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Electrical Systems 2012 Coachmen Chaparral


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I am a Master Electrician with alot of years experience. Our 5th Wheeler is driving us a little batty. If we turn on two appliances, the breaker pops.


Fully realize that I only have a 30 amp circuit going to 5er. We had a Bounder w/ only 30amps as well but it didn't blow the breaker.


Here is what I am going to do:


-Map out the circuits in unit to see which one goes on which breaker. This should tell me where I can plug different things in without breaker tripping.

-Test the amperage that each appliance draws to see if I might have a faulty appliance OR if I perhaps have a weak breaker.



Here is what I am thinking of doing:

-Installing another load center under my carriage that will supply 50 amps. I will then plug my 30amp Factory supplied plug in that load center on a 30 amp breaker. Then in that load center I will install 2 more 20 amp breakers. From those 2 breakers I will add 2 circuits to my unit. One on the front area and one in the back. From that point forward, as long as I go to a site that has 50 amps, I should be good to go.


Quite certain that there are things that I am not thinking about. Hopefully someone will point those things out to me.


How has everyone else dealt with this?

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I'm no electrical genius but if it were mine, I'd think about a faulty breaker first. I have found over the years that it's always the simple fix that we usually come to last. So, start with the simple one first. I would think that would be the easiest too.



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Sorry, but I'm unsure what breaker is tripping?????? One of the RV's distribution panel branch circuit breakers (usually 15 or 20 amp) or a 30 amp breaker????


As I'm sure you're aware appliances like a microwave or elec coffee maker might draw enough amperage such that two on at the same time on the same 15/20 amp branch circuit could cause a trip, but no two (unless faulty or more current then Id expect) should quickly trip a 30 amp breaker assuming no other loads??


If you rig a 50 amp cord and plug for connection to a 50 amp RV pedestal are you going to use both legs of 120 volt or only one??? Don't forget the RV panel or sub panels have the Neutral and Ground Busses separate and isolated.


Im NOT a Master Electrician but a too long retired power distribution design engineer and am rusty as an old nail on this stuff lol Mapping out the circuits as you mentioned and measuring the appliances current draw may find the problem and you end up not having to do anything at all???? And I've seen my share of faulty breakers also as well as loose corroded hot or neutral connections.


John T

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As a former service tech from industry with a lot of experience in RVs, I hesitate to advice a licensed electrician, as I am not and never have been one. Even so I do have a few opinions on what you propose that I will share.


If you plan to go to the expense/work involved in putting in a new, 50A distribution panel, then you should do the complete replacement of the present 30A panel in order to take advantage of the benefits. There is no reason whatever that you can't then add two more circuits for outlets as you have in mind and you might even be able to split the existing circuit supplying outlets into two separate circuits, as I have seen done on a previous electrical upgrade from 30A to 50A. I suggest that you take a look at the website of Bob Hatch to see just what he did, as I would consider his to be the very best advice on this subject that I have seen.


If you plan to do this, why not take Bob's advice and do it right?

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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While you haven't given us enough information to provide much help, I just want to be sure you are aware of some 120V electrical draws that folks often forget about. The RV water heater with electric option, refrigerator, and converter when batteries are low can all require a considerable amount of power. Combined they can use enough power to leave very little power available for the air conditioner or other appliances if you only have 30 amps to start with. In this situation many people will force the refrigerator and water heater to run on propane only, leaving only the converter to draw power. Even it will drop to near nothing once the batteries are charged.

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Another use would be to install a new 50 amp service, run a 30 amp line to a new inverter/charger and then run a 30 amp circuit to the existing panel. That panel could then be used to run a residential fridge, TV, etc from the inverter. I don't know if he has a battery bank or not but even something as simple as a pair 6V batteries would give him a lot of options for not a lot of money

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