Help with 240v Electrical Issue - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 11-28-2015, 02:55 AM   #1
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Help with 240v Electrical Issue

Woke up this morning to no 120v electrical in my unit. It had tripped the 50a breaker on the campground pole AND one of the 125a breakers on the main campground panel, meaning one of my neighbors was without power too. After some troubleshooting we determined it was MY rig tripping the breaker. Then I noticed water dripping from under my unit. The bathroom faucet connections were leaking & dripping down into the electrical area in the storage compartment. I'm sure its no coincidence, so i fixed the water leak & am looking for help on what damage it might have caused to blow the breakers as soon as i plug it in. Everything works fine on the generator & no breakers inside blow. Now, I can re-wire this whole rig top to bottom but the 50a - 240 volt system i am completely clueless on. I have a 3000w inverter that was not in the line of fire but it looks like water made its way into the transfer switch. I will dig in tomorrow morning & look for the obvious but was hoping for any input anyone may have. The help at the campground said it is very unusual for the 125a main breaker to blow along with the 50a pole breaker & said something about the water "mixing phases"??
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mcpaul View Post
Woke up this morning to no 120v electrical in my unit. It had tripped the 50a breaker on the campground pole AND one of the 125a breakers on the main campground panel, meaning one of my neighbors was without power too. After some troubleshooting we determined it was MY rig tripping the breaker. Then I noticed water dripping from under my unit. The bathroom faucet connections were leaking & dripping down into the electrical area in the storage compartment. I'm sure its no coincidence, so i fixed the water leak & am looking for help on what damage it might have caused to blow the breakers as soon as i plug it in. Everything works fine on the generator & no breakers inside blow. Now, I can re-wire this whole rig top to bottom but the 50a - 240 volt system i am completely clueless on. I have a 3000w inverter that was not in the line of fire but it looks like water made its way into the transfer switch. I will dig in tomorrow morning & look for the obvious but was hoping for any input anyone may have. The help at the campground said it is very unusual for the 125a main breaker to blow along with the 50a pole breaker & said something about the water "mixing phases"??
I wouldn't jump into any wiring too quick, get the panel dried out and see if you still have a problem.

I wouldn't immediately blame the camper, beause campgrounds are notorious fo having bad wiring. If the camp ground breaker has seen lots of use it can just plain wear out and the slightest surge or added load can cause them to trip.

Do you have a sure protector between your camper and the camp ground power? It old tell you if the fault is in the campgrond power.
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:59 PM   #3
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Sounds like you fixed the root cause, and the transfer switch was the victim. Replace that (~$50) and check your systems, and move forward.. Luckily it was just one bad night and your neighbor probably had to start his gen, but otherwise you may be ok.
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:12 PM   #4
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hddecker, is right, dry everything out first, make sure everything is reset, run the Gen, and check everything in your camper, then you can check your 50A wiring
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:54 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. It was the transfer switch. After drying everything out it was still blowing breakers so with some help we bi-passed the switch & everything worked fine. New transfer switch on order & going to be installed in a slightly different location. Maybe not DIRECTLY below all the bath plumbing! Again thanks for your help.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:31 AM   #6
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You want to convert your trailer into a 240v system? Why? Am I missing something? Perhaps you're not familiar with the RV 50A service. It's two separate 120v systems. In a 240v 50A system you have two hots and a ground. In a 50A RV system you have two hots, a ground AND a common. You'll notice on your breaker panel that the system is split - one hot to one side and the other hot to the other side. Think of it as system A and system B; both 120v systems but separate. If you try to run 240v into your trailer you'll burn it up.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:59 AM   #7
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I realize it's two 120v legs, technically not 240v. Was just saying I wasn't comfortable messing with it, maybe just calling it 240 for drama sake. Haha!
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:41 PM   #8
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Glad it was a relatively inexpensive fix.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:21 PM   #9
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You want to convert your trailer into a 240v system? Why? Am I missing something? Perhaps you're not familiar with the RV 50A service. It's two separate 120v systems. In a 240v 50A system you have two hots and a ground. In a 50A RV system you have two hots, a ground AND a common. You'll notice on your breaker panel that the system is split - one hot to one side and the other hot to the other side. Think of it as system A and system B; both 120v systems but separate. If you try to run 240v into your trailer you'll burn it up.
Technically, it IS a 240 system, but in an RV there is not a use of hot-to-hot (240VAC) circuits. It is, as you described, wired to act like two separate 120VAC circuits. But they are out of phase with each other, and thus are able to share a common neutral (return) without overloading it. But you actually do have the potential for 240 VAC inside.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:10 PM   #10
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:48 PM   #11
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Technically, it IS a 240 system, but in an RV there is not a use of hot-to-hot (240VAC) circuits. It is, as you described, wired to act like two separate 120VAC circuits. But they are out of phase with each other, and thus are able to share a common neutral (return) without overloading it. But you actually do have the potential for 240 VAC inside.
Thanks for confusing the issue.
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