110V trips the GFI on my garage? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-19-2013, 10:16 AM   #1
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110V trips the GFI on my garage?

I have a 2003 16' Scamp camper with A/C, frig, furnace and water heater. After towing it home from a camping trip the other day I plugged it in to my garage and it trips the GFI on my garage.

What I've tried so far:
3 different circuits on my house (trips all of them)
Tried plugging it in with the Scamp breakers off.
Tried plugging it in with the Scamp fuses out.
Tried plugging it in with the frig unplugged.
Tried a new plug in adapter and several different ext. cords.
Did a visual check in all the compartments and behind the convertor
for loose wires or connections.

There is not an outdoor outlet and there is no moisture or leaks anywhere. (it hasn't even rained since I towed it home)

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #2
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With all the stuff that you've done, I'd suggest checking the whole length of the cable from the external plug to the convertor. There may be a small tiny slit or something that's letting a little bit of moisture in. My GFI seems to blow whenever it's been particularly wet outside. I just reset it, and that seems to fix it. Until the next time it trips. Can you disconnect the mains cable from the convertor? Try that, and if it still trips the GFI its the Scamp mains cable.
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:12 PM   #3
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Bad male end on Scamps 30 amp cable? Yes unplug converter, blow? sacrifice a 3 wirw extension cord and cut the female end off and run that and wire it in to breaker box (doesnt have to be a 30 amp cord). still blow then its somewhere in the campers 110 wiring (outlets, clamping areas). wiring runs from street side (inlet) all the way around the camper on back wall, right past water tank (floor damp?) Mine goes under the water tank to refridgerator, Oh so many possiabilities
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:49 PM   #4
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Disconnect the 30 amp feed to your Scamp at the converter and isolate the wires . With an ohmmeter check for a ground or a short between the hot & neutral or hot and equipment ground or neutral & equipment ground . GFCI 's are affected by moisture but also by the length of the wire or cord run . If you can locate a 500 V megger you will get a better test than with an ohm meter because of higher impressed voltage
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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I called Scamp today and they said that this issue has come up before and he pretty much told me that I should just plug in to an outlet that does not have GFI on that circuit so I did that and it does work.

Still think it is not right, I have had several campers and always use these outlets without a problem.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:02 AM   #6
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GFI's are awful. You can try replacing it and see what happens. I mark mine every time they trip, the third time they get thrown away. I only use them where they're required.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:09 AM   #7
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I can't run my power miter saw from a GFI but can from a regular circut with the same circut breaker.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:58 AM   #8
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I have to disagree with Scamp - If your trailer is wired correctly, and all the receptacles & appliances are working properly, you should be able to plug it into a GFCI without a problem.

GFCIs will trip for two different reasons. The common one is when there is a difference in the hot & neutral current over 5ma. Modern GFCIs also include a circuit that detects faults between the neutral & ground.

If the GFCI trips with all the circuit breakers off, you have a ground/neutral fault. This can happen if the refrigerator or water heater electric element has failed (it may still work), there is water in a receptacle, or the converter is failing. Rather than retyping the entire post, I've written one describing how to find & fix GFCI faults at RV.net.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry . View Post
I plugged it in to my garage and it trips the GFI on my garage.

What I've tried so far:
3 different circuits on my house (trips all of them)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry . View Post
Scamp ... told me that I should just plug in to an outlet that does not have GFI on that circuit so I did that and it does work.
I'm confused. Were all 4 circuits it tripped GFI?
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:15 AM   #10
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GFI trips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
I have to disagree with Scamp - If your trailer is wired correctly, and all the receptacles & appliances are working properly, you should be able to plug it into a GFCI without a problem.

GFCIs will trip for two different reasons. The common one is when there is a difference in the hot & neutral current over 5ma. Modern GFCIs also include a circuit that detects faults between the neutral & ground.

If the GFCI trips with all the circuit breakers off, you have a ground/neutral fault. This can happen if the refrigerator or water heater electric element has failed (it may still work), there is water in a receptacle, or the converter is failing. Rather than retyping the entire post, I've written one describing how to find & fix GFCI faults at RV.net.
I totally agree that GFIs do serve a useful purpose. Try disconnecting the cord from the tailer if you can and then plugging it into the GFI. If it still trips then I think you have a faulty cord and you should replace it or repair it.

Good Luck in you Findings,
Alex
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:59 PM   #11
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I'm confused. Were all 4 circuits it tripped GFI?

