Breaker Trips When I Plug My RV Into AC Outlet
(Clarksville, AR, USA)
When I plug my 1997 Wildwood fifth wheel camper into an AC outlet, the circuit breaker trips (I'm talking about the breaker in my electrical panel in my shop, not on the camper). At times, when the breaker doesn't trip, I get an electrical shock when I touch the frame of the camper or the handle to open the door. I have replaced the main lead into the camper, and have inspected all visible wiring around distribution box, but cannot find any sign of bare wires grounding out.ANSWER:
Greetings Kevin thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.
From what you have told me, I am going to guess that your problem is either reversed polarity or a loose ground either in the power source you are plugging into or in the wiring of your 5th Wheel Trailer. Any of the conditions I mentioned above can cause breakers to trip and also give your RV a "Hot Skin" which means that you can get shocked by your RV.
If you are not experiencing this problem when you plug your RV into electrical connections at campgrounds, etc. then the ground or polarity problems are probably in your home electrical system or a bad extension cord you may be using to connect to your home electric. Since you stated that you also replaced the main lead to the camper you may also want to check to make sure that the polarity on that wiring is not reversed.Learn everything about your RV and RVing with the Go For The RV Gold Online RV Training Series by RVing Expert Mark PolkHow to Prevent Electrical Problems In Your RV
The first thing you should do is buy an AC Line Monitor such as The Prime Products 12-4058 AC Power Line Monitor
TRC Electra Check Digital Monitor
. Both of these monitors can simply be plugged into one of the outlets in your RV. Once plugged in both of them monitor the electric in your RV for reversed polarity, open neutral or open ground problems. In addition the TRC Electra has a built in alarm. They both have digital voltage readouts so you will know if you have a low or high voltage problem in the electricity being supplied to your RV.
In most cases when you plug your RV into an electrical system at an RV Campground or Resort you are going to be using a 30 Amp or 50 Amp plug. The first thing you need to do when your RV is plugged in is to check the monitor inside the RV to insure that the power source you are currently plugged into is wired properly and providing the proper voltage to your RV.
This should be done prior to running any of your RV's appliances. If the monitor indicates a problem you should immediately unplug your RV from the power source and inform the campground or resort that they have a wiring problem. You may be surprised at the number of times that you will find electrical problems at campgrounds.
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One of these AC Power Monitors and a good RV Surge Protector can prevent some very expensive damage to your Travel Trailer's electrical system and appliances.
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