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Hippiern 05-22-2011 11:56 AM

Generator shuts down when plugging in???
hi, did a bit of searching but have come up empty. anyways,

I have a brand new eastern tools 2500w inverter/gen. when plugging
in rv power cable (30>15amp connection) to the outlet, the gen immediately
shuts down, or trips the gens gfci breaker. either way, i have no power. i have
also shut off everything possible to keep load low when connecting. i have tried
small electric devices like laptop/ipod on their own plugged to the gen which have worked without problem. also, despite the shut down, i am not getting an overload indication from the generator either. things work fine when connected to shore power too.

please tell me there is an easy solution i am overlooking here, my knowledge of electricity is scant at best, thanks

Herk7769 05-22-2011 01:01 PM

Some things to check

The obvious:

Is the oil reservior filled correctly? Improperly topped off oil will shutdown the generator when the RPM ramps up under load.

The not so obvious:

Most El Cheapo 2500 Watt generators are 2500 watts Peak Power not continuous. In the small print they are rated MUCH lower continuously.

A low or bad battery in your camper will put a big demand for juice out of your Power Center. It can easily pull more than the 12 amps or so (1500 watts) your generator is "really" rated at.

Hippiern 05-22-2011 01:35 PM

couple more things

i have now gotten the gen to stay powered up if i turn off the entire breaker panel in the rv. then i can turn the main switch on, and gfi switch. i then have power to my outlets. next, i power the microwave and turn it on and i finally hear the generator rpm up. up until now it could run in eco mode. so i then if i try to flip on the water heater breaker, and trip. converter breaker>trip, ac>trip.

why is it tripping so easy just having the breaker switches on when the devices arent even in operation, and the gen isnt even being required to rev up. it runs a vacuum cleaner with no effort at all.

i really wish i had another gen to compare it to, but i wonder if the 120 gfci socket itself is bad on the gen? is this a likely possibility?

backin15 05-22-2011 02:42 PM

Do you have a 220 volt model? If so you you may be able to mod it to give it more output. There is a 900+ page thread on RV.Net under tech issues. There are wiring diagrams and instructions to show you how to rewire the windings from series to parallel. It will no longer produce 220 volts but it effectivly doubles the 110 volt output. I have an El Cheapo 3500 watt genny and after the mod it will run my AC and micro at the same time. I do not recommend you attempt this though unless you are mechanically and electrically inclined and don't mind voiding your warranty!

Herk7769 05-22-2011 03:23 PM

Water Heater - 1000 watts AC
Fridge - 600 watts AC
Microwave - 900 watts AC
converter - 500 watts (charging battery and current DC needs) AC

Power available 1500-1800 watts AC continuous

ECO mode does not respond well to instant voltage changes (like your microwave and vacuum motor) and will trip off line without an overload warning.

The_Stuff 05-22-2011 05:03 PM

are you trying to power GFI breakers behind a GFI on the generator? 2 GFI's wont work.

Hippiern 05-22-2011 06:35 PM

how much of a charge is sent with a breaker on, but the device not in use?
ie microwave breaker is on, but micro isnt running.

further, why is a device that is off tripping my generators gfci?

Hippiern 05-22-2011 06:42 PM


Originally Posted by The_Stuff (Post 105920)
are you trying to power GFI breakers behind a GFI on the generator? 2 GFI's wont work.

? i dont know ?

the breakers ive mentioned switching on/off are in the main panel inside the rv. is that a gfi breaker?

backin15 05-22-2011 08:23 PM

I think the GFI he is referring to is in the outlet itself. You should have an outlet or two in your camper that have GFI test and reset buttons on it. Usually there are several outlets downstream of it that are also protected by the same outlet.
If I am understanding yourt posts correctly you are able to turn on the breaker to your outlets ok. You have a vacuum cleaner that runs fine off the generator, if you plug it into an outlet in the camper will it trip then or work ok? I am not an electrician so maybe The Stuff is onto something about 2 GFI's not working together.

caper 05-22-2011 08:27 PM

You will have a GFI outlet somewhere in your TT that will contol the outlet in the bathroom and the outdoor outlet. It might also control the outlet in the kitchen area. When you turn off all the breakers in the TT you are also shutting off power to the GFI outlet. As stated two GFI in series will not work.

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