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Old 06-07-2018, 11:48 AM   #1
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Electrical Issue - Help

Hello,

I need some advice on what might be causing my issues - I'll do my best to describe the scenario -

The GF went out to check on the RV, she noticed the CO detector was beeping and the fridge had a code - she then noticed we had no AC power to the coach.

She check the outlet at the house the the GFI was tripped - no AC power..

She reset the GFI..the CO detector and also the fridge and everything was fine, no issues -

I asked her to check the "test level" display and we have full battery strength - not sure why we have a low dc power code on the CO or the fridge..

Finally.. she then heard something.. she tracked the noise down to the furnace - the fans were running - mind you, the furnace isn't on at the thermostat !!

So, I told her to shut everything down and turn the batteries off too.. however, when she tried to shut off the coach battery, it wouldn't turn off.. the light on the switch stayed lit..

So.. my questions -

Why does my fridge have a low dc code, when it appears I have full battery power (and the fridge doesn't use a lot of power anyway) ?

Why was my CO detector beeping, with a low DC power code ?

Why is the furnace coming on when it isn't on !!

Why won't the master battery cut-off switch turn the batteries off ??

Mind you - I just installed new batteries about 60 days ago - so I shouldn't have any issues with that..

Anyone want to venture a guess ?

Thanks for the help in advance
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:02 PM   #2
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Newer RV onboard systems don't play well with a GFIC outlet as a supply .
They will trip the GFIC at any time for any reason . You have to find a non GFIC outlet to plug into.
My first three RVs could be plugged into a GFIC without problems , but the last two cannot.

If you installed new batteries , then go back and check all your connections at the batteries, one wire in the wrong place , or a loose connection, can cause any number of issues.

Did you replace , coach batteries ; chassis batteries ; or all batteries.

EDIT: Also running a level test , with the coach on shore power will NOT give an indication of the battery state of charge , only reads the RV's charging system output, and most battery disconnects will not function while shore power is supplied to the coach.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:07 PM   #3
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I know with ours, even with the chassis power cut off (the twin batteries for starting the main/genset engines and headlights), the 12V kitchen, dining area, bathroom, and overhead lighting will stay on. My guess is they're fed from the house batteries, not from the chassis. Might be the same with yours.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:20 PM   #4
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A lot of CO detectors are hard wired and will beep if the house battery is low. With the AC off due to the GFCI being tripped the house battery will run down. When you reset the GFCI it powered the converter thus showing the charging voltage on the meter system. That is not the state of charge for the battery. Your house battery is/was run down enough to trip the CO detector and not work the storage relay when you tried to toggle it.

I'd do two things:

Check the battery voltage with a meter. If it is being charged then your storage relay is in the correct position. If the battery was low I'd put a separate charger on it overnight to bring it up to normal then the relay should toggle with the button.

I replaced the GFCI for my camper line with a pair of wire nuts. If it had been a dedicated outlet I would have put in a standard duplex outlet. Too many problems with trying to feed a camper with a GFCI.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:11 AM   #5
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Ok - so I'm a bit of an idiot..

I didn't realize if you're plugged into shore power, you cannot turn off the "coach" power.. Once I disconnected the shore power, the master battery shut-off switch worked fine - sorry about that one..

Also, once I disconnected from shore power, I hit the "level" test button and my battery was down to 3/4 - So, I could have had a low battery which could have prompted the low DC errors on the fridge and CO alarm... Still not 100% sure why the GFI popped - is it weak and needs to be replaced?

Finally.. the head scratcher - why was the furnace fan running??

A friend told me to check the thermostat, he thought maybe the slide contacts could be a bit dirty. - I'll check when the rig gets back from the shop (generator issue) - However, even if that is the case, I'm not sure why the fan would be running, we're having 70+ degree weather and I can't imagine the furnace would have kicked in..

Thanks to all those who responded, appreciate the collective wisdom of IRV2 !!
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Newer RV onboard systems don't play well with a GFIC outlet as a supply.
Ours is a 2012 (and hardly sophisticated) - we really haven't had an issue up until now.. when you say "newer Rv's don't play well".. do you think my 2012 would be considered "newer"??

Thanks for the help !!
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:57 AM   #7
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As with anything electronic, low voltage can cause all kinds of cray symptoms as you found.

I do not know how your furnace is setup but if there is some sort of multiplex system involved all bets are off while on low voltage.

GFCI's trip quite easily. Had one trip inside our rv the other day. No reason, just policy I guess.

Extension cords and adaptors add a resistance factor into a device that is measuring currents to compare input and output. If it does not see the same coming back as going in they trip. Simplified answer of course.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakcreekeric View Post

Also, once I disconnected from shore power, I hit the "level" test button and my battery was down to 3/4 - So, I could have had a low battery which could have prompted the low DC errors on the fridge and CO alarm.ine the furnace would have kicked in..

If you checked your "level" test button even a few hours after disconnecting your shore power, you would most likely find your battery reading lower than 3/4. It looks like your relatively new batteries are not being charged, which could be the result of your shore power tripping .
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:45 AM   #9
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1. His batteries were probably flat from the GFCI tripping. He did not notice it until the CO detector went off for low battery.

The 4 LED battery indicators can be sloppy enough to show 3/4 when the converter is off. The only way to find out is to use a real voltmeter.

2. The reason RV's don't play well with an external GFCI is that there can be multiple leakage paths in the RV. All equipment has some leakage. Some is allowed more than others. Those leakage paths add up so the total at the shore cord can be more than the unit the shore cord is plugged into will pass but each is within the limits of the devices in the RV. Dampness across the plug and socket can also draw enough leakage to trip a normal GFCI.

FWIW - the whole GFCI issue is trying to protect us from ourselves. Most of the development was done when folks had metal cased 2 wire power cord tools they used in damp or wet conditions. At roughly the same time ground fault devices were developed there was also the push to double insulated plastic cased tools with 3 wire grounding power cords. It became a lot harder for the average user to get a leakage tingle let alone a real shock. What we have today is the analog of wearing a belt and suspenders and maybe using a bit of super glue to keep one's pants on. That is why I don't see a safety issue with removing one upstream protective device. The RV will have another GFCI on the user available circuits. That, and maintaining a reasonable 3 or 4 wire system back to the grounding rod is sufficient protection. Belt or suspenders.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakcreekeric View Post
Ours is a 2012 (and hardly sophisticated) - we really haven't had an issue up until now.. when you say "newer Rv's don't play well".. do you think my 2012 would be considered "newer"??

Thanks for the help !!
The RVs that I owned that wouldn't trip a GFIC as a power supply , were old enough ,(1987 , 1990 and a 96 5ers) that their onboard wiring didn't include GFIC outlets . When I purchased my first new 5er (2005 ) it tripped the house GFIC . After several trips to the dealer, many hours of wiring checks and a converter replacement, and consultation with the RV manufacturer ; the only fix was to NOT use a house GFIC protected circuit as the power supply for the RV .
The GFICs in the RV do not play well, with the house GFIC , it's a conflict that can't be resolved , only worked around.
When plugged in at a friends house , he said he could get his RV to power up from the house GFIC , by resetting the GFIC , while the RV was plugged in , when my coach tripped the GFIC in his garage , as soon as it was plugged in , he reset the GFIC with the power cord in the outlet and the GFIC held ... for about 14 hours , then tripped and couldn't be reset. I ended up replacing it for him.
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