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Old 08-03-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
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Transfer switch

Heard from FR rep and also saw in a service notice that in August FR will start a recall on Berkshire on issues with the power transfer switch. You may want to get a hold of your dealer and find out if it's just a inspection or repair/replacement.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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Skip,

Do you know what year or years Berkshire this applies to? Mine is an '11 but purchased in '10.

Ed
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
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Exclamation link to recall information

Transfer Switch recall, Berkshire and Charleston.

You can find the recall information at : safercar.gov. Type in the recall number 12V341000 and it will cover the years and models. It covers 850 unit made between 2005 - 2011 and says FR will replace the transfer switch free of change. The notice also provided a FR phone number to call. 574-295-8749

Hope this helps everyone.

Skip
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
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thanks for the information will be calling my dealer with my new address
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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Skip, I called my dealer, Buffalo RV, and they had just pulled a Berkshire into service with a burnt out transfer switch. If you were closer to us, it would have made me think it was yours.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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Ed,
Not ours, we had a burned up AC breaker panel that's under the bed. Too close to mess around with. Cause was one or more wires had come off the power bus and shorted. We were lucky for sure. I will be taking off the breaker panel every so often and checking to make sure all the wire are secure.

Skip
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO3putt View Post
Ed,
Not ours, we had a burned up AC breaker panel that's under the bed. Too close to mess around with. Cause was one or more wires had come off the power bus and shorted. We were lucky for sure. I will be taking off the breaker panel every so often and checking to make sure all the wire are secure.

Skip
Boy that's scary! Some folks don't realize how dangerous this " low voltage " can be.......
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:38 PM   #8
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It was not the low voltage panel, it was the 50amp panel that has all the AC breakers in it.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO3putt
It was not the low voltage panel, it was the 50amp panel that has all the AC breakers in it.
Yes I understand, in the world of power distrbution, 117VAC and 440 VAC are termed low voltage. I've forgotten exactly but high voltage can be 12KV-24KV and much higher. Where K= thousands.
My point was even low power 117vac can be dangerous.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #10
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We JUST returned from a 7,000 mile trip out West and our transfer switch started a small electrical fire half way through. Thank goodness it was contained to the switch box. I'll post pictures when I have a moment. We were going down the road in California and we started smelling that nasty fried electrical smell. The switch box was melted and the wires inside were toast. Little copper beads (from the melted wires) all over the place. The neutral (white) wire on the manufacturer's side of the switch had a poor connection or something. It arced and melted in two and then it began frying other wires together. Our bedroom smells pretty nasty now.

I rigged it to where I had to manually switch from shore power to generator power. This was just so we could limp home through the deserts, etc.

Good thread with recall links - I came on here just to see if anyone else had this same issue.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:07 PM   #11
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Please show a picture and where to find this switch. I just got my recall letter today and I want to check it ASAP.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:20 PM   #12
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It is the black box inside the electrical compartment where the shore power cord is located. What did your letter say?
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:27 PM   #13
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When I found out about thie issue, the FR rep had us open the transfer switch box (with power disconnected) and inspect the white and green wires for any signs of browning and that the wires were still flexable. The concern was with the wires on top, furthest in. MAKE SURE YOU ARE DISCONNECTED.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:49 PM   #14
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The envelope had saftey recall on it. Letter said to bring it to a dealer ASAP to get it fixed. Should take an hour and they will change a switch. No charge etc etc.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:22 PM   #15
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Here are 4 picts from my burnt out transfer switch. Sorry about them being so small but that's what I had to do to get them to fit within this forum.

My transfer switch is in the last comparment on the drivers side. One door past the location where the shore power line is stored. We have a 2011 Berkshire 390BH.

As for the inside of the switch box, the left side of the terminal block is the switch manufacturer's side. Where they run the various inputs to their relays/switches and then to the output which is the top four terminals. On the right side, the shore power coming in is on terminals 5, 6, 7, and 8 from the top. You can also tell by the thick black cord coming into the bottom of the box. The generator line input is the bottom conduit line on the right. It's wires run to terminals 9, 10, 11, and 12 from the top (or the bottom four terminals). The top conduit on the right runs to the breaker panel under the bed. This is the output and is terminal numbers 1-4 from top.

In our case, the white/neutral wire on the left on terminal 3 from top arced and melted away. The heat from this resulted in everything else surrounding it to begin melting and arcing. Notice the red and neutral wire running to the breaker panel on the top right (terminals 2 and 3) how they started arcing as well.

I didn't take a picture of the cover but it is badly wrapped and disfigured.

Not only is the switch toast, but the wires going to our panel (and possibly the green ground from shore power) are now bad and need to be replaced.

Also, look at the bottom of the box. Little beads of molten metal piled up there. I picked most of them out.

This occurred while running the generator traveling down the interstate in the morning hours. We were running our two A/C units - nothing else. So this was not the result of excessive load or excessive outside temperatures. I'm wondering if there was a poor connection to begin with. But what do I know other than we almost lost our motorhome to a fire!
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:42 PM   #16
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Looks bad for sure. Glad no one got hurt. Suggest while your unit is in the shop that they pop off the AC breaker panel cover and make sure all the wires are secure on the bus bars. We had one or more wires come off and it melted the box and burned up many wires and could have lost the MH.

Skip, if I knew how to post pictures on here would show the mess
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2015: 188 days, 2016: 72 days, 2017: 185 days: 2018 182 days
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:38 AM   #17
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That was from loose connections. I have a 2012 Georgetown and on my final inspection opened the transfer switch and noticed the wires were discolored from being loose while energized. FR approved replacment of the 50 AMP transfer switch to a different brand.


Top Picture -
The Light manufactured one with the white and gold label was the bad one.


Bottom Picture -
The new transfer switch is above my Progessive Industires Electrical Managment System that monitors power. (Model EMS-LCHW50)
It monitors high and low volatges, high and low cycles, plus more. If anything is wrong it will not energize or it will shut down if already powered up. Nice optional toy I bought.

Here is a link to Progressive Industries and my power managment box if you are interested.
http://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems_lchw50.htm
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:41 AM   #18
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Here are some photos of mine. It looks like mine is a little different. It is in a metal box. All the wires look ok. What do you guys think?
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO3putt View Post
Ed,
Not ours, we had a burned up AC breaker panel that's under the bed. Too close to mess around with. Cause was one or more wires had come off the power bus and shorted. We were lucky for sure. I will be taking off the breaker panel every so often and checking to make sure all the wire are secure.

Skip
Seems FR has a bit of a problem with their, excuse the title, Electricians! I've had more than my fair share of electrical issues involving bad connections. First the power cord fried the neutral lug in the transfer switch from not being tightened properly. I cut the original cord back about 6 inches and connected to the spare neutral lug. Also had problems with wiring in a junction box where the AC units and front Receptacles all meet. Numerous fried wires due to questionable use of wirenuts without twisting the wires together.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:54 PM   #20
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talked to Lazydays got one story, then talked to Forestriver got another story, but now have appointment to have it replaced on the 21th of the month ? only one day to fix it, will see when that happens!
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