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Old 04-15-2020, 04:27 PM   #1
John&LauraK
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Thumbs up Surprise Electrical Short

Hello All! My wife and I purchased our 2018 305RL a couple of years ago and learned of the MOC from a friend. I have learned a great deal from other owner's posts, so now it's time for me to pay some of that back by sharing a freak incident and how others can avoid what happened to us.

We pulled into a beautiful park in Bend, Oregon, on a Saturday last fall. I followed my normal routine by lowering the front jacks, unplugging the electrical cord from the truck and setting it on the ground and disconnecting the truck from the trailer, then auto-leveled the trailer. My wife popped out the kitchen slide while I connected the water hose, cable and sewer hose. I then rolled up the trailer/truck electrical cord and stuffed it into the king pin opening. That's when my problem started. The leveling system kept beeping, the lights inside the trailer were blinking and nothing electrical worked. I disconnected and reconnected the battery connections to no avail.

Thankfully, we had a mobile RV repair tech come out and he quickly diagnosed the problem as an electrical short caused when I stuffed the trailer electrical cord into the box of the kingpin. The bare plug apparently came into contact with a screw or bolt inside that space, thereby shorting the system out. He simply disconnected and reconnected something near the battery, then tested everything and we were good to go. In order to prevent this problem in the future, I simply found a 2-pack of hollow plastic baseballs at the dollar store, cut an X in one, and stuff the female plug into the ball, which will prevent it from contacting any metal objects.

I hope this helps someone from making the same mistake I did. John
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Old 04-15-2020, 05:42 PM   #2
Jeff Myers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John&LauraK View Post
Hello All! My wife and I purchased our 2018 305RL a couple of years ago and learned of the MOC from a friend. I have learned a great deal from other owner's posts, so now it's time for me to pay some of that back by sharing a freak incident and how others can avoid what happened to us.

We pulled into a beautiful park in Bend, Oregon, on a Saturday last fall. I followed my normal routine by lowering the front jacks, unplugging the electrical cord from the truck and setting it on the ground and disconnecting the truck from the trailer, then auto-leveled the trailer. My wife popped out the kitchen slide while I connected the water hose, cable and sewer hose. I then rolled up the trailer/truck electrical cord and stuffed it into the king pin opening. That's when my problem started. The leveling system kept beeping, the lights inside the trailer were blinking and nothing electrical worked. I disconnected and reconnected the battery connections to no avail.

Thankfully, we had a mobile RV repair tech come out and he quickly diagnosed the problem as an electrical short caused when I stuffed the trailer electrical cord into the box of the kingpin. The bare plug apparently came into contact with a screw or bolt inside that space, thereby shorting the system out. He simply disconnected and reconnected something near the battery, then tested everything and we were good to go. In order to prevent this problem in the future, I simply found a 2-pack of hollow plastic baseballs at the dollar store, cut an X in one, and stuff the female plug into the ball, which will prevent it from contacting any metal objects.

I hope this helps someone from making the same mistake I did. John
That's some good advice! Thank you
I can see a run on baseballs after the virus thing subsides!
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:06 PM   #3
rohrmann
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The last time I had stuffed our cord into the pin box, upon removing the cord, the plug hung up a little and when it finally came out, hit me just below one eye, creating quite a nasty bruise. I now only wrap the cord around the outside of the pin box and have not had any other problems.
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Old 04-16-2020, 05:26 AM   #4
RMcNeal
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If baseballs are in short supply, you can also wrap with toilet paper. :-)
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Old 04-16-2020, 06:08 AM   #5
Desert Rat
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You know they make rubber covers for the end of the seven prong trailer connectors, they work real good at keeping dirt, dust, moisture and even foreign metal parts out of the trailer connector.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:16 AM   #6
Theunz
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Wow 36 years of stuffing the cable in the pin box without issue. I think your issue is a real fluke...or maybe Iím just lucky. A cheap and worthwhile preventative measure anyway. An old tennis ball would work too.
PS how do you put a female end in a hole?!! Perhaps you meant the male end
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:40 AM   #7
Mikendebbie
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I had an incident sometime during the last year stuffing the pigtail into the pin box. I rolled the cord up as usual and when I stuck the roll inside there was a big spark. Scared the DOG outta me (but all sparks scare the DOG outta me!)! I did not/have not noticed any other electrical systems being affected. Since then I have been a bit more careful when I stick the roll up in there. I think I will make a plug cover as suggested above.

