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Old 03-28-2015, 11:42 PM   #1
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Where to start? 20A breaker pops after ~5sec plugged in

So I'm working on the '72 Ambassador I picked up recently, decide to test out the electrical system before I move on to water and gas systems. I run a cord out to it, plug it in, and after about five seconds I can hear the 20A breaker pop.

Now, the *other* 20A breaker for the AC doesn't have any issues (and the AC works great, which was a big relief), but I'm not quite sure where to start for the main breaker. I haven't messed with the fuses on the Univolt, no idea how old those may be, but they all look to be in decent shape. I don't have a battery installed, just trying to run it off the land-line til I get everything checked out.

There doesn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary, and I've even unplugged / turned off the fridge to pull that out of the system. The wiring to / from the breaker and at the univolt look to be in good shape, no frays or anything like that.

Any ideas on where to start?
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:29 AM   #2
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On our '69 Tradewind one 20A breaker powers all the outlets except the outside outlet and the bathroom outlet witch are powered by the other 20 and breaker.

I noticed that the wiring from the main 30 amp breaker comes around from the street side to the curb side near the univolt then goes into the body to the front of the trailer breaker box via the ceiling then the one breaker that has all but two outlets goes behind the info center to an outlet then to the street side outlets and the one outlet on the curbside inside.

The other 20 amp breaker feeds the outside outlet and bathroom outlet , univolt and possibly the a/c via the ceiling.

I was going to install a GFI outlet but found the wires at the outlet were to short to pull the outlet to work on it.

If you have all the outlets empty, start in the info center and work your way back.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:11 PM   #3
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Did some trial and error this morning with some input from some local AS owners. Started by getting smart and setting the A/C breaker off, as well as the general circuit breaker, plugging in the cable outside, and going back inside to reset the general circuit breaker. Immediately heard a buzzing noise I couldn't hear from outside, and then the breaker popped again.

Quick look confirmed the noise was coming from the Univolt, and after doing a follow-up test with all the fuses removed from the Univolt, confirmed that it's causing the breaker to pop.

So, time to order a new converter and replace that dusty old unit. Side benefit of this is that I can change out for the automotive blade-style fuses instead of the glass ones.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:56 PM   #4
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You can get GFCI for some breakers. That would protect the circuit.
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Old 03-29-2015, 03:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by flaagan View Post
Did some trial and error this morning with some input from some local AS owners. Started by getting smart and setting the A/C breaker off, as well as the general circuit breaker, plugging in the cable outside, and going back inside to reset the general circuit breaker. Immediately heard a buzzing noise I couldn't hear from outside, and then the breaker popped again.

Quick look confirmed the noise was coming from the Univolt, and after doing a follow-up test with all the fuses removed from the Univolt, confirmed that it's causing the breaker to pop.

So, time to order a new converter and replace that dusty old unit. Side benefit of this is that I can change out for the automotive blade-style fuses instead of the glass ones.
Good troubleshooting there. You will do well with those instincts!
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:25 PM   #6
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When you replace the inviolate, you may wish to consider replacing the breakers as well. Our 1997 had an issue with tripping breakers and simply replacing them with new ones did the trick. I now cycle my breakers periodically. There is an entire thread o somewhere on the forums about it.
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:58 PM   #7
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Yup, plan on picking up a new set as part of the upgrade/ update.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:43 PM   #8
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So this is what I did ....
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:17 PM   #9
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If the breaker is an antique, replace it first. Super easy fix.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:19 PM   #10
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Very nice!

For the time being I'm just looking to get the AS into operational status, I don't want to miss the opportunity to use it this coming summer. However, should, after some usage, the idea of holding onto it for the long run remain appealing, I intend to do a proper remodel / update to it (likely in a couple of years), so getting everything as nice looking as you've done would definitely be the goal.

For the time being, for a bit of looking around, the following looks to be what I'll need to get it in working order again:

(x2) 20 Amp single pole
20 Amp Single Pole Circuit Breaker


(x1) 9 Position fuse block
9 Position Fuse Block

(x1) 70 amp RV Converter / Charger
PD 9270C 70 Amp RV Converter/Charger

If anything else may be needed, or suggestions for future upgrades can be given, the input will all be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:30 PM   #11
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You certainly don't need a 70 amp converter. That is waaay over kill. IMHO


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Old 03-30-2015, 12:37 AM   #12
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You certainly don't need a 70 amp converter. That is waaay over kill. IMHO
The Univolt in it is a 45 amp setup, I intend to add a microwave and tv (at least) in the short term, and still have to find out if a new fridge is needed. The price difference between this one and lower ones isn't enough to write home about, so unless there's a particular technical / electrical reason not to get this one, may as well...?
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:52 AM   #13
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45 Amps is sufficient for all the "as installed" lighting, fans, and water pump. Run time for everything is dependent on the state of the battery, its total AmpHour rating and the total load placed on the battery. If you plan on adding DC goodies to your rig the higher capacity will help your battery to maintain near steady state, and faster recovery. My choice of battery is the Interstate Deep Cycle green top. Awesome x 2.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:02 AM   #14
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Battery box

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Originally Posted by Glenritas View Post
So this is what I did ....
Is that battery box vented?
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