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Old 09-09-2018, 09:38 AM   #1
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30A Power Inlet Burned Contact

This past weekend I camped in 95F degree heat connected to a pedestal with an avg 104v output. With the A/C running almost constantly, I decided to use the 50A pedestal plug with a dog bone. Still, the heavy draw at 104v caused one of the contacts at the trailer inlet to overheat and begin to melt.


I understand why this happens, so my question is: along with replacing the plug on the end of the cord, can I replace just the receptacle on the camper without replacing the entire Furrion inlet assembly?
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:44 AM   #2
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Yes, the danger of low voltage (high current due to wattage determined motors) and your only protection being higher rated than your wires.


Unfortunately, I would certainly replace the socket along with your shore cord.

The end might not be the only damage. The individual wire insulation internal to the cord could be bulged, burned, or otherwise compromised.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
Yes, the danger of low voltage (high current due to wattage determined motors) and your only protection being higher rated than your wires.


Unfortunately, I would certainly replace the socket along with your shore cord.

The end might not be the only damage. The individual wire insulation internal to the cord could be bulged, burned, or otherwise compromised.

Thanks! Good advice on replacing the cord - no sense cutting corners there. The socket unfortunately is no longer available in black, at least the round cover style. Thus my desire to just replace the receptacle part of the assembly. Might just have to take it apart and see.
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:03 AM   #4
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Changing it to the square version would most likely cover the existing holes (though I would fill the old holes with Marine Sealant).

Make SURE you tighten the set screws holding the wires securely! I had the safety ground come loose and touch the Neutral. Everything worked just fine, but I had a "hot skin" that took forever to track down.
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
Yes, the danger of low voltage (high current due to wattage determined motors) and your only protection being higher rated than your wires.





Unfortunately, I would certainly replace the socket along with your shore cord.



The end might not be the only damage. The individual wire insulation internal to the cord could be bulged, burned, or otherwise compromised.


What is the problem with low voltage? I was at a campground recently where my voltage on both sides of my 50amps was a little low. Is it best to buy a voltage meter and check the volts at each campground you stay at
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:37 AM   #6
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What is the problem with low voltage? I was at a campground recently where my voltage on both sides of my 50amps was a little low. Is it best to buy a voltage meter and check the volts at each campground you stay at


Low voltage increases the load required to run items such as the AC or microwave. The issue is that a 30A connector is only rated at 24A constant load. So running at the max 30A causes high temperatures at the connector.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:29 PM   #7
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Make SURE you tighten the set screws holding the wires securely!
This is why I absolutely despise Molded Connectors where the connections are crimped and then molded into a rubber/plastic body.

If the connector feels hot you have only two choices. Reduce load or wait until it totally melts and then replace it with a connector that has set screws.

Marinco makes a good connector set that uses nylon body connectors and set screws. Designed for the corrosive marine environment.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/marin...2?recordNum=16

BTW, it might fit right in the existing round hole. Check the spec's.

The kit I've linked is for RV Owners that want to change from the old "Mouse Hole", permanent connected cord, to a removable cord.
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Old 09-09-2018, 01:14 PM   #8
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Exact same thing happened to me. When I got the new receptical, and took apart the old one, the hot lead was so loose it fell off. Made sure the new connections were good and tight and no problems since. I suspect it was not tightened correctly since install, or came loose over time.
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Old 09-09-2018, 01:34 PM   #9
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I am not a electrical genius and continue to learn after making costly mistakes during marginal power pedestal issues and burned cord contacts. Twice in the last 5 years I have fried a molded and replacement plug, in addition to 2 surge protectors. The scenarios were most definately extended temps in the 90s and admittededly, me not addressing the burned plug ends. Although I had sprayed and filed down the contacts it really did not make a difference. I finally began to use dialetic grease on everything electrical on the RV as well as making sure the pedestal gets a dose when plugging in. Some years ago a CG in PA was having a real issue with their grid during sweltering days with a full CG. With the A/C on there were times when the voltage was 96 which we all knew would hurt our A/C units if not corrected. Just last week while camping on LI 2 RVs nearby had their plugs fried and only one had a surge protector. Seems to be a more frequent issue.
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:13 PM   #10
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The issue with low campground voltage is, as stated previously, that things that run on Watts need more amps to work.

Watts = Amps times Voltage

For example:

Air Conditioners:

AC motors as found on your Air Conditioner's compressor and blower motor run on watts. It takes a specified number of watts to turn the motor and then a lesser amount to keep it spinning under load (Both are Inductive Loads).

You will find the watts needed stated as amps @ 120 volts. There are two numbers for each air conditioner.

