rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Campers and GFCI circuits  (Read 425 times)

EB_SHO

  • Posts: 4
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.

Gizmo100

  • ---
  • Posts: 2570
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.
2017 Heartland Trail runner 24 SLE
2017 Ford F150 3.5 Eco boost

To be 1/2 the man my dog thinks I am...But twice the man My wife thinks I am...

Back2PA

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5238
Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 01:38:37 PM »
Nice work finding the problem.


Very nice work.
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
Eezrv TPMS
Fulltimer

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 68893
  • RVer Emeritus
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...
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John From Detroit

  • ---
  • Posts: 23005
  • ^My New Home^
    • Diabetics Forum
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.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Heli_av8tor

  • ---
  • Posts: 691
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.
Tom & Theresa
2004 Pace Arrow 37C, Workhorse W22, 8.1 Vortec
2014 Honda CR-V Toad, Roadmaster -5 Base and tow bar
SMI Stay and Play Duo Brake system

grashley

  • ---
  • Posts: 6186
  • Western KY for now.
Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2019, 06:56:56 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!  AAA+++ detective work and report!!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Hanr3

  • ---
  • Posts: 333
Re: Campers and GFCI circuits
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2019, 08:35:47 PM »
Great diagnostics and repair.
 
2016 F150 3.5L Ecoboost XLT
2019 K-Z 231RK Sportsmen
1997 16' Sylvan Back Troller Select