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Old 07-13-2015, 10:48 AM   #1
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check yo plug ends...

The last time we camped, my shore-line twist lock (the end that plugs into the camper) didn't want to let go. It took a bit of tug on it to get it to come out of the receptacle. It was late and kinda dark, and I didn't give it too much of a thought. I just coiled up the cord, tossed it in the compartment and went on about my business.

Go to plug it in on Saturday morning, and no power in the camper. Unless I wiggled the cord just right. I pulled the plug back out and upon inspection saw that one connecter was melted down. . Looks like it might have been a bit loose, and the heat build-up melted the housing. No signs of arcing at all. Funny thing is we never had a power issue at all the weekend it melted. That forced me to buzz about 30 miles up the road to a home depot to see if I could find a 110volt 30A twist-lock plug. Turns out they had one (JUST one!). It was nearly $40, and cost me half of the morning to go get it, change it out and get the power on.

Learn from my experience folks! if your plug does not go in or come out just as easy as it usually does, spend a minute and find out why. That goes for both ends. In fact, it's now my SOP to give each end a visual inspection before plugging in and after pulling out. What would have been an easy fix one evening at home wound up costing me valuable lake time.

tim
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:07 AM   #2
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lesson learned never tug on cords Later RJD
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:21 AM   #3
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I had the same issue last summer! I changed the plug on the twist lock and the receptacle on the trailer. When I opened up the receptacle from the trailer it also had damage from melting. Might be worth changing that as well. I also carry spare parts now.


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Old 07-13-2015, 11:30 AM   #4
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For this very reason I am going to start putting a light coat on electrical grease, sometimes called inhibitor, on the blades of my plug to help make a better contact. Used on electrical connections for years & it really does the job. Will probably help keep out moisture also.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:22 PM   #5
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Can also happen at the campground pedestal and destroy your cord plug. Always have a look at the receptacle before plugging in. If signs of burning ask for a different space.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:41 PM   #6
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We had similar issue with our 2010 Sierra. We had camped many times but had always plugged into 30 amp receptacle with no issues. The first time I plugged into a 50amp receptacle the power supply went boom and the microwave fried. As it turned out the neutral conductor at the female twist-lock had never been tightened at the factory. (No indent ion on copper conductor at all). I know you should'nt have to but it always pays to double check someone else's work.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harkerr View Post
Can also happen at the campground pedestal and destroy your cord plug. Always have a look at the receptacle before plugging in. If signs of burning ask for a different space.
If your rig has a 30-amp RV plug at the end of the cord, you might want to consider carrying a 50-amp to 30-amp "dog-bone" short adapter cord, and plugging into the 50-amp plug in the pedestal (if there is one) instead.

I suspect the pedestal's 30-amp receptacle is used far more, and is more likely to be damaged.

Be SURE to get the proper dog-bone! It will only deliver one "leg" of the 240-volt, 50-amp plug to its other end, ensuring you only get 120-volts! It should say something like: 50M-30F somewhere in the description.

If you are unsure of "electrical stuff", have someone far more knowledgeable check it for you to be sure you only get 120-volts through it! However, a fully-licensed electrician who hasn't any direct RV experience is NOT the go-to person in a case like this! Those guys have made too many tragic mistakes in the past, as they don't understand the reasoning behind this dog-bone adapter.

A Camco #55175 is an example of the correct one.


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Old 07-13-2015, 02:48 PM   #8
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Melted shore power line

You might also want to consider that it wasn't the connector but the power provided. Ten years ago I had a plug melt and I was told that low voltage was the culprit. Installed volt meters and surge protection in all RVs since then. Looking at the volt meter when camping is an eye opener when you see the readings at various camp grounds. Amazing highs and lows.
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:02 PM   #9
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Same experience. We were camping in below freezing weather (not by choice) and one morning I could not unplug the 30 amp cable from the TT. It had melted and was fused to the input on the side of the TT. I had to remove the 30 amp input, and since we could not find another one for sale nearby I had to remove both the plug and the input and hardwire the power cord into the TT. When I was able to buy parts, I rewired the input and the power cord at great expense. When I tried to get Forest River to cover it under warranty the said "NO". They said I voided my warranty when I "Tampered" with the fused parts. They said I should have left it "broken" and not repaired it. Evidently they have never camped in below freezing weather and needed power. I had no choice but to "tamper" with the cord or freeze my anatomy like the proverbial brass monkey.
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:19 PM   #10
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I appreciate the advice guys. This particular pedestal is my private one on my lake lot. There is no 50A outlet. But the voltage is good, because it was put in by one of the greatest electrical engineers I know... Me.

I've had to diagnose the problems caused by loose terminals a couple dozen times in my career. I'm convinced this was an improperly torqued screw where the wire goes into the plug end.

Tim
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