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Old 03-31-2015, 02:10 PM   #1
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Electrical Shorting out and tripping house Breakers

This has me stumped. First off, let me explain up front that I am new to this TT world and so I am on a fast track of learning. I purchased a 2006 Sierra Toyhauler 26fbsp used from a dealer. Trailer is 30 amp out to house. It has a twist lock power cable which I have plugged into the trailer and connected a "beefy" extension cord and 110 adapter to plug into my home. POP, the Circuit trips at my house. Try another outlet different circuit, POP same thing. Different extention cable. Same result. Different 110 adapter. Same result. Take it back to dealer, use his outlet my cables, same issue. Use his cable (he has the ground cut off his extention cable) does not trip. I go back to my house and use a 3-2 prong adapter, circuit does not pop... WHAT??
Go down to Home D. and ask some questions. They stated it is because of one of two issues:

1) Trailer is not grounded properly causing an short. If this is the case, I have no clue where to start looking.
2) The ground and Common in my house breaker are connected which could be tripping the circuit when plugged into my trailer. which also points to a possible issue with the ground on my trailer.

What am I doing wrong??

Details to help reduce thread churn...
1) Trailer has two 6 volt batteries
2) The circuit trips at the house with the battery bypass in the on and off position
3) I am not a professional electrician nor an experienced TT person, but with enough detail and a follow-up question, I can answer or do what is described
4) the house circuits are 15 amp
5) My spelling skills are horrible so please excuse any brevity in my posts...
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:28 PM   #2
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Could be a couple of things. First of all you are plugging a 30A TT into a 15 amp service. You can do that if nothing is on in the TT but a few lights. . I would suggest ( especially since you are running an extension cord) you have an electrician add a 30A circuit and plug to the outside of the house. Also check to insure that you did not have the water heater (electric) switch on. If you did and the WH was not full, you burned up the heating element. This will trip a house GFI . It is very easy to draw over 15A. Try turning every breaker in the TT off and then try plugging in again. Then try turning one at a time on ( others off) this will determine what is causing the draw. Something was lft on.
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:29 PM   #3
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I would go back to the dealer and have them fix the problem. They cannot use a non grounded cord to check the TT. They have sold a trailer that is not safe if it has a ground problem. It could mean that you or another person could be electrocuted if the proper conditions were to happen.
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:34 PM   #4
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I would go back to the dealer and have them fix the problem. They cannot use a non grounded cord to check the TT. They have sold a trailer that is not safe if it has a ground problem. It could mean that you or another person could be electrocuted if the proper conditions were to happen.
Yep. I would even go so far as to say that if they are using a cord without a ground they KNOW there is a problem and are trying to pull a fast one. Any RV dealer that has any sense at all KNOWS that a trailer must be grounded. There is NO reason they would be using a connection without ground unless they have an agenda. I'd be jumping down someones throat over it. Just my .02.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:11 PM   #5
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These are all good items. I have been working with the dealer, but I needed to confirm what was tripping the breaker before I approached the dealer again. I will also work to confirm the heater as it is a dual gas/electric heater on this unit. I will also trip the breakers to see if I can isolate what circuit(s) are causing the issue.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:16 PM   #6
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I would go back to the dealer and have them fix the problem. They cannot use a non grounded cord to check the TT. They have sold a trailer that is not safe if it has a ground problem. It could mean that you or another person could be electrocuted if the proper conditions were to happen.
I totally agree!

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Old 03-31-2015, 05:20 PM   #7
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If the TT has an electric hot water heater. Make sure it is in the off position when trying to hook to house.
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:15 PM   #8
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Wonder if it has been wired for generator use by 'floating the ground ' in the trailer.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:11 AM   #9
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Wonder if it has been wired for generator use by 'floating the ground ' in the trailer.
I am not familiar with Floating the Ground. Can you explain?
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:13 AM   #10
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I would go back to the dealer and have them fix the problem. They cannot use a non grounded cord to check the TT. They have sold a trailer that is not safe if it has a ground problem. It could mean that you or another person could be electrocuted if the proper conditions were to happen.
The dealer has been great. They have commited to fix the issue and put me on the books for two weeks in the future. I only wish I could have figured it out...
I dislike not being able to find a root cause....
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:22 AM   #11
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In relationship to the water heater, yes this unit does have gas and electric water heater. The switch has been in the off position, however thats not to say it was damaged some time in the past. I will let the dealer check.
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Old 04-01-2015, 02:03 PM   #12
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I think the 'floating ground' problem happens when a Progressive surge protector is being used in circuit.
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Old 04-01-2015, 02:41 PM   #13
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If any electrical work was done to the trailer including things like replacing the power connector on the side, it is possible the hot wire was reversed with the neutral wire, Since neutral might be jumped to ground that would create an instant breaker trip. So if you float the ground it then wouldn't trip and everything would appear to work. When you used the dealers cord with the ground wire cut did you turn on anything to see if it runs?
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Old 04-01-2015, 02:46 PM   #14
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The Neutral in a RV should never be grounded, this would cause hot skin on the trailer potentially causing loss of life by electrocution. Only at the service entrance. In the case of a RV park pedestal this might be the breaker cabinet feeding the pedestal or the pedestal itself. At home ground and neutral are bonded at the meter base or the main breaker panel/disconnect.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:14 PM   #15
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I had a very similar problem and finally found the problem was the electrical connection inside the plug that is used to connect the cord to the TT. The wire lug in that plug was not properly tighten when the plug was installed at the factory. It was arcing within the lug and burned the insulation on that wire and eventually created a dead ground between the wires. When I removed the plug receptacle from the camper it was obvious that the wires had been burned and the screw was loose in the plug itself. I replace the plug and that was it; however, we were caught with no power on one of the hotest nights of the year and I had to drive 75 miles one-way back to the dealer to get a warranty replacement plug.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:46 PM   #16
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Floating is when the ground and neutral are connected together, this is done when using a generator by a lot of users, it is normally done using a plug wired ground to neutral but could be done inside the trailer.

Generator Ground-Neutral Bonding | No~Shock~Zone
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Floating is when the ground and neutral are connected together, this is done when using a generator by a lot of users, it is normally done using a plug wired ground to neutral but could be done inside the trailer.

Generator Ground-Neutral Bonding | No~Shock~Zone
Sorry but I think you meant bonded is when ground and neutral are connected together. Floating is when they are not connected together. (second paragraph in that article)
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:14 PM   #18
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Problem found and fixed by the dealer.
On the breaker panel under the fridge had a bad transfer switch. They installed a standalone transfer box to regulate the shore power, battery power and generator power. They only down side is the new box takes a bit more time to measure the generator power before kicking in where as the old switch was almost instant.

Overall, I am happy it was fixed!


26' Forrest Sierra Toy Hauler
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Pulling toys for my boys!
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