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I just tried to plug in a little space heater to keep the new [to us] Ollie warm without using up propane. It keeps tripping the GFI?!

What is the answer to this? You cannot run a space heater off of  110 shore power? 

 

DJM 

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Posted (edited)

We've run a space heater many times, so that won't be the problem in itself.  

If it's tripping the GFI as you say, then it may indicate a problem with the heater itself.  A GFI switch is tripped by an imbalance of power going in and out of the circuit; i.e., some power is being lost to ground.  Sometimes, too, a heavy load can cause ripple in the circuit when it switches on, and that can trip a GFI. 

If it's actually tripping the breaker instead, then it could be that the wattage of the heater is too high, or perhaps you have an additional load on the circuit and the overall draw is too high.  

There's also a chance that you have a faulty GFI outlet.  

What model heater are you using?  Quite a few owners have had luck with the Vornado heaters like this one, which is what we have.  We're able to run it on high  (1500 watts) with no problem.  

 

Edited by Overland

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Posted (edited)

Also ... Try another similar high load like a toaster or hair dryer. Try another outlet.  If it keeps tripping, then the GFI (AKA GFCI) outlet is bad or there is a wiring fault. GFIs are simple residential type devices, relatively cheap and easy to replace, just make sure you unplug shore power or turn off the inverter before removing one!

OTH I would not buy any old "no name" brand that is on Amazon, something like this would be fine. Maybe buy a spare to have on hand. If you carry a spare, you can be sure the part will never fail again.;)  

Leviton GFCI

Oh yeah, many of the heaters have rated power like 1500 watts. In my limited experience that cannot be relied on. My little box heater on Low is more like 400w than the rated 700w - it draws a little more than 3 amps. Your built-in surge suppressor, if you have one, will show you the actual amps drawn on its remote display, which is pretty handy when troubleshooting weird stuff like this.

John Davies

Spokane WA

IMG_3595.jpg.53a9c728cfee9691093af58f0ceeaf11.jpg

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Plug the heater into the receptacle at the pedistal. If it does or doesn't work there, you might just eliminate a lot of steps and frustrations...

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6 hours ago, DJM said:

What is the answer to this? You cannot run a space heater off of  110 shore power? 

 

DJM 

The answer is that you can run a space heater while on shore power.  We have many hundreds of hours with our small Vornado space heater.  It has three settings, the upper setting is 1500W.  We can only run it at that setting if there is no other 110v draw.  If we make coffee we either turn the heater off, or down to low or I have to reset the breaker.  I’ve never had it pop the GFI.  I would start there as previously suggested.  I’ve replaced our GFI once, they do go bad.  Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

Well I have tried hooking up a 2nd space heater. I know this works at my office. It also works in my house. But as soon as I pluig it in and turn it on I loose power to all the outlets.  So then I disconnected and then reconnected the A.C. power. now I have power to the outlets but the fridge will not work in the AC mode. It wants to select gas mode. All the main circuit breaker seem to be untripped.  I have turned the fridge on and off several times but it will not select A.C. It will run in D.C. or in Gas.   Does anyone have any ideas?  DJM

 

 

 

Edited by DJM

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Subsequently I turned off the Fridge for a while then went and checked the GFI which seemed to be ok but I tested and reset it. Then I turned on the Fridge and it switched back to AC. So That problem is somehow repaired. if I can just figure out why I can't make a space heater work. ?? 

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Posted (edited)

Until you have checked ALL your outlets using a gfci outlet tester like the one mentioned above, which is also great for use in your home, and until you have replaced the gfi, we can’t offer any more suggestions. There is no way to bypass the basic troubleshooting steps. 

“The Commercial Electric GFCI Outlet Circuit Analyzer makes it easy for anyone to detect wiring errors on standard and GFCI protected circuits. This GFCI tester features a proprietary 1 LED readout to easily understand wiring conditions without multiple indicators or charts to decipher. The CE-GFI6500 includes GFCI test function to test GFCI outlets and standard outlets wired in parallel to GFCI circuits (bathroom, kitchen and outdoor receptacles require GFCI protection). “

Or just change the GFI if you are stuck at home . If that doesn’t correct the problem, you will have a good spare to throw in the drawer. If you don’t want to buy one, take one out of your house to use as a test unit.

