Remember that tingling feel when you first got your RV. The excitement of looking forward to making it your own by adding those personal touches and thinking of all those great places you want to go see. It was great, right?
But if you’re still getting or develop that tingling feeling when you touch your RV – regardless of where you touch – you have what is called a ‘Hot Skin’ and that’s very dangerous. It’s caused by a lack of proper grounding. If you experience this tingle, you need to stop using your RV immediately and get it fixed as soon as possible before someone is seriously hurt.
Disclaimer: We are not electricians so if you suspect your RV has a Hot Skin, please consult a specialist immediately.
A ‘Hot-Skin’ can occur when the ground wire on an RV’s shore power feed is interrupted. That allows even normal leakage currents inside of an RV to create a stray voltage on the entire RV, including its “skin,” chassis, wheels, hitch and tow vehicle. And this stray voltage can vary from a low-current version which only gives you a tingle, to a high-current version which will not only knock you down on the ground, it can kill you.
So what causes a Hot Skin? There are a myriad of things that can cause your RV to have a ‘Hot Skin’ or a ‘Stray Voltage’. Here are just a few:
- RV owner using an extension cord or dog-bone adapter that has a ground pin broken off.
- RV park campsite pedestals with substandard wiring.
- Wires rubbing against the frame while in transit and rubbing away the insulation.
- Improperly re-wired electrical cord that may have gotten damaged.
- Attaching an item to an RV using a screw and hitting a wire behind the wall.
When an RV develops a Hot Skin, you’d think it would trip a circuit breaker or a surge protector to alert us to a problem, but that is not always the case. Aside from the tingle you get when you touch the RV, a Hot Skin can exist without any other indication. This can be a small shock or it can be deadly depending on the circumstances.
There are plenty of websites and videos on YouTube that can provide more information on this phenomena. If you suspect you have a Hot Skin, please have your RV checked out immediately.
Be safe out there and enjoy your travels!!!