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Old 08-09-2002, 10:14 PM   #15
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Craig,

Is the breaker that you are referring to the one in the main panel of your house or is it the GFI at the plug that is popping? You may just have a weak GFI as older AS TT Are known to trip GFI breakers/outlets. This does not necessarly indicate that the wiring in the trailer is bad, just that you may want to try plugging into a non GFI outlet with the black wire back in place and seeing if your 120 volt outlets in the trailer test out with the 3 light tester.
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Old 08-09-2002, 10:22 PM   #16
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Brett,
This is the GFI breaker within the main breaker panel that is wired to plugs in the garage, front porch, back porch and the 2 bathrooms. At this point, I may put the jumper back in tomorrow afternoon and then hook up to a nonGFI receptacle in the house to see what happens. If it doesn't trip then I'll check with the receptacle tester.
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Old 08-09-2002, 10:23 PM   #17
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that means the problem is most likely in your cord reel. the fact your tester reads ok is good news. but you must still find the fault in the supply circuit. did you have problem when you ran the romex to your breaker box?

here is a really easy test: drag your plug inside the trailer then take your volt meter or a test light and check between your outside plug and any inside 120v outlet. check for a complete circuit . find your hot lead on your trailer plug and the right hand slot on an interior outlet, you should have zero ohms or the test light should be on. do the same for the neutral.

if this checks out then there is no way you have reversed polarity.

then take a reading from the hot lead on your plug to the chassis of the trailer. i'll bet you a cold beer that you'll find a short. (open all beakers in the trailer for this test)

john
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Old 08-09-2002, 10:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidz71
John,
Yes, I ran Romex and it did trip the breaker in the garage until the jumper was removed. This bypassed the electrical reel.
did it do this at the campground ? did the campground have a gfi also?

john
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Old 08-09-2002, 10:30 PM   #19
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John,
I'm headed out to the trailer to make the check.
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Old 08-09-2002, 11:15 PM   #20
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Yes, it did it at the campground and that is what caused the whole problem. Mid 90's outside and the first outing my wife agreed to go on since I thought I had AC. The AC had been working perfectly a couple short times I tried it and last year I was plugged up to a campground in west TN with no problem concerning breakers. This last campground had a GFI setup that one guy referred to as "no fault" or something like that. I was finally able to run my electrics after running Romex wire and trying multiple times to plug in. Somehow it started working and I ran the AC and frig. for 2 hours before tripping over the Romex as I walked around the back of the trailer. We never could get the breaker from tripping again. I came home, replaced the 30 amp breaker after connecting the wires from the reel and everything worked fine until today.
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Old 08-09-2002, 11:23 PM   #21
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OK John,
This is what I found:

Hot (black) wire on outside plug when checked to right side receptacle--- read .002 and continuity alarm went off.
Hot (black) wire on outside plug when checked to left side receptacle--- read .004 and continuity alarm went off.
Neutral (white) wire on outside plug when checked to left side of receptacle--- read .002 and continuity alarm went off.
Neutral (white) wire on outside plug when checked on right side of receptacle---read .004 and continuity alarm went off.
Reading from hot lead on plug to chassis plate between axles---no reading and no alarm.

So what do you think? Budweiser, Miller or Coors?
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Old 08-10-2002, 03:54 AM   #22
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the readings are a bit puzzling

lets take the test one step further, repeat the test this time at the input buss on your breaker panel. before the breakers(you can remove them to make it easy)

same steps, plug hot to black wire terminal, neutral to black. etc.

but this time add another step, with no breakers in your panel check for shorts in the cord itself hot to neut. hot to ground neutral to ground. with all the breakers removed, you should no reading at all. the good news is the your last post confirmed that you have not had the chassis energized! that is a good thing!!

i am a high life man

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Old 08-10-2002, 07:11 AM   #23
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Thanks John,
I am headed out of town this morning and will be back early this evening. When I get home I will run the other tests as you advised. I appreciate the help.
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Old 08-10-2002, 09:31 AM   #24
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good luck by going through your system step by step you will find the problem sooner or later.

