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Old 09-20-2011, 02:20 PM   #1
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Question 2 week old Salem 27RKSS concern

I've got a sad question and great concern that I really can't get a straight answer from anyone on.
We have a new 2012 27RKSS Salem which I purchased about 3 weeks ago with my Military Veterans settlement after waiting 4 years post injury to get.

Last weekend my wife and I decided to take it for its first official trip overnight and went to an established campground in St. Andrews New Brunswick.
At about 1130pm (Airforce time) 2330 hours I heard the microwave oven beeping in short intervals.
When I went to investigate - it stopped, only to resume about a minute later. I checked the panel in the trailer and no breakers were tripped. When I went to the pole outside nothing was tripped. At that time I heard the lady from 3 sites down the street yelling that her trailer was on fire. I ran down to their site got them out and unplugged their trailer at the pole. It was their electrical panel and once it was reduced to smoke only, I then started to return to our Salem and heard my wife inside screaming that something was making a snapping noise. I got her out and then unplugged our trailer.
That loud sound was similar to someone electric welding metal together.

At about 0030 hrs the campground manager arrived and tested 11 sites. All were showing 240 at the pole. So not a surge but a direct open neutral/groound. Some campers still had their units plugged into the pole and were unsure of what was going on.
On Sunday morning the electrician arrived and retested the lines. The site manager returned to one location and with a small backhoe began to dig. What they found was a very severed and rotted ground which permitted the 240 continual power to search for grounds - ie trailers.

I guess my concern is as such.
New trailer + 240 continual power into the trailer = burnt wiring and damaged convertor.
What else is hidden and potentially damaged?

What happened to warrantied items such as the fridge, AC compressor and unit, the microwave, the invertor/covertor and other electrical items such as our 2 week old TV and DVD player.

Are we running the chance of a fire later on if travelling reconnects bared or melted wiring?

How can I make sure that our investment is repaired back to 100% pre 240 power flood and if not what recourse do we and others have?

I'm a 16 yr military police veteran not a lawyer. I deal with protecting the lives of myself and others, identifying injustices, collecting evidence and providing others with proof of an occurance.

The trailer is insured through my own insurance policy

The campground says to have the RV repairs direct billed however what have we lost (along with 8 other trailer owners one being in his 90's)? I took pictures of everyone's unit beside the site designators, have their info and pictures of the manager digging up the ground and the wiring which failed.

Any advise in the way of suggestions on what the RV dealer should test/look for and verify along with any evidence that items in warranty 2 weeks ago may now be voided will assist me in determining what items will be replaced. With that much energy for that period of time being consumed - what works today may fail in the spring - there is no way to tell.

All I know is it smells burnt and where there is smoke there was the potential for fire. My wife is now concerned about getting caught in a fire trap down the road.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can assist.
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:38 PM   #2
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Ouch, sorry to hear of your bad encounter on the maiden voyage.

to late now but you want one of these in the future:
Portable Surge Guard - Product - Camping World

surge guard for the entire camper

maybe your Insurance will total it out and pay for a replacement TT.

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:13 PM   #3
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I'd have it inspected at your dealer for any problems. Any defects need to be billed to the CG's insurance. I would use my insurance only as a last resort.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
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I agree with both posts. Contact your dealership service department and have them check out everything for you.

I don't know if the portable surge guard would protect you but I have one and I was glad that I did the second time I used it.
Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

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Camping History: 45 Trips / 133 Nights / 3736 Miles
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:30 PM   #5
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Man that is terrible. Sorry you had to go through all that. I know you must be heartbroken.
I agree with the above post, take it to your dealer. Explain what happened and give them plenty of time to do a thorough check of the entire electrical systems and wiring. If there is damaged caused by the campground's electrical problems, I would think they would be liable for any repair expenses. It does sound like their willing to step up and take resposibility. Good for them.

Good luck to you and I hope that things work out for the best.

Thanks for your service and sacrifice for our freedom.

