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Old 09-02-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
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20 Amp GFI tripping

We just got back from a GREAT labor day weekend camping trip! Everything worked great while camping, we got home I plugged the camper into the 30 amp RV outlet that I have on my garage with no problems. After we unloaded everything I took the camper out to my dads shop and parked it in storage like normal, although it hasn't been there for for about 9-10 weeks since we have been using it alot lately. When in storage I always plug into the same outlet with an adapter just to keep the battery charged up and I never had a problem until tonight. For some reason the GFI on the shed keeps tripping, it has never done this before.

I am kinda stumped, my first thought was that maybe the GFI plug is bad. Does anyone have any thoughts on whats causing this to happen?
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:05 PM   #2
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Do you by chance have a surge protector system since last stored there
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:10 PM   #3
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I think there are only two things that can cause a GFCI to trip:
1) It's defective.
2) There is some current path from the hot wire to ground. It doesn't have to be much. A very tiny current is enough.

I would look at the ends of all of the adapters and your RV power cord to make sure there's no "dirt trail" that could be conducting (and wipe them
off anyway). If you don't see anything there, it may be something inside the RV. Note that without a GFCI at you campsite, you wouldn't have necessarily known there was a problem in the RV (if there is one).
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:17 PM   #4
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Sometimes two GFI's will fight with each other, try tripping the GFI in the TT since you only want to charge the battery.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by joenic53 View Post
Sometimes two GFI's will fight with each other, try tripping the GFI in the TT since you only want to charge the battery.
x2

Or turn all breakers off except the converter.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:51 PM   #6
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Easiest way to test is to put a medium sized load on the GFCI outlet and see if it trips. If so its likely the outlet needing replaced. If not you've got something bleeding. As others have said two GFCIs can behave like sisters (fighting over nothing). However if this is then first time in a long storage experience. I'd start looking at freys in cords. If you havetwo DMMs and some electrical experience you can test for leakage current. But only if you have experience.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replys!

For the last 10 weeks or so the camper has been parked at our house since we have been using it either every or every other weekend, and while at our house it has been plugged into the 30 amp RV outlet without any problems. But when not at our house or out at a CG, where we haven't had any electrical problems either, the camper is parked in the same spot at my dads shop plugged and into the same outlet (the one that is now tripping).

To rule out the cord, I will get a hold of my cousin and barrow is 30amp twist lock cord. I can also reach the problemed outlet with the power cord to my parents 5er, so I will try that and see if the outlet still reacts the same way. If the GFI doesn't trip with the 5er plugged in I will start pulling outlets out and checking connections, but if it does trip with the 5er plugged in I will probably just replace the GFI in question and hope that does the trick. Sound about right?

Otherwise I do have a friend that is a master electrician and another that is an electrical engineer, so if I can't figure this out I will give them a call for some professional help!
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nights camped:
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with 2012 Grey Wolf 26BH: 2012-19, 2013-24, 2014-11, 2015-6
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHS79 View Post
Thanks for the replys!

For the last 10 weeks or so the camper has been parked at our house since we have been using it either every or every other weekend, and while at our house it has been plugged into the 30 amp RV outlet without any problems. But when not at our house or out at a CG, where we haven't had any electrical problems either, the camper is parked in the same spot at my dads shop plugged and into the same outlet (the one that is now tripping).

To rule out the cord, I will get a hold of my cousin and barrow is 30amp twist lock cord. I can also reach the problemed outlet with the power cord to my parents 5er, so I will try that and see if the outlet still reacts the same way. If the GFI doesn't trip with the 5er plugged in I will start pulling outlets out and checking connections, but if it does trip with the 5er plugged in I will probably just replace the GFI in question and hope that does the trick. Sound about right?

Otherwise I do have a friend that is a master electrician and another that is an electrical engineer, so if I can't figure this out I will give them a call for some professional help!
Sounds like a good plan. I was getting ready to say you really don't need to plug in another camper but this will give you an apples to apples comparison. But either way, I would try turning off the breaker feeding the GFCI in your camper to see if that solves the problem just to check one more thing off the list.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:02 AM   #9
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Do you have an electric element in your water heater? Left it on by chance? Could be the draw with the element and battery charger exceeds the 20 amps. Just another possibility.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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I had some extra time this morning before work so I went out and tried a couple of things. I have figured out that it is the wiring in the camper causing the GFI to trip. And the issue is in the 15amp circuit labeled "general", it feeds power to the bunk area, front bedroom and to the TVs (there is no GFI in the camper on this circuit that I was able to find). Also the GFI didn't trip, even with the A/C running, as long as I left the "general" breaker off.

So now I have to start taking outlets out and see if I can find the problem, my guess is probably just a bad connection somewhere. Just where is the question...
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TT-2013 Passport 3220BH
TV-2004 F150 FX4, not exactly stock...
nights camped:
with 2001 Kodiak K215: 2010-10, 2011-12
with 2012 Grey Wolf 26BH: 2012-19, 2013-24, 2014-11, 2015-6
with 2013 Passport: 2015-13, 2016-15 booked
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:06 PM   #11
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Great diagnostic methods!
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
Great diagnostic methods!
My method:
1. plug my parents 5er into the outlet and no GFI trip
2. turn off all breakers in our camper and plug camper in, then start turning on breakers until I hear it trip. Then just repeat a couple times to make sure I get the same results. Then walk around with my DW hair dryer and see what doesn't work with that breaker off but all others on.

It wasn't that hard to diagnose once I actually thought about it for a second. Instead I got POed and came home and posted here, oh well.
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TT-2013 Passport 3220BH
TV-2004 F150 FX4, not exactly stock...
nights camped:
with 2001 Kodiak K215: 2010-10, 2011-12
with 2012 Grey Wolf 26BH: 2012-19, 2013-24, 2014-11, 2015-6
with 2013 Passport: 2015-13, 2016-15 booked
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:38 PM   #13
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Are you sure you don't have a GFCI? A lot of campers locate them in the bathroom and feed other outlets down stream of that. Not saying this has any connection to your problem, just surprised that your rig lacks one.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:22 PM   #14
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He's saying that he shut off the RV GFCI circuit at the breaker and it's still tripping the GFCI in his garage.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:34 PM   #15
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There are 2 GFIs in the camper, one for the bath and one for the outside outlets, both of those circuit breakers are turned on right now and the "general" circuit is off. On the "general" circuit I was not able to find a GFI in the camper, the GFI in the shop trips as soon as I turn the "general" breaker on. Right now as long as I leave that one breaker off the GFI in the shop does not trip and I have power to everything but 6 outlets.

I have never had this problem before and my camper is plugged into this same outlet whenever it is in storage, so I figure that there must be a bad connection at one of those 6 outlets. I am going out there tonight to hopefully find and fix the problem.
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TT-2013 Passport 3220BH
TV-2004 F150 FX4, not exactly stock...
nights camped:
with 2001 Kodiak K215: 2010-10, 2011-12
with 2012 Grey Wolf 26BH: 2012-19, 2013-24, 2014-11, 2015-6
with 2013 Passport: 2015-13, 2016-15 booked
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