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Old 08-06-2020, 06:25 PM   #1
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Tripping GFCI house outlet

I have a 2019 FC25 and when I plug in to the house or powered storage to keep charged the gfci trips. Does not matter if itís in store mode or not. Only way to get to not trip is turn the water heater breaker off. The rig spent two weeks in the shop and they canít replicate it. They say everything checks out. They say itís the outlet. I saw it plugged Into a 20a at the shop and it was fine. But it was not a gfci.

I bring it home and pop. I take it to the storage and pop. Itís not the outlet in 5 different outlets on different circuits and even different locations.

Any ideas? What can I check
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:02 PM   #2
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I'd go through a process of elimination. turn off all the 120V breakers in the power center and plug it in. Hopefully it won't trip as with no active branch circuits that would indicate an issue in the main feed. Then flip on one at a time. Once you find a branch that trips the GFI turn it off and flip all the others on to verify there is only one ground fault. Then start shedding items from the branch till you find the item with the fault. Good luck. Come back and report your progress and ask any follow up questions.
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:46 PM   #3
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I have had similar issues both with our previous Classic and our current 2020 Globetrotter. I'm also plugged into a 20A GFCI circuit at my house and the only way that I have sometimes been able to keep the GFCI from tripping is to turn off the house breaker for that circuit at the panel, plug in the trailer, then reset the breaker. Even then, it's happened on occasion as soon as the power was turned on. Resetting the GFCI restores power and everything works fine going forward until the next plug-in.

This problem was reported in another thread quite a while back and IIRC someone suggested that it had to do with the fact that the two GFCI circuits at the house and trailer are in series. But I'm not an electrician so I can't comment on the accuracy of that diagnosis.

Since I've always been able to reset the house GFCI I haven't worried too much about it.
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:29 PM   #4
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I have had similar issues both with our previous Classic and our current 2020 Globetrotter. I'm also plugged into a 20A GFCI circuit at my house and the only way that I have sometimes been able to keep the GFCI from tripping is to turn off the house breaker for that circuit at the panel, plug in the trailer, then reset the breaker. Even then, it's happened on occasion as soon as the power was turned on. Resetting the GFCI restores power and everything works fine going forward until the next plug-in.

This problem was reported in another thread quite a while back and IIRC someone suggested that it had to do with the fact that the two GFCI circuits at the house and trailer are in series. But I'm not an electrician so I can't comment on the accuracy of that diagnosis.

Since I've always been able to reset the house GFCI I haven't worried too much about it.


Seems to be any gfci. The only way I can get it not to trip is turn off the water heater breaker in the camper. But the dealer says everything is fine since it worked at the shop.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:39 AM   #5
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Since the water heater is tripping GFI's and doing so consistently the firm conclusion is that it has a ground fault. The water heater is not a safety hazard with a small fault and it will perform its job, but if you are going to continue to connect the trailer to a GFI protected house circuit and use the water heater in electric mode, you'll have to fix it.

the most likely source of the fault is the heater element there is a fuse to guard against a major short to ground but it won't blow with a small fault. So disconnect the two brown leads to the heat element and try the gfi again. If it clears up you can consider replacing the heat element. If it still trips, it may be the controller board, I don't recall if it is grounded or if it has a ground lead. If it does have an independent ground you can disconnect it temporarily and test again.

Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:06 AM   #6
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Super helpful, Iíll try that. The dealer is not interested in fixing it since they canít replicate it. But I canít use the heater at all at the house on electric.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by McDonald256 View Post
I have a 2019 FC25 and when I plug in to the house or powered storage to keep charged the gfci trips. Does not matter if itís in store mode or not. Only way to get to not trip is turn the water heater breaker off. The rig spent two weeks in the shop and they canít replicate it. They say everything checks out. They say itís the outlet. I saw it plugged Into a 20a at the shop and it was fine. But it was not a gfci.

I bring it home and pop. I take it to the storage and pop. Itís not the outlet in 5 different outlets on different circuits and even different locations.

Any ideas? What can I check
Hi McDonald256,*

Please send us a direct message with your contact information, email and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can learn more and share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*customersupport@airstream.com

Thank you.*
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:31 AM   #8
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Looks like Airstream wants to help you out, that's great, but I'd still take the easy steps to isolate the problem and get a jump on a solution. I had a look at the manual and my water heater, it does have a ground wire to the controller but it's integrated into a single connector. So try the heater element first, then pull the entire connector off the controller so you can be sure it's the heater and not trailer wiring, etc.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:38 AM   #9
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Hi McDonald256,*



Please send us a direct message with your contact information, email and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can learn more and share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.



You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*customersupport@airstream.com



Thank you.*


Sent you a note thank you.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:28 AM   #10
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I had this problem with my 2019 International 25 FBT. I could not figure it out until I purchased a lithium ion battery and upgraded by WFCO power converter. As I was removing the original power converter I noticed the neutral (white) wire to the converter was loose. I think I could have pulled the wire right out - it was that loose. Since installing the new converter with all the wires secured I have not had any trips of my house 20 amp GFCI. I would suggest checking to make sure all the wires are tightly secured if you have not already done so.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:29 AM   #11
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We had the same problem

We had the same problem and I've come up with a work-around that isn't too bad. I'm not an electrician so I can't explain the details, but I think it has to do with the sensitivity of the home's GFCI and the buss grounding of the AS's inverter.

It takes a micro second for the AS's inverter to recognize that there is external power connected and somehow due to the way the inverter is grounded and/or connected to the buss, it triggers your home's GFCI circuit in that fraction of a second.

