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Old 08-05-2013, 09:28 AM   #1
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tripping circuit breaker w/ electric hot water

On second camping trip with our new 3050s. Had water heater electric switch turned on. When running microwave and A/C, the circuit breaker tripped on the camp site plug in (not any circuit breaker in the RV). I'm assuming hot water heater was running since we had recently washed a few dishes. This happened twice. Stopped using the electric switch - used only propane and it never happened the rest of the week when using microwave and A/C.

Anybody else have these issues? I thought the electric hot water heater was a great idea to save propane. But if I'm having to worry about drawing too much power than it's something that I will never use.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by johnlantz View Post
On second camping trip with our new 3050s. Had water heater electric switch turned on. When running microwave and A/C, the circuit breaker tripped on the camp site plug in (not any circuit breaker in the RV). I'm assuming hot water heater was running since we had recently washed a few dishes. This happened twice. Stopped using the electric switch - used only propane and it never happened the rest of the week when using microwave and A/C.

Anybody else have these issues? I thought the electric hot water heater was a great idea to save propane. But if I'm having to worry about drawing too much power than it's something that I will never use.
You most likely have a 30 amp RV....and thus are limited to 30 amps of total power. As you have found out, running all three at the same time puts you over the 30 amp limit.

Everyone has this issue with 30 amps, and thus have to turn something off. Just a microwave and Air Conditioner can get you close to your 30 amp limit.

You have to learn what you can and cannot have on at the same time......as we all did.

Here is a chart that shows average amp draws for common things in both 120 volt and 12 volt.

normal appliance amp draws

and more reading:

http://rvservices.koa.com/rvinformat...lectricity.asp

and lastly, but often overlooked is the converter which converts 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC. If you are running a bunch of 12 volt things that are being powered by your converter, it also needs more 120 volt AC power to convert over. This will also affect what you other things you can or cannot have on at the same time:

http://rvservices.koa.com/rvinformat...d-amp-draw.asp

It shouldn't take you too long to get it figured out. Easiest thing to remember is that your air conditioner is usually the biggest energy user...then about anything that makes heat is second. Microwaves, electric water heating elements, electric space heaters, electric toasters/ovens/skillets, and hair dryers need many amps. Your fridge on 120 volt uses several amps itself.

Now, just to complete the subject, you can use electrical adapters and plug your RV into a 15/20 amp receptacle, like your house has. When using an adapter like this, you are going to be limited to even less amps....which would be 15 or 20 amps.............and using even less electrical things at the same time.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by johnlantz View Post
On second camping trip with our new 3050s. Had water heater electric switch turned on. When running microwave and A/C, the circuit breaker tripped on the camp site plug in (not any circuit breaker in the RV). I'm assuming hot water heater was running since we had recently washed a few dishes. This happened twice. Stopped using the electric switch - used only propane and it never happened the rest of the week when using microwave and A/C.

Anybody else have these issues? I thought the electric hot water heater was a great idea to save propane. But if I'm having to worry about drawing too much power than it's something that I will never use.
We have a 50amp camper, but have camped a fair amount on 30amp sites. We've experienced exactly what you described.

We basically figured out that we can only have 2 high draw appliances running at one time. For us, that has become - run the A/C (always) and then pick your second appliance.

We've blown the breaker in the following combinations:
- WH + AC + bottle warmer
- AC + bottle warmer + hair dryer
- AC + bottle warmer + microwave
- AC + microwave + microwave
- AC + microwave + mega-watt hair straightener that my teenage niece used

As you can see, we're a slow study.

Just nature of the beast.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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- AC + bottle warmer + hair dryer
I've always thought these appliance draw charts to be a little on the low side in their approximations when it comes to hair dryers. You may see a lot of 1700, 1875, and 2000 watt hair dryers now.

Which (if I did my math correct at 120 volts) would be 14.2, 15.5, and 16.7 amps accordingly.

Of course, personally I have no use for any of those above. The older I get, the less hair I have that needs drying. I should reach the point where an LED bulb can do the job.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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I had a similar problem with the campground 30 amp beaker tripping but not anything in the RV. You have (if it's like my 3120) a main 30 amp breaker which will trip if you use more than 30 amps. I think (as was the case in my experience) there was a problem with the campground 30 amp beaker.

I told the campground owner who then provided me with an adapter to connect to the 50 amp plug so we could see where the problem was. I had no issues from then on and since my coach 30 amp breaker never tripped I was not drawing over 30 amps so the problem was with the campground breaker. He gave me the impression that this was something he has seen before.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:52 AM   #6
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As circuit breakers age they sometimes trip before their stated capacity. If the breaker at the campground is the one tripping, I use an adapter to plug into the 50 amp circuit (if one is available). If your RV breaker is tripping then you need to evaluate what you are using and adjust accordingly. I have a surge protector/power conditioner with a readout that shows amps being used. Air conditioning is the largest draw and that occurs when the compressor is just starting.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:02 PM   #7
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I have a 2013 #3051S and know it is impossible to run all components on electric at once. Currently, I am camping for 4 months in the mountains of N.C. My hot water heater, refrigerator and a/c are using electric. If I want to use the Convention side of my microwave for baking the A/C must be turned off. Otherwise the 30amp breaker on the outside post trips.

My 2010 Newmar Dutchstar had the same issue but tripped the 30amp breaker on the inverter. Unless you have an on-board power management system $$$$ then you must manually control the draw.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
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When I had 30 amp. we would leave the water heater off until needed. When turned on electric, 15 minutes or so and there was enough hot water to wash all the dishes you could imagine. 15-20 minutes and there was enough hot water for 2 showers. Save a little energy and turn it off and on when needed.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:36 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. I was thinking that the electrical option would be much more usable if it was located inside the RV and not outside. Since I have to be careful about when it's on, being able to turn it off easily would have been better.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by johnlantz View Post
Thanks for the replies. I was thinking that the electrical option would be much more usable if it was located inside the RV and not outside. Since I have to be careful about when it's on, being able to turn it off easily would have been better.
You have a couple of options...wire in a lighted switch between the power center and the plug that the water heater is plugged into or turn the power off/on to the WH with the breaker in the power center.

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