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Old 06-19-2016, 02:23 PM   #1
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Shore Power Connection

We took our maiden trip in our "new to us" Flagstaff 2011 Microlite 18RK this weekend, and everything went off without a hitch until it was time to leave the campground. The last thing I went to do was to disconnect the shore power connection only to find one of the prongs had melted in place! In the process of trying to get the plug off, I pulled out two of the cheap screws that Forest River used to install the outlet, in my opinion that should have been through bolted. Those small screws strip out of the fiberglass way too easily! Anyway, the melted connection is a bigger concern. It's bad enough that I need a new cord now and of course there is no place open on Sunday here that sells them. That cord was plugged in for the last two weeks at home with no issues (A/C and Refrig. both on). The only difference at the campground was, we used the electric water heater in which I had recently installed a brand new element. I also used a coffee maker twice, but other than that no additional loads that I didn't have at home in the driveway. I don't know what caused this meltdown, anyone have any thoughts?

David
Port Orange, FL
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:43 PM   #2
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Campground pedestal outlets see considerably more abuse than outlets at home especially when people are leaving. Someone before you could have had an issue with their plug which resulted in arcing and damaged the female outlet in the pedestal. This in turn would create a high resistance connection when you plugged in and heat up the plug. Although it could be the fault of the supplied shore power cord, it is more likely a problem with the pedestal box.
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:21 PM   #3
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Campground pedestal outlets see considerably more abuse than outlets at home especially when people are leaving. Someone before you could have had an issue with their plug which resulted in arcing and damaged the female outlet in the pedestal. This in turn would create a high resistance connection when you plugged in and heat up the plug. Although it could be the fault of the supplied shore power cord, it is more likely a problem with the pedestal box.

The OP said his problem was at the female end of what i assume to be a Furrion detachable cord. That would indicate a loss of contact at the trailer mounted assembly, which he indicated he pulled loose from the sidewall trying to remove the cord. Not an issue at the pedestal.

I would suspect the cordsets female connector, or the trailer mounted male assembly, was just worn from use if it was original to the 2011 trailer. It doesn't take very much of a loose connection to cause heat build up.
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:26 PM   #4
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Check that all conductors are tight at\behind breaker panel. Of they are tight and no signs of damage to the cable, it was probably the pedestal. Cut plug off go to Lowe's match it up with a replacement. Carefully wire up new plug matching conductors to correct prongs.
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:30 PM   #5
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Flybob, the pedestal at the campground was brand new, probably within the last couple of months, not to say it couldn't have had an issue. The male outlet on the camper still looks good, but there could be a loose wire connection I suppose. When I pulled it out, it has a white protective housing around the wire connections and it wasn't readily apparent how to expose them. I'm hoping it's just female end of the cord itself, and not in the camper. I will pick up a new cord tomorrow and when I plug it in, I will gradually add loads to it while checking it to see if it's heating up. If it's something in the camper itself, you'd think a breaker would have tripped.
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:48 PM   #6
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We have many threads here on this same matter. A lot of times the owner (which may have been the previous owner) fail to properly do the final twist of the cord at the RV. This fails to get a full connection between the cord female and RV male, and creates arcing.....which over time does enough damage to melt something, especially with high amp usage.....which you stated you used the air conditioner (12-16 amps) and electric water heater (12 amps) who have 24-28 amps combined just right there of a 30 amp connection. Anything loose is not going to be good.

Also we have seen several instances where people fail to make sure their pedestal breaker is turned off before attaching/detaching the RV cord. This also allows arcing at the connection at the RV if this is where you connect last..... which again damages the cord and/or RV outlet.

Always make sure the pedestal breaker is off, before attaching or detaching your RV power cord.
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:57 PM   #7
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I have a question for you after rereading your OP. You said you only ran the air conditioner and fridge while plugged in at home. Can I ask what kind of outlet you were plugged into at your house? Was it a dedicated 30 amp outlet, or perhaps a 15 amp house outlet using an adapter?

Also here is a FAQ from a manufacturer of RV power cords that I should have added to my initial post. It may help:

https://conntek.wordpress.com/2014/0...ing-acting-up/
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Old 06-19-2016, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
I have a question for you after rereading your OP. You said you only ran the air conditioner and fridge while plugged in at home. Can I ask what kind of outlet you were plugged into at your house? Was it a dedicated 30 amp outlet, or perhaps a 15 amp house outlet using an adapter?

Also here is a FAQ from a manufacturer of RV power cords that I should have added to my initial post. It may help:

https://conntek.wordpress.com/2014/0...ing-acting-up/
I guess I'm guilty as charged, I'm plugging into a 20 amp circuit with an adapter. So I guess the next thing you are going to tell me is I damaged the cord end by doing this?
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Old 06-19-2016, 04:20 PM   #9
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I guess I'm guilty as charged, I'm plugging into a 20 amp circuit with an adapter. So I guess the next thing you are going to tell me is I damaged the cord end by doing this?
Not necessarily, but when you do plug into the 20 amp outlet (which is something else I was going to touch on for a different reason though), are you connecting/disconnecting the cord at the RV while plugged into the 20 amp outlet?

This is another problem in itself, since most people who attach cords to their houses, do not actually run inside their house and flip the circuit breaker off when connecting/disconnecting....or go inside the RV and flip the main breaker off (which would also solve the problem somewhat).

Since the converter, microwave clock, television standby all require some 120 volt AC power...... when you connect to shore power you will get an instant power draw because of these items..... which is also what causes the arcing if the connections are not tight....and you also get a little arcing just from connecting either at the RV, or at the camp/house outlet depending on which one you do last at the final connection.

It's a little different than just connecting an extension cord at your house to say use a light, drill, electric weedeater. Since these items have on/off switches, there is no instantaneous power draw when connecting these to an extension cord, and thus no arcing. Your RV is different as mentioned above, and you do have items that will instantly draw power when connecting...or are still drawing power when disconnecting power cords if the circuit breakers are still on.

This is why you want to make all firm connections without power.....then turn the power on with a circuit breaker...either your house or the RV's...or both if you want to get really safe. You also do the same before disconnecting.

You can think of it like a water hose, and what happens when you try to hook or unhook a hose with water pressure still applied.

BTW, welcome to the forums which I also should have acknowledged in my initial post.
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:03 PM   #10
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2015 Solera 24R Power Inlet Burnt Up

I was camping in My 2015 Solera 24R with the AC running and convection oven on for about 20 minutes. The connection between my Furrion power cable connector and the Solera shore power inlet over heated. The shore power inlet plug burnt internally on the power leg. The power cord plug also burnt and melted on the power leg. The pedestal breaker finally opened after the power leg insulation about 2 inches outside of the shore power inlet cover melted and arched to the bare copper ground wire in the coach wall.

It appears that the set screws on the shore power inlet wire connections were not tight or torqued to specification at the Forrest River factory. The only set screw that was tight was the bare ground wire set screw in the inlet. The neutral wire was loose and the power leg connection inside the shore power inlet was melted and partially vaporized.

There was about 15 inches of excess 12 gauge orange romex inside the coach wall which allowed me to easily replace the shore inlet with a new part (from Camping World) and I also installed a new female 30 Amp Connector Retrofit Kit on the power cordset.

You may want to inspect the set screws in your shore power inlet to set if they are tight. You can easily unscrew the screws through the inlet and dismantle the back of the inlet box to check the torgue on the connection wires.
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