Gary & Trish
"PT Crew Member Since 11/2010"
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:39 PM   #6
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Thanks to all who have responded. The RV dealer locally is where I'm heading after patrols tomorrow. Hoping that they can put it to pre-energized state.
My wife is more concerned about it igniting somewhere in the walls after looked at.
I am giving the RV dealer as much time as needed (snow is coming to the north east in a month or so) and they can take their time in fixing whats wrong.

I am more concerned about warranties being voided by the 240 energy run through the system and the potential for future problems.
I've been looking at Surge protectors both portable from Surge Guard and the afixed types from Progressive industries. A 30 three prong system is what the Salem is using so would there be any use in getting a 50 and knowing this trailer is a 30 not a 50 set up, am wondering if all I need is the 30 amp unit.

hard wired or portable. Anyone with any thoughts on which is better?
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:54 PM   #7
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I am no electrician but it seems to me the wiring would not be damaged unless the load connected to it exceeded its rating. Just because 220 ran through the wires instead of 110 should not have damaged it. Would the 12 volt system be damaged? Again, not being an electrician I am not sure how the power converter works but unless the voltage was doubled to 24 volts there should be no damage. If the voltage was that high your interior lights would have been very bright! So, if my theory is correct the only damage would be to anything that was connected to 110 volts when the problem occured which would be the heaters for the refrigerator and water heater, tv, micro and of course the power converter which was probably causing the arc welder sound.
Hopefully this is the case, or there is an electrician on the forum who can correct me and you can get back to being a happy camper!
Thanks for protecting our country!
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:12 PM   #8
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I'm not an electrician either. Last time I tried to wire a ceiling fan on a 3 way switch I asked someone to turn off the power. Both my wife and my son (now a carpenter) got up and flipped teh switch lending my thought process to be shocked, not once but twice when they got up and flipped the switchs again.

My interior lights were actually off. The trailer next to us however looked like the Griswold family Christmas.
240 is what was registered almost an hour after the initial problem at each of our posts. Most of us had unplugged our units within 10 to 15 minutes of the power malfunction.

we are both planning on several years of happy trailering with new friends, and family. Our son just returned from his second active tour at 24. Freedom is not free and there are other men and women both young and old who give more than I could even offer in the service of that freedom.

With my past injuries, my service is now limited to our home soil and to those I find myself being placed by our Lord in their paths.
We just returned from Texas a couple weeks ago and in the airport i thanked 4 troops in uniform for their service and identifeid myself as an MP. The look i received was worth the time it took to offer appreciation.
Thanks for your support.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:36 PM   #9
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Agree with backin..... only the 110 V stuff would be affected. Your converter may have been damaged by over voltage and anything running off the 110 circuits. The 12 volt side should be ok.
Wires only heat up with excess current, not voltage. Your breakers are there for that purpose. Heater elements will burn out with too much voltage.
Typically doubling the voltage will decrease the current by half, so may not blow a breaker but fry electrical components inside say a microwave. Whatever was running on AC at the time of the overvoltage will be suspect. If your fridge was running on electric instead of gas, have that checked. If you water heater was on electric and was heating, it also needs to be checked. The converter for sure, unless you had it off (the circuit breaker was off)
I'm guessing your wiring is fine, but may have damage to the items backin mentioned.
Take er in and let the RV guys figure it out for you.
Just curious...did you try all the AC stuff? (microwave, fridge, AC) Is your converter still running your lights, water pump, ect?
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:26 AM   #10
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The Heat system was running due to cold evening, the microwave was plugged in (not cooking food) and it was actually the clock on the microwave which alerted us.
The water heater was on electric mode.
Tv was plugged in but not being watched.
Fridge was on electric mode.

There is a strong electrical burnt smell originating from the fuse panel location. The RV dealer on the phone (senior tech) gave me a few past experience things he checks when there has been a continual overload such as this.

Not a 240 Volt surge but a 10 to 15 minute overload.
Everyones suggestions is helping me compile a list of things to be check (and I'm sure the RV dealer will examine every possibility as well) will give me piece of mind.

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