Electrical outlets not working

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Mombez

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Jan 27, 2019
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Last time we used our camper everything worked fine, now some of the receptacle/electric outlets will not work. It keeps on tripping a breaker. We have 50 amp and are using 30 with an adapter. We've checked the GFI and that is not the problem. Any suggestions on things to check before we call a tech, because if it is operator error, the warranty will not cover it, and we are totally new at this so it very well could be.

Thanks in advance
Diane
 

Gizmo100

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When you say tripping a breaker....Are you talking about a breaker in the RV or on the pedestal.

If your using a adapter you may be overloading the pedestal by running to much stuff.
 

donn

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If you trip a breaker your obviously overloading the circuit.  Its really simple.  Unplug everything inside the trailer, plug in and turn on the 30A breaker.  Now go inside and stsrt plugging things in until the breaker trips.
If your trying to run the water heater and AC on 30A it aintmgoing to work.
 

John From Detroit

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I have a breaker I keep tripping too. 1100 watts + 750 watts - 1850 Watts
1850/120 is GREATER than 15... Guess what the problem is.

Don't trip if I remember to turn off the 750 watt device.

Same on 30 I run too much I have to go reset the park breaker

Still yesterday even that did not help.... Power company said "Shut down for 2 hours for routine maintenance"... Well it was just 2 hours.
 

Mombez

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The rv breaker is the one tripping, there is nothing plugged in besides the refrigerator, we haven't really got to use it since a few weeks ago and that was fine, everything worked.There are tv's plugged in but we aren't able to use them, would that make a difference them being plugged in? It's not tripping the gfi breaker if that means anything, and we tried the air and it ran for a few minutes and then quit. I have a tech coming to look at it. Just not sure if it is something that we are doing wrong.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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There is nothing unique about 120v outlets in an RV.  Breakers trip from an electrical overload, meaning excessive current draw (amps). The simplest overload is just too many things with high power needs are plugged in and turned on, but a shorted wire (wire touches another wire or a metal part of the RV) will do it as well.
Is the breaker that trips the main RV one (a 50A breaker) or a branch circuit (usually 15A or 20A)?

You say the a/c quits after a few minutes. Does that trip its breaker as well?
 

Alfa38User

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I would help a lot if we knew what make and model of RV it is along with a confirmation of the electric service required normally (50 amp or 30 amp).

Which RV breaker?? If you have an RV that has 50Amp service as your note seems to say, then you have a lot of breakers including 2-50 amp ones. Blowing one of those while using a 50 to 30 amp adapter is likely a big misunderstanding (at least on my part, heh heh.)

Do you have a GFI breaker?? That looks like a regular breaker with a built in test button, or, are you referring to a GFI plug with the two buttons ?? (A GFI breaker is reset by turning the breaker itself off then back on.)
Just having the TV plugged in should not make a difference if the are plugged into a normal outlet but they are often plugged into a small inverter and that could change things. When you say you you are unable to use them does that mean they won't turn on or just that there is just no TV service available??

 

Mombez

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The make/model is a FR Sierra 387MKOK, 50 amp and we are using an adapter to 30 amp. The outlet gfi with the reset button is in the bathroom, and it works. along with the outlets on the island in the kitchen.The tv's along with a celing fan and some of the outlets in kitchen and outer rooms do not work. I am not sure about the tv/s being plugged into an inverter....there are 3 of them...(who needs 3 tv's in a camper but on rainy days I guess they may come in handy.)

The AC  is Dometic brand and had an error code of E7 which reads in the instructions as-loss of 120 Vac power to all power modules on the system, the system will shutdown.

Does this info help any?
 

donn

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The OP finally said it all.  The refer is plugged in and the breaker trips.  That tells me he likely has a bad electric heating element in his refer.
Open the back access panel, unplug the refer, turn the breaker on.  Does it trip inmmediately?  Yes, then you have a wiring short.  No, then you have a refer problem.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Except for the a/c problem, I would be inclined to agree with donn.    However, since the power loss is also affecting the a/c, that raises more questions because it definitely does not share a branch circuit with the fridge.  I'm thinking that one leg of the 50A power source is either disconnected or intermittent.  That would lose power to roughly half the circuits in the coach.  A faulty 50/30 adapter could do that, or simply a broken wire in the 50A plug.  Borrow another 30A adapter and see if that help. If you have an electrical meter (VOM), check the shore power cord wiring as well.
 

Mombez

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Thank you all for the input. Will be buying a VOM and trying all these ideas. I really don't want to pay a tech for it being error on our end. Thank you so much. I will keep you updated as to what we find.
 

John From Detroit

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Ok first step is to UNPLUG the fridge. Run it on gas only for an hour or two.

Folks I"m thinking a shorted heat element but .. it could be wires

If it is a DOMETIC there may be a terminal board bottom center outside. Make sure it is clean. BUT UNPLUG FIRST

 

Old_Crow

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Could be a bad 30a to 50a adapter too.  I'm getting ready to replace mine because if you twist it in a certain way, the reverse polarity light on my surge protector comes on and the power to the coach kicks off.
 

Drewd

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Don't pay $6 for that Harbor Freight Volt Meter, you can often find a coupon to get it free with another purchase.  I have 3 of them already ;-)

 

cavie

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When you get your volt meter start at the shore power. Measure the voltage. 240 volts between L1 and L2.  120 volts L1 to Neutral and 120 L1 to Ground. 0 volts Neutral to ground. Same for L2. Next check the 30 amp dog bone. You will only have 120 volts here. 120 L1 to Neutral and 120 L1 to Ground. 0 volts Neutral to ground. Check the twist lock plug on the side of RV trailer if you have one. It must be twisted to the right with the locking ring engaged.  Look for hot spots and melted plastic. Remove the panel cover from your RV breaker box. Tighten all connections.




 

John From Detroit

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Cavie. one correction to your voltage list
He's on a 30 amp site using a doggy adapter (Dog bone)

SO top to bottom ZERO.. Side to side ZERO  Top or bottom to either side 120

For this to work it matters not which terminal is on top.

IF you get anything else (Note anything less than 1 is zero) we need to know which terminals showed no voltage reference to ther ROUND one.  Then we know

I have had a bad dog bone.. And due to the time of day it took SKILL to find a replacement.. thankfully I'm skilled.
 

cavie

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My bad. I read it as 50 amp shore power. :-[  The point being start at the shore power and work you way back to the panel inside the RV checking voltage a looking for loose connections.
 
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