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Old 07-19-2015, 07:43 PM   #1
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Is my 30 amp Cable Toast?

We were recently camping in hot weather with hookups. When I went to disconnect the shore power cable it was hard to undo from the trailer socket. It appears one of the slots on the female plug end is burned and one of the prongs at the other end had overheated and melted the rubber a little. After removing the cable from the power source, on the female end I attempted to clean the burned slot with a small file. I noticed that there was less resistance when inserting the file in this slot than in the other slots. So I think that either the slot connection was damaged by the overheating or that it was too loose in the first place and caused arcing which burned it.

So, I think I need a new cable since the cost of replacing both connectors is probably not worth it. If anyone has words to the wise such as where to purchase a new cable or if you think I can salvage the old one, I'd like to hear from you.

BTW, I always turn off the power before plugging in and disconnecting.

Thanks Ray
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:05 PM   #2
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I'm not an electrician, but here are my thoughts. The cable is shot. The burnt connectors and wire will never carry the current that they did originally. I'd also be concerned about the trailer side connector and adjacent wiring too. I think you should check that out also. What do you think caused the problem? Did you have a surge protector? If not you might want to consider buying one. They also sense over voltage/current situations plus many other fault conditions. Sorry to hear of your problems.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:17 PM   #3
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I totally agree the trailer connector and wires need to be checked.

I would scrap out the burned power cable and but a new one.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:48 PM   #4
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Did you have a surge protector? If not you might want to consider buying one. They also sense over voltage/current situations plus many other fault conditions. Sorry to hear of your problems.
common misconception. Surge protectors don't do anything but protect from uncommon surges. Power protection devices such as Progressive Industries EMS series covers your but from anything that could go wrong. The term "surge protector" is to generic.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
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common misconception. Surge protectors don't do anything but protect from uncommon surges. Power protection devices such as Progressive Industries EMS series covers your but from anything that could go wrong. The term "surge protector" is to generic.
I agree with your comment but I hate to confuse spudston with sematics, but here is the description of my "Surge Guard" which is similar to the "Progessive".

"shuts off power in the event of an open ground or thermal line/load overtemperature condition, as well as in the event of an open neutral, low (under 102 volts) and high (over 132 volts) voltage or reverse polarity to protect your RV and its electrical components from damage and fire. Continuously monitors for voltage and amp draw (RMS) and reverse polarity (miswired pedestal or elevated ground voltage)."

A surge protector may have saved him from his misfortune. Much time on the forum and one can see campgrounds that have all sorts of power problems. I always use mine and was just trying to help him to understand how he might be able to protect this from happening again.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:34 PM   #6
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I'm not an electrician, but here are my thoughts. The cable is shot. The burnt connectors and wire will never carry the current that they did originally. I'd also be concerned about the trailer side connector and adjacent wiring too. I think you should check that out also. What do you think caused the problem? Did you have a surge protector? If not you might want to consider buying one. They also sense over voltage/current situations plus many other fault conditions. Sorry to hear of your problems.
As far as what could have caused the problem:
1. There was an electrical problem of some sort in the park, nearby.
2. A prong on the end of the cable that plugs into the park service was corroded. This is on the same wire as the slot that was burned a little at the trailer end. This prong had the small amount of melting near it. The other prongs and slots were fine.
3. I did not have a surge protector or similar device.
4. Very high usage due to high temps.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone! I will be ordering a new cable ASAP.

We may be selling this trailer soon and buying a new motorhome in which case I think a surge protector or similar device would be an excellent idea. Does anyone have a recommendation for what one to buy?

Thanks again, Ray
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:00 PM   #8
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There may not have been a problem in the park at all.. It could have been a loose connection on the trailer's male receptacle caused either by a loose termination at the time of installation or from vibration going down the road... I'd be replacing that one too as well as the shore cord.. Especially if it shows any visible heat damage. It's a cheap fix now as opposed to a second cord later on... This will also give you the chance to see if any of the heat damage to the prong on the receptacle made it's way onto the insulation of the wires behind it..

Once replaced, I'd check my AC voltages inside the trailer to make sure they are good.. Check them while plugged in at your house (if possible) so that you know they are more solid. Make sure you keep the proper polarities while swapping out the receptacles too..
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by spudston View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone! I will be ordering a new cable ASAP.

We may be selling this trailer soon and buying a new motorhome in which case I think a surge protector or similar device would be an excellent idea. Does anyone have a recommendation for what one to buy?

