Monday, April 13, 2015

Some Excitement!

We are pretty excited about being here on the waterfront near Jacksonville.  This is one of those places that makes one say, "It doesn't get any better than this!"

The view out the front window is pretty great.  We are right on the waterfront at Pelican Roost RV Campground at Naval Station Mayport.
More than that, this campground is very well run.  It has free laundry, you can wash your RV on site and the trash containers are nearby.  And we had to pay $2 for a front row site for a total of $21/night. Pretty great!

However, like much of life, things always aren't 100% great or 100% bad.  We ran into a challenge shortly after we arrived and got parked at our first site.  After plugging in to the pedestal, our inverter was reading:  "AC overload!".   I took out the surge protector plugged it back in and it gave the same reading.  

Occasionally we run into a site that has a bad power supply.  So we asked to move to another location while the office manager tried to locate the campground host so he could over to check what was up. 
When we moved to the second site, we got the same readings.  Ugh oh.

I looked at the surge protector.  The prongs going in to the pedestal looked good.  I looked at the connection of the surge protector and the end of the MH 50 cord.  Bingo!
It was fried...
  I took off the lock box type connection and could plainly see - these bad boys were done!
We were counting our blessings that this was the extent of the damage.  
We weren't too sure if the solution was to just replace the end of the motor home power cord or if there was more to it.  We called all four 'Mobile RV' phone numbers of folks listed in the Campground Office and one guy actually called us back.  

Meanwhile, a neighbor came by and we talked about our latest challenge.  The mobile RV guy said he couldn't come out but we should be able to find a replacement plug end at Home Depot.  
Off we went.  
Home Depot did not have what we needed but we found it at Lowe's.

Next we got back to the coach and I and our CTO (Chief Technical Officer) / head electrician started to work.
A little while later our neighbor John came by with his friend Steve.  Steve is a real electrician and asked if we wanted him to hook it up?
We thought about it for about 1/2 a second and said, "YES!" by all means.  It took some doing but they worked at it and got the plug to cooperate.
About 45 minutes later, we were in business!
What started out as a bit of a pain turned into a learning experience and two new campground friends.
They were displaying a couple of Masters Tournament beverage containers that I gave them for their help!

We will buy a more permanent plug and install that in the next couple of days.
We are off to a great start and balmy weather in Florida!

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. You got lucky having an electrician nearby!

    1. Yes - plus the RV mobile guys called back to check that we were doing ok, so we are well taken care of!

  2. Randy I would check out the surge protector before using it much longer. The surge protector should not have allowed whatever caused the power problem to get to your MH's cord.

    1. Steve - no need the check out the surge protector. A quick look determined it had outlived its usefulness. It went into the dumpster shortly after we made the repair. A new one and a different model (one recommended by the electrician) is on order and should arrive today or tomorrow.

  3. Replies
    1. I offered them but they both declined... Guess they don't drink on the job?

  4. Why is a "more permanent plug" needed?

    1. Good question - this plug is really doing fine, but it is intended for washer/dryer etc. The larger wiring from the motor home is a tight fit but probably adequate. We've checked it a few times the last couple of days and there are no hot spots so it is probably fine. But the plug we picked up at Camping World is just for this purpose and probably a better fit.

  5. You are a very lucky guy. Having a real electrician walk by and offer to fix it was great. Now you will need to replace the female plug on the suppressor ( if you did not throw it away). When plugs are left connected for a long time, a dielectric grease is normally coated over the prongs to prevent corrosion / arching. Ask the electrician about it. We used it a lot in the USAF. note: please do not post the coming and going of US subs and ships by ID. Thanks.

    1. Yes we are! And no we did not keep the surge suppressor. I have a new one on order which should arrive today or tomorrow.

  6. Did your electrician friend discover the cause of the problem? Was it just poor connections at the plug or an internal problem within the surge protector? At any rate, I'm going pick up a spare 50 amp plug end at Camping World tomorrow.

    I find when I carry spare parts, those components they are for never fail. ;c)

    We're planning on staying at the same CG you're at mid next week on our way south to Port Canaveral for our next cruise. Handy place to stop.

    1. I wish we knew. Might have been a number of things. We already decided not to use our heat cold that we modified with aluminum foil on the water hose. It had a couple of hot spots on it after we undid it in the spring. Better to buy the hold with the coil embedded in it. The Surge Protector was 8 years old and may have failed. We have heard of that. Best thing is to keep a better eye on the connections at both end of the surge protector. It was fine at one end and melted at the other...
      If you haven't been to Pelican Roost, its a real treat. And washing your rig is not a problem. Can't beat the scenery and is a well run campground.

  7. Oh my! You are lucky that's all that was fried...very scary stuff, electricity..Ben Franklin was lucky HE wasn't fried ...he and his kite!