The first is LRA (Locked Rotor Amps at 120 volts). This is the amount of amps initially needed by the Air Conditioner to start the stopped motors (compressor and fan) moving. This amperage is only needed for a small fraction of a second and, while huge, will not normally pop circuit breakers.

The second rating is RLA (Rated Load Amps) or Running Amps at 120 volts AC. This is the number a properly functioning air conditioner will pull when running at speed and is much lower than LRA.

The Coleman Mach 3 15K air conditioner's spec plate on my last camper is attached. Notice that the LRA of that unit is 58 Amps at 120 volts. The running amps are only 11.9 at 120 volts. Normally the 58 amps at startup is not an issue on shore power since the breaker will not "see" it long enough to react. Some inverter generators can NOT produce that high an amperage even momentarily and will stall and quit even though they can easily sustain it once it gets running. That is why you should not run an air conditioner on generator on ECON mode even if it will run there. It may not restart after it shuts down the first time.

Low campground voltage increases the amps needed to both get the motors turning and keep it running. The problem with that goes beyond the inability of the campground to supply the needed amps at 120 volts.

The windings of your motor have a fixed resistance. Pushing amps through a wire is "hard to do" and that resistance generates heat. The more amps going through the windings, the hotter they get. The wires in a motor winding are insulated with lacquer (not rubber). The excess heat (higher than normal for the motor's planned life) will break down the lacquer coating over time and eventually short out the motor requiring replacement.

Microwave:

The microwave oven uses a Magnetron to generate microwaves. It is also watt driven. Too many amps will also burn up the Magnetron (lacquer covered windings again).

Water Heater and Fridge on electric, Convection Oven, and Induction burners:

These have "fixed" resistance windings (Resistive Load) and run on amps at 120 volts to produce the rated amount of heat (watts).

The formula for a fixed load is Watts=V^2 / R or Rated Power = Volts Squared divided by resistance. Since the resistance in a fixed load is also "fixed", varying the volts varies the power.

Given that you have a 1200 Watt element in your water heater and it uses 10 amps of AC at 120 volts.

Volts = Amps times Ohms
Solving for resistance gives our heating element a resistance of 12 Ohms

Power at 120 volts = 120x120/12 = 1200 Watts
Power at 110 volts = 110x110/12 = 1008 Watts
Power at 100 volts = 100x100/12 = 833 Watts

times However, if the voltage should drop to 100 volts it will "act" like it is a 833 Watt element and not get your water as hot nor recover as quickly.

Same with your fridge and induction stove tops (or oven if electric). Low volts means melted ice cream.

Computers, radios, and TVs:

Hate low power. They become unreliable at some point and can quit without warning. Laptops are not effected since the run off battery even when plugged in. The transformer that charges your battery (inductive load)will be less efficient, but will continue to provide charging power (though it might get really hot).

That pretty much covers why low voltage (also called a Brown Out) is bad and must be monitored. A system that monitors your power and shuts it off if it gets too low or too high is really needed with todays campers.

Lots of talk here about which one is "best". Most will monitor and protect you from excessively low or high voltage and "spikes". Progressive makes one that a lot of folks like.

https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-I.../dp/B015Y9A4HU

I like something called an Autotransformer. It actually fixes bad power up to its cut off voltage. Hughes is the "last man standing" after Frank Izbinski (Franks Electronics) passed away. You can read up on the specs here:

https://www.amazon.com/Hughes-Perfor...utotransformer
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:16 PM   #11
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If you have a connector rated at 30 amps, and is good only for 24 amps continuous, it is probably time to go to a higher quality connector, especially on an application which often runs at nearly the maximum.

Addressing other questions, melted plastic around connectilns, and the actual connections being discolored due to heat, are ALWAYS due to a poor connection; this may be caused by an under rated connector, and frequently is due to poor cvonnection between the wire asnd the connector terminal.

So, assuming that you have correctly sized wire, and quality connectors properly torqued, you should be able to draw the rated amperage indefinitely. If you draw significantly over the rated amperage, the breaker on the pedestal or in the coach will trip. The connector pictured on the side of the coach shown is known as a "flanged inlet", anmd is made in a couple of different mounting configurations. Personally, I'm fond of the marine type, which are highly corrosion resistant, and have as water tight cover. These are pricey, but only once. I prefer Hubbell connectors above all others, due to personal experience, but Arrow Hart also makes excellent quality goods.

