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Old 04-13-2021, 09:39 PM   #1
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Please Help! Had to abandon the trailer and head home!

Please and thank you.
I have a 2016 Apex 300 BHS (30 amp)

We bought it used in the winter. When we got it home, I plugged it into a dedicated 20 AMP GFI outlet. It would trip the outlet immediately. So I tried a non-GFI outlet, dedicated 20 amp again. Everything worked fine. This is in the drive way. We did a few driveway nights and EVERYTHING worked on the non GFI.

Tonight, we get to our first campsite with it and the breaker is a 30 AMP GFI. Uh oh I think...I plug the camper in and immediately trip the breaker...Of course. Here's what I tried.
1. I disconnected the power cord from the TT and flipped on the breaker...Did NOT trip. Power cord is good.
2. Turned off the main breaker and all secondary breakers. Immediately tripped the shore power breaker.
3. With all the breakers off, I pulled ALL the fuses. Immediately tripped again.
4. Disconnected the battery with everything else off...Immediately tripped.
5. Plugged it into my truck as it was getting dark and cold. Everything worked! Got the heat going.

Note: when it tripped my GFI at home, I used my outlet tester that also tests GFIs. Every outlet tested fine...No open grounds, open hots or open neutrals. When I hit the GFI tester, it trips the proper outlet. All good.

Does this model not like GFI initial power?! I followed the main service wire in from the receptacle on the TT to the main service panel...Nothing is pinched or exposed that I can see.

We had to leave the camper and head home...Thank god we didn't go far tonight.

My idea is I'm going to bring a regular 30 amp break and swap it at the campground, I know how...No worries there.

Thank you for any advice,
Patrick

*Moderator edit*
Solution found in post #123.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ml#post2539050
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Old 04-13-2021, 09:53 PM   #2
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This is our 4th travel trailer and I'm pretty good with troubleshooting...But this one's got me. I've been plugging into my 20 amp, which is dedicated for the camper for years. Even this one is fine, it's just the GFI that's getting me. Doesn't make sense!
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Old 04-13-2021, 09:54 PM   #3
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Better hope the campground owner doesn't catch you messing with their electrical system. If I caught you, you would be out on your ear with a trespass notice. Just sayin'. Sounds like you need to fix your RV. Both my travel trailers have plugged into a GFCI shore power circuit with no issues.

You have a current leak to ground.

Here's an applicable article:
https://www.rvtravel.com/30-and-50-a...n-campgrounds/
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
Better hope the campground owner doesn't catch you messing with their electrical system. If I caught you, you would be out on your ear with a trespass notice. Just sayin'. Sounds like you need to fix your RV. Both my travel trailers have plugged into a GFCI shore power circuit with no issues.

You have a current leak to ground.

Here's an applicable article:
https://www.rvtravel.com/30-and-50-a...n-campgrounds/
the article even says it doesn't recommend GFIs for campers over 30 amp. Campers are built like crap and I'd bet a lot of campers, old and new have current leaks. They wouldn't trip this breaker. If I've traced my service line back to my service panel and there aren't any leaks....And from there....There is no power draw, where could the leak be? Is this something where an inverter could go bad and trip the system? And, I talked to the guy at the campground who was trying his best to help. He said have at it swapping out the breaker. Guess some people are a little more understanding.

This is the very first place that I've ever been to that has GFI breakers in the shore power. That's a very expensive item for hundreds of sites. That's why there's a huge market for GFI stand alone extensions.
There has to be something else going on.
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:26 PM   #5
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Well, if the campground owner gave you permission to swap out his breaker then go for it. If I was a campground owner responsible for complying with electrical codes, I would not let any camper do anything other than plug into my electrical pedestal outlet without seeing their state issued electrical license first. That has nothing to do with being understanding of your misfortune...that has to do with me being liable for whatever "work" you do on my electrical system.

Any campground owner who let's a camper off the street swap out their breakers for them is a fool. You might be a licensed electrician - or you might be the same guy that cuts off the ground prong on a cord.
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:44 PM   #6
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You knew there was a problem when you tried to plug into a GFI plug at home and it tripped. Since you've turned off all breakers and removed all fuses, it's obviously not any of those items installed in the trailer. If it's not the power cord, what's left? Could it be the breaker box, the converter or a connection between those items?

You really need to find what's causing the GFI to trip and you might need to find an electrician to help. Replacing that breaker is a bad idea and 'the guy' at the campground is not assuming any liability for what you do.
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:45 PM   #7
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Regarding my TT symptoms....We shall forget the swapping of the breaker...

Having done my troubleshooting to the main panel...Are there things in the main panel that can fail and cause this, while, having everything else work on regular non-gfi power.
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:02 PM   #8
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GFIs trip for a reason. It tripped at your home and now it trips at the campground. You blame the gfi but you must have a small leak to ground somewhere. It only takes milliamperes to trip a gfi.

You say the cable is good. GFI circuits monitor current going to the load and the current returning from the load. When they differ the gfi trips. When you have an open circuit (when cord unplugged from RV) there is no to or return flow to measure. So what if the leak is in the return leg of your cord you would not detect a leak without a load for a return thru the return leg. Have you tried another 30 amp cord?

