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Old 04-12-2015, 09:30 AM   #1
DanC
 
1972 25' Tradewind
1972 23' Safari
Provo , Utah
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Univolt trips house breaker?

72 Tradewind ---

Probably need to replace the Univolt, but here is my question.
When the umbilical is hooked to my generator 30a outlet all works fine. When I am hooked to 30a shore power at a camp site all works fine.
When I am at home and use the 20am adapter on the 30a plug on the umbilical it trips the house breaker. Worked fine last year and at the beginning this year when I was de-winterizing, but now it trips the house 20a breaker.

Has the Univolt decided to be weird (or weirder than usual) and is it time to replace? On my 72 TW it is in the closet in the bathroom and nearly impossible to do any work on it as the door is about 8" wide.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:36 AM   #2
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Sounds like you might have some other load on the circuit also, however if the Univolt is original '72 vintage, it's past time to replace it anyway, IMHO.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:58 AM   #3
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If the idea proposed above does not pan out, try plugging into a different circuit in the house to see if it trips that breaker as well.

If that second breaker does not trip, try replacing the original breaker in the house panel with a new one. It may have gone bad.
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:03 AM   #4
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Progressive Dynamics

I agree with Steve. It sounds like you're pulling more than 20amps and that's tripping the breaker.

I rewired my coach for 50amp service and used a Progressive Dynamics power center. I really like having the "unlimited" power available (i.e. I can run the microwave, the a/c, and a toaster at the same time now....). We've been very happy with it.

But, you can buy just the converter from them in 30amp and replace just the power portion of the univolt and keep the panel if you want.

Or, you can roll the whole thing over the hill and replace it with one of their 30amp panels.

Or do like I did, and convert the whole thing to 50amp and never look back There's a fairly lengthy and detailed thread on here where I went over all I had to do. It's not that hard. But if you just want to swap out to a newer 30amp panel, that's a piece of cake.

There are other brands that are probably just as good. I've just read a lot of good about Progressive Dynamics, so I went that route.

Here are some power units:
RV and Motorhome Power Converters from Progressive Dynamics

Here's what I used:
Ultimate All-in-One 240V, 50 Amp AC/DC Power Distribution Panel

Their "Charge Wizard" is really nice; it works like a battery tender and knows what your batteries need. So it keeps them topped off without frying them.

Hope this helps, and see ya on the road!
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:33 AM   #5
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Are you using an extension cord to plug into house or adapter straight off trailer power cord?
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:43 AM   #6
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is the house breaker a gfci breaker?
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:10 PM   #7
DanC
 
1972 25' Tradewind
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Thanks for all the responses.
1. Nothing else on that circuit that is pulling a load.
2. Tried another circuit with the same results.
3. Adapter from 30 to 20 on the umbilical with the same results
4. Extension cord is a heavy industrial type.
It has worked in the past with this hookup and that is why I am thinking that the Univolt is going bad.

Sounds like it is time to retire the Univolt, but I am selling the trailer (reasons are varied and the list is long) and I don't want to put more $$ or time into it. If I could get to it without removing a couple of partitions, I might tackle it and put in some new technology and add this to the list of things replaced at the time of sale. So, I will continue to use it as is, working with campground and / or generator power and enjoy it while I still have it.

Anyway, I was looking for some other likely cause than what we all agree is the likely culprit - - - old technology.
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlclark View Post
Thanks for all the responses.
1. Nothing else on that circuit that is pulling a load.
2. Tried another circuit with the same results.
3. Adapter from 30 to 20 on the umbilical with the same results
4. Extension cord is a heavy industrial type.
It has worked in the past with this hookup and that is why I am thinking that the Univolt is going bad.

Sounds like it is time to retire the Univolt, but I am selling the trailer (reasons are varied and the list is long) and I don't want to put more $$ or time into it. If I could get to it without removing a couple of partitions, I might tackle it and put in some new technology and add this to the list of things replaced at the time of sale. So, I will continue to use it as is, working with campground and / or generator power and enjoy it while I still have it.

Anyway, I was looking for some other likely cause than what we all agree is the likely culprit - - - old technology.
Install 30 amp service from your home electric panel with 30amp RV box located where you park the trailer. Problem solved.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:16 PM   #9
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Do you have a Ground Fault or Arc fault breaker feeding your AS? It is within reason that the UNIVOLT bridge rectifier would create the conditions necessary to trip them. Temporarily replace the breaker with a standard no fault breaker and see if that doesn't remedy the problem. Cheap, easy and fast.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:44 AM   #10
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I had the same problem with my Safari. It ended up being that I was drawing too much power while testing out the system. I had the 110v fridge running, fan running, 15 incandescent lamps glowing and was testing the 110v outlets with a drill. Once I turned the lamps off problem solved.

Doesn't sound like this is your problem though. Someone did suggest to me that I might have gotten rain into the outside 110v outlet. I think that would trip the breaker in the trailer before tripping the house gfi it's worth a check.

Also try turning off the breaker to the univolt and see if that helps.
If it doesn't trip the problem is in your 12v system or your univolt.
If it does trip then the problem is in your 110v system.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:51 PM   #11
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Seems like you jumped right to the univolt. Could be something else in the 120v system in the trailer. Have you unplugged univolt to see if trailer still trips house breaker or tried plugging univolt directly into extension cord?
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:52 PM   #12
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Just realized from April, probably fixed by now.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlclark View Post
72 Tradewind ---

Probably need to replace the Univolt, but here is my question.
When the umbilical is hooked to my generator 30a outlet all works fine. When I am hooked to 30a shore power at a camp site all works fine.
When I am at home and use the 20am adapter on the 30a plug on the umbilical it trips the house breaker. Worked fine last year and at the beginning this year when I was de-winterizing, but now it trips the house 20a breaker.

Has the Univolt decided to be weird (or weirder than usual) and is it time to replace? On my 72 TW it is in the closet in the bathroom and nearly impossible to do any work on it as the door is about 8" wide.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks.
My 1990 Excel 29 does the same thing but I know why. My circuit I am plugging into is a 15 amp circuit with a 15 amp breaker. If I draw more than 15 amps the circuit breaker on my house breaker box trips. I can run my AC, or my fridge on electric, or the fans, but I can't run the AC and anything much else. Lights are ok as I switched over to LEDs. Your circuit may just be too small. Check the size of the breaker in your house that is tripping. One solution is to have that circuit upgraded from main box to the outside outlet to 30 or more amps.
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