Surge Protector Failure

The other morning we lost shore power which is not unusual in most campgrounds but the power usually comes back on in due course.  There wasn’t any significant weather in our area and after checking with our neighbours, I learned we were the only ones experiencing any problems.  Power at the pedestal was alright so the problem had to be ours.  I could smell a bit of a burnt odor in our electrical bay and our Progressive Industries surge protector was receiving shore power but not letting it into the coach.  Pulling the cover off the transfer switch, I could see one of the braided cables on one of three switches inside was slightly discolored and no longer shiny like all the other braided cables.  That cable wasn’t broken though but for whatever reason the switch letting shore power into the coach wasn’t closing.  We lost a transfer switch about 14 months ago and had to have a new one installed in Red Bay while at the Tiffin factory.

I called Red Bay and spoke with Don Boyd in their service department who walked me through how to check my electrical connections inside the transfer switch.  We also metered the 50 amp receptacle at the pedestal and found out it wasn’t wired correctly as a double pole receptacle.  That likely explains why we haven’t been able to run two air conditioners at once very often this past summer.  It didn’t explain the no power problem though.

My next step was to pull the face plate off the surge protector sitting under the transfer switch.  I found one of the wires at junction T1 on the coach side was burnt right off the connector and another at junction L2 on the shore power side was badly scorched.  Our EMS-HW50C surge protector had malfunctioned but also prevented any damage to the electrical components of our motorhome.  A quick call to Progressive Industries and they confirmed the unit comes with a lifetime warranty.  I am to remove it and ship it to Raleigh, NC for repair.  We’ll make do without a surge protector until we head south and plan to stop in Raleigh on our way to Florida to have the surge protector reinstalled.

In the mean time, we are having an electrician come by on Thursday to rewire the 50 amp cord to our transfer switch which should tide us over until Red Bay ships us a new transfer switch which we should have by next week.  We have an appointment at McPhail’s RV in Harriston, ON on Oct 25th to have the new transfer switch installed.  In the interim, we are getting by with battery and generator which is working fine for us so far.  Thankfully, overnight temperatures are still fairly mild…..until the weekend at least.  I’ve managed to hook our residential refrigerator to another power receptacle on our pedestal, so that takes most of the load off our batteries.  We have lots of propane as well if it does get cold.

We are very thankful for the excellent service we have received from Don Boyd at Tiffin Motorhomes and also the customer service department at Progressive Industries.