Warning! - Undersized Auto-Reset Breakers are a ticking bomb in all our rigs - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-24-2020, 09:01 AM   #1
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Warning! - Undersized Auto-Reset Breakers are a ticking bomb in all our rigs

Hi All! (especially the many new Voltage Toy Hauler owners, given the surge in RV popularity due to the Covid situation) I had a revelation just now that is making me stay up to post this at 1:30 AM. If you are out in your rig now, or about to go out, PLEASE read this. It will happen to you, and this will save you.
There is a bank of 6 or 7 50A auto-reset breakers located behind a black plastic cover on the upper left of your battery compartment wall. 2 of them are undersized and should be replaced with an 80A auto-reset breaker.

One is for the jacks; LCI issued this recommendation for the one in front of the jacks. I did that, and it solved the issue of having to press the jack button dozens of times to get it to go all the way.

The other is the ONE ‘protecting’ the power to the distribution center / fuse box panel inside the coach, which provides power to ALL the 12V circuits when not under shore or generator power. Here’s my revelation: granted it is unlikely they will ever all be needed at once, it is very likely you will exceed 50A easily at times. Look down that row of spade-type fuses in the distribution center. There are about a dozen of those fuses, all 5-10-20-30A. It is not hard to see how easily and frequently 50A will be exceeded.

When this breaker fails, power to the entire distribution center is lost; no cabin lights, water pump, frig, heater.. nothing. This happened to me for the SECOND time a couple days ago, on this circuit. THIS time I had a spare, and was able to swap it in Right in the middle of our camping trip, and go on. It would have been a trip-ender.

So, yours WILL go out too, and also probably at a very inconvenient time. They only cost about $5 at an RV service center, and the job to switch one out only takes a few minutes.

I am going to replace this one with an 80A, like I did for the jacks. Here are links to both the 50 and 80A aut-reset breakers on Amazon:

Here’s the 50: ZOOKOTO 2pcs 12-24V 20 Amp ATV AUTO Resettable Circuit Breaker Fuse holder 20A https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HFT83LL..._SSI7EbBF7H5DY

Here’s the 80: Bussmann CB181F-80 Waterproof High Amp Flush Mount Type I Circuit Breaker (80 Amp), 1 Pack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008QDI9HY..._xTI7Eb72QAJ4C
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:10 AM   #2
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Great info yes I have been having trouble with my jacks from time to time but not the main 12v panel issue, the links do not work to Amazon, I will be checking mine before the next trip on the 4th

Jut found your original post with the Amazon links working, Thanks
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Old 06-24-2020, 10:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RDJ View Post
Great info yes I have been having trouble with my jacks from time to time but not the main 12v panel issue, the links do not work to Amazon, I will be checking mine before the next trip on the 4th

Jut found your original post with the Amazon links working, Thanks
Can you share the working links, please?
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:58 AM   #4
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'Ticking time bomb ' is a little extreme even for our Dutchman products.


Having a main breaker go bad doesn't necessarily mean a trip has to be ended. It is a main breaker for branch circuits with their own protection. With that thought in mind the main could be jumped and allow the branch circuit's breakers do their job.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:25 PM   #5
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The standard engineering procedure for determining breaker size does start with the load current. However the next step is to size the wire. The last step is to size the breaker to match the wire size.



Increasing the size of the main without increasing the size of wire, connectors, and other components can cause a hair on fire event. Branch breakers usually total more than the main. Each branch breaker is sized to match the wire in the branch. The main is sized to match the service entrance components. They do not have to add up to the same total.


Standard fire safety recommendation is to never install a fuse larger than the one originally designed for because house fires and loss of life was all too frequent when people were able to easily put in bigger fuse to stop blowing originals. The same goes for breakers.


Do you feel lucky?
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:01 PM   #6
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The standard engineering procedure for determining breaker size does start with the load current. However the next step is to size the wire. The last step is to size the breaker to match the wire size.



Increasing the size of the main without increasing the size of wire, connectors, and other components can cause a hair on fire event. Branch breakers usually total more than the main. Each branch breaker is sized to match the wire in the branch. The main is sized to match the service entrance components. They do not have to add up to the same total.


Standard fire safety recommendation is to never install a fuse larger than the one originally designed for because house fires and loss of life was all too frequent when people were able to easily put in bigger fuse to stop blowing originals. The same goes for breakers.


Do you feel lucky?

