Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: Campground Breakers - EDITED
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 > Campground Breakers - EDITED

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DrewE

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Posted: 07/13/19 02:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DownTheAvenue wrote:

DrewE wrote:

(Incidentally, the suggestion that current always goes up when voltage goes down is absolutely incorrect for many loads. Electric motors and motor-driven equipment is a rather complicated case; the current may go up, down, or stay the same, at least within some reasonable range of voltages. If the voltage drops low enough, the current will of necessity go down; otherwise you'd have the air conditioner etc. consuming inifinte current when unplugged with the generator off! For resistance heaters and incandescent lights, the current (and hence power consumed) drops as voltage drops.)


In other words, Ohm's Law is not a fact. WOW! I did not know that. Thanks for posting this new relevation!


Ohm's law is a description of how many, but certainly not all, things behave electrically. Ideal resistors follow Ohm's law; practical physical resistors (including such things as wires and fuses) come very close indeed to the ideal, over a wide range of voltages and currents. Of course, for things that follow Ohm's law, the current is proportional to the applied voltage, and so goes down as the voltage drops.

Things like semiconductors and motors under load and incandescent lights are not ohmic, some very much so, and for them the relation of current to voltage is different and generally more complicated. Ohm's law can still be used in some circumstances as a handy analysis tool, perhaps only under fairly closely defined circumstances. In other words, it's still useful at times to treat such non-ohmic things as their equivalent resistances at some specified operating conditions.





2chiefsRus

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Posted: 07/13/19 04:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP here - no microwave running, no hair dryer, no clothes dryer, batteries were on Float Charge, no electric water heater running, no coffee pot, no anything else big draw that I can think of. Thing that gets me is that it happened three times over 4 days and happened every time, and only when, both AC's were running.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 07/13/19 04:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Campground manager is an idiot and has no clue as to what he is talking about.

Breakers DO wear out.. Period they are electromechanical devices and they were out. Just like every other thing made by man they wear out.


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westernrvparkowner

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Posted: 07/13/19 06:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The campground is misinformed. Breakers do wear out. Campground usage very much speeds up that process. Breakers are not designed to be used as switches. Yet that is exactly how many people use them, turning off the breaker before plugging in their rigs and the like. You don't do that at home when you plug in a lamp or your toaster. Like others have posted, the unusual heat and the fact the park is full is adding to the problem. Plus, it sounds like both your AC units are on the same leg of service, which would be a bit odd. If they were on opposite legs, turning the 2nd AC on materially effect the breaker since the loads would be balanced. Are you running some other high amperage devices like the water heater on AC, the microwave or running electric cooktops etc.? All those add a lot to the load. So does your converter/charger if the house batteries are being charged at a high rate. All those add to the loads and can eventually lead to the breaker tripping. But yes, the park should consider changing out the breaker as first step, especially if yours is the only problem pedestal.

tropical36

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Posted: 07/13/19 06:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2chiefsRus wrote:

We have been traveling in our current motorhome for nearly 12 years, with 8 years of it as full timers and the last four at 3/4's of the year so we are very familiar with this coach. I heard something yesterday from a campground owner that I doubt. The campground's electrician said that the campground breakers on the pedestal do not get weak over time and should not need to be replaced.
Here's the situation - pulled in to the campground, plugged into 50 amp, Progressive Industries hardwired unit showed good power, fired up both air conditioners and after about 1 hour, the campground breaker tripped. PI showed no errors.
We shut down both AC's, reset the pedestal breaker, and started up one AC only for about 2 hours. By that time it was cool enough that we didn't need AC for the night.
Two days later, we fired up one AC and then the second AC about 15 minutes later, and the pedestal breaker tripped again after 45 minutes of both AC's running. Reported problem to Campground, said they would look into it.
Next day, exactly same situation when we turned on both AC's, one first and then the second one 15 minutes later. From what I have read on this forum, it sounded like a weak breaker that needed to be replaced. That is when we were told that breakers don't get weak and need to be replaced.
What do you think? Could this be a problem with something going wrong in our coach as the campground is implying? We will be moving campgrounds in a couple days and want to know what to be watching.

