"At the risk of sounding like a broken record...when the chassis/ground is floating, like when there is no ground conductor, the floating chassis will assume a voltage appox 1/2 the 120VAC because of capacitative coupling between the 3 wires (H/N/G). The amount of leakage current is not enough to trip a GFCI but is enough to give the person a shock if he/she completes a circuit from chassis to earth."
Maybe, maybe not. It takes a reasonable cable length to get enough capacitance to provide enough charge transfer to get a decent shock. I believe that the original poster only had a two-wire cable.
Believe that the original poster only had a two wire cable.
Concur with comment by NewsW. For some reason you had 110 volt Ac present on the chassis of your rig. It should not be there. Connecting the ground to the chassis only shunts that voltage to ground. If you did not trip your main circuit breaker when you added the ground, there probably is no short between the 110 volt AC "hot" wire and the chassis.
A short between the 110 volt AC "neutral" and the chassis can cause the appearance of voltage on the ungrounded chassis. However, it is relatively "soft" voltage. Adding the ground will not trip any circuit breakers. The short could be in the rig wiring or in a defective appliance (one with a 3-wire plug) that is connected to a 110 volt AC outlet.
One approach to troubleshooting is to do the following:
> Unground the chassis so that the voltage appears on the chassis. Measure the voltage to ground with a voltmeter.
> Turn off the branch circuit breakers one at a time and check for change in voltage on the chassis.
This can give you a clue as to where the problem is located.
If the problem appears to be located in the circuit that feeds the AC outlets, unplug appliances connected to these outlets one at a time. This may show you the "guilty" appliance. Get rid of it.
Same applies to circuits (if any) that feed the air-conditioner, converter, microwave, refrigerator, etc. If some of these larger items are causing the problem, seek professional help.
The fact that you get a shock when connected to shore power and touch the rig chassis indicates that the you may have a serious "shore power connection" problem. Typically this would indicate that the "hot" lead of the 110 volt AC and the ground lead (not the 110 volt AC neutral lead) have been reversed. This could be in the rig wiring itself or in the AC receptacle to which the shore power cable is connected.
It may also mean that the ground lead (green wire) in the 110 volt AC system is "open" (not grounding the chassis) and that you have a "sneak" connection of some type between the 110 volt AC neutral and the rig chassis. Having the 110 volt AC neutral connected to the chassis is an absolute "no-no." If you are not familiar with how the 110 volt AC system on an RV works, I would recommend that you immediately get some one with that knowledge to inspect things.
In the past Class C's generally had a rear bumper of some sort. However, if you look at a lot of the current models you find no bumper. In many cases the fiber glass of the rear panel has been formed to create the illusion of a bumper, but there is no structural substance to this "bulge." It is purely decorative.
Depends on the type of converter and DC wiring of the rig. Many of the older converters use the battery as a "filter" to remove AC ripple from the 12 volt output.
Magnetek/Progressive 63xx type converters divide the nine (?) DC output circuits into two groups. When shore power is available, a relay disconnects six (?) of the DC output circuits from the battery and connects them directly to the converter output. The remaining (three?) DC output circuits remain connected to the battery. Typically these circuits were used for "electrically noisy" circuits like flurescent lights. The main converter output does not connect directly to the battery. Instead there is a separate "battery charge" output from the converter and it is typically limited to about 5 amps.
Magnetek/Progressive 73xx/74xx converters, and most "3-stage charger" converters had only a single DC output that feeds all the DC circuits and charges the battery. The do not depend on the battery to filter the AC ripple from their 12 volt DC output.
To troubleshoot your problem you need to determine how your converter works.
We are not "full timers" but spend about 5 or 6 months of the year on the road; sometimes in a single trip. In the last 10 years we have travelled extensively in 49 states and most of the Canadian provinces. Have never seen a place where the "10 year old" rule was enforced. In some very nice CG's we have seen "beater" rigs that are obviously longer term residents. Also a few that appeared abandoned.
Our concern is more with "20 year old, or older" campgrounds that have not been maintained or modernized and where the management isn't really concerned about your satisfaction. Typcial issues:
1. Dirty restrooms and showers.
2. Electrical service sometimes limited to 20 amp.
3. Electrical system issues; open grounds, reversed connections, broken or worn out receptacles, etc.
4. "Full hookup" sites whose sewers only take "gray water."
