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Old 07-23-2020, 04:19 PM   #1
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Generic cheapie inverter trips GFCI in camper.

I don't think I can bond neutral to ground on the inverter, I would think that could let out the smoke. Anyone?
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:50 PM   #2
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I don't think I can bond neutral to ground on the inverter, I would think that could let out the smoke. Anyone?
I would not use any inverter that was not UL 1741 listed.

The Standard for Inverters,
Converters and Controllers for Use
In Independent Power Systems
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:56 PM   #3
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Just trying to use what I got. When I plug the camper into it, the GFCI pops immediately, and the red LED on the cord is illuminated. I guess I have to spend real money on one.
This is the one I have. https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ADVANCE...72.m2749.l2649


Very disappointed.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:12 PM   #4
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How have you wired it up? There is a ground terminal on the fan side of the inverter - have you connected that terminal to your camper’s ground? Do you get serviceable 110 volts out of the inverter before you “plug the camper into it”? Is it possible you are using your camper’s batteries to power the inverter, and simultaneously using the camper’s converter to attempt to charge the same batteries?
The hookup wires that came with the inverter may well be too light duty to supply any appreciable power from the inverter.
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:23 PM   #5
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Just trying to use what I got. When I plug the camper into it, the GFCI pops immediately, and the red LED on the cord is illuminated. I guess I have to spend real money on one.
This is the one I have. https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ADVANCE...72.m2749.l2649


Very disappointed.
I spent extra to get an Inverter/Charger so I could hardwire it & disconnect the converter/charger.

Only regret on the Samlex Inverter/Charger was not installing a cooling fan in the compartment that I installed the inverter. It gets hot whenever it recharges the batteries at 130 amps.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:11 PM   #6
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How have you wired it up? There is a ground terminal on the fan side of the inverter - have you connected that terminal to your camper’s ground? Do you get serviceable 110 volts out of the inverter before you “plug the camper into it”? Is it possible you are using your camper’s batteries to power the inverter, and simultaneously using the camper’s converter to attempt to charge the same batteries?
The hookup wires that came with the inverter may well be too light duty to supply any appreciable power from the inverter.
SO right now, the ground terminal is hooked up to camper ground. I am thinking I may disconnect that, make a cheater plug that ties neutral to ground. The only issue is I *think* that is now going to make the case of the inverter neutral ground? The pos/neg input are isolated from the case of the inverter.

I may go in the inverter (again) and disconnect the wire that runs from the ground on the four plugs to that ground lug terminal, and thus make the ground completely free floating at outlets and then insert a plug that bonds ground/neutral. That ground lug terminal is part of the inverter chassis. I didn't realize this would be an issue with the inverters. I know some already have a gfci built in, so they must be grounded in a similar fashion?


The cables it came with I am just using for testing. No way would they support rated power, but I am not planning on using more than 2/3 rated power anyway, I just wanted some headroom in the specs.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:57 PM   #7
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Drats. That didn't work.



I opened it up, and removed the ground wire that goes to that tiny ground lug for external grounding, and soldered it to the neutral side. As soon as I plug the rv in, I get a red LED and beep. It powers a heat gun fine, but that does not have any ground...
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:21 PM   #8
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Maybe try turning off all the breakers in the RV and plug it in? If it accepts that without faulting, then try turning the breakers on one at a time?
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:31 PM   #9
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Maybe try turning off all the breakers in the RV and plug it in? If it accepts that without faulting, then try turning the breakers on one at a time?



Did that. Same result, alarm/shutdown.