Just because youíre lost in the woods donít start blaming your compass...
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pat5150 View Post
Regarding my TT symptoms....We shall forget the swapping of the breaker...

Having done my troubleshooting to the main panel...Are there things in the main panel that can fail and cause this, while, having everything else work on regular non-gfi power.
You said you traced the power from the shore power inlet to the breaker panel. You said you turned off the main breaker so no power should be getting past the main. I guess you could have a defective main breaker that is leaking somehow to ground. The gfi is tripping at the power pedestal and not the breaker right?

From my previous post I would borrow a 30 amp cord ad if not that swap out your main breaker in your RV..
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dalford View Post
You said you traced the power from the shore power inlet to the breaker panel. You said you turned off the main breaker so no power should be getting past the main. I guess you could have a defective main breaker that is leaking somehow to ground. The gfi is tripping at the power pedestal and not the breaker right?

From my previous post I would borrow a 30 amp cord ad if not that swap out your main breaker in your RV..

Exactly... Every breaker, including the main was shut off...All the fuses pulled.
It's possible it could be the cord, I guess.

Yes, the GFI is tripping at the power pedestal.
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dalford View Post
GFIs trip for a reason. It tripped at your home and now it trips at the campground. You blame the gfi but you must have a small leak to ground somewhere. It only takes milliamperes to trip a gfi.

You say the cable is good. GFI circuits monitor current going to the load and the current returning from the load. When they differ the gfi trips. When you have an open circuit (when cord unplugged from RV) there is no to or return flow to measure. So what if the leak is in the return leg of your cord you would not detect a leak without a load for a return thru the return leg. Have you tried another 30 amp cord?

Just because youíre lost in the woods donít start blaming your compass...

I will try another cord in the morning....That's a good place to start.
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:23 PM   #12
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I will try another cord in the morning....That's a good place to start.
The cord takes the most abuse. Rolled up and plugged unplugged a lot. Good place to start. Let us know if you find the culprit...
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:43 PM   #13
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Also, make sure the power cord is not coiled up when connected. A coiled power cord can bleed current due to induction. The last thing to check would be the wiring between the jack on the side of the trailer and the power center.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
Replacing that breaker is a bad idea and 'the guy' at the campground is not assuming any liability for what you do.
Actually, that is not true. The campground owner who gives their permission for Joe Camper off the street to replace a circuit breaker is assuming all the liability for the work that Joe Camper off the street does because they give permission. If, like at most campgrounds, the only actions the owner allows is for Joe Camper to do routine electrical, water and sewer hook-ups, and Joe Camper modifies their systems without the campground owners permission, then the liability is on Joe Camper.

Think about it. You go to plug in your trailer to the pedestal and get electrocuted. Your wife sues the campground and the owner says in court, "Oh, yeah.....the previous guy that was there was tripping the GFCI breaker so I told him to go ahead and replace it with non-GFCI." "Mr. Campground Owner, was this a licensed electrician that replaced the circuit breaker?" What do you think the outcome will be if Mr. Campground Owner replies, "I don't know. He was just a guy that had that spot reserved and his trailer was tripping the GFCI circuit breaker there so I said go ahead and replace it."
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
Also, make sure the power cord is not coiled up when connected. A coiled power cord can bleed current due to induction. The last thing to check would be the wiring between the jack on the side of the trailer and the power center.

"
The cord is nearly full extension...Little bit of play, but not much. This site isn't great, but I really didn't know. First time at these grounds.

And for the wiring.....UGGGHHH...The underbelly is sealed up. When I get it back home, I'm going to take the under protection off. It's supposed to be a "heated underbelly"....I'm not excited to see what's underneath. But...otherwise, the TT is in great shape. So who knows.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:00 AM   #15
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Our maiden voyage hasn't been great! Considering we abandoned her at the camp ground and are now back home.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:02 AM   #16
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The first thing I would check is pull the receptacle off the side of the trailer, make sure the wiring is firmly attached. There have been many reports of wires not firmly attached to the power receptacle. Make sure the hot, neutral and ground wires are connected to the correct blades. Then make sure the wiring into the power center also has tight connections.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:03 AM   #17
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SO... could the GFI in the camper be faulty? remove it? replace it?
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:06 AM   #18
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SO... could the GFI in the camper be faulty? remove it? replace it?
I doubt it. The GFI in the camper should be just the first outlet out of the power center that feeds the other outlets. Any fault in the internal GFI in the camper should be negated by opening the circuit breaker for that outlet.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:08 AM   #19
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The first thing I would check is pull the receptacle off the side of the trailer, make sure the wiring is firmly attached. There have been many reports of wires not firmly attached to the power receptacle. Make sure the hot, neutral and ground wires are connected to the correct blades. Then make sure the wiring into the power center also has tight connections.
I will check that as well. The more I think about it, the more the cord sounds like the culprit. At least I'm hoping that's the case. Otherwise, I had the receptacle off the trailer while troubleshooting at the site, I just didn't open the whole thing up and check the connections. Good thought. And of course, now I can't damn sleep trying to figure this out! 1 day outa 4 is gone.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:11 AM   #20
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SO... could the GFI in the camper be faulty? remove it? replace it?
Almost certainly not....Just because I literally had no power draw after the power center. Every breaker and fuse was not connected/broken.
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