BTW my fridge acts like yours. I sometimes have to power it off before it will switch over. I think it is a design feature, not a bug ;(

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Posted (edited)

I hate to ass/u/me anything regarding someone's abilities in electrical trouble shooting. It is very good you are asking questions and trying to fix things yourself. This being said, I've added a trusted source of educational material to my post above. 

I suspect the following and of course without knowing your specific year/model it is tough  to troubleshoot. Older units usually require more checking/maintaining:

1. As stated previously, a bad GFCI. Change it out as suggested. Pushing the button is one test...under load is your problem. Most GFCI found today are garbage and it is a hit or miss on replacements.

2. Improper resetting of circuit breakers or bad circuit breaker (CB). If CBs are tripping, there's a reason and you need to stop and figure out the reasons. Resetting a CB should be a simple deal. Aggressively turn off and then back on. Visually checking is not always the best practice as some CBs look reset but are actually still tripped. 

3. Loose connections. Screws on CBs can and will loosen from vibration and the constant flow of electrons. Wire nuts are notorious for loosening with age and vibrations due to electron flow. Checking them is easy, IF you have the tools and knowledge. Digging around inside the innards of the electrical boxes and various connections can be hazardous to your health, including death, if you are not trained or un-skilled in the task. Loose connection result in heat and higher resistance. Both are bad and add to the electrical gremlins you seek.

4. Look on the label of the heater and look for the wattage or amps. Post the info here. If it is over 1500w, this is likely the problem. The CBs and wiring in your house likely more robust than your OTT. Keep in mind the golden rule of 80%. A 20a circuit should only be running loads at 80% of design---16amps maximum. Codes change over the years and this rule may have been tweaked, but it has been a rule of thumb forever. 12ga wire on 20a circuits and 14ga for 15a circuits. 

Finally, if you feel unable to further troubleshoot this, call a licensed electrician. A RV tech should be able to handle the job as well but good luck finding a qualified one. My suggestion...call a pro who can put eyes on target and get your OTT back to operational health. Mark, amateur sparky. 

 

Edited by MontanaOliver
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AZARCACODEGAIDILINIAKSKYMEMDMAMIMNMOMTNE

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, MontanaOliver said:

Most GFCI found today are garbage and it is a hit or miss on replacements.

This is news to me, would you please elaborate? Are there good reliable brand names? I am generally very distrustful of no-name clones on Amazon, what are the good ones?

Thanks,

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, John E Davies said:

This is news to me, would you please elaborate? Are there good reliable brand names? I am generally very distrustful of no-name clones on Amazon, what are the good ones?

Thanks,

John Davies

Spokane WA

Sure, I'll take the bait. Personal experience mostly and hard working electrician friends and their testimony. I replaced most of the ones in our house over the years due to teenaged boys and heavy use. Levition (sourced from Lowes/HD), to name one product, is one I've had spotty luck with. Bad, new stuff has always been an issue. It has gotten worse with some products. I have a couple of older Erickson Mfg Slater Electric, Inc (purchased by LeGrand/Pass&Seymor) GFCIs still in use years after our home was built; still working as designed. Not big box stuff; usually found at the wholesale/pro outfit. Most wholesalers won't sell to the general public. Our new and local GENSCO sent me packing when I went in to browse the shelf. Contractors only please. I probably have a half dozen spares of the Levition brand on hand simply because it's a 50 mile trip for me to fix one and I've had new ones not function properly. Two are in a drawer in the OTT. Overseas outsourcing is the likely cause. Cheap is not always better, except for corporate profits, blah, blah, blah.

Edited by MontanaOliver

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John, I think that like you, I'd just stick to well known brands, like the Leviton you linked to above.  Although, I might suggest their extra heavy duty version instead.  Those are supposed to be impact resistant, which I have to assume confers some vibration resistance as well.  Plus the weather resistance should offer additional protection from condensation.  I'd also consider a 20-amp model.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I have been following DJM's original post and I had several questions from the start.

