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winnebago..driveway..rv..our garage, this caused the circuit breaker…

We have our Winnebago Brave...
We have our Winnebago Brave 28' in our driveway preparing it for an extended road trip however this problem has just started. To work inside the RV my husband plugged it into an outlet in our garage, this caused the circuit breaker to trip. He checked all connections and all wires and found nothing wrong. He called our local RV repair person only to be told that this can happen in the winter due to humidity and rain (we're in the Northwest). My husband leveled the RV, again checked everything and it still tripped the circuit breaker in our house. My husband is really very good at figuring out electrical problems, he actually wired our whole house when it was built and passed inspection on the first try but this problem has him stymied. We want to be able to plug the RV into a power source and not have to worry. We used our RV as a guest room this summer in our driveway, had it plugged into the same outlet and had full power for our RV. Please let us know if you have an answer
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Answered in 21 minutes by:
1/18/2010
RV Mechanic: R & K RV, RV Mechanic replied 12 years ago
R & K RV
R & K RV, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 194
Experience: Many years of experience on all types of RV repair. Specializing in electrical and generation.
Verified
Hello,
A couple of questions:
Is it a breaker actually tripping or are you plugging in to a Ground Fault receptacle (GFCI) in the garage and it is tripping?
Have you tried turning off all of the breakers in the RV and turning on the main first and then each one individually to see if one trips.
I see a lot of problems in wet locations with extension cords. Are you using a "known to be good" cord?
Let me know on the ground fault issue. Garages must be wired (by NEC code) with ground fault circuit interrupters. The problem with plugging in an RV to these is that the RV itself has these and hooking one GFCI to a system already wired with them can cause your issue especially if an extension cord is used in wet locations. It makes them extra sensitive and sometimes does not work at all.
The 30 to 20 amp adapters also add to the problem.
Thank you,
Ronnie
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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
hI,
The cord was plugged into our house NON GFI and it tripped the circuit breakers in the house. He turned off all RV circuit breakers first and it still tripped the house circuit breaker (20 amp breaker)
RV Mechanic: R & K RV, RV Mechanic replied 12 years ago
Ok,
Do you have a generator on this RV? If so,
Have you tried to run it and see if power works to everything?
Are you plugging your shore cord in to an extension cord? If so, have you tried unplugging the shore cord from the extension cord to see if tripping occurs. If there is a 30 to 20 adapter, has it been checked.
If the extension cord is home made and the polarity is reversed, it can seem fine when plugging a light or something in but will trip the breaker when plugged in to the RV. I have seen this on several occasions at campgrounds with folks using extensions.
Let me know what you have done as I have to take it a step at a time.
Thank you,
Ronnie
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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
Jim is outside now checking on the generator so you will have complete information. So far, to answer your questions, the generator is only a year old and in good working condition. He did use an extension cord to by-pass the garage and plug into a house outlet. It is not a homemade cord, it is a 30 AMP cord used for several other things without any problems. He has the generator running and everythiing in the RV seems to be working fine, such as a supplemental heater, lights etc., so maybe it is as you said, the actual power cord must be plugged in without an extension? Our main concern is that while we're on our road trip we would have an electrical problem, or no electricity. Is there anything we can do to avoid any problems getting "shorepower' to the RV?
RV Mechanic: R & K RV, RV Mechanic replied 12 years ago
What I suggest that most folks do is install a 30 amp receptacle just for the RV near the area where you keep it. This is 120 volt only and matches the plug at campground power pedastals. Doing this gives you "peace of mind" that everything on your end is working when you leave out. I have a lot of customers who bring me their RV's that have wired up the shore power to 220 volt. The shore cable plug looks like a regular 220 volt dryer plug but is wired as 120 volt ONLY when it comes to an RV.
You stated that your extension cord was 30 amp. I am assuming that is an extension made for RV use and that you are using an adapter to plug it in to a regular 120 volt duplex receptacle on your house?
If the generator is running things properly and you know that the extension cord is good, the only thing left to check is your actual shore cord or the transfer switch. The shore cord terminates at the transfer switch.
Keep me posted.
Thanks,
Ronnie
R & K RV
R & K RV, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 194
Experience: Many years of experience on all types of RV repair. Specializing in electrical and generation.
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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
Thanks Ronnie,
This answers our questions and Jim now seems to think, like you, that we must plug into a 30 AMP power source. We have friends in Texas who have installed one in their driveway just for their friends who visit with an RV. I think we'll install one also. I will keep you posted. Again, Thanks for your help..
RV Mechanic: R & K RV, RV Mechanic replied 12 years ago
You are very welcome. Thank you for the accept and feed back.
Although the 30 amp setup is the best way to do it, you should still be able to run from a 20 amp adapter. The only thing with that is there are all of the extra devices just to get there. They are for temporary use and are usually problematic. Set it up permanent and you will do away with all of the " extra stuff".
Thanks again,
Ronnie
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