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Old 01-11-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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Question Mystery outage

I have a mystery outage with my Bambi II that has me stumped. While waiting for my house to have a 30 amp line dropped I have been using a 30 to 20 amp plug to run the lights and fridge. Everything has been working fine. This morning I went to swap the extension cord out that that I was using for a shorter one. Swapped and plugged the new one in. The GFCI plug blew in the garage. I reset the breaker and it blew again. Went back out the trailer flipped the power back to the battery and started to make sure that everything was still working. On board breakers are fine. Everything worked except a light over the sink and of course the AC plugs. Visually checked all the wiring and connections that I could get too and all looked ok. I have tried the AC with 3 different extension cords with no change. Any ideas?
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:51 PM   #2
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Do you have a plug that doesn't have a gfci breaker installed on it. Try plugging it into that plug.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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Sounds like the second cord is defective. Use the first one.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6PackCharlie View Post
Do you have a plug that doesn't have a gfci breaker installed on it. Try plugging it into that plug.
Nope, all my plugs are GFCI protected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Excella CM View Post
Sounds like the second cord is defective. Use the first one.
As I said in the OP, I have tried 3 different cords, all with the same results.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:10 AM   #5
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You may try the power outlet with a lighter load like a blow dryer and see if the GFI trips. Your GFI may have reached the end of life.

The GFI on the outlet I use for my trailer suddenly started tripping. A new GFI solved the problem.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:13 AM   #6
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RVs trip GFCIs frequently. If you search around, you'll find a couple topics on the issue. Sometimes you can trace it to a specific cause, like a wiring problem in the camper itself, but even that can be difficult to find. Ours trips our GFCI outlet too (annoying, considering it's mounted about 5' from the trailer!), and it does so randomly - we haven't yet figured out what causes it to suddenly trip, though I admit I haven't spent much time figuring it out - I just run an extension cord to an outlet that doesn't have this issue.

I think this is why RV outlets (the 30 amp versions) are not GFCI protected.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:43 AM   #7
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I will have a 30amp extension cord waiting for me when I get home this evening. It will be able to reach the 30amp outlet I had installed yesterday. Hopefully that will do the job.
This is starting to be almost as much fun as boat ownership.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:00 PM   #8
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Well it is still a mystery, but it is fixed. I got my 30 amp extension cord today. Plugged it in and everything works just as it is supposed too. All lights, AC plugs and AC work just fine. Life Is Good!!
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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I believe it is because now the power source is not on a GFI breaker. I would suggest that you still do a thorough check out of the electrical system in your trailer. Confirming that the "hot leg" the "neutral" and the ground of the AC system is wired correctly.
There are a number of web sites that can help you with the process. Just type in RV electrical.
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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Twinkie, definetly will get back to it but right now moving on to other projects, such as getting the hot water heater to fire up. One project at a time.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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These problems are nearly always caused by a short between ground and neutral. Sometimes in older trailers someone did that deliberately. It's not safe and should be corrected even though you have the new outlet to use.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:17 PM   #12
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When ever I take a look around some hidden compartment I find wires twisted together. Some are taped (usually the tape is all dried out and falling off) and some are just bare wires (tape has already fallen off - scary). I have been keeping a pocket full of twist connectors close just to reconnect them as found. I would not at all be surprised if there is a short to ground somewhere.
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