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Old 09-14-2013, 11:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlsmit1 View Post
(Incidentally, I read the bit about taping the end of the cord. Yoiks, is the trailer-end of your supply cord MALE? Mine is female. Seems a much better idea!)
My old trailers always had the flex power cord hard wire attached. I only meant to say if you undid the hard wire to test the cord, tape the ends. Of course my new trailer has a female end to the power cord at the trailer side so it is not live and sticking out there...

You are going to have to do more looking for the problem I guess, especially a bond between the neutral and the ground, a problem with the water heater, the heater in the refrigerator, wet outlets or who knows what other possibility, including a defective converter/charger. You may have to disconnect one circuit at a time, hooking it directly to the GFCI to see which one trips the unit.

Electrical problems are not easy to do long distance, best of luck to you.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:20 PM   #16
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just tossing this out there.....

didn't some of the older trailers have fans that worked off both ac and dc and if still wired that way could it cause the problem?

if it was refurbished, was the breaker/fuse panel redone?

is the wiring 3 conductor?

since the cord is ok and it trips with the breakers off, wouldn't the issue be between the trailer connector and the breaker buss?

is the cord polarity correct?
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:09 AM   #17
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The original 110 wiring is still in use for the plugs. The circuits to the "heavy" stuff like the fridge are new, and the batteries / inverter / circuitry to the shore power port are new.

I agree that the problem is somewhere between the breaker bus and the shore power port. I'm not sure whether I can further determine that the problem is between the power port and the inverter/charger, because I'm not sure whether a ground fault in the breaker bus can be "seen" through the inverter. But I am guessing by context that it probably can and will look in there.
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:12 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=tlsmit1;1354471]But in a bonded trailer, the skin and all the other bits are in continuity with the neutral pin of the supply cable. So there *is* somewhere for the current to go: out the neutral.
QUOTE]

If the ground and neutral are bonded inside the trailer, the trailer is wired incorrectly. The only place the ground and neutral should be bonded is inside the primary meter base and/or primary service panel. The ground and neutral should never be bonded at any point beyond, specifically not in any secondary panel. That defeats the safety factor.

Yes, the ground and neutral would be in continuity once the trailer is plugged in, but they should not be bonded at any point inside the trailer. This secondary connection/path to ground is the safety feature (having the least resistance).

If you would post a photo of the panel inside the trailer, it might help.
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:19 PM   #19
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I'm not sure where it's bonded. I will take a peek as soon as I can get out there, but the panels are mounted sideways in the rear closet, so I have to be a contortionist to get a good look at them.

My inverter/batteries are too small to drive my A/C, so the overall schematic looks like:

(power in)
|
(main panel with A/C breaker and breaker to inverter)
|
(inverter) <-> (batteries)
|
(panel with all the circuits other than the A/C)

But the system will trip with all breakers on both panels thrown open.

So either or both panel could in principle be bonded. I'll check ASAP.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:46 PM   #20
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You keep referring to an "inverter". Do you have an "inverter" and a "converter" in the coach?
If you have an "inverter" wired to the power panel and try to plug it in to shore power. That is not correct. The "inverter" output should not be connected to any device that is connected to the shore power.
On the other hand, a "converter" is powered by 120 volts, then converts it to 12 volts DC to charge the battery(s) and power the DC devices when plugged in to shore power.
You can eliminate, at least temporarily the "converter" by simply unplugging it.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by tlsmit1 View Post
The real question that I'm asking is *if* a trailer has a bonded ground, is it made any less safe by removing the ground pin from the supply line? And if so, why?
Yes it would be dangerous, if you plugged into an outlet that has the polarity reversed the shell of the trailer would be connected directly to the hot wire.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:48 PM   #22
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On "some" inverters the ground is bonded to neutral and causes the very problem you are having.

You might take the inverter out of the circuit and see what happens.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:06 AM   #23
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GFCI 20amp Breaker keeps tripping....HELP!

I just bought an Argosy 30 1978. When I plugged in to the shore line I noticed the 20am GFI kept tripping. I tried several times to reset...not happening. I might add I am hooked up temporarily to a 110 3 prong outlet. I have the adapter in place with a 15ft medium duty extension cord. Could this cause the tripping problem. A/C works outside outlet works. I am new to all of this. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:17 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by foleywalker View Post
I just bought an Argosy 30 1978. When I plugged in to the shore line I noticed the 20am GFI kept tripping. I tried several times to reset...not happening. I might add I am hooked up temporarily to a 110 3 prong outlet. I have the adapter in place with a 15ft medium duty extension cord. Could this cause the tripping problem. A/C works outside outlet works. I am new to all of this. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Here's what I think…

Since you have a GFCI circuit already in the trailer, plugging into a GFCI shore power source means you've got two GFCI's in series. Because of the internal wiring that allows a GFCI to detect a current leak, the upstream GFCI mistakenly sees the downstream GFCI as a ground fault. Turn off the breaker for your trailer's internal GFCI-protected circuit, and the shore power GFCI should quit tripping.
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