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Old 04-30-2012, 11:11 PM   #1
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Can the battery charger be turned off or set to draw less

When plugged into shore power (house plug) it blows the breaker. Can the battery charger in the MH (1985 winne chieftian) be turned off while plugged into shore power or can it's amp use be adjusted lower while plugged into shore power? (so it won't trip the breaker? The MH charger automatically charges the batteries as soon as it is plugged into shore power. Everything is set to off in the MH.

I only seem to have GFI plug outlets in my home and another said they usually trip when plugged into a MH.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:31 AM   #2
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Do you have the charger manual or if not run a Google search for a manual or call the manufacturer? My charger can be adjusted but I suspect it is a different brand/model. You might stand a chance of getting a better answer if you provide the name & model of your charger.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
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Is your model a converter charger? If so, you won"t be able to shut it off as you will need the converter side. If your charger is separate, you may be able to shut the breaker or pull the plug on the charger. Then the only things that will work are the 120v items like a microwave and plug outlets. You will, however, kill the batteries if you use anything 12v like lights or radio.
You may have a weak GFI as well.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:13 AM   #4
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I would replace the GFI plug that I was using to power the motor home
with a non GFI type.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:16 AM   #5
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What other loads are on when you connect your MH to the outlet? Check the draw of your charger, remember, Amps = Watts/Volts. So if you have a 500 w charger at 120 v, it would be 500/120 = 4.1 amps. If you are on a 15 amp circuit breaker, its not the charger tripping the breaker, it is probably the GFI.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:21 AM   #6
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Do you have GFCI breakers? If so, it may be a ground fault and not over load. If so you will have to determine why the shore power cord trips the GFCI. It is probably some thing to do with the ground and netral connections in the motor home.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:23 AM   #7
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IS it blowing the breaker, or tripping the GFCI (NOTE: if you have GFCI breakers you won't be able to tell)

It makes a big difference, depending on if it is the GFCI or the current limiter.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
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The Question is this: Are you tripping the breaker (Current overload) or Tripping the GFCI (Ground fault) if you have seperate GFCI and Breaker it's easy to tell, if they are one and the same unit not so easy.

Some RV's do not play nice with GFCI.. Mine does.. What can I say. Assorted "modules' can cause problems including fridge (heat element) Water heater (likewise) and converter (more ways that I can count)

Suggestion.. If you are plugging in to pre-charge and pre-cool the fridge. Try getting a good portable SMART CHARGER If it has 3 current ratings, say 2,30,60 you want the center number in the 20-50 range. Instead of plugging in the RV use it to charge the batteries and run the fridge on Propane to cool
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:28 PM   #9
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If you are tripping the GFCI on your house when plugging the MH in, chances are you have a defective Electric heating element in your water heater. Even if the water heater is off, the GFCI senses a fault between ground and neutral. The best way to check this is to disconnect the ground wire and neutral in the circuit breaker panel in the MH.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
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Oh really
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:19 AM   #11
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finally located an interior house outlet and plugged the motor home into that! bingo! It works fantastic! It was simply tripping the gfi outlets (cause that is the only type of house plug that I was plugging it into. Thanks for all your suggestions. Love this forum.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:16 AM   #12
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As I stated above, check the wtr htr element. I have repaired this problem many times. The wtr htr element is starting to fail and will give you bigger troubles later on.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary G. View Post
finally located an interior house outlet and plugged the motor home into that! bingo! It works fantastic! It was simply tripping the gfi outlets (cause that is the only type of house plug that I was plugging it into. Thanks for all your suggestions. Love this forum.
What this tells us is that somewhere in the RV the ground and neutral are connected together. This is not correct. The only place that these should be joined is at the service entry of the house.

The reason that the GFI is tripping is because the ground wire should never carry current. That is its criteria for protecting its outlet. If something is plugged into the GFI has the ground and neutral bonded, the ground is now carrying current and the GFI trips.

In 1985 this was not illegal to do, so your RV is up to code of 1985. But starting in 1996 the electrical code only allowed ground and neutral bonding at the service panel.

The most likely place that this was done is at the RV circuit breaker panel.

I would suggest, at minimum, that you borrow or buy a outlet tester and check that all of the outlets in your RV are wired correctly.

They look like the above and can be found at any Hardware or Home Center. You want to make sure that the neutral and hot are not reversed, or open. If so you have a dangerous situation and must get it corrected forthwith.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by camper33 View Post
As I stated above, check the wtr htr element. I have repaired this problem many times. The wtr htr element is starting to fail and will give you bigger troubles later on.
I thought the water heater was gas, not electric? Was the original 1985 winne chieftian water hearter gas? electric? both? I think the original one is there. I know it has an electric start but thought the heating element was gas operated. Please explain. Thanks for your help.
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