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Old 02-09-2017, 05:44 PM   #1
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Transfer Switch Check '13 Winnebago Journey 40U

Hello - we have a 2013 Winnebago Journey 40U and recently smelled electrical smoke during the night prior to turning in at night. I found the smell was emitting from the power cord bay. After removing the cover of the transfer switch I found the L1 hot wire had it's insulation melted back and was arching with the upper ground block in the switch. I also found the wire lug itself was not torqued down properly. The plastic around the wire lug was burnt. This was certainly a fire hazard waiting to happen.

I highly recommend RVer's perform a check on there transfer switch electrical in/out connections. This would be a good annual check. To perform the check make sure you unplug from your electrical source and ensure your generator is not set for auto start, because if it did fire up you now have live voltage in the transfer switch box. Next remove the cover and torque down your wire lugs to 45 inch pounds or really crank them till they do not turn. Next plugin your line power and put a load on the line such as your AC for 15-20 min.

Then repeat the procedure by unplugging your line power and recheck the wire lugs one more time before closing up the transfer switch box. The second check in necessary as they will loosen somewhat after the first tightening.

Note my problems were due to the loosening of the wire lug on the hot line and the rubbing of the wire insulation on the ground block. I did have to replace the entire transfer switch as a result of the charring.

Good luck. Let me know if you have any additional questions.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:04 PM   #2
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Glad you caught BEFORE going to sleep

Yes things loosen.
Same checks you did on ATS should be done on AC Power panel and DC Dist Panel.

And IF you have detachable power cords like I do you also need to check those wire connections.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:15 PM   #3
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Driving a rolling earthquake requires frequent maintenance to the vehicle. Once yearly I remove receptacle covers and insure wires are tight in the connection, same for distribution panels and every thing A/C power. Takes about 1 day to inspect every connection.
Of course you cannot tighten those push-in connections, the entire switch/receptacle must be replaced, so I always keep one of each in my parts box.
Gives me something to do when weather is too bad to be outside.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:26 PM   #4
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I described about the same thing on my coach here:

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f84/a-hea...ox-326261.html

I've read other manufacturer owners experiencing the same issue as well. It's something we all have to keep a regular check on.

Regards,
W.D.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:26 PM   #5
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Yes I agree, if you perform these checks at least yearly at the start of the season you can save yourself major headaches.
I too was caught by the loose power cord connection at the Transfer Switch and almost burned up the MH. Your Power cord moves and should be properly anchored down in the electrical bay at several places prior to entering the Transfer Switch Box. This will help ensure the connections don't come loose. But you should still verify that the connections are good and tight in the first place.
Head the warning, don't be that guy. A MH is such a precious thing to waste.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:09 PM   #6
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Next time you check your connections, use Loctite 242 on the threads or Loctite Torque seal on the nut and stud. This will keep the nuts from coming loose but still allow you to remove them with standard tools.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:22 AM   #7
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Winnebago must be aware of the problem as I received a recall notice. Dealer took 20 min to correct.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:37 PM   #8
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Surge Guard Automatic Transfer switch 41260 damage

I checked my connections as a yearly inspection. I found a few loose connections and even worse some scorching and damage. I have no indication at all. Everything was functioning fine. Attached is a picture. I replaced it with a Surge Guard 40350 RVC. More money but Iím hoping for better results.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:12 PM   #9
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You should be checking the connections in the transfer switch and tightening them - atleast once a year. They seem to loosen due to vibration when travelling. There have been multiple fires attributed to loose connection and a recall of some Winn Class C coaches recently. You should also open the main breaker box/point of entry and tighten the connections there. Any work you do on an RV electrical system should only be done with the AC supply turned off and disconnected, both batteries turned off and the inverter turned off. If you are uncomfortable doing this, get an electrician to do it the first time and observe, ask questions, and take notes so you will be comfortable doing it yourself next time. Safety first! Good luck
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