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Old 06-04-2008, 09:57 PM   #1
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Newbie Needing Electrical Help

Hey all!!

So I'm still getting used to my 19 foot Bambi... I just got it last month, and I've only been on two short trips with it, both on full hookups. It never got hot enough for the air conditioning, even.

So lately I'm having trouble with the 120v electrical system. I'm certain it's because I don't know what I'm doing, and I'm hoping there's something obvious that I'm overlooking that you all can help me with.

I tried hooking the trailer up to my new Honda Generator... this worked pretty well for most everything I want. I got the 2000i, and it will do thebig thing I need it to do, which is charge the battery. Anyway, just out of curiousity, I tried firing up the AC to see if it would support it. Unsurprsingly, the power cut off. I nosed around for some sort of breaker that could be reset, but didn't find one that needed it. There's a breaker panel to the left of the oven and below the closet, but none of the breakers had been tripped. Anyway, I caved, and plugged the camper into my friend's house power, and somehow everything reset. The TV worked again, the AC kicked on, it's all good....

Then, tonight, I decided I really needed the AC. I'm still plugged into the house power. I turned it on, and it ran fine for an hour or so, and then it cut off... and all the 120v outlets quit working. Again, I checked for a breaker that needed to be reset, and they were all fine. But still, I couldn't get the power to come back on. So I was chased inside to sleep in a spare bed.

What am I missing? Advice???

Hayley
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:05 PM   #2
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I think it probably tripped a breaker inside your friends house. You're probably plugged in with a standard extension cord to a standard household outlet. Those will not supply enough amps to run the a/c. Try looking for a tripped breaker inside your friend's breaker panel.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:52 PM   #3
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If you were plugged into a regular household outlet (by use of a plug converter, I presume), I agree with Dallas that you probably overloaded the household circuit with the AC. With a hookup that's not 30-amp sometimes it's OK for the AC but not much else...sometimes not...and not with appliances in combination. And the Honda 2000i generator my not be enough to run the AC. Usually it takes two 2000i generators for the AC.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:29 PM   #4
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If you were plugged into an outside GFI outlet or circut have a look at that also, if they become overloaded they will kick off just like a breaker and usually before the breaker does. It would be rated most likely at 15 amps, maybe 20, not enough for the AC. Good Luck.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:38 PM   #5
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I failed to mention too that longish extension cords with small guage wires can also be a bad thing. They don't carry the voltage efficiently.
Best, Rick
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:16 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone!! I totally should have realized that. After I reset the breaker panel in my friend's garage, I saw the breakers labeled very clearly: "15 Amps"... Nice!

THANKS!!

Hayley
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:24 AM   #7
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When you were running the generator you most likely overloaded it as well. There is a led on the generator that will indicate that condition.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:48 AM   #8
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Extension cords

Quote:
Originally Posted by iHayley View Post

Then, tonight, I decided I really needed the AC. I'm still plugged into the house power.

What am I missing? Advice???

Hayley
One of the most common mistakes we see at the Out-of-Doors Mart concerning 110 power is the use of extension cords (EC). Trailers are not very close to the power outlet and they use extension cords.(EC) The longer the run (EC)the greater the voltage DROP. There are a couple of things that can go a foul here.
(1)With the voltage drop combined with a great amount of power consumption, ( AC, Water heater, and Refer) the greater the resistance. The greater the resistance the greater the heat. The first place that you can see the weakest link in this chain is the shore line plug. This can melt the 3 prong plug at the end of your shore line. That is the least of the damage that it does. The other, and the greater concern is...
(2) This voltage drop can harm other components in the chain.
Fan motors, and compressors are designed to run at a certain speed. If they run slow, it can harm them to the point of shortening their life.
Breakers, especially GFI's can be made weak. If they are made weak they can trip prematurely and trip from slight voltage spikes. This can be a BIG hassel.
I know this thread did not get started talking about extension cords (EC), and voltage drops but it is so common I thought I would add it here.

One of the nicest things about Airstreams is how long they last. If taken care of, they will last a long time. If not taken care of, they will still last a long time, but the owner will be a happier camper. :-)

Happy camping
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:55 AM   #9
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Hayley, I noticed no one told you what to do next time you overload your 2000i.
When this happens, you will see a small (I think orange or yellow) light near the outlet plug that says "overload". If this is on, unplug the load (your trailer), and turn the ignition switch "off" for a couple of seconds. If you are quick, the light will go out before the generator shuts down, and you can turn it back on without having to restart. Then you can plug the trailer back in (minus whatever loads overloaded the generator).
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:36 AM   #10
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Hayley, I noticed no one told you what to do next time you overload your 2000i.
When this happens, you will see a small (I think orange or yellow) light near the outlet plug that says "overload". If this is on, unplug the load (your trailer), and turn the ignition switch "off" for a couple of seconds. If you are quick, the light will go out before the generator shuts down, and you can turn it back on without having to restart. Then you can plug the trailer back in (minus whatever loads overloaded the generator).
Thanks for the tip. That will save me a few seconds when Jan turns her hair dryer on HIGH. The EU1000i is only rated for MED.
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