Not that anyone asked...
Originally Posted by rvrev2
Some things to note:
1. I didn't have a single breaker go off. Not in the house and not in the fiver.
2. Plug from the RV extension cord going into the garage outlet showed absolutely no sign of burning or arcing. It was pristine.
3. I removed the RV cord where it was hard-wired into the RV. Once again, no sign of burning or arcing.
As was stated already, the problems relate to the overheated plug connection. The high ambient temperatures and a black colored cord in the sun contributes to overheat issues. As that connection deteriorated the resistance increased which reduced the system voltage to those fairly high load appliances.
The reduced voltage caused increased amperage which is why you noticed the change in operating noises. The voltage lowered and current increased, but the current didn't go high enough to trip any breakers. That is why nothing tripped.
Had the fire continued long enough the insulation between the current carrying conductors, or the ground would have likely broken down to a dead short which would have eventually tripped the pedestal breaker. Given the failure details I would not expect the RV breaker to trip.
The fire which started in the plastic/cord would have continued to burn even with the power off, but with the proper UL approved insulation should burn itself out over a short time once the heat source is removed (breaker tripped).
Originally Posted by Filthy-Beast
Good contacts, no loose connections and extension cords with the proper gauge wire for the amperage flowing are not a problem. The issues I've seen like this with poor pedestals were all without an extension.
It is important to periodically clean the male plug blades with a medium aggressive Scotchbrite or scrubby pad to help keep the prongs conducting properly. A light coating of Vaseline or contact grease helps keep corrosion to a minimum. The grease also helps to preserve the receptacle contacts which are difficult to access and clean.
It is a good idea to remove and re-install a semi-permanent plug periodically for inspection and cleaning. R&R of those plugs "wipes" the receptacle contacts which helps with cleaning and will most times change the points of contact in the receptacle when re-inserted. Those are all good things.
Unfortunately many campground receptacle contacts degrade over time. There is little you can do to help that situation, but you can feel your connection plug occasionally to make certain it is not getting extremely hot. A spritz of WD-40 into the pedestal receptacle (with the breaker off) might help with corrosion. It can't really hurt anything.
Being that the equipment was shut down almost immediately I would expect that your RV is ok.