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Old 09-30-2010, 02:38 PM   #1
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15 Amps vs 30 Amps

I've just been entrusted with a 1959 JetStream 16-footer that only has shore power.

The built-in power cord has a standard 3-prong male plug that works fine at home. At the campground, it immediatly tripped their breaker even with all 4 on-board breakers (three 15-amp & one 20-amp for the water heater) off. I could reach another pole and got the same result so it wasn't their outlet.

I figured I had developed a straight short on the drive to the campground but when I used the adapter to plug into the 30-amp outlet, everything worked, even all at the same time.

Does this make sense or should I call an electrician?

Grateful for any help,
Dave
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:43 PM   #2
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Were the outlets you were plugging into GFCI`s?
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:00 PM   #3
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Yes and they were pretty old. I saw a maintenance note on one saying the GFCI had been changed out in 2002.
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:38 PM   #4
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Billida that is a common problem and is usually due to a wiring mistake in the trailer, less frequently due to a short.

Have a qualified person check to be sure that neutral and ground aren't connected together deliberately in the breaker panel or at one or the other end of the cord.

Failing that someone will have to check to see if such a connection, or one from hot to ground, was made inadvertently due to insulation failure.
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:35 PM   #5
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Thank you very much, Jammer!
I'm not terribly surprised. The guy who did the reno seems to have been a very poor electrician from what I can see. I'll get an electrician to fix things.

Another concern I have is that I'm thinking of buying a Honda EU2000iA super quiet generator but the spec is only
AC Output 120V 2000W max. (16.7A) 1600W rated (13.3A)
If the water heater is on one 20 Amp circuit and there are three 15 AMP circuits to power a space heater, fridge & lights, will this be enough generator paower?
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:37 PM   #6
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btw, that's an old Norcold gas/120v fridge
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:38 PM   #7
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It may be the cord you are using as well. If it is in poor shape. Did you try just plugging the cord in or is it an intergal part of the trailer wiring? If the neutral is grounded in your trailer, you will trip the GFI breaker every time.
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:56 PM   #8
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Either the water heater or the space heater will use almost all the power the generator can provide. Don't you have a propane water heater and furnace?
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:37 AM   #9
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The cord is integral and in good shape and the breaker box it goes into looks pretty tidy but the wiring after that is very messy and probably has a problem.

I have a propane range and the dual power fridge but both heaters are 120v only. This trailer is definitely not self-contained. It has no holding tank, 12v anything or a generator.

I want to use standard sites without full hookups so I bought a portable waste tank and figured if I ran through the 20 or so gallons of water in the heater I'd be able to find a hose bib to fill a 7-gallon jug I have. I figured a 2000w super quiet generator would be considerate of my neighbors and maybe that will still work if I don't run both heaters at the same time. I guess I can buy a companion later if I need it. That would still be less than they want for the 3000W models.

What do you think?
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