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Old 05-25-2014, 12:47 AM   #1
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GFCI keeps tripping randomly

Hi!
I'm hoping the super smart people on this forum can give us a little help. We recently purchased a Georgetown 351ds with residential fridge, and we have it stored at a covered garage with power that we've rented. The power is standard 20 amp.
Here's what keeps happening - we've got the RV plugged in (through our hardwired progressive industries surge protector of course!) with everything turned off except the fridge. No lights, TVs are off, AC/furnace off. It shows anywhere between 1-5 amps on the surge guard when we are there. So randomly, over the past week, the GFCI for the outlet is tripped and power is turned off, switching over to battery power. Since it's in a locked building that is 20 miles from our house, it's not easy to check on, although we now have a cell phone alarm set up now, so if it trips we get a text message.
Any thoughts on what could be causing it? We unplugged the TVs and microwave today, and the hot water heater is off as well, but don't know if that will solve it!
Haven't gotten a text that it's tripped yet today, but would like to solve this if we can.
Appreciate the help!
Thanks
Garren
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:06 PM   #2
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Anyone have any suggestions?
Still looking for some direction.
Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:15 PM   #3
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GFCI outlet on the RV or the building tripping ???

If it is on the building outlet that can be the problem as you have more than one GFCI on the same circuit. Would be best if thee building outlet was not GFCI protected.

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Old 05-25-2014, 01:18 PM   #4
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Shouldn't be doing that. Gfci's can go bad. I'd try replacing the outlet w a new one and see if that's it.
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:40 PM   #5
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GCFI for building. We are renting the space, so if it needs replacing will have to talk with the owner.
Is it possible something in the RV is coming on and spiking the amp draw, so the building GCFI trips?
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:41 PM   #6
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X2 Gfci should not trip randomly. If something drew 15 or 20 amps the circuit breaker would open not the ground fault circuit . Cheap place to start.
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:33 PM   #7
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Ground fault circuit interrupters trip in the milli amps & don't take much they are designed to protect people not property. The 15-20 Amp Breakers (& surge protectors) protect property. Something serious would be wrong if a 15-20 amp breaker was to trip. GFCIs can trip if there is too much moisture or about 10000 others reasons...... One of the main reasons campground power is not GFCI protected they would be constantly tripping.

Having said that the GFCI could be bad at the building. Or any number of minor things could be causing it. The RV being plugged up to a GFCI can cause it.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:21 PM   #8
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More exactly

A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral. If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit. It is able to sense a mismatch as small as 4 or 5 milliamps, and it can react as quickly as one-thirtieth of a second.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:28 PM   #9
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I doubt that the owner would remove the GFCI as it may be a code thing or his insurance company probably requires it but to plug an RV into is asking for false tripping. 30 and 50 Amp outlets at home or a campground are not usually GFCI protected.


Googled this info...........


GFCI breakers are designed to cut the power in the blink of an eye if electrical fluctuations of as little as .005 amperes are detected. Because the GFCI is so sensitive, it is most effective when wired to protect a single location. The more outlets any one GFCI protects, the more susceptible it is to phantom tripping – shutting off power because of tiny, but normal fluctuations in current flow.

GFCI breakers can also be tripped by occurrences such as electrical storms and by moisture from rainfall. It is important that the outlets for the GFCI be kept dry and protected from the elements. Most GFCI’s rated for outdoor use come with a protective cover.

Some GFCI’s are more sensitive that others.

t may be that the GFCI is too sensitive. It is normal for continuous running motors, such as pumps, to sometimes have small electrical fluctuations. Sensitive GFCI’s may detect this and falsely trip.

Good Luck with what you find.

Are you using good cords & a dog bone adapter. Check your adapter set up to make sure all is good. I know you are using a surge protector.

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Old 05-25-2014, 05:35 PM   #10
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Electrician here. I agree with most of the post I would start by changing the GFCI at the storage unit. I would make sure they replaced it with a commercial 20 amp spec grade GFCI, they are manufactured to a higher spec. You can pick one up from a local electrical supply house and just have them install it.

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Old 05-25-2014, 05:40 PM   #11
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if you have a gfci that you p7g into and one in your camper, then they could be fighting.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:13 PM   #12
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Have you talked to the storage unit manager to see if this was occurring prior to your unit being there?
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Old 05-27-2014, 03:57 PM   #13
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Hi Everyone!
I appreciate all the replies! We talked with the manager of the storage place and he said that they hadn't had any issues in our unit prior, but they didn't have an RV in there, just a bunch of household stuff (I guess they were moving?)

They did agree to have their electrician come out and test the GFCI to see if it was overly sensitive/failing and change it out if needed. I'm hoping that helps.

The batteries seem to be holding up well, looks like we'd get about 24 hours on them with the residential fridge running. So I guess that's the bright side.

Thanks again!
Garren
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Old 05-27-2014, 03:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbonz View Post
if you have a gfci that you p7g into and one in your camper, then they could be fighting.
do you mean if I have one in the bathroom in the camper? or our surge guard?
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:24 PM   #15
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If there are two gfi devices on at the same time, they will fight each other and one will trip, usually the source. I would trip the one in your coach, either in bathroom or kitchen area and and see if that cures your problem.
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:34 PM   #16
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Ah! I will try that next time we are out there.

Thank you for the suggestion!
Garren
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:37 PM   #17
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Keep us advised.
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