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Old 11-01-2011, 12:03 PM   #1
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Surveyor GFCI circuit problems

Hi! We have a 2008 Surveyor Sport 186. It has an GFCI electrical circuit with five outlets. On a recent camping trip to Crabtree Falls, VA, I had a small electric heater connected to the outlet in the bathroom. All was fine, that is, until I decided to put the heater on 'high'. The circuit tripped. This circuit has a breaker, but it was not visibly tripped. I reset the breaker, and the heater ran for about 1/2 second then stopped again.

I disconnected all plugs from all outlets, and found the outlet with the GFCI reset button. The reset button would not reset.

Any suggestions as to what to do next? Perhaps the outlet that the heater was plugged into was damaged, or the master with the reset.

Any troubleshooting suggestions are appreciated, thanks in advance!
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:19 PM   #2
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Try plugging heater in different outlets on same circut. If others work, it's the bathroom outlet that is the culprit. If the heater trips the circut breaker on other outlets, I'd suspect the heater's amperage is greater than the circut breaker or the circut breaker is faulty.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:23 PM   #3
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Thanks. I neglected to say that not only does the GFCI outlet not reset, all of the outlets have no power (using a night light).
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:27 PM   #4
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I may be wrong but depending on your heater watts most of them are between 12 and 15 amp draw which puts you close to or at limit.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by richdonn View Post
Thanks. I neglected to say that not only does the GFCI outlet not reset, all of the outlets have no power (using a night light).
If "all" of the outlets are out then it is a line breaker issue. If no electrical service is working check the main breakers. Either way, turn every breaker off and then turn them back on. Sometimes a breaker looks like it has not tripped but it has.

From what I'm hearing from you it sounds like you fried one breaker.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:57 PM   #6
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Thanks. I neglected to say that not only does the GFCI outlet not reset, all of the outlets have no power (using a night light).
Couldn't this be a malfunctioning GFCI? If the GFCI does not reset it would be expected that none of the downline outlets will work. Test to see if there's AC @ the in-feed side of the GFCI, if there is then the you can rule out the breaker
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:05 PM   #7
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Its possible that in fact the gfci is bad but I would look into the amp usage for that model of heater.
If its drawing 12 to 15 amp or better id be checking into it.
I've seen some posts on here of guys running a separate cord to cg shore panel.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:45 PM   #8
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I had my GFCI outlet go bad on a trip last year. Had to replace the GFCI plug with a new one from Home Depot. Have not had in problems since even running a small eletric heater on our last trip. I have a 2011 Surveyor SV264.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:28 PM   #9
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Couldn't this be a malfunctioning GFCI? If the GFCI does not reset it would be expected that none of the downline outlets will work. Test to see if there's AC @ the in-feed side of the GFCI, if there is then the you can rule out the breaker
When the GFCI trips in my surveyor it knocks out all the outlets. I understand that all the outlets are covered through the only GFCI located in my bathroom. I have been using a 1500W heater for several years now without issue (along with a regular fan at the same time, quite often).

Are you plugged into 15 or 30 amp hookups and are you using an extension cord for your shore power? I have popped the GFCI unplugging a regular fan without turning it off... You didn't say what other things you had plugged in at the same time? I would suspect that the GFCI is defective also? Maybe the heater? Does the GFCI trip with other things such as a coffee maker or toaster?

happy camping,
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:43 PM   #10
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All of the outlets on the GFI circuit will be out if the GFI will not reset. We had a GFI go bad soon after we got our camper. The dealer replaced the receptacle, and all has been good since.
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