2005 Aerolite "DEAD SHORT" - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-08-2015, 04:58 PM   #1
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2005 Aerolite "DEAD SHORT"

NEED HELP!!!
We own a 2005 Aerolite 26RG TT and love to camp!
This year I pulled it out of the barn and we went on a very short trip to get away and "shake out" the camper. Well I am glad we did not go too far because upon plugging into the 30 Amp post I tripped the post breaker immediately! I looked at the American Controls CS6000XL for signs of any issues and did not find any. So we went with battery power and I ran a regular 110VAC cord for coffee. Have to have coffee!!

Next day, I examined it further and noticed that the 30Amp/15Amp breaker was loose from its mount and so I decided to replace it with a new Murray one from the local RV Store. Did not correct anything. I looked at the 30amp trailer cord to the post for signs of wear and did not have any. There is a junction box under the sink where the 30Amp cord terminates so I checked for continuity and it was good. Then I cross checked the junction box power wire at the junction box to the convertor and I had continuity on both the ground and white wire (neutral?). So that is BAD. I tried to trace the wire and it looked ok from the parts I could see it appeared fine. I accidentally while testing used an extension cord without a ground pin with 110VAC and that would allow power in the unit for 110VAC lights, coffee, plugs, etc. BEFORE even 110 was tripping the post breaker. So it was getting afternoon and we decided to enjoy the day and not worry about it. OK, so this morning I went back into the panel and tested again for continuity and found that once I removed one of the white wires from the bussbar (see pictures) that was where the fault is. GREAT!! except I do not know what I have removed power from? The breaker is 15Amp "General purpose" and has several black wires to it? Anyone had issue with this type of failure? NOTE: When I got the unit home I plugged into the garage with the NO Ground plug to keep power while we unloaded. Later I went to open the door and got a mild SHOCK, I know, no ground equals danger, but I was in "test" mode. Unplugged it and now looking for what device might be the problem but had to go to work. All receptacles work, 12V cigarette plug convertor works, radio, fridge, interior lights, fans, all work. Water Heater is marked as a seperate circuit breaker. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:42 PM   #2
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You have a direct short (black to white) across one of your 120VAC circuits. Unplug everything, reconnect white wire. Turn off all circuit breakers. Then turn on main (30 amp) circuit breaker. Probably won't trip house breaker yet. Then, one by one, turn on breakers until one trips the house power. That is the circuit to hunt. If you're lucky, it's labeled, i.e. microwave, etc. Then with power off, open up each power outlet on that circuit. Look for indications of cross-current. (metal particles, burned insulation, etc).
If the circuit breaker that trips has several black wires going to it, just (with power off) connect one black wire at a time to the breaker and try again. You will then find the one black wire, and it's circuit, that is causing the problem. With that one wire then back out of the circuit, test outlets and appliances and features until you know what you've lost. Then open those boxes and look.
It is not a good idea to disconnect either neutral (white) or ground (bare) wires. It is also not a good idea to feed the TT without a ground. You were lucky.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:20 PM   #3
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Barn, Michigan,,,,,,,,,,,I smell a rat. Or at least a wire eating mouse.


Let's hope it's an easy find for you.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:58 AM   #4
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Tired but.

Well I started searching the circuits and even no I did not find the exact circuit I am thinking that possibly there was moisture in one of the routing boxes which are a push in type blade connect. It was mounted to the floor next to the water tank and beside the water heater feeding the water heater and then continuing on to some lighting . I also checked the black box that surrounds the heating element on the hot water tank. It is possible that one of the ground wires could have been touching or very close to one of the spade terminals on the top of the water heater element. I am able to plug into 110 V AC with out tripping the house breaker. Haven't felt any shock either so that's good with the ground plug working now. I wish I could check with the 30 amp power because initially when this problem occurred the 30 amp Circuit at the post tripped and I am not sure how to test that because I don't have 30 amp in my garage. Also with a continuity tester I can put one probe on the ground bar inside the housing of the power converter and one probe I am the white grounding bar and get continuity I don't think that should be happening do you have any suggestions. I looked at all wiring and it does not look like anything has been chewed on or corroded my next step will be to make or check each individual outlet to see if there is a short to ground.
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Old 06-09-2015, 01:47 AM   #5
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Sounds like you got it. Maybe the moisture, or maybe the wires too close to each other. For the record, you should have continuity from any neutral (white) to any ground (bare) or to chassis. The one that needs to be isolated is black (hot). Don't worry about the 30 amp. If you didn't trip a 20 amp breaker, you won't trip a 30 amp breaker, it takes more current to trip that one.
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:34 AM   #6
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Thank you for your help!
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