View of Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Minor electrical issues

One day last week, I noticed the 120v AC electrical to Sherman had cut out. Not a problem I thought, because we have lots of battery power. And I figured it was a campground issue, although there hasn't been any problem like this since we've been here.

Anyhow, about 20 minutes later it came back on and I didn't think anything more of it. But then on Sunday morning, it went out again. I thought this was a little strange, and so I checked into it a little further.

Turns out the power at the post never did go out. I tried hooking the main power cord into the inverter, and even with the inverter on we still had no power at the outlets. So I took the power converter and breaker panel apart and started tracing wires. There is a busbar (a small conductor that you use to attach numerous wires together at the same time) in the converter with eight leads attached to it. It didn't look quite right, in fact it looked like it had become too hot at some time or other, and some of the sheathing on the wires even looked a bit burnt at that location. However it didn't look like this was a recent occurance, and in fact I'm sure that it wasn't recent.

But the main power lead coming into the busbar was a bit corroded. I poked at it with a screwdriver, and it broke apart! (Yes, I had already unplugged the power, and disconnected the batteries!) This was a stranded copper wire, and I guess when those wires had become heated up, they caused the stranded one to corrode. I dunno, but that's what seems to have happened. The solid copper wires going into the same busbar are all still fine looking. So I replaced that piece of wire, and everything was then working perfectly once again.

Then yesterday, Ruth was boiling water with our electric kettle, and I turned the little 1500watt electric heater on. Both appliances immediately shut off! I checked the breakers and everything was good. Another mystery to figure out! I ended up checking the GFI receptacle in the bathroom because all of the outlets in the coach have a sticker on them that says "GFI Protected Outlet". I tried testing the GFI receptacle, and all it did was buzz. It would not trip the GFI switch like it is supposed to do during the test.

I can't think of anything else that could be causing the three "GFI Protected Outlets" so I have bought a new GFI outlet for the bathroom, and will replace that over the next day or two.

It is strange that we could have two different 120v AC problems so closely together, but it has to be conincidence as I can't see how one could be related to the other.


  1. We had to replace the GFI on our old 5th wheel when it was about 10 years old, they must get hot inside once in awhile also and then after awhile fail, just popped a replacement in it it worked fine. Be safe out there, Sam & Donna.

  2. Kevin just replaced our GFI and for a short time it was working and then it stopped. So his is now back to square one in trying to figure out what our electrical problem is...

    Kevin and Ruth


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