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Old 08-09-2002, 11:23 PM   #21
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OK John,
This is what I found:

Hot (black) wire on outside plug when checked to right side receptacle--- read .002 and continuity alarm went off.
Hot (black) wire on outside plug when checked to left side receptacle--- read .004 and continuity alarm went off.
Neutral (white) wire on outside plug when checked to left side of receptacle--- read .002 and continuity alarm went off.
Neutral (white) wire on outside plug when checked on right side of receptacle---read .004 and continuity alarm went off.
Reading from hot lead on plug to chassis plate between axles---no reading and no alarm.

So what do you think? Budweiser, Miller or Coors?
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Old 08-10-2002, 03:54 AM   #22
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the readings are a bit puzzling

lets take the test one step further, repeat the test this time at the input buss on your breaker panel. before the breakers(you can remove them to make it easy)

same steps, plug hot to black wire terminal, neutral to black. etc.

but this time add another step, with no breakers in your panel check for shorts in the cord itself hot to neut. hot to ground neutral to ground. with all the breakers removed, you should no reading at all. the good news is the your last post confirmed that you have not had the chassis energized! that is a good thing!!

i am a high life man

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Old 08-10-2002, 07:11 AM   #23
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Thanks John,
I am headed out of town this morning and will be back early this evening. When I get home I will run the other tests as you advised. I appreciate the help.
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Old 08-10-2002, 09:31 AM   #24
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good luck by going through your system step by step you will find the problem sooner or later.

the steps you have fone so far have isolated the problem to three possibilitys

one: the cord and reel

two: the breaker box

three: the wires from the box to the outlets and appliances

if you take your volt ohm meter and go through each component one at a time you will find the problem.

a couple of things you mentioned are clues, the fact that the trailer worked on romex leads me to belive it is the breaker box.

the fact you said you changed the breaker box out and still have the problem leads twards the cord reel plug etc. (because you never blew breakers in the trailer)

OR some thing is wired wrong! your post that stated you had continuity from the hot to neutral inside the trailer. this leads me to belive some thing is crossed in your system.

after you test everything seperately. double check your work then have someone look over your shoulder and check it against the diagram in the box if you still have the instructions. (make certain there is no loose hardware rolling around inside the box)

a second set of eyes can catch problems that have been right in front of you all along. (i know it has happened to me before!)

one last thought, do you have a oven/air conditioner throw over switch in the kitchen area. you don't need to trouble shoot it yet i would just like to know.

lotsa luck

john
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Old 08-10-2002, 11:13 AM   #25
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110V Box

Davidz:
Here is a picture of the breaker box in my 1971 Trade Wind.
I have never heard of a jumper between neutral ( white) and ground ( green) to be installed as an additional safety margin.
It is relatively simple, in that the flexible power cord comes in the bottom and feeds the 30A breaker. This is the main breaker for the entire trailer.
It is used in a reverse manner, in that the 110V outside power is actually entering the breaker on the bottom, and feeding the upper connector rail for the breakers via the black jumper wire you see in the picture. The jumper wire goes to the side that has the three 20A breakers. These actually feed the circuits in the trailer. 2 for the outlets, 1 for the A/C on the roof.
(These boxes are not trailer specific, usually they are little sub panels for a workshop setup etc. They are normally used for 2 phase, without the jumper. The 2 phases are connected to the big screws on the top, and the bottom of the breakers go to the individual circuits. In the airstream, this panel is wired differently so it works for the trailer system)
I am not sure if your panel is bigger, or entirely different. I hope this picture even helps you at all.
If you bypassed your cord reel completely by using the Romex, and you were sure that the cord reel was disconnected from the breaker box inside the trailer, then the cord or the reel is definitely not the problem. The key here is that inorder to troubleshoot, you must disconnect parts of the circuit in order to check it. If you leave it connected, then there can still be a short, even if you do use the Romex and not disconnect the neutral or ground.
A jumper between the ground and the neutral WILL trip a ground fault interruptor, but not always a circuit breaker as found in the breaker box of your house. ( GFI is on the actual outlet, breakers are the black things in the box)
I would do one of two things:
1- start over. Make sure there is no 110 going anywhere near the trailer and check the supply cord/reel first. With it disconnected from the breaker box, there must be NO ( that's NO) continuity between the 3 leads. Not between the black and white, not between the black and green, and not between the green and white. Period. If it beeps, then you must find the problem there first before you continue. Next, make sure you have close to zero ohms resistance from the end of the supply cord in the breaker box to the prongs on the connector. that's most likely the .003 Ohm rating you been seeing.
Then, make sure the breaker box is wired correctly. Use my picture for reference, so long that it resembles what you have in your trailer. If not, then we gotta find the right picture.
2- If this is intimidating, then take the trailer in to be checked. A few hundred bucks is well worth your safety.
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Old 08-10-2002, 01:01 PM   #26
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gwe,

