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Old 09-11-2016, 06:26 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2016 30' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 62
New AS Owner - A Breaker Mystery

Let me first say that I am very new to the RV / Airstream world - got our 2016 Classic earlier this year and have taken two short trips. We are getting ready for a 3 week trip in early October to northern Arizona. Just my luck, one of breakers - the one on the panel's far right hand side with the GFCI test button - keeps tripping for an unknown reason. Everytime it trips, the freeze / refrigerator stops working even though I have the unit in "Auto" mode. The coach is connected to 50amp shore power with a good Progressive Industries EMS-PT50C surge protector so I believe the power source to be clean and uninterrupted.

Any thoughts/ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. Dennis
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:09 PM   #2
Rivet Master
2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,192
Maybe the switch is defective?

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Old 09-11-2016, 07:12 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Try switching the fridge to "LP", and see if the problem continues.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:16 PM   #4
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,482
Assuming that returning to a dealer for warranty repair is not feasible for some reason, you have two problems: the GFCI is tripping and the fridge won't run on propane.

First, the GFCI problem, you have two options - there is a ground fault in the trailer wiring somewhere or the GFCI is bad:

Make sure you don't have anything plugged into an AC outlet anywhere in the trailer. A prime location for a problem is the outside AC outlet. Disconnect from shore power and remove the cover and outlet. Check for insect nests, moisture, loose connections, etc. If you find anything out of the ordinary, correct it, put it all back together and test it.

There is another protected outlet in the fridge cavity. You can access it from the door on the outside of the trailer. Look in there and make sure that outlet isn't wet. Again with shorepower disconnected, remove the cover plate and outlet to check for insect nests, etc. After this check, leave the fridge unplugged from the outlet and try the shore power again. If it doesn't trip, there is a problem in the fridge. If it does trip, keep looking. The GFCI also protects the microwave. If you can access the power cord for it, unplug it and see if that corrects the problem.

If the exterior outlets look OK, you could disconnect again and check all the other outlets, but I'd be tempted to replace the GFCI breaker. Write down the part numbers and go to your local big box building supply and get a replacement. With shore power disconnected, remove the cover plate on your breaker box. There should be a screw on one side of the breaker with a black wire captured under it. Loosen the screw and pull out the wire. Then pull on that end of the breaker and it should pop off of the bussbar in the box. Snap the new one in and reconnect the wire. Replace the cover plate and test the system again. If it is still bad, you are in for a trip to your dealer.

Regarding your fridge - it should work in the absence of shore power, but it has to have 12V. Do you have any lights on the fridge control panel? If not, it is not getting 12V. Make sure your store/use switch is in use. When the breaker trips, do your lights work, and are they at normal brightness? If not you may have a battery problem. If you have lights, does the check light come on (if you have one on your model)? If so, it is not getting gas or is not igniting. You could have insect nests in the burner tube.

Sorry to be long-winded, but there is a lot to check if you can't go to the dealer.


"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 09-11-2016, 07:30 PM   #5
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SSquared's Avatar
2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 339
It could be two problems.....the fridge should run fine on propane when the 120 volt power goes off. I don't see how the GFCI problem would cause a propane operation problem.

As for the GFCI, the problem can generally be one of four things:
1) Bad GFCI breaker. Not very likely, but possible.

2) Bad device plugged into an outlet of the circuit. Try unplugging everything from all of your 120 volt outlets. If you can identify outlets that are not on that circuit (which would be any outlets that still have power when the GFCI has popped), you can leave them plugged in. Don't forget the outside outlet. Also, if your trailer is like my Flying Cloud, the fridge is plugged into a hidden outlet. Try unplugging the fridge. (on my trailer, to find this outlet, you have to stick you head into the fridge's outside compartment, twist around, and look straight up to see the outlet).

3) Hidden wiring problem inside the walls. Not very likely. I don't have any ideas on diagnosing this.

4) Water getting into the wiring or an outlet. Has it been raining? Have you had any water leak in your trailer that you have noticed? Try taking the covers off any outlets you have that are on the outside walls, and look for moisture. Don't forget the outside outlet.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:21 AM   #6
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2014 19' Flying Cloud
Reseda , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 279
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There is another GFI by the sink. Trip that then reset. As the others have said, make sure there is nothing plugged in anywhere.

Another place to check, lift up the bed, you will see an access panel that will show you the inverter, check around there if there is anything obvious.

Beyond that, it would be opening every outlet, check from outlet to outlet to find the problem.

Keep in mind, the edges of those outlets from the aluminum is very very sharp. They will cut you.

"No job is so simple that it cannot be done wrong."
"Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege."
"Either I will find a way, or I will make one."
"Sweat is your fat crying"
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