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Old 08-01-2012, 10:32 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by marcusfan
That is a great idea for the power tester. Can anyone give me a link to such an item.

I just talked to my insurance agent. He doesn't think power surges are covered. He said they are not covered in my homeowners so he doesn't think they are covered in the TT comprehensive coverage. I asked him to find out for sure. No matter what he says, I am going to get a copy of my policy and read it for myself to make sure.

Now if I can just find a place to take it for repairs. Every dealer I have called has said at least 2 weeks before they can check it out.
Your dealer most likely stocks a plug in voltage meter.
Mine stocks 4.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:36 AM   #22
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Sorry to hear about your problems and I would definately recommend as others have, get it into a dealership and have it looked at. Although you were able to continue to use the AC, Fridge, slide, etc. after the electrician corrected the power supply is perplexing, the fact that you had smoke coming from the electrical panel is very concerning and you never know what kind of damage this may have caused. Last thing you want is to have it plugged in and all appear to be working correctly, however something in that panel finally gives and creates even more of a problem for you, which could even be life-threatening if you are in the camper.

That being said if I was in your situation, given the fact that power still ran for several hours after getting the wiring fixed, there might be one last thing that I would try to validate whether or not power to the line the electrician ran is good or not. Most dealerships provide a pigtail end that will allow you to plug the 30 amp cord into a standard 110/20 amp electrical outlet. If you can find a working outlet and then leverage this adapter to connect the camper to it, you can validate whether the problem might be the 30 amp line or the camper itself. If this does work, be very careful in what you turn on in the camper because you do not want to draw too many amps through this circuit. DO NOT TRY AND TURN THE AC ON WHEN CONNECTED THIS WAY. Might want to make sure that it and your electric water heater (if you have one) are turned off before attempting.

I'd be very cautious when doing this because of the potential problems with that panel/converter, but again this would be my next step.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:50 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
Your dealer most likely stocks a plug in voltage meter.
Mine stocks 4.
As F1100turbo says, most dealers should have them, and you can make your own, if you want.

Here is a good site on understanding 30/50 amp service (might want to show your electrician)...as well as making your own plug and play outlet tester.

RV Electric

30-amp RV outlet Tester

If you decide to make your own tester (plug and play), you can do without the line volt gauge to begin with if you can't easily find it. Wal-Mart will carry the 15 amp female to 30 amp male adapters in their RV section near Automotive/Tires. The 3-Wire Circuit Analyzer is usually over in the electrical section. You can at least test to see if your new 30 amp outlet is working.

They will also carry the opposite 30 amp female to 15 amp male adapter, so you can test your trailer like QCCowboy said in the above post. I sent you a private message earlier also.

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Originally Posted by marcusfan View Post
There is no breaker in the box that he installed
This is not a good thing either. You will want the outlet turned off when you hook up the cord, as to not get electrical arcing. Over time, this can mess up your plug and/or you if you get zapped. You could turn it off in the basement each time, but that is going to be a pain.....especially in any kind of emergency situation and you need to kill power quick. If you have this box redone, go ahead and add a breaker at the box that you can turn off and on while you attach/detach the power cord. Just friendly advice.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:03 AM   #24
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Thanks to all the suggestions so far.

After the electrician screwed up, the ac continued to run for five hours as we were installing the television in the bedroom. When we finished with that, tested out the tv it was working great. I turned off the ac and fridge and locked up. I never unplugged the TT after that. There is no breaker in the box that he installed but I sent down to the basement of my house and no breakers were tripped. I turned the breaker for that box off and on again just in case and still nothing.

I tried to change the fridge over to gas but none of the lights would come on so it wouldnt switch over. I know it had gas cause the dealer fixed it.

Update on the electrician: He was supposed to come over this morning and look at it. He called me and said take it in to the dealer and see what they charge you to fix it and I'll pay for it. I think he was online last night because he said a couple of the same things you all have been saying. I'm just praying it was the converter only cause I think he would pay for that but if theres a bunch of stuff wrong I'm not sure about that one.

Does anyone know if a claim on my insurance would be on comprehensive? I had to finance the TT and the lender required me to have no more than a $500 deductible when I wanted a $1000. No complaints about that anymore.

should I tell the dealer what happened or just tell them nothing is working. I'm a little calmer this morning. Thanks everyone for the help.
Here's a wild guess- You never saw 220 VAC into the camper because as others have wondered how can anything survive? Your quote in red is maybe a very good lead. Now to me looks like converter popped on start up, not unusual as most electrionics that fail do so when brand new. If that were the case lots of smoke and what happened appear. However you continued to operate on AC/DC for a few hours on battery with converter dead. Only after returning "nothing works" becasue all the devices you named need DC for control. AC in frdge, Air cond, all need DC also.
If you can have a battery charger connected to your battery and a known souce of a/c, could be damages are minimal. I'm guessing in your favor.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:17 AM   #25
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I just can't believe how helpful you all are. The fact that the air cond. ran for five hours is making me hopeful that it is just the converter.

