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Old 05-29-2016, 11:08 AM   #1
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1983 31' Airstream310
Santa Rosa , California
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can't hook up 120V

We just got an '83 310. When I hook up 120 from the garage, the GFI in the garage trips. This happens even if all the breakers are open. Anyone heard of this. I have looked for a switch to be sure to be one 120v and not generator, no luck. Thanks justjim707
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:04 PM   #2
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Yes, you cannot hook up lots of RV's to a GFI protected circuit. I've tried it and I'm not sure why. I suspect there is a radio frequency filter or some high resistance path to ground in the RV tripping the GFI.

Plug it into a non-GFI source and it will most likely work.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:15 PM   #3
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Are you using a 30a to 120a adapter, "dog bone". GFIs can be kinda tricky. Might be the adapter youre using, could be an old worn out GFI outlet, could be a ground issue in your panel, could be a number of things. Whatever you do, start with the easiest first. Assuming youre using a 30amp to 120amp adapter, have you plugged just the adapter into the outlet without your power cord attached? Check your grounds on both ends of your power cord. Check you plug on the power cord. Thats where I would start.

Mike
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:17 PM   #4
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GFI outlets look for an imbalance hot and neutral line current. You might have a fault or an unintentional leakage path in one of your 120 V circuits in the trailer. One way to help diagnose this is the disconnect all your 120 V breakers in your trailer and then connect your trailer to the GFI outlet. Connect back the breakers one by one until you identify which circuit contains the fault.
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
GFI outlets look for an imbalance hot and neutral line current. You might have a fault or an unintentional leakage path in one of your 120 V circuits in the trailer. One way to help diagnose this is the disconnect all your 120 V breakers in your trailer and then connect your trailer to the GFI outlet. Connect back the breakers one by one until you identify which circuit contains the fault.

OP said it happens with all breakers open.

Some things to check:

Hot to neutral reversal at GFCI is possible. Get an outlet checker and plug it into GFCI. It may be wired wrong. Problem would not show up with corded items.

If OK, disconnect power cable from 310 and try with just the cable.

If OK, check cable with ohmmeter for proper connections, hot to hot, etc.

If still OK, check 310 with ohmmeter to make sure that hot and neutral or neutral and ground are not reversed.

Al
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:39 PM   #6
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You may need to get a digital ohm meter and start poking around. GFI's trip when there is a very tiny current leak to ground, they monitor the current going through the hot wire and if the same amount does not come back through the neutral wire they are supposed to trip. The amount of current that can trip a GFI is very tiny, it could be that your power cord is damp inside or that the insulation in the walls is damp. Some GFI's are less sensitive than others, you might get lucky by changing out the GFI. I would check for a high resistance path from the hot and neutral wires to ground using a ohm meter. GFI's are not a totally reliable device, they are mass produced after all; I've seen trailers with live skins even though they are plugged into one. I've also removed GFI's more than once in order to make a refrigerator with damp insulation work. It never hurts to check out things with a good Volt/Ohm meter to be sure what the situation is.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:21 PM   #7
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Thumbs up fixed

Thanks to all, I just connected the 120v to a non GFI protected outlet and it worked. On to the next project-after a nap. Jim
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:35 PM   #8
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I had this happen regularly hooking up to my garage too (with GFI). My cable can reach my front porch outlet (with GFI too) and I have had no problem.
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