Dutchman should have installed a 6 gauge wire feeding the main circuit breaker to the load center (I sized for 90F temp) for the 50 amp circuit. Increasing your cutoff by 60% can be dangerous if it ever does come into play, which it sounds like yours is. To safely carry that 80 amp load you would need to have a number 4 wire installed on the front end circuit to the load center.
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:06 PM   #7
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WOW, if you are popping 50 amp fuses that's a bunch! These main fuses depend on there not being more than one thing running at once. IF there is a slo-blow fuse available in that current capability, it may be a better option than upping it to a bigger load bearing capability.

DC is a different animal than AC and the amperages and wire sizes can fool you but start-up currents are usually the culprit (like when the AC starts and the lights dim).

It's kinda odd that you are popping the main fuse and not the branch circuit fuses. If you install a larger rated fuse, check to see if any of the wires are a bit warm then maybe throw a current meter on it to see what the load is.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-To...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

I put two of these little guys on my AC feed, they also make them for DC if you want constant monitoring...



https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B013PKYI...5&ref=aa_scomp
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:02 PM   #8
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Sorry for the bad Amazon links! Please refer to the ones in my original post from about 6/20.
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:04 PM   #9
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Thanks! I actually use those dc meters to monitor my solar charging system!
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:07 PM   #10
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Thank you! The main feed to the auto breaker stack is already #4. So is the one coming away from that breaker, so I think Iím ok.
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:09 PM   #11
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Thank you! The main feed to the auto breaker stack is already #4. So is the one coming away from that breaker, so I think Iím ok that way. I appreciate your response!
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:14 PM   #12
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Tried twice to post those links again.. but for some reason they wonít copy right, but the ones in my op from 6/20 are ok.. thanks!
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:41 PM   #13
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four should be OK for short distances. According to this, 4 will accommodate up to 70 amps short distances, less than 15'.

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/a...uge-d_730.html
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persistent View Post
The standard engineering procedure for determining breaker size does start with the load current. However the next step is to size the wire. The last step is to size the breaker to match the wire size.



Increasing the size of the main without increasing the size of wire, connectors, and other components can cause a hair on fire event. Branch breakers usually total more than the main. Each branch breaker is sized to match the wire in the branch. The main is sized to match the service entrance components. They do not have to add up to the same total.


Standard fire safety recommendation is to never install a fuse larger than the one originally designed for because house fires and loss of life was all too frequent when people were able to easily put in bigger fuse to stop blowing originals. The same goes for breakers.


Do you feel lucky?
Totally agree! NEVER exceed the recommended amperage fuse or breaker. If you are tripping your breaker you have a problem from something drawing to much current. By installing a higher amperage breaker/fuse you have just exceeded the current for the installed wires. Over current will cause heat, melted insulation and then short circuits resulting in a possible fire and loss of your rig!
I worked for years on trucks and motor homes! You need to have it checked and see where the excessive current is being drawn! As in the above quote!

Do you feel lucky?
I donít bet my life or families life on luck!
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:42 AM   #15
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LCI issued an advisory on the 50A autoreset breaker for the jacks circuit, for example, recommending it be upgraded to 80A, which solved my problems there, so it actually was designed undersized in this case, and needed correcting.
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:23 PM   #16
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Mine doesn't have a breaker on input to the bus bar - the black cable running down goes to the manual shutoff and from there directly to the batteries.

The black cable attached to the auto reset breaker directly above the input goes to the fuse panel.

The large red cable goes to the jack switch.
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:57 PM   #17
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Exactly. That breaker on that black 50A autoreset breaker going to the fuse panel is the one that will wear out and fry from frequently having to service DC circuits on the fuse panel that can easily total more than 50A. The toy gas pump for ex. alone takes 20A.
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:43 PM   #18
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Unless I'm boondocking, my converter provides most (all?) of the power to the fuse panel,, not the auto-reset breaker.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:55 PM   #19
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GREAT POST! The jack 80A upgrade was by far my best upgrade this year. The inside one referenced above the dealer did a couple years ago because I kept tripping the breaker when I would turn on too many lights on battery power. I started noticing the Jack retract reset problem in 2018 and lived with it for 2 years before I found a saint on youtube that explained how to fix it. $30 in parts and about 1.5 hours because I had to build a new wire and I needed 6 gauge connectors which are not at HD or Lowe's. Had to get them from NAPA. Such a wonderful feeling to hold the retract button and they crank until they are up!
PS, LCI tech support told me I needed to replace the hydraulic pump motor which is $1000 dollars. Dodged that bullet!
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