Besides the near-death experience I had seeing a spark in that incident - this was the first time in all my years of handling pigtails for my previous fifth wheels and travel trailers that this had happened.
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Old 04-16-2020, 08:16 AM   #8
John&LauraK
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I did not know that they make covers for that plug. I will look for one of those. Thank you!
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Old 04-16-2020, 08:21 AM   #9
wecker1
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A zip-lock baggie works as well. Keeps dirt and moisture out.
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Old 04-16-2020, 10:27 AM   #10
Carl n Susan
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Here is the one I use. It came from Camping World. Clicky




But I did find another one at Fastway that looks good too. Clicky
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Old 04-16-2020, 11:37 AM   #11
Dmcgrew
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I purchased and installed a magnet trailer plug and installed in the truck and on the 5th. It has a mounting cup that you plug the pigtail into on the side of the tongue, now the cable does not have to be tucked into the back of t he hitch and it is always protected
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:21 PM   #12
Fish
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I hang a hook through one of the empty holes on the pinbox and hang my cord on it. Never considered stuffing it in the pinbox.

In fact I made a cover for the pinbox to keep out birds who build nests in there, so nothing will go in there anyway.
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:22 PM   #13
Jritz
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That’s some good info. I didn’t know they make a cover for the pigtail. Thanks
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:48 PM   #14
Jritz
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I have another “Short” story! Our first trip with our 2020 3855br in the fall turned to a disaster. We had to sleep in the truck because we had no electricity in the camper. I checked everything. We were Boondocking. So when we got to our destination I did some further investigation and found that in the basement when I loaded it up I must have hit the ground wire coming through the front wall going to the inverter. It hit the red line and shorted it out. My fix was to wrap the 2 hot wires with rubber tape so it doesn’t happen again. Check it out I’ll bet yours is the same.
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Old 04-22-2020, 07:47 PM   #15
bobsorrells
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One good thing about the MOC is that the same thing that happened to you probably happened to someone else. I had this happen the very first time I stuffed the pin into the box as you did, except with less drastic results. Amazon to the rescue (again).
https://www.amazon.com/7-Way-Plug-Co...BCCQ0526KBT8EA
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:54 AM   #16
Rhiannon28
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I had the exact same thing happen to us and it fried one of the small auto-reset breakers located near the battery. It took me half a day to find it and 5 seconds to fix it. I ended up breaking off the protruding screws off flush inside the pin box which also eliminated a skin tearing hazard. We still keep our cord in there out of the elements including the sun.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:30 AM   #17
Texan
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I bought a j-hook at Home Depot for around 2.00 and used a self tapping bolt and mounted it on the side of the hitch. Now i just wrap the cord around the j-hook. This is a 5 minute job . The less i bend the cable trying to stuff it in the hitch the less chance the cable will break down and short out.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:46 AM   #18
NCFischers
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I simply make sure that the plug sticks out of the box so I can see the pins.
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:18 PM   #19
paulinbaja
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Originally Posted by Theunz View Post
Wow 36 years of stuffing the cable in the pin box without issue. I think your issue is a real fluke...or maybe Iím just lucky. A cheap and worthwhile preventative measure anyway. An old tennis ball would work too.
PS how do you put a female end in a hole?!! Perhaps you meant the male end
It happens, I never had an issue occur but did get a big flash once putting the plug and cord into the king pin box. Do it with more care now.
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