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Old 05-11-2015, 11:25 AM   #1
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Electrical Issues Coachman Catalina 293RKS

I just had new power service ran to my campsite. Power Co. came out and set a new pole and new meter. I had an electrician come out and install a new breaker box with 30 AMP plug and 2 110 outlets. I just set up the camper yesterday and when i plugged the camper to the 30 AMP the A/C would not come on and the inverter was clicking on and off with a beep each time. I had an adapter that goes from a regular outlet to a 30 AMP style and the A/C worked with no problems. I did not run everything else because i didn't want to mess anything up. But what do y'all think is the problem? maybe the electrician crossed up the 2 plugs? there is not enough of too much juice on the 30 AMP plug?
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:35 AM   #2
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I just had new power service ran to my campsite. Power Co. came out and set a new pole and new meter. I had an electrician come out and install a new breaker box with 30 AMP plug and 2 110 outlets. I just set up the camper yesterday and when i plugged the camper to the 30 AMP the A/C would not come on and the inverter was clicking on and off with a beep each time. I had an adapter that goes from a regular outlet to a 30 AMP style and the A/C worked with no problems. I did not run everything else because i didn't want to mess anything up. But what do y'all think is the problem? maybe the electrician crossed up the 2 plugs? there is not enough of too much juice on the 30 AMP plug?
The electrician may have incorrectly wired the 30 amp outlet for 240 volts. This happens a lot. DO NOT hook back up to that 30 amp outlet until you are sure it is 120 volts. You may have already damaged the converter, microwave, television...if it was 240 volts.

Hold on and I will edit this post with some links for you.

Here is link to properly wiring a 30 amp outlet. It's good to print out and hand to an electrician, who may be unfamiliar with the way a 30 amp RV outlet is supposed to be wired (they incorrectly think it is 240 volts but it's actually 120 volts). Is the circuit breaker to the 30 amp outlet a single pole or double pole? Can you post pics of the breaker box and outlet?

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...let-27223.html

If you have a multi-meter you will want to check the voltage on the 30 amp outlet:



The voltage between the Hot lead at 7 o'clock and W 120-volt, Hot lead and G 120-volt, W and G 0-volt. (I have also seen the electrician cross the Hot and W, so make sure the W and G are 0)

If you get 220/240 volts between the 7 o'clock hot lead and W (or any combination actually)..... then Houston we have a problem.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:06 PM   #3
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I'm guessing as wmtire said they wired your outlet for 220. "Common mistake"
There's a good chance even if you didn't turn anything on that you've ruined most of your appliances.
Tv's, microwave, converter, a/c
Better be calling your electrician.

This sucks for you and it's to bad these "electricians" are not capable of knowing this.
In fact normally this plug is 220v in a home setting for a dryer or welder.

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Old 05-11-2015, 01:17 PM   #4
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@wmtire I just spoke with my electrician and that is exactly what happened. they used a double pole breaker and wired it for 220v. he changed it all out and it is good. As far as appliances go when i hooked into the regular 110v outlet with my 30 AMP plug adapter the a/c, tv, and radio worked but i did not try the refer or the microwave. the display worked on the microwave though. I can't really argue with the electrician because they did what we asked them to do. they wired in a 30 amp service. although we specifically told them it was for an RV they probably knew no difference.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by agodfrey1192 View Post
@wmtire I just spoke with my electrician and that is exactly what happened. they used a double pole breaker and wired it for 220v. he changed it all out and it is good. As far as appliances go when i hooked into the regular 110v outlet with my 30 AMP plug adapter the a/c, tv, and radio worked but i did not try the refer or the microwave. the display worked on the microwave though. I can't really argue with the electrician because they did what we asked them to do. they wired in a 30 amp service. although we specifically told them it was for an RV they probably knew no difference.
Ignorance is not an excuse.

Glad all appears to be well!

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Old 05-11-2015, 01:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by agodfrey1192 View Post
@wmtire I just spoke with my electrician and that is exactly what happened. they used a double pole breaker and wired it for 220v. he changed it all out and it is good. As far as appliances go when i hooked into the regular 110v outlet with my 30 AMP plug adapter the a/c, tv, and radio worked but i did not try the refer or the microwave. the display worked on the microwave though. I can't really argue with the electrician because they did what we asked them to do. they wired in a 30 amp service. although we specifically told them it was for an RV they probably knew no difference.
The radio is actually 12 volt, and will operate off of the converter or battery.

I hope the major appliances are not harmed. The air conditioners are usually spared unless someone attempts to turn them on while connected to 240 volts (which you stated you did).

