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Old 09-09-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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WFCO Power Converter Problem

I have a 2009 Rockwood Signature Ultra Light Model#: 8317SS Travel Trailer. I recently went out to the trailer and noticed that the electrical system was off. I have the trailer connected to 110V from the house. After some time, I found that the breaker on the WFCO labeled "GFI Conv" kept tripping the house GFCI whenever I flipped the breaker on. I have disconnected the red & white wires (output) from the converter and still the same thing happens – the house GFCI keeps tripping. I tried a different outlet from the house and the same result. I disconnected the AC leads to the converter and just hooked up the breaker by itself and the breaker did not trip the house GFCI (means to me breaker is OK).

I ordered a new WFCO Power Center from Forest River, removed the converter and laid on the floor and just hooked up the AC power leads to the breaker(output of conv is disconnected) and the same thing happens – the house GFCI keeps tripping. The trailer battery (now drained) was hooked up during testing.

I am stumped on this. With two converters just laying on the floor with there outputs disconnected/connected(both ways), the house GFCI keeps tripping. I have had the trailer hooked to this outlet for two years now.

Any suggestions/comments are appreciated!

Best regards,
Michael O’Brien
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:33 PM   #2
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GFCIs plugged into GFCIs are unreliable.

Plug the converters into a non-GFCI house outlet and see if everything works. Do not hook up the dead battery when you check.

You may have to put a base charge on the battery with a battery charger (not the converter) since the converters have a dead-man circuit in them to prevent a fire in your battery compartment from a shorted battery. The battery has to have a minimum charge to accept power from the converter without tripping the converter off line.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:45 PM   #3
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Hi Lou,
Thanks for your reply. Basically you’re saying hook up the trailer to a non-house GFCI outlet????
I did try that and now I have a dead outlet in the house. No house breakers tripped. I also noticed in the laundry room adjacent to the dead outlet a GFCI is dead. I don’t know if this GFCI worked or not but I know the outlet did.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:53 PM   #4
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Basically what Lou said - RV's and GFCI's don't mix well -sort of like gasoline and fire. Connect your RV to a non-GFCI receptical.

GFCI's work by comparing the current in the hot wire to the current in the neutral wire. If there is an imbalance, in the order of a few milliamps, the GFCI will trip. The GFCI assumes the imbalance is caused by current leakage to another path, such as to the ground connector or to through a body to ground.

In a RV, A common source of this leakage current is the 12 volt convertor, especially the "newer" (post 1980-1990 era) switching type power supplies. These type convertors commonly have input RFI suppression to keep high frequency energy off the incoming power wiring. These filters typically leak several milliamps to ground as there normal function. This leakage current can be high enough to trip a GFCI on the shore power.

Also, using more than one GFCI's in series can cause nuisance trips. The normal operation of the sensing circuitry in the GFCI can cause an apparent current leakage in an upstream GFCI. This can occur in a sticks and bricks house as well as in a RV.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCOB View Post
Hi Lou,
Thanks for your reply. Basically you’re saying hook up the trailer to a non-house GFCI outlet????
I did try that and now I have a dead outlet in the house. No house breakers tripped. I also noticed in the laundry room adjacent to the dead outlet a GFCI is dead. I don’t know if this GFCI worked or not but I know the outlet did.
Ok, just because the outlet you used did not have a push button on it does not mean it is not piggy backed to another outlet that is a GFCI.

You only need one GFCI on a circuit to protect all of the downstream outlets. Your converter is tripping the house GFCI.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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I charged the battery hooked everything back up and plugged back into the house GFCI circuit and still the GFCI tripped. I then plugged into a non-house GFCI and it worked. Getting 13.6 volts out of the converter.
Why after being hooked up to the house GFCI for 18 months, the house GFCI started tripping is anyone’s guess.
Thank you all for your comments!
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