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Old 05-30-2006, 11:30 PM   #21
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I have an 10 yr old GFR that powers an outdoor receptacle. This weekend it pooped out while Scooter was using the smoker to cook pork butts. The smoker is 1.5 Kw.

The weird thing is that it now puts out between 20 and 28 Vac. Neither the breaker or the GFR tripped.

Has anyone had this happen, or know why?
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Old 06-06-2006, 05:27 AM   #22
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From my past experience I recommend you make sure you disconnect all electronic gadgets from the wall recepticles when troubleshooting GFI tripping, because I have seen many of them that have an AC capacitor on the line input to chassis which unbalance the current in the return and will trip the GFI, depending upon which time of the AC cycle you turn the power on.
Also last year I fixed a MH where the 2 white wires where interchanged on the GFI. That don't matter in a regular recepticle but sure will be intermittent with a GFI. That MH owner spent many bucks and trips to repair centers for over a year trying to find that problem.
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:10 PM   #23
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My .02 worth

I encountered two electrial problems with our 04 Safari.
1) lost power at the bath electrial plug when the GFI would trip. If I remember correctly also lost power at the outlet by the range. This would sometimes happen even without using the outlet. Removed the GFI bath wall plug and found a loose wire on the plug.

2) lost power to the trailer---took the twist end of the power plug (where it connects to the trailer) apart and again found a wire had come loose from the plug.

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Old 06-07-2006, 09:52 AM   #24
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Rivet gfci

[quote=2airishuman]thanks for the suggestions.....

this issue only happened at 2 campsites all of last year but many more this year....5-6 so far...
so i'm thinking a ground connection in the breaker box or near the shore plug is loose....
i'm having the service department check it friday....i'm hopeful, but fully expect they won't be able to reproduce the problem....

at campsites where there have been gfci problems.....yes it happens even with ALL circuit breakers flipped off in the trailer and the 12 volt system disconnected. i haven't unplugged the fridge or microwave, but once the circuit breakers are turned off these items are out of the loop anyway....



i don't think its your campers wiring. w/ your breakers off you are out of the equation like you said. it is on thier side. the fix is to remove your ground like you did. the gfci monitors the neutral and hot leg. greater than a 5ma current and it opens. removing the ground will not affect the performance of the gfci. just like in a old house when you replace the 2prong plugs w/ 3prong all appliances and lights operate the same. you just don't have a ground or the second(safety) path to ground. dont forget that the neutral AND ground are the same (supposed to) at the main panel (shore). if you have a difference (resistance i.e. current/voltage) between the ground and neutral you have a fault conditiion, so it can't start to monitor the hot and neutral w/ no good reference (continuity/zero volts/zero ohms/) between the ground and neutral. it is a bonding issue at the service.

hope this helps

crowbar
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:41 AM   #25
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thanks to those who are trying to help me solve this gfci issue......

i've also read this recent thread....
http://www.airforums.com/forum...highlight=gfci

and hope some of you will chime in...



to recap ny situation:

-many campgrounds now have gfci outlets AT the campsites....
-when i plug into MOST of these outlets.......the outlet trips....
-when this happens i unplug everything in the trailer (except the fridge/microwave) AND flip ALL the breakers OFF....

-still the gfci trips....on the campground outlet....
-changing sites doesn't help.....
-NO ONE else in the park has an issue....
-this only happened twice last season, but already more than 8 times this year....

my work around has been to use a 2 prong adapter (no ground) into the 15/20 amp shore plug.....to provide juice into the trailer....

recently i called airstream about this.....
and my dealer service center called airstream about this.....
also a licensed electrician stopped by the dealership while i was in for service......

the a/s factory person AND the electrician said....

