RV Living

After 8.5 years of full-time RV living in Florida in a 2010 Carriage Carri-Lite 5th wheel, our automatic transfer switch melted yesterday totally changing our perspective on RVing.

Now, here’s the thing. We didn’t know we had a transfer switch or where it was. And it was poorly placed–hidden under the floor, had plywood around it, and was literally sitting on wood shavings! (It made for a real tinderbox situation.) Oh, and it was 2-3 feet from the head of our bed above it! (This is what it looked like after we unscrewed and removed two wood panels.)

Hidden location of RV generator transfer switch
generator transfer switch hidden location

Yes, even when we opened our basement (underneath) storage, there were plywood panels that had no labels on them as to what was behind them.

Recalled IOTA brand generator transfer switch
IOTA burned melted generator transfer switch


I got out the RV owner’s manual and there was nothing diagramed or documented about it! And the RV manufacturer went out of business a year after we bought the 5th wheel, so there’s that.

IOTA ITS-50R recalled generator transfer switch
ITS-50R Recalled melted generator transfer switch
ITS-50R recalled generator automatic transfer switch
IOTA ITS-50R recalled generator automatic transfer switch

The dealer we bought it from, Lazy Days in Seffner, Florida near Tampa, has never stood behind anything that’s went wrong with this coach since day one!

Yesterday, an electrician who just happened to be at our mobile home / RV park, and my husband literally had to sniff to find it (I couldn’t smell anything burning but they did). This was after our power went completely off. No AC power, no DC.

Could have burned

We shudder to think we could have been killed in this rig.

And we have no recourse!

I found there was a recall on the transfer switch, but nobody notified us! I say the dealer is culpable!!!

recall information on automatic generator transfer switch
Screen capture from recall

And nearly 600 people are potentially also living in a death trap!

Reading from the nhtsa.gov PDF about the recall it states:

Manufacturers voluntarily initiate many of these recalls, while others are either influenced by NHTSA investigations or ordered by NHTSA via the courts . If a safety defect is discovered, the manufacturer must notify NHTSA, as well as vehicle or equipment owners, dealers, and distributors . The manufacturer is then required to remedy the problem at no charge to the owner . NHTSA is responsible for monitoring the manufacturer’s corrective action to ensure successful completion of the recall campaign .

What is this quality inspection good for?!?

RV quality inspection sticker
RV quality inspection sticker

Thus, this experience has us rethinking our living situation.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions as to what we should do? Legal recourse?

Be careful out there!


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12 thoughts on “Change of perspective – RV Living

  1. Oh, my goodness. I’m so sorry to hear that’s happened. Glad you’re safe. I can’t believe they didn’t notify you of a recall.
    Is that something that you and the other owners could create a class action lawsuit over? Since they manufacturer is out of business I’m not sure how that would work.
    RVs are fun and convenient but I don’t blame you for your apprehensions. Maybe a tiny house would be an appealing change. I’ve always thought they would be lovely.

    Liked by 4 people

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