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Old 10-30-2018, 02:02 PM   #1
GFK
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external breaker trips

Can't find the answer, but not the best at searching the forums. When I plug in to shore power at home ( with an extension cord) power to trailer is fine for a few minutes then it trips the breaker in the extension cord. Do I need to wire in a circuit not requiring an extension cord? Is the problem with the trailer?
I'm not really sure of the status when plugged in directly at the campgrounds since never really noticed if I was on ac or dc when we used it. Has a built in solar panel.
Thanks Gary
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Old 10-30-2018, 02:19 PM   #2
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....then it trips the breaker in the extension cord.
Please expand/clarify. Not sure what this means. Is the breaker in the house panel tripping? Or is it a GFI (ground fault) outlet tripping?
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Old 10-30-2018, 02:19 PM   #3
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You need e bigger, heavier extension cord, obviously your trailer is pulling more than what your extension can handle. As an alternate, use your power cord with an adapter.
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Old 10-30-2018, 02:21 PM   #4
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Without putting an amp meter on the power cord, it is difficult to determine what, if anything is wrong. If you have the electric option on the water heater, and your battery is low, you may draw more than 15 amps (what many home circuits are breakers at). Try turning off the electric switch on the water heater (under the outside cover) and see if this makes a difference.

Running any high wattage appliances such as the air conditioner, a toaster oven, microwave, etc can cause the same problem, particularly if you try to run more than one at a time. The campground connection usually is a 30 amp receptacle, twice that of most home receptacles so you may not have a problem when in a campground.

There is an inexpensive device called a Kill A Watt meter that you plug between the house receptacle & the extension cord that will tell you what current is being drawn by the trailer (among many other things). Worth having if you don't have a clamp on multi meter & know how to use it.

As rubicon327 mentioned in post #2, if it is the GFCI function of a receptacle or circuit breaker that is tripping, you do have a problem with the trailer that should be found & fixed. Since most campground 30 amp receptacles do not have GFCI protection, a fault that trips a home GFCI wouldn't cause a trip in a campground.
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Old 10-30-2018, 02:28 PM   #5
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There is an inexpensive device called a Kill A Watt meter that you plug between the house receptacle & the extension cord that will tell you what current is being drawn by the trailer (among many other things). Worth having if you don't have a clamp on multi meter & know how to use it..
Also if you have the Progressive Industries EMS the scrolling display will show the amp draw in real-time.
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Old 10-30-2018, 03:24 PM   #6
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Hidden electrical user

Besides the water heater already mentioned, you should be aware of your converter/battery charger that nearly always comes on drawing a large amperage even though you havenít asked for it.
I donít remember the exact amount of amperage, but it use as much as two thirds of what a 15 amp home circuit provides.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
As rubicon327 mentioned in post #2, if it is the GFCI function of a receptacle or circuit breaker that is tripping, you do have a problem with the trailer that should be found & fixed. Since most campground 30 amp receptacles do not have GFCI protection, a fault that trips a home GFCI wouldn't cause a trip in a campground.
If it happens to be a GFI receptacle or breaker that is tripping AND you have the dual fuel (2-way) water heater check the electric element. We found ours had failed Hot to Ground and electrified the trailer frame. This coupled with a broken ground prong on an extension cord and plugging into a non-GFI outlet made for a dangerous situation.

Hot water
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
... you should be aware of your converter/battery charger that nearly always comes on drawing a large amperage even though you havenít asked for it.
I donít remember the exact amount of amperage, but it use as much as two thirds of what a 15 amp home circuit provides.
Not that much, but the 55-amp (@12 VDC) converter/charger in the WFCO 8955 power centre can use as much as 950 watts, which is 8 amps at 120 V. This will only happen if the battery is discharged enough, but unless you turn off the breaker in the WFCO panel which feeds the converter (and probably also feeds the refrigerator) you can't keep it from using whatever it needs to.
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