1. Which model Oliver are we talking about?

2. What is the hull number?

3. When was it produced?

4. Where is the GFCI located?

5. Who was the original owner?

6. Is there an inverter in the Trailer?

7. Do you have a microwave and does it work?

So I checked the DJM's profile and it did not answer any of these questions.  So I have stayed silent because I do not have any useful advice based on the fact that all I know is that 2 different space heaters trip the GFCI and DJM bought a used Ollie.  All of which leaves too much guess work.

And I apologize in advance if any of my questions are in anyway inappropriate!

Mossey

 


Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I’m not an electrician. I have noticed the the progressive management system is very sensitive. Could the system sense the power surge of a space heater which is causing the gfi to trip more easy. I have never had this system in past RVS  and never had the number of things tripping or shutting  down with error codes. Possible another thing to look at? Going back to simple sounds better.

Edited by Landrover

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In response to Mossemi's request The Oliver is a 2016  Elite II. It is hull # 151. I don't know who was the first owner. I thought it was Harvey Frese the guy I bought it from but I think the people from Oliver told me he was not the first owner.. There is no micowave. The GFI is under the forward seat in the Dinette. There IS an inverter. I have had several people suggest I change the GFI but I am wating to get the tester to see if it shows anything defective about the one in there. Should I get a 15 amp or a 20 amp?  It is odd sometimes the GFT trips but some times it doesn't. 

I tried my wife's hair dryer and it works on low but if you put it on high it runs for only a minute and then just STOPS. The GFI does not trip but the hair dryer stops. A shop light works in all outlets. I have no microwave. I am attaching the name plate on the space heater. which work fine if

you plug it in outside of the Oliver.  I would buy a vornado but Amazon has several varieties. Someone suggested a particular version but I can no longer find the suggestion.  DJM 

 

 IMG_1569.jpg.8fdcdd3b49e20c4dfd8c6114e5f251bd.jpg

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1 hour ago, DJM said:

I would buy a vornado but Amazon has several varieties. Someone suggested a particular version but I can no longer find the suggestion.

We bought the black Vornado MVH mode with 3 heat (wattage) settings for $60. Very happy with it. 

Since the Ollie interior is white, I wanted a white model, but the only white one Amazon had at the time was the VH2 model, with only 2 heat settings, for $75. 

  • Like 1

David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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16 minutes ago, DavidS said:

We bought the black Vornado MVH mode with 3 heat (wattage) settings for $60. Very happy with it. 

Since the Ollie interior is white, I wanted a white model, but the only white one Amazon had at the time was the VH2 model, with only 2 heat settings, for $75. 

We got the Vornado MVH in white, 3 heat settings, several years ago.  It’s quiet and does a great job.  Nice little unit.  Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Just curious, what is the trailer plugged into?  Is it a 30 amp circuit?


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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On 3/19/2020 at 12:50 PM, mossemi said:

Thank you for the information.  Now I have more questions😀.  

But first let me say that the fact that the hair dryer stops working without tripping the GFCI scares me.  I think you should find a qualified RV electrician to trouble shoot the electrical system.

I believe you stated in an earlier post that the space heater worked in your home or office.  Did you plug the heater into a GFCI outlet other than the trailer?  If not, try it.

Do you know how to use the inverter?

Does the heater trip the inverter GFCI when plugged directly into the inverter?  

If not, with the inverter running and no AC connection to the trailer, plug the heater into the dinette GFCI.  Did that GFCI trip?

If so, reset the GFCI or both if needed.

Now try the outlet in the upper cabinet above the refrigerators if you have one.  That outlet would power the microwave if you had one.  So you may or may not have an outlet there.  The microwave outlet is a dedicated circuit back the automatic transfer switch which plugs into the inverter, so it should trip the inverter GFCI.

Awaiting your response.

