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Old 07-04-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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Breakers tripping in Campground only

Whats up with my electric?

1) When we camped last week the trailer breaker (inside our trailer, original 20 amp) to the outlet that powers the battery converter, passenger rear compartment, kept tripping. I used an extension cord and plugged it into another outlet in the trailer (kitchen sink) and had no further problems out of that breaker. All my outlets have good tight connections and are clean.

2) We were at a 35 amp site and the campground was full. The campground has had problems on the next loop over with faulty electrical power as well.

3) When at home, we can run everything in the trailer all day long, AC, Fridge, 12 volt, all of it and never trip a breaker. All this off a house hold exterior outlet in our garage (with a 15 amp breaker on that outlet).

4) I'm assuming weak power at the campground and maybe tired breakers in our trailer.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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Probably a tired breaker, since the extension cord solved the problem. But I always recommend checking the campground wiring to make sure the hot and neutral aren't reversed.

Zep
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Your right about the wiring....the maintenance at some parks is horrible, does it really take that much time to replace a cooked outlet? Change light bulbs or pick up trash?
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:56 PM   #4
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The breaker in your AS is likely at fault. The breaker is there to protect the outlet side of the panel, not the park side. This suggests that the probelm is a faulty breaker or an electrical overload within the trailer, not the park.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:50 PM   #5
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Ohm's Law says when voltage drops, amperage goes up (circuit resistance staying the same). When amperage goes up, circuit breakers pop.

Low voltage at the campground from heavy use and inadequate service, especially air conditioners.

doug k
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:24 PM   #6
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I'd like to elaborate on Doug's point a bit. Let's say that your trailer requires 1,000 Watts of power to operate all of its electrical devices and that the nominal line voltage were 100 Volts. So amperage would be 1,000 W/100 V = 10 A. If the voltage drops to 90 V, then 1,000 W/90 V = 11.1 A or about a 11% increase. If the voltage drops down to 80 V, then 1,000 W/80 V = 12.5 or about a 25% increase. OK you see where this trend is going. The problem is that as the input voltage drops, electrical/electronic devices consume disproportionately more amperage. So the real world is worse than my example above. This causes the electrical devices to overheat and fail, especially motors like in air conditioning compressors (don't ask me how I know this).

One of the handiest/most valuable things that you can have plugged into an electrical outlet is a voltmeter that constantly monitors line input voltage like this one.



This type of meter is under $20 and is worth every penny. The back of the meter has a plug much like a night light for a hallway. If the line voltage goes out of the green, don't run the air conditioner. In fact, I wouldn't run anything on 110 VAC that I didn't have to. Then express your concern to the campground management. If they don't get the problem fixed immediately, I'd try to get my money back and leave. It's that important in my opinion.

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Old 07-05-2013, 11:45 PM   #7
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Im thinking about buying one of those Voltage Boosters....
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:56 PM   #8
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That means the kitchen outlet is on a different breaker from the one that normally powers the converter. Furthermore, the first breaker had been loaded close enough to capacity that the voltage drop and resulting current rise was enough to cause it to trip.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:12 AM   #9
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Right, the one that tripped is the lowest amp (20) the rest are 30s. Just as a reminder, the trailer never trips at home...

Im thinking about buying something like this:

Tripp Lite LS606M Power Conditioner, 600 watts, Hi/Low Voltage Correction, 6 Out | Full Compass
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:23 AM   #10
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At some state parks with budget cuts you don't get 110-120 volt line voltage, especially on a crowded weekend. Sometimes you may only get 96 volts. Once I have identified these poorly maintained parks I tend to avoid them and go somewhere else.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L911 View Post
Right, the one that tripped is the lowest amp (20) the rest are 30s. Just as a reminder, the trailer never trips at home...

Im thinking about buying something like this:

Tripp Lite LS606M Power Conditioner, 600 watts, Hi/Low Voltage Correction, 6 Out | Full Compass
That line conditioner only good to 5Amps.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:54 AM   #12
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I cut and paste this type of info when I find it because I simply can't hold all this valuable stuff in memory banks anymore! haha

thanks, this is an important lesson for me and i'll be sure to add the voltmeter to my bag of tricks.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:59 AM   #13
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We had that problem....switched on the solar battery for everything to run on low voltage(lighting and stove fan)....ran just the AC on high voltage. Got lucky,it held out.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L911 View Post
Right, the one that tripped is the lowest amp (20) the rest are 30s. Just as a reminder, the trailer never trips at home...

Im thinking about buying something like this:

Tripp Lite LS606M Power Conditioner, 600 watts, Hi/Low Voltage Correction, 6 Out | Full Compass

As it's the lowest rated breaker that's tripping - and this runs fine on a 15A circuit at your house, the probable cause is low voltage at the park as others have mentioned. I suspect the breaker is fine.

The Tripp Lite power conditioner will only output 5 amps maximum. You are not going to be able to power much from this device.

If the voltage at the park is very low best to assume you are boondocking and only run your 12V equipment.
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