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Old 06-21-2015, 03:39 PM   #1
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30A main breaker tripping

We've been full timing since April and it's getting hot in SE Arizona! Starting about 3 days ago the main breaker in the camper will trip, usually between 12 and 2 PM. Only thing running is the AC, floor fan and tv. I do have a bit of an electrical background but for the life of me I can't figure out why the main breaker trips and not an individual circuit. Am I overloading the camper electrical capacity or could I possibly have a malfunctioning converter? I'm cautious about leaving since my dog is in the camper.


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Old 06-21-2015, 03:49 PM   #2
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I would make sure water heater is on propane only, fridge on propane only......
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Old 06-21-2015, 03:58 PM   #3
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I would pull the 30A breaker and go to Lowes/HD and buy a quality breaker. The ones FR puts in are borderline junk. When I have one that trips 2x without an overload, it gets replaced as soon as I can get to a Lowes.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:20 PM   #4
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Roger that Old Coot. The fact that it just started doing after all this time kinda led me towards replacing it.


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Old 06-21-2015, 04:28 PM   #5
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Would it be a lot of trouble to upgrade to 50A or would the converter need to be changed also?


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Old 06-21-2015, 04:34 PM   #6
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Would it be a lot of trouble to upgrade to 50A or would the converter need to be changed also?
You are protecting the wiring from the box to the pedestal with 30A, not a wise thing to switch to a 50A IMO.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:41 PM   #7
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Makes sense. When I get back to camper I'll get the details of the breaker and see if I can locate one.


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Old 06-21-2015, 04:55 PM   #8
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Check the voltage at the pedestal. If it is very hot and everyone is using their ACs heavily, the voltage at the pedestal may be dropping . When the voltage drops, the compressor uses more current to operate. This could trigger a breaker trip that did not show up when the pedestal voltage was normal.
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Old 06-21-2015, 05:05 PM   #9
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I've considered that as well. I'm sure everyone is using their AC.


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Old 06-21-2015, 05:18 PM   #10
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I was at a campground last week, while monitoring electrical service voltage, it never raised above 100 volts. My SIL's RV was reading the same so I talked to the campground host about the power issues. They blamed the problem on the power company and had no plans to shutdown the campground until the problem was fixed. My surge protector popped off several times during our stay. Needless to say, I wouldn't be returning to that campground in the near future.


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Old 06-21-2015, 06:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
Check the voltage at the pedestal. If it is very hot and everyone is using their ACs heavily, the voltage at the pedestal may be dropping . When the voltage drops, the compressor uses more current to operate. This could trigger a breaker trip that did not show up when the pedestal voltage was normal.

This was my first thought.


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Old 06-21-2015, 07:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
Check the voltage at the pedestal. If it is very hot and everyone is using their ACs heavily, the voltage at the pedestal may be dropping . When the voltage drops, the compressor uses more current to operate. This could trigger a breaker trip that did not show up when the pedestal voltage was normal.
Good point, FB. Current will climb relation with the voltage dropping. If the 13.5K AC units draw about 10.5 amps of current at 120 vac while running. I would think that if the voltage dropped to 90 vac, the current would increase by about 25%... maybe up to 14 amps. I am sure my EMS will shut down much "earlier" than this. This is still not enough to trip a perfectly good 30 amp breaker, but my 25% is a wild guess, since AC circuits are not purely resistive. So, either there are other things 'running' (not so according to the OP) or the breaker is indeed faulty. I would take OCs advice and get a new breaker... take it along or take a picture of the connections to be sure to get the right one.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:55 AM   #13
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During hot, humid weather, I would recommend you run A/C fan on high, not on auto except in the evening. The fan will run continuously, but the compressor will only come on as needed. The A/C unit is more efficient and won't ice up.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:57 AM   #14
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50 amp is a lot more than just amps. It is a 220 connection as well as 120.

Try a new breaker
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:26 PM   #15
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I had that happened and realyse after buying a new breaker while installing it the old only needed to be retightening.
Try to tight all screws of all the breakers.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:25 PM   #16
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Had that problem with my last TT and installed a hard start capacitor in the AC and it certainly helped. See this site:

RV Air Conditioner Hard Start Capacitor | ModMyRV.

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Old 06-22-2015, 06:12 PM   #17
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Check your water heater electric element, they can short out and trip the 30 amp breaker. Especially if you forget to turn off the little black switch inside water heater compartment while you trailer is plugged in with no water in the water heater. Quick and easy fix if this is the issue. Mine is a 1440W element from a Suburban 6 gal. First pull the element out and see if indeed it is bad, it will be behind a black cover with three screws if my memory is correct. If so take it with you to just about any hardware store and get another one.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:19 PM   #18
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Check your water heater electric element, they can short out and trip the 30 amp breaker. Especially if you forget to turn off the little black switch inside water heater compartment while you trailer is plugged in with no water in the water heater. Quick and easy fix if this is the issue. Mine is a 1440W element from a Suburban 6 gal. First pull the element out and see if indeed it is bad, it will be behind a black cover with three screws if my memory is correct. If so take it with you to just about any hardware store and get another one.
From what I understand, the water heater element will only short out one time and then it's out of the picture. It might trip the breaker one time, but that's all. It's like a fuse, once blown, it's over.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:38 PM   #19
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When mine went it was intermittent and I was able to reset the breaker a few times before it finally would no longer reset. I originally thought it was my Koldfront Ice Maker that was causing it but eventually discovered the real issue. The OP has a new trailer so it should not be the element but weird things happen and it is an easy fix. Plus he will know where it is down the road when it does need replacing.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:03 PM   #20
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50 amps is really 100 amps... but all 120 volt, by the way.
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