5. "Grass pads" that have become "trenches" and you are at sea if it rains.
6. Room to park a towed vehicle.
We have a 7-yr old Class C and tow a Jeep. Our requirements are not excessive; clean site, safe electrical hookup, and decent dump station.
I certainly do not want to cause a "flame war" but would like to make a couple of observations.
IMHO that once you are east of the Mississippi River and move further east, the availability of campgrounds decreases and, in general, the quality decreases. The latter should be expected as the facilities are older. Also in the area east of the Great Lakes many of the campgrounds are primarily occupied by "seasonals" and there are limited spaces for "over nighters" and other short term users. We have seen places with 300 sites and only 25 or so available for short term.
At the moment we are spending a week at a campground in CT:
> The sites are small but there is room to park our Jeep.
> Pads are grass but have been kept level and have no "ruts."
> Had an electrical outlet issue when we arrive but it was fixed within an hour.
> Full hookups are all OK.
> It has 57 sites, 50 being "seasonals."
> Owners/managers come by and ask if everything is OK.
Our experience has been the places that are "family run" and managed by the owners are the best. We have even called places to ask them this question before arriving or making a reservation.
I know that this posting is long and a bit "off topic" but hope that it might help new "long trip" travelers get better places to stay.
Sorry to hear of your tire problems, however, IMHO depending on a tire dealer to read and interpret tire date codes is an invitation to more trouble. There are many sites on the web that explain tire date codes, where to find them, and how to interpret them. The codes are straight forward and easy to interpret.
Tire age, as indicated by the date code is important. If I recall correctly, Michelin recommends replacement when a tire is 5 years old. However, sidewall and tread condition are also important. While most RV tires "age out" rather than "wear out" it is possible to wear a tire to the point that it is dangerous. Often this occurs as a result of suspension and alignment problems. Having a good tire tread depth gauge and using is regularly is a good idea. I check the tread on my tires every 6 months and then estimate the remaining miles. This assumes that the sidewalls are in good condition and the tires are not about to "age out."
Sorry to hear your saga, but I too have mixed feelings about Ford products. I have a 2005 27-foot Class C on a E-450 chassis. Within 30 miles of my home are 18 Ford dealers. Only one of them will service my rig. The "Medium truck" dealer won't even consider it. On the road I have had problems getting simple LOF service done as I refuse to take it to the "Quickie lube" type places based in problems they created with my previous rig. I have had a couple of issues with the dealer and for one problem taught their "computer tech" the simple troubleshooting procedure: "spark, fuel, timing."
As to alignment, I found a great independent shop that has a "heavy vehicle" specialist (Previously aligned 6 x 6 trucks in the Army.) I have had them make many mods in my suspension and the rig now handles great.
IMHO Ford Corporation is not doing enough to establish decent service facilities for their "cut-away" chassis. This is unfortunate as they are basically the "only game in town" if you want to build a Class C motorhome. (I know that this will offend the owners of "Sprinter" (?) based vehicles, but they don't meet my requirements for towing or living space.) With the demise of the GM Kodiak the next step up is the Freightliner based vehicles. A major step in both size and price.
To Ford's credit, however, they have established the "motorhome owners hot-line" that will assist you when you have a problem. Last summer I experienced a fuel pump problem when headed west on I-80 just east of Laramie, WY. The Ford Hotline people contacted the Ford dealer in Laramie, however, he had no facilities or technicians for fixing my E-450 problem. I had to take the rig another 75 miles to Ft. Collins, CO to get it fixed. Fortunately it wall mainly down hill. I cannot say enough good things about the service I recieved in Ft. Collins.
I know that the Ford subject is highly controversial, but I spent my life in marketing and feel that "ongoing prodct support" is extremely important.
Have a Progressive Industries "permanently installed" 30-amp unit (HMS-30?)in my rig and would not be without it. In addition to normal surge protection it has other protection features that are great (under voltage, over voltage, incorrect supply wiring, etc.)
Have had a couple of times where it would not turn on the AC power due to a slight over voltage. Have put it into "bypass" mode and only used AC to run my microwave and converter which are both very tolerant of input voltage. Kept refrig on propane and didn't us A/C. Putting unit into "bypass" only disables the "other protection features" and does not disable the primary surge protection functions.