However, the converter may be dead or could give up the ghost soon.

What the converter does is to take 120 volt AC and converts it to 12 volt DC.....in order to supply power to the things in your RV that require 12 volt to operate. Examples are your lights, furnace fans, pumps, fridge on propane, thermostats, vent fans, etc. The converter also recharges your battery.

When you are not plugged into a form of 120 volt shore power, then these items run directly off of your 12 volt battery instead of the converter. This way you are able to camp when at places without electricity. You just can't use the air conditioner, microwave, television, or anything that plugs into a 120 volt outlet when not plugged into shore power. Everything else in the RV operates off 12 volt DC power.

Mark Polk has a good article on converters that explain the function better:

http://rvservices.koa.com/rvinformat...d-amp-draw.asp

Even if you toasted the converter off the bat when you hooked up to 240 volts, then the battery still provides power to the items....so the 12 volt stuff will continue to work until the battery depletes (it can't recharge if the converter isn't functioning).

The converter almost always goes when the situation of 240 volts is applied. It usually goes fast, but we have some instances in these forums of it failing rather quickly soon after. Based on these experiences, I will be crossing my fingers for you, but realistically expecting at least a converter replacement in your near to immediate future.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but don't know of a way to sugarcoat it. Thing is, it happens and you will get past it as our other camping compatriots have. It's a learning experience...and not only for yourself, but the electrician also.
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:13 PM   #7
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Just to add a little extra tidbit. It's not advisable to operate the high amp draw air conditioner on a 15 amp outlet either, as it sounds like you did by using the adapter. It can damage the A/C.

Some more good reading by Mark Polk with following excerpt:

Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

Most campgrounds you go to will provide you with a 30 Amp outlet that your RV power cord will plug directly into. If you go to a campground that has a regular house type outlet there are adapters that you can use to go from your RV plug to the house type outlet. When you do this you are plugging into a 15 Amp or 20 Amp power source. This means you will be limited as to what appliances you can run in your RV. It is even possible to damage some appliances if they are not getting the required amperage to operate properly. Let’s say for example you plug into a 15 Amp outlet and you are using a small appliance that is drawing 5 Amps, that leaves you with 10 Amps. Now you turn the roof air conditioner on and when the air conditioner compressor engages it needs about 13 Amps, but it’s not available, and it damages the air conditioner compressor.


Even with a 30 Amp service you need to be selective about what you are using. If you try to use too much the RV will let you know by tripping a breaker in the distribution box and hopefully no harm will be done. There is a short formula that may help you with this. 30 Amps X 120 Volts = 3600 watts. This is the total amount of power you can use before you overload the system. Think of it like this, with 3600 watts you could use 36 one hundred watt light bulbs. When you turn on the 37th light you will probably trip a breaker.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:25 AM   #8
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The info that i received from Forrest river on my power converter is that it is a 55 AMP deck style which means it has a cord that plugs into an outlet. based on that do you think that maybe it and the other appliances could be o.k. I will not be going back to my trailer until this weekend to see if things are fried or not. (fingers crossed)
Also i did state that it was plugged in to this incorrectly wired plug but it was only for about 2-3 minutes because i knew something was wrong when the a/c did not kick on correctly.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:42 AM   #9
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The info that i received from Forrest river on my power converter is that it is a 55 AMP deck style which means it has a cord that plugs into an outlet. based on that do you think that maybe it and the other appliances could be o.k. I will not be going back to my trailer until this weekend to see if things are fried or not. (fingers crossed)
Also i did state that it was plugged in to this incorrectly wired plug but it was only for about 2-3 minutes because i knew something was wrong when the a/c did not kick on correctly.
I am not sure that even if the converter is plugged into an outlet as opposed to being hard wired per se, it would really matter. I don't think I have heard of an episode on these forums that I was involved in with the miswired 240 volt outlets...that the converter didn't fail.

Our fellow FRF member and electric guru, Mike Sokol, has more information on this scenario. You can find it at the link below and please read the comment section for more information and things to check/watch for. Mike goes into some good detail in answering comments...as well as explaining why things may fail later on.

I'm pulling for damage to be minimal, and also have my fingers crossed for you, if that counts for anything.

Mis-wiring a 120-volt RV outlet with 240-volts | No~Shock~Zone
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:18 PM   #10
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Any 120 volts appliances/equipment that is hook up to 240 volts and turned on will be damaged right away: either an internal fuses will blow (hope there is one and it protects) are the equipment will be damaged.
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