Dinner Any Time


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Dealing With Electric Failure

Alas, the RV life is not all fun and games and sometimes it rains. There we were cooking dinner and watching TV while getting ready to start working in our air-conditioned box on wheels when suddenly all the power went out. At first, it seemed like it might be out in the whole park but a walk-around provided evidence otherwise as air-conditioners whirred on other RVs around us as their inhabitants slept. We checked and flipped breakers to no avail. Upon checking the electric meters, I could see our neighbor’s meter was spinning but ours was stopped dead. A quick check of the 20amp circuit with a circuit tester showed there was power at the post. We knew we could not make it through the night on batteries since they had gone bad and were about to be replaced in a few days. Last time we lost power, we were able to back up my car to connect it to the trailer tow plug and use the car battery to run things. Unfortunately, that plug is now dead we found out. A wire may be disconnected as we have been preparing for the new batteries or perhaps a fuse has blown. With darkness all around and mosquitos swarming everywhere, this was not going to be an easy fix. We finally found the cause of the issue was a burned main electric umbilical cord and connector, the main electric cord we plugin from the RV to the post. It looked like it had been wearing over time but we also had a major lightening strike very close that day. We tried to fix it by cutting the now bad connector off then cutting further and further back to find some good wire. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any. My brother managed to rig up some electric for me to get into work that night over the Internet eventually by using an alternate 20 amp circuit and plugin he had added and using his battery charger on the batteries all night for some DC juice for the refrigerator. Don’t forget, even on propane, your fridge uses DC for lights and controls. Kids, don’t try this at home.

The next day, we decided to replace the entire cord. Since the nearest RV parts store is quite a distance away, we decided to use the 25 ft. 30 amp extension cord onboard for the replacement. We cutoff the female end, pulled out the old cord, then installed the extension cord as the main cord now, not something you want to do in the dark. It is working fine and all the appliances seem to be happier. Of course, now we have to go buy another extension cord for that odd RV park and the in-laws driveway. Winking smile

Update: Since this incident, we have replaced the bad 12V 85ah batteries with two 6V 235ah golf cart batteries in preparation for going solar and boondocking next year. While we were at it, we scraped the rust off the front tow fork, repainted it, and rewrapped the wiring with new wire loom for protection.

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