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Old 05-04-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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newbie trying to keep my 05 Phaeton's batteries charged

Hello

Just bought a nice 05 Phaeton 40QDH and am wanting to plug in to 15amp GFCI circuit at the storage lot. Have two adapters to step down the 50 amp plug to a 15 amp plug. When I turn off the main breaker, plug in the extension cord (20 amp rated) the GFCI doesnt trip. Wehn I go back into the motorhome and turn the main breaker on the gfci trip and will not reset (it keeps tripping). I have read things in passing that GFCI is an issue in this kind of application but the storage yard only has GFCI since its outside. Any ideas or solutions?

thanks!
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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You obviously have a Ground Fault somewhere in the coach. Try turning off all the branch circuits and leave the main breaker on, to see if the problem is isolated to one branch. If it still trips, the problem is in the load center box. If not, turn the branch breakers back on one at a time to see which one trips the GFCI. If you can get the feed for the charger working, that's all you need for the batteries.

You should still investigate the problem circuit, though. Sometimes it's the electric heaters in the fridge, and sometimes it is a cross-connected neutral and ground in an inverter/charger. Neither of these is really dangerous. However, other times it will be a miswired outlet or defective appliance that could really cause harm.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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Are you sure that everything is turned off in the MH? If Electric water heater has been left on (don't ask why I mention this) and the Inverter/charger kicks in to Max charge you may have exceeded the 20 amp circuit breaker.
Maybe you could set all of your main panel circuit breakers off and if the GFI doesn't trip reset them one by one to isolate the problem.

Have a nice day - Darrel
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmwalker3 View Post
Hello

Just bought a nice 05 Phaeton 40QDH and am wanting to plug in to 15amp GFCI circuit at the storage lot. Have two adapters to step down the 50 amp plug to a 15 amp plug. When I turn off the main breaker, plug in the extension cord (20 amp rated) the GFCI doesnt trip. Wehn I go back into the motorhome and turn the main breaker on the gfci trip and will not reset (it keeps tripping). I have read things in passing that GFCI is an issue in this kind of application but the storage yard only has GFCI since its outside. Any ideas or solutions?

thanks!


I see Gary and Darrel have already given you some ideas, so I'll just say WELCOME to irv2 and Congratulations on your Coach! Keep us posted on the issue you are having ..... and your future travels......
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:13 AM   #5
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Just to be clear, is it the GFCI that is tripping or the breaker itself. Two different reasons, depending on which it is.

Over current (too many amps) will not trip the GFCI - only a ground fault will do that.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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It could very well be that you have a surge supressor installed in the coach and the line you are trying to connect to is also GFI protected. If that is the case, your coach breaker will always trip.

Look in your electrical bay and follow where the 50 amp cord comes in. If you see a box marked "Surge Suppressor", or Progressive Industries, then your system is not going to work with a GFI protected circuit. This, BTW, is designed to work that way. You will have to plug into a non-GFI circuit to get it to work.

I had a Progressive system installed in my fifth wheel, and this is exactly what would happen when i plugged into my garage GFI circuit.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:59 AM   #7
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The tiny bit of voltage/current drop in a long extension cord using adaptors can fool, well actually not fool but tell a gfi that there is a problem. You can chase your tail on this or opt for a simple solution. Use a normal extension cord and buy a very inexpensive smart charger. Less than $50. A two or three amp charger is plenty if you shut your batteries off. If your engine and chassis batteries are in the same compartment you can place a fused jumper between the positive terminals so they will both charge. Remove the fuse when not in use. You can leave the jumper in place.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for such quick replys. I did try the troubleshooting steps and the GFCI trips on the inverter breaker and the second of the two outlet breakers. I'll probably take it to our local tiffin dealer. I don't have a 50amp shore power to test on but the Gen seems to charge the batteries. I do have an IOTA dls 55 which I assume is my on board battery charger. I do like the suggestion about adding a smart charger by itself since the 15amp is really not useful for much more than that and I can run it by itself at the storage yard and when out on a 50 amp shore the internal circuitry will do the charging. Thanks a bunch !!!
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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One other thought- shouldn't I be able to unplug the IOTA 55dls from the coach and plug it directly into my 15 amp shore power and have it keep the batteries charged?
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:05 PM   #10
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Yes you can.
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