Mossey

1. Which model Oliver are we talking about?  LEII

2. What is the hull number?  151

3. When was it produced?  2016

4. Where is the GFCI located?  dinette

5. Who was the original owner?  unknown

6. Is there an inverter in the Trailer?  yes

7. Do you have a microwave and does it work?  no microwave

Mossey

 

 


Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/17/2020 at 2:24 PM, MontanaOliver said:

Adding to Mark's post of useful RV tools:

I found this picture that DavidS shared some time back of an electrical gauge and a GFCI tester as well as a 30 to 15 amp adapter.  I keep the electrical gauge plugged in under the curbside bed all of the time just as a reference for my AC power.  You can use it to test pedestal power or anything you plug your Ollie into or to testany of the outlets in the trailer.  I have the other tools Mark posted as well and like most handy people, I have used a radio or a 2 wire test light to confirm the presence of AC power, but that was before I could afford an Ollie.

Invest in the test equipment suitable for your needs and capabilities.  It my save your life.  And don’t forget about YouTube, it’s a great resource for information you don’t know or may have forgotten.

Mossey

IMG_0063.thumb.PNG.87508ec239172aa79ac2f78ecd97d275.PNG

Edited by mossemi
Picture

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Mr. Mossemi,

Thanks for all of these suggestions. Yesterday I got the outlet tester from Amazon and every one of the outlets tested fine in the oliver. however coincidentally as I was testing [no space heater plugged in or working] the gfi in the house tripped. So I reset that then checked all the outlets in the Oliver [which were fine] then I plugged in the heater. it runs on low but when you turn it to high it stops after just a few seconds. 

So with all the outlets in the Oliver testing out I am beginning to think the problem is the 150' of extension cords from the house out to the Oliver in the back yard. So then I change where the extension cord is plugged in at the house and put it on a different circuit which does not even have a GFI that I know of and we get exactly the same outcome. All the outlets in the oliver are fine. But when the space heater goes to "high" it just stops working after about 20 seconds. 

then I google whether or not a space heaters function degrades at the end of a long extension cord and I get no direct answer but I do get a lot of hits telling me that plugging a space heater in to an extension cord is very dangerous and can start a fire.   Of course the space heater is not plugged in to an extension cord it is the Oliver that is plugged in to an extension cord. But SOMETHING tells me this all has to do with the fact that my electric is being supplied through about 150' of extension cord. 

 

I will try to follow your instructions about the inverter as well . I know almost nothing about it. I think it converts D.C. to A.C. power?   I haven't tried to run anything on an A.C. outlet with the ac disconnected. i should try that just to confirm it is working. 

 

DJM

 

 

Note I have tested this with a hair dryer and with a different space heater and I get the same response. All of those appliances work fine in the house.  I guess i could pin this down even better by simply plugging the heater directly in to the extension cord and see if I get the same result. I am going to try that next. I predict I will get the same result as when I plug it in inside of the oliver. 

Ollie in the back yard IMG_1566.jpg

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Yes, your problem may be the 150' extension cord.  


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Yep - a 150 foot run would be a bunch for even 12 gauge but I would be willing to bet that the cords used are 14 gauge and certainly that would be tooooo long of a distance whether or not that is the cause of the tripping GFI.

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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FYI,

Your 1500 w space heater is using about 12.5 Amps.

150' of 10 AWG  wire = a line loss of 3.75v.  So if you started with 120v at the house, you are down to 116.25v at the trailer.-

12 AWG = a loss of 5.96v = 114.04v.

14 AWG = a loss of 9.47v = 110.53v.

16 AWG = a loss of 15.05v = 104.95v which is .95v above the low voltage cutoff of the Progressive Industries Surge Protector. If you reach the low voltage cutoff point, you would lose all AC to the trailer because the surge protector would shut down.

So the long answer is your extension cord is too long and probably too small.

By the way, in the 3rd entry of this post, John E Davies shows a picture of the remote display of the Progressive Industries Surge Protector.  It may be located under the street side bed.  It will show the voltage coming into the trailer in the scrolling display.  John's picture shows the amp reading so keep watching and it will show the voltage reading so you’ll know what that value is.

And don’t return the GFCI tester, put in your Ollie tool box because you’ll use it again.

Mossey

  • Like 1

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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