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Old 08-29-2016, 01:51 AM   #1
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Power is perplexing!!

Just picked up a very clean 2013 Kodiak TT 27RBSL. When I plugged the shore power into the house outlet it blew the GFCI in the garage. I used a 30 to 15 pigtail to plug into the house. Unhooked the battery, connected just to the shorepower cord but once connected to the camper - bang, there goes the CFCI. The camper runs fine on the generator, but that is a pain. I'm hoping its not the converter, but if it is I'll upgrade it. Anyone out there ever run into this problem before. The TT we traded never gave us a problem (same connection)
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Old 08-29-2016, 03:35 AM   #2
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Just picked up a very clean 2013 Kodiak TT 27RBSL. When I plugged the shore power into the house outlet it blew the GFCI in the garage. I used a 30 to 15 pigtail to plug into the house. Unhooked the battery, connected just to the shorepower cord but once connected to the camper - bang, there goes the CFCI. The camper runs fine on the generator, but that is a pain. I'm hoping its not the converter, but if it is I'll upgrade it. Anyone out there ever run into this problem before. The TT we traded never gave us a problem (same connection)
Welcome to the forum.

Are you using the cheap little yellow Camco thing, I had nothing but problems using that 15-30 amp adapter, everytime I plugged it in the breaker blew.

Does the genset still power the camper without any problems. If it does find yourself a dog bone adapter.

Is the GFCI in the camper or is it on the cicuit you are plugging into?
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:23 AM   #3
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Ensure everything is off, the air con, the fridge (not on Auto) , and any other power draws. Have had that happen before, in our older TT, it was the combination of the fridge switching to AC power and the air con switch was slid to ON.

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Old 08-29-2016, 01:22 PM   #4
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Yes, I'm using a yellow campco adapter. I did make sure everything else was off. I even disconnected the battery. I'm getting a surge from somewhere. However, when the shore power is disconnected I can still light the lights and the slides still work. The AC doesn't go on with just the batteries. I'm assuming that there isn't enough juice in the single battery to power it. thanks for the replies.
Any suggestions on getting a decent dogbone instead of the whimpy yellow one?
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:38 PM   #5
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A/C is 120 volt. You need shore power or generator. Lights are 12 volt and will run off of your battery when you don't have shore power.
Rusty
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
Yes, I'm using a yellow campco adapter. I did make sure everything else was off. I even disconnected the battery. I'm getting a surge from somewhere. However, when the shore power is disconnected I can still light the lights and the slides still work. The AC doesn't go on with just the batteries. I'm assuming that there isn't enough juice in the single battery to power it. thanks for the replies.
Any suggestions on getting a decent dogbone instead of the whimpy yellow one?
Are your lights working with the shore line disconnected and the battery disconnected too? Maybe I'm reading it wrong. Anyway the electrical system isn't that complicated once you get the gist of it. My brain works good with pictures, so here's a picture that may help...

You can try switching off one feed breaker at a time to see if you can isolate the problem if it still happens with a different adaptor.
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Old 08-29-2016, 03:53 PM   #7
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Guys, he said it is tripping the GFCI, not the circuit breaker in the house. That tells me he has a ground/return problem, not an overload.
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Old 08-29-2016, 03:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
Yes, I'm using a yellow campco adapter. I did make sure everything else was off. I even disconnected the battery. I'm getting a surge from somewhere. However, when the shore power is disconnected I can still light the lights and the slides still work. The AC doesn't go on with just the batteries. I'm assuming that there isn't enough juice in the single battery to power it. thanks for the replies.
Any suggestions on getting a decent dogbone instead of the whimpy yellow one?

I missed the part about you using the same deal on you previous camper without any problems, so just disregard the ramblings of an old man.

I've seen dogbones in Walmart, they look like a short extension cord. I made two of them, one with a 15A and one with 20A generator plug, Home Depot has the ends to make your own, using a 10 or 12G wire.

Go back to square one and try turning the main breaker in the camper off to start, plug in and see if you 12V is working. If you have 12V flip the main breaker and see if you are still blowing the garage breaker. If you still have a problem turn all the breakers off, then start flipping them on one at a time.

You can usually run one high draw appliance using the 15A adapter, but only one. We only use 120V to get the fridge cold.
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:01 PM   #9
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Guys, he said it is tripping the GFCI, not the circuit breaker in the house. That tells me he has a ground/return problem, not an overload.
Exactly, now to determine where it is coming from. Main feed or branch circuit device.
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:13 PM   #10
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It's tripping the GFCI in the garage. Nothing works when I disconnect the battery and leave the shore power out. I'll try connecting shore power after I turn off all the breakers - then I'll flip them on on at a time and see what results I get.
I don't know if I'm really good enough to make my own dog bone..I can do almost everything but "sparks" make me nervous...
BTW...I already replaced the shore power cord and the receptacle on the camper. thanks again guys. This is a great place to get great advise...
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:20 PM   #11
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Guys, he said it is tripping the GFCI, not the circuit breaker in the house. That tells me he has a ground/return problem, not an overload.
I have a different, but somewhat similar issue, with the GFCI circuit on my 3 month old Aerolite. From what I can tell, mine is wired where there is one (and ONLY one) GFCI wall outlet in the bathroom next to the sink. It has the little test\reset button. And when it gets "tripped", there are 3 or 4 other electrical outlets that stop functioning. I assume they are wired in series after that bathroom outlet?