"when a trailer built with gfci outlets is plugged into a shore outlet that also has a gcfi....the 2 will trigger a fault and trip the gcfi plug".....

i understand the statement and knowing zip about electricity, it still makes sense.....

but here is what does not make ANY sense....
how or why would airstream build trailers that will CONFLICT with the modern park outlets?

the factory answer to me was......
"you need to go to parks that don't have gfci outlets".....

read that again folks......the factory recommends going to parks with the older outlets, so as not to trip the gcfi used at newer or upgraded parks????

not only is this a dumb suggestion....i've been camped sided by side with other new airstreams that don't trip the gfci at their sites while mine does!!

so in reality i suspect there is a loose wire somewhere and the factory simply doesn't want to take the hours it might to find this and fix it.....

any thoughts?
cheers
2air'
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:48 AM   #26
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more on this issue.......

ok, so the dealer service center has been advised by the factory that the gfci tripping is NORMAL when a gfci trailer is plugged into a gfci equiped outlet.....so my dealer service guys can't/arent' gonna fix this...since it is supposed to be that way......

they do however agree with me that it is ridiculous to suggest going only to older campgrounds that do not have gfci outlets......

so
they build me a solution....
a work around......
a 30 amp adapter WITHOUT a ground.....

we decide to christen it........

THE JACKSON CENTER DOG BONE

in honor of the mother ship.....

here is a picture of the dog bone without a ground.....

"the jackson center dog bone"
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all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

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Old 06-15-2006, 12:56 AM   #27
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so now i carry

a 50amp to 30 amp dog bone.....
a 30 amp to 15 amp dog bone.....
a 15 amp to 30 amp dog bone......
a 30 amp marinco twist lock to standard 30 amp dog bone.....

and the 'jackson center dog bone'......

yes it is working,
and yes i've been advised it is safe,
and yes it is a DAMN'D silly solution!!

even my dog thinks this is a silly solution......
(note how he rolls his eyes in disgust in the first photo)


so i ask you fellow campers.......
and airstream factory gods.........

is this ANY way to treat a dog?

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-15-2006, 02:48 AM   #28
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My input for what it's worth.
Since you trip the GFCI with all breakers off the problem is in the breaker box itself or in the main line between the breaker box and the plug on the end.
IMHO I don't think using a non grounded plug should be the answer.

Garry
on edit
guess you already know the above
So look for a screw that holds the breaker box that could be too long and touching something on the back side, pull all the breakers and look at the connections and tighten all including the main, make sure "all" the wires on the buss bar are tight, then run a new temporary line into your box just for testing.
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Old 06-15-2006, 06:09 AM   #29
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I believe jcanavera (post #15) and FrenchBern (post #22) have identified the problem. You have some kind of neutral to ground leakage. Turning off the circuit breakers doesn't prove anything; all that does is disconnect the hot legs.

My opinion: whoever told you to clip the ground connection is an ***ot that is trying to kill you.
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:51 PM   #30
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Quote:
My opinion: whoever told you to clip the ground connection is an ***ot that is trying to kill you
ditto that!

take that jackson center dog bone and throw it away! then hope your dog does not retrieve it!

i cannot believe some one at the factory would even suggest such a silly idea as a connector without a ground!

the person who reccomended that should be fired!

the problem is in your cord or your breaker box. take it to some one or hire someone that is qualified to repair your trailer properly before someone gets hurt!

most likely the paper insulation strip that prevents neutral wires from touching the case of your breaker box has been punctured. or some dummy grounded the neutral buss bar with too long of a screw!

john
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:11 PM   #31
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hi john, mark, garry and others....

i really value your guidance on this issue.....

to be clear the factory didn't suggest the groundless adapter....
a licensed electrican did....
i'm sure the liability control meeting in jc regularly remind the tech support folks NOT to suggest any gimmicks....


but what the factory DID suggest is just as silly......
"go to rv parks that don't have gfci outlets"
is pretty close to the exact words they offered.....
"a gfci cannot be plugged into a gfci....it will trip"
was the jc technical jargon.....honest.

never mind that others in the same park with the same setup had no issues..

i considered the cord, so i purchased 2 new ones......without help....
well they are new and look nice, but still the gfci trips...

my thoughts were a long screw, worn insulation, a loose wire and so on...
or a bad breaker....
the factory would not confirm any of these possibilites.....
and did not support the dealer service department chasing these issues...
in other words i don't think they authorized the service time?

