GFI fault breaker kicks out at the shore power campground plug in.

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Oran42348

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  1998 southwind model 32v tripping GFI at campground power supply.there were 2 other campers having identical trouble whereas they had not experienced at other campground GFI shore power.After returning home i checked by plugging into my house 20 amp no fault circuit outside house and everything powers up normally.The campground electrican checked and replaced the power outlet and it was still tripping the GFI immediately when connecting.So i suspected trouble in the coach wiring.I have a continuity meter and checked the ground and neutral and is showing continuity at the 3 prong 30 amp plug . where would one start to look for a grounding if the neutral is the problem?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You say your coach trips some GFCIs, but not the one at home?  That certainly warrants investigation, starting with a test of the GFCI at home to see if it is working properly. If it tests out ok, then you have to figure what is different when you hooked up at home, e.g. different adapter, different power cords, some items in the RV not turned on, etc. Something is different.

When at a place where the GFCI trips, turn all the circuit breakers in the coach off, then hook up power. If it trips, you have a problem in the shore cord or load center (breaker box). If it doesn't trip, turn on the main breaker, then (one at a time) turn on other breakers until the GFCI trips. The last breaker turned on is the one that has the ground fault.  Common sources are the converter/charger (or inverter/charger) and the fridge's electric heat element.
 

PJ Stough

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A couple of years ago we plugged into 20amp GFI outlet, and it kept tripping.  Finally figured out that if we unplugged our converter, then the GFI wouldnt trip.

Paul
 

afchap

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Campgrounds do not normally havs gfi on 50a or 30a RV connrctions so I presume you were connecting to a 15/20a outlet... I've seen some situations where plugging an rv into a 15/20a home gfi ciurcuit would immediately trip the gfi, but all would work fine if the gfi was then reset with the rv already plugged in. And one where a campground had a 30a outlet on a gfi circuit in their pavillion that was supposedly for entertainer's sound systems. That 30a outlet would not work for any rv that had gfi's on board. I don't know the connection, but have been told that connecting a gfi circuit to an existing gfi circuit can cause conflicts ...are there any sho'nuf electricians reading this who could comment on multiple gfi's causing conflicts?
 

Oran42348

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afchap said:
Campgrounds do not normally havs gfi on 50a or 30a RV connrctions so I presume you were connecting to a 15/20a outlet... I've seen some situations where plugging an rv into a 15/20a home gfi ciurcuit would immediately trip the gfi, but all would work fine if the gfi was then reset with the rv already plugged in. And one where a campground had a 30a outlet on a gfi circuit in their pavillion that was supposedly for entertainer's sound systems. That 30a outlet would not work for any rv that had gfi's on board. I don't know the connection, but have been told that connecting a gfi circuit to an existing gfi circuit can cause conflicts ...are there any sho'nuf electricians reading this who could comment on multiple gfi's causing conflicts?

According to park electrician ,Indiana state park requires GFI on both 30 amp and 20 amp connections . He did say that many have problems and some thought the park hookups were a little too sensitive but would show any potential hazard no matter how exceedingly small...I have owned this RV for only 6 weeks and as with anything used finding those hidden issues can be difficult...When the problem was detected we took steps as Gary suggested by powering up the breakers one by one...even tho all120 v circuit breakers were off ,GFI trips immediately...Checked shore power cord..found to be good..Gas only water heater..no issues there...unplugged fridge..still no cigar..i am suspecting the power inverter to be the culprit..not sure how to check for grounded neutral since it is wired in behind the breakerbox..next step will be checking neutral to ground on all circuits i suppose have my work all ahead of me..will post findings if i get positive results..thanks for any advise or comments..
 

Icemaker

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afchap said:
Campgrounds do not normally havs gfi on 50a or 30a RV connrctions so I presume you were connecting to a 15/20a outlet... I've seen some situations where plugging an rv into a 15/20a home gfi ciurcuit would immediately trip the gfi, but all would work fine if the gfi was then reset with the rv already plugged in. And one where a campground had a 30a outlet on a gfi circuit in their pavillion that was supposedly for entertainer's sound systems. That 30a outlet would not work for any rv that had gfi's on board. I don't know the connection, but have been told that connecting a gfi circuit to an existing gfi circuit can cause conflicts ...are there any sho'nuf electricians reading this who could comment on multiple gfi's causing conflicts?

While not an electrician by trade I've worked many construction sites where we were required to use GFCI's even when plugging into a GFCI circuit ..had few if any conflicts and there might be multiple cords w/GFCI's on the GFCI circuit.

and Lowes and Home Depot and others sell a cheap GFCI tester that verify s the circuit
and it's wiring..

I do believe if the white and black wires are crossed and a GFCI is used it will trip every time..

And if I'm wrong my feelings won't be hurt...I've been wrong several times.

George
 

John From Detroit

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There are many "Suspects" in a motor home.. The converter is one of the weirdiest ones.

Some converters will trip a GFCI once the battery is full up.
Some converters will trip a GFCI if the battery is rather hungry
Some converters will never trip a GFCI
Some will ALWAYS trip a GFCI. 

Only way to figure out yours is to remove it from the equasion, UNPLUG or Disconnect

Some older RV's may have had neutral and ground bonded, Anything made this century should not.  (I'm not sure what the cut off date was) less it has been "Worked on" by someone who shold not play with electricity.

Other suspects include the heat elements in the water heater and fridge.

Now let's look at the differences between home and away.

At home are you fully hooked up, Water, Sewer ( sewer is not so important) jacks down? Or did you "Just plug in"  At the campground of course you had water hooked up and jacks down.. This may make a difference.


There is a trick you can use that might keep it from tripping the GFCI, but it is only safe IF you are plugged in via a GFCI, not safe if plugged in to a non-gfci outlet.. Thus I will not say more about it.


And if the box has a 50 amp outlet.... DOG BONE!

But do try to try and find the cause of the fault.  That is the best way.
 

Oran42348

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Further investigation : found trouble to be inverter...one of the neutral wires is grounded...not sure why but 3 wires tied together..one test grounded..other two tested open ..once seperated the circuit check normal at the 3 prong 30 amp shore plug..Also found house outside receptical 20 amp GFI circuit breaker to be defective as Gary suggested...Thanks for all input to help solve this problem..
 

John From Detroit

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yup,, Someone "Worked on it"  Someone who should have his screwdriver re-positioned.

Now someone else has worked on it,, someone who knows what he's doing (you).
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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There should be no problem daisy chaining GFCIs and I do it fairly often myself. I have a electric pressure washer that has its own GFCI in the power cord and I plug that to outdoor GFCI outlets when in use. And of course my coach has a couple of GFCI circuits and they do not cause problems when the coach is plugged to a GFCI source.
 
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