Electrical mystery

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by smilinjohn, May 22, 2010.

  1. smilinjohn

    smilinjohn New Member

    Hope someone can help me diagnose the source of my electrical problem.

    Our TT is a 2010 KZ Sportsmen Classic 14RK, with 26 foot 30 amp power cord; 120 volt distribution is 20 amp dedicated to air cond., 15 amp dedicated to GFCI (8 outlets/4 openings), and two to three other regular 15 amp circuits. Also have 12 volt system via deep cycle battery/converter. My trailer does not have any propane appliances. Nor do we have a water heater and furnace. We do have all electric 120 volt refrigerator.

    Using 25-foot 30 amp 10 awg extension cord + 30 to 15 amp adapter attached to house current (15 amp GFCI), the 15 amp GFCI circuit in the trailer continues to trip without any load applied to it.

    Could my problem be that I'm driving the system with 15 amp house current only (wired correctly)......that my problem with the TT GFCI will go away once plugged into a 30 amp (wired correctly) pedestal at the campground?

    :) John
     
  2. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    RE: Electrical mystery



    John, a GFCI trips because there is an imbalance in the current being passed in the hot and neutral wires. In other words, current coming in the hot wire is not all going back out the neutral wire.

    Unless your GFCI is defective, it could be indicating that there is an unsafe ground current. However, you say there is no load current.


    It could also be tripping because you have a "bad" ground circuit. Perhaps the adapter you are using doesn't make a good connection.

    You could try poking a ground rod into the ground near the trailer and grounding the frame of the trailer.

    You might just have a bad GFCI, also.


     
  3. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    John, from what I understand the GFI will trip out with an interruption of ground. Your house GFI is grounded to earth and the camper is not. Therefore the house GFI will see an interruption in the ground circuit and trips out. Remember this is JMHO. I have had two motor homes and both would trip a house GFI.

    One of these days I am going to tie my motor home to earth ground and see if my logic is true. This will give something to do tomorrow. If I do get around to it I will let you know for sure. ;)

    :8ball:
     
  4. vanole

    vanole Senior Member

  5. smilinjohn

    smilinjohn New Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    Thanks fellows for your quick responses. Steve, the house GFCI has never tripped with the TT hooked up to it, while the TT GFCI trips, upon re-setting, within 30 minutes to two hours. Steve, what does JMHO mean?

    :) John
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Electrical mystery

    well i know i am not Steve ,, but to let u know ,, JMHO is "just my humble opinion " :) :)
    But one thing i guess i am missing here ,, and that is why it is plugged into a GFI circuit ??? I am not being a smart a** or anything ,, but i have a dedicated plug for my MH and it is not GFI ,, the MH is 30amp ,, but my shore line plug is set up to plug into a 50amp ,, (long story on why that is ) ,, but i am jsut wondering :) :) :)
     
  7. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    Rod go back to the beach and work on your sun burn. :laugh:

    Sorry John. I misunderstood your question. I need to learn how to read. :blackeye:

    So your GFI inside your "camper" is tripping when you are hooked up to shore power GFI. Right?

    What happens when you go to a straight 110 volt shore power without GFI?

    Many (if not most) GFCIs also test for a grounded neutral condition where a low resistance path exists downstream between the N and G conductors. If such a situation exists, the GFCI will trip immediately when power is applied even with nothing connected to the protected outlets.

    Read this site and see if it helps. http://www.codecheck.com/cc/gfci_principal.htm

    In My Humble Opinion, I think your shore power GFIC and the camper GFIC are out of sync with each other causing your problem. Please let us know what you find. This is kind of a fun one. :)

    :8ball:
     
  8. smilinjohn

    smilinjohn New Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    We have an outside 15 amp GFI at the front-corner of our home. I'm tapping/plugging into that GFI for convience and close proximity to our travel trailer. The travel trailer is 30 amp......I do not have the fortune, currently, to have a 30 amp outlet on my home (shore power). Should I have the Electrician wire a 30 amp outlet/circuit onto our home for future use by our TT??

    :) John
     
  9. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Electrical mystery



    And yes, your problem will go away when you are connected to 30 amp shore power. If not you have a N to G problem.

    If you are planning to use more then just your lights and fridge, yes, you should have a 30 amp outlet installed. If not then the 15 amp should do just fine.Until you get the 30 amp plug installed,I would remove the GFCI and install a standard 15 amp plug at your house. You will have to remember that if you use that plug for yard tools or whatever you are not protected.
     
