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Old 07-19-2015, 08:43 PM   #1
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Is my 30 amp Cable Toast?

We were recently camping in hot weather with hookups. When I went to disconnect the shore power cable it was hard to undo from the trailer socket. It appears one of the slots on the female plug end is burned and one of the prongs at the other end had overheated and melted the rubber a little. After removing the cable from the power source, on the female end I attempted to clean the burned slot with a small file. I noticed that there was less resistance when inserting the file in this slot than in the other slots. So I think that either the slot connection was damaged by the overheating or that it was too loose in the first place and caused arcing which burned it.

So, I think I need a new cable since the cost of replacing both connectors is probably not worth it. If anyone has words to the wise such as where to purchase a new cable or if you think I can salvage the old one, I'd like to hear from you.

BTW, I always turn off the power before plugging in and disconnecting.

Thanks Ray
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:05 PM   #2
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I'm not an electrician, but here are my thoughts. The cable is shot. The burnt connectors and wire will never carry the current that they did originally. I'd also be concerned about the trailer side connector and adjacent wiring too. I think you should check that out also. What do you think caused the problem? Did you have a surge protector? If not you might want to consider buying one. They also sense over voltage/current situations plus many other fault conditions. Sorry to hear of your problems.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:17 PM   #3
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I totally agree the trailer connector and wires need to be checked.

I would scrap out the burned power cable and but a new one.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:48 PM   #4
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Did you have a surge protector? If not you might want to consider buying one. They also sense over voltage/current situations plus many other fault conditions. Sorry to hear of your problems.
common misconception. Surge protectors don't do anything but protect from uncommon surges. Power protection devices such as Progressive Industries EMS series covers your but from anything that could go wrong. The term "surge protector" is to generic.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:00 PM   #5
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common misconception. Surge protectors don't do anything but protect from uncommon surges. Power protection devices such as Progressive Industries EMS series covers your but from anything that could go wrong. The term "surge protector" is to generic.
I agree with your comment but I hate to confuse spudston with sematics, but here is the description of my "Surge Guard" which is similar to the "Progessive".

"shuts off power in the event of an open ground or thermal line/load overtemperature condition, as well as in the event of an open neutral, low (under 102 volts) and high (over 132 volts) voltage or reverse polarity to protect your RV and its electrical components from damage and fire. Continuously monitors for voltage and amp draw (RMS) and reverse polarity (miswired pedestal or elevated ground voltage)."

A surge protector may have saved him from his misfortune. Much time on the forum and one can see campgrounds that have all sorts of power problems. I always use mine and was just trying to help him to understand how he might be able to protect this from happening again.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:34 PM   #6
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I'm not an electrician, but here are my thoughts. The cable is shot. The burnt connectors and wire will never carry the current that they did originally. I'd also be concerned about the trailer side connector and adjacent wiring too. I think you should check that out also. What do you think caused the problem? Did you have a surge protector? If not you might want to consider buying one. They also sense over voltage/current situations plus many other fault conditions. Sorry to hear of your problems.
As far as what could have caused the problem:
1. There was an electrical problem of some sort in the park, nearby.
2. A prong on the end of the cable that plugs into the park service was corroded. This is on the same wire as the slot that was burned a little at the trailer end. This prong had the small amount of melting near it. The other prongs and slots were fine.
3. I did not have a surge protector or similar device.
4. Very high usage due to high temps.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone! I will be ordering a new cable ASAP.

We may be selling this trailer soon and buying a new motorhome in which case I think a surge protector or similar device would be an excellent idea. Does anyone have a recommendation for what one to buy?

Thanks again, Ray
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:00 AM   #8
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There may not have been a problem in the park at all.. It could have been a loose connection on the trailer's male receptacle caused either by a loose termination at the time of installation or from vibration going down the road... I'd be replacing that one too as well as the shore cord.. Especially if it shows any visible heat damage. It's a cheap fix now as opposed to a second cord later on... This will also give you the chance to see if any of the heat damage to the prong on the receptacle made it's way onto the insulation of the wires behind it..

Once replaced, I'd check my AC voltages inside the trailer to make sure they are good.. Check them while plugged in at your house (if possible) so that you know they are more solid. Make sure you keep the proper polarities while swapping out the receptacles too..
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:41 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies everyone! I will be ordering a new cable ASAP.

We may be selling this trailer soon and buying a new motorhome in which case I think a surge protector or similar device would be an excellent idea. Does anyone have a recommendation for what one to buy?

Thanks again, Ray
Progressive Industries EMS series offers the best protection, and is the only brand with a lifetime warranty. All others have very short warranty coverage.
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Old 07-20-2015, 01:21 PM   #10
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Problem could be caused by a loose connection between the plug and the receptacle on the RV. They MUST be tight. That's what the collar is for.
Plug and receptacle can be can be bought at WEST Marine.
I had this same issue many years ago on my sailboat. Lesson learned.
Paul
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