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Old 07-08-2019, 12:06 PM   #1
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2019 23' Flying Cloud
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Problem connecting to home GFI circuit

2019 23' Flying Cloud FB

When I try to connect to one of my home's exterior 20A GFI outlets, The GFI protecting the home circuit ALWAYS trips. I've tried different 30A to 20A adapters, different extension cords, different home GFI circuits, but always trip the home GFI. None of the breakers in the trailer trip. When I connect to a non GFI protected circuit (like a campground 30A post), there is no indication of a problem. If I connect anything else to any of the home's GFI circuits, there is no indication of a problem.

If I turn off the circuit breaker in the trailer that is for the Inverter circuit, I can then plug the trailer into any of the home's GFI circuits without tripping the home's GFI and everything else in the trailer appears normal.

The Inverter seems to function OK when I'm not plugged into shore power.

I haven't been able to find anything in the AS manuals that gives a clue about what the problem could be.

Any ideas as to what the problem is?
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:13 PM   #2
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I have no idea of the cause, but my trailer behaves the same way, and I know that it has no shorts or faults.

I think I remember others on this forum who experience the same issue.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:59 PM   #3
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GFCIs do not like to look downstream and see another GFCI. Turn off your trailer GFCI breaker or the breaker feeding the circuit with the GFCI and see if it still trips.


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Old 07-09-2019, 10:56 PM   #4
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My 2019 25' does the same thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by stahlhutdp View Post
If I turn off the circuit breaker in the trailer that is for the Inverter circuit, I can then plug the trailer into any of the home's GFI circuits without tripping the home's GFI and everything else in the trailer appears normal. ... Any ideas as to what the problem is?
My 2019 25FB does exactly this. Sometimes (about 50% of the time), after I have successfully plugged the trailer into my home's GFCI, I can reset the breaker to the inverter and it does not trip the home GFCI and all works as it should.

I assume that the inverter has a grounded neutral (as required by code) when on battery power that is supposed to automatically switch out of the circuit when shore power is present, but that the relay that does this is either too slow to transition or wired as make-before-break. The home's GFCI sees the inverter's grounded neutral as a ground fault and opens up.

I have had no problems with the home's GFCI being in series with the trailer's GFCI circuit, nor would I expect there to be a problem with that arrangement. What basis is there to expect this to be a problem?
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
GFCIs do not like to look downstream and see another GFCI. Turn off your trailer GFCI breaker or the breaker feeding the circuit with the GFCI and see if it still trips.
Al
Bingo. The GFCI outlet on the side of my garage that I use will often trip when I plug in the trailer. So I turn off the house breaker feeding the outlet, plug in the extension cord feeding the trailer, then turn the breaker back on. No problems.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
I turn off the house breaker feeding the outlet, plug in the extension cord feeding the trailer, then turn the breaker back on. No problems.
Interesting; I am going to try that approach and see if it works as well as opening the breaker that feeds the inverter.

However, I do not think that is the approach Al is recommending. I believe he is talking about opening the breaker that feeds the trailer's GFCI circuit before plugging into the house GFCI.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach5 View Post
Interesting; I am going to try that approach and see if it works as well as opening the breaker that feeds the inverter.

However, I do not think that is the approach Al is recommending. I believe he is talking about opening the breaker that feeds the trailer's GFCI circuit before plugging into the house GFCI.
It appeared to me that he was suggesting two methods, one of which was to "turn off the.....breaker with the circuit feeding the GFCI". I interpreted that to mean to turn off the house breaker to the house GFCI that was tripping, hence my comment.

Maybe I was wrong, but in any event the method I described works for me. Hope it works for you.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:12 PM   #8
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My AS also does not like being attached to GFI electrical at home. A few years ago I had an electrician come out to the house and replace all of the outside GFI as they were getting old. For the plug nearest the Airstream I described my problem and he installed a non-GFI plug to use there for 20 amp service.

Then last year I had him come back and install a 30 amp plug, which is what I should have done the first time!
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:27 PM   #9
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We have a 2019 23 International. The day we brought it home we plugged it into the house and it tripped the house GFI. I then plugged it in to a non GFI plug and it worked. I called an electrician and he turned off the inverter breaker in the trailer and was able to plug into the GFI plug without tripping it.

We go on our first trip and plug in to an 50amp service that has a GFI plug. It trips it so I turn off the breaker to the inverter but this doesn’t work and we can’t use the shore power because our trailer keeps tripping the GFI.

We bring it in to an Airstream repair shop and they replace the GFI breaker in the electrical panel, and say they have no problems plugging in the trailer to a GFI plug.

So we are now on our second trip and the same thing is happening! Except this time the GFI 30amp breaker won’t reset in the trailer. So far the only way I can get it to reset is by plugging it in to my generator. If I don’t have that type of power source it won’t reset.

I am so confused and so upset. It is a brand new trailer and the dealer won’t help us at all. Help!!
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peachell View Post
So we are now on our second trip and the same thing is happening! Except this time the GFI 30amp breaker won’t reset in the trailer. So far the only way I can get it to reset is by plugging it in to my generator. If I don’t have that type of power source it won’t reset.

I am so confused and so upset. It is a brand new trailer and the dealer won’t help us at all. Help!!
Peachell,

Can you ask the camp to check your pedestal 30A receptacle to check it?

Do you have a an adapter that allows powering from a regular outlet as a test?

