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Old 05-20-2014, 12:45 PM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Blown Breaker

Trying to fire up my new 72 Trade Winds. Have used 2 different heavy gauge extension cords, blew breakers both times. Looking for an owners manual. I called Airstream, the lady was very helpful, but we never got clear whether or not the manual had the schematics in it. Does anyone know where I can find this? I'm VERY NEW to this.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:51 PM   #2
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Specifically, what breaker are you blowing, where is it, and what are you trying to run when the breaker trips?
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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Please tell me your not trying to connect your 30 amp cord to the outlet in the garage you use for the washer....it looks like it will work. It won't.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:33 PM   #4
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Is it a circuit breaker or a GFCI? It's common for GFCIs to trip when you plug an older trailer into one because of common wiring mistakes made in the trailer.
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Specifically, what breaker are you blowing, where is it, and what are you trying to run when the breaker trips?
In more detail - for a newbie. You need 30 amp 110 volt circuit.

Your dryer plug uses 220 volts. BAD for trailers. Even many electricians wire these circuits incorrectly since they're far more used to doing dryer circuits. Test the voltage of your outlet if there is any doubt (and if you know how to use a meter safely).

Try plugging into a normal "house" outlet - of 15 amps. You'll need a standard RV cord and a 15 to 30 amp adaptor. (Become one with RV Supplies, RV Accessories & RV Parts for Motorhomes, Travel Trailers - Camping World - you don't have to buy anything there (you will, but you don't have to) but it's a good place to find out what that thingamajig is that's rolling around in your bumper storage and has three holes in one side and a standard plug's prongs on the other.) You won't be able to run your air conditioner, but you could test out your lights, fans, etc.

Old trailers routinely have all sorts of problems - electrical shorts can happen all sorts of ways including mice eating insulation, insulation wearing through due to a sharp piece of metal and the hull of the Airstream giving you a buzz (that one is bad, cause it CAN fry you).

Does the umbilical cord exist? Flat 4 pin or Round 7 pin? Is it wired correctly for today's tow vehicles. Got batteries with a proper charge? A lot of the 12 volt stuff will work even without 110 plugged in. Lights will run on 12 volt or 110 volt. Does your trailer have working tail lights, etc. that work when the tow vehicle is attached or is that side dead too?



Me... personally I just don't fool with electricity. When I was young my mother worked for White Rubber Co. which manufactured lineman's gloves. I saw the molds that were custom made for linemen who'd lost fingers. Things are a LOT safer now, due to GFCI circuits, bucket trucks, etc. But da juice still isn't something to mess with unless you've really done a lot more than read a handyman book or two.

Be safe out there, Paula
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:58 PM   #6
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I would start by turning off all the breakers in your camper and then plug in your camper and see if you still blow the breaker in your house-garage.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
In more detail - for a newbie. You need 30 amp 110 volt circuit.

Your dryer plug uses 220 volts. BAD for trailers. Even many electricians wire these circuits incorrectly since they're far more used to doing dryer circuits. Test the voltage of your outlet if there is any doubt (and if you know how to use a meter safely).

Try plugging into a normal "house" outlet - of 15 amps. You'll need a standard RV cord and a 15 to 30 amp adaptor. (Become one with RV Supplies, RV Accessories & RV Parts for Motorhomes, Travel Trailers - Camping World - you don't have to buy anything there (you will, but you don't have to) but it's a good place to find out what that thingamajig is that's rolling around in your bumper storage and has three holes in one side and a standard plug's prongs on the other.) You won't be able to run your air conditioner, but you could test out your lights, fans, etc.

Old trailers routinely have all sorts of problems - electrical shorts can happen all sorts of ways including mice eating insulation, insulation wearing through due to a sharp piece of metal and the hull of the Airstream giving you a buzz (that one is bad, cause it CAN fry you).

Does the umbilical cord exist? Flat 4 pin or Round 7 pin? Is it wired correctly for today's tow vehicles. Got batteries with a proper charge? A lot of the 12 volt stuff will work even without 110 plugged in. Lights will run on 12 volt or 110 volt. Does your trailer have working tail lights, etc. that work when the tow vehicle is attached or is that side dead too?



Me... personally I just don't fool with electricity. When I was young my mother worked for White Rubber Co. which manufactured lineman's gloves. I saw the molds that were custom made for linemen who'd lost fingers. Things are a LOT safer now, due to GFCI circuits, bucket trucks, etc. But da juice still isn't something to mess with unless you've really done a lot more than read a handyman book or two.

Be safe out there, Paula

OK,,,,This helps! I am printing it off and taking it with me to the guy who is helping me work on it.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:55 AM   #8
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It is on my patio. A plug in on my patio with a white button that trips every time we plug it in. 110.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 1hippiechick View Post
It is on my patio. A plug in on my patio with a white button that trips every time we plug it in. 110.
That's a GFI breaker (ground fault interrupter), and that's the problem. See if you can find another outlet that is not protected with a GFI to plug it into.
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:24 PM   #10
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Get your hands on one of these: Gardner Bender 120 VAC GFCI Outlet Tester; 1/clam, 5 clams/master-GFI-3501 at The Home Depot

Menard's, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace hardware, local hardware store should have one if your friend doesn't. Brand doesn't matter - this was the first picture of one I found.

Plug the tester into your GFCI outlet on your patio. Make sure it shows the outlet is wired correctly. Now find another outlet in your house, not GFCI protected. Check it to make sure it's wired correctly. Both should be.

Turn off all your breakers in the trailer. Plug your trailer into the GFCI outlet. If it still trips, you have a wiring problem in your trailer, the shore power cord, or the extension cord. If the GFCI does not trip, flip on the main breaker in the trailer. Check the GFCI again. Assuming it has not tripped, flip on a breaker in the trailer that feeds one of the 110 VAC outlets. If the GFCI still does not trip, use the tester to check the outlets in your trailer. Make sure ALL of the trailer outlets are wired correctly. Don't forget the outlet the fridge plugs into (assuming you have a fridge that runs on both LP and 110 VAC).

If the GFCI trips once you flip breakers on in your trailer, plug the trailer into a non-GFCI outlet and use the tester to check all the outlets in your trailer. If any of the trailer outlets show incorrect wiring, stop, unplug the trailer, and get the wiring looked at.

Assuming all the outlets in the trailer show correct wiring, it may be your fridge that's causing the house GFCI to trip. Or, if you have a GFCI in your trailer, it may be causing the house GFCI to trip.

If you have questions about any of this, let us know. We can help.

Chris
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hippiechick View Post
It is on my patio. A plug in on my patio with a white button that trips every time we plug it in. 110.
Chances are that the trailer is miswired, with a deliberate connection between ground and neutral. Less likely but possible is that there's wet wiring or a short between ground or neutral.

Either way, it's a safety problem, and you should have someone qualified fix it.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:42 PM   #12
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1 hippiechick, if you are doing the 'breaker test' alone, plugging a lamp into the same exterior outlet can save you some running over to check the outlet. if the lamp goes out then you popped the gfci.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:06 AM   #13
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Yes! Thanks! I am going to try it again this weekend without a gfci.....I have been trying to plug into outlets with those and not a plug without. I am so new to this. It's a trying/learning experience!
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