Update: I received a call from my insurance agent who said he called the claims supervisor and the supervisor said he thought it would be covered. They are going to send me a copy of my policy so I can read it for myself. So IF and I know its a big IF but if its just the converter, then the electrician said he would take care of it. If a bunch of the appliances were fried, then I guess the insurance will cover it and I'll ask the electrician to pick up my $500 deductible.

Although I am not real mechanically inclined, by the end of this month, I'm going to know everything there is to know about electricity and RV's. And that's a good thing.

One last question, would it be a good idea to get some kind of surge protector for the future?

Again, thanks to everybody for the help. I hope someday I can repay the favor. I will definitely keep everyone update on how it turns out.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:36 AM   #26
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I am a firm believer in surge protection and especially protection against low voltage (more typical and creates just as many problems.) I put in a Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C because it does both. Went with the hardwired unit because I didn't want to worry about ever having to connect it or forget to connect it. Works great and has saved my rear on a couple occasions with low voltage situations.

Only dis-advantage here is that you either have to be comfortable with electrical wiring or have someone install it for you.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:21 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceU View Post
Here's a wild guess- You never saw 220 VAC into the camper because as others have wondered how can anything survive? Your quote in red is maybe a very good lead. Now to me looks like converter popped on start up, not unusual as most electrionics that fail do so when brand new. If that were the case lots of smoke and what happened appear. However you continued to operate on AC/DC for a few hours on battery with converter dead. Only after returning "nothing works" becasue all the devices you named need DC for control. AC in frdge, Air cond, all need DC also.
If you can have a battery charger connected to your battery and a known souce of a/c, could be damages are minimal. I'm guessing in your favor.
I don't know much, but that theory sounds better than anything I've heard so far (and those facts, if true, would surely be welcome news to OP). If that turns out to be the case, I vote to change VinceU's name to VinceUtheMan!
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:28 PM   #28
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marcusfan, when camping and at home I always use my surge protector. Don't ask me why I didn't that fateful Sunday morning at my dad's house when we fried my trailer.

Call Casey Flint at Mid America RV in Carthage, MO. 417-358-6892. I emailed him this morning and said I may have a referal for him. I know it's south of you a bit but it may be worth the drive. They did a diagnostic on everything in my TT to determine what was good and what had to be replaced. I dropped it on a Monday and they were on it on Thursday. Took another week to get parts but they were way faster than what my purchasing dealer could do. He sent me an estimate and I sent it onto my insurance. Check was cut a few days later and mailed to me but made out to both myself and Mid-America
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:01 PM   #29
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Someone told you to use your 30amp to 20/15 amp pigtale adapter and plug into a standard outlet to see if you get any power. Have you been able to do this?

Also, whether on the new 30amp plug, or using the pigtale to another outlet, can you take an alarm clock or table lamp into the camper and plug it in to an outlet?

It would be nice to know if we have any power to the camper. Most installed appliances need DC to run thermostats, or other electrical components, but if I am not mistaken, power should still flow just fine through a fuse box even if the converter is fried and testing with a lamp or alarm clock, small fan, anything... will show us if you have power out there.

If you have power.... your weekend trip might not be squashed. Maybe Herk can chime in as he seems very knowledgeable, but you might be able to get by using a battery charger on your battery once arriving to your destination, and keeping that charger on there for the weekend. I wouldn't recommend doing this for months and months, and I would suggest running water heater and fridge on propane just to take the strain off a stand alone battery charger, but if all you were running is lights and the thermostat for the A/C, I don't think you'd be in a world of hurt.

None the less, please report back if you have some power out there so we have an idea where you are sitting.

Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:10 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusfan
I received a call from my insurance agent who said he called the claims supervisor and the supervisor said he thought it would be covered. They are going to send me a copy of my policy so I can read it for myself. So IF and I know its a big IF but if its just the converter, then the electrician said he would take care of it. If a bunch of the appliances were fried, then I guess the insurance will cover it and I'll ask the electrician to pick up my $500 deductible.
IMHO your electrician should cover the entire tab on his insurance, if he fights this pull the lawyer card.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #31
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IMHO your electrician should cover the entire tab on his insurance, if he fights this pull the lawyer card.


