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Old 07-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #51
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

Mike
What is your take on the great generator debate, for Skoolie's which of course have more metal skin than fiberglass rv's, with big rubber isolators on them(tires)?

1)Cheap portable type generators like contractors use? should they be grounded to chassis or just thrown on a deck and ratchet strapped down?

for years just fire it up and plug in the 30amp plug (and with a basic plug in light tester it shows open ground?) I haven't tried yet just been reading (dangerous)

or throw it on ground/grass during rain/snow etc

Also keep hearing about neutral bonding etc which doesn't seem right to me
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:04 PM   #52
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

Mike

per our conversation I will be adding a ground strap from ground bus too chassis of bus, is 4 or 6 gage enough?
That is what goes to power pedestal?

Thanks again

"bare" panel


"loaded"


I will just go to an empty slot on the ground bar

and cover is marked by the way


Yeah, nah?

Thanks!!
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:06 PM   #53
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
Mike
What is your take on the great generator debate, for Skoolie's which of course have more metal skin than fiberglass rv's, with big rubber isolators on them(tires)?

1)Cheap portable type generators like contractors use? should they be grounded to chassis or just thrown on a deck and ratchet strapped down?

for years just fire it up and plug in the 30amp plug (and with a basic plug in light tester it shows open ground?) I haven't tried yet just been reading (dangerous)

or throw it on ground/grass during rain/snow etc

Also keep hearing about neutral bonding etc which doesn't seem right to me
More on this tomorrow... but I've been talking to my generator manufacturer and NEC contacts and getting my head wrapped around the problem. It's a little tricky, but there's a few simple yet safe solutions, I think.

Mike Sokol
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:10 PM   #54
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
Mike
Per our conversation I will be adding a ground strap from ground bus too chassis of bus, is 4 or 6 gage enough?
Code requirements call for it being as heavy gauge (or heavier) than the max current draw. So, in theory, a 30-amp shore power connection would only require a 10 gauge bonding wire, while a 50-amp shore power connection would require a 6-gauge bonding wire. But heavier is better.... so go for the 4 gauge if you have it laying around.

Mike Sokol
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #55
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

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Originally Posted by bansil
Mike

per our conversation I will be adding a ground strap from ground bus too chassis of bus, is 4 or 6 gage enough?
That is what goes to power pedestal?
Remember, you MUST NOT bond the neutral bar to the frame ground. I can't see if you have the green bonding screw out of the neutral bar, but the Neutral MUST NOT BE bonded to the frame. The Ground and Neutral must remain separated in your RV, and only bonded at the campground/house service panel or generator transfer switch.

Mike Sokol
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:49 PM   #56
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

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Originally Posted by jmsokol
Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
Mike

per our conversation I will be adding a ground strap from ground bus too chassis of bus, is 4 or 6 gage enough?
That is what goes to power pedestal?
Remember, you MUST NOT bond the neutral bar to the frame ground. I can't see if you have the green bonding screw out of the neutral bar, but the Neutral MUST NOT BE bonded to the frame. The Ground and Neutral must remain separated in your RV, and only bonded at the campground/house service panel or generator transfer switch.

Mike SOkol
It's out! I actually keep one of the 3 light testers plugged in so I can see it before opening the door(touching it) they are cheap and if something was ever the wrong color,I would kill power at the pedestil, and then unplug and trouble shoot making sure campground as right,if so then I break out and test other circuits

You won't see any of the nuetral bonding from me in the vehicle ever

Thanks for looking out for us!
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:54 PM   #57
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

If the ground from "pole" 120V is connected to the bus ground (same as 12V or 24V) what happens if there is a short in the 120 side?
120 is ac and goes both ways, dc is one way so could that "spike" all 12v stuff until it got to diodes(probably fry them) or open switches?

Just curious,would hate to blow up batteries if there is a need to do something to them
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:00 PM   #58
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
If the ground from "pole" 120V is connected to the bus ground (same as 12V or 24V) what happens if there is a short in the 120 side?
120 is ac and goes both ways, dc is one way so could that "spike" all 12v stuff until it got to diodes(probably fry them) or open switches?
Just curious,would hate to blow up batteries if there is a need to do something to them
The confusion is that there's really no such thing as a single "ground" in an RV, more like a bunch of different ground-planes. Every ground-plane (120-volt, and 12-volt) will have its own fault currents circulating which should remain separate from each other. So a short in the 120-volt AC system to the frame should remain separate from the 12-volt DC system, with almost no chance of inducing spikes as long as all your ground straps are tight and bright. However, if you get a lighting strike on your RV, then all bets are off. There is just so much current that the frame of an RV can absorb, and there will be inductive coupling between parallel wires that will easily exceed 12-volts. In the event of a lightning strike, you yourself should be safe inside the metal faraday cage of your Skoolie, but the wiring and electronics may not faire so well.

Mike Sokol
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:12 PM   #59
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
It's out! I actually keep one of the 3 light testers plugged in so I can see it before opening the door(touching it) they are cheap and if something was ever the wrong color,I would kill power at the pedestil, and then unplug and trouble shoot making sure campground as right,if so then I break out and test other circuits
sorry to burst your bubble.... back on page 1 of the thread Mike explains why the 3-light tester won't protect you from what he has termed the reverse polarity bootleg ground which will give your RV an electrically hot skin. The 3-light testers are still useful tools, but be aware they won't alert you to that type of fault.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:29 PM   #60
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Re: RV Electrical Safety

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Originally Posted by family wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
It's out! I actually keep one of the 3 light testers plugged in so I can see it before opening the door(touching it) they are cheap and if something was ever the wrong color,I would kill power at the pedestil, and then unplug and trouble shoot making sure campground as right,if so then I break out and test other circuits
sorry to burst your bubble.... back on page 1 of the thread Mike explains why the 3-light tester won't protect you from what he has termed the reverse polarity bootleg ground which will give your RV an electrically hot skin. The 3-light testers are still useful tools, but be aware they won't alert you to that type of fault.
Correct... An RPBG (Reverse Polarity Bootleg Ground) cannot be detected by any 3-light tester or even a voltmeter between H-N, H-G and G-N. My article titled "Failures in Outlet Testing" is supposed to run in EC&M (Electrical Construction & Maintenance) Magazine this month and explains why the entire electrical industry seems to have forgotten about this problem. While an RPBG would be hard to create in new house or campground pedestal, they are VERY easy to accidentally create in old house or garage wiring that originally didn't have grounded wiring. Plugging anything with a grounded plug into an RPBG wired outlet will result in the RV or appliance to appear to operate normally, even fooling surge/voltage protectors from Progressive Industries and others. But the skin of your RV or appliance will be energized to a full 120-volts with a low-impedance/high-current fault source. Yup, you can pull a full 20 or 30 amps from the skin of your RV without tripping the circuit breaker. Seems crazy, but it's true.

I highly recommend the use of a NCVT (Non Contact Voltage Tester) such as a Klein NCVT-1 or Fluke VoltAlert to check outlets for hot grounds and RV for hot-skin conditions. They only cost $20 or so, don't require actual contact to test for voltage, and are extremely safe for untrained operators to use. And remember, a ground rod at a campsite pedestal doesn't assure you of an actual safety ground. The earth itself is actually a pretty poor ground, believe it or not....

Mike Sokol
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