I have used the 30 amp twist lock connections for many years, and have never had a melt down with Hubbell, but when using Leviton or Marinco, not so much. You get what you pay for. I also use SOW cord, which has rubber insulation instead of plastic, as it is very rugged. If I need a long cord for some reason, I do use heavier wire, as in #8. Generally speaking, it works out very well. Also have as ferro resonant transformer on board, which keeps the output voltage very stable. Although my current coach is a 30 amp, being smaller, I still use the 50 amp connection when it is available, connecting the jumpers on the transformer input accordingly. I've used this same transformer in previous fivers, and bus conversions...a new 4kva unit is beyond reason for me price wise. These are known as "constant voltage transformers" and are made by several firms. Mine is a Sola.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:19 PM   #12
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Here is the "low voltage fix" done by my 2 stage Franks Autotransformer.

The Hughes unit is a single stage boost.
Shame the Franks are only available used now.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:18 PM   #13
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I am not a electrical genius and continue to learn after making costly mistakes during marginal power pedestal issues and burned cord contacts. Twice in the last 5 years I have fried a molded and replacement plug, in addition to 2 surge protectors. The scenarios were most definately extended temps in the 90s and admittededly, me not addressing the burned plug ends. Although I had sprayed and filed down the contacts it really did not make a difference. I finally began to use dialetic grease on everything electrical on the RV as well as making sure the pedestal gets a dose when plugging in. Some years ago a CG in PA was having a real issue with their grid during sweltering days with a full CG. With the A/C on there were times when the voltage was 96 which we all knew would hurt our A/C units if not corrected. Just last week while camping on LI 2 RVs nearby had their plugs fried and only one had a surge protector. Seems to be a more frequent issue.
a surge protector will not protect against low voltage. Only an EMS will do that.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Teamfour View Post
This past weekend I camped in 95F degree heat connected to a pedestal with an avg 104v output. With the A/C running almost constantly, I decided to use the 50A pedestal plug with a dog bone. Still, the heavy draw at 104v caused one of the contacts at the trailer inlet to overheat and begin to melt.


I understand why this happens, so my question is: along with replacing the plug on the end of the cord, can I replace just the receptacle on the camper without replacing the entire Furrion inlet assembly?
Never, ever try to use anything less than 108 volts. Buy a Hughes autotransformer. ALWAYS be sure to turn that twist lock to the right to lock it in. Read TWIST LOCK. Yes, you can replace the male and female. No need to replace the cord.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:35 PM   #15
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Never, ever try to use anything less than 108 volts. Buy a Hughes autotransformer. ALWAYS be sure to turn that twist lock to the right to lock it in. Read TWIST LOCK. Yes, you can replace the male and female. No need to replace the cord.

If enough people plug in their autotransformers in a "low voltage campground" there's a good chance the campground can turn into a NO VOLTAGE campground.

You can't get higher voltage and same wattage output without sucking more current on the input. Translated, more load on an already strained system.

Just saying.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:58 PM   #16
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If enough people plug in their autotransformers in a "low voltage campground" there's a good chance the campground can turn into a NO VOLTAGE campground.

You can't get higher voltage and same wattage output without sucking more current on the input. Translated, more load on an already strained system.

Just saying.
While true to some extent, try and get your neighbors to switch their water heaters and fridges to gas so the voltage can recover. During a low voltage event during 100 degree plus July weather, I walked the entire 30 amp circuit at the Gettysburg KOA to try and get the other campers to switch to gas on their water heaters so I could get AC at the end of the row.

Imagine my surprise at the response I got. I bought my Franks Autotransformer as soon as I got home from that trip.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:00 AM   #17
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"The formula for a fixed load is Watts=I x R or Rated Power = amps times resistance."


Power = I X V
Power = I X I*R
Power = I*I X R (i.e current squared times resistance)
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:23 AM   #18
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Back to Teamfour's original question;
It looks like the molded plug on the cord was bad. The damage was caused by inadequate contact tension inside of the plug. I would cut ~1' off the cord and replace the plug on the end of the cord. That should eliminate any damaged insulation. If the contacts on the receptacle are not etched by the arcing, I would clean them up with a scotchbrite pad and coat them with dielectric grease.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:30 AM   #19
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while our coach came with the exterior 'twist lock' shore power connection, I grew tired of having to lug out the 35' 50amp power cord each time. I decided to remove the twist lock connector on the side of the coach and see what lie behind it. I found I was able to pull the wiring cable back thru the chassis and into the DEF bay, where I reattached the two cables within a junction box.
Now I have 4 more feet of usable cable length, the shore cord is permanently wired - no more twist lock connector, and I can easily only remove the amount of cord I actually need, with the rest stored curled around the DEF tank.

I've never missed the twist-lock connection since. : )
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:36 AM   #20
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Since you have to replace both the plug & receptacle you may consider this.

https://smartplug.com/rv-market-rv-s...-power-outlet/

I have no affiliation with this company nor do I own this product. I will consider this connector should I have to replace my twist lock 50 amp on my RV.

Happy camping,
C
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