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Why Does My RV AC Breaker Keep Tripping?

A tripping RV AC breaker can be frustrating, especially during hot weather when you rely on your air conditioner to stay comfortable. So, why does my RV AC breaker keep tripping? Several reasons could be causing the breaker to trip. In this post, I will expose the factors responsible for your RV air conditioner repeatedly tripping the breaker switch and provide solutions to prevent such occurrences.

Why Does My RV AC Breaker Keep Tripping?

When hooked in an RV park is essential to check the voltage if your RV AC system is not working or the circuit breaker keeps tripping. The AC should run at the proper voltage.

When checked with a voltmeter, a campground shoreline outlet might show significantly lower voltage, below the required 110 to 120 volts. This situation is commonly observed in older or poorly maintained trailer parks. It is advisable to refrain from using extension cords and adapters whenever feasible. However, if necessary, opting for a short and heavy-duty extension cord is recommended to ensure maximum current supply.

Some campsites may provide less than 30 amp service. So, your hookup may blow its fuse or trip a breaker. If this happens, reduce the load, replace the fuse, or reset the breaker.

If the AC breaker switch keeps tripping, here are the 6 reasons behind this problem that you can fix quickly.

Why Does My RV AC Breaker Keep Tripping? The RV AC breaker can keep tripping due to various reasons, which are essential to identify and resolve for uninterrupted cooling during your travels. Below I will explain why a 30 amp breaker keeps tripping, why your RV AC breaker may be tripping, and how to fix it.

When repairing an AC breaker, safety should be the top priority. Always disconnect the power supply to avoid electric shock. Use insulated tools and wear appropriate protective gear like gloves and safety glasses. Before starting any work, understand the electrical system and ensure you have the proper knowledge and experience.

why does my rv ac breaker keep tripping
Why Does My RV AC Breaker Keep Tripping? Your RV AC breaker may trip due to overload, faulty wiring, low voltage, or a damaged AC unit.

RV AC Breaker Keeps Tripping Due To Power Overload

An overloaded circuit is one potential cause for your RV AC breaker to keep tripping. When you operate numerous devices simultaneously, the breaker trips due to an insufficient power supply. Stay within your circuit’s capacity limits and avoid running excessive appliances simultaneously to prevent this.

The maximum power limit in a 30 amp RV electrical system is 3,600 watts. It’s essential to use a limited number of appliances, especially during hot days when the AC is frequently running. Stay mindful of power usage to avoid exceeding the 3,600-watt threshold.

rv ac breaker keeps tripping due to power overload
To prevent RV AC breaker trips due to power overload, reduce simultaneous appliance use, monitor amp draw, and consider upgrading the electrical system.

AC Breaker Keeps Tripping Due To Overheat AC Compressor

One potential explanation for the RV repeatedly tripping the breaker approximately five minutes after the operation is excessive heat. When the AC compressor becomes excessively hot during operation, the AC breaker safeguards you and your devices from potential current surges. This breaker overheating can also be attributed to loose components and connections.

It is crucial to bear in mind that if the motor continues to run at high temperatures for an extended period, it may lead to the insulation of the wires short-circuiting. That presents a considerable hazard as it could potentially cause a fire. The circuit breaker is designed to cut off power when it senses the risk of overheating and short-circuiting to prevent such dangerous situations.

Dirty Coils

One straightforward explanation for the RV AC tripping the breaker is the dirt buildup in the condenser coils.

Accumulated dirt in the condenser coils can lead to clogging, causing the compressor to exert more effort, leading to higher-than-normal head pressure. Consequently, this increased pressure draws excessive amps, triggering the breaker to trip.

To address this issue, open the AC cover and visually examine the condenser coil for debris accumulation. Cleaning up the dirt is essential not only to prevent the breaker from tripping but also to enhance the overall performance of your AC.

