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Old 04-23-2017, 01:23 AM   #1
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Dumb question for smart people...

So, since I brought Mutt Hit home from Chilli a week ago, it's been plugged in to my mom's house and (with a little help from you fine folks), everything has been working fine.

Tonight I unplugged it and moved it to wash it (not fun at +2 but I couldn't stand the mud on it anymore). While washing it, I accidentally flipped on an exterior light - no light. I kind of thought I should've had light off battery (also have solar)...

Anyway, I parked it and unhooked from the tv and plugged it in to my exterior outlet. I got an E1 error reading, which is reversed polarity. I plugged a small space heater into the same cord and it worked fine. I have had some issues with this GFCI plug tripping before, but it's what I use to plug my car into all winter and it's been fine.

Ok, so I thought I'd unplug and use battery power. Nothing. No lights. No display at all on solar panel. Nothing g on the monitoring panel. Checked the battery ****-off switch and it's on.

So what am I doing wrong or forgetting to get battery power? And does the E1 error mean I can't plug in to the outlet on my house? Very complicated!!!

Thanks for any help!

Brenda
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:31 AM   #2
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If you got a reverse polarity code, then it is highly likely the outlet is wired incorrectly. Incorrect polarity probably wouldn't affect the operation of a resistance heater. As far as not working on 12v, and the battery switch is on, I would check all fuses, starting with the one on the positive wire attached to the battery.
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:50 AM   #3
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The light on the curb side is controlled by an interior switch, but the switch on the light has to be on whereas the light on the street side is not remotely switched and is turned on/off at the light switch only.
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Old 04-23-2017, 11:31 AM   #4
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For under $20 you can buy these two tools that would let you very quickly determine what's going on.

The smaller tester on the right would instantly tell you what the situation was with your house mounted GFCI. If it is wired as reverse polarity instead of two amber lights there'd be one amber light and the red light. Good to have around, trailer or no trailer.

A dirt cheap meter like this is more than adequate for trouble shooting issues. A couple of taps near the panel and you'd very quickly know where the power was or wasn't. I think every trailer should have one handy.

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Old 04-23-2017, 12:10 PM   #5
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One of the issues with a cheap meter is that many do not have a protected ohms function . If you touch the leads to a live circuit when on the ohms scale in some cases you can damage the meter , or burn out a multiplier or ruin the meter's selector switch.
You don't need a $500 Fluke but I would shy away from the one HF gives away free as a door prize.

The meter Ron pictured would be a good choice .
Has all the necessary functions at a reasonable price.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:42 PM   #6
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The light on the curb side is controlled by an interior switch, but the switch on the light has to be on whereas the light on the street side is not remotely switched and is turned on/off at the light switch only.
Qualifying comment - depends on if you asked ETI for any special wiring or switching. We had ETI install an outside light on the front and back, too, and this "gang of three" lights (front, driver side, and back) also was wired with a master switch inside by the entry door. So for us, that master switch for the "gang of three" lights must be on in order for any of those three lights to work individually - much like the entry door light explained above. So, do you recall asking for any special wiring/switching like that? Dale
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Old 04-23-2017, 02:13 PM   #7
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No, Dale, nothing different at all.

Regarding the AC, I'm going to move the trailer and try plugging in to a different outlet. I did some reading on reversed polarity, and I wouldn't be surprised if that outlet is messed up. I replaced it not long ago because it kept tripping, but I would've wired it the same as it was before.

More concerned about no DC. I'll go out today and check fuses. If they're all ok, would my next step be to crawl under the bed and check the inverter to see if the GFCI tripped under there? Why would that happen? Anything to do with the bad outlet?
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Old 04-23-2017, 03:05 PM   #8
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More concerned about no DC. I'll go out today and check fuses. If they're all ok, would my next step be to crawl under the bed and check the inverter to see if the GFCI tripped under there? Why would that happen? Anything to do with the bad outlet?
This is a situation where having a small simple meter or even a 12 volt test light would pinpoint the problem very quickly.

Touch it the battery, 12 something volts, check, terminals of panel, 12 volts, check and so on. So easy to pinpoint the problem.

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Old 04-23-2017, 03:08 PM   #9
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I think my brother has one. If the snow and 50 kph winds let up, I'll go get it.
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Old 04-23-2017, 03:19 PM   #10
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Are they now labeling the master switch as to whether it is off or on? They were not always done the same, way back. "On" might be either direction.

What I can't get is also nothing on the solar monitor.
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:25 PM   #11
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I have a tester very similar to the orange one in the picture above. I highly recommend it. Go to the end of the circuit (last plug) and test there, and then work your way back. Something is very likely miswired somewhere along the way. Unfortunately, its not always obvious which outlet is at the end of the circuit, but you can switch off the breaker and at least know which outlets are on the circuit. If a former home owner did any wiring, you could be surprised what is on that circuit.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:37 PM   #12
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Would emphasize checking that battery didn't inadvertently get switched off. Mine has a couple of times.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:42 PM   #13
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...
More concerned about no DC. I'll go out today and check fuses. If they're all ok, would my next step be to crawl under the bed and check the inverter to see if the GFCI tripped under there? Why would that happen? Anything to do with the bad outlet?
Before doing any crawling try something easier. Check the battery voltage at the battery - directly at the posts - with out the solar or the AC plugged in. Let us know what the reading is. And of course, this would be a good time to check the water level also.

