and replace the neutral bar and backer plate. He had to cut off and repull some of the wiring and totally replace a couple of wires that were completely ruined. He checked all of the other connections coming into the motorhome and found a couple other connections that were a little loose. I have now added this to my checklist of things to do at the end of the season or before the next. Not sure I could have lived with myself had something happened to her after telling her not to worry about it, the breaker will take care of it. I am still in disbelief. I have pictures of it as I had thought about tackling it myself but i had already made enough of a mess without making it any bigger. It took all of an hour and a half from start to finish.
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billy
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2011, 10:09:10 pm »

Awilson, working in a chevy dealership I can agree with you, hire someone who knows what to look for and how to repair it
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mciai2000
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2011, 10:42:44 pm »

HI:

Thanks for the update. One more thing to look at.

On a side note, here in PA that would be a covered claim under comprehensive coverage. I am not sure about Iowa laws. It might be worth turning in your bills if it over your deductible.

Davod
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bobander
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2011, 12:24:37 am »

Thanks for the info, very serious condition you encountered, I am going to check my panel connections before next trip.
Bob
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Awilson
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2011, 02:04:27 pm »

I'm sure it would have been covered by insurance but the cost was minimal and didn't reach my deductible. Parts run me about $22.00 give or take and labor was $75.00. Like I said it was a very simple thing to fix. We do love traveling in our PC because of the ease of getting around in it. When we travel it is our main vehicle. It is a good rig.
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Alan and Diana
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