Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-03-2016, 01:47 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1
RV electrical problem

I have a 2001 wildwood that I'm having an electrical problem with. I recently tried to plug my trailer into my house to charge the batteries and run the trailer. As soon as I plugged it in it tripped the house GFCI, I did some trouble shooting and found that all breakers inside the trailer will work except the general purpose breaker. The batteries will run the trailer when not plugged into land power. But once I plug into land power it trips, unless I have the general purpose breaker off. If that breaker is off then the land power will work. The general purpose breaker is wired to the converter... Any ideas on if the power converter is my problem?

Utefan31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2016, 01:58 PM   #2
Site Team
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,282
Find a non-GCFI outlet in your house to plug into.

Iwritecode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2016, 02:37 PM   #3
Head Rambler
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 3,289
If the converter breaker is the only one you have to turn off to keep it from tripping the house breaker, then the converter is your problem.

I think it is, but is the converter the only thing connected to that breaker?
Salem 29RKSS Pushing a 2500 Mega-Cab CTD!
Gotta go campin!
Bama Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2016, 02:53 PM   #4
Senior Member
5picker's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 1,721
Many here have reported when plugging their unit into a GFCI protected circuit, it will trip the GFCI. As mentioned, try another circuit that isn't GFCI protected.
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel
Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4
TST Tire Monitor - Sinemate 3500w Gen.
2016 Nights Camped = 42
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2016, 07:47 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: payson, az
Posts: 188
why should the gcfi be tripping? it monitors current out on the hot lead and compares that to current back in on the neutral lead and trips if these are not equal. so somewhere in the trailer there must be some current flowing to ground and coming back into the gcfi via the ground lead. should this be the case or is there a wiring problem? the neutral and ground should not be connected within the trailer. if there is a problem with current going to ground moving to a non gcfi protected circuit will not solve the problem, it will only mask it. what I don't know is if the 12 vdc wiring is interacting with the gcfi as many 12 vdc circuits use the chassis ground as a return path.
2015 cardinal model 3825fl
2015 dodge ram 3500 dually
CHICKDOE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2016, 07:53 PM   #6
Senior Member
Oaklevel's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,758
Supposedly it has been reported that the fact that there are several GFCIs in the circuit (house & trailer) does not allow them to always play well with each other.

Try it on another non GFCI outlet

2005 Dodge 3500 Cummins
2013 Puma Unleashed 356 QLB
1966 Mustang GT
1986 Mustang SVO
Sadie & Lillie Spoiled Rotten Boxers
Oaklevel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2016, 08:44 PM   #7
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
TURBS's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,205
True household gfci's don't play well with campers electrical.
Plug into a non gfci and your issue should be resolved.

2015 Columbus 320RS
2008 2500HD Duramax
2015 nights camped "34"
2016 nights camped "22"
TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2016, 09:02 AM   #8
Senior Member
waiter21's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 436
Switching to a non-GFCI outlet will solve the immediate problem, but will expose you to a risk, and not solve the real problem, why is the GFCI tripping?



As mentioned by Chickdoe, the ground fault is a safety device. It senses current flow between the 120 Hot, neutral (the return wire) and earth ground.

What does this mean to you ?

If you've ever got a small shock when you touched something like a toaster, or frig, or washing machine, or the outside of your MH, or a campground pedestal, or anything. The small shock you got was because there was current flow from either the hot line or the neutral line, through you, to earth ground.

GFCI measures this current flow in the circuit its protecting. Every electron that goes out the Hot line, must come back via the return line, and NOT via the earth ground. If not, it immediately opens pops and opens the entire circuit its monitoring.

To add a visual to this scenario, the current path could be from the 110 hot line that somehow got shorted to refrigerator door handle and cabinet, through your daughters arm, through her shoulder, past her heart, out her other arm, and into the kitchen sink that she is leaning against. If GFCI works, the circuit will trip immediately (within milliseconds) because it seen a discrepancy in supply and return current. Your daughter will complain she got a slight poke when she tried to open the frig, and by the way, the circuit breaker tripped.

Without GFCI protection, your daughter could suffer from a major cardiac ( she gets electrocuted) seizure as her heart tries to beat at a 60 hz rate.


What model number on the Converter??

Your post said your unit is a 2001 vintage, so I will assume your converter is a single stage unit. You might consider upgrading to a three stage unit, these are more battery friendly, i.e. they don't overcharge / undercharge the coach battery. AND they can re-charge the battery significantly faster than a single stage converter. (15 - 20 minutes vs hours)

If your Converter is tripping the GFCI, it would be a good opportunity to upgrade the converter.

2001 Coachmen Mirada (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2001 Civic
It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
waiter21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2016, 09:16 AM   #9
Site Team
wmtire's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 11,045
I have read on several other forums and this one, where converters can possibly be the root cause of house GFCI's tripping. See if this post/thread may help.

WFCO Power Converter Problem
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

I used to be addicted to time travel, but that's all in the past now.
wmtire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2016, 09:42 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 557
The very first thing to always suspect is that there really is a ground fault somewhere, and not a faulty GFCI. Sometimes a shore power cord can be defective and cause a GFCI to trip. Otherwise, there are things inside an RV that can cause a GFCI to trip - a fridge, a water heater element and converter. Try and see if you can isolate the source of the ground fault by shutting off breakers in the converter/panel one by one.

When you are at a CG you won't be plugging your shore power cord into a GFCI in a pedestal and if a ground fault actually exists, won't be detected. Then when you try and plug in at home the GFCI trips and some will go a blame the GFCI receptacle. Switching to a non-GFCI recept. at home can be a serious and potentially deadly mistake.

Gil & Deb & Dougal the Springer Spaniel
Langley, BC
myredracer is offline   Reply With Quote

electric, electrical

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:49 PM.