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Old 04-16-2020, 12:25 PM   #1
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Power/breaker issues

A few weeks ago a tornado blew through. It took out the building that my trailer was connected to & the trailer got a surge of electricity too. My trailer is fine, but I’ve lost all power & having to live with family till it’s fixed. An electrician put in a post with a new breaker and outlet. Still no electricity. Put on a replacement plug, checked fuses and breakers. Still no electricity. I bought a new power cord (not installed yet) and converter (mine was old). I first put in the converter. I’m getting 109 amps in the main breaker but when I turn on the other breakers, it drops to 15 amps. I’m confused. Can someone help, please!
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:55 PM   #2
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First thing, you are measuring volts not amps. Not a big deal in terminology just wanted to let you know. The GOOD thing is that you have a voltmeter that you are using. I applaud you for that as many people ask for solutions to power problems without ever measuring anything. I also should mention that you should be very careful when measuring these voltages as they can be lethal if you are careless.

109 volts is not good with no load. It should be closer to 120. Sounds like there is some sort of resistance in the circuit because that is what resistance does. With no load you will read full supply voltage and when you start pulling current the voltage will appear across the resistance and drop at your load. This could be a bad power cord or its connection, a weak power line, etc.

You didn't mention what power you are feeding your rig - 50 amp, 30 amp, or 20/15 amp. It does matter when trying to measure part of the circuit which I will explain. If you have a 30 or 50 amp power outlet that you are plugged in to, I would recommend using an adapter that allows you to plug in to a standard 15 amp outlet as this will make the first measurement much easier.

The first thing to verify is the source voltage when you turn on the rig's breakers. If you are plugged into a standard outlet and can back out the plug just a bit, you can measure right across the spade prongs while it is plugged in. The voltage at the power outlet should remain fairly constant when you apply your rig's loads. If it starts out at 109 and then drops to 15 volts at the outlet when you turn things on, the problem is in the power line to the outlet. Try plugging into a different standard outlet to verify. With a voltage surge things could have gotten fried upstream.

If the voltage at the outlet remains good, measure at the other end of the rig's power cord. If you have good voltage at the outlet but it drops way down at the other end of the cord when loads are applied, you have a problem with the power cord. Since you have a new one you could swap it out and probably solve your problem.

All of this assumes that you do not have a built-in surge suppressor in the rig. If there is one I would look heavily at that.

Please let us know your progress.
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Old 04-16-2020, 01:11 PM   #3
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Tell us what make, model RV your are talking about. It would be helpfull in the future if you put this info in a signature line in you profile.

We must know what your rig is. 30 or 50 amps. 30 amps is 120 volts. Three wire plug. 50 amps is 120/240 volts 4 wire plug.

On 50 amps you need to see 240 volts between L1 and L2. You need to see 120 volts from L1 to N/G and 120 volts from L2 to N/G. You must start at the shore power. That is the new outlet that the electrician installed. Turn all breakers you see OFF the ON. The main circuit breaker feeding this new outlet must be ON. The main breaker in your RV must be ON. All circuit breakers in your RV electric panel must be ON. You have a 15 amp breaker labeled Converter it must be ON.

With an electric volt meter you are measuring voltage. Not Amps.

If you are plugged into a 15/20 amp outlet for shore power be sure it's not on a tripped GFI circuit.

Again, start at the shore power source and work your way back to the RV main panel.
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Old 04-16-2020, 02:46 PM   #4
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Jim D

I’m very new at owning a trailer. It’s a 2010 Jay Flight that I bought in 2017. Runs 30 amps.

The voltage coming out of the outlet is good about 122v - 124v.

I removed the cover to see where the power cord goes but I cannot see. When I looked in, the cord goes to the right and over a board.
The converter is under my fridge on the right side of the trailer and my cord is on the left.

I didn’t get any good information out of the trailer manual that helps me with replacing the power cord
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:05 PM   #5
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The power cord will eventually make it to the backside of the circuit breaker panel. If the panel is anything like mine, you can't measure anything at the back. If you can pull off the front cover you will have access to the breaker connections.

I recently added a circuit to my rig and have included pictures of my panel. With the cover removed you can see the metal "rail" that the breakers are snapped in to on the left side. You can connect one lead of your voltmeter there and the other to the white wire common strip. There should be a bunch of white wires all connected to a strip in there. You will be measuring right across the power line by going from the rail to the common strip.

First try measuring the voltage with all breakers off. Then turn one on at a time will reading the voltage. If the voltage reading goes down when a load is added, odds are there is a problem with the power cord or at the very least between the power cord plug and the circuit breaker rail, which should be the other end of the power cord if not routed through a surge suppressor. Not all breakers will be adding a load.

Good luck and measure carefully.
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:05 PM   #6
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Ive already removed the panel and box. I removed the old converter and installed the new one.
I was going to replace the cord first but ended up replacing the power converter first instead. Yet, after what you said, I should’ve replaced the cord first.
Now, I’m confused about replacing the cord most of all because of how it’s placed in the trailer.
My power converter is on the right side of the camper under my fridge and my power cord is on the left side.
I had removed the cover to the power cord and saw that the cord went to the right and over a board but couldn’t see beyond that and I tugged at the cord but there’s no give.
I also looked to see where it comes in for the converter which is up through the floor.