your picture is worth 1000 words.

your description of the wiring is 100% correct.

i noted in the photo that the two feed terminals are jumpered at the top of the breakers to energize the other pole of the box.

i wonder if this is where craigs problem is?

what do you think?

we won't know much until he disconnects every thing and trouble shoots it one componet at a time.

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Old 08-10-2002, 03:45 PM   #27
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John,

Hard to tell. Maybe davidz can take a snapshot of his breaker box with everything connected, and then we can all pipe in and try and find his problem.
I think it's something simple, but nevertheless dangerous.
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Old 08-10-2002, 03:55 PM   #28
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John,

Hard to tell. Maybe davidz can take a snapshot of his breaker box with everything connected, and then we can all pipe in and try and find his problem.
I think it's something simple, but nevertheless dangerous.
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Old 08-10-2002, 05:32 PM   #29
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Repreating

Hey, Uwe, do you use cellular?
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Old 08-10-2002, 08:26 PM   #30
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Uwe,
Your breaker box is just a little different from mine but the picture was easy to decipher. I will try to post a picture in a minute or two. The black wire going from pole to pole in your picture is not the wire I disconnected. I do have that one and it has not been disturbed.

John, I ran my power cord plug through the vacuum cleaner port in the bathroom and checked main breaker black wire to the black wire of my 30 amp plug. It shows continuity and a reading of .018. Nothing from black across to neutral or ground. I check for continuity in the neutral line, found no problem with a reading of .004 and no alarm across to black or ground. Ground checked out and no alarm across to black or white.

Something seems strange here though. If I am looking at the back of the 30 amp plug as if I was going to plug it in, the ground pole is at the top but which blade is the black or hot, right or left?
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Old 08-10-2002, 08:33 PM   #31
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Breaker box

Here is the breaker box. You can see the black wire that I disconnected from the neutral side. I took this picture before disconnecting from the ground side and removing entirely.
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Old 08-10-2002, 09:15 PM   #32
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craig,

top is ground

left is hot

right is neutral

this looking at the back of the plug as if you were about to plug it in.

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Old 08-10-2002, 09:19 PM   #33
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John,
That checks out as far as the left black, right white/neutral and top green at the plug. What do you think about the test results from plug to breaker box wires?

Also, I noticed that in one of my previous posts I said that I changed out the breaker box and it should have read that I changed out the 30 amp main breaker. The box has not been tampered with. I do not have an oven/AC throw over switch that I know of.
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Old 08-10-2002, 09:37 PM   #34
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craig

your tests would seem to confirm that your cord is ok

your photo of the box looks like every thing is in order.

i looked in my manual today and it shows no jumper wire between the neut. and ground blocks in both the usa and canadian models. so that means the information i gave you was wrong. at the power comany we ground the neutral every chance we get. however, in your trailer you do not want the ground wire carrying any current because this will trip a gfi.

one other place to look for a problem would be your neutral block, look very carefully for an extra screw that would go thru the block and screw into the box itself this is done in some locations per code in some areas. you do not want this in your application.

the other way you can confirm the neutral block isn't grounded is to remove all wires from it and check it with your ohmmeter to the ground block.