they (factory folks)just repeated 'no gfci plugged into a gfci'.....
or the park box must be bad....

i'd be useless pulling breakers myself or messing with the wiring.... i am still within warranty and plan to go back to jc and have them trace and find the faulty connection.....but not for 3-4 months.....

and i will post whatever is found.....
when its found.
with pictures.

thanks again....
2air'
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:24 AM   #32
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gnd neutral leakage

reading some of these other posts. you may still have a ground loop. like someone suggested that your neutral bar and ground bar may be bonded at your camper panel. this should not be. you can ring it out w/ a ohm meter. you should get a open reading (high resistance) if you get a low resistance (0) that would be your problem.meter is between gnd and neutral. when doing this have camper disconnected from land pwr.
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:30 PM   #33
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2Air,

I couldn't resist getting in on the electrical puzzle in an effort to bring this down a few notches on the technical scale.

A few months ago I was installing new wiring for shore power in my í66 Safari. I bought a new and larger panel box to accommodate the newly added circuits, and discovered that it did not have a separate ground bus. I asked a licensed electrician how to deal with this issue, and he told me to put both the ground and neutral on the same bus (i.e. metal connection).

When I connected to shore power, the Ground Fault Interrupt (GFI) breaker in my house, tripped.

I created my own ground bus and separated the neutrals from the ground, reconnected to power, and everything worked.

Needless to say, I lost confidence in the electrician and consulted my hunting buddy, who has worked 10-15 years as an Onan technician. When I told him the advice I had received, and that it had tripped a breaker, he immediately told me that I had a GFI somewhere in the shore power. I didnít ask further, as the problem was solved, but he seemed to imply (i.e. donít take this one to Vegas and bet on it) that the electricians advise would have worked if a GFI was not involved??!

What I hear others saying is that your neutral (normally white wires) and ground (normally green wires) are not completely separate.

For example, if your panel box is grounded (and it should be), and a neutral touches the panel - then the breaker on the shore line will trip. Realize if this is the case, that the breaker tripping could be intermittent, depending on the sureness of the connection/contact. This could be the case if the proper hardware was not used/installed to keep the wiring from rubbing against the panel box where the wire enters the box.


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Old 06-16-2006, 05:13 PM   #34
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Hi SPiffy,
The electrician you talked to is apparently used to wiring HOUSES
the 'old' fashion way. Until the code changed a while back, that's how
in was done....all grounding conductors and neutrals terminate on the same
buss. When the code changed, these conductors are required to be separate, on differant ' buss ' bars, with the supplied bonding screw
discarded. The additional 'grounding bar' has to be purchased
separately. They can be bought in any Home Depot or Lowes.
Also, when these wires were tied to the same 'bar' a breaker or gfci
would trip if another gfci was plugged into the protected circuit.
I agree there has to be a 'bonding' issue some where in the trailer and it
was a good idea to separate the wires in your panel...make sure the bonding screw is removed (should be a green screw on the neutral bar).
Good luck!Steve
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Old 06-18-2006, 10:05 AM   #35
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ground loop

the only place your ground and neutral are bonded is at the service panel (were power comes in off the street) and that is it. by code. even w/ gfi's. any were else and the neutral needs to be isolated.

lol
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:50 PM   #36
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2air,
I was tripping the GFIC at a local campground and found it was due to a bad 30 amp plug. There was some sort of short inside. A maintenance man who worked in a factory was on the site next to me. Little did I know, while he was looking at it he hooked up a jumper wire from neutral to ground. While this may work in a house, it does not work with GFIC circuits. I replaced the plug head and it still tripped the campground breaker. I even bought romex wire, bypassed my electrical hose reel and wired straight into the fuse box. Still no go. I came back home and connected into the garage GFIC with a 15 amp dogbone and it still tripped. I looked at my wiring diagram and found an extra wire, the jumper he had wired in. I disconnected from shorepower, pulled out the jumper wire and everything started working fine. It was in the 30 amp plug all along and replacing it fixed my problem.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:38 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowbar68
hey 2air! was wondering if your problem was fixed? were you able to get rid of your dog bones?
hi crowbar68 and craig....

