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Old 03-20-2020, 11:53 PM   #1
chunker
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PDI spoke too soon

Things went well Wednesday on the delivery inspection but I missed something, hopefully not much more. The next day I got to work installing the Progressive Industries hard wired EMS, surge guard. The transfer switch is visible on the forward wall of the basement so a rather straightforward install. I decided too install the EMS after the transfer switch. Biggest hassle was making connections and working with the #6 wire which is very stiff, but I got it done. Was late, getting dark when I finished so waited till the next day to power up. Friday morning, checked thing again and plugged in and closed the CB on the pole barn. Went through diagnostics, 16 second delay, and got a fault. Reverse polarity. Unplugged, ran again, same fault. Rechecked all connections, compared the transfer switch connections with the picture I took before taking anything apart, checked my pedestal power, 50 amp. All good.

Since the EMS is wired after the transfer switch, I disconnected, started the generator and NO power. Top leg CB tripped, reset, tripped again and no power to the transfer switch and to the EMS. Called PI tech support and the tech had me recheck all connections and my pedestal. He then had me check the volts at the transfer switch. Results, L1 to ground-120v, L1 to L2-0v, L2 to ground-240v. That's the shore power to the transfer switch. Also on the output and at the EMS, L1 and L1 to ground-0v. L1 and L2 to neutral 120v. Somewhere in the factory supplied wiring there is a fault and crossing of power legs. No breakers in the inside tripped.

Reference the generator, my error for not noticing that when the tech started the generator he didn't close the 2 CBs and I didn't check that the trailer was supplied power by the generator. Called dealer and towed back in for them to figure out.

Of course the first suspicion is that I didn't install it right or that the EMS wasn't the right one. That conversation was before they looked at anything. Service manager had a more of "deer in headlights look" when I described the voltage test results but was going to have their "electrical expert" (my interpretation) troubleshoot it. So now we wait.
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:52 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear Chunker. Hope it gets resolved sooner rather than...

So here is a man, armed with good information, and not a newbie, who does a complete PDI that is way above and beyond what most people do much less a new person to the field of RVing, and he still was not able to satisfactorily get away from the dealer with no issues. No wonder so many write of problems. I tell folks who ask me about purchasing an RV, its not IF you will have a problem with your new unit, but when. To be totally prepared to work on the new unit or save your money and spend it on Motels. It is a shame, a disgrace to American workmanship, and truly the fault of management. The overlying philosophy at Thor must make it a very unlikable place to work.


So sad.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:28 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear Chunker. Hope it gets resolved sooner rather than...

So here is a man, armed with good information, and not a newbie, who does a complete PDI that is way above and beyond what most people do much less a new person to the field of RVing, and he still was not able to satisfactorily get away from the dealer with no issues. No wonder so many write of problems. I tell folks who ask me about purchasing an RV, its not IF you will have a problem with your new unit, but when. To be totally prepared to work on the new unit or save your money and spend it on Motels. It is a shame, a disgrace to American workmanship, and truly the fault of management. The overlying philosophy at Thor must make it a very unlikable place to work.


So sad.
Thanks, I was expecting a host of issues and much of that was not there. I still expect to find things wrong later but that's the nature of the beast. That's why I carry tools. Reference the day of the PDI, I figure I had 2 issues with me. #1 it was going well and I let my guard down. #2 I've been battling a cold and allergies (NOT covid 19 and NO fever), and as the day wore on so did I. By the time I got home with the beast I was exhausted and did nothing other than park it. If I hadn't installed the PI EMS I never would have found the electrical fault/short until it destroyed something or hurt/killed someone.

If any serious electrical gurus had read this post and have an idea where the potential problem is, please post here. I'm going to also make part of this post and question on irv2 since it seems to have a larger audience. The problem could be anyplace from the trailer plug all the way to the transfer switch. I traced the shore power cord from the trailer twist lock until it disappeared above the coroplast until it reappeared in the generator compartment.

If I had bought the pedestal EMS I never would have found the fault. Something to think about.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:19 AM   #4
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I am sorry to hear everything did not work out as well as you first thought. I'm of 2 minds on blaming Keystone for everything, although ultimately it is their responsibility to have a working unit when it leaves the assembly line.

When it comes to "peripheral" equipment adds such as the gen or in our case the washer and dryer, I am always 100% suspect of the accuracy of the install so try to make sure I go thru those items with a fine tooth comb. In the case of the gen, although it should have been thoroughly inspected before it left the factory, it should have also been thoroughly inspected by the dealership before handing it over to you...then there is the customer PDI which can also be a measure to catch failures - but that should not be IMO; but it has become just a fact. Factor in that the person at the factory installing the gen and the person at the dealership neither had any idea of what they were doing and you can figure there is a lot of room for failure. Unfortunate, wish it weren't so etc. but that is the current state of affairs in the RV world whether we like it or not.

