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Old 12-26-2015, 05:24 PM   #1
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Odd electrical issue

We have a 1954 Airstream. Somewhat at random the electric throws the breaker when plugged in. At home it has been plugged in for 3months with no issues and then all of a sudden it throws the breaker. Any thoughts suggestions and/or recommendations for repair places in the great Atlanta GA area.Thanks
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:49 PM   #2
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I suggest replacing the breaker that is tripping. You can do this in just a few minutes.

Unplug from shore power. Remove the breaker box cover. Pull out the breaker (it will pull out with fingers and slight pressure straight out). Loosen the one screw that holds the wire. Take the old breaker with you to Lowes or HD. Get the exact same breaker (do not let a sales person tell you a different type will work).

edit: If it happens to be a GFCI breaker there will be two wires. Pay attention to the color and location of the wires before taking them loose. Put them back exactly as they were.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:57 PM   #3
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There is a device that measures the isolation of the wiring. The common name is for this device is Megger, but that is just the name of a manufacture. If simple replacement doesn't work for you then call the around and find a shop that has one. Just make sure your appliances are switched off, if possible unplug them.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
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another thought: Does your trailer still have the original single stage Univolt converter?

With shore power on, turn that tripping breaker off, then check to see if the receptacle that powers the converter is on that circuit (by pluging in a light or tool or using a meter). If there is no power, it is on the tripping circuit. It could be that the converter is drawing more current, occasionally, than it should.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:14 AM   #5
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Thanks

Thanks. It was re-wired by the previous owner when restored. Will try the suggestion.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFPosner View Post
We have a 1954 Airstream. Somewhat at random the electric throws the breaker when plugged in. At home it has been plugged in for 3months with no issues and then all of a sudden it throws the breaker.
First and simplest thing to check, is the shore power plug tight in its socket? A loose connection can cause random breaker tripping, as the loose fit causes increased electrical resistance. And as the resistance increases, so does heat. A plug that fits loose in its socket will get warm to the touch.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:26 PM   #7
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First and simplest thing to check, is the shore power plug tight in its socket? A loose connection can cause random breaker tripping, as the loose fit causes increased electrical resistance. And as the resistance increases, so does heat. A plug that fits loose in its socket will get warm to the touch.
Wouldn't a loose shore power plug cause the breaker at the shore power electrical panel to trip, instead of one of the breakers inside the trailer's panel?
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Old 12-27-2015, 02:33 PM   #8
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Wouldn't a loose shore power plug cause the breaker at the shore power electrical panel to trip, instead of one of the breakers inside the trailer's panel?
The OP didn't say WHICH breaker was tripping; all he said was "the breaker."
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Old 12-28-2015, 05:33 AM   #9
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I've isolated it to one of the two breakers in the trailer. I expect it is a short somewhere in the trailer. Now all I have to do is find it.
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:20 AM   #10
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Odd electrical

One thing that will trip GFIC breakers is a generator which is not properly grounded. If there is some interruption in the shore line, this may mimic a ground fault in the eyes of the breaker and create the issue. Even in new wiring these GFIC breakers can be very fussy.

Just my thoughts...
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:29 AM   #11
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A 1954 trailer is unlikely to have a GIFI. Finding a partial short in a trailer is a pain. It is likely an old trailer has degraded insulation on one wire and a rub through to contact aluminum. Sometime,s it means checking at each outlet and lifting wires to isolate the problem.
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:19 AM   #12
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A 1954 trailer is unlikely to have a GIFI<<snip.
I think originally there would have been fuses, not breakers. Definitely there was no GFCI in 1954. The trailer was re-wired at some point.
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:47 PM   #13
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The trailer was re-wired several years ago (not by me). The likely cause is a short somewhere in the trailer. I can separate it out to the line that runs the interior lights/outlets. Don't know how to isolate it beyond that.
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