lots of good advice given here and i appreciate it. also i saw your posts in the other thread but moved my reply over here...where most of the info resides...

i do suspect that a ground2neutral short is somewhere in the breaker box or 30amp connector....or in any of the many wiring connections....

in salem at the international rally, a/s had factory techs....doing repairs and service. they installed new tank sensors on my trailer and committed to inspecting my wiring for this issue....

they never got to it...to much other work to do....also i suspect they knew this might take several hours of testing and investigating....

so i plan to swing by the factory in the fall
and stay there until this issue is resolved

i'm not electrically skilled, don't want to hire a non a/s tech for this issue...
it's still under warranty, so i'm gonna ask them to solve the issue.
perhaps the new a/c that was installed twice last summer, has a screw into something it shouldn't, or perhaps the breaker box has a loose wire or the 30 amp connector has worn a short into the wiring....

hope to report back positively and definitively in the fall.., until then i carry the bone!

thanks for asking guys..
2air'
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Old 07-23-2006, 10:36 AM   #38
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warranty

it definetly sounds like your on the right track. if it's under warranty i would let them handle as well. i had a buddy who did a small electrical side job w/ a gfci involved. it was basic few plugs. he did the job and the gfci would not hold at all. i went out to help trouble shoot. long story short ( 3 1/2 hrs) we found he tightened a connector to hold the romex in the box so much it bit into the neutral and essentially grounded it! sound familiar. we ripped his whole little side job apart to find this. and i got a fat steak dinner out of it. simple but hard to find.

when are you going to the factory? i don't live to far from their and thought about doing the tour and some repairs but i need to get more info. on repairs and such. keep me posted. i'm sure they will be able to repair.


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Old 07-23-2006, 10:41 AM   #39
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lol laughing now

Quote:
Originally Posted by crowbar68
the only place your ground and neutral are bonded is at the service panel (were power comes in off the street) and that is it. by code. even w/ gfi's. any were else and the neutral needs to be isolated.

lol
crowbar

i just realized lol means Laughing Out Loud! i thought it was Lots Of Luck! to many abbreviations. i hope i didn't offend. i'm laughing now!


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Old 10-04-2006, 08:36 PM   #40
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hello all u electrically minded readers...

time to update this thread

and the news is good!

to recap, since august 05 i've not been able to properly plug in

at any campground with a gfci on the shore pole.

the nanosecond the 3 prongs touched connnections,

the gfci would trip...click...no juice.

initally my a/s service dept was told by the factory folks that

a 'gfci could not be plugged into a gfci' ------- so find other parks for camping...

PLEASE! how many ways is THAT advice nonsense?

while in salem the a/s factory guys told me the same thing....yep to my face.

anyway several here suggested a neutral2ground short somewhere in the trailer...

ah but where? and why? and how to find it?

eventually i learned the proper way to isolate the fault was pull each breaker,

then using a voltmeter touch each ground and neutral,

eventually finding the 'open circuit' with the fault.

then each outlet/connection on that circuit would need evaluation.

not only could this take hours, my only experience with electricity is using it!

so while in j/c last week the factory guys finally agreed to bird dog this issue...basically as described above. potentially an all day event.

what did they find?

open circuit was on the a/c breaker...

basically there is a junction box inside the air conditioner housing where the unit wiring is joined to the trailer wiring....

and the cover plate on this junction box had been overtightened in such a way as to pinch/short the neutral wire insulation...

viola! the short was found! recall this started in august 05?

that was when the same factory service department,

installed a new (the 3rd ) air conditioning on my trailer...

seems the short they found was a short they caused!

oh well, these things happen, and i'm just glad they found the problem! i was not imagining this problem! i am properly grounded again!

i can now retire the j/c dogbone (c post #27) since the n/g short cause by j/c in the a/c was found at j/c!

so even the factory finest can short circuit occasionally....

cheers and thanks for reading!

2air'
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