Probably not breaker fatigue, but maybe defective or a problem with the connections, as said.


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KD4UPL

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Posted: 07/13/19 07:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

He actually said breakers never wear out with a straight face?
They do. Just like everything else in this world. I've been a master electrician for almost 20 years. I've replaces many a breaker that was over heating and tripping with a load under it's rating. The contacts contacts get pitted, the springs get weak, the internal conductors corrode, etc.

2chiefsRus

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Posted: 07/13/19 09:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

westernrvparkowner wrote:

The campground is misinformed. Breakers do wear out. Campground usage very much speeds up that process. Breakers are not designed to be used as switches. Yet that is exactly how many people use them, turning off the breaker before plugging in their rigs and the like. You don't do that at home when you plug in a lamp or your toaster. Like others have posted, the unusual heat and the fact the park is full is adding to the problem. Plus, it sounds like both your AC units are on the same leg of service, which would be a bit odd. If they were on opposite legs, turning the 2nd AC on materially effect the breaker since the loads would be balanced. Are you running some other high amperage devices like the water heater on AC, the microwave or running electric cooktops etc.? All those add a lot to the load. So does your converter/charger if the house batteries are being charged at a high rate. All those add to the loads and can eventually lead to the breaker tripping. But yes, the park should consider changing out the breaker as first step, especially if yours is the only problem pedestal.


Thank you for your reply. I read a lot of your posts and I was hoping you would weigh in. no microwave running, no hair dryer, no clothes dryer, batteries were on Float Charge, no electric water heater running, no coffee pot, no anything else big draw that I can think of. Thing that gets me is that it happened three times over 4 days and happened every time, and only when, both AC's were running.

CA Traveler

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Posted: 07/14/19 12:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the problem remains after you move CGs then I'd begin to suspect the A/Cs like compressor or capacitors based on what you posted.

Do the following:
1. If the PI has the remote display in the basement then buy a data cable and run it through a window and bring the remote inside. Pay close attention and see if you can detect any unexpected voltage are amp variations. Unfortunately you won't get any error codes because power off/on resets the errors.
2. Disconnect all power and check the A/Cs for dirt and and turn and listen to the fan for any bearing etc noise.
3. Buy a AC/DC clampon meter that reads capacitor values and check all in the A/Cs. At 12 years they are suspects even if they look OK. You don't need the DC function for the A/Cs but it's otherwise good to have.
4. You could have a intermittent short so check any power cord reels, junction boxes. And if the plug shows any issues replace it.

If the ACs are not on opposite legs then change one of them. However there is absolutely no reason why they can't be on the same leg - You're drawing 31A for the two on a 50A rated line and all other loads are minimized.


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Posted: 07/14/19 12:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

voltage down = current up


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 07/14/19 06:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok have more time today. So can type the stories

Nice "New" (less than 10 years old) park All bright and shiny still plugged into 50 amp and even though I was doing the deep dive on energy conservation the breakers were trip-a-matics.. Well In resetting them I noticed the box was HOT. I mean burn your fingers hot.. Called security and ask for an electrical tec with new breakers. THe breakers were so hot he had to use gloves when he pulled them put in new ones closed up the box and the old ones were STILL too hot to handle w/o gloves.. They were toast (In fact toast is not that hot)

Manager tried to convince me it was all those big 50 amp rigs plugging into 30 anp breakers (Seems he's an electrician. .I'm an electronics technician .. Kind of out ranks him).

Except it was the 50 anp breakers on a 50 anp site and I don't use but 30 of those 50 amps (I use 30 on both legs though).

30 amp park.. I heard arcing as I reset the breaker for the umpteenth time
Breaker/buss bar connection inside the box was burned up.

So Breakers do fail

I've had other failures as well

But Breakers DO fail for a fact.. I mean why would the park (Every park I've ever been in) keep spares in stock if they do not fail?

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