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Old 03-12-2014, 08:42 PM   #15
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In response to the OP's question about replacing the GFCI...

I have found that the GFCI outlets are cheaply made and not particularly suited to a moving RV. When mine started acting up, I went to Home Depot and purchased a breaker for the breaker box that matched the amp rating of the original breaker and provides GFCI protection. The breakers are much higher quality and I had no further problems. I replaced the GFCI outlet with a standard outlet.

Here are some photos of a couple of typical GFCI breakers. Some breakers have yellow, white or even green buttons, but all have a button to test the breaker's GFCI feature. The GFCI function trips the breaker exactly as an overload or short would.


You'll have to buy the breaker that matches your exact panel in your RV. Take the old breaker to the store with you and they'll be able to find and sell you one...They cost around $30
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:58 PM   #16
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My engine Block Heater can be plugged into the duplex that is in the engine compartment. That duplex is controlled by a GFI circuit breaker. It is also controlled by a switch on the driver's dash through a relay.

The point is that in most cases an outlet located outside should be a GFI outlet or have a GFI circuit breaker controlling it.

Find the engine Block Heater and you will find your current draw.

I don't use my engine Block Heater because I have an Aqua-Hot System

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Old 03-12-2014, 09:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kjackson View Post
I found a plug that went to a 110 outlet in the electrical bay that went towards the engine. I pulled it out. I'm sure its for the engine block. Going to verify it today when I test the GFCI.
If you have a DMM you can check the resistance between the hot and neutral prongs of the plug. If it is the device that drew 9A, the resistance will be about 13 ohms or so.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:35 AM   #18
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Thanks to all the responses! It was in fact a plug in the electric bay that was the engine block heater. At least now I know how to turn it on if I ever run into cold weather!
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:16 AM   #19
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In 4 years of full timing we are staying in an RV park that charges for electrical on top of monthly rent (we usually boondock). Went to pay the electric bill and was SHOCKED since we use very little electrical and are set up for boondocking! The manager agreed it seemed very high and sent the maintenance guy over to replace the meter and to take a look.

I was drawing about 12 amps with nothing in the MH turned on.

I had my DW turn off breakers one by one until it when to 0-2 amps. Breaker #3 did it. The breaker is labeled "Bath/External". I turned on the breaker and hit the "test" button on the GCFI next to the bathroom sink. It sparked and the meter went from 9 amps (on the one line) to 0 amps.

The questions are:

1) Could a bad CFCI outlet short and have that symptom?
2) It was suggested that the engine block heater could be stuck on. Is that possible and would it be the "external" part of breaker? Its a Cummins 400 ISL and no switch for a block heater in the cockpit area.
3) Can/should I replace the CFCI outlet with a standard outlet?
4) What's the easiest way to find what all is on that circuit other than plugs that don't work now?

Thanks!
It does sound as if something is on with a pretty hefty load at that. Shorts in any form, will trip a breaker and doubt seriously if there is a problem with the GFI. Having said all this, there is a very remote chance that something is leaking to ground, but with a highly resistive load, but unlikely and would again look into this block heater thingy and other places with disconnecting same at the load itself.
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