Note: I have other 110V outlets that are independent of this one GFCI run of outlets.

A couple of times I have come home from work and noticed the espresso machine power light is off in the outdoor kitchen. I now know that it means something has tripped the GFCI outlet in the bathroom. (Although nothing is actually plugged into it) When I enter the tiny-house and hit the reset on that outlet, the outdoor kitchen works again. Sadly, if the power was off for long out there, I might have spoiled milk in the outdoor kitchen fridge. But so far I have always found that fridge still cool enough to indicate whatever tripped the GFCI circuit, it was NOT many hours ago.

Because it hasn't happened but a couple of times, I haven't been overly concerned. But I AM curious! And maybe this thread will shed some light on the possible culprit? Or better yet, maybe my issue will help the OP find his remedy?

I actually do not know enough about GFCI to understand what all conditions can trip it. I only know that this isn't the typical too-much-draw that a normal breaker is designed to intervene for. Instead, it is some kind of ground sensing issue? But even that makes the random AND seldom nature of the tripping confusing. Nothing actually is going on when I am away for the day. The load is static.

I'm ready to learn more and be an aid to the OP if you geniuses can use me.
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:27 PM   #12
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It's tripping the GFCI in the garage. Nothing works when I disconnect the battery and leave the shore power out. I'll try connecting shore power after I turn off all the breakers - then I'll flip them on on at a time and see what results I get.
I don't know if I'm really good enough to make my own dog bone..I can do almost everything but "sparks" make me nervous...
BTW...I already replaced the shore power cord and the receptacle on the camper. thanks again guys. This is a great place to get great advise...
Sawtooth, re-connect the battery, and leave it that way. It has nothing to do with this. Now turn off all your TT circuit breakers, i.e. the 120 volt breakers in the control panel. Plug in and see if your GFCI trips. If it does, you have a wiring problem. If it does at this point, your new cord and receptacle was not wired correctly. (my suspicion) If it doesn't trip yet, turn on only the 30 amp main breaker. If it trips the GFCI now, then you might have a converter problem. If it does not yet trip the GFCI, begin turning on each of the smaller breakers until it does trip the GFCI. Note which one does, and troubleshoot it.
GFCI's trip when the current going out (black wire) is not the same as the current coming back (white wire.) That means some of the current is "leaking," probably through a ground. White and Green wires are tied together in the house, but not usually in TTs.
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
It's tripping the GFCI in the garage. Nothing works when I disconnect the battery and leave the shore power out. I'll try connecting shore power after I turn off all the breakers - then I'll flip them on on at a time and see what results I get.
I don't know if I'm really good enough to make my own dog bone..I can do almost everything but "sparks" make me nervous...
BTW...I already replaced the shore power cord and the receptacle on the camper. thanks again guys. This is a great place to get great advise...
You may need to have the battery hooked up to use the 12V stuff on shore power. It depends on the converter, some work without the battery and some don't.
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:35 PM   #14
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I have a different, but somewhat similar issue, with the GFCI circuit on my 3 month old Aerolite. From what I can tell, mine is wired where there is one (and ONLY one) GFCI wall outlet in the bathroom next to the sink. It has the little test\reset button. And when it gets "tripped", there are 3 or 4 other electrical outlets that stop functioning. I assume they are wired in series after that bathroom outlet?

Note: I have other 110V outlets that are independent of this one GFCI run of outlets.

A couple of times I have come home from work and noticed the espresso machine power light is off in the outdoor kitchen. I now know that it means something has tripped the GFCI outlet in the bathroom. (Although nothing is actually plugged into it) When I enter the tiny-house and hit the reset on that outlet, the outdoor kitchen works again. Sadly, if the power was off for long out there, I might have spoiled milk in the outdoor kitchen fridge. But so far I have always found that fridge still cool enough to indicate whatever tripped the GFCI circuit, it was NOT many hours ago.

Because it hasn't happened but a couple of times, I haven't been overly concerned. But I AM curious! And maybe this thread will shed some light on the possible culprit? Or better yet, maybe my issue will help the OP find his remedy?

