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Open ground..what's the danger?

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Pulled into a campground, and the Progressive box showed an open ground. It would not allow the electric to flow to the Oliver. After mentioning it to the 'staff' they said the previous camper had electric, and their testing showed nothing wrong, (staff didn't know how to read and GFI wouldn't trip.. he also said my tester was faulty).  My question??  What possible damage could I have done to the Oliver, if I had bypassed the Progressive, and plugged in direct?  I have the portable, not built in, so it was an option. We were in a group of multiple units and didn't want to leave. We used propane for the refig. and batteries for lighting and such. As only a three day layover, seen not a major inconvenience. (Just hated to pay for a service unable to use)...

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When one foot is on the step and the other is on the ground and you close the circuit....

 

There are various threads on air forums where people are getting shocked when they open their screen door

 

Edit-


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Do you mean there was no continuity between the campground plug's neutral and ground terminals?  If so, there was no ground to the trailer and the GFI circuits would not trip from a ground fault.  It also means you could get shocked if you provided a ground (by touching an appliance while touching a good ground) to a piece of equipment that was already faulty.

 

If the electric coffee pot had a bad connection that shorted it's neutral to the handle and you provided a path to ground, you'd get a shock.

 

As I understand it, most generators are not grounded, so the same situation applies, but doesn't seem to be a problem in the real world.  However, your Progressive box detects this and won't work as a safety measure.  Do you have a generator and does it work properly?

 

The previous camper may not have had an electrical system that could detect the problem.

 

It sounds to me the camp power is defective.  An ohm test between the ground and neutral, at the shore receptacle, would show an open circuit in this case, but they should be bonded.  I think your tester is correct and there is a problem.  Next time, go test another plug at another campsite and see if you get a different result.


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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We know the shock value to humans, especially at the pedestal. Also we know the GFI will not 'trip' with the tester, unless the ground is present. What we were curious about, what was the potential for damage to the Oliver? Especially, since Oliver supplies an adapter, ungrounded, for generator use?

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I had a campground manager say the same thing to me once, so I showed him and told him what the problem was. We opened the box, reversed the wires back to their correct position, so nobody could get shocked, and then he gave me the site for free. The problem with not using your surge protector at all times in an RV park is that they can have varying voltages going on depending on if their system isn't strong enough to hold up all of the different loads happening at the same time, while causing brown outs. Not getting enough voltage or not knowing that your trailer is safe is a huge issue. So the problem isn't really knowing that wires can be frying because they have a faulty system, to me the real problem is that when you take the surge protector out of the system, you are taking your trailers first line of protection out of the loop... And the real problems are going to be from problems at the park itself, not yours. The external units will burn themselves out to open the circuit if necessary to save your trailer from anything, you still need to buy a new surge protector but your trailer is safe.

 

Basically, you can plug in unprotected at any RV park and most will be safe, but if the person isn't willing to take care of the problem when it is brought to his attention, then you have an attendant that doesn't care one bit about your trailer. Lots of accidents happen at RV parks with faulty electricity, most of the time it's just going to fry some wires or circuit boards because of low voltage brown outs. Personally, I won't plug in or pay an RV park that doesn't take care of its problems, but honestly, the choice is yours because what could happen is total loss of the trailer, but that is unlikely. Every other trailer comes into the equation also when you run unprotected, if they plug in with a faulty adapter or bad wiring right next to you then your trailer can become the end result of their problem. As far as your concerned is if it was raining with an open ground and you stepped out into a puddle, you become the surge protector and if you have a pacemaker then will it take the surge? Not always...

 

Next time take him out and show him the difference between a properly wired plug in and the bad one. I simply rewired their circuit properly because the person that had worked on it the week before didn't realise that wires had been reversed at the main pannel.

 

Reed

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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That's what even the simplest testers will show, reversed or open grounds, reversed polarity, or even wired correctly. The Progressive unit shows voltage and the other function, all before you plug in your unit. The nice thing is, if you 'fry' it, it has an unlimited lifetime warranty. And the turn around time is really quick. We  do have pretty good negotiation skills, especially when it comes to $$$ and paid for services. Believe me my cost for the trip were negligible.

 

We did try to educate the staff. We showed him other sites wired correctly, some with reversed polarity. We wanted to correct for them, but they would not let me crack the box. They said they would take care of it, but we question that. They have enough traffic coming in to LLRetail, that they are able to resell the lot if someone leaves. What they don't know is that I live  close by and by nature will protect my fellow campers. Also my phone still has the state inspectors number in it.

 

But the question remains, what is the danger to the camper? Are there circuit boards that could be compromised? Other than just normal protect the owner from themselves stuff?

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But the question remains, what is the danger to the camper? Are there circuit boards that could be compromised? Other than just normal protect the owner from themselves stuff?

Any and every a/c device is compromised without it. Starting with the converter, then anything you have plugged in like the microwave, air conditioner, etc... But like T-Oliver showed above, you could simply adapt your cord down to use the 20amp outlet if they have one and still use your surge protector.

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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But with no ground to the pedestal, there was no ground to the 115 outlet either. So rather than reduce, just plug in direct. Net results are the same, without the amp reduction. Other choice is to leave, move to a correctly wired site, or go to solar...

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I'm really a dumbie when it comes to electricity(and lots of other things). Can you recommend a basic book and testing equipment I will need. We have survived 20 yrs of RVing in this condition, but maybe it's time.

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Hi,

 

Basic thing I would have is a 30/15 adapter. If you have RVing  for 20 years you probably have a couple. It is usually a little black rubber plug that looks like the end of you RV plug on one end and you can plug an extension cord in the other end. Into to that I plug in a a tester. This little tester is usually yellow (sometimes black) and usually has three little lights. Two green and a yellow. I also get the one with a little push button on top. That button lets you test GFIs. I like them because if I am camping and loose power, I can plug into the pedestal to see if I have power. If I do, then I can go inside and test the GFI. That tester is usually under $5 and available at Lowe's or Home Depot type stores.

 

At Harbor Freight you can usually pick up a small meter for about $6, and sometimes free with a coupon. Nice thing is you can test flashlight batteries with it. It also comes with a small instruction manual. But you can also get hurt with one, so be careful. Bet auto supply places like O'Reilly, Napa, and such have basic auto (12V) electrical books. You might want to stay away from 120 V  for now.

 

I have a Progressive stand alone system that I plug in first. It tells me if it is ok to plug in the trailer. Some can be pricey, but they watch your power supply so you don't have to. And they have a lifetime warranty if you should ever need it.

 

But the best electrical advice is to ask another camper. The odds are they know the answer. Be safe out there, and see you around the campfire...

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