" It is a shame, a disgrace to American workmanship, and truly the fault of management. The overlying philosophy at Thor must make it a very unlikable place to work. "

IMO as long as customers are clamoring for these units, buying them as fast as they can build them and rushing off to use them, I doubt that the finished product a person gets is a "fault" of management; more the product produced by the requirements placed on management to meet the production schedule. As far as being an "unlikeable" place to work, I don't know, but I have worked in conditions with quotas placed on productivity and didn't view it as unlikeable, just a part of the job.

From my perspective Keystone, Thor, Forest River, Jayco and all the rest of the manufacturers do the same thing; put out as many units as they can, hope for the best and let the dealer become the QC (quality control) point (the only one). That puts a lot of responsibility on the dealership but from my experiences they know that is the situation. Now, to compound that....

On this new trailer I found out something I did not know - and I'm embarrassed to tell it but it might help someone in the future. I had mods done while I was in FL and they were preparing the trailer for me in TX. One of them was to remove the tires on the new trailer and install Sailuns. It was a disjointed affair. Previously I would just tell them I wanted X tires installed, the got them, installed them and I paid for them when I picked up the unit. This time I guess they thought since I was in FL I may never come back or something and didn't want to be stuck for a new set of tires so made me pay for them in advance - very weird. I had to call the tire company, specify what I wanted and negotiate the price; then I had to pay the dealership, they removed the tires/wheels, took them to the tire store, had them remove the old tires/install the new ones, then the dealership paid for the tires (from the money I had paid them up front) and mounted them back on the trailer - rather complicated and unnecessary as I told them but that was their new policy. Now for my foul up; on the day of pick up and PDI we went over everything but it was cold, windy and rainy. I had sent them a copy of the PDI, asked them to use it prior to my arrival then I was going to go over it with them. They said they would/did. We went over the trailer and didn't find anything, BUT, I did not check the air pressure on the tires. I had stipulated to the tire store and the dealership not only 110psi wheels but 110psi in the tires...repeatedly. On the day of the PDI the weather wasn't really good, my pressure gauge was in my truck clear on the other side of the dealership and the PDI person didn't have one. I decided with the amount of stress I put on having those tires aired to pressure I would check it when I got home fairly confident it would be OK - lesson, never assume anything at any time with a new RV. Got it home and got out my gauge to check the pressures....FORTY PSI in the tires!!! I went through the roof being extremely upset with the tire store, the dealership and most of all myself. After ripping them inside out for a complete failure on their part and placing my wife and myself in danger I had to admit one last thing to them....I (ME) had failed as well. I failed to check that air pressure; I knew you can't take anything for granted and I know on any work performed I (ME) am the last stopgap to assure everything is right....and I failed both myself and my wife on that part. Knowing my temperament, my disappointment and what time I was picking up the trailer, the GM came to the dealership on his day off, in his sweats, to see me. He explained to me that when something is subbed (the tires) they don't touch them or check that....that was between me and the tire store where I bought them. We discussed the merits of that philosophy from mine/their perspectives. They took off the wheels and put them back on but I supposedly paid the tire store so it wasn't the dealership's responsibility....but I paid them, not the tire store and THEY purchased the tires.....round and round. He said maybe they needed to revise their policy and I agreed. Long story to point out another area to watch for if you are buying, ordering or speccing a new trailer with added equipment. Sorry for the long post; I need to find something to do but it's cold and I'm feeling pretty lazy....
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:24 AM   #5
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Danny, I'll bet whoever put the tires/wheels back on used that handy-dandy torque wrench on the end of their 1/2' impact.....hopefully you checked behind him.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:34 AM   #6
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check the pressures....FORTY PSI in the tires!!! I went through the roof being extremely upset with the tire store, the dealership and most of all myself. ...
I know this would be a PITA but you might consider removing, breaking the tires down to check for internal damage from the low pressure. Unless there was obvious damage I wouldn't myself know what to look for but maybe a "tire expert", if there's really such a thing, could see it. How far did you run with that pressure and was it at delivered "empty weight"?