My workaround is to turn ON the inverter before plugging into the GFCI. After I've plugged into the GFCI, I turn off the inverter. Works every time for me. Yes it's a little pain but not that bad. I'm sure an electrician could explain what's happening with the inverter's buss better than I can.

Hope this helps you out.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taospad View Post
I had this problem with my 2019 International 25 FBT. I could not figure it out until I purchased a lithium ion battery and upgraded by WFCO power converter. As I was removing the original power converter I noticed the neutral (white) wire to the converter was loose. I think I could have pulled the wire right out - it was that loose. Since installing the new converter with all the wires secured I have not had any trips of my house 20 amp GFCI. I would suggest checking to make sure all the wires are tightly secured if you have not already done so.
^^^ the above comment certainly makes sense. The OP mentioned the water heater electrical circuit seems to be part of the equation. Perhaps a loose wire or some other electrical "feature" of that circuit that causes the GFCI to sense a fault.

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Originally Posted by Larry_M View Post
We had the same problem and I've come up with a work-around that isn't too bad. I'm not an electrician so I can't explain the details, but I think it has to do with the sensitivity of the home's GFCI and the buss grounding of the AS's inverter.

It takes a micro second for the AS's inverter to recognize that there is external power connected and somehow due to the way the inverter is grounded and/or connected to the buss, it triggers your home's GFCI circuit in that fraction of a second.

My workaround is to turn ON the inverter before plugging into the GFCI. After I've plugged into the GFCI, I turn off the inverter. Works every time for me. Yes it's a little pain but not that bad. I'm sure an electrician could explain what's happening with the inverter's buss better than I can.

Hope this helps you out.
^^^^ this is exactly what was happening on our 2010 Interstate. The inverter in the van is not "bonded" to ground in the same manner as the rest of the circuit so an external GFCI sensed that as a fault. If we are connecting to a GFCI outlet we now turn on our inverter first, then plug into shore power, wait for the inverter to power up and get its brain turned on (we hear a click from a relay after a few seconds) then we can turn the inverter off. We verified this from the inverter manufacturer - as far as they were concerned the inverter was working properly. I found references on other RV and boat forums that this is not an uncommon issue.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:17 AM   #13
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This is a pretty brilliant observation! In the "old" days, AS inverters were completely disconnected from shorepower and trailer AC. Just a simple inverter connected to the battery and it own AC outlets in a few places in the trailer.
It seems that AS, in upgrading to pass-through inverters, may not have paid the necessary attention to potential consequences with GFI's. I don't know that, but if that really is the case, AS should send a bulletin to all owners of newer trailers. Most people plug in to 50 or 30 amp connections, with no GFI, so this would never show up until they try a 20 amp GFI protected circuit...
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:24 PM   #14
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As already said. Look into the water heater, I bet it’s the element,
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:33 PM   #15
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:55 PM   #16
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The issue Larry describes though interesting seems unrelated to McDonal's issue with the water heater tripping the GFI.

On the inverter, since the DC negative side is grounded through shore power which provides a theoretical path for an AC side ground fault. There are a number of pathways for example, if one of more diodes in the circuitry is a bit weak and passes a bit of current in reverse just as the AC side powers up but before the relay switches to the shore circuit. With the inverter energized the opportunity for leakage is mitigated.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDonald256 View Post
I have a 2019 FC25 and when I plug in to the house or powered storage to keep charged the gfci trips. Does not matter if itís in store mode or not. Only way to get to not trip is turn the water heater breaker off. The rig spent two weeks in the shop and they canít replicate it. They say everything checks out. They say itís the outlet. I saw it plugged Into a 20a at the shop and it was fine. But it was not a gfci.

I bring it home and pop. I take it to the storage and pop. Itís not the outlet in 5 different outlets on different circuits and even different locations.

Any ideas? What can I check
Iíve the same issue with our 2017 27FB Serenity. The GFI in our storage unit repeatedly popped when I would plug the coach in. The GFI was replaced and we had the same issue. Removal of the GFI in our storage unit resolved the problem.

Also, as info, Iíve always used a power monitor while plugging in while camping and have never detected a fault.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:04 PM   #18
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It is not unusual for RVs to not work with GFCIs. Basically, a GFCI device is not just a circuit breaker, but a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. The GFCI feature is to protect people, rather than the wiring. The GFCI expects to see the same (amount of) current in the neutral as in the hot lead. When those currents do not match it is because some of it has "leaked" out somewhere. For an appliance or tool, like a corded metal-case drill, that leaked current is likely traveling back on the ground wire by way of the metal case. Very dangerous.

What often turns out to be the problem in RVs is that there is a neutral to ground bond (connection) somewhere in the RV. If so, that guarantees that some of the current goes back on the ground instead of the neutral and the GFCI will trip every single time, just like it is supposed to. Depending on how a water heater is installed (incorrectly) that could cause the problem.

The only time the neutral and ground in an RV should be connected together are: a) when the inverter is operating (it has an internal relay for this purpose), and b) when running on a generator. They should never be connected when plugged in to shore power.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:50 PM   #19
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So apparently the water has a gfci outlet In the circuit and it does not like the camper being plugged into a gfci outlet. Who would have thunk.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:23 PM   #20
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That sounds odd. The 2019 manual shows the water heater on a branch circuit of its own with no GFCI. My 2018 is the same way and it definitely is not GFCI protected. Curious how you learned it was GFCI protected.
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