breaker works too well - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-03-2007, 11:05 PM   #1
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I'll start this with, "it's hard doing this long distance". My Dad has been getting my new Casita ready by cleaning it, flooding it (yes, flooding), new battery and various other activities. He's in Arkansas. I'm in Colorado.

My understanding is whenever he turns on the vacuum, which is plugged into the outlet that is powered through the shoreline, the 15 amp breaker trips. We assume that it should be able to handle the load. Everything wiring wise, to my Dad, looks fine. Something is still not right though.

Any suggestions?

Here is the outlet/breaker:


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Old 07-04-2007, 12:55 AM   #2
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I'm not familiar with this particular breaker (and can't see any useful detail in the photo), but I have found that when circuit breakers get old, they start to trip at a lower current than their design setting. I'd rather have this than the other way!

I have replaced breakers in my house - with a new one of the same rating - to fix this sort of problem, so when one of the breakers for the 12V DC circuits in my Boler started tripping at a low current I replaced all three of them. (If I was going to take the thing apart, I was replacing all of them, since if one was failing the others would soon.)
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Old 07-04-2007, 07:46 AM   #3
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I kinda figured to replace it but what worries me is that it looks riveted in. I'll try to be patient and wait till I get out there to pick it up. It's only a little bit longer. ommmmm.

paula
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Old 07-04-2007, 08:04 AM   #4
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Does the breaker trip when you plug some other high-draw device, say an electric heater? Could it be the vacuum that it is the problem and not the breaker? (I always hope for the easy fix).
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Old 07-04-2007, 08:45 AM   #5
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Breakers DON'T last forever and if they aren't performing within all expected parameters, its time to replace them. No sense messing with a potential fire or shock hazzard ....its just NOT worth it
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
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First: Try what Cam said then if it still trips, install a new breaker.
Try an iron because it is easy to carry out to the egg and it will pull enough amps.

These guys are correct, The more times a breaker trips, the weaker it gets and in time it just wears out.

You can drill out the rivet heads and remove the assembly then just screw it back in place after you fix the breaker.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:35 AM   #7
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Paula, I had one of those in my Burro as well. They were used as a direct-wired outlet/breaker, and usually the only 110v AC outlet in the trailer. They have pretty wimpy 15 amp breakers, and my electric heater used to trip it regularly. I haven't found a replacement source for them, and I don't know if they're even made any more. My solution was to install a residential breaker box under the sink with two 15 amp circuits and a 30 amp RV cord. I had the second circuit reserved as a dedicated roof A/C circuit. I was going to replace the "breaker socket" with a standard GFI grounded residential outlet. That entire "fix" will cost you about $100 including the cord, breakers, and box but you can add as many outlets to it as required, you'll know it's properly installed and wired, and you'll never have to worry about tripping the breaker.

I thought for sure I had photos of the breaker box installation, but I can't find them right now.

Roger
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Old 07-04-2007, 03:31 PM   #8
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Something like Roger's fix, a small, two-breaker residential box from Square D or someone like that, was the original equipment on both my 91 Scamp 13' and my old Jayco 16'. The 30Amp/120VAC shore cable runs directly to that box and 120VAC outlets were connected to one circuit breaker (my converters plugged into the outlets).

The second breaker is intended for a/c, and the shore cable is sized for it. To reduce my weight load, I removed the 30A cable and replaced it with a short 15A/120VAC cable (Of course, the second circuit breaker is not wired to any appliance) and I plug it into the 15A GFCI at the CG post.

BTW, the green wire from the box should be connected to the trailer's steel frame.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:27 PM   #9
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You guys are right, just replace it. Plus it's another opportunity to to get my drill out! (so that's how you get the rivets out...)

I'll head to the hardware store and see what my options are. Since I don't need it right now I can investigate it when I get out there too and do it right. It's silly when my Dad says it's this plug and I don't have any idea where he's talking so I don't know the distance I need to cover from the sink area to that plug, or any plug for that matter.

And the scary part about your electrical discriptions is, I kept up! When I studied for my Ham license I didn't think I'd ever make it since my brain doesn't work that way, one bit!

I can't wait to see my new egg!

Thanks for the info, again!
paula
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:02 AM   #10
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Here is a Square D breaker box with two breakers installed.
They are available at any home center or hardware store for under $30.00 with the breakers.
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:11 AM   #11
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One last thing: Unplug the egg B4 you start any work so you do not electrocute yourself.

Run an extension cord from the garage to the egg and use it for the tools.

Just drill out the flat part of the rivet - not the complete rivet. You only have to drill the thickness of the flat part, in the center and it will come off and look like a washer then punch the rest of the rivet out the back.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:04 PM   #12
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Thanks for that additional photo, Roger. I can read the text in that one.

If you don't mind losing the switch function, and having just a breaker, it looks like you could use the same ones I mentioned replacing in my Boler (I have them for 12V DC use, but the breakers are rated for at least 125V AC). Mine came from Coast via an RV dealer (see item 13419 in the lower right corner of page 63 of the current Coast catalog from Go-RV.com). Although the catalog only mentions push-on spade terminals (1/4" wide), they are also available with screw terminals. I would remove the cover and look.

In both photos it appears that the breaker sticks up through a hole in the cover, held there by a threaded collar (a thin silvery nut around the black plastic body of the breaker) just like mine.... so the rivets are just the ones for the cover. I vote for the drill-and-replace-with-screws plan.

I would rather have the small panel and normal outlet that Roger, Pete, and Ed are describing; however, just replacing this breaker (if a replacement is readily available) is fast, cheap, and still safe.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:15 PM   #13
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Yes, thanks for the new photo. I have to rely on my Dad's photography right now.

I figured that the breaker was the entire piece, not just something behind a cover. But, no matter what, it'll have to be drilled out. Thanks for the hopefully, "idiot proof" description of how to do it.

Most of the time, shore line probably won't be available to me so this could be a back burner thing. But then again it's hard to keep my Dad at bay from a long distance. Once he sets his sights on something it's hard to stop him. Hopefully he'll hold off till I can get out there and survey the situation!

I went into Camping World for various things yesterday and was very disappointed trying to get three items. The biggest complaint I have is the guy helping me didn't have a clue what kind of camper I had. So it's great having this knowledge base available with folks that have "been there, done that".

Thanks!!
Paula
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
...The biggest complaint I have is the guy helping me didn't have a clue what kind of camper I had.
I keep hearing RV store people ask what brand and model the RV is. Why? If the customer has the original part (or good description) for an example, it doesn't matter if it's going in a Winnebago or a spaceship... that's the part that's needed. If they say, "there's no parts for those old Bolers anymore" or "I've never heard of that; there probably aren't any parts available" my response is to say "Do you see these on new RVs? Imagine mine is one of them."

To be fair, there are far too many RV makes and models (even in current production) to expect anyone to be familiar with them. I think that the key is to describe the part, or its function, not the RV in which it is installed. Parts people who are willing to work with me to determine the right product, regardless of the trailer, get my repeat business.
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