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Old 09-22-2022, 06:05 AM   #1
Campermike
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Fridge trips GFCI

I am getting my trailer ready for a trip this weekend and was having issues with it blowing the GFCI on my house outlet when I turned on the fridge. At first I thought it was a bad GFCI outlet in the house b/c eventually doing anything on that outlet would trip it (like using my air compressor) but I think it's more the case that my trailer caused it to trip so many times I killed the GFCI. In any case, I replaced the outlet and still as soon as I turn on the fridge it trips. I swapped fridge to gas only mode for now so we can make our trip.

What I'm seeing is it is likely a bad electric heating element. If this were a dometic or norcold, that would be fine as the element is cheap. I happen to have an Atwood Helium model, and the replacement is $110 or so. Just wondering if there is any issue if I just use it with gas from here on out because I can buy a lot of propane for $110.... And if something else fails on the fridge soon I'd be pissed I spent $110 on that... with Atwood out of business/bought out parts seem costly.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:30 AM   #2
chuckster57
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You’ll be ok running on propane, just make sure the burner and glue are clean.

If you have full hookups at the campsite, I would try it on AC just to see what happens.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:39 AM   #3
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Is the camper fridge on a GFC outlet in the camper? Often a GFCI doesn't play well if plugged into a GFI. If you keep your trailer at home I'd suggest having an RV outlet installed for it. If that's not an option then run it on gas. Theyuse very little gas when operating in LP mode.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:44 AM   #4
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I tried plugging the fridge in direct to my house and it trips. I've had this trailer plugged in many times at home using the fridge and this issue is new.
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Old 09-22-2022, 08:19 AM   #5
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Actuality this morning I plugged the fridge direct to my house and it is working on ac mode.
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Old 09-22-2022, 08:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckster57 View Post
You’ll be ok running on propane, just make sure the burner and glue are clean.

If you have full hookups at the campsite, I would try it on AC just to see what happens.
we are keeping 'glue' clean now to run a fridge ??

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Old 09-22-2022, 09:43 AM   #7
flybouy
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I'm sure Chuck mistyped flue and got glue.

If your non-gfi outlet circuit is tripping the breaker it means there's too much load on the circuit. You should be able to run the camper with the converter on to charge the battery and the fridge on electric. However, if you also have the air-conditioner, or the water heater on electric or use the microwave it will exceed 15 amps. Or if that circuit in the house has a heavy load on it like a fridge, dehumidifier, or window ac it will exceed 15 amps.

Just to clarify, a GFCI. and a circuit breaker are two different devices. A GFCI checks the ground for voltage and if voltage is present and it exceeds the milliamp rating it will interupt the circuit to prevent a shock hazard. A circuit breaker will trip and interrupt the circuit if the amperage load exceeds the rating of the breaker.
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Old 09-22-2022, 09:57 AM   #8
Campermike
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flybouy,
I know the difference on GFCI vs breaker. The GFCI was what was "tripping". Oddly enough, today after the fridge ran all night on gas, I can connect it to the trailer outlet and use AC and it is working fine. It no longer causes the GFI fault. I don't know what could be going on to make it "bad" last night and fine this morning. I have nothing else on in the camper... no A/C running or anything like that. Just used the lights from time to time. Actually, when troubleshooting last night... I confirmed I COULD run the A/C without causing a GFCI fault but as soon as I plugged in the fridge it faulted. Today, it's like nothing ever happened.
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Old 09-22-2022, 10:08 AM   #9
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I misread your post #4. I thought you meant you plugged the camper into a non gfi outlet in the house. So you plugged the fridge 120v plug directly into the gfi that tripped with the camper plugged in correct?
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Old 09-22-2022, 10:29 AM   #10
Campermike
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Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
I misread your post #4. I thought you meant you plugged the camper into a non gfi outlet in the house. So you plugged the fridge 120v plug directly into the gfi that tripped with the camper plugged in correct?
Right. I have since then hooked the fridge into the camper's outlet (and the camper is plugged into the GFI). It is working fine now. Almost like there was some moisture in there that running it on LP gas dried out? I don't know but will be monitoring it for a bit.
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Old 09-22-2022, 11:09 AM   #11
chuckster57
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I do keep my glue clean, sticks better LOL
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