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Old 08-03-2016, 01:47 PM   #1
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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?

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Old 08-03-2016, 01:58 PM   #2
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Find a non-GCFI outlet in your house to plug into.

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Old 08-03-2016, 02:37 PM   #3
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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?
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:53 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:47 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:53 PM   #6
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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

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Old 08-03-2016, 08:44 PM   #7
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True household gfci's don't play well with campers electrical.
Plug into a non gfci and your issue should be resolved.

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Old 08-04-2016, 09:02 AM   #8
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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.

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Old 08-04-2016, 09:16 AM   #9
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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.

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Old 08-04-2016, 09:42 AM   #10
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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.

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