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Old 07-05-2013, 12:35 AM   #1
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Breaker flipping

I have a 2004 Fleetwood hemlock...first camper...anyway I took it to a campsite last week and had the ac running and after a while the breaker flipped and felt warm...why is that?
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:43 AM   #2
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Welcome!

Which breaker - the CG pedestal? Or one in the camper? Either way it could well have been a problem with the power or voltage the CG was providing, especially if an older CG and.or many campers running A/C at the same time.

An EMS is a good investment to protect you from CG power problems.
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:48 AM   #3
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The breaker in the camper
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:05 AM   #4
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What else did you have running at the same time? Your camper probably has a 30 amp service and your AC will draw about half that. Add a toaster or coffee maker and your pretty much at capacity. If the campground voltage is low, as it sometimes is when it is warm/hot out, that will cause the AC to draw more current. If the voltage gets down to around 105 volts, that is bad for your AC and you should shut down your whole camper in case you damage anything else.

A circuit breaker has a thermal element in it which causes it to open when there is an overload (not short circuit). It can feel warm to the touch and is nothing to worry about.

Some campgrounds simply are not "quality" built and the voltage will drop lower than good quality ones, esp. when everyone is running their ACs. We had voltage down to 105 volts at one cg at around dinner time with everyone using electric appliances. Would have been worse with people using ACs also, but it was in a forested area next to a lake where it was cool. A voltmeter is a good and cheap investment. A plug-in type voltage monitor is a good choice. We have a built-in LED voltmeter and we can tell at a glance how the voltage is.

You could use a surge protector that has built-in low voltage protection.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:30 AM   #5
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It was at the beach and it was 80 degrees outside so yeah I think there were alot of people running there ac
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:52 AM   #6
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tsmith, I suggest a 50 - 30 adapter. This will help and your camper is still protected.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
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Why would a 50-30 amp adapter help if the problem is low voltage? More amps would not help here.

Good thing his breaker tripped because it *may* have saved his AC from damage.

If anyone wants to keep their AC running along with everything else in the face of low voltage, you can always get an autotransformer like the Franks or Hughes voltage booster. You can camp inside in the heat while everyone else is dying around you. Only thing is, if everyone else around you had one, you would end up tripping the main breaker for the entire campground (or the sub-distribution ones).......
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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Recommended to protect you RV against bad power from the pedestal.
EMS-PT30C
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
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tsmith, I suggest a 50 - 30 adapter. This will help and your camper is still protected.
It happens a lot on the 30amp campers, they're maxing out their breakers pulling 29-29amps. We loan them a 30-50 amp adapter and the cord cools and no more problems. Our power posts are supplying good power but the campers are using so much of it, we have several loaned now.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 336muffin View Post

It happens a lot on the 30amp campers, they're maxing out their breakers pulling 29-29amps. We loan them a 30-50 amp adapter and the cord cools and no more problems. Our power posts are supplying good power but the campers are using so much of it, we have several loaned now.
Not sure I understand how the 30 to 50 amp adapter helps the cord to cool?
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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Check the tightness of the wire connection on the rear of the breaker. Also the more a breaker kicks out the weaker it will get. may be time for a new one
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:39 PM   #12
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I don't understand how the adapter would help cool the cord. Copper wire has a fixed resistance per foot and would not change with temperature, so even it it did perchance cool anything, not sure how this would the OP's problem. I thought the OP said it was the breaker in the camper that was tripping. How would the adapter change that? Providing that the 30 amp breaker in the camper is not in a high temp. location, the breaker should not be tripping at 29 amps at or near nominal voltage unless it is getting "tired" and needs replacement, but I doubt this is the case.

Before guessing, the best analytical thing to do would be to measure the voltage at peak campground usage times and go from there.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:43 PM   #13
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I make it a habit to firmly grab my feeder cord just below
the campground connector.

If you do that all the time you will get a sense of how warm to too warm.
(the more amps you are pulling/using, the warmer your cable will be)

I also carry one of the $5 three light circuit testers and a cheap volt/amp meter.
Harbor Freight sells the kind that you won't cry over when you loose them.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
I make it a habit to firmly grab my feeder cord just below
the campground connector.

If you do that all the time you will get a sense of how warm to too warm.
(the more amps you are pulling/using, the warmer your cable will be)

I also carry one of the $5 three light circuit testers and a cheap volt/amp meter.
Harbor Freight sells the kind that you won't cry over when you loose them.
The adapter will get you off the overloaded 30a leg of the cg. That way your supply voltage will likely return to normal
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