the steps you have fone so far have isolated the problem to three possibilitys

one: the cord and reel

two: the breaker box

three: the wires from the box to the outlets and appliances

if you take your volt ohm meter and go through each component one at a time you will find the problem.

a couple of things you mentioned are clues, the fact that the trailer worked on romex leads me to belive it is the breaker box.

the fact you said you changed the breaker box out and still have the problem leads twards the cord reel plug etc. (because you never blew breakers in the trailer)

OR some thing is wired wrong! your post that stated you had continuity from the hot to neutral inside the trailer. this leads me to belive some thing is crossed in your system.

after you test everything seperately. double check your work then have someone look over your shoulder and check it against the diagram in the box if you still have the instructions. (make certain there is no loose hardware rolling around inside the box)

a second set of eyes can catch problems that have been right in front of you all along. (i know it has happened to me before!)

one last thought, do you have a oven/air conditioner throw over switch in the kitchen area. you don't need to trouble shoot it yet i would just like to know.

lotsa luck

john
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Old 08-10-2002, 11:13 AM   #25
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110V Box

Davidz:
Here is a picture of the breaker box in my 1971 Trade Wind.
I have never heard of a jumper between neutral ( white) and ground ( green) to be installed as an additional safety margin.
It is relatively simple, in that the flexible power cord comes in the bottom and feeds the 30A breaker. This is the main breaker for the entire trailer.
It is used in a reverse manner, in that the 110V outside power is actually entering the breaker on the bottom, and feeding the upper connector rail for the breakers via the black jumper wire you see in the picture. The jumper wire goes to the side that has the three 20A breakers. These actually feed the circuits in the trailer. 2 for the outlets, 1 for the A/C on the roof.
(These boxes are not trailer specific, usually they are little sub panels for a workshop setup etc. They are normally used for 2 phase, without the jumper. The 2 phases are connected to the big screws on the top, and the bottom of the breakers go to the individual circuits. In the airstream, this panel is wired differently so it works for the trailer system)
I am not sure if your panel is bigger, or entirely different. I hope this picture even helps you at all.
If you bypassed your cord reel completely by using the Romex, and you were sure that the cord reel was disconnected from the breaker box inside the trailer, then the cord or the reel is definitely not the problem. The key here is that inorder to troubleshoot, you must disconnect parts of the circuit in order to check it. If you leave it connected, then there can still be a short, even if you do use the Romex and not disconnect the neutral or ground.
A jumper between the ground and the neutral WILL trip a ground fault interruptor, but not always a circuit breaker as found in the breaker box of your house. ( GFI is on the actual outlet, breakers are the black things in the box)
I would do one of two things:
1- start over. Make sure there is no 110 going anywhere near the trailer and check the supply cord/reel first. With it disconnected from the breaker box, there must be NO ( that's NO) continuity between the 3 leads. Not between the black and white, not between the black and green, and not between the green and white. Period. If it beeps, then you must find the problem there first before you continue. Next, make sure you have close to zero ohms resistance from the end of the supply cord in the breaker box to the prongs on the connector. that's most likely the .003 Ohm rating you been seeing.
Then, make sure the breaker box is wired correctly. Use my picture for reference, so long that it resembles what you have in your trailer. If not, then we gotta find the right picture.
2- If this is intimidating, then take the trailer in to be checked. A few hundred bucks is well worth your safety.
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Old 08-10-2002, 01:01 PM   #26
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gwe,

your picture is worth 1000 words.

your description of the wiring is 100% correct.

i noted in the photo that the two feed terminals are jumpered at the top of the breakers to energize the other pole of the box.

i wonder if this is where craigs problem is?

what do you think?

we won't know much until he disconnects every thing and trouble shoots it one componet at a time.

john
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Old 08-10-2002, 03:45 PM   #27
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John,

Hard to tell. Maybe davidz can take a snapshot of his breaker box with everything connected, and then we can all pipe in and try and find his problem.
I think it's something simple, but nevertheless dangerous.
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Old 08-10-2002, 03:55 PM   #28
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John,

Hard to tell. Maybe davidz can take a snapshot of his breaker box with everything connected, and then we can all pipe in and try and find his problem.
I think it's something simple, but nevertheless dangerous.
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