The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

GFCI Changes and RV Repairs

I have been having trouble with two outlets over the sink in my RV kitchen for some time.  Initially they would work fine some trips and then the next trip out they would work for a couple days before tripping the GFCI in the bedroom.  We actually found the location of the GFCI when we were laying in bed one night and noticed a red light on one side of the little dresser across from the end of the bed.  I checked the fuses and breakers and reseated them which seemed to help but the GFCI increasingly tripped after a day or two of use.  The last trip out, I noticed that the GFCI no longer lit up when the outlets quit working.  This led me to hope the whole problem might be the GFCI itself rather than any wiring issues.

I submitted a post to RV.net explaining the whole issue.  Some of the info I received back was very helpful and some was less than helpful but rather entertaining.  Someone thought my old electric percolator might be causing the problem.  Hmmmm, don't think so but I did try it on another outlet without any issues.  The entertaining part occurred when one helpful person told me to be sure to get a "feed-through" GFCI and another adamantly declared that all GFCIs were feedthrough and proceeded to state that there might be non feed through GFCIs if I was in Canada.  I realized that he had no idea what he was talking about when he started talking about whether I might have Knob and Tube wiring.  Okay, thank-you, but this OP is not in Canada and I'm pretty darn sure my 2009 Jayco 5th wheel does not have any Knob and Tube wiring.  Hehehe!  Anyway, I was really glad for the info about the "feed-through" GFCI because Lowe's stocks about 50/50 regular or feed-through GFCI's.  I'm sure I would have bought the regular one because it was less expensive.  For those that are just learning about this, a feed-through GFCI protects not only the outlet it is on but those that are down the circuit from it.

The afternoon I spent in the RV storage yard waiting on DH because the truck died, I took the opportunity to take the GFCI apart and take a picture of it.

On to the rest of the story......Wednesday morning I finally got to head out to Bandera TX where our fall Pink FlaminGoes GTG was going to be held.  Once I arrived, I set the RV up but didn't hook up the electric or water.  I even unhooked the battery because you just can't be too safe.  I told the rest of the early arrivals that I would see them in a bit but I had a couple of things I needed to do right away.  This is the new GFCI.  The directions with the GFCI were pretty good.  First I hooked up the outlet wires.  The yellow strip covers the places where you hook up the wiring that goes to the other outlets (the feed-through part).  It is important to do the wiring in this order.  Final step was to hook up the ground wire (green connection).  The hardest part of the entire job was getting the wiring bent around enough to fit everything back in the outlet box.  The wiring is pretty heavy duty and very stiff and the space is small.  But I persevered and success was mine.


My next repair project was an unplanned one.  The light was detached from the chandelier when I arrived.  This happened on the other chandelier during our warranty period and they replaced the whole chandelier rather than just hooking the wiring back up.  I found out why when I saw how short the wire coming out of the ceiling was.  See that little stub on the right side of the socket?  Well, it needs to be tied to the wire on the left of the screw lower down.  I had to call in a little help on this one as I needed an extra hand.  Vicki is our "go-to" gal as she redoes vintage trailers.  I unhooked the base of the chandelier and was able to pull maybe half an inch more wiring down.  Between us, we managed to twist the wiring back together and Birdie came through with some electrical tape (Note to self:  add electrical tape to tool bag).

Voila....all is back to normal.  I also need to add some Locktite to the tool bag so I can locktite those little balls down so this never happens again.


I hooked the battery back up and then hooked up the shoreline.  I knew that Wednesday night and Thursday night were going to be very cold so I didn't hook up the water knowing that I had plenty in my water tank to see me through.

Let the fun begin!

2 comments:

  1. Do you hire out as an electrician?

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  2. You're quite the handyman, eh? That's good. Even the simplest electrical and technical skills can come in handy during situations like this. But also, it's a good thing that there's a place you can go where you can ask about your RV. Let the fun continue! :)
    Liza @ Prairie City RV Center

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Thanks for commenting.