And welcome to Airforums this problem, it too shall pass.

Gary
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:24 AM   #11
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Is your trailer 30 amp?
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Peachell,

Can you ask the camp to check your pedestal 30A receptacle to check it?

Do you have a an adapter that allows powering from a regular outlet as a test?

And welcome to Airforums this problem, it too shall pass.

Gary
Thanks Gary! Camp receptacle works fine for both 30amp and 50amp. We have never been able to plug in to a GFI plug since we brought it home.

We did not have the right adapter to plug it in to the round outlet which would have worked I’m assuming since it was not a GFI plug. Also one correction, I meant the 15amp GFI breaker won’t reset in the trailer in previous post. I don’t know much about electrical problems, but I feel like I’m going to be learning a lot in the next little while
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Is your trailer 30 amp?
Yes our trailer plug is a 30amp.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:13 AM   #14
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Is there a number to call airstream directly? Not a dealer but the actual company? This seems to be a common problem.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:27 AM   #15
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Try https://www.airstream.com/company/contact/

Phone number might open a door for you.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:40 AM   #16
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If it was me, I would replace the 20A outlet with a non-GFI outlet. GFI outlets and breakers are finicky at best. They don't like inductive loads at all.



Good luck


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Old 07-16-2019, 10:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach5 View Post
...


I have had no problems with the home's GFCI being in series with the trailer's GFCI circuit, nor would I expect there to be a problem with that arrangement. What basis is there to expect this to be a problem?

I think the instruction sheet for one said that but I can't find it right now.


Here is one reference I found:
"Daisy chaining GFCI devices can be problematic, even if they appear to be wired correctly. The downstream GFCI (receptacle) may perform an internal self-test when energized, which the upstream GFCI (breaker) detects as a fault."


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Old 07-17-2019, 08:24 AM   #18
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Just to clarify the GFI outlets in the 2019 23FB International AS do not have 'test' buttons. There is only one 'test button' and that is in the breaker panel as a siemens 15amp breaker. Also half the plugs in the trailer are connected to the inverter which are turned on by a button on the wall behind the sink. The inverter plug below the kitchen table does not work with the inverter in on and never has since day one.

Another recent test has show that if I turn all the breakers off inside the trailer and I plug into a GFI protected plug the trailer still, somehow, trips the GFI on the shore outlet.

Spoke to a number of AS service people and they said it sounds like a big problem and to bring it in, Next service available at the end of the summer. So frustrating when you buy a brand new trailer and this is the kind of treatment you get. Like buying a car, once it's off the lot.... Going to try and contact AS directly. Thank you for the contact information.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:54 PM   #19
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We have the same problem, and our dealership has been really helpful but don't call Airstream they don't acknowledge that there is a problem. That they are made to plug into a 30 amp or a 50 amp. Matter of fact when I called them they repeated that several times. Also stating to me that these are handmade so just like building a house you may have issues. The poorest customer service I have ever dealt with.

Our dealership is trying to help but when they plug it in at the shop it does trip. I told my husband about turn the GFI off and then plugging into the house, and then turning it back on. I'll let you know if it works. We are installing a 30 amp rv outlet tomorrow. I will give you an update of what the Electrician says.

Airstream is not going to help you (Corporate) With more and more RV parks putting in GFI's this is going to be an issue. I'm going to try and call them again, and see if I can get someone with some pull in the company.

I'll keep you posted. Its sad to know that others are suffering with the same issue on brand new vehicles.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:43 PM   #20
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The OP hasn't followed up on their issue. I hope they've found a solution (work-around?) and post here again to tell us what they are doing to avoid this issue.

We have the same symptoms in our 2010 Airstream Interstate. Our van uses the Tripp-Lite inverter (interesting name, huh?!). After many hours on the phone with Tripp-Lite customer support, doing my own trouble shooting, asking questions on Air Forums, etc. I believe my situation on our van is described by Mach5 in an earlier post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach5 View Post
My 2019 25FB does exactly this. Sometimes (about 50% of the time), after I have successfully plugged the trailer into my home's GFCI, I can reset the breaker to the inverter and it does not trip the home GFCI and all works as it should.

I assume that the inverter has a grounded neutral (as required by code) when on battery power that is supposed to automatically switch out of the circuit when shore power is present, but that the relay that does this is either too slow to transition or wired as make-before-break. The home's GFCI sees the inverter's grounded neutral as a ground fault and opens up.

I have had no problems with the home's GFCI being in series with the trailer's GFCI circuit, nor would I expect there to be a problem with that arrangement. What basis is there to expect this to be a problem?
To get around the issue, and Tripp-Lite has confirmed this, I put the inverter into "invert" mode, then I connect to the shore power GFCI. After a few minutes the Tripp-Lite inverter makes a single click sound (a relay perhaps) and then I can put the inverter back into the normal (non-invert) mode. As I said, Tripp-Lite confirmed the neutral is grounded initially and this causes the GFCI to sense a fault. But, in "invert" mode the neutral is not bonded to ground so the GFCI senses this a good. The Tripp-Lite then continues its start up sequence and when the relay clicks everything is good to go and I can turn off the inverter and go back to normal converter/charging mode.

For reference, I don't want to inadvertently leave the Tripp-Lite in inverter mode because that will drain the batteries in a hurry. Our van doesn't have solar so we need to be very mindful of how much we use the invert mode on the Tripp-Lite.
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