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Old 02-09-2019, 03:03 PM   #1
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Wiring Problem or Converter Problem

Thanks for looking at this posting.

This problem came with my rig. Have had it three weeks now. I have done the step-by-step testing to narrow down the culprit but need to know what to do next.
I hooked up to shore power at my home. All my outside receptacles have GFCI's.
They all tripped when trying to plug my power cable in. I have a proper extension made for an RV and the proper converter plug. So I needed to hook it up to a non GFCI outlet.
Inside my home, I plugged it in to a regular outlet, and ran the ac in the rig and other devices on 110v, worked fine no overheating of anything, no tripping of the home circuit breaker. Knowing something is wrong I turned all the breakers in the RV off, and tried plugging it back in on the outside GFCI. It did not trip.
After trying the combination of the breakers in the RV, I found that the one labeled "Conv", which I assuming is the converter, is the problem. However, further testing showed that it only tripped the GFCI (outside my home) when I turned the "#1" receptacle breaker on. The #2 breaker has the micro and fridge on it, and #3 is the Converter and #4 is the ac. So the only combo that is throwing the outside GFCI is #1 and #3 together.
If I have given enough to go by, hoping I did this logically, is this dangerous to run on the non GFCI (from inside my home)? And what should I do next, I have 110 and some 220 experience from my previous careers (now retired), but this RV thing is a new animal to me.
Thanks in advance !
Steve
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:54 PM   #2
Winnie-Wise
 
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Could you have a failing GFCI in the RV? Many of them only last a number of years.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:30 PM   #3
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The correct answer found

What the problem is , is not really a problem. The GFCI will trip intentionally. Here's why. (this was found at another site).
The 120 volt panel in the trailer should not have the neutral and the ground bus bars connected within the panel. The panel should be wired like it is a "sub panel". In other words, the panel in the trailer is a sub panel to the main panel powering the outlet the trailer is plugged into. This is why the ground and neutral bus bars in the trailer panel should not be connected because they are already tied together downstream at the main panel powering the outlet the trailer is plugged into.
When you plug the trailer into a GFCI outlet, the GFCI is tripping because of the leakage between the ground and neutral paths created by connecting the ground and neutral bus bars in the trailer panel. All correctly wired RV 120 volt power panels have separate ground and neutral bus bars.

Homes have the ground and neutral on the same bus. When you plug into a GFCI, without being technical, it's a "mismatch", Not so with plugging into a non GFCI. Which is why it worked when I plugged it into my outlet in the house. No harm no danger.

Had I done this homework prior to posting, I would not have inquired.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:44 PM   #4
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No worries.
We learned years ago as well that we couldn't plug our RVs into the closer outdoor plug which is GFCI protected. So we use the outlet we wired directly into the electrical box around the corner.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help, now I understand why the GFCI sees what it does and why it is designed to trip by what it senses, as it relates to the coaches wiring design.

Steve
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