Rule of troubleshooting: Do the easiest things first!

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Old 04-23-2017, 06:48 PM   #14
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So, looks like I found the problem - the big 40 Amp fuse in the battery box blew. (I've never seen a fuse that big!!). So, I guess this must've been the result of plugging in to the outlet with reverse polarity?? I assumed the EMS protected all electrical systems, but I guess it's just the AC? (Or maybe I'd does protect it, by blowing the fuse. ). I'll definitely keep a half dozen or so of those on hand as well as the smaller fuses.

I got a long extension cord (which I don't like) and plugged into another outlet
In the garage and all seems well with the AC system.

Float5, if you mean the battery disconnect, it's labeled well now.

I think I also need to pick up a more heavy duty RV extension cord - mine is a regular yellow extension cord.

I may need to take an electrician apprenticeship program to be able to competently operate this trailer... ��

Thanks, everyone, for all your suggestions. Hopefully, problem solved!

I wonder if ETI knows how many more phone calls they would get without this forum... ��

I take it the Transfer Switch breaker has to do with the inverter? It was partially flipped and I didn't have AC power initially.

Brenda
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:21 PM   #15
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Something is not right here, I don't think, but you electricians can probably say. We never blow fuses from reverse polarity. At least, I don't think so. We never blow fuses no matter what the error message.
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:30 PM   #16
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Transfer switch breaker

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I take it the Transfer Switch breaker has to do with the inverter? It was partially flipped and I didn't have AC power initially.
There is one breaker in the main (WFCO power center) panel which provides power to the transfer switch. The other source of power to the transfer switch is the inverter. The transfer switch itself controls which power source is used - always from the main panel unless main power is off (you're unplugged from the house or campsite) and the inverter is on.

When the handle of a breaker is part-way to off, and there's no power, it means that the breaker has tripped.
If that breaker was tripped, it means that the combination of stuff powered by it - which is everything plugged into the outlets (but not the refrigerator) - was more than the breaker allows. This is normally a 20-amp breaker in an Escape, so that's more than about 2400 watts. Maybe the microwave and heater at the same time?
This breaker tripping would mean no power in the outlets, but the converter, electric water heater element (if you have that), air conditioner (if you have one), and refrigerator (on AC power) would still get power. It should be unrelated to any fuse.
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:36 PM   #17
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Extension cords

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I think I also need to pick up a more heavy duty RV extension cord - mine is a regular yellow extension cord.
That cord could be rated for as low as 13 amps (or even less) if it has only 16-gauge wire in it. Even if it is the heaviest cord sold with regular household plug ends, it is limited by those plugs to 15 amps. Your trailer is set up to be able to use as much as 30 amps. As long as you limit what you run, the lighter cord is fine. If you get an RV extension cord which matches the Escape's shore power cable it will be suited to 30 amps... but your household outlet still won't handle that.

A good compromise is a 12-gauge extension cord, if all you have to plug into is ordinary outlets.
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:44 PM   #18
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40-amp DC fuse

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So, looks like I found the problem - the big 40 Amp fuse in the battery box blew. (I've never seen a fuse that big!!). So, I guess this must've been the result of plugging in to the outlet with reverse polarity?? I assumed the EMS protected all electrical systems, but I guess it's just the AC? (Or maybe I'd does protect it, by blowing the fuse. ). I'll definitely keep a half dozen or so of those on hand as well as the smaller fuses.
Not likely - reverse polarity AC connections are a safety hazard, but do not by themselves damage equipment or cause excessive current to flow. Even if there was damage to AC-powered equipment, this is a 12 volt DC fuse, and the only way for AC power problems to damage DC stuff is for the converter (in the WFCO power center) to put out excessive voltage... which I don't think it's going to do.

The EMS only protects AC devices, and does not use a fuse.

Blowing the 40-amp fuse in the battery box is rare, so you shouldn't need a lot of spares. But something on a 12 volt circuit did draw a lot of current, or something metal shorted across the terminals of the 12 volt wiring somewhere, so there was a problem which should be understood and fixed, rather than just replacing fuses and letting the problem happen again. Of course you need to replace the fuse once, and if you fix the problem or it just doesn't happen again that will be the only time.

There are similar big fuses in your car. Most people will never need to replace any of them in the life of the car; it's just not a normal thing to blow.
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:04 PM   #19
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What Brian said.

And in addition, if the EMS indicated a fault, it would not allow power to flow beyond itself so no power would have reached the converter (if the EMS were to have been functioning properly). Therefore, it would be logical to conclude that whatever caused the fuse on the positive battery cable to blow did not happen as a result of plugging into shore power, but resulted from something that happened previously. I would suspect that the outside light on the back side of the trailer did not come on because the fuse was already blown sometime before the trailer was being washed. Unfortunately, the OP did not indicate if that light was now functioning since replacing the fuse.
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:18 PM   #20
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Brenda, this is not a usual event, assuming you blew a 40-amp fuse. If we even have a 40-amp fuse, I don't know where it is. As Brian says, you need to have someone determine what happened. You can talk to Escape on it and see if they can come up with an explanation. Or maybe someone else here has more ideas.
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