I am now wondering about the factory wiring? It would occasionally fire off the gfci on my house before I did a thing.
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:37 AM   #10
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Powers a heat gun but faults and shuts down when connected to the RV with all circuits turned off - agree, I would start looking at the RV side - maybe check the RV plug with an ohm meter? Seems like, with all the breakers off, it should show infinite ohms...
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Old 07-24-2020, 04:54 PM   #11
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So I bought a circuit tester with the three LED's. It says the inverter is good, it says the trailer is good when hooked up to the house. But try and plug the RV into the inverter, and get the fault and alarm. I will wire the inverter back to original config and wire it back, and on the off chance it is a bad gfci plug, change that out.
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:55 PM   #12
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I’m assuming you have the inverter powered by the RV house batteries. As a test, maybe take the inverter out of the RV, power with an entirely independent battery (maybe your car battery), then try plugging the RV into the inverter? Could probably use jumper cables to temporarily power the inverter.
If the inverter works like this, problem should be solvable ...
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:27 PM   #13
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How are you supplying 12v to the inverter?
From a separate source than the RV?
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:05 PM   #14
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Iím assuming you have the inverter powered by the RV house batteries. As a test, maybe take the inverter out of the RV, power with an entirely independent battery (maybe your car battery), then try plugging the RV into the inverter? Could probably use jumper cables to temporarily power the inverter.
If the inverter works like this, problem should be solvable ...

I have no doubt (although if I have the time may do it) that the inverter will power the camper with a separate battery, I would be stunned if the issue was still there doing that. I really think the issue is with the battery and the inverter (in some fashion lol) sharing the same ground. I may still try that though.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:09 PM   #15
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How are you supplying 12v to the inverter?
From a separate source than the RV?
A big lithium battery on the tongue of the trailer.
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:05 PM   #16
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My thought - get it to work somehow (e.g., separate battery idea) then “sneak up on” the problem - try adding until it fails - to test your theory, add a wire connecting the two batteries’ negative terminals and see if the failure occurs.

Personally, I’m most suspicious of something connected to the positive that interacts with the 110 circuits. Again, adding one wire at a time can help isolate ... but need to pay attention to avoid connecting two different chemistry batteries together...
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:23 PM   #17
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My thought - get it to work somehow (e.g., separate battery idea) then ďsneak up onĒ the problem - try adding until it fails - to test your theory, add a wire connecting the two batteriesí negative terminals and see if the failure occurs.

Personally, Iím most suspicious of something connected to the positive that interacts with the 110 circuits. Again, adding one wire at a time can help isolate ... but need to pay attention to avoid connecting two different chemistry batteries together...

Welp, going to an rv park tomorrow for a few days, full hookups, so I will start addressing it next week again.



I only have the one battery on the trailer, so same chemistry.. Something I thought of was it is not the greatest looking extension cord, I bought a new plug to put on it. I can envision a poor connection would not look balanced to the gfci. BUT: When the inverter went into protect, I was using the regular OEM (furrion) cord that came with the trailer.

The story will continue...
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:43 PM   #18
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So I am kind of where this guy is on this thread. Having to modify inverter for use in an RV. Really sucks in this day and age, that inverters can not be made to just 'plug and play'. It would not have added to the cost. https://diysolarforum.com/threads/op...27/post-102719
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:44 PM   #19
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I bought a new plug to put on it. I can envision a poor connection would not look balanced to the gfci. BUT: When the inverter went into protect, I was using the regular OEM (furrion) cord that came with the trailer.

So If I am reading this wright you are pluging your RV power cord into the inverter that is powered by your battery?

Have you turned off the brakes to the converter that is charging the battery??

If not this can make a very high amp draw load / loop to discharge and charge the battery.


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Old 07-24-2020, 10:51 PM   #20
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I bought a new plug to put on it. I can envision a poor connection would not look balanced to the gfci. BUT: When the inverter went into protect, I was using the regular OEM (furrion) cord that came with the trailer.

So If I am reading this wright you are pluging your RV power cord into the inverter that is powered by your battery?

Have you turned off the brakes to the converter that is charging the battery??

If not this can make a very high amp draw load / loop to discharge and charge the battery.


Tim



Oh yeah, converter breaker tossed for all of this ordeal.
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