  10. smilinjohn

    smilinjohn New Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    Yes, Steve, GFI inside camper is tripping when hooked up to shore power's GFI. I have not tried to eliminate shore power GFI, yet will be difficult, since the half of the house that the camper is closest to is protected by GFI's......outside GFI + kitchen, dining room, garage, basement and family room. I only have 51 feet of 10 awg 30 amp cord (26 foot power cord + 25 foot extension (10 awg 30 amp).
     
  11. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    John I am going to send you a PM.
     
  12. smilinjohn

    smilinjohn New Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    Thanks, Steve. Next stop the campground with 30 amp pedestal for the test. :) I'll let everyone know the results.
    :) John
     
  13. smilinjohn

    smilinjohn New Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    UPDATE ON WHAT I DID WITH THE TT TODAY

    I hooked up 50 feet 14 awg extension cord on a 15 amp "non-GFI outlet", located at the furnace in basement, to the 26 foot TT 10 awg power cord. In the TT, Air Cond. was hooked up to its dedicated 20 amp non-GFI outlet, but not powered on; LCD HDTV and upscaling DVD player, both on standby, were plugged into the same 15 amp non-GFI outlet; refrigerator was plugged into another 15 amp non-GFI outlet. It's not known whether the TV/DVD and Refrigerator utilize the same 15 amp circuit. Voltage meter was plugged into one of the TT's GFI outlets. A .6 amp draw electric fan was plugged into 300 watt inverter, in turn plugged into 12-volt TT system, via deep-cycle battery.

    I monitored the TT electrical for two hours.....nothing seemed to be happening that would indicate trouble. When I began messing with the .6 amp draw electric fan plugged into the 12-volt system, the TT GFI tripped.

    I unplugged everything , except the Refrigerator and small fan attached to 12-volt. I began to enjoy a good book for about 20 minutes, when the TT's GFI tripped again.

    I guess the next stop is at the campground to plug into the 30 amp pedestal......I'll test for correct pedestal wiring, first though. I suppose this is where I should get my dealer, factory, Electrical Engineer and/or Electrician involved.

    :) John
     
  14. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    Hi John, I had 2 TTs I would plug both into a regular outlet inside the garage an that outlet was protected by a GFI. I never had one GFI to trip. I had a dedicated 20amp circuit to my shop , I converted it to a 30amp that I now plug my MH in and I still serve my shop, mind you my shop is only 12x16 that I play in, not a big work shop. But I had to make sure that the wire was size large enough to handle the extra load. BTW I am in no way knowledgeable in electricity. Good luck with the problem and may you solve it soon.
     
  15. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Electrical mystery





    I suppose this is where I should get my dealer, factory, Electrical Engineer and/or Electrician involved. :) John[/QUOTE]

    John I agree with you 100%. You have done a very good job in trying to trouble shoot this problem but I am afraid there is a hidden problem lurking around somewhere. Getting the factory involved might have to be your next step.

    Let us know what happens at the camp ground with the 30 amp power. If you smell smoke, RUN. :laugh:

    :8ball:
     
  16. smilinjohn

    smilinjohn New Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    UPDATE:

    Tried 30-amp service pedestal at campground, after first testing to make sure pedestal had been wired correctly. TT GFI continues to trip, with both load and no load on GFI circuit.

    C:) Johnontacted KZ-RV Customer Service, who is sending replacement GFI Main (with the buttons) part and has authorized up to $40 (refundable) for labor......wants me to have local rv dealer (my dealer is 140 miles round trip) or local MN State Licensed Electrician perform the replacement. :)
     
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Electrical mystery

    well glad u let us know what happened ,, most that ask a question ,, never let us know back on what happened,, but please keep us posted ,, and glad the manufact took care of u ,, in this day and time alot don;t care about the small stuff . :angry: :) :)
     
  18. smilinjohn

    smilinjohn New Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    KZ-RV has sent replacement GFI (Menard's Brand) and I have confirmation from electrician that he will replace GFI this coming week. Also check over my TT for any wiring problems. I'll keep you posted.

    :) John
     
  19. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    Thanks for the update John. Always nice to know how problems are solved. :cool:
     
  20. smilinjohn

    smilinjohn New Member

    Re: Electrical mystery

    My electrician changed GFI on Monday, 10 AM.....thirty eight hours later, new GFI has not tripped yet. Hoping problem solved. I'll report status again in a couple of days.
    :) John
     

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