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Old 04-16-2016, 10:29 PM   #1
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Exclamation Why are parts of camper frame shocking me?

I just purchased a new 2016 Jayco Jay Feather X17Z. When I got it home, I plugged it in to an exterior GFCI outlet using an extension cord. As I was checking out the LP quick connect port (attached to underside of TT), I received mild voltage shock. The voltage was weak enough that I could leave my fingers on it without really hurting. I checked other metallic parts and received the same shock. (Note: not all parts of frame had voltage.) after unplugging the camper shore line and running on battery, there was no voltage physically detected. I checked my extension cord and found that the ground prong was missing. I read online that this could be why I felt the shock. I bought a new extension cord and still no more voltage. Is there any reason to be concerned from here, or is my problem resolved. I'm not really sure why the frame would have voltage whether or not it's grounded. I always thought the ground was a safety to keep me from becoming the ground due to a short or fault. As I said, I just bought this camper today and I know that calling the dealer will more than likely result in not having a camper for over a month.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:38 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the new Jay Feather and welcome to the JOF.

There are several 'electrically savvy' folks on this site. I'm sure one of them will have some information on this.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:45 AM   #3
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Are you sure when you used the bad cord that it wasn't plugged in backwards since the ground prong was gone. If you had the hot and neutral reversed that could have caused your problem.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:50 AM   #4
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It is possible. How would that energize my frame?
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:44 AM   #5
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I wouldn't use any cord without the ground on a RV. A little moisture somewhere will give you a shock as you describe. Remember, electric take the path of least resistance. Without a ground, Guess what, your it.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kwilson View Post
It is possible. How would that energize my frame?
If you reverse the polarity, then you pose a risk of electric shock. The ground and neutral wires in your house panel are connected together, so basically it's the same circuit. If you're getting shocks on your TT, that means that the neutral wire and ground are most likely tied together in the breaker panel.
Unplug your trailer, and put an OHM meter between the ground plug and neutral input wire.If you're getting continuity, then that will answer your question. To prevent this, always use an extension cord with a ground.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:46 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the input. I really hope this is all due to the bad cord and not a short in my camper wiring. That would be a nightmare to resolve with the dealer as camping season starts.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:30 AM   #8
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The only safety ground the RV's get is from the three wire Electrical hookups. Have to make sure all three conductors are being used and you have to know for sure the 120VAC Outlet you have plugged into has the ground wire connected as well.

This is why we don't have to drive a ground stake into the ground for frame ground whenever we park somewhere.

You may run it this as well running your on-board generator but rare I imagine.

The small shock to you could easily kill someone else. Not safe what you have there...

I also would never use one of those small round plastic adapter or a extension cord with less that 12 gauge (12-3) wiring. 10Gauge (10-3) is best but expensive.

You can get one of those RV30A-15A LONG DOgbone Adapters at WALMART in the camping section... Looks like this... The also sell the RV50A-30A that will plug into this one if you have a 50A trailer.


Be safe out there...

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Old 04-17-2016, 09:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilson View Post
I just purchased a new 2016 Jayco Jay Feather X17Z. When I got it home, I plugged it in to an exterior GFCI outlet using an extension cord. As I was checking out the LP quick connect port (attached to underside of TT), I received mild voltage shock. The voltage was weak enough that I could leave my fingers on it without really hurting. I checked other metallic parts and received the same shock. (Note: not all parts of frame had voltage.) after unplugging the camper shore line and running on battery, there was no voltage physically detected. I checked my extension cord and found that the ground prong was missing. I read online that this could be why I felt the shock. I bought a new extension cord and still no more voltage. Is there any reason to be concerned from here, or is my problem resolved. I'm not really sure why the frame would have voltage whether or not it's grounded. I always thought the ground was a safety to keep me from becoming the ground due to a short or fault. As I said, I just bought this camper today and I know that calling the dealer will more than likely result in not having a camper for over a month.
This could be a big issue, or not! Don't take any chances with your safety! If in doubt (and the dealer has a long lead time) any decent electrician should be able find any issues.
I suspect the missing ground is the issue, but you never know. I would start by unplugging the trailer and measure between ground and common. On a trailer there should NOT be a connection between the two.
I would then measure from the GND terminal of the plug to the trailer frame, I "think" this should be connected. Once you have checked this stuff out, get one of those outlet checkers, first check the extension cord, then plug in the trailer and check the outlets. I would use an outside plug, so I did not have to touch the trailer. If all this checks out, then most likely it was your missing ground.
If in doubt, hire a qualified electrician.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:09 AM   #10
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I went out and purchased a circuit tester. I checked the extension cord and plugged it in trying simulate a reversed plarity without success it only read the open ground. While I understand having an open ground would turn you in tithe ground if touched, I don't understand how my frame is becoming energized. It sounds like oh a short somewhere. I would assume in a normal situation you would not receive a shock even if you weren't grounded. Is this correct?
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