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Old 06-22-2015, 08:34 PM   #1
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Power Cord Fire

Had my 21 year old Jayco parked in my driveway and hooked up to my 30 AMP outlet on the garage. I used an RV 30 amp extension cord which is just 6 months old to span the distance from the rig to the outlet. I had the fiver hooked up for 4 days this way with the AC and fridge running with no problems. It was 104 degrees according to the bank sign while I was inside the fiver. Next thing I know, the AC starts to sound funny. Then I heard electrical buzzing from outside. I raced outside to see the electrical cord on fire where the RV cord plugged into the RV extension cord. I unplugged from the garage outlet, but the cord kept burning. It finally went out.

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.

I won't get a replacement RV cord until tomorrow night, so I won't know if I have any damage to the fiver until then.

I'll try to attach a picture of the remains. The first photo shows both ends of the extension cord. The second photo shows both ends of the RV's cord. The third picture shows both cords side by side.
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2015-06-22 16.12.17.jpg   2015-06-22 16.11.49.jpg   2015-06-22 16.11.40.jpg  
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:44 PM   #2
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The connection between the extension cord and the RV's cord is were things started. That connection got overwarm and then started arcing.

You noticed it at stage half and shut things down before any serious damage occurred.

Quick thinking and fast action!
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:03 PM   #3
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Wow, that's ugly. Glad to hear no serious damage and it's fixable. You think the TT cord was past its prime?
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:08 PM   #4
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Wow, lucky you were there.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:36 PM   #5
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Wow...the things that can happen. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:37 PM   #6
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Glad you caught it in time.

It's important to keep the contacts of both the male and female clean and corrosion free. corrosion or loose connection in the plug or loose connection between the male and female plug will lead to over heating.

All of these scenarios reduce the connection contact surface area and would be equal to running high amps through a small wire.

I always check the CG pedestal contacts to make sure they are not corroded. I've seen corroded post contacts cause this to multiple trailer plugs. I also carry contact cleaner in case I have no choice.

EDIT: Also be very leery if your plug feels loose when you plug it in, odds are you don't have a solid connection.
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:02 AM   #7
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We did not have a fire, but our plug gets very hot when, ac, Refg. & Water Heater are on. To help reduce the load on hot days, I switch the water heater & Refg to Gas. The plug on the Rv cord gets warm but not hot. I agree keep the contact clean, and test the outlet for a tight fit. I have had to replace the male end of the cord, due to burnt terminals. Good to watch cord @ every campsite.

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Old 06-23-2015, 07:44 AM   #8
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Even though we all use extension cords at one time or a another, I guess this is why the owners manual says to not use them.
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:48 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:26 AM   #10
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Good night!!! Glad you caught it in time and no one was injured!
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