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Old 01-19-2016, 11:16 PM   #1
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Circuit breaker tripping more and more frequently

I have a 2015 Rockwood Freedom 2280bh and currently living in it while on the road for work. It's usually below freezing here and I've managed to overcome the problems associated with that, and have been running a ceramic heater, the mattress heater on full, a little 22" flat screen tv, my laptop, and sometimes a rice cooker all at once for over a month with no issues, except when I thought I would try to add another radiant heater. I've added a humidifier and have been running that for about two weeks without any issues. The last two days I've been tripping the circuit breaker, not the GFCI though. Tonight, the circuit breaker keeps tripping every few minutes even after unplugging the mattress heater. It has been breaking above freezing the past couple days and I've had a lot of condensation on the inside of the canvas area over the beds. Are there any specific areas that I should check for condensation or is there any way the circuit is somehow degrading? The converter area doesn't seem to have any moisture. I'm going to start troubleshooting the appliances but wanted to see if there were any known issues someone may know about on here.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:34 AM   #2
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I think it's just going to be that you are possibly overloading the circuit capacity.

If you are on a 30 amp power supply, this is extremely easy to do. You have to be selective on what you can have on (and thus what has to be turned off) at the same time to keep from overloading the circuit. Those with 30 amp RV's have to learn energy management.

This link may help:

Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

The easy way to see, is to add up all the amps of the stuff you are running (or if you know the watts, you can convert it to amps)

watts = volts X amps....or you can take watts/volts= amps. Say you're ceramic heater is running on 1500 watts, then you take the 1500, divide it by 120 volts and that gives you 12.5 amps.

Once you add up all the appliances, you may see you are over the circuit capacity. Many of the things will have a tag/baseplate that tells you the amps it uses.

Some often forgotten things that also consume 120 volt amps, are the fridge if you are running it on electric, and also the water heater, if running on electric instead of propane. When the electric heating element comes on in the water heater, it uses 1440 watts, or 12 amps right there.

Also, you have a converter that converts 120 volts AC to 12 volt DC, in order to provide power to your lights, fans, thermostats, CO detectors etc. The converters amp usage fluctuates depending on how many 12 volt items it has to power, thus converting more 120 volt to 12 volt. The more 12 volt stuff you are using, also is using more amps from the converter.

One more function of the converter is that it recharges your battery. If you have a bad battery, then depending on the type of converter you have, it may be trying to use a lot of converted 120 volt power to recharge it, thus using more AC amperage also.

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

The more times you trip a circuit breaker from overloading the circuit, it get's progressively weaker, and will trip easier (less amps) as time goes on.

I would advise to add it all up, and try to stay under your 30 amps (if this is what you have as a main breaker). It would be best to stay actually around the 25 amp mark if you are running the electric heaters constantly.

Hope you get it figured out.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:42 AM   #3
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This from wmtire:
"The more times you trip a circuit breaker from overloading the circuit, it get's progressively weaker, and will trip easier (less amps) as time goes on.

I would advise to add it all up, and try to stay under your 30 amps (if this is what you have as a main breaker). It would be best to stay actually around the 25 amp mark if you are running the electric heaters constantly."
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:56 AM   #4
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Something I should have added in my previous post, since the OP doesn't state which circuit breaker is tripping (the main or a subcircuit).... is that if it is a subcircuit, like say on a 15 amp breaker, then it's extremely easy to overload the subcircuit when using space heaters.

Some RV's can have all the electrical outlets running off the same subcircuit, controlled by only a 15 amp circuit breaker.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:06 AM   #5
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Just looking over your list of things running, you should be tripping breakers. This is very easy. Look at the labels on the things you are running and add up all the current requirements, This is a camping trailer and at 30A you will have to make some compromises.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:38 AM   #6
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I just want to add that you're quite brave living in a pop-up in freezing temps.

It gets cold enough in my house. I can't image what it's like with just a layer of canvas between you and the freezing temps.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I forgot to mention it is on 30A power from the campground. The CB that's tripping is only on the outlet circuits, not the main. I figured I was pushing the limits on the circuit, but it had been running fine for awhile until I added the humidifier. I have a separate cord coming from the 15A to run another heater and I put the humidifier on that circuit and haven't had anymore problems so far.
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:25 PM   #8
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Ditto on the excessive tripping of a breaker. If it is tripping every few minutes even after removing loads, it is now damaged and needs to be replaced otherwise it will just continue to trip at lower and lower amperage until it just finally fails.
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBFA View Post
Thanks for the replies. I forgot to mention it is on 30A power from the campground. The CB that's tripping is only on the outlet circuits, not the main. I figured I was pushing the limits on the circuit, but it had been running fine for awhile until I added the humidifier. I have a separate cord coming from the 15A to run another heater and I put the humidifier on that circuit and haven't had anymore problems so far.
Looks like you identified and corrected your problem. The individual breakers in the unit are most likely 15A and it is very easy to exceed 15A with the things you are running.
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:59 PM   #10
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The breakers FR uses are the cheapest on the market and should be all replaced with brand name breakers. I just replaced all of mine. When I took one to the electrical store for matching, the man actually laughed when I told him the trailer was 3 yrs old. He said, "You're lucky you got a year out of them." Replacing the 3 double breakers was less than $100. I got Eaton replacements.
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