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Old 08-10-2002, 09:54 PM   #35
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John, I'll check the neutral block tomorrow afternoon. I'm trying to juggle activities with some friends in Nashville, 70 miles away, with my garden (which is producing like crazy), my kids and last is the wife who has been raising her eyebrow at me for 2 days now. Don't worry about jumper from ground to neutral. I understand what you were worried about. I wonder if one of the guys at the campground did run a jumper to override the campground nofault system and forgot to take it out. He is an electrician with a factory and maybe he was thinking the same thing. I am still going to keep checking the system to make sure that everything looks good before I start to turn on any of the appliances. I was running a large fan I brought inside the trailer off the house then switched to an interior plug after the breaker in the garage quit tripping. It ran for 45 minutes with no problem.
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Old 08-10-2002, 10:04 PM   #36
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craig

i know where your coming from, i've got more tomatoes than i know what to do with.

let me know if the neutral block is isolated from the box.

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Old 08-17-2004, 10:14 PM   #37
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Davidz,
Guessing at the problem without 'seeing ' it can be hazardous. Just a thought: The ground fault breaker in your house is designed to protect against leakage current to ground. It accomplishes this by comparing the current going out the hot leg with the current returning in the 'neutral leg. If there is even a .001 amp difference, most GFCI's will trip. With your neutral leg grounded inside the trailer, you are introducing a ground fault condition, which is causing the GFCI to trip as it should. ( GFCI's will trip even with the power leg disconnected if the neutral wire becomes grounded.)

The connection between your neutral and ground may be correct, but you should connect to a standard circuit and not a GFCI protected circuit. Also, when using extension cords or cables, the wire AWG size should be adequate for your rig. The 30 amps should be on # 10 AWG size wire, and if it is very long, you may even want to increase the wire size to #8 AWG. What happens with smaller wire is that you introduce a voltage drop and the result can be a burned up motor (AC compressor, blower or even an electric drill!).

Good luck with your problem, and I hope this helped a little!
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:54 AM   #38
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From what I have gathered at this sight and my electrical back ground You DO NOT WANT the neutral and the ground bonded together in Your trailer , home wiring is different.. That in effect could cause the trailer body to become energized under the right condition. John H D I'm guessing you work at a electric utility , look at the warnings on the line trucks about them becoming a shock hazard to people on the ground. When I worked for a public utility co. we had a demonstration device for children that would energize a toy line truck as if a power line had fallen on it(240vac) and we had a metal man attached to a non conductive handle and as we moved him toward the truck we could jump sparks about an inch. Everyone is correct about the jumper that you removed causing the GFI to trip. The proceed carefull and check shorts grounds ect has been good so far I guess I should read a Few more times before I take a stab at more on-line advice. And my electric credentials in case You all are wondering I work as a industrial electrician at a steel mill and handle 1 volt thru 13,800volts State certified Journeyman.
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Old 08-18-2004, 08:45 AM   #39
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I'm thinking it's a GFIC deal where you have leakage between ground and comon.

Start finding stuff with transformers and disconnecting them . Battery charger would be my first suspected item because it is going to to have the potential of bleed back through the system so even if the hot wire is disconnected it might have power from tha battery causing the trip on the ground and common and side everything grounds to the body it would still be connected till you undo the gorund or comom in line with the GFIC.


I had a 60's flourecent light that had issue with it's balast that would trip a GFIC I installed when updating my grandmothers finish basement. That would be the next place I would check is any florecent lighting in the coach that was 12v as well as 110 because if it's dumping anything back to ground it will trip the GFIC every time.
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Old 08-18-2004, 09:01 AM   #40
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Bad Juju

Ground and Netral should NOT be bonded in a trailer or camper.

I recently built a trailer for the government that involved installing a generator. There were instructions that clearly said, "DO NOT bond neutral to ground!".

Lift the jumper and see if your "fault" clears.
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