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Old 07-26-2014, 10:45 PM   #1
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Shore Power Problem

2004 36' MDDS. We just pulled our rig in front of the house to get ready for a trip. Plugged our 50 amp cord (on a power reel so directly wired to the transfer switch) to our 50 to 30 pigtail to a 30 to 15 connector to our heavy-duty extension cord…something we've done many times over the years with no problems. Heard the transfer switch pop (assume that is normal, because we've always heard it when AC power starts coming in). AC power light on the remote panel was on. Fridge was running on AC. After a few minutes, we popped the 20 amp circuit breaker at our house. Turned off the fridge and reset the circuit breaker. AC power in light came on and we ran for a little bit longer this time, but eventually popped the circuit breaker at our house again. Repeat. This time tried a different house receptacle on a different circle (this one was a GFI receptacle. Popped immediately when I plugged into it. Turned off/unplugged more stuff in the coach, went back to the original receptacle, reset the circuit breaker and…a few minutes later we popped the circuit breaker. At this point, the extension cord to the house was hot to the touch and the 30-to-15 amp connector was fried. Got another connector. Tried one more time with fridge on and popped the circuit.

But…when we run AC through the generator, everything seems to be fine. The generator has been running for about an hour now with the fridge running on AC.

All the cords and connectors we started with are those we have been using. We cannot come up with a single variable or item that was changed since the last time we plugged in the coach in front of our house.

Any ideas anyone? We're obviously not going to make our 0730 start time tomorrow morning, but sure would like to be able to take off soon.

Thanks….Susie
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:14 AM   #2
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Tried to add this to my earlier post but it seems I am not authorized to edit (or I can't figure out how)

So…to summarize:
- The shore power cord is wired directly to the AC transfer switch (so the book says)
- the generator is wired through the transfer switch
- the AC power does come into the coach using the shore power (connected to our non-GFI circuit) - but within a few minutes pops the circuit breaker in our house circuit box; if we connect to our home's GFI receptacle, it pops immediately-before the AC transfer switch "thunks"
- using the generator, the AC power comes into the coach and everything works as it should
- we've replaced the 50-to-30 pigtail, the 30-to-15 adapter and the heavy duty extension cord and still pop the GFI circuit
- we've even opened the plug at the end of the 50 amp cord and all looks good there.

H-E-L-P!
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:30 AM   #3
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Sounds like a heavier current draw than the house circuit can handle, but the higher capacity generator is able to handle. Everything inside the coach is turned off? Air conditioning, water heater, etc. - all the heavy draw appliances?

Try dropping the main breaker in the coach and see if it still trips the house breaker. If ok, then drop all the circuit breakers but the main breaker and see if it still trips the house breaker. If ok bring each sub breaker on until the house breaker trips. At this point you will have likely narrowed down the circuit or area causing the problem.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:40 AM   #4
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The edit feature for your original posting will time out . Normal.
Most RVs will trip a GFI equipped circuit.
Unless the house circuit is a single outlet you can't be sure the coach is the only load, that's tripping the C/B.
The fried adaptor , may have been the start of the issues, a poor connection on the pins from corrosion could have resulted in the fried condition.
Are the fridge and the converter/charger the only 2 items running in the coach? Those are about the only loads that the length of extensions, you describe will support.
After repeated tripping the house C/B may be weak and require replacement.
Can you run an extension cord to the fridge alone ? By removing the rear vent and plugging the fridge directly to the extension , thereby testing the fridge as the problem, or operate the fridge on propane till you get to a park with 50 amp power?
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:55 AM   #5
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The last time something like this happened to us, we had left the electric part of the water heater on. Shutting it off corrected our problem.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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Battery charge function on inverter and hot water heater are two "hidden" draws that I often forget about. Agree that if everything else is off, frig should be fine on your 15-20 amp connection.... Dont know about you but first I forget, then I feel stupid......
PS--GFIs just wont work for plugging in the coach...
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:48 AM   #7
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Two areas of high current draw that you have not mentioned are the water heater and the battery charger. The water heater can be turned of at the breaker panel and if your inverter is the same as my '05 the charger can be turned off at the remote panel. Often when I have plugged into a 20 amp circuit with an extension cord I have had to disable these two items along with the refridgerator. Also make sure that your furnace/air conditioners are turned off.

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Old 07-27-2014, 07:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken T. View Post
Two areas of high current draw that you have not mentioned are the water heater and the battery charger. The water heater can be turned of at the breaker panel and if your inverter is the same as my '05 the charger can be turned off at the remote panel. Often when I have plugged into a 20 amp circuit with an extension cord I have had to disable these two items along with the refridgerator. Also make sure that your furnace/air conditioners are turned off.

Ken
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Most likely answer. Depending on the inverter, the battery charger may function even if you turn off the inverter at the remote. Best bet to be sure is go into the set up menu and either turn off the charger or set it to its lowest level. Your RV refrigerator is also a power hog. Set it to LP. Make sure the water heater is not using the electric element.


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Old 07-27-2014, 09:04 AM   #9
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Ken may be onto something...maybe your batteries are low and the charger is on recovery charge...check 'em anyway.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:01 AM   #10
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I agree with the above posts. Too much draw somewhere in the coach. We use the same setup while the coach is at the house. The only thing I do different is to push the test button on the GFCI on the house, plug into it, then reset the GFCI.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:44 AM   #11
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What converter do you have?

Seriously: My RV has a choice of two, one is a Progressie Dynamics 9180 with wizard (80 amps max) the other a Prosine 2.0 99-100 amps max.

99 amps DC is sucking around 15 amps off the A/C line (Adding ineffiency in the Converter) plus the Fridge (3-4 amps) plus the electrionics that always are on..

You may just need to recharge house batteries.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:05 PM   #12
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if need be just plug the freg in stand alone so it gets cold so you can have it ready and see if every thing is ok at the camp ground

i feel as every one else load it to high / over longer cord maybe
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:10 PM   #13
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Thank you all. We are on the road only 4 hrs behind schedule (as if there really is a schedule when you're hitting the road in a MoHo). In the middle of the night I recalled that when we first plugged in to shore power and popped the 20A breaker, the switch on the furnace/AC thermostat had been on. Probably fried adapter(s) and/or extension cord then. Once I replaced all of those pieces I never tested on the 20A circuit. Only the GFI---not realizing until you guys weighed in that we couldn't use a GFI circuit. This morning turned off the inverter and the water heater at the circuits in the bathroom panel. Plugged into shore power and ran fridge for a while. Then flipped breakers for the inverter and charged batteries. Fridge still ran fine. Question: I always turn water heater off at switch in kitchen. Should I also flip the breaker in the bathroom when storing? Thanks again. You all are so responsive and knowledgeable. Susie
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:25 PM   #14
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The switch in the kitchen turns the propane heater on/off. There is a switch on the heater itself, behind the outside cover, that turns the electric heater on/off. Or you can turn off the breaker as you suggest. If you ever winterize you need to turn this off or you will burn out the heater element if it is on without water in the tank.
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