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Old 07-07-2014, 09:34 AM   #1
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no power, keeps tripping circuit breaker

I had my 2011 Roo (23SS) in storage for the long cold winter. I just pulled it out (better late than never!) to do some mods and I am baffled by an electrical issue.

I usually plug the shore cable to a 20 amp outlet in my house without any problem. At home, I only run lights, charge the battery and open and close the slide.

This time, it trips the (house) circuit breaker every time. I've narrowed it down to this. I shut off all the circuit breakers in the camper, and started turning them back on one at a time. Every circuit breaker, (and all associated power) except the water heater, seem to be fine. When I try to turn on the circuit breaker for the water heater, it trips the house 20 amp breaker.

I've opened every cupboard and panel, trying to determine if a rodent got in and chewed any wires. Everything looks okay. (Sure would help to have a full set of electrical schematics!!)

One other possibly related issue, when I picked it up from storage and tried to use the 12 volt battery to use the power front jack, it barely moved (battery has full charge.) I plugged the camper in to my TV and the power jack came back to life. The power jack also works using shore power at home.

When trying to diagnose the issue and see if it is related, I pulled the 30 amp inline fuse to the power jack, then tried to turn on the water heater circuit and it still trips the house 20 amp breaker.

One thing I haven't tried yet is to turn everything else off and only turn on the water heater circuit to see what happens.

Any thoughts? I don't think the battery is weak, or related. I was able to open the slide using just camper battery.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:40 AM   #2
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Is the electric element turned on? If the heater is on, it might be pulling too much load for the 20 amp breaker. If its off, sounds like maybe a short or some other wiring issue on that circuit.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:40 AM   #3
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As KMP44 pointed out, it sounds like the electric heating element got left on during winterization (very common mistake), and is now possibly burned out...or as stated, overloading the circuit if trying to heat water (takes 12 amps). You need to see if the hidden electric switch is turned on, if a Suburban brand. Here is a FAQ on that.

Suburban's electric switch and much more

You may have to replace the electric heating element and/or hi-limit t-stat.

Are you plugging into a gfci outlet at your house?
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:13 AM   #4
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I am separated from my Roo at the moment, so I can't check the heater element switch. DOH!! It makes sense though. I will bet I left it on. Even when I was in the panel checking for broken or chewed wires, I don't remember looking at the position of the switch.

btw, the 20 amp house circuit I plug into is not a GFCI.

Thanks for the help!!! I will post my findings after I get back to the camper.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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What the blazes??!! The water heater switch outside was in the off position all along.

Still could be a burned out heater element, but.....?????


Maybe think some more about my original hypothesis regarding the power jack which seems to be wired into this same circuit?

more thinking and beverages required.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:47 PM   #6
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Maybe think some more about my original hypothesis regarding the power jack which seems to be wired into this same circuit?

more thinking and beverages required.
Maybe too many beverages already?

To my knowledge, all power jacks are 12VDC and WH heating elements are 120VAC. Shouldn't be the same circuit.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:43 PM   #7
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Could be just a weak breaker.


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Old 07-10-2014, 09:16 AM   #8
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Is the breaker a GFI and its actually tripping on ground fault rather than current? Does the breaker blow right away, or does it take a little time? That would help tell us if its a dead short, or just an overload.

Tim
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:53 PM   #9
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I had the same problem with mine this year. The switch by water heater must have gotten wet when winterized and rusted,it was in the off position.when I put 120v to camper it fried the element inside water heater and would pop my breaker inside my garage. Pop cover off your water heater element and check if it has power on both screws. Careful though it is 120. If no power on both,element burned up. Mine had corrosion inside the element itself where the wire is spooled inside the copper tube it was shorting out.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:49 AM   #10
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Thank you KMP44, wmtire and I24x4. It was a burned out water heater element.

wmtire, the links, pictures and instructions you provided were spot on. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to share those. I can't overlook the link to the kydan article, which contained the step by step fix.

I24x4, the fact you had the same thing happen to your Roo, and the coincidence you read my post and shared your experience, made me pursue this solution.

What a great forum and great people. Just like camping.
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