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 > Bigfoot tripping house GFI

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TxGearhead

Texas

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Posted: 09/07/20 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2008 Bigfoot 9.4. Replaced the converter early this spring only because it was boiling my batteries. Got a Progressive from Best Converters. Son and I replaced it. He works with DC a lot on the job. I haven't actually used the camper since, for a variety of reasons. I usually plug the camper into a house 110volt outlet every 4-6 weeks to keep the batteries up. The exterior outlet I use is a GFI. Several weeks ago, after it was plugged in, I noticed the LED lite on the extension cord wasn't on. The outlet had tripped its GFI. I reset the GFI and same thing again. Went to another GFI outlet and it did the same. This hasn't happened before. Then used a non GFI outlet in my garage and all seemed well. Charged the camper for several days.
Only thing I can think of besides a loose connection on the converter is the ground wires that are bolted to one of the Bigfoot tiedowns. I had to re-arrange them a bit when I installed a Torklift tiedown "stiffener".
I haven't done anything yet. It's only 95F and 90% humidity. I'm thinking the first somewhat cool morning I'll dive into it. Guessing I'll clean the eye connectors on those ground wires and be sure they have clean metal to metal contact on the tiedown. Oh, I did replace the30amp plug on the camper cord.
I'm not sure how to check ground continuity. Maybe ohm from the plug ground to any ground I find in the camper?
Or, since it takes only milliamps to throw a GFI, just ignore it??
My house outlets don't throw GFI on anything else.

edit add: Eh, wait a minute...I had a brain flash. I was using a $4 30amp to 110volt adapter. Little hockey puck thing. Tomorrow I'll try a dogbone. But y'all keep thinking how to diagnose this, or ignore it.
Thanks in advance.

* This post was edited 09/07/20 04:12pm by TxGearhead *


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wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 09/07/20 08:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A GFCI will trip if there is a current mismatch between hot and neutral OR if there is a connection between neutral and ground.

First, make absolutely sure you didn’t swap the ground and neutral connections when you replaced the shore power plug. That would create exactly this issue but could be dangerous to use as it would be using the ground as a current carrying conductor.

If you have an ohm meter, check for continuity between the neutral and ground of your camper’s power cord (with it unplugged, obviously). A fairly common cause of this is a failed electric fridge element that contacts the neutral side to a grounded chassis. Unplug the fridge from its receptacle to eliminate that cause. Other things to look for as anywhere neutral and ground and come in contact like behind receptacles.

Also, a PD can be left plugged in 24/7. Ours has been plugged in when home since 2007 with no water loss and good battery lifespan.

The hockey puck adapter is likely not at fault. They are a bit overrated as being the cause of all things evil with electrical. I’ve used one for 13 years including running the air conditioning. Their main downside is any heat from poor connections is compounded since there are two connections very near each other.

Flute Man

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Posted: 09/07/20 11:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like said above make sure that the neutral and the ground wires are not connect together anywhere in your RV.


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BurbMan

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Posted: 09/08/20 06:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the GFCIs are tripping you definitely have an issue somewhere, I wouldn't ignore it...you'll get a shock from the camper under the right conditions and when you least expect it.


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TxGearhead

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Posted: 09/08/20 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the ideas. I need to double check the new plug, although the gfi was tripping before I replaced the plug. Yes, I have a VOM. I'll check the plug. One of the blades on the plug should show open and be the neutral right?

toddb

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Posted: 09/08/20 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Try unplugging your charge converter and see if it trips before you get to deep. I found it to be the issue with my other camper.

TxGearhead

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Posted: 09/08/20 11:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toddb wrote:

Try unplugging your charge converter and see if it trips before you get to deep. I found it to be the issue with my other camper.


Tell me more. I'm not understanding.

BurbMan

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Posted: 09/08/20 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go into the breaker box in the camper and turn off the breaker that powers the converter/charger. Then plug the camper into the house GFCI and see if it trips. If it doesn't trip, then you have a problem with that circuit in the camper, and it's likely the converter/charger since you recently changed that component. Either it's defective or you wired something wrong.

If it still trips, then turn all the breakers off in the camper, then plug in again. If it still trips then the problem is likely the cord or plug, if not, turn breakers on one at a time until the GFCI trips, and your problem will be on that circuit.

wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 09/09/20 01:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BurbMan wrote:

Go into the breaker box in the camper and turn off the breaker that powers the converter/charger. Then plug the camper into the house GFCI and see if it trips. If it doesn't trip, then you have a problem with that circuit in the camper, and it's likely the converter/charger since you recently changed that component. Either it's defective or you wired something wrong.

If it still trips, then turn all the breakers off in the camper, then plug in again. If it still trips then the problem is likely the cord or plug, if not, turn breakers on one at a time until the GFCI trips, and your problem will be on that circuit.

Turning off breakers will not isolate neutral/ground issues since the breakers only disconnect the hot. It's best to unplug any/all appliances (including the fridge). If it still trips with everything unplugged and the breakers all off, there's an issue behind the receptacles or in the power cord.

Sjm9911

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Posted: 09/09/20 05:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sometimes a large start up draw will read as a fault. Thats why they dont plug older style washing machines and such into them. When they hit the spin cycle the outlet would trip. Also, make sure the gfi is a 20 amp outlet. It could also be moisture problum in the outlet. 90 percent humidity isnt good for gfi outlets.


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