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Old 06-25-2012, 06:14 PM   #1
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Power Cord Problem

Let me preface my dilemna by saying I have been a camper for 17 of my adult years along with all my childhood years.

I have a recently purchased Progressive Industries PT30C surge protector that shows how many volts is incoming, Htz, how many amps I am using and if there are any power problems coming through the outlet.

My previous trailer had a problem with the 30amp power cord getting hot at the plug. Matter of fact, I had an electrician replace the plug end at least twice. Hot enough to melt the plug in my opinion is too hot! I never(that I'm aware of) go over the 30amps. If I were, wouldn't a breaker trip on the pedestal or at the very least in the trailer?

Now my 2012 VLite is beginning to show the symptoms. This weekend I plugged in with only the 15,000 BTU AC and of course the converter running. The surge protector showed that 16 amps were being used. In the high 90's and high humidity the AC ran for 3-4 hours before it kicked off to catch it's breath. After about 6 hours I noticed it was hot on each end of the cord. Even the surge protector was hot, I guess from the male end that plugs into it.
The power cord is the original(yellow) that came with the unit. The cord has lots of numbers and such on the side of it but none say how heavy the gauge. I was wondering, would a heavier gauge power cord solve my problem or do I have somethingelse going on? How else do you plug your power cord in and it not get hot?

Somebody help!!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
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Heat is caused by resistence.
Or overload.

Same surge protector for both units?

If so id send it in to PI. To checked.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
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The surge protector is a week old. Didn't have one for the previous trailer. I had the problem beginning even before the surge protect. Seems to show signs when AC runs for long periods. AC cools fine. I try to limit the amps especially when high amp pulling items are running. I don't think the problem is the surge protect since it was happening b4 it came into the family. Do they make a heavier gauge 30 amp cord? Would that help?
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:33 PM   #4
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I have seen this and have come to this conclusion. How many times have many plugs been put into a receptacle? Many. Your cord/plug isn't the issue. It is how good the contact is between your plug and their receptacle. A loose fit here makes heat and depending on the amps how hot it will get. I now have a sacrifice. I very short cable I can and have replaced the plug on, saving my cable from destruction. This is between me and their power.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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'Quote'
""I have seen this and have come to this conclusion. How many times have many plugs been put into a receptacle? Many. Your cord/plug isn't the issue. It is how good the contact is between your plug and their receptacle. A loose fit here makes heat and depending on the amps how hot it will get. I now have a sacrifice. I very short cable I can and have replaced the plug on, saving my cable from destruction. This is between me and their power.""

But why would the surge protector not pick up on this if the contacts are not good the resistance should be high and that should cause the voltage to drop if I am remembering correctly how this works.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:52 AM   #6
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Of course I didn't sit there and watch the display on the surge protector the whole time. When I did check, it would read 119-121 volts, 60 htz, 13-16 amps being used, 0 errors. This weekend I was plugged into the outlet in my trailer building. I'm the only person to plug into this outlet since I built the building 7 years ago. And in no way has that plug been used as one would at an RV site.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timex
Of course I didn't sit there and watch the display on the surge protector the whole time. When I did check, it would read 119-121 volts, 60 htz, 13-16 amps being used, 0 errors. This weekend I was plugged into the outlet in my trailer building. I'm the only person to plug into this outlet since I built the building 7 years ago. And in no way has that plug been used as one would at an RV site.
It almost seems to me that the power cord is to light.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:51 AM   #8
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My 2 cents: I'm also tending to think that it is a problem with the campground 30 amp receptacle. You have to think of how many times it has been used and how long it has been exposed to the elements. High usage will mean that the contact pressure will deteriorate over time. Just because the pedestals have a cover over them, it doesn't mean they aren't susceptible to moisture. You might even notice a sloppy feel to your plug when you push it in.

It's not going to take much resistance between your plug and the cg recept., when you are drawing full load, to cause a heat buildup. If you had a volt or two of loss at the plug at 30 amps, that can be a lot of heat in a confined space. The voltage drop is not going to be enough for the surge protector to pick up in that case.

One way of checking for this would be to plug your cord into the pedestal and measure the voltage in your camper before you have anything turned on. Then turn on as much as you can (A/C, microwave, etc.) to load the cable up to 30 amps and see if the voltage drops.

I think one idea might be to make up a short 2' or so 30 amp to 30 amp extension cord so that is only the extension that plugs into the pedestal, thus saving potential damage to your cord.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:25 PM   #9
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I see what you are saying. As I stated before, the female end that connects to the trailer is also getting hot. I made sure that the plug was snugged up good too. What do you do if you get to a rv site where the recepticle is old or boogered up?
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:13 PM   #10
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Okay,so you have a detachable cordset. If it is yellow, is it a Marinco one? Or a Conntek? The reason I ask is that I recently installed a Marinco 30 amp inlet and cord. I have to say that I am not very impressed with the fit of the Marinco female connector to the 30 amp inlet. I bought a complete Marinco cordset so it has a factory molded connector. The factory cordset also has the 1/8 turn ring. I find that the female connector fit to the male inlet is really sloppy. It feels like the only wy it will work is by the ring holding the connector in place. The factory inlet and connector have stainless steel components since these are really made for marine use (except the pedestal end is changed of course). The locking connector also doesn't lock much at all as you would expect any locking recept./connector to.

Stainless steel is not a very good conductor compared to copper (or brass). Stainless is used in marine applications because of the corrosive environment. Companies like Marinco are not doing RVers a favor by using modified marine components. I tried to get tech. info. from Marinco but they were hopeless. Their website has no tech./engineering info.

Interestingly, I also bought a Marinco 30 amp female connector only so that I could use the old cord as a spare. I noticed that the contact pressure seems much higher and it fits better on to the inlet. Doesn't make sense why they would be a difference.

Without seeing what you have, I am guessing you may also be having a similar problem with the female end of the cord (ie., high contact resistance). And it might be aggravated by what I note below.

I have noticed with our trailer that when I plug the cord in, even with nothing turned on, there is a loud zapping sound. Sounds like I am plugging in a cable with a live 100 amp load. The only thing on would be the converter. The technolgy of RV converters isn't my thing, but I have to wonder if something called harmonics and power factor might be causing a problem? (Don't want to get into something quite technical here.) Maybe someone here can add something to this as it relates to RV converters? Maybe some convertors are just a lot better for harmonics.
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