Friday, July 19, 2013


Houghton MI (Low 66 Clouds and Sun Not as Warm High 77)

A week after the flood in our Cameo we had started having some weird electrical issues. The microwave quit working as well as the outlet in the bathroom. We also started smelling a weird odor that we could not agree on; Bob thought it was a chlorine smell and Jo thought it was bug spray since we had just sprayed outside. Bob being adventurous pulled off the breaker panel and this is what he found (sorry it is a little blurry it was kind of hectic).

The white wire on the left that has a lot of exposed copper is on the microwave circuit and the exposed copper on the curly wire on the right is the GFCI circuit which controls the bathroom outlet. The weirdness continues in that other outlets controlled by this breaker were working at the time. Bob turned off the power outside and disconnected the power cord and turned off the breaker at the panel. He loosened the microwave power wire and found that it was just stripped to far, clipped off a little, reinstalled and turned everything back on. Voila, the microwave is working but now all the GFCI outlets are not. So he then works on the curly wire, turns everything off and finds the same thing, not loose just stripped to far, puts everything back together and no power anywhere. Checks with a voltmeter and both legs of our 50amp circuits are dead.

By now it is time to get more help, luckily one of our fellow campers and good friends works on maintenance at a hospital. We had power outside and our cord was OK so we went looking for the transfer switch the most likely culprit. The transfer switch transfers power from the generator or the shore power to the Cameo, whichever one you are using.

Of course it was not easy to find. By now another camper came by to help in the hunt and he was an Electrical Engineer. We kept saying it had to be somewhere easy to get at, well we were wrong. We just about emptied the Cameo trying to find it. It was located behind a panel underneath the stairs. We pulled off the lid and this is what we found.

We won the lottery in fellow campers because not only did they have the expertise but also the copper connectors, tools and tape that we needed. They disconnected the power line and the line to the breaker panel and hardwired them together using copper connectors that they had and then wrapped with electrical tape. Since the transfer switch box is a fire box they put the joined lines in there and closed the lid. The transfer switch was secured back to the floor and the panel was put back up and the air conditioners turned on. We then thanked them and began putting everything back together, it was weird to see just about everything we owned set outside.

We have met the greatest people ever since we began full-timing but none better than these, thanks again guys.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo


  1. Wow that was close. This problem has been posted on the Carriage club web site several times, even with similar pictures. After a maintenance talk at one of the club rallies we checked ours and found loose wires. We had to empty the basement and take out the wall to get to the transfer switch. Loose wires seem to be the problem in many of the transfer boxes and have started fires. Glad you caught it in time.

  2. That is scary. So glad you found the problem before it caused a fire. I really do worry about fires in these rigs of ours. Aren't RVers a fantastic group of folks.

  3. What a scary time for you all. I am so happy to hear that all is well now. We have a Cameo and just sent your blog to Paul, my husband. Thanks for sharing all the things you needed to do to correct the problem.

  4. That is scary. A very lucky turn of events in finding it before disaster struck:))