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Author Topic: Campers and GFCI circuits  (Read 1032 times)


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Campers and GFCI circuits
« on: November 11, 2019, 12:58:31 PM »
Recently bought a used 2018 Passport 239ML. Got it home and plugged it into the 15 amp GFCI outlet in my garage and the garage GFCI tripped.

Seems like this is a fairly common problem for campers. Half the people were saying this is normal, half were saying there is a problem.

Here are the steps I took to find the problem:

  • Shut off all the breakers. Still tripped.
  • Removed white wires from the neutral bus one at a time. Found the one causing the problem (receptacles, i.e. the circuit for the non GFCI outlets)
  • Confirmed with a volt meter that there was continuity between the neutral and safety ground.
  • Took all the outlets out and apart looking for wiring issues. Found one screw into the cover for a box, but not touching any wires.
  • Took all the bare copper safety wires out of the boxes and checked which one still had continuity to the neutral wire.
  • Once I had identified the problem wire, started following it back and found what's shown in the attached picture.

Two screws from the dealer installed backup camera went through one of the 110 volt wires connecting the neutral and safety ground. Wouldn't know without a GFCI outlet. Now that it's fixed, the camper no longer trips the GFCI.

Still like the layout. I've been through most of the hidden areas of the camper now and am relatively happy with the build quality.  I had low expectations given what I've read about campers in this price range.

Not sure who's more at fault for this issue, the dealer for running the screws into the wire or Keystone for placing the wires right where everyone mounts the backup camera (center of the back wall).

Bottom line? If you own a modern camper that trips GFCI outlets, there's probably something wrong.


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Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2019, 01:05:50 PM »
Welcome to the RV Forum EB_SHO

Nice work finding the problem.
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Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 01:38:37 PM »
Nice work finding the problem.

Very nice work.
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Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2019, 06:22:28 PM »
Really excellent problem isolation & diagnosis!   Most people just blame the GFCI...
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Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2019, 06:57:19 PM »
Have a circuit like that in my RV. definite hot-ground short.. isolated all grounds and will get round to it.. much later.

nothing on the circuit needs a safety ground and in fact some things are bothered by what is called a "Ground loup" and work BETTER isolated.   Isolation was non-destructive I might add. So if/when I fix it restoring grounds is easy.
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Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2019, 08:52:56 AM »
I traced a similar neutral to ground fault to the circuit feeding the driver-side slide.

There's only two outlets, one over the couch and one under the dining table. I found a junction box under the couch and was able to isolate the fault to the feed for the outlet over the couch.

Nothing was wrong with the outlet. The short has to be in the wire from the floor, up the wall, and out to the outlet. It could very well be a screw from the outside like you found but I don't think anything is mounted in the area.

It would have been a major teardown to go any further. So I elected to disconnect the ground wire at the junction box under the couch and live with an ungrounded outlet. I've never plugged anything (before or since) into that outlet that had a grounded plug anyway.
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Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2019, 06:56:56 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!  AAA+++ detective work and report!!
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Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2019, 08:35:47 PM »
Great diagnostics and repair.
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