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Old 05-23-2021, 06:05 PM   #1
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Airstream Serenity and F150 PowerBoost Hybrid w/Generator - GFI Faults

I am just returning from a 5 day trip with my new F150 and a rented 2016 28' Airstream International Serenity. I bought this truck specifically to power a trailer and rented an Airstream to see if I liked it enough to put out the extra $$$.

Long story short, the F150 would not charge the trailer as it kept triggering a ground fault. It charged fine from my garage without triggering GFI and my truck will power other things, but they won't run together - which made for a very cold dark trip to the beaches in Western Washington. Like dragging a big aluminum tent.

I know that sometimes 2 GFI's in the same circuit will fight one another and trip continuously but the house circuit has a GFI.

Any thoughts/experience with this? Since Ford advertises with Airstream, and vice versa, I would think they would have tested this out and have posted an FAQ.
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Old 05-23-2021, 06:48 PM   #2
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You may need a generator bonding plus. Usuall about $10.00 at Camping World, Amazon etc.



The Ford generator may need this.


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Old 05-23-2021, 06:51 PM   #3
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We’re you physically plugged into one of the outlets mounted in the bed, or were you relying on the 7 pin connector? If 7 pin, that’s probably not any better than any other f150. You need to plug into either the 20amp or larger located in the bed.
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Old 05-23-2021, 07:15 PM   #4
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A bonding plug will definitely trip a GFCI outlet.

Maybe the Airstream was pulling more power than the truck could provide, overloading the circuit.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:21 AM   #5
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Hi

Ok, what's with the bonding plug?

In a normal house, your ground and neutral wires are tied together at one point (usually) in the main breaker box. It's tied at one and only one point so that strange things don't happen and electrocute you.

If you are going to feed your house with a generator, that one point still needs to be the only connection point. A "normal" generator relies on this. It is not set up with the ground and neutral tied together.

An Airstream trailer does *not* have the ground and neutral tied together inside it. It relies on the "bond" being done at the shore power pole or upstream from there. Again, it's done at a single point. It just happens to be outside the trailer.

Hook up a "normal" generator to an AS trailer and there is no connection between ground and neutral. The generator does not have one. The trailer does not have one. This is not a good idea.

A ground fault device looks at the current flowing in the ground and neutral to work out if there is a fault. Part of this logic *assumes* they are connected and that the ground is acting as a safety barrier. With no bond between them, the logic gets very confused.

Plug into a normal home outlet or a shore power post and the ground fault gizmo is happy. There is a neutral to ground connection in the home or the power post. The logic sees what it expects to see. The device operates properly.

Does any of this apply to the F150? Who knows ....

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Old 05-24-2021, 09:51 AM   #6
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Cheaper to carry a 2000 Honda
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1000pre View Post
We’re you physically plugged into one of the outlets mounted in the bed, or were you relying on the 7 pin connector? If 7 pin, that’s probably not any better than any other f150. You need to plug into either the 20amp or larger located in the bed.
It was plugged into the Pro Power Generator in teh bed. I tried both the 20 amp and 30 amp circuits.
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:46 AM   #8
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Thanks - this makes sense. I recall having issues with other GFIs like this in past experience. I'll talk to Ford/Airstream about a solution.
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:47 AM   #9
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As noted in the original post, I already have the F150 - getting another generator would be more expensive.
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Old 05-24-2021, 11:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by pnoshawn View Post
I know that sometimes 2 GFIs in the same circuit will fight one another and trip continuously but the house circuit has a GFI.
This could be the problem, it "can" be just certain GFIs that interfere with each other. One pair could interfere with each other, then change either one in the pair and it's fine.
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Old 05-26-2021, 12:18 PM   #11
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All generators 5000w and above a neutral bonded to ground internally. Below 5000W they are not bonded and need external bonding.
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