What’s that smell?

And why did half the 120VAC system lose power? This is the phone call I got while the lovely Kay was in the coach and I was out and about. I quickly returned and traced the smell to the shore power plug that connected to the Hughes autoformer cable. It didn’t look good:

It looked even worse when I opened it up:
So, as I described in the AC load redistribution for the electric water heater, there was ONE scenario that was to be avoided: Both AC’s AND the dryer running. Technically it should be OK, but it’s pushing it and leaves little room for error, as we see here. But that was a while ago and we had forgotten about that. I failed to put up a sign (now ordered and will be posted).

Here’s the interesting part. Neither the campground nor the 50A breaker in the coach popped. Rough math says I was pulling about 40A….. Not enough to blow a breaker, but enough to cause some heat. I must disclose that the plug above was an aftermarket plug. Maybe they are not as stout as they claim to be. And, it has been out there for at least the last three years. Notice the corrosion. Rust is a bad conductor and creates heat. I do put it on the wheel so it’s off the ground, but from now on I will open the plugs up once in a while to check them. Point is, that high loads can cause problems and the breakers will not protect you. They will protect you if there is a short and current starts running like crazy.

So the plug was replaced with a new one, as well as the plug on the Hughes autoformer which, although not as bad, also showed signs of overheating. And as mentioned I ordered a sign for on the dryer so we don’t do this again.

Meanwhile, while I was in there I fixed another problem that had been bugging me since day one. And that was the small hatch in the shore power cabinet. The moulded plugs JUST fit through there, none of the aftermarket ones do. So I removed the old one and used an air driven body saw to cut a larger hole in the steel:

New hatch off Amazon:

A piece of plywood to put on the hole when the cord is in to keep the larger critters out:

Also while I was in there and had easy access to the transfer switch I checked all the fasteners on the wires….. All good. They have been reported to work their way loose on occasion and this too creates issues.