Could I tie off the new cord to the old one and pull it through or is there another, easier way to replace the cord?
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:17 PM   #7
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The cord will go to your breaker panel. Not the converter. A 15 amp breaker will feed the converter. The wire is solid copper Romex #14 ga. Your cord is stranded wire #10 ga. There may be nothing wrong with your cord. Don't change it if you don't need too. Plug in the trailer and check the voltage at the Main Circuit breaker. There may not have been anything wrong with your converter other than it was old.
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Old 04-17-2020, 12:35 PM   #8
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I agree with Cavie unless your converter is built into the circuit breaker assembly. I believe my old Lance camper had the breakers and converter all in one setup.

The converter will definitely be protected by a circuit breaker. My converter is protected by a 15 amp breaker.
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Old 04-17-2020, 03:56 PM   #9
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The Circuit breakers and fuses look like they are all in one but are actually separate. When you changed the converter did you change Just the converter or change the breakers and fuses also?. I'm guessing your converter was a separate unit. You should have seen the end of your power cord there anyway.
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Old 04-17-2020, 09:02 PM   #10
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I removed the converter from the panel to replace it and still use my current panel. I saw where the cord came through the floor.

I found an old thread that covered the same issue I have with my converter being on the opposite side of the trailer from the power cord. I have to look in my rear storage box for a junction.

Thank ya’ll for helping me, I appreciate it.
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Old 04-17-2020, 09:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMissyLu View Post
I removed the converter from the panel to replace it and still use my current panel. I saw where the cord came through the floor.

I found an old thread that covered the same issue I have with my converter being on the opposite side of the trailer from the power cord. I have to look in my rear storage box for a junction.

Thank yaíll for helping me, I appreciate it.

Do you have working electricity?
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Old 04-18-2020, 04:16 AM   #12
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One of my earlier campers had the power cable on one side and it just extended across to the other side where it terminated in a junction box. Then it was wired to regular inside romex and terminated on the power dist. panel.

The flexible cable was secured to the floor with a bracket to keep someone from yanking it out when pulling the cable out the street side hole.
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Old 04-18-2020, 04:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMissyLu View Post
I removed the converter from the panel to replace it and still use my current panel. I saw where the cord came through the floor.

I found an old thread that covered the same issue I have with my converter being on the opposite side of the trailer from the power cord. I have to look in my rear storage box for a junction.

Thank ya’ll for helping me, I appreciate it.

If the power cord came thru the floor into you breaker box there is no junction. There will only be a junction if you see #10 ga Romex coming thru the floor. All campers have the electric exit the camper on the rear or driver side. Campgrounds are supposed to be designed with the electric post on the driver side so everyone's cord will reach the PED.

I will ask again. Why do you want to replace the cord?. Why did you change the converter? Do you have electric power now?
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:06 AM   #14
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I don’t have power since the tornado hit 4 weeks ago. It sent a surge in my trailer after taking out the building I was connected to.
I hired an electrician to put in a post with the breaker and outlet (retrieved). He checked everything and it all was good but no electricity in the camper.
The 30/50amp extension was burned/melted at the prongs and so was the plug to the power cord. I bought a new extension and replaced the plug. Checked the fuses and breakers which were all good. Still no power.
I then bought a replacement cord and had someone to help me. Though, since we couldn’t see where the cord went after removing the plate and looking inside. We chose to check other options.
The main breaker was showing 109v then 15v after turning on other breakers. I decided to call the converter manufacturer and was advised to buy another since that one was old and could’ve been damaged. After the guy installed it, it did the same thing as the old one. So My last resort is the cord.
When the guy pulled out the converter, he said that the cord came through the floor. I took his word for it. I happened to be there when he removed the converter. I did see a thick copper wire through the floor as well.
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:51 AM   #15
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What voltage do you measure at the new outlet the electrician installed? It should be 115 -125. That is the same voltage you should read inside the trailer at the other end of the cord. Stick with me. We will figure this out. Again, the converter is not the problem with the electricity. The converter has a 15 amp breaker feeding it. The converter is nothing more than a permanent battery charger. You can turn the breaker off till we get this figured out. You need to see 120 volts on the 30 amp main circuit breaker.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:23 PM   #16
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Missylu, you still with us?
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:27 PM   #17
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I found out that someone my mother knows has a son-in-law that built RVs for a few years so he came out to see what’s going on since the other person decided not to help anymore. It turned out to be the main breaker which is a 15/30 split also I needed a new converter. The new one that came in was defective so I had to replace that one. Everything is good now. I now know who to call on if something fails.
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Old 05-29-2021, 06:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Ryan View Post
Locating your breaker box or circuit breaker can help protect RVís electrical system from many issues. This breaker panel will be within most RVsí interior and mounted onto a wall close to their floor. You might even find it inside one of your RVís external storage bays.
The breaker box will always be mounted Inside the RV interior. Always very accessible and never in a outside storage area. Mounted in the wall not onto.
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