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Old 08-11-2014, 09:38 AM   #1
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Campground power issue

So we took our 2008 Gulfstream out to a campground about 40 miles from us. This is a place my mom likes. She borrowed the RV a month back and had this happen but I thought it was something she did.

Anyway...Plug Rv in and it pops the 30amp breaker instantly. The site has GFI breakers. They brought out a pigtail that basically bypassed the GFI and with that...we could run everything but no A/C. Now I get home and the unit runs great (can run both A/C's) off my 20 amp plug. It has never had a problem at our race track either.

There were several other units around the site running A/C so I am confused. I checked my voltage at the pole, the transfer switch, and the plugs. All 123 volts. I also pulled & checked my powerstation for shorts or issues underneath. Clean and perfect.

I plan to check AMP draw later this week but wanted ask.....anybody else have this happen somewhere?

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Old 08-11-2014, 11:32 AM   #2
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The GFCI issue is usually one of two common faults in the RV: (1) the fridge electric heating element is leaking current to ground because of rust or a slightly faulty element, or (2) the inverter or converter is either improperly grounded or leaking current to ground. Either one will trip a GFCI instantly. Try turning off the circuit breakers that feed them, one at a time, to see which it is.

But I can't see any reason the a/c wouldn't run if you have other 120v power in the coach.

Gary Brinck
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:00 PM   #3
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Without the pigtail they brought...I could only run my 15 amp breaker items. (plug ins etc.) the two A/C breakers and the convertor are all 20 and any woudl pop it instantly.

They brought the pigtail and I could use everything but A/C. Weird...I know.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:16 PM   #4
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I think you'd need to return to the campground. Turn off everything in the RV, flip off all circuit breakers. Then start turning things on, one at a time, until you trip the GFI. That would at least narrow down the area to investigate.

I'm curious how you, "run both A/C's off my 20 amp plug." At the same time? RV air conditioners usually use 10-12 amps running, more on start up.

I run all my electricity through a Progressive Ind. EMS to prevent most power issues. GFI outlets are notoriously sensitive to electrical issues. Check the pigtails you are using. Is your RV 50 amp? If you have to step down to 30 amp pigtail, it could be the issue.

Bob & Donna
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:38 PM   #5
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My unit is a 50 amp and we drop down. Sorry...should have been more clear. I can run each AC unit individually but neither kicks the breaker. We did what you said and tripped one breaker in RV at a time and could run everything but three. (each AC, and the convertor) Those are all 20amp breakers. Rest that were on were all 15's.

I'll have to look into that Progressive EMS unit.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:55 PM   #6
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I'd have tried plugging in on a different site. Have seen more than one bad GFI breaker. That's always my first point of trouble shooting a popping GFI. For a test one can usually even get a neighbor to let one plug in fof a couple minute test. The campground might even know it and be dragging their feet over changing it.
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:07 PM   #7
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I had a similar issue at a campground but my MH is 30 amp. I used my 30 to 50 adapter and plugged in to the 50 amp receptacle and had no more problems. I agree with the earlier post. May sim
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:08 PM   #8
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Sorry I hit the wrong button. This may simply be a bad breaker at the campground
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:19 AM   #9
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Plugging one gfi sytem into another gfi normally does cause problems. I don't know why, but they don't play well together. That is why campground 30a and 50a are not normally gfi systems. We sometimes trip a 20a gfi when we initially plug in, but most of the time can then reset the tripped gfi and be ok. Personally, I would simply avoid that campground. Of course, if you have similar problems in other locations, your rig is likely the problem.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:16 PM   #10
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I would guess you have a wiring issue with your air conditioning unit. I had the same problem many years ago with an almost new travel trailer. I had used it a number of times without a problem. When I went to a Fl. state park that had recently rewired their campground with GFCIs in the pedestals, my shore power cord popped the circuit breaker instantly. I ended up just using an extension cord which I plugged the frig. into. When I got home the next day I plugged in to the house and checked each circuit individually until I found one that popped the breaker. It was the air conditioner. When I removed the inside shroud of the A/C we found a bare spot on one of the wires that was shorted out against the metal frame. It was an easy fix, but that was the way it had come from the factory.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:26 PM   #11
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I say weak breaker at campground. Had this happen once. We switched to another site box and no problem. So we switched the breakers. No more problem.


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