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Old 08-24-2014, 08:01 PM   #1
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Stray voltage on frame

I was working on my Sunset Trail and my hand touched a sharp corner of some sheet aluminum on the bottom skirt that's not painted. I got a little tingle.

Got my multimeter and checked and read 35 volts AC to ground. Began checking other places on the frame where I'd scratch through the paint and got the same thing.

Turned off individual AC breakers in the camper one by one. The voltage never went away, but did get down to 26 volts on a couple of circuits.

Unplugged the power cord from the camper and the stray voltage went away. This made me think the problem was between the plug and the distribution panel since it didn't disappear when any of the individual circuits was shut off.

Flipped the main 50 A breaker off and I expected to still get the stray voltage if the problem was between the distribution center and the cord connection, but it went away.

Any of you had this problem or heard of it? Thanks!

Greg
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:12 PM   #2
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Have you checked in the breaker panel to see if the ground and neutral are hooked up right?
To get feed back like you are experiencing, it seems to me they're hooked up wrong, or not there .
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:15 PM   #3
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Thanks Lloyd, I'll check that.

Just tried something else. I switched off all individual breakers, left main on. Switched on individual circuits one at a time. Would get anywhere from 8 to 10 volts per circuit. Switched all back on and got 35 volts again.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:37 PM   #4
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Lloyd, your comment reminded me that I have one of those circuit analyzers you plug in a receptacle. The analyzer is indeed showing open ground. Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:33 AM   #5
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Did you add the 50/30 RV amp receptacle? If so maybe you should check that out first.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:45 AM   #6
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There has been some information published on RVTravel.com about that lately. This can be a dangerous situation and a similar thing happened somewhere and a small child died from touching the unit.

I would take this very seriously and get to the bottom of it.
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:15 PM   #7
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Hmm, I know you said that it does not stop when you kill the 50 amp breaker, but i've had this happen two times on separate trailers. Both times it was a cracked ground wire in the 50/30 30/15 adapter.
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:34 PM   #8
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Hmm, I know you said that it does not stop when you kill the 50 amp breaker, but i've had this happen two times on separate trailers. Both times it was a cracked ground wire in the 50/30 30/15 adapter.

Mark, he stated this---------

Flipped the main 50 A breaker off and I expected to still get the stray voltage if the problem was between the distribution center and the cord connection, but it went away.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:32 PM   #9
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Be sure the neutral [white wire] and ground [green] wire are not connected together in any way in the breaker box. Also be sure to test that you actually have a proper grounded outlet you are connected to. If the outlet has the proper ground and all other grounds are correct, you should never have an energized frame on your unit. This includes checking to be sure the aluminum framing is bonded to the frame and to the ground terminal in the breaker box.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:42 PM   #10
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Have you tried this hooked up to more than one receptacle? If your hookup source has a bad neutral I can see this happening. I think I'm understanding you correctly that the stray voltage increases the more breakers you flip on. If this is the case it's definitely a main neutral/ground broken. Which would make sence because the more amps you pull the more voltage is looking for a return path and it's looking anywhere it can if the neutral is broken. If you hook up to a different source and the problem goes away then it was a bad neutral on a hookup. If it doesn't matter where you hookup then seems to me it's a bad main neutral in the camper or cord.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Mark, he stated this---------

Flipped the main 50 A breaker off and I expected to still get the stray voltage if the problem was between the distribution center and the cord connection, but it went away.

Typo in my response. The word "not" should not be there. I was going down the path that Tre did. What I did a poor job conveying was that it still may be in the wall plug, adapter, or event the outlet. When you step down the 30/50 plug with an adapter to standard 15 plug, the adapter itself is bulky and can put stress on the outlet in the wall and cause the ground to short. Happened to me.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:22 PM   #12
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Thank you all for your assistance! I have a 30 amp RV plug/circuit at my home and have a 50 amp plug on my trailer. I use a 30/50 adapter to connect it.

I found that the grounding prong on the trailer plug was not making good contact in the corresponding hole in the adapter plug. When I corrected that, the voltage went away.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:05 PM   #13
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Yes, bad adapters are a common source of this problem.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:14 AM   #14
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Good news that is solved and safe again
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippoorwill View Post
Thank you all for your assistance! I have a 30 amp RV plug/circuit at my home and have a 50 amp plug on my trailer. I use a 30/50 adapter to connect it.

I found that the grounding prong on the trailer plug was not making good contact in the corresponding hole in the adapter plug. When I corrected that, the voltage went away.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day, right!

Good to hear it wasnt anything major.

Yes, now I use a large gauge short extension cord so the bulk of the cord is laying on the ground as to not put stress on the plug.

I
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:13 AM   #16
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Here is something interesting on that:

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