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Old 11-14-2019, 11:46 AM   #21
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A GFCI trips when it detects a ground fault, a difference of more than 5 mA between the current on the hot wire and the neutral wire. However, loose connections can also cause a GFCI to trip. The GFCI outlets in our RVs are daisy-chained to other 120 VAC outlets so that a fault anywhere downstream from the GFCI outlet causes it to trip.

With AC power removed from your RV, loosen a quarter of a turn and retighten the connections on the GFCI outlet. Do the same to the connection on the associated circuit breaker in the power panel. When at the power panel, also retorque the connections for the neutral and ground wires for the GFCI as well as the connections for the power going to your power panel.

A GFCI outlet can also trip due to inductive coupling from another circuit. An electric motor draws an initial surge of power that could induce a noise spike into a nearby wire. Try redressing the DC power wire going to your furnace by moving it away from other wires at the power panel. I would think that a poor neutral or ground connection would also need to be present in the GFCI and power panel circuitry but perhaps not.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, disconnect the hot wire leaving the GFIC outlet so that nothing downstream can induce a trip. If the problem is now gone, then the issue is downstream from your outlet. Damp wiring is always a concern with an RV so check each GFCI-protected outlet’s connections and dampness. If the problem persists, then try replacing the GFIC.

GFCI outlets are inexpensive enough that you might want to replace it early in your efforts. Also, you might want to dig into your power panel last because of the effort involved.
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:10 PM   #22
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A GFCI trips when it detects a ground fault, a difference of more than 5 mA between the current on the hot wire and the neutral wire. However, loose connections can also cause a GFCI to trip. The GFCI outlets in our RVs are daisy-chained to other 120 VAC outlets so that a fault anywhere downstream from the GFCI outlet causes it to trip.

this was going to be my comment as well. Since it's the GFCI that's tripping, not the breaker it shouldn't be over amps causing the trip. I'm assuming no other loads cause it to trip. Possible short to ground from 12v could cause GFCI to trip, would be unusual though. Might try to power the furnace directly from a separate battery to see if that makes a difference. I just don't see a 12v load causing the GFCI to trip.
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:10 PM   #23
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If that doesn’t fix the problem, disconnect the hot wire leaving the GFIC outlet so that nothing downstream can induce a trip. If the problem is now gone, then the issue is downstream from your outlet. Damp wiring is always a concern with an RV so check each GFCI-protected outlet’s connections and dampness.
Pay close attention to the outside outlet that is constantly exposed to "damp" while driving in the rain or just sitting in storage.

Might want to disconnect the hot wire at that outlet and put a wire nut on it then see if the same thing happens when the furnace kicks on. An easy way to eliminate the receptacle that is most at risk of getting damp.

Also, in an earlier post didn't I read about changing a water heater from Propane/Electric to Propane only? If so, how was the circuit for the electric element "abandoned". Was it disconnected at the circuit breaker or merely wire-nutted off and taped at the water heater then left laying.
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Old 11-14-2019, 02:56 PM   #24
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My son is an electrical contractor. He says GFCI outlets are notorious for early failure and tripping for very minor reasons. Your first step should be to put in another GFCI outlet.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:32 PM   #25
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My son is an electrical contractor. He says GFCI outlets are notorious for early failure and tripping for very minor reasons. Your first step should be to put in another GFCI outlet.

Yeah, I pursued the loose wire/vibration thing off and on throughout the day while I was working. Today, I picked up a new outlet while I was at the hardware store on another matter. Installed it, and it's made it thru 3 furnace cycles so far, so I'm hoping it's fixed. Problem with an intermittent fault is that it will go away while you're looking for it and come back when it's most inconvenient.
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:24 PM   #26
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Still not tripping, going to call this one fixed.
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:50 PM   #27
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Thanks for reporting back. I'll file this away in those rarely needed but might be useful in the future!
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:10 PM   #28
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First I don't think a larger amperage GFCI is a good idea or would it fix the problem unless it's just a worn out breaker. If it's that a new15 amp would yeild the same results. A 20 or 15 amp GFCI both trip at about 6 mil amp leakage (difference between hot and neutral) . The furnace draws alot of power even though it's 12 volts. That start up surge is showing a bad connection or insulator. Eliminate 120 v circuits at the box that share the GFCI while repeating furnace start. If that doesn't isolate where the problem is rewire the GFCI to be independent. Also may just be a weak GFCI, but you say it resets.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:40 PM   #29
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It is possible that the positive 12 volt wire feeding the furnace is cut or pinched and once the trailer calls for heat , it shorts to ground and the gfi is sensitive enough to pick this up and trip.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:25 PM   #30
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1st there is no intended psychical connection between the AC system and the DC system.

A GFI outlet does not trip on Current overload. Only by current leakage. There is no Random wiring. A GFI by code is to protect any outlet within 6' of a water supply. The only reason all the outlets (as stated in a post above) would be controlled by a GFI outlet is if all the outlets are within 6' of a water source. Outside outlets as well in storage bays are included.

The GFI circuit in our RV's are 15 amp 14 ga circuits. The circuit is protected by the size of the AC circuit breaker. In this case it is 15 amps. The general rule is no more that 10 outlets on a circuit. In reality in our RV's there is no more than 6 on a circuit.

I seriously dough there is any sort of connection between the 120 and 12 volt wiring systems.

I have no answer as to why the starting of the furnace 12 volt motor has any effect on the GFI (other than the quality of the GFI) outlet but if changing out the outlet has fixed the problem then go with it. We could go on for hours on the subject and never find a solution.
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