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115 VAC 15 A GFCI Protected Shore Source TRIPS OUT - Not Reliable


Lolo1034
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Hi all,

I have a 2006 Monaco Cayman.  When parked at home I step down my power cord and use only 15a for just lights.  Recently the FFCI that it's plugged in to keeps tripping causing my batteries to drain.  I noticed on my panel (see pic) it's all light up for wtr heater, rear a/c, wash/dry and front a/c.  I have none of these running (obviously since I'm only on a 15a circuit) anyone have any ideas why these are light up? and why GFCI keeps tripping?

Thank you all

Lolo

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I don't know if yours is the sane as mine, but on mine the energy management system lights up the water heater, rear A/C, etc. when there's enough power to enable any single one of those things. Then as power consumption increases it'll turn those lights off when there's not enough power for all the things. It does not mean those devices are consuming power, just that they are able to do so given the current power level. 

But back to the real problem of the breaker, to me that means you have more power consumption than just lights and battery charging. Depending on the circuit in your house, that may mean in your RV or in your house. 

Also, the energy management system in mine sheds power based on 20 amps being available. If you're on a 15 amp circuit the EMS may not shed loads appropriately to keep the breaker from tripping. But something still has to be turning those loads on. 

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When using a 15a adaptor, your RV still assumes it’s on a 30A and lights up available appliances.   It will try to run your A/C and water heater if they are selected to be powered on. Sounds like you are just trying to power something that your 15a circuit can’t handle, and thus trips.  Check to make sure your A/Cs are off and your water heater is off and see if that helps.  

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It sounds like your 15 A adaptor has worked in the past and this is a recent problem. If my assumption is correct then I would look at the GFCI first. It might be tripping on fault current. They are sensitive and perform their function well. If that is the case then it could be a problem in your cable, or adaptor.  Or it might just be a bad GFCI. They don't last forever. Hopefully its not coach related. That could get a little more complicated.

Edited by Gary Cole
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If it's a GFCI that keeps tripping it's probably not an issue of too much power usage but rather a ground fault problem. I would start by looking for a grounding problem and if you can't find one you might just try replacing the GFCI receptacle, the do go bad. 

The above comments about the energy management are correct. Whenever you have any amount of shore power all the light will be on unless the energy management is actively managing the load by turning off circuits. My system has a button to manually choose between 30 amps and 20 amps since the system can't automatically tell. If you are on 15 amps you can still pop a breaker because it's only trying to keep you below 20 amps.

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11 hours ago, Lolo1034 said:

Hi all,

I have a 2006 Monaco Cayman.  When parked at home I step down my power cord and use only 15a for just lights.  Recently the FFCI that it's plugged in to keeps tripping causing my batteries to drain.  I noticed on my panel (see pic) it's all light up for wtr heater, rear a/c, wash/dry and front a/c.  I have none of these running (obviously since I'm only on a 15a circuit) anyone have any ideas why these are light up? and why GFCI keeps tripping?

Thank you all

Lolo

NOTE: I edited the title to be more descriptive and focused on the problem.

Magnum, assuming you have a a Magnum inverter, says that running power off a 15 or 20 A GFCI Circuit is, at best, a crap shoot.  Their suggestion, find an internal 115 NON GFCI circuit.

The other way…not guaranteed, is to keep lowering the SHORE current settings.. TRY 15 amps.  If not drop to 10….then 5.  Turn OFF the Search Watts which is the first item in the Setup. Make sure, if you have an icemaker, presumably in a gas/electric refrigerator that you unplug the “icemaker” line inside the outside vent area or manually turn off the icemaker at the unit or press the “no ice” button. 

Finally, change out the GFCI to a newer one as older GFCI are more crotchety.  

That was advice in 2010 and I never got it to work...and my MH was almost new and I am the original owner and very much a newbie.  Then the tech sort of chuckled and said.  It MIGHT work, but if you really wanted reliable 120 15A Power to find a NON GFCI source, preferably a dedicated 20 Amp outlet, as the circuitry in the Magnum often confused a GFCI.  I THINK he might have said to also turn down the charging current percentage to 20% or so…

Try the above and let us know.

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  • Tom Cherry changed the title to 115 VAC 15 A GFCI Protected Shore Source TRIPS OUT - Not Reliable

On the topic of GFCI protection there a few different ratings including GFCIs which are set to trip at 30 miliamps in order to minimize nuisance tripping.  These are typically used for heat trace and other ice melting systems and are not intended to provide personal protection from shock. As I leave my RV unattended for extended periods I use a 30 miliamp rated GFCI to protect my feeder circuit  and still have the protection of the 5 miliamp rated devices at a branch circuit level  in the motor home.

Edited by Gary Cole
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Hi Lori, in your particular case as you appear to be using a branch circuit you could not change to a GFCI with a higher rating as the personal protection afforded by the device would be compromised. That also would be strictly prohibited by the codes. I should add that RVs are not considered ice melting equipment.🙂

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Thank you Tom, I do set my shore setting to 15a at home, thats the lowest I can go.  (My EMS is magnum) It is on a 15a circut.  I will try a new GFCI, thats good advise.  (I have this recepticle on a GFCI because its outside) The one it's plugged in to is about 4 years old.  I've not had this problem until now

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12 minutes ago, Lolo1034 said:

Hi Gary, is that for a 15a circuit, or 20a?  My run is only 15a

Interesting.  Will have to research the GFCI.  Magnum implied that MOST Home GFCI will trip out if the SHORE setup is not set LOW....very LOW.  Also an "Sorta Relevant" comment....regarding GFCI and our beasts. MOST of the internal receptacle GFCI are 20 Amps.  Monaco found one that did NOT have the "Slot" on the side.  Don't remember WHEN the NEC added the SLOT to mark the GFCI. BUT, if you have an onboard GFCI and it might be original, don't be surprised when you pull it that it is rated as 20 AMPS on the back. I was....back to LOWES.  Now, MY MAGNUM is the Single IN and Dual OUT with the THREE Circuit breaker PIN STYLE on the Magnum. IF your inverter is rated at 30 Amps IN (all should be) and Monaco used #12 Romex to the Sub Panel (if you have a GFCI Switch Style Circuit Breaker) or to the Receptacle GFCI (mine), then you should have a 20 Amp GFCI.

I assume that folks know that the two most commonly used and APPROVED by Magnum, for GFCI (receptacle) is Leviton and Cooper (now EATON) Wiring Devices.  Have NOT looked at the manual in a long time.  But Magnum did make a comment about "off brand" GFCI's being used for the Shore may not work with the Magnum....even on the UPSTREAM side.  MEMORY and it is getting a bit of jogging going down this pathway.

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12 minutes ago, Lolo1034 said:

I will research the receptacle make and get one of those.  It could be Leviton, I can't remember.  

Thank you!

I have installed many external GFCI, in the weatherproof boxes and sealed the boxes.  Even the best ones will trip.  Moisture is a strange critter.  Hope swapping it works.  Changing environmental conditions will also provide condensate...even with drains under the cover. I finally gave up on an exterior one at my daughters because no matter how or what the enclosure....it tripped and was then, eventually a nuisance....and she just quit using it.  

Good Luck...

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