Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: RV Hot Skin (Exterior electrification)
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 > RV Hot Skin (Exterior electrification)

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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 07/26/21 03:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It may not be as easy to replace the shore power cord. Would need to identify 120 volt power center if it even has one. Many of the older two wire system didn't have them. They relied on the protection in the supply location.


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Mike134

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Posted: 07/26/21 05:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Has anyone seen a replay from the original post if he troubleshot his problem over the weekend?


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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 07/26/21 05:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven't seen anything. OP talked about getting "tester".
I didn't see much information back on how the rig is connected to outlet. Adapter? type of extension cord.
Talked about installing GFCI receptacle.

Mike134

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Posted: 07/26/21 07:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

enblethen wrote:

I would not jump out and do anything until the shore power cord is identified whether it is two or three wire! If it is two wire you are asking for problems!




However, I did have a 1981 TT . That panel most definitely had all neutrals and grounds connected via a single ground/neutral buss bar..

So, in reality it is possible to find RVs with 30A shore cord but yet neutral and ground connected together.


That would explain folks saying they got shocked off the "skin" of the trailer when plugged into a receptacle that was wired with reverse polarity.
With today's wiring standard of separately insulted neutral and ground, "reverse polarity" would not cause the skin to become electrified.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/26/21 08:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike134 wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:

enblethen wrote:

I would not jump out and do anything until the shore power cord is identified whether it is two or three wire! If it is two wire you are asking for problems!




However, I did have a 1981 TT . That panel most definitely had all neutrals and grounds connected via a single ground/neutral buss bar..

So, in reality it is possible to find RVs with 30A shore cord but yet neutral and ground connected together.


That would explain folks saying they got shocked off the "skin" of the trailer when plugged into a receptacle that was wired with reverse polarity.
With today's wiring standard of separately insulted neutral and ground, "reverse polarity" would not cause the skin to become electrified.


Correct!

That trailer would trip my house outside outlets GFCI shortly after a heavy rain storm until I separated the neutral and ground in the RV panel.. Trailer tongue sitting on a soaking wet board surrounded by wet ground = nuisance GFCI trips..

sayoung

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Posted: 07/26/21 09:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

mr_andyj wrote:

It is plugged in now so dont want to take it apart just yet, but best I remember is it did look factory, not just wires going in odd places, the neutral looked like it was factory made to be grounded where it was, but I cant say for sure that it was not just grounded to the ground bar.

Nonetheless, would it be wise to unground it? That would mean the neutral is only connected to the neutral of the extension cord, not the ground of the panel that connects to the ground of the extension cord.

I can do electrical just fine, but am not an electrician that knows the codes.
Yes the neutral bus and ground bus in an RV should be separated. RV panel is a sub-panel.

Neutral-ground bond should only be made at the main power source panel supplied by the utility transformer.

I was haveing a GFCI problem . After 8 years the plug started tripping. I replaced it and all was well for about a week then it to started tripping. I started looking for a possible cause and started in the breaker box. I'm laying on the floor staring at the wiring when I see a romex with the neutral on the gnd bus & the gnd on the neutral bus. How that GF plug ever worked is beyond me. Something to check for.

CA Traveler

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Posted: 07/26/21 11:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the years I've been on various forums electricity is hands down the least understood topic. In 2004+ the top item was 50A RV power. It just shows how little is understood about house power which is the same except that a house us usually 100A, 200A, etc.

ie Its 120/240V 50A 3 pole 4 wire 60 Hz SINGLE PHASE and 12,000 watts.

And a 50A open ground is yet another mystery. Not being critical as there is much about a lot of things that I don't know.

Update: And a 50A open neutral is yet another mystery.

* This post was edited 07/27/21 09:26am by CA Traveler *


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Mike134

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Posted: 07/27/21 04:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

In the years I've been on various forums electricity is hands down the least understood topic. In 2004+ the top item was 50A RV power. It just shows how little is understood about house power which is the same except that a house us usually 100A, 200A, etc.

ie Its 120/240V 50A 3 pole 4 wire 60 Hz SINGLE PHASE and 12,000 watts.

And a 50A open ground is yet another mystery. Not being critical as there is much about a lot of things that I don't know.


I think you meant to say open neutral. That will cause some devices to see a high voltage say 180V while another sees 60volts.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 07/27/21 06:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

In the years I've been on various forums electricity is hands down the least understood topic. In 2004+ the top item was 50A RV power. It just shows how little is understood about house power which is the same except that a house us usually 100A, 200A, etc.

ie Its 120/240V 50A 3 pole 4 wire 60 Hz SINGLE PHASE and 12,000 watts.

And a 50A open ground is yet another mystery. Not being critical as there is much about a lot of things that I don't know.


Actually, 120/240 US home entrances are referred to as SPLIT PHASE, sometimes as a TWO PHASE STEP DOWN.

See HERE

"240V or split phase: For small residential buildings, the usual method is to rig up a 240V stepdown transformer (instead of 120V) in which the secondary winding is split into two 120V windings (hence the name "split phase"). The center tap is then grounded and fed to the house as if it was the neutral wire of the old 120V system, and each end is wired as a separate 120V live wire. Their waveforms have a half-cycle offset, or 180 degrees, when measured against the neutral wire. The normal 120V designed machinery does not care which live wire you use for them as long as you connect them between a live and neutral wire. Appliances in the home can be distributed on either live wire to maintain balanced loading, and when heating requires high power, the concerned appliance can be connected to both live wires to operate the heating element, providing 240V for it. "

The key here is while the PoCos transformer for residential service is only connected to one of three "phases" and the step down transformer that feeds your home service entrance actually looks like two 120V windings which for 240V are wired in series.

Because each 120V winding must be wired in series to provide 240V the center tap point is used as the Neutral creating two 120V outputs that have a 180 degree reversal in waveform when referenced via the Neutral..

Note the two bottom drawings at the link I provided..

The bad thing of 120V/240V setup like 50A RV is if you lose the neutral, 120/240 works by balancing the loads and with no Neutral your 120V loads now become part of simulating the center tap which changes the voltage potential each 120V appliance sees..

HERE is a good video explaining electrical systems "101" which may be helpful.

HERE is a video concerning main panel and Neutral/ground bond.

HERE is a video concerning sub panel separate neutral/ground wires.

On edit..

In the last video which is about sub panels it was mentioned that the NEC code was updated in 2008 to require separate isolated ground and Neutral in sub panels..

So, it IS very possible that RVs as new as 2007/2008 may have ground and Neutral connected in the panels..

But once again, OLD work is Grandfathered, you do not have to change or modify existing OLD work to match newer codes unless you change panels or make major modifications to the electrical system..

However, the last video on sub panels should very clearly give you a good reason to make the upgrade change.. I give that guy some Kudos for the video.

* This post was edited 07/27/21 06:41am by Gdetrailer *

CA Traveler

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Posted: 07/27/21 09:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike134 wrote:

CA Traveler wrote:

In the years I've been on various forums electricity is hands down the least understood topic. In 2004+ the top item was 50A RV power. It just shows how little is understood about house power which is the same except that a house us usually 100A, 200A, etc.

ie Its 120/240V 50A 3 pole 4 wire 60 Hz SINGLE PHASE and 12,000 watts.

And a 50A open ground is yet another mystery. Not being critical as there is much about a lot of things that I don't know.


I think you meant to say open neutral. That will cause some devices to see a high voltage say 180V while another sees 60volts.
Thanks for catching that typo!

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