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Old 07-26-2010, 02:07 PM   #1
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Georgetown 359TS electrical problem

My wife and I recently took our 2004 Georgetown 359TS to Turkey Run State Park in Indiana and experienced electrical problems. Each time I attempted to plug my 30amp or 20amp into the campground power box, their circuit breaker would switch off though everything in the RV that uses electricity was turned off. After flipping the circuit breakers in my own power center to off, I could then plug in and their circuit would not switch off. As I switched each of my circuit breakers back on, the air condition breaker and outlet breaker in my power center would cause the campground breaker to switch off. Even with the rest of my breakers turned off, once I switched the AC or outlet breaker on solely, their power box breaker would blow. Can anyone tell me why this happened? Once we got home, I plugged into my standard 20 amp and everything worked fine. We have had the rv for 5 years and have never had an issue like this. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:24 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.

Sounds like you don't have anything to worry about if it works fine at home and you have never had the problem before. Sounds like something wrong with that parks power pedestal.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:47 PM   #3
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Electrical

Some campgrounds have old wiring that results in a drop in voltage. You were fortunate that your ac didn't work as you could have ruined the unit running on low voltage. This summer I was at a campground; I had my fridge on ac and the air running. I noticed the fridge was not cooling very well; and thought my wife had opened the door too long (this accusation always starts an argument). I took out a voltage meter and found that the voltage at the outlets were only 103 volts. After I turned off the ac and switched the fridge to gas it started cooling normal. I didn't run my ac the rest of the weekend. I questioned a campground worker and was told that this always happens when the place is full; especially at this area of the campground. You would think that they would notify you that this could happen so someone doesn't burn up their ac unit. The place took the full amount for the campsite that was supposed to provide water; sewer; and electric. They really don't seem to worry about damaging someone's appliances. From now on I check the outlets before I use the AC; TV; microwave etc. ( Some higher end coaches have a built in alarm or panel that warns of low voltage.)
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:38 PM   #4
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That's one of the first things I check when I plug in at a campsite. The control panel for my inverter has a screen that gives all the AC input voltages for both legs. It amazing the differences of the two. The most I've seen is 6 volts but when one reads 121 and the other 116 it does throw up a red flag. I found the one side wasn't making good contact. I cleaned the plug and bent the prong slightly inward and everything was back to normal.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:16 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your responses. It made for a very fustrating weekend since it was the hottest of the year and we had special needs individuals that were counting on the AC. Fortunately, they allowed generators during the day. I did question a park employee if this was a known problem with the site, but pretty much got a blank stare. They did have the campground host test it, and he said it was fine. My own testers were intermittent, sometimes it showed it worked, other times it didn't. I'm by no means an electrician, so I was curious as to what others who perhaps are more experienced with these things thought it could be. Thanks everyone.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:37 AM   #6
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I attended a seminar about two years ago and the topic was electrical problems. The instructor stated the number one common problem when it comes to breakers tripping at your campsite electrical panels is the campsite's breakers and the receptacles. Between them being used as switches, being turned on and off can make them loose on the power bar within the panel. The receptacles tend to get loose as well from the tugging and pulling of the plugs over a period of time. It effects the connector which effects the voltage as well. It also weakens their ability to trip at the rated amps. They start to trip prematurely, rated at 50 amps trip around 40 amps. The other problem is the campground's electrical system as a whole. High demand of AC units times the number of campsites can leave the sites on the short end with lower voltage readings as well. Quite a few campsites weren't wired originally to handle the bigger load requirements of the larger rigs. He said the first thing to do is always make sure the breaker is turned off before you plug in. Check the outlet with a tester and then plug in and turn the breaker on. Do a visual inspection of the RV power cord. Make sure the prongs are clean and if there's any distortion of the plug due to heat from a bad connection, replace the plug or the entire cord.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:50 AM   #7
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A digital voltmeter is worth its weight in gold for testing voltage levels in a park receptacle. You can find a good one for about $70 (Fluke) that checks ac voltage and is also an ohmeter for checking continuity.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfsoistman View Post
The other problem is the campground's electrical system as a whole. High demand of AC units times the number of campsites can leave the sites on the short end with lower voltage readings as well. Quite a few campsites weren't wired originally to handle the bigger load requirements of the larger rigs. He said the first thing to do is always make sure the breaker is turned off before you plug in. Check the outlet with a tester and then plug in and turn the breaker on. Do a visual inspection of the RV power cord. Make sure the prongs are clean and if there's any distortion of the plug due to heat from a bad connection, replace the plug or the entire cord.
This happened to me this past July 4th. We were at Hershey High Meadow campground for a day or 2 when I started popping my breakers in my rig(as you know, it was very hot this July). I went out and looked at my surge suppressor, which also tells me the amps and volts on each leg, and it showed one leg was 124volts and the other leg was 104 volts. Notified the campground and they said that there was some sort of electrical problem. They couldn't get it fixed and I had to change sites.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:19 PM   #9
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We have a 2004 Georgetown and we have had some electrical issues with ours in the past. Of late we just found out coming home from a trip to oregon that our brake lights and signal lights were not working, we changed out all the fuses, still nothing, any ideas on what to try next?
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:18 PM   #10
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drholter: Hmm, well, I've never had an issue with any of my outside lights other than replacing one now and then, but I'll take a look and see what I can find.
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