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Old 06-18-2018, 04:07 PM   #1
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Transfer switch issue

I had a serious electrical issue with the transfer switch in my 2015 Thor Four Winds 31e motor coach. The heat from the incident actually melted a hole in the unit housing (see attachments) and charred the wood under my bed where the unit was located. I use surge protection, which was working properly according to technician.

I am covered by extended warranty, but was wondering if this has happened to anyone else and/or if there is a recall on this? I believe this could be a fire hazard.
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:10 PM   #2
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Yikes! One reason I use a external Battery Tender. I just don't trust leaving my rig plugged into shore power for storage.
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:26 PM   #3
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Wow! Lucky it didn't burn the coach down. Were you using a surge protector?
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:46 PM   #4
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Yes, at shore power post and technician checked it and said it was functioning properly.
The technician replaced damaged transfer switch with one that has internal surge protection built in.
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:50 PM   #5
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Hope that never happens again! Did the Tech say what might have caused this to happen?
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:01 PM   #6
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In looking, look's like white romex wire is where it may have started since it is burnt clear through and near to hole burned in box. Just a guess. Insurance cover any of this damage?
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:13 PM   #7
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Without further investigation: it'd be tough to say if there's enough damage here to meet the deductible...
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:21 PM   #8
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Is it possible that the wire nuts were not tight enough? (That has been a somewhat infrequent problem with Thor's motorhomes.)
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:36 PM   #9
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Hope that never happens again! Did the Tech say what might have caused this to happen?
Thanks, i hope it doesnt happen again too. Could not say for sure what the root cause is for sure. I only had AC running. The tech said he has seen other less serious issues with this unit, which is why i was wondering if there was a recall or something.

I was able to get this fixed under warranty, thanks to "Naked Bear" RV Repair (Brian) in Front Royal, VA. They fixed the problem and took care of the warranty paperwork.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:41 PM   #10
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Is it possible that the wire nuts were not tight enough? (That has been a somewhat infrequent problem with Thor's motorhomes.)
Could be. I think it might behoove the RV manufacturers to look at better ways to secure such things. I have had a couple other small issues caused by wiring coming loose. One with my slide and another with the water heater.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:44 PM   #11
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In looking, look's like white romex wire is where it may have started since it is burnt clear through and near to hole burned in box. Just a guess. Insurance cover any of this damage?
Looks like i am covered with extended warranty and i have high deductable. I am just thankful that the damage wasn't worse.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:49 PM   #12
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Without further investigation: it'd be tough to say if there's enough damage here to meet the deductible...
Yeah, i am covered by warranty. Big thanks to "Naked Bear" RV Repair in Front Royal VA fixing the issue and submitting the paperwork.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:52 PM   #13
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Yikes! One reason I use a external Battery Tender. I just don't trust leaving my rig plugged into shore power for storage.
I am not the most knowledgeable on electric (not sure what external battery tender means), but am doing some research after this.
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:12 PM   #14
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Yes, at shore power post and technician checked it and said it was functioning properly.
The technician replaced damaged transfer switch with one that has internal surge protection built in.
But this was not caused by a surge, so surge protection would have only helped when the wires burned enough to cause a direct short. This was caused by a high resistance connection, from the looks of the box I would say it was the wirenut shown in the third picture.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:33 PM   #15
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But this was not caused by a surge, so surge protection would have only helped when the wires burned enough to cause a direct short. This was caused by a high resistance connection, from the looks of the box I would say it was the wirenut shown in the third picture.
Thanks, makes sense to me.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:09 PM   #16
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Is it possible that the wire nuts were not tight enough? (That has been a somewhat infrequent problem with Thor's motorhomes.)
We had the "infamous" loose wirenuts issue. Ours reared its ugly head as a very rough A/C functioning for a day, then no power. After we found the TRANSFER SWITCH (through a THOR SERVICE MANAGER's scavenger hunt style search of the coach) we found that the loose wirenuts had created an arc and melted the wirenuts completely. Re-installed wirenuts, made sure they were tight and also taped to prevent coming loose.

Havent had any other issues like that for almost two years.....
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:51 AM   #17
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We had the "infamous" loose wirenuts issue. Ours reared its ugly head as a very rough A/C functioning for a day, then no power. After we found the TRANSFER SWITCH (through a THOR SERVICE MANAGER's scavenger hunt style search of the coach) we found that the loose wirenuts had created an arc and melted the wirenuts completely. Re-installed wirenuts, made sure they were tight and also taped to prevent coming loose.

Havent had any other issues like that for almost two years.....
Thank you! I truly belive we have found the culprit and i am thankful that no permanent harm was done to property or person. I too was sent on a bit of a scanvenger hunt by Camping World. I finally had to just say that i was not comfortable pretending to be an electrician. I will report to Thor and hope that the design is improved.
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Old 06-19-2018, 01:23 AM   #18
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Thank you! I truly belive we have found the culprit and i am thankful that no permanent harm was done to property or person. I too was sent on a bit of a scanvenger hunt by Camping World. I finally had to just say that i was not comfortable pretending to be an electrician. I will report to Thor and hope that the design is improved.

should we all find our box & take the wire nuts off & solder the wire connections?
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:00 PM   #19
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We have a 2015 ACE 30.1 that had the wires burned in the transfer switch at the wire nuts as well. They now have a replacement transfer switch that does not require the use of wire nuts. All of the wires are connected with screw down connections. I would definitely recommend replacing the wire nut transfer switch with the one with the screwdown connections. This is a much safer design.
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:26 PM   #20
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Had the same thing happen on mine. I do electrical work and I can tell you that wire nuts are fine but one of the hardest splices to make is joining a solid conductor with a stranded conductor. The transfer switch comes with stranded wires to be more flexible and to not break the plastic mounts on the transfer switch when the wires get stuffed down into the box. It takes special care to screw the wire but on to both wires making sure it's not just pushing one wire out of the way as it screws down on just the other wire. When this happens you have loose connection. A loose connection will not carry the full load. It will heat up and scorch the insulation and can lead to a fire if nothing else fails first.
That new style switch with rigid connection terminals sounds good.
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