Why Do I Get Shocked When I Touch My Trailer Frame?

Trailer frames can provide a hidden shock if electrical connections within a campsite, or within the trailer itself, are not properly maintained or repaired. The shock could be small or large, and possibly dangerous.


Improperly wired electricity can charge the frame of a trailer.

Improperly wired electrical wiring, from reversed polarity to missing grounds, can charge the metal framing of a trailer. It will not discharge because the rubber tires act as an insulator to ground. How the charge dissipates is through the touch of a person's hand, creating a complete circuit to ground for the charged frame, entering the hand and exiting through the feet.

Helpful Tips

Be sure to plug in a trailer to a well-maintained electrical outlet that has a snug fit on the plug. If repairing a personal power cord, note the polarity and where wiring is to be matched so wires are not reversed, causing a charge to build on the metal trailer framing.


A shock can possibly cause heart attack or death. Verify any wiring before applying power.

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities.