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Old 05-23-2014, 10:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 40
Shore Power Issue

Hey all, we have a '06 FR, Lexington 255DS Motor Home......
While staying at my father in law's ranch, I was unable to plug into his electrical outlets. I kept tripping his Circuit Breakers. I then realized his outlets were only 15 amps. So I found 20 amp outlet and it tripped the CB again when I would plug in. So we just used battery power and generator power during our stay. When we got back home, I plugged into our 20 amp outlet and proceeded to clean up the MH, using the vacuum cleaner and the carpet beater. It all worked fine. Today, I disconnected the MH from shore power to drive it around the block to slosh the water in the potable water tank after cleaning it, and when I hooked up to shore power again, the GFI switch at the wall plug kept on tripping. I've checked the circuit breaker panel in the MH and there are no issues there. The wall plug works fine otherwise, my extension and voltage adapter check out with my voltmeter..... Am I missing something here??.....I read the manuals, but there is nothing that covers this kind of problem....Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:19 AM   #2
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I'd try to turn everything off in the RV before plugging in--like the fridge, HWH, and anything else that may be drawing 120v power. Many outlets, especially GFCIs, don't play well with power surges and tend to trip if you breathe on them wrong. Another option: go to the CB box, turn off the CB that you're trying to plug your RV into, plug in, then go back and turn the CB back on. I do this pretty much every time I plug our camper in, both at home and at CGs. It keeps the blades on the plugs from arcing. Good luck!
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:44 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 40
Thanks for your answer!!....I;m starting over again this morning and will go through the list of possibilities that abound in my head and see how it goes!!....
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:33 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 40
Ok, so I thought I would post my own follow up to my electrical issue. I did as Taranwanderer suggested, and checked all my appliances, and after realizing that the HWH switch was still "On" on the outside, under some heater tubing and wiring, I turned it "Off" and lo and behold the breaker did stay on.
Lesson Learned: Always turn all the appliances off after returning from a trip, as they will draw too much amperage from the house circuit and will trip the breaker.
I can plug the MH into the house current to keep the battery charged and cool down the fridge prior to departure, but nothing else. During the drive I can either use the generator and or battery power to keep all the on-board electrical needs powered. I took me some hours of looking and trouble shooting but I did figure it out!!.....
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:09 AM   #5
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Location: Northeast Louisiana
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Glad you got it figured out. From the water heater switch you described, it sounds like you have the Suburban brand. This element will take 12 amps when the element is heating......... which would initially happen each time you plugged into shore power if the water was cool....and since you had left the black switch on..

However, if there wasn't water in the heater (if the heater was EVER drained/winterized but the black switch left on), the element would burn up almost immediately as soon as shore power was applied. Sometimes a burnt up element will also play havoc and trip breakers too ............. which you turned the power off to when you finally did flip the black switch to off, thus solving it from tripping the breakers. We see this happen a lot to members in the forums here who forget to turn off the black switch/power on the Suburban.

I hope it was all just the element drawing too many amps along with other things that put it over the specified amps that tripped the breakers................and not a short from a burned up element doing it.

If it does turn out to be a shorted element, they are not hard to replace and KyDan has a great tutorial in the FAQ section here in the forums on how to replace it.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:27 AM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 40
Thanks WM...I had drained the heater of stale water while in the process of cleaning the water tank. Before plugging the MH back to shore power, I did fill up the heater back up, and then tried to plug on to shore power. After discovering the issue of the heater switch being "On", I fired up the generator and checked all the appliances and found them all to be in working order. I've come to realize that having one of these units is like having an airplane!!.....I worked for the US Navy for 34 years and I am going to start me a Maintenance Schedule, Pre/PostTrip Inspections, Calendar Inspections and so on!!!....I think the investment warrants it, and will keep the MH in good shape.....
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