Does shore power connector go directly to the converter?

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PlowHand

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When I connect my homes extension cord (110 volt) to my 2006 Thor Hurricane?s shore power connection the GFI immediately trips. I don?t know how to figure this out. Does the RV shore power connection point go straight to (and only to) the RV converter? If so does this mean the converter is toast? I don?t have a wiring diagram and probably couldn?t figure it out if I did. Your help/comments will be greatly appreciated.
 

captsteve

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What GFI trips? the one in your house? one in the coach?

Shore power usually goes to the transfer switch then to the breaker panel then to the converter.
 

PlowHand

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Yes the GFI in my house. I don?t know much about electrickery. I just bought this RV and everything seems to work except this issue. I hope it works properly when I plug it in to the 30 amp connection at a campground. I know it?s not the RV cable or my extension cord because it doesn?t cause the GFI to trip until I plug the RV cable (with the little adapter for the house 110 volt attached) into the RV connector on the coach.
 

captsteve

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Don't use a GFCI for your RV. I'm not  an Elecgician but your RV has GFCIs in it and when you put two on a circuit they don't play well together.
 

WILDEBILL308

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Capt Steve has a good point. Allso you didn't tell us what amp circuit you are plugging in to at home. If the charger is on and goes to bulk charge when you plug in at the house, you could have to much load.
Bill
 

PlowHand

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Sorry but I don?t know what amp the house circuit is. I also don?t know if the charger (converter?) was/is on. I had the coach and chassis disconnect switch?s both on and off and the house GFI still tripped. I?m not sure how to diagnose this issue. I?m very far from an electrical engineer but I have repaired a lot of varying stuff at home, and my other ancient 25 year old RV (that I?m trying to sell now).

Yes I will try a non GFI outlet today, thanks for the suggestion fellows.
 

Alfa38User

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I had the coach and chassis disconnect switch?s both on and off and the house GFI still tripped.

Hmmm., I think you will find that those two switches are for 12V DC power, and not for 120V AC power that GFCI outlets use.  With typical household outlets most are are limited to 15a or sometimes 20 amps, 120V AC. A typical GFCI outlet can protect a string of up to 6 other non-GFCI outlets on the load side and which ones they are can be hard to identify unless adequately marked in the begining.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Try an outlet without a GFI and report back.
I don't see any value in that. It seems obvious that connecting to a non-GFCI circuit will avoid the tripped GFCI problem.

The problem here is that there is a Ground Fault somewhere in the RV power system. The fault needs to be located and fixed.  The refrigerator's electric heating element is one common source of this problem. Another is is a problem in the converter/charger wiring. Turning off the breaker for those is one way to isolate which, if any, is causing the problem. Another possible problem source is a miswired neutral wire in the load center (breaker box). If somebody added or altered one of the circuits and connected a neutral wire to the ground bus, the shore GFCI will trip every time.  The best way to isolate the source of the problem is to turn breakers off one at a time to see which one eliminates the GFCI trip.


Does the RV shore power connection point go straight to (and only to) the RV converter
Shore power goes into the load center (breaker box). One of the breakers in there feeds power to the converter/charger, which produces 12v power for interior lighting, battery charging, etc.    The converter could fail in such as way as to produce a ground fault, but its no more likely to be the converter than several other possible places.
 

Optimistic Paranoid

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BTW, it's entirely possible the problem could be with the extension cord you are using.  Have you tried plugging a light or a heater or something into the cord and seeing if THAT causes the GFCI to pop?
 

HappyWanderer

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Don't overlook the possibility of a defective GFCI outlet. It's not common, but I've seen a bad one trip repeatedly where there was no ground fault.

In fact, I would start by replacing the outlet before digging too deeply in the camper. They only cost a few dollars and take just a couple of minutes to swap out.
 

John From Detroit

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The Shore cord on most motor homes goes straight to an automatic transfer switch and from there to the MAIN power distribution panel.
On most trailers straight to the main distribution panel
From there you have a number of "Branch" circuits one of which should be labeled either CONV or Converter.  that's the one to the converter..

On some the converter is behind the main distro panel  others it is elsewhere.
 

PlowHand

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THANKS Gary/John and all for your response. That is exactly the information I needed. I will do some diagnostics tomorrow and let y?all know what I find. I really appreciate your advice/input!
Larry
 

grashley

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At one point, I had my 50 Amp FW plugged into a 20A GFCI with a 12 Ga extension cord.  GFCI and its plugs worked fine.
Every night, the GFCI would trip, I assume from dew / moisture on the exposed cord plugs.

One thing that WILL trip the GFCI is if the main breaker box does NOT separate the neutral on one buss and the ground on a separate, isolated buss.  It SHOULD be wired that way, but...

Turn off all breakers in the camper.  Plug in.  Does it trip?  If so, check the cord.  If not, turn on the main breaker.  Does it trip the GFCI?  If so, check the paragraph above.  If not, turn on each breaker and check the GFCI.  This should isolate the circuit with the fault.  Leave that breaker off, and you should have power.
 

PlowHand

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Well folks, the problem didn?t happen today when I was going to try some of the diagnostic techniques you suggested. I suppose it was related to moisture somehow? We?ve had a lot of rain here in Indiana and I guess it somehow seeped into my extention cord. Funny that it didn?t trip the GFI unless it was actually plugged into the RV. Electrickery is such a mystery to me.
Anyway, I learned a lot based on your advice and I?m bookmarking this thread for future reference. I thank you all for your input. Blessings to all of you!
My advice right back to you all is... don?t drive any faster than your angel can fly! ?
 

Bob C

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You said that you are plugging into your home's extension cord.  Are you using adaptors to plug a 30 or 50 amp cord into a regular home cord that is probably a 14 gauge wire on a 15 amp breaker?  Make sure that you are plugging 30 or 50 amp cords into properly wired outlets of the correct amperage.
 
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