Travel Trailer electrical question

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by KirstieTX, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. KirstieTX

    KirstieTX New Member

    ok heres the story.....new (8days old ) 4 slide travel trailer...certified electrician comes to the house and installs a plug off a 220 with a 50 amp plug...plugs in the travel trailer and the big screen TV fries with smoke...unplug and have electrician come back...he says all is stuff is ok..turn everything on.... all good...then last night plug in again and the DVD/surround system...no workie...so call a different electrician...he chekcs everyting says it's ok but the DVD is fried...so starts looking in the trailer and sees that the main nutural wire to the breaker box is loose not loose not even tightened, just laying there...my question is could other things....converter...microwave, refg, AC's and the 2nd TV... inside over a time have been damaged and should they also be replaced? I would hate to get somewhere in the boonies and everyting else start dying? Any help would be appreciated. THANK YOU
     
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Putting 220 to anything which is not designed for it will likely cause damage. Personally, I'd have that electrician buy me a new trailer. And the first thing I'd put into it would be a Surge Guard.

    If you didn't turn something on, and it has a real, physical on/off switch (not a tiny relay or a standby mode), it probably will be ok. Anything you turned on or which is always on, has the potential to have been weakened.
     
  3. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    As John says, RV's are 120 volts only. You need to get the electrician to change his work to 120 and hope he has good insurance.
     
  4. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    I thought the shore box did supply 220 and it was seperated to 120 at the switch box in the rv. This would only apply to rvs with 50 amp service.
     
  5. S. Manaro

    S. Manaro New Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    RVs which require 50amp service utilize 2 individual 120v lines. 220v is 2 120v lines in series... thus supplying 220v to your 120v circuits. If you are lucky, you haven't fried it all.. if not, you will probably need all new 120v appliances and a new converter.
     
  6. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Sounds like it wasn't an 'RV aware' electrician. Your other problem is you now have a warranty situation.
     
  7. racefan

    racefan New Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    I would give him one chance to get all fixed if not call a good lawyer the wimpy wirering in a camper cant take that amount of juice and be safe
     
  8. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    I think we are blaming the electrician to early. The fault may be in the rv. The service coming into the rv is still 50 amps and 220 volts. On the back of the 220volt receptacle, there will be four terminals labeled W (or white), G(or green) and maybe X and Y. The terminals X & Y on the receptacle are the hot wires and are interchangeable, 120 volts on each leg, the hot wires from the panel are typically red and black. The neutral W and the bare ground wire G must be in their designated connections. The bare green wire should also be grounded to the electrical box the receptacle is mounted in (if metallic). No appliances in most rvs are 220 volts. There are some now that are and total electric. So IMO if the electrician wired it this way something is wrong in the rv and the rv mfg will be responsable. All JMO and I am no electrician. Have another certified electrician ck it out and keep records. If the first electrician was certified he should be insured. Good luck
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    If the RV has a 4 prong plug, it is 2, inverse phase, 120 volt circuits. That center return path is critical to prevent damage to all the 120 volt circuits in the unit. From the description above, that wire 'was just laying there', which sure sounds like a big goof on the part of the electrician. I'd check into that certification, see which crackerjack box he got it out of :)
     
  10. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    John, the way I read Kirstie post the wire was loose in the rv. If the electrician just installed the receptacle and wired it properly it should not be his problem but, I may be reading it wrong. If he left the center circuit off in the receptacle like you said he better be insured. Kirstie did say he installed a "plug" for 220. If he installed a 220 plug on a 30 amp lead into the rv :eek: :dead:
     
  11. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Chelse, you are right, it does sound like the problem is in the RV, in which case the electrician has no liability. If this was the case, I'd make the trailer mfg give me a new trailer (or replace all the electrical stuff with compensation for the time/costs involved)
     
  12. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Sure hope they kept records of this and pictures of loose wires would help in court, if they have to go that route. I am with you John give me a new rv. Lucky it didn't burn. Give us a follow up Kirstie.
     
  13. Johnny-O

    Johnny-O New Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Hi everybody, I realise I'm several days late concerning this issue, but I don't see where the issue has been solved yet. Mr. Nash may have a point about the electrician not being at fault. If that white wire (neutral) was just lying there not touching anything, then nothing should have happened or even worked. With an open neutral, the circuit was never completed. If the neutral wire was loose in the hole on the neutral bar, you could see a low voltage problem, and possibly a melted wire in the panel. The electrician is guilty of sloopy workmanship, but that should not have fried the electronics. The only way your going to see 220V at that 15 amp plug is if that neutral wire, (or the ground wire) were somehow made hot. If that "certified electrician" made that big of a mistake, he should find himself another line of work before he hurts someone. What you need to do Kristy, is have someone with expierience inspect all the plugs and J-boxes. It sounds like they might have crossed the neutral and ground wires somewhere in your trailer. This could create a backfeed or even a hot skin. And that is very dangerous. Let us know how it turns out, electrical problems are always interesting.
    The Boz
     
  14. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Boz, if the neutral wire is not connected at one end (house or trailer), then the trailer will have 220 volts applied to it with respect to ground (the 2 'hot' wires provide a complete circuit) and it cannot handle that. Trailers with 3 wire cords are set up for 2, out of phase, 120 volt circuits, using the white wire as the return for both, and the black and red wires as the source for each. Since the white wire is tied to ground someplace (usually the main box), the trailer can never have 220 wrt ground.

    It is not clear whether the problem in this case was in the box installed by the electrician, or in the trailer. Somebody screwed up big time, and damage resulted.
     
  15. USMC

    USMC Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Some where in the RV archives I posted about this I beleive, It sounds to me like the electrician didn't hook you up right, I'm not an electrician and I wired my own 50 amp hookup to my travel trailer and it worked just fine.

    If you want to research the archives I think you will find where I wrote in detail how to wire for 50 amp, and If I remember correctly Grandview and I had a conversation about this subject. Later Jim
     
  16. Johnny-O

    Johnny-O New Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Hertig, Your right, if you use both hot legs coming out of your house panel, call them leg A, and leg B, each 180 degrees out of phase from the other, you will have a 220 circuit. If you add a third wire, a neutral, you have a three wire circuit, then of course you have the ground. If you connect across the A leg and the neutral, you have 110V. If you connect across the B leg and neutral you again have 110V. But the only way to get 220V is to connect across both the A and B legs, no neutral.

    All 110 circuits are wired with 1 hot, 1 neutral, and 1 ground. All 220 circuits are wired with 2 hots and a ground. My point is the only way that wall plug could have 220V, is if someone connected the neutral wire to the other hot leg at the panel, or possibly in a junction box somewhere.

    One more thing you you have to remember, you never use a ground wire as a neutral, and never use neutral as a ground. (Don't laugh I've seen this done on several occasions, usually by the do-it-yourself home electrician).
    The Boz
     
  17. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Sure would like to have an update
     
  18. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Travel Trailer electrical question

    Just keeping this one up hoping to hear how it came out. Maybe it fried Kirsties computer :eek: . Hate these post that do not follow up :( but, their lawyer might have told them to not talk or maybe it was someone just pulling our leg. Recond it was Kirk? :laugh: :laugh:
     

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