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Old 11-03-2013, 10:14 PM   #1
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Functioning Normally?

Hello all. I've got a 25ft 2013 FC FB. 30A shore power service.

The problem is, while running the heater (heat pump) and the water heater on electric, my main 30A breaker trips. Question is: is this normal behavior? Nothing else on the trailer is on at the time. Well... the refrigerator is on as well. I guess I'm just not too familiar with how much amps these appliances should be drawing.

It's a shock to be sleeping and then wake up shivering at 4AM because the inside of the trailer has dropped to 50 degF due to the main breaker tripping and shutting off the heater.

Any info or insight would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:21 PM   #2
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I think you have a problem because I've always been able to run all those things at the same time without tripping the breaker.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Hopefully it's something I can figure out on my own. Really dont want to tow the AS 300 miles to the dealer.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
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Any Electrician should be able to test the current draw of each appliance, and if need be, replace the braker. Now if the heat pump/air conditioner is faulty, that will require warranty repair.

If I had to bet, I'd bet you have a bad circuit braker.

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Old 11-03-2013, 10:33 PM   #5
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If the converter was also charging the batteries, you may have maxed out power. Since the gas furnace runs off 12vdc and puts out more heat with less noise that the 120Vac powered A/C unit with heat pump function, using the heat in gas mode you would not have this power constraint.

We learned to turn off the water heater at night to conserve energy and noises associated with heating water right under the pillow area.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:35 PM   #6
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Heat Pump about 13 to 14 amps. Water Heater, 10 to 12 amps. Refrigerator about 3 amps. Converter/charger, couple of amps, in the middle of the night. I assume you are not using any other electric heater along with the heat pump.

You may be close to the capacity of your main breaker. They are not always right on the money, that is they do not always trip at exactly 30 amps, sometimes less (sometimes more too).

I would tighten all the connections in the breaker panel first, and then put a new 30 amp breaker in. It is a $6-$7 item at Lowe's or Home Depot. Save you a trip to the dealer which would cost far more.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
If the converter was also charging the batteries, you may have maxed out power. Since the gas furnace runs off 12vdc and puts out more heat with less noise that the 120Vac powered A/C unit with heat pump function, using the heat in gas mode you would not have this power constraint.

We learned to turn off the water heater at night to conserve energy and noises associated with heating water right under the pillow area.
The batteries pretty much stay charged full time since the trailer is never without shore power. I try to use propane as little as possible simply to conserve it in the event that electric power is lost and the refrigerator has to switch to propane and I have to use the propane furnace. Since this is the first travel trailer I've owned and I've only had it for a relatively short period of time, I have no idea how much propane the furnace uses. If I could use propane heat for 4-6 nights that average 45 degF or so it would be worth it. But if the propane supply only lasted a couple nights, may be more of a hassle than it's worth. (I use the trailer about 2 nights out of every week)

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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Heat Pump about 13 to 14 amps. Water Heater, 10 to 12 amps. Refrigerator about 3 amps. Converter/charger, couple of amps, in the middle of the night. I assume you are not using any other electric heater along with the heat pump.

You may be close to the capacity of your main breaker. They are not always right on the money, that is they do not always trip at exactly 30 amps, sometimes less (sometimes more too).

I would tighten all the connections in the breaker panel first, and then put a new 30 amp breaker in. It is a $6-$7 item at Lowe's or Home Depot. Save you a trip to the dealer which would cost far more.
Hmm. Good info. Given what you have said, I very well MAY be pushing the limits of my particular breaker. I'll try forgoing the convenience of turning on the water heater before bed (so the water is nice and hot when I get up for a shower) and just get up a little early to give it time to heat up.

If the issue persists even without the water heater on I'll look into replacing the breaker.

THANKS FOR THE REPLIES EVERYONE. MUCH APPRECIATED.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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Do you know what the incoming voltage is? If you have low voltage at the power source. Say 110 volts as opposed to 120 volts. You will draw more current.
The circuit breaker trips at around 30 amps. It doesn't know the voltage.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:43 AM   #9
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I have always been able to run HP, WH, fridge and any LED lighting without AS breaker issues. I have had a couple of park breakers trip. I also believe a quick and cheap experiment is to replace the 30A breaker. Sometimes they are weak or just plain bad off the shelf new.

I do believe if your batts were low and the converter was putting out at a high level, there may be enough load to trip the main as any other significant load added to the above listed items have tripped park breakers for me in the past. In those cases, I have just used gas for the WH.

I have NEVER had my AS main trip.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:25 PM   #10
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We used our 2013 25FB International Serenity on a wilderness site (no commercial power available) for five nights. We were northwest of Flagstaff at 7,400 feet the last weekend in September. The nights usually got down to freezing and the coldest night was 27 degrees. We did some cooking on the gas stove and did run the water heater as needed. During the day the temps would rise to the 60s, so the furnace was not running.

We started with full two 30 pound propane tanks. We did not need to switch to the second tank. When we got back, the first tank had just gas left in the tank, no liquid, so we exhausted just the one tank on that trip.

We did run a generator during the day to replenish the batteries as the 150 watt solar panel could not completely recover the batteries from the furnace blower operation at night.

We were at the Albuquerque Ballon Festival for five nights this year and only used one tank of gas and all meals were cooked on the stove. The generator helped recharge the batteries.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:51 AM   #11
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Hmmm, bet Switz intended his post for the "Propane usage- Is this normal" thread.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:45 AM   #12
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Using an iPad overseas and things don't always align to where I think I am. Sorry for incorrect location, if a moderator wants to move my post to the correct thread that would be fine.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:12 AM   #13
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Question

We have an older Classic...but have never tripped the main breaker, no matter the load.

Could it be a transfer switch/relay problem? Is it even in the circuit under the OP's circumstance?

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Old 11-05-2013, 08:20 AM   #14
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Holtenc, I'm afraid you Have maxed out the load. We have a 2012 25' FB FC and suffered a similar fate on our "shake down" voyage. We ended up with a blown ATS (auto transfer switch) because, back then, Airstream put a 30amp fuse in the ATS. If you check your owner's manual, it will probably show that your heat pump actually draws 19 amps during operation with a surge all the way to 25 amps on startup--and that is totally normal. Add the 10 or so amps on top for the water heater and you have a problem.
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