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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.

Function

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.

Warning

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