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Old 05-18-2018, 05:50 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E. 30.2
State: Ohio
Posts: 103
THOR #8054
Surge Protector Story

Last night we pulled into a large RV Park in Tulsa. Plugged our 30 amp surge protector into shore power, watched a little tv and went to bed. About midnight the DW heard
the microwave beep a few times. She got up and noticed our shore power was out. Rather than wake me to go out and reset the breaker she let me sleep and went to bed. In the morning I went out to check things and the breaker at the camp power column had not tripped. Power was still going through the power cord. When I checked the connection on my rig I found the cord connection was welded to the plug. I removed the shore power connector from the RV . It had gotten so hot that it burned the insulation off the hot wire and had started burning through the plywood side of the rig. Luckily we are still alive to tell the story.
I went back to my surge guard and it was showing a reverse polarity at the camp connection. I called the manager and he told me it has always been that way. He said it was ok because the local power company had done the wiring.
Here’s my point. That guy is an idiot and the camp will probably kill somebody unless they fix things but I may be a bigger idiot for just plugging in as usual and not checking the reading on the surge protector. Be careful out there.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:30 PM   #2
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: SOB
State: South Dakota
Posts: 584
THOR #3916
WOWSERS !!!
You didn't say which "surge protector" you have/had, but I suggest that you go with the "full meal deal" EMS Progressive Industries unit for a replacement that will not allow a bad wired pedestal to connect to your RV.
Hopefully you did not lose your RV electronics..........
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:32 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Vegas 27.7
State: California
Posts: 278
THOR #10907
(Must be my day for giving electrical advice. lol.)

What happened sounds more like a connection problem than a "reverse polarity" problem. Polarity problems should either trip circuit breakers or ground fault isolators. They don't usually create heat like that. Heat is caused by resistance. I'm betting there was resistance in your cord to coach connection and whatever amperage was going through it caused it to overheat.

The good news is (other than you not burning to death that is!) it sounded like it damaged both ends anyway. Replace that cord and connector with the best, highest amperage components you can find. For others reading this, make sure those connections are good and tight. Meaning if your cord or connections to your coach are getting a little too used, replace them. The biggest cause of electrical fires is loose connections. Shorts or reversed polarity issues "should" trip breakers. Remember, it's AC voltage. If reversed polarity started fires, all the things you plug in that only have two terminals would start on fire about 50% of the time.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:57 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Florida
Posts: 888
THOR #1249
I 2nd that gmtech. A year or so ago, I lost power and traced it to the receptacle on side of RV. It was partially melted and cracked. Pulled it out and found all the lug screws were loose and had caused lots of heat. I replaced it ASAP. Had the same thing happen to transfer switch which melted some wire nuts and smoked up the inside cabin. I would check all elec. connections when and where possible.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:06 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E. 30.2
State: Ohio
Posts: 103
THOR #8054
It is a Surge Guard. Just got off the phone with a licensed electrician that I know. He told me things will run with reverse polarity but sensitive items will definitely be affected. Everything seems to be ok inside but there was definitely enough heat to start a fire. He said the only thing that might have saved the day was the fact that the hot wire burned through at the Rv wall connector breaking the circuit.
I keep thinking if we would have had a fire, would that be the time the entry door latch would break. Feel pretty lucky right now
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