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Thread: 2011 Big Country 120v "intermittent" issues

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    2011 Big Country 120v "intermittent" issues

    Hello and thanks for reading my issue: We've had our Big Country 5th wheel since Oct 2010 and have had no electrical issues until this past weekend, at our favorite park, while connected to a 50 amp shore power. It was hot so we had both AC units running (as we normally do), the water heater turned on and ceiling fan running. When my wife attempted to heat some food in the microwave, it ran for a few seconds and then shut off....as if a breaker tripped. The front AC, water heater, ceiling fan as well as the GFCI outlets in the kitchen island and bathroom, all shut down for about 10 minutes and then came back on. A few minutes later it did the same thing. I checked for tripped breakers..all was normal. I tried to reset the bathroom GFCI but it would not reset. I'm assuming it's a thermal switch and also assume it takes some time for it to cool down and "re-connect." This happened several more times and the "reset time" became longer and longer----up to an hour. We tried to eliminate one appliance at a time----each time the power came back on. We unplugged the microwave and thought that was the issue as all other items worked well for about 1.5 hours before power stopped flowing. Next we turned off the water heater with no luck. Then the front AC....and so on......all with no remedy to our issue. If it was a grounding issue I'd think we'd lose all of our AC powered appliances/amenities however, the rear AC, TV and several other 120v outlets never lost power. I will replace the GFCI tomorrow and do my best to check out all of the wiring that I can get to in an effort to find the problem. If anyone has any other thoughts, I'd be grateful if you can pass them along to me.
    Many thanks,
    Dave

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    Re: 2011 Big Country 120v "intermittent" issues

    Dave,
    the problem might not be your RV. You could be experiencing a brown out.
    Too many people on the same electrical grid. If you donít have a way of checking the input voltage get a good surge protector that monitors whatís going on it can save you some problems down the road.

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    Founding Texas-West Chapter Leaders TravelTiger's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Big Country 120v "intermittent" issues

    Dave,

    I assume you checked the shore power cord connection at the power pole, and as it connects to your rig? You might disconnect both these points and carefully examine for melting or charing. It could be your shore cable is going bad, maybe a loose or broken connection inside?


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    Senior Member wdk450's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Big Country 120v "intermittent" issues

    With your complex electrical loads, you should strongly consider INVESTING IN SOME ELECTRICAL "INSURANCE". I am speaking about a Progressive HW-50C surge protector/ incoming voltage faults protector. All of your electrical "stuff" costs a LOT of money, and can be easily blown out (especially on 50 amp RV service) by bad incoming power. Beside surge protector MOV's this system is mainly composed of an incoming power analyzer computer driving an isolating electrical contactor relay. There is also a VERY HANDY remote readout pendant that can easily be wired into your electrical control center panel so you can SEE the incoming voltages, amp loads, last recorded error voltage code, and current error codes. You can also put the EMS into BYPASS mode from the readout, if you think all is REALLY safe and EMS is misreporting.

    See: https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-I.../dp/B003AN1UA8

    Note that the user comments on the Amazon site mix many different models from Progressive, some with much less protection.

    BTW, unprotected bad grounding won't turn off your power - it will just make the entire metal trailer chassis a potential electrical shock source if you happen to contact it while standing on nearby ground. The HW-50C disconnects the power (opens its internal contactor relay) if it detects an open ground.
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    Re: 2011 Big Country 120v "intermittent" issues

    Bill, thank you for the extensive reply and recommendations. I will definitely investigate the HW-50C. I was curious about the shore power but had no way to analyze the incoming power. Many thanks again! Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by wdk450 View Post
    With your complex electrical loads, you should strongly consider INVESTING IN SOME ELECTRICAL "INSURANCE". I am speaking about a Progressive HW-50C surge protector/ incoming voltage faults protector. All of your electrical "stuff" costs a LOT of money, and can be easily blown out (especially on 50 amp RV service) by bad incoming power. Beside surge protector MOV's this system is mainly composed of an incoming power analyzer computer driving an isolating electrical contactor relay. There is also a VERY HANDY remote readout pendant that can easily be wired into your electrical control center panel so you can SEE the incoming voltages, amp loads, last recorded error voltage code, and current error codes. You can also put the EMS into BYPASS mode from the readout, if you think all is REALLY safe and EMS is misreporting.

    See: https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-I.../dp/B003AN1UA8

    Note that the user comments on the Amazon site mix many different models from Progressive, some with much less protection.

    BTW, unprotected bad grounding won't turn off your power - it will just make the entire metal trailer chassis a potential electrical shock source if you happen to contact it while standing on nearby ground. The HW-50C disconnects the power (opens its internal contactor relay) if it detects an open ground).

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    Re: 2011 Big Country 120v "intermittent" issues

    With some outlets dead and others working ok, it sounds like you lost 1 leg of the 2 hot legs coming into the RV.

    I agree with TravelTiger that you should check your shore power cord and the pedestal for evidence of heat damage. Make sure your power cord is securely attached and shows no damage.

    If you have generator prep, there's a transfer switch. You could have a poor connection on L2, but I would think that less likely as a source of intermittent outages. The backside of the main circuit breaker panel is another location where an overheated wire that's loose could cause a problem.

    And I also agree with ac7nj that it could be a problem with the power coming from the park - even though it's been ok in the past.


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    Re: 2011 Big Country 120v "intermittent" issues

    Quote Originally Posted by TravelTiger View Post
    Dave,

    I assume you checked the shore power cord connection at the power pole, and as it connects to your rig? You might disconnect both these points and carefully examine for melting or charing. It could be your shore cable is going bad, maybe a loose or broken connection inside?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Thank you for the suggestion Erika. I didn't see any obvious issues at either end but I will do a continuity check tomorrow while flexing the cable around. Maybe I will find a wire with high resistance.

    Thanks again!

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    Re: 2011 Big Country 120v "intermittent" issues

    Thank you very much for the suggestions and advice. I will check the cord and gain access to the back of the circuit breaker panel looking for damaged/loose wiring.

    I really appreciate the help!
    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by danemayer View Post
    With some outlets dead and others working ok, it sounds like you lost 1 leg of the 2 hot legs coming into the RV.

    I agree with TravelTiger that you should check your shore power cord and the pedestal for evidence of heat damage. Make sure your power cord is securely attached and shows no damage.

    If you have generator prep, there's a transfer switch. You could have a poor connection on L2, but I would think that less likely as a source of intermittent outages. The backside of the main circuit breaker panel is another location where an overheated wire that's loose could cause a problem.

    And I also agree with ac7nj that it could be a problem with the power coming from the park - even though it's been ok in the past.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you! You and the other members are all similar in your ideas and suggestions regarding shore power, my cable and surge protection. I will use all of this advice tomorrow and hopefully find the problem.

    Thank you again!
    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by ac7nj View Post
    Dave,
    the problem might not be your RV. You could be experiencing a brown out.
    Too many people on the same electrical grid. If you donít have a way of checking the input voltage get a good surge protector that monitors whatís going on it can save you some problems down the road.

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