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Old 08-01-2012, 01:20 PM   #32
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Nothing has even been diagnosed yet. I don't disagree that the electrician should step up and be part of the solution here. However, as a member of an oft-maligned profession, I would just point out that threatening to have your lawyer look at something is often the end of civil conversation and relationships. Just don't jump the gun.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:28 PM   #33
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I agree with Vern. Work with all parties involevd in a civil way. If all else fails, at the last moment, mention you leave me no choice. Especially since he has stated he'd pay for repairs. I understand he has no idea what repair costs are yet, but I wouldn't count him out until he tells you so. Keep it civil, see what happens. He's still answering your calls Give him a chance. Most electricians are insured, bonded.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #34
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Maybe Herk can chime in as he seems very knowledgeable, but you might be able to get by using a battery charger on your battery once arriving to your destination, and keeping that charger on there for the weekend.
Post number 11 is mine.

For the record, the only items that can be damaged by this mistake are 120VAC items THAT WERE ON at the time of the event. No DC items can be harmed.

The converter will be destroyed immediately.

Items that should be OK if they were OFF at the time

Air Conditioner

Water heater

Items that can be fried if just plugged in.

120VAC Televisions - since they are "instant on" if they were plugged in they are most likely dead.

Fridge - AC portion only

Microwave - if powered on while connected
(possibly ruined if just plugged in - depends on model)

That is about it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:56 PM   #35
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Lou,

I was hoping you would have something to say about using a battery charger as a replacement inverter for a weekend... providing the OP uses the refrigerator on propane so as not to overload the battery charger with so much current for the DC element.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:01 PM   #36
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I did say if he fights it Unless he's a friend of her's, this is just the cost of doing business.

Personal I would pay for all the damages out of pocket asap, it would drive nuts not have my trailer... We already have a short enough season where I live.

I just don't like entertaining the thought of my insurance going up because of a claim I put on it that was not my fault.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:03 PM   #37
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Sorry to hear about such a terrible thing. Besides all the aggravation and cost to somebody, I can't imagine how it must feel to lose all that camping time during the peak of the camping season. And if you had annual holidays booked, that would really suck.

Legal action should only be the last resort and even if you did win, it's often not worth all the delay and emotional pain and suffering. Best to keep as civil as possible as mentioned and be calm and diplomatic. Unfortunately, I would have to say that it's technically the electrician's error unless you directed him to do something that was wrong. Might be other things you can do such as talking to the local electrical inspector?

On a bit of a side note, I would highly recommend that you install a disconnect switch at the new 30A recept. at your RV. Also, you should be considering the voltage drop from the length of wire from your panel to the new recept. You might need #8 wire. At 120 volts, the voltage drop is going to be double (about) what it would have been at 240V. The electrician *might* need to pull out the wire he just installed. Makes me wonder if perhaps you could try getting a 2nd opinion from another electrician, assuming they aren't protective of each other.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:06 PM   #38
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Lou,

I was hoping you would have something to say about using a battery charger as a replacement inverter for a weekend... providing the OP uses the refrigerator on propane so as not to overload the battery charger with so much current for the DC element.
Using a battery charger to keep the battery topped off and the 12VDC items working is a good idea PROVIDED... The converter itself is made safe.

I would be very worried about the converter. The battery is wired directly to the output of the converter and I am not sure what parts of the converter got fried. It is possible, I suppose, that nothing bad will happen by leaving the destroyed component in the camper, but it could just as easily catch fire.

I would call WFCO tech support at this point and discuss leaving power on the camper with that damaged converter in the circuit and the risks involved in doing so.

Anyone who has witnessed an RV fire first hand will never take a chance like this without very careful thought.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:22 PM   #39
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Electrical problem

Marcusfan, I sent you a PM with contact info for A to Z Mobile RV Repair located at Paola, KS, that is about 50 miles from your location. They have a shop or they will come to your trailer. They have a lower labor cost than most of the RV Dealers in the Kansas City area, do great work, and are just all around good people. This isn't some out of my barn company, the owner use to manage the largerst shop in the metro area and started his own business over 12 years ago after getting tired of the RV Dealer run arounds and put offs.

Hope this might help along with all the other great advice, good luck and do whatever you do about this issue in a safe manner.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:24 PM   #40
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I am at work today so I haven't had the chance to try your alls suggestions. Believe me, I can't wait to get home from work. I think the electrician will step up and he told me he would pay but who really knows until the time comes.

My insurance agent said that a claim on comprehensive won't make your premiums go up. He said its like hitting a deer, no fault of the driver and the deer won't pay. So, if insurance is required at least that's a relief.

As soon as I get home and have a chance to look at it, I will let you all know and you might have more suggestions for me. Again thanks all for the assistance.
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