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Old 09-06-2015, 06:29 AM   #1
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Tingly trailer

We are at a music festival and our daughter's trailer, a Sunset Trail, is tingly. If you touch any metal parts while standing barefoot in moist grass, you feel tingles - like electricity.

She unplugged it from the shore power, which stopped it, but obviously this issue needs to be fixed.

Does anyone have any insight as to what the cause could be? I know it can be very serious if it is not addressed. She has a 2015 270BH fifth wheel which is off warranty.
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:02 AM   #2
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It could be the shore power, not the camper. Any chance you can hook to a different power source and see if it changes?
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:05 AM   #3
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Sounds like a ground problem
Check the ground points in the power plug and the ground points on the trailer
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:33 AM   #4
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Sounds like a ground problem
Check the ground points in the power plug and the ground points on the trailer
X2.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:16 AM   #5
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We tried a different shore power, with no change, but we will check the grounding thing today. That is probably the issue. One of the other people in our group has a tester.

Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:16 AM   #6
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Given the TT is only 1 year old, I'm more inclined to suspect the campground's electrical may be reversed. (hot and neutral) The tester should show. I always use a surge guard with the indicator lights, and you'd be surprised how many bad spots we find. Many of these outlets were installed by pros, but maintained by amateurs.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:27 AM   #7
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Given the TT is only 1 year old, I'm more inclined to suspect the campground's electrical may be reversed. (hot and neutral) The tester should show. I always use a surge guard with the indicator lights, and you'd be surprised how many bad spots we find. Many of these outlets were installed by pros, but maintained by amateurs.
This is entirely possible, but seeing that a different plug in was tried, I would lean more in the direction of a ground either coming lose or losing good contact on the trailer. Factory is notorious for not tightening things like that enough and they eventually vibrate loose.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:37 AM   #8
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This is entirely possible, but seeing that a different plug in was tried, I would lean more in the direction of a ground either coming lose or losing good contact on the trailer. Factory is notorious for not tightening things like that enough and they eventually vibrate loose.
This is my way of thinking: A loose, or even non-existent ground, with no other problem, still should not have voltage (hot) on the skin. The skin is connected to the neutral side, not the hot side. However, the campground's suspected wire-reversal could have affected several outlets. Voltage on the skin should be popping GFCIs. Also (just my opinion showing) "music festivals" are usually held in older spots, not RV resorts. My money is on the campground. I'll be interested to read the final results!
I have been wrong before!
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:40 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=MartyinSC;101767]This is my way of thinking: A loose, or even non-existent ground, with no other problem, still should not have voltage (hot) on the skin.

Doesn't that make you the ground?
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:54 AM   #10
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If voltage is on the skin, and you touch it while standing in wet grass, then you are providing a path to ground. But with polarized plugs and proper wiring, you should not have voltage on the skin, even if the third wire (green ground) were disconnected. Again, if all else is good. Back in the vacuum tube days of radios/tv, one side of the power went right to the frame of the device. That was before polarized plugs. You had a 50/50 chance of plugging it in with the hot on the metal side. A plastic knob fell off of the metal shaft, and I tried to turn the shaft as a kid. That's when I learned! I'll bet the campground tied the neutral and green together, instead of running them separately back to the distribution panel, and then reversed the white and black leads.
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:08 PM   #11
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This is not a campground, but a big park with electrical connections spread around. We are at a music festival. The entire electrical system in the park was replaced a couple of years ago and was put in by professionals. They had to replace the existing temporary system as a new inspector joined the municipality and he was not happy with the way it was.

I don't think it's the park. Also, she was plugged into our trailer first, then into one of the outlets when someone else left. I will let you know the results of the testing.
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:08 PM   #12
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Good explanations are worth their weight in gold.
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:26 PM   #13
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Well, this does change everything! Now I'm on your side, Lloyd! A Sunset Trail (30 amp?), reduced to a 20 amp, plugged into another trailer, then into a campsite (30 or 20 amp?) The longer the daisy-chain, the more possibilities! I'll stay tuned for the final results! Good luck!
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:10 PM   #14
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One of these is must for everyone's tool kit.

GE 3-Wire Receptacle Tester 50542 - Voltage Testers - Amazon.com

I never plug the RV in until I have used this to test what they have at the post.
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:11 PM   #15
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Lloyd, would a good surge-protector have that built into it?
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:16 PM   #16
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Yes, I think mine does.
I have carried one of those things for years, and it's just a habit I have acquired.
One other nice thing is if you have any doubts or questions, it's very quick, simple and easy to check it out. Even at home or for some other camper.
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:40 PM   #17
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Lloyd, would a good surge-protector have that built into it?
Yes, this is the one we use at home, and at every site we visit. Even if we use an adapter to go up to a 50, or down to a 20 amp connection.
Portable Surge Guard Protectors, 30 amp - TRC 44260 - Surge Protectors - Camping World
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Old 09-06-2015, 03:49 PM   #18
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The problem has been found. Our trailer actually showed more stray voltage than our daughter's. The cause of it turned out to be the extension cord my husband was using to access the power source - the ground prong had been sawed off many years ago.

Testing other people's trailers showed about 0.5 volts when testing metal parts, our daughter's showed 1.5 and ours 37.5! So 0.5 stray volts appear to be normal. I think it's time we invested in a better extension cord!
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Old 09-06-2015, 03:52 PM   #19
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The problem has been found. Our trailer actually showed more stray voltage than our daughter's. The cause of it turned out to be the extension cord my husband was using to access the power source - the ground prong had been sawed off many years ago.

Testing other people's trailers showed about 0.5 volts when testing metal parts, our daughter's showed 1.5 and ours 37.5! So 0.5 stray volts appear to be normal. I think it's time we invested in a better extension cord!

Some times a person is his own worst enemy.
Thanks for letting us know.
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Old 09-06-2015, 04:15 PM   #20
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Wow! Another great thread. Something is learned every time I log on. Thanks everyone!
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