Electrical Fun :-( - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-16-2019, 06:44 AM   #1
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Electrical Fun :-(

Sure hope this isn't a common thread, I'll admit I didn't check first. Just wanted to let others know the mess I got into today. I'm a brand new member so go easy on me :[)

The specs - 2015 Dutchman Kodiak 279RBSL - new to me. Purchased from the original owner that purchased it as a 2015 holdover new in 2016.

The wife was using her hair dryer with the AC on and the main 30 amp breaker tripped. Turned the hair dryer and AC off and reset the breaker. The wife finished drying her hair, turned AC back on. A little later, she turned the hair dryer on again (forgot) and power went off. No breakers were tripped. A few minutes later we smelled a hot electrical smell coming from somewhere. After a little investigation, determined that there was no AC power making it to the breaker panel inside the camper. 12vdc lights were running off the battery. Started investigating. Pulled entire breaker / fuse panel chassis out of cabinet below pantry. Did not visually see any problems with it. Found the wiring running form the 30amp shoreline connector outside to the breaker panel. Started metering for good wiring. Lowside (white wire) and safety ground metered good from outside bulkhead shoreline connector to inside breaker / fuse panel. High side (black wire) was open. Tried to see as much of that wire as possible but it was limited from both ends. Thought initially that the hot (black) wire had shorted somewhere and melted into because of the smell. Decided to remove the 30amp shoreline bulkhead connector from the outside on the camper. Loosened the individual wire screws and pulled the wiring out of the bulkhead connector. Noticed the black wire insulation was melted and showing signs of being hot. Metered directly from these bare wires inside to the breaker / fuse panel instead of through the 30amp bulkhead blade terminals and the black wire metered good. Upon further investigation, the black and white wires (positive and negative) neither had had they're insulation stripped nearly enough to properly make good connection with the 30amp bulkhead screw clamps. Clearly has been this way since the camper was assembled from the factory. Hard to tell how much unnecessary electrical current heat this has caused since 2016 for the original owner! Stripped another 1/4 of and inch or so of insulation from from both black and white wires and reassembled everything. Everything working as expected. Whew!
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:13 PM   #2
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I had to pull my bulkhead connector off also due to it pulling away from the wall of the RV. I noticed that it was not properly installed also. I resealed it, put bolts and nuts on it (stainless-thank you Lowe's).

That looks like the "usual" wire they put in RV's designed to carry more like 20 amps than 30! I would have replaced that will something a little more hefty-although it's 12 AWG that you have there (by the color of the sheath). - but that's just me.

Congrats on your new RV and WELCOME to the forum!

forgot to add... make sure you really seal that against the wall -NOT SILICONE_..
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:22 PM   #3
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I would consider moving that water filter to the hydrant and not hanging it off the city water hookup. That'll be one more thing to fix when it pulls loose.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:47 AM   #4
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Orange color sheath is 10 gauge. So its at the minimum requirement.


"The orange-colored wire sheathing is set aside for 10-gauge wire. It is able to handle 30-amp circuit loads. These loads include air conditioners, water heater feeds, and any other 30-amp loads. "
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyVeteran View Post
Orange color sheath is 10 gauge. So its at the minimum requirement.


"The orange-colored wire sheathing is set aside for 10-gauge wire. It is able to handle 30-amp circuit loads. These loads include air conditioners, water heater feeds, and any other 30-amp loads. "
you are correct! I stand corrected and it is the MINIMUM I still would have changed it since it's the feed wire to the panel.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:42 AM   #6
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https://www.thespruce.com/nonmetalli...-color-1152905


The true colors of sheathing
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:56 AM   #7
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Keep in mind folks that the White Sheathing for 14 AWG (15A), Yellow Sheathing for 12 AWG(20A), Orange Sheathing for 10 AWG (30A) and Black Sheathing for 8 AWG and 6 AWG are customary but not required. There is no code rule in the NEC® that dictates the sheathing color scheme. It was started by Encore Wire Corporation back in the early 90's and now its become the popular colors. We also make Type NM-B (Nonmetalic-sheathed cable) in pink, green, and blue sheathing as well for special occasions.
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Old 06-23-2019, 12:24 AM   #8
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Welcome to Dutchman Quality!

I, as have many other people, found a few things not connected properly from the factory. This is a normal Dutchman brand welcome to ownership gift. My personal favorite was the hot water heater inlet pex crimp that was not crimped correctly. The 3rd day of owning my new Dutchman I was awakened at 3am by the sound of water spraying out from under my bedroom closet! Again welcome to Dutchman ownership!

P. S. I have 3 more not correctly installed from the factory stories!
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