I actually do not know enough about GFCI to understand what all conditions can trip it. I only know that this isn't the typical too-much-draw that a normal breaker is designed to intervene for. Instead, it is some kind of ground sensing issue? But even that makes the random AND seldom nature of the tripping confusing. Nothing actually is going on when I am away for the day. The load is static.

I'm ready to learn more and be an aid to the OP if you geniuses can use me.
Snakebitten, you are correct in that up to four outlets can be wired as "slaves" to the GFCI and enjoy the same protection as the sockets on the device itself. See my response to Sawtooth as to how it works. Now, in your situation, you need to check each of the devices that are powered by the GFCI. Look especially for junction boxes that are located outside. Water getting in will allow a trickle of current from hot to ground. (That is precisely what the GFCIs are designed to sense, and why they are mandatory in situations where outdoors or water is present, like bathrooms)
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:50 PM   #15
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More side notes about GFCIs: Regular 30 Amp campground outlets are normally NOT GFCI protected. (30 Amp GFCI circuit breakers are available, but very expensive). GFCI's do not "like" being plugged into a GFCI circuit. (like the one in this guy's garage - it can cause tripping). My advice - install a real 30 Amp circuit where you park your TT at home. Both the box (with outlet) and the breaker is available at Lowes or Depot. Use a minimum of 10 ga wire.
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:52 PM   #16
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Snakebitten, you are correct in that up to four outlets can be wired as "slaves" to the GFCI and enjoy the same protection as the sockets on the device itself. See my response to Sawtooth as to how it works. Now, in your situation, you need to check each of the devices that are powered by the GFCI. Look especially for junction boxes that are located outside. Water getting in will allow a trickle of current from hot to ground. (That is precisely what the GFCIs are designed to sense, and why they are mandatory in situations where outdoors or water is present, like bathrooms)
YOU are probably dead on with your guess! The outdoor kitchen is obviously susceptible to moisture when that big giant door is open and we have a downpour. Currently, it's been raining unceasingly for a month.

There are only 3 things using that GFCI chain of outlets and they are all outdoors. The fridge, the espresso machine, and the bean grinder.
I wouldn't say that any water has been OBVIOUS near the outlets, but maybe 100% humidity and condensation in the wall the circuits are mounted in? On one side of that wall is 72 degrees and cold. (inside) On the other is outdoors and 98 degrees and wet. I wouldn't say I see "sweating" on that wall exterior, but I wouldn't call it bone dry either. I fully expect that outdoor kitchen to show its age quickly as the cheap finishes and materials are so unprotected.

Thanks for your insight!
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:12 PM   #17
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YOU are probably dead on with your guess! The outdoor kitchen is obviously susceptible to moisture when that big giant door is open and we have a downpour. Currently, it's been raining unceasingly for a month.

There are only 3 things using that GFCI chain of outlets and they are all outdoors. The fridge, the espresso machine, and the bean grinder.
I wouldn't say that any water has been OBVIOUS near the outlets, but maybe 100% humidity and condensation in the wall the circuits are mounted in? On one side of that wall is 72 degrees and cold. (inside) On the other is outdoors and 98 degrees and wet. I wouldn't say I see "sweating" on that wall exterior, but I wouldn't call it bone dry either. I fully expect that outdoor kitchen to show its age quickly as the cheap finishes and materials are so unprotected.

Thanks for your insight!
Sounds like you might have nailed it. If you have an outlet mounted in a box that is cold on one side and warm and humid on the other you have the perfect storm.

Per code any outside outlet 15 or 20 amps is supposed to be GFCI protected, RV or house. I had one house that the outside ones would trip continuously when anything was plugged into them. All we could figure was excessive humidity. We replaced a couple of the ones on the covered porch with regular ones and went about our business.

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Old 08-29-2016, 08:19 PM   #18
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Sawtooth,

Do you have anything else plugged into the circuit in the garage where you are plugging it in? If there are things in the garage on the same circuit, they may be pulling to much juice when the trailer gets plugged in tripping the GFCI.

Matt
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:13 AM   #19
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Came home from work and turned off all the breakers in the TT. Went into the garage and pulled everything I could think of that's on that circuit. Plugged shore power line in (didn't connect to tt yet). GFCI was okay. Plugged into TT and it blew the GFCI. also noticed that without shore power lights were dim, battery was about 50% charge. I would think that there is a power draw somewhere. But the mystery is.....where??????
could it be time for a new converter?
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:37 AM   #20
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There are quite a few things that can draw a battery down. Do you have a battery disconnect switch? Even with it off there are still some things that will pull power like the LP detector, sometimes stereos and such.

To check the converter for output you need to plug in (I know, I know) and see what the voltage reading is at the battery. Which converter do you have? If it is a WFCO I would strongly suspect an issue with it. Also carefully check all electrical connections where the cord mounts to the converter. A slightly loose connection can cause major issues.

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