The first 3 circuits all had GFI's and they tripped. (all my garage and exterior receptacles)

The 4th circuit inside the house did not have a GFI and everything works on the camper as it should. (ran an extension cord thru the front door and in to my living room)
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jerry . View Post
The first 3 circuits all had GFI's and they tripped. (all my garage and exterior receptacles)

The 4th circuit inside the house did not have a GFI and everything works on the camper as it should. (ran an extension cord thru the front door and in to my living room)
Are the 3 GFI outlets same circut breaker in house or different circuts? It sounds like you are saying totally different circuts (garage and exterior) just seeking clarifacation.
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jerry . View Post
I have a 2003 16' Scamp camper with A/C, frig, furnace and water heater. After towing it home from a camping trip the other day I plugged it in to my garage and it trips the GFI on my garage.

What I've tried so far:
3 different circuits on my house (trips all of them)
Tried plugging it in with the Scamp breakers off.
Tried plugging it in with the Scamp fuses out.
Tried plugging it in with the frig unplugged.
Tried a new plug in adapter and several different ext. cords.
Did a visual check in all the compartments and behind the convertor
for loose wires or connections.

There is not an outdoor outlet and there is no moisture or leaks anywhere. (it hasn't even rained since I towed it home)

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Your description of tripping 3 different circuits led me to believe you were tripping 3 different circuit breakers . It is difficult to diagnose a problem when the description is ambiguous . Tripping 4 different GFCIs is not the same as tripping 1 GFCI and 3 circuit breakers . Different types of GFCIs have different trip levels . and the length of the wiring run from the GFCI breaker in your panel to your outside receptacle plus a long run of extension cord to your trailer can introduce a capacitive current that causes a false tripping of the GFCI
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:56 PM   #14
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Are the 3 GFI outlets same circut breaker in house or different circuts? It sounds like you are saying totally different circuts (garage and exterior) just seeking clarifacation.
All 3 GFI's are on separate circuits.
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:59 PM   #15
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My experience with Gfi's is that any high load or a motor is going to trip it, and it gets weaker with every trip. I was changing them several times a year in my garage, put regular outlets in, no trouble.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:06 PM   #16
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Your description of tripping 3 different circuits led me to believe you were tripping 3 different circuit breakers . It is difficult to diagnose a problem when the description is ambiguous . Tripping 4 different GFCIs is not the same as tripping 1 GFCI and 3 circuit breakers . Different types of GFCIs have different trip levels . and the length of the wiring run from the GFCI breaker in your panel to your outside receptacle plus a long run of extension cord to your trailer can introduce a capacitive current that causes a false tripping of the GFCI

Sorry about the confusion, only the GFI's were tripped. (two in my garage and one on the exterior of the house and each one is on its own circuit)

When I plug the camper in to a receptacle inside the house that does not have a GFI on the circuit everything works fine.

I am sure there is nothing wrong with my house wiring, I had the house built 17 years ago and since then I have had several campers that used all these receptacles without a problem including much longer extension cords than I am using now.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:15 PM   #17
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It is possible your camper is not grounded, similar to using a portable generator at a campground and you have a EMS system installed inside your camper, it will not allow the current to flow to the camper because the generator is not grounded.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:19 PM   #18
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Jim, a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protects against faults which connect the hot line (and in some cases even the neutral line) to ground. As far as I know, having no ground at all wouldn't be a problem.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #19
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Gfci

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My experience with Gfi's is that any high load or a motor is going to trip it, and it gets weaker with every trip. I was changing them several times a year in my garage, put regular outlets in, no trouble.
GFCI"S are mandatory for "ALL" 120 VAC receptacles installed in garages (Exemptions for freezers and garage door openers were removed 6 years ago) . In my 40 years as an electrician I have replaced less than a dozen GFCI receptacles because of failure and almost all of the failures were the low end, home improvement store, Chinese GFI receptacles. Suggesting that the solution to the problem is removing the GFI is foolish and dangerous . Laying under a vehicle on a damp concrete garage floor with a 120 VAC tool in your hand and no GFCI protection is a recipe for disaster . If proposed code changes go through homes will soon have total GFI and arc fault protection . If you read the IAEI articles on home electrocutions your opinion may change
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:39 PM   #20
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It is possible your camper is not grounded, similar to using a portable generator at a campground and you have a EMS system installed inside your camper, it will not allow the current to flow to the camper because the generator is not grounded.
You can provide GFI protection to two wire ungrounded circuits such as 2 wire romex , BX ,Knob & tube. You need to identify the outlets which are GFI protected with stickers that state "GFI protected NO equipment ground provided" GFI or ARC fault protection does not eliminate any of the grounding requirements of Art 250 of the NEC . You can not legally replace existing two wire receptacles with 3 wire grounding receptacles but you can replace them with GFI receptacles
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