EDIT reference the generator install, Raptors probably leave the factory with 99%+ of them with generators. It's a standard equipment so unless someone does a specific delete, it's a normal install in the build. They SHOULD know what they are doing. Oh silly me with that statement.
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:57 PM   #7
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I know this would be a PITA but you might consider removing, breaking the tires down to check for internal damage from the low pressure. Unless there was obvious damage I wouldn't myself know what to look for but maybe a "tire expert", if there's really such a thing, could see it. How far did you run with that pressure and was it at delivered "empty weight"?

EDIT reference the generator install, Raptors probably leave the factory with 99%+ of them with generators. It's a standard equipment so unless someone does a specific delete, it's a normal install in the build. They SHOULD know what they are doing. Oh silly me with that statement.


It was delivered at empty weight with the new tires driven about 3 miles. I then drove it about 45. I am in the process of resolving the issue with the tire dealer with the expectation of new tires although they initially balked. I have checked the lugs but will have to again I'm sure.

If that gen was something normally done at the factory they SHOULD have known better but we know how that goes. I still can't relieve the dealership of responsibility in your or my cases. As I told the GM; I don't care what is done to the trailer or who does it; as long as they still owned it and making mods and then going to present it to me.....it all should be checked and working. Anymore as complicated as the units are, as questionable as the workmanship is, it takes multiple layers of inspections by anyone and everyone to hopefully get one that in working condition by the time we take possession....it's very sad. But it is the reality of it at this time.

*I might add that the tires looked fine sitting on the pavement (no noticeable bulges) nor did they while I was driving and watching them but when I got it home into the property next door the lumps in the ground caused the edges to bulge out a bit which I didn't think should happen with that heavy a tire and 110psi.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:41 AM   #8
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It was delivered at empty weight with the new tires driven about 3 miles. I then drove it about 45. I am in the process of resolving the issue with the tire dealer with the expectation of new tires although they initially balked. I have checked the lugs but will have to again I'm sure.

If that gen was something normally done at the factory they SHOULD have known better but we know how that goes. I still can't relieve the dealership of responsibility in your or my cases. As I told the GM; I don't care what is done to the trailer or who does it; as long as they still owned it and making mods and then going to present it to me.....it all should be checked and working. Anymore as complicated as the units are, as questionable as the workmanship is, it takes multiple layers of inspections by anyone and everyone to hopefully get one that in working condition by the time we take possession....it's very sad. But it is the reality of it at this time.

*I might add that the tires looked fine sitting on the pavement (no noticeable bulges) nor did they while I was driving and watching them but when I got it home into the property next door the lumps in the ground caused the edges to bulge out a bit which I didn't think should happen with that heavy a tire and 110psi.
I checked my tires Sailuns, during my inspection and all are 110psi. I'll assume that was from the factory not the dealership, didn't ask. ST tires can be safely run below maximum sidewall pressure at lower weights, but I seriously doubt that any chart from Sailun goes down to a 45psi weight rating. Replacing the best bet and if they say they're fine, suggest they run them on their equipment.

What little I have been able to do and see on the trailer I am pleased with (except electrical issue) and am looking forward to some other improvements. External water filter, holders for waste drain hoses, installing wheel chock, and trying to figure out where to put stuff. Course with the covid 19 thing, not sure where I can go for a shakedown cruise.

Edit adding; I posted over on IRV2 this and quite a few responses and suggestions. Under the technology, RV systems and appliances section.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:20 AM   #9
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I am planning on going somewhere fairly close to us for a shakedown and not a resort area (nothing resembling "resort" within 400 miles of us ). Took it out for 1 night here in our town and had no issues getting a nice spot. Hopefully you won't either. I just want to put it through it's paces before the 90 day window expires on some things.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:31 AM   #10
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I am planning on going somewhere fairly close to us for a shakedown and not a resort area (nothing resembling "resort" within 400 miles of us ). Took it out for 1 night here in our town and had no issues getting a nice spot. Hopefully you won't either. I just want to put it through it's paces before the 90 day window expires on some things.
Agree about checking things out. I was considering one of 2 military fam camps or maybe some nearby COE parks. But all being government, no telling what will happen day to day. Anything I check today could change tomorrow. When I get it back and setup like I want, then I'll see if anything nearby is open.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:10 PM   #11
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Problem found. It was my error but not what was suggested or what I would have thought. It was wired correctly however one of the strain relief clamps was too tight and pinched/cut the ground wire into one of the hot leads. They didn't say but I'd suspect the red L2 lead. Back home, hooked up, passed EMS and life is good except my cold which is kicking my ***. But not near as much as I am kicking my own though. Thanks for all the comments.
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:22 AM   #12
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Be glad you had the EMS. Otherwise you would have fed 240 volts to halt the trailer, zero volts to the other half.
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