Blowing Breakers

Blowing Breakers

by Danny

Question: I have a 2012 Springdale Fifth Wheel. I blow the circuit breaker at the campsite connection a lot, at any given time – mainly when running a vacume or hair dryer. The connections on my cord are clean. Any ideas? Thanks for your time.

Answer: There are a few things to consider, first the power pedestal that your are getting your power from and second how many amps you are consuming at any given time. So lets take this logically.

First – If the power pedestal circuit breaker is “blowing” then one of two things can be causing this. Either the circuit breaker is bad or you are demanding more power than the circuit breaker can handle. If this problem happens at different campsites then the problem is that you are demanding more power than the circuit breaker can handle.

Second – You did not mention how you were connecting or under what circumstances the breaker pops. If you have a 50 amp power cord and are connecting to a 30 amp or 15 amp breaker at the campsite pedestal than it is very probable that you will over tax the pedestal circuit breaker. Consider what power demands you have, you mentioned a vacuum and hair dryer, what else is on that consumes power. If you have a converter running then it is consuming power every time you put on a light or it charges your battery or supplies power to any appliances, like electric water heater, refrigerator, air conditioners, etc.

Third – Another problem might be the circuit breaker connections in your rig. If the wiring is loose it might be causing problems at the power pedestal. If you are comfortable working on electrical circuits you can remove the power panel cover to check the connections and circuit breakers. Please do this with the pedestal power off and the power cord removed from the pedestal. Also, if you have a generator make sure to secure it so it cannot start while you are doing your inspection. You will be looking for loose or discolored wires and circuit breakers that do not look like they are about to fall out of the panel.

BTW, a 50 amp power pedestal can supply 12,000 watts of power, a 30 amp power pedestal supplies 3,600 watts and a 15 amp power pedestal supplies 1,800 watts. Your typical hair dryer and vacuum will consume about 2,400 watts just by themselves so it does not leave a lot of power left over if you are connected to a 30 amp pedestal.

Here is a link to a page that includes a post about typical power consumption values for RV appliances:

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