RV AC Breaker Keeps Tripping Due To Faulty Breaker

The problem might not lie within the RV AC unit but with the circuit breaker. Loose wiring connected to the AC breaker or a faulty breaker that requires replacement could be the root cause. Thankfully, this is a reasonably inexpensive solution to resolve the issue. I usually recommend having a spare circuit breaker and 12V fuses in the RV because these problems of the circuit breaker tripping can happen on any trip.

rv ac faulty breaker
If your RV AC breaker keeps tripping due to a faulty breaker, replace it with a new one of the same rating. Safety first!
Circuit Breaker, 30A, 1P, 10Ka, 120Vac
  • Poles: 1 P
  • Amperage: 30 A AMP
  • Voltage: 240 V-AC

Damaged AC Compressor

When an RV AC circuit breaker trips, it safeguards against electrical overload, which can occur when numerous devices run simultaneously or during a power surge.

However, suppose your RV AC frequently trips the circuit breaker. In that case, it signals a concerning issue and points to AC compressor failure. That implies that the compressor is overheating and demands additional power to operate.

Simply turning it back on won’t resolve the problem; it’s crucial to seek assistance from a professional to address the situation promptly. Repairing an air conditioner compressor is quite expensive.

Loose Wire Connections

Loose wire connections might be one possible cause for your RV AC repeatedly tripping the breaker. These connections could be either in the RV AC unit or the breaker.

Inspect the wires connected to the AC and the breaker to determine if this is the underlying issue. Suppose you observe any loose cables or feel hot to the touch. In that case, it is crucial to have them repaired by a qualified electrician to ensure your safety.

How Do I Stop My AC from Tripping the Breaker?

To prevent your AC from tripping the circuit breaker, you should check both the circuit breaker and the AC. As mentioned above, the causes of your air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker can be diverse, such as the power load of the electrical circuit. Always use proper safety equipment and tools when inspecting the circuit breaker and air conditioner.

My RV AC Trips the Breaker After 5 Minutes: How Do I Fix It?

Suppose your RV AC keeps tripping the breaker after approximately 5 minutes of operation. In that case, there are several steps you can take to try and fix the issue:

Check the Electrical Load: Ensure your RV’s electrical system can handle the AC’s power requirements. Ensure that the AC is not running on the same circuit as other high-power appliances that could cause an overload.

Clean the Filters and Vents: Clogged air filters and vents can restrict airflow, causing the AC unit to work harder and potentially draw more current. Clean or replace the filters and ensure all vents are clear of obstructions.

Inspect the Condenser Coils: Similar to a home AC unit, your RV AC has condenser coils that dissipate heat. Check these coils for any dirt or debris buildup and clean them thoroughly.

Check for Loose Wires or Connections: Examine all electrical connections within the AC unit and at the breaker panel. Tighten any loose connections and ensure there are no damaged wires.

Suppose the issue persists after performing these basic checks. In that case, having a qualified RV mechanic or AC technician inspect the AC system is best. There could be underlying problems with the compressor, refrigerant levels, or other components that require professional attention.

my rv ac trips the breaker after 5 minutes: how do i fix it
If your RV AC trips the breaker after 5 minutes, try these to fix it: Ensure proper voltage supply and connection.

How Do You Change an RV AC Breaker That Keeps Tripping?

Changing an RV AC breaker that keeps tripping requires a cautious approach involving working with electrical components. If you have experience with electrical work and feel confident in handling the task, follow these steps:

Note: Before attempting any electrical work, always disconnect the RV from shore power and turn off the generator to ensure your safety. If you are unsure about working with electrical systems, it’s best to seek assistance from a qualified RV technician.

Safety Precautions: Use appropriate safety gear, such as safety goggles and gloves, to protect yourself from potential hazards.

Locate the Breaker Panel: Locate the RV’s breaker panel, usually positioned inside the RV near the electrical control center.

Identify the Tripping Breaker: Identify the specific breaker tripping when the AC runs. It may be labeled as “AC” or “Air Conditioner.”

Turn Off the Breaker: Switch off the tripping breaker by flipping it to the “OFF” position.

Disconnect Wires: Carefully remove the wires connected to the tripping breaker. Use a screwdriver to loosen the terminal screws and gently remove the wires.

Remove the Old Breaker: Unclip or unscrew the tripping breaker switch from the panel and take it out.

Install the New Breaker: Insert the new AC breaker into the panel, ensuring it securely fits in place. Use only