Thanks again, Ray
Progressive Industries EMS series offers the best protection, and is the only brand with a lifetime warranty. All others have very short warranty coverage.
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:21 PM   #10
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Problem could be caused by a loose connection between the plug and the receptacle on the RV. They MUST be tight. That's what the collar is for.
Plug and receptacle can be can be bought at WEST Marine.
I had this same issue many years ago on my sailboat. Lesson learned.
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:25 PM   #11
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you can put new ends on the cord, we use to use them all the time in industrial situations, instead of buying a who;e new cord, as long as there is no breaks in the cord, it is fine
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:45 PM   #12
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I had a 30a connector melt once. Smart electric guy told me it was low voltage that caused it. Went right out and bought a new cable and a Surge Guard.
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Old 07-20-2015, 02:05 PM   #13
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Hammer55 - should the OP test his cord after removing the defective end(s) prior to re-using it? I agree some $$ can be saved replacing the ends vs buying a whole new cord, but based on some of the above posts I got the feeling that was unsafe. I have no significant electrical knowledge, so simply asking so I can learn.
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Old 07-20-2015, 02:10 PM   #14
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you can put new ends on the cord, we use to use them all the time in industrial situations, instead of buying a who;e new cord, as long as there is no breaks in the cord, it is fine
Probably just as well to replace it. The price of the two plugs will be high. Not only that you will lose your water proofing with most replacements, a new cord will probably have molded plugs.

Problem could have been low voltage but most likely the plug came loose one time. Once it starts to melt, burn, it would get worse every time it was used. This might have happened two or three times ago, no way of knowing. If it was low voltage then a "protector" would have saved it. As voltage drops currant usage increases Higher currant, higher heat. A loose connection is now more likely to start burning. Again, no way of knowing when.

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Old 07-20-2015, 02:16 PM   #15
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For some info about surge protectors look at this thread.


http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ms+-+Emails%29


Just started this thread a day ago.


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Old 07-20-2015, 03:42 PM   #16
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Progressive Industries is the best. I bought one of their hardwired EMS units and had a few problems getting it installed. They could not have been better, answering all my questions and really "caring" about their customers. The lifetime warranty is also another great thing. They are not cheap but in this case u get what u pay for. I highly recommend them.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:04 PM   #17
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As Ham Camper suggested get the Progressive Industries hardwired unit if you can. The portable would be the second choice. If possible get the unit with the remote display. It's a little difficult to run the wire for it but you can keep tabs on how the power is doing.
Also be careful when shopping around. I found some pretty cheap prices when shopping for mine. I think the cheap one are Chinese rip offs. Beware, they look the same but are not warrantied and well, you get what you pay for.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:46 PM   #18
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I agree with your comment but I hate to confuse spudston with sematics, but here is the description of my "Surge Guard" which is similar to the "Progessive".

"shuts off power in the event of an open ground or thermal line/load overtemperature condition, as well as in the event of an open neutral, low (under 102 volts) and high (over 132 volts) voltage or reverse polarity to protect your RV and its electrical components from damage and fire. Continuously monitors for voltage and amp draw (RMS) and reverse polarity (miswired pedestal or elevated ground voltage)."

A surge protector may have saved him from his misfortune. Much time on the forum and one can see campgrounds that have all sorts of power problems. I always use mine and was just trying to help him to understand how he might be able to protect this from happening again.
Thanks for your explanation of the "Surge Guard" (which is similar to "Progressive"). We, too, have a Surge Guard and have read so much about PROGRESSIVE that we were worried we didn't buy the right product until we were saved from not one, but two, campground pedestals. The fact that both do a good job means a lot!
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:44 PM   #19
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Confession from a long time ago

I was a nube many moons ago. On my previous TT we stayed at a SP that had only an outlet mounted to a post. You notice I didn't say 30 amp outlet. I was very uneducated way back then, I'll admit.
Hey, there was a plug to plug my cord into and I was happy. Had to use my adapter because my cord end(30 amp) wouldn't fit in the plug. Are you following me? Yes, I plugged into a 20 amp outlet.
Yes, it was hot weather, and I used my AC.
Yes, water heater on electric.
Yes, fridge on electric.
Yes, several lights on.
Yes, TV, etc...
Why the breaker didn't trip before the BOSS used her hair dryer has mystified me for years.
I was way over 20 amp usage and even over 30 amps.
When I unplugged, the adapter was melted and busted almost in half. The cord end was melted too. I had an electrician replace the cord end and a couple years later, he had to do it again. The cord was apparently wired into the converter because I pulled the cord out of a compartment thru the exterior wall. It was probably damaged on the inside end as well.

Since then, in present time, I have been educated by my brethren on FRF on proper use of a power cord.

I first, before plugging in anything, check the pedestal for any irregularities with a circuit tester and a plug in voltmeter.

I use a little dab of dielectric grease on the pins of my PI surge protector before plugging it in and letting it run it's diagnostics.

ALWAYS HAVE THE BREAKER OFF BEFORE PLUGGING ANYTHING IN OR UNPLUGGING.

Dab dielectric grease on the male ends of the power cord and also on the pins of the RV receptacle.

About once a year, or more if needed, I'll clean the pins with a light grade sand paper.

But like others have said, the plugs should be tight. If it is loose, you're inviting trouble.

And yes, I would replace the cord.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:45 PM   #20
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I had mine burn up also and had to put both plugs the on the camper and the cord. I then put dielectric grease on the replacement.
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