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Old 04-27-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Front outlets dead, help.

Hi, new to the forum and already have to ask for help. I have have a 1999 Cherokee 29F trailer (I think the F means front kitchen). I have power to all of the back half outlets, 3 in the bedroom, GFI in the bathroom, 2 in the living room, 1 outside, and the microwave. The fusebox only has one breaker marked receps. The outlets in the kitchen, 2 on the counter, the water heater, and refrigerator are all dead (my METER says so). I have been checking the outlets one by one and replacing them with standard household ones and junction boxes as I go. Does anyone know why there would be a wire that does nothing capped in the refrigerator service area (it's dead as well). Does the wiring run underneath the unit where it could have gotten damaged or chewed by a critter? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Mike
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:05 PM   #2
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First of all, I would reset all the breakers, regardless of how they are marked. Second, I would for another GFI outlet. Almost all the outlets in in camper are GFI protected, so maybe there is another GFI outlet that has popped.

Third, as for the outlet in the fridge compartment, most campers have a wire there, with a single outlet, to plug the refer in for electric power.

Since you have a meter, and can use it, take the breaker cover off, and check for power out of every breaker. Then it is a matter of pulling outlets.

If this started when you converted your last outlet to house type, I would start there. Especially if you are wiring by just pushing the wires in the back of the outlet, and not wiring around the screws. Too easy for a small piece of insulation to keep that "knife" contact from working.

Good Luck, and lets us know, just a process of elimination.

And by the way, WELCOME to the forums.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:35 PM   #3
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Not sure why you would want to replace the RV type of receptacle with residential ones? Household ones are designed to be mounted inside an outlet box and there is no provision of a mounting tab like the RV ones. I don't think the RV ones are all that bad if they are installed properly. In your case, I would do what windrider says and if that doesn't help, more info:

The RV receptacles have push-on tabs for the #14 gauge wires - one for in and one for out. While doing some mods to our trailer this winter, I had one receptacle and discovered that one hot wire was not stabbed onto the connector properly. In fact, it was barely hanging on. Not only bad for downstream receptacles, it could easily be a fire hazard. I also found a bunch of long screws for the shower curtain track penetrating way into the "attic" space. Problem was, that there was a pile of 120V & low voltage wires laying on top of the screws (with sharp points). I had to fix that.

I would get yourself one of those testers that you just have to hold the tip against a wire and it beeps if live. They don't cost much and are kinda cool. That way you can more easily discover if you have a live wire but bad connection. Watch how you push the test meter leads into a socket. Sometimes they don't make contact well or at all. As a 100% check, find a radio or something to plug in or get a tester that plugs into the recept. The advantage of those is that they can show an open ground or reversed polarity.

I would sketch out a quick plan of your unit where each recept. and load is and figure out what breaker controls each circuit and where the last live recept. is. I would be surprised to find that you have all 120V loads & recepts. on one breaker.

Would be interested to learn what you figure out in the end.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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Thank You so far for the responses. In an effort to keep my question short I left out some of the steps that I have taken already. I have already done the following:
1. Reset all of the breakers and checked them for proper voltage.
2. Replaced the GFI with the best one the electric supply had.
3. When replacing the stock outlets I installed shallow gang boxes, put the wires around the screws on the outlets, and used Bucannans on the grounds.

The water heater outlet is the last one left that I haven't changed, and I plan to do that one tonight. The only GFI I have is in the bathroom and will kill all of the outlets that are currently working when tripped. Here is one thing that is odd, the refrigerator is hard wired in, no outlet and as I already mentioned there is a wire in the service area that is capped and dead. I keep a spare GFI in the camper I may put that in tonight for grins but I am doubtful it will have any effect. After checking the writing on the panel I found that there is one breaker marked GFI and one marked receps. When I turn off the receps breaker they all go cold including the GFI. This is also the case when I turn off the GFI breaker it's as if the are one in the same.
Thank You, Mike
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:35 PM   #5
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I have to jump in. I have to assume with all the wiring you did, that you checked the connection at the breaker inside the power center.
It could have come loose or burned off.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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Herk7769, I will add your comment to my growing list of things to check.

Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zvacman View Post
Herk7769, I will add your comment to my growing list of things to check.

Thanks.
We've seen that happen on a post just a week ago.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:56 AM   #8
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Okay, here's the update. I replaced the new GFI with another new GFI, the refrigerator started working. Everything in the panel is secure and some outlets on each of the circuits for plugs work. I still have the two outlets in the kitchen that are dead and the water heater outlet is also still dead. The outlets in the kitchen are countertop height which would lead me to beleive they should be on a GFI circuit and as near as I can figure they aren't.
I have been chasing electrical gremlins in this unt for about 7 years now and it's getting really old, a wiring diagram from the factory sure would be helpful. If anyone has any more suggestions I would appreciate it, camping season here in Michigan is right around the corner.

Thanks, Mike
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:24 AM   #9
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Not sure how you are checking outlets, probes stuck inside, or how? I would be checking the wires themselves. You can also get a small yellow tester that plugs in the outlet at Lowe's or Home depot, for less then $5.00, and has light. Shows reverse polarity, open ground, etc. Anyway, normally, at best, maybe 2 circuits or all the outlets in a camper. Remove all AC power. Remove the two that don't work. Remove the wires, and leave them exposed, but make sure that are not touching. Apply AC power, and go check for voltage at the wires. If none, you will have to find from which other outlet at least one of them is being fed. Hint, it will be the one with 4 wires. If one of them has only 2 wires, that will be the end of the line.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:43 AM   #10
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The closest thing to a generic wiring diargam is this one.
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File Type: pdf 30TS_Elect_Schematics.pdf (5.99 MB, 49 views)
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