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Old 03-02-2021, 04:52 PM   #1
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Magnum Inverter tripping GFCI

I read the sticky on the GFCI tripping with the TrippLite setup but it seems I have a different setup/problem. Our 2017 SMB Sprinter has a Magnum 2000w inverter with the remote control. When we are unplugged from shore power and turn on the inverter the GFCI outlet trips (sometimes it works but I can't produce that outcome on purpose). Sometimes the the GFCI trips when plugged into shore power. This happens less frequently. Our current camping conditions are mostly cold, snow, ice etc. Usually temps around 20s but certainly have been colder. Any ideas to check? I have a call and emails in to Sensata/Magnum but no response. I've done a cursory tightening of the grounding bus bar that I can see under the rear seat. No warnings popping up from the inverter that I am aware of. Could this be a house battery problem --like time for a new one?
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:38 PM   #2
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Hopefully Greg will be by to answer.

Doesn’t sound like a battery issue. Maybe the GFCI outlet is bad. One can buy a small device to test them. Available at Amazon, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.

Like this:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-Digi...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:54 PM   #3
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Thanks Marret... I meant to add that I replaced the outlet after consulting Peter at SMB West. Still same problem. I'm hoping for some ideas or order of operation for troubleshooting. I suppose my next job will be to pull each outlet to make sure no wiring has rattled loose...
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:32 PM   #4
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I would want to test it to rule it out. This problem started is relatively new? It worked fine after you bought it?

Check wire connections on the Magnum?

The Tripplite sticky is about tripping the home/building GFCI when plugging in to shore power.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:30 AM   #5
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A GFCI works on the principle of detecting leakage (5ma) between the hot wire and ground. This is done by measuring the current of the two lines and comparing. Overloading can also trip the GFCI as it will trip to prevent overheating. Obviously checking for any wire issues, worn out insulation, pinched wires corrosion, moisture.

Seeing as you already have changed the outlet, I would try disconnecting the down stream outlets. Generally, the GFCI is the first outlet from the breaker, this way the subsequent outlets are also protected. If this takes care of the problem, you then start checking the downstream outlets in a binary fashion.

You might want to remove the side access panel and check the wiring, to make sure there is nothing loose or touching body of the inverter.

After that it gets back the possibility of the inverter having issues, possibly the internal transfer relay. I would contact Magnum, they used to be responsive, but the last time I dealt with them was before the merger with Sensata. I would expect they would have some debug guide for you to go through.

The fact that you have seen it on both inverter and at least once on shore power, would make me focus on downstream wiring. If that doesn’t produce anything, I would have the offending circuit turned off when switching between shore power and inverting. Turning the breaker on 15 to 20 seconds after the switch over. This might give some insight as to it being an inverter problem.

-greg
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApresVanagon View Post
Could this be a house battery problem --like time for a new one?
I agree with Greg above but if you do not have a reliable digital readout of your house battery at all times you should consider remedying that first. A simple power point plug in will do, not scientific accuracy but gives you your batteries state at a glance. I would not have any camper, or honestly even any vehicle without one anymore since I use everything I own for travel and work.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=12v+digit..._ts-doa-p_5_11

OR

https://www.amazon.com/Cigarette-Lig...4867865&sr=8-2

You need to have a pretty accurate idea of where your voltage will be in different circumstances using your van. This goes for both chassis and house batteries. Knowing these patterns will help you the entire time you own it.

-ignition off, vehicle cold should be around 12.8 for a strong battery, less than 12.3 or so and you have a dying battery or a short

- ignition on chassis battery should be about 13.4-14.2, your house battery should match this too after isolator has connected (a minute or two after you start the van)

-house battery while plugged in to power should be the same as vehicle running, around 13.4-14.2

- vehicle running while using inverter you could see drops to 12.5 or so, lower than that and your inverter will start beeping low voltage

- vehicle OFF running inverter I do not recommend ever, I think the appliances we use inverters for (microwaves, kitchen applicances) are too hard on a battery bank for no good reason. So easy to start the van and provide full voltage while using them
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Old 03-07-2021, 12:21 PM   #7
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Thanks Scalf77 and 86Scotty...
I believe I found the problem. Also I should say that Magnum inverter support was also helpful after being difficult to get in touch with. I was able to troubleshoot by disconnecting all downstream wiring. I tested Inverter-->Panel-->GFCI and it did not trip. Before wiring to the gfci I tested the ground and white (neutral) with a multimeter testing continuity and that returned a closed loop. Since the subsequent outlets are daisy chained off the gfci I subsequently tested each wiring loop as I added them one by one back into the circuit/onto the gfci (Inverter-->Panel-->GFCI-->outlet 2...and then outlet 3. Sportsmobile uses low profile "remodel" outlets (attached pictures) in which the cables lay flat and are compression fit. It seems that the ground wire of the 2nd outlet shook loose. With no fasteners to hold the wires in place I imagine this could happen again but its nice to know this isn't a more expensive Inverter problem. Thanks for your input and help!
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