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Electricity in the travel trailer works at home but not at the campgrounds, what is the problem?

by Jerry Mergenthaler
(Havana, Florida)

I am running 20 amps in my travel trailer. When I am at home I test to make sure my electricity comes on and it works fine. But when I go the campground and plug into a 20 amp service plug it trips the plug as soon as I plug in just one item. Why would the electricity work at home and not at the campsite. And what can I do to fix the problem?

ANSWER: Greetings Jerry thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

I think that the problem may be that the campgrounds are using a GFCI Receptacle. GFCI Receptacles look like normal 15/20 amp plugs except that they have a built in circuit breaker. The GFCI plugs are very sensitive to bad grounds and reverse polarity in electrical systems. They will blow when a normal house circuit breaker will not.

I am assuming that the receptacle you are plugging into at home is not a GFCI receptacle and that is why you are not having problems at home.

Considering the age of your travel trailer, there is a good possibility that your trailer has a poor ground or the polarity of the electrical system has somehow been reversed. It might not be a bad idea to have an electrician check out your RV's electrical system for polarity, resistance and electrical draws. A good electrician should be able to figure out the problem rather quickly.

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Happy RVing

RVing Al

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