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Old 01-12-2018, 09:47 AM   #1
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Circuit Breaker Overload

I'm the "not so proud" owner of a '14 Cardinal 3030RS. I recently found out that the electrical circuit in kitchen area, which includes bathroom gif, feeds the refrigerator. I've had issues with the 15 amp breaker kicking out under different circumstances. I'm sure it's weak and needs to be replaced.
What I can't believe is that they, "Forest River", would put 3 kitchen outlets, living room slide outlet, bathroom gif outlet, outside outlet, bedroom dresser outlet, & include the refrigerator on the same circuit! I found this out when we left our unit in Florida, came home for Christmas holidays. We were delayed returning because of medical reasons. Had a friend check our unit, found out breaker had kicked off, had switched to l.p. until it was gone, than everything spoiled!
What did I learn, to expect anything at anytime when owning an RV! This is just one of many issues we've had with this unit. We've been RVing since '70. We've owned 4 TT, & 3 5th wheels of different brands/lengths. I found out it doesn't matter what nameplate you own, or parts it contains, it's your problem to deal with. I found factory warranties are a joke!

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Old 01-12-2018, 10:09 AM   #2
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You may be able to move a few things around and if there is an open slot in the breaker panel add one just for the fridge. This is a common complaint because many people forget they are buying a recreational vehicle and not a B&M house with a 40-60 position breaker panel and 200-300 A 240V service. Mindful power management is a requirement for many units.


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Old 01-12-2018, 10:21 AM   #3
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Hi Fido, Welcome to the forum, I see it's your first post.

As Flybob mentioned, managing power usage in an R/V is totally different than in your home. Even more so if you have a 30 amp shore power connection-vs- a 50 amp connection.

This topic has been discussed many many times with lots of good information on how to manage power and even the addition of auxiliary 120v connections.

If you do a forum search, you will find lots of good information on this subject and plenty of suggestions.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:21 PM   #4
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I agree with everything you said. Let first say the unit connected to 50amp service. Yes, the 15amp breaker is probably weak. Also, there may be room for an additional breaker for the refrigerator. But can you explain to me why they run a separate circuit for the microwave, but put the refrigerator on a circuit with at least 6 outlets & gfi! Why not share the micro with the refrigerator. I run a separate power supply in thru the slide-out for an electric heater.
I realize all RVs are not built for full time living, & not to local building codes. Cost factors & profit margins play a much bigger role in their design/configuration.
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:31 PM   #5
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Do a search on the forum for the post that shows the approximate amperage draw for each appliance in a RV.

You didn't say what if anything was plugged in to the other outlets.

A circuit breaker is designed to trip at the 85% draw point so that on a 15 amp circuit that would be at approximately 12.75 amps.

If as you say the GFCI & other electrical outlets are on the same circuit, I suggest you get a separate circuit breaker installed for the GFCI & electrical outlets also.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:13 PM   #6
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So do you know why the breaker tripped while you were gone??? Storm or something else??

Sounds like the trailer did exactly as it should. It can't know that you would going to be away from it so long. Same thing can happen in a house when you are away.

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Old 01-14-2018, 01:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ceedog View Post

A circuit breaker is designed to trip at the 85% draw point so that on a 15 amp circuit that would be at approximately 12.75 amps.
This kind of gets confused a lot, and it pertains to the NEC rule of a circuit breaker being sized in installations at 80% of it's rated current for continuous loads. It has to do with temps and time as well as the enclosed case..... and not tripping at 12.75 amps.

NEC dictates that in installations with continuous loads using standard circuit breakers, that you size the circuit with a CB at 125% of the load or inversely rate it at -80%. So a standard 15 amp circuit breaker would need to be used on a circuit with not over 12.5 amps of "continuous" load...... not that the breaker will trip at 12.5 amps.

These links may help:
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the info & your replies! The only thing plug into the kitchen outlet was a night light. Until this happen, I thought the refrigerator was on it's own circuit. There is an upright freezer plugged into the washer/dryer circuit located in the bedroom closet. That was not affected! I don't know if there were electrical interruptions at the park.
I will do some electrical checking, replace the breaker, & see if I can run a separate circuit to the refrigerator. Again, thanks for your advice.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:06 PM   #9
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I had similar issues but split up the circuits by replacing 1 standard size breakers with 2 slimline model breakers and running dedicated wiring to high amperage appliances. I ordered the breakers from Home Depot. They work great.
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