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Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 13456
Experience:  18 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
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We have an Excel RV that operates the electrical utilities

Customer Question

we have an Excel RV that operates the electrical utilities in both 12 volt and 110 volt. We have had a permanent 110 v power supply providing 50 amps to the RV for close on three years without any problems.
Last week we had the supply turned off for about 30 minutes.
Since then we have the power supply being interrupted at odd times. For no apparent reason, we will be watching TV and the power to our air conditioner and all the kitchen plugs goes off. What is interesting is the power to the TV does not go off...the TV continues to stay on...but no air conditioning, no power to the refrigerator, no power to the microwave...but continued power to the TV.
Then after 2 minutes...sometimes 20 minutes, the power suddenly comes back on. None of the circuit breakers have tripped out...and the power comes back on by itself.
Prior to this beginning to happen at odd intervals, the two overhead fluorescent lights in the kitchen have stopped working. An electrician tested the switch and the ballasts and said everything was fine.
We don't know but wondered if the kitchen lights was simply a fore runner to the air conditioner and kitchen plugs going out?
Do you have any thoughts on what might be happening?
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.
Hi my name is Robert...
Are you using any adapters or extension cords on the main cord? Do you have a generator?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The power supply feeds directly from the main box in the house to the power plug for the rv...there are no adapters or extension cords.
We have gas generator. When I turn that on, the air conditioner comes on and if I turn the generator off, the a/c goes off again. It stays on only if the power kicks back on.
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.
Is that generator built into the RV? Sorry for all the questions but it matters if you have a generator how the AC power gets to the breaker panel... Robert
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the generator is wired into the RV. The starter switch is located beneath the hand basin in the main bedroom.
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.
One last question and I will give you some ideas of what could be going on... DO you have to plug a cord in next the the generator to allow AC power into the RV OR is it automatic, start the gen and you have power?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No wires need to be plugged in. I simply start the generator by pressing the switch and power is provided throughout the RV. When I start up the generator, we have power immediately and the a/c begins to work immediately.
I don't know much but it almost seems like we have a problem with the supply from the house...but if thats the case, why would the 110v TV still work when everything in the kitchen loses power. Also, why would the power suddenly co me back on without anyone doing anything...and sometimes it comes on after a minute or two...not much time for something that might be overheating to cool down???? I am confused!
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.
Yes this is an odd issue to be having, remember a 50 amp service is two 120 volt hot legs, so you could be loosing one leg of power.
You are going to have to follow the path of the AC power. Before doing that I would get a polarity checker, it will plug into the outlets and tell you if there is a wiring issue. Most places like home depot sell them for a few dollars, you could have voltage at the plug ins but if there was an issue such as a ground, open neutral etc the polarity checker will pick it up, if nothing at all happens when you plug the checker in then the power is in fact missing.
Then you have to trace the power, the power will go from the cord, to the transfer switch and then to the breaker panel. Need to see if voltage on each leg is going in and out of the transfer switch, if you have power going in and nothing coming out then it has failed, I would also check the connections at the transfer switch. both the shore cord and generator cord will lead right to the TS... Sometimes it is next to the shore cord and other times it can be inside. The TS will detect the AC power source and switch between shore and generator.
After the TS power will go to your breaker panel inside, since more the one circuit is be affected the problem has to be at the breaker panel or prior. I would be checking for AC voltage in and out of the main breaker, and check all your connections on the panel.
IF you have no AC power getting to the transfer switch or just one leg then it is a shore cord or supply issue.
I doubt the lights have anything to do with it, they should be DC power, one common area would be the breaker/fuse panel as they are both supplied voltage from that area, so it would be suspect to me.
Hope this gives you some ideas, IF you are satisfied with my efforts please feel free to select a rating...
I am around daily so if you need more help please let me know, I respond when I can...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you Robert...I will look at Home Depot and try testing as you suggest. Should I contact you again and let you know or is that not necessary?
I do appreciate you trying to come up with a solution....wish it was something you had the answer to but then that would make it a perfect world, right?
Expert:  Robert replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the delay getting back to you, I turned in last night after responding to you. You can follow up if needed. IF you are satisfied with my efforts please feel free to select a rating, it is the only way I get credit for helping.... Robert