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Old 04-19-2018, 08:56 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 28z
State: North Carolina
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THOR #7401
Generator and GFI

Just started happening on out last outing. I start the generator and it starts fine but the GFI trips. I reset the GFI and all is good. Can't figure why it trips and then resets without a problem?????
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:16 PM   #2
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Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
State: Alabama
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THOR #4735
could be a overly sensitive GFCI unit and the sudden 'surge' of power trips it... good thing that it works, otherwise, though.
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:56 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.3
State: Texas
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Originally Posted by Gary A View Post
Just started happening on out last outing. I start the generator and it starts fine but the GFI trips. I reset the GFI and all is good. Can't figure why it trips and then resets without a problem?????
The GFCI in my ACE every other time or so weather or not on shore or generator. I camped all my life in pull trailers, 5th wheels, truck bed camper and boats. Never had GFCI in any of them and they all worked fine. Took mine out and replaced with a regular one. Behind the gen on the chassis are several lines on gnd studs. Check those..
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:41 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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THOR #7401
Thanks for the replies. The GFI in it is not the original. I bought one at Lowes about 6 months ago be cause the original was faulty. Something weird because there was no problem when I replaced the original about 5k miles ago and now it's tripping on generator start up????
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:33 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 ACE 30.1
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An interesting problem.......and my ramblings are attached. If I understand your situation correctly: your “on board” RV generator starts and after the short time delay the transfer switch operates to cutover to gen power. Is this when the GFCI trips? Once fully cutover and running on gen power you can reset the GFCI and it functions and powers its loads normally and can be manually tripped as well? Nothing else has changed in your coach AC electrical system that would explain the GFCI trip; AC loads on the GFCI, moisture, wiring changes etc. ?


My understanding is that the RV AC panel must not have ground and neutral bonded together. The requirement for a single point of ground and neutral bonding comes from the shore power source (when connected to shore power). I suspect that most “on board” RV gen sets have their neutral and ground wires bonded at the generator somewhere, so that when the transfer switch cuts over to the generator, that single point of ground and neutral bond still applies (supplied by the generator).


So if your GFCI trips during the initial transfer switch operation, but can be reset and operates normally after the gen is powering the coach AC loads, then something would seem not correct during the actual transfer operation......like maybe in the transfer switch the hot contact makes before the neutral contact makes to the generator feed. This might look to the GFCI like current is flowing from hot to ground for an instant when transfer switch contacts are in transition. Once both hot and neutral contacts are fully closed to the gen feed, then normal hot and neutral current flows allowing the GFCI to be reset and function normally. So is it possible for the transfer switch contacts (hot and neutral) to no longer make at essentially the same time? Not sure.....perhaps if the hot contact has a build up of contact deposits and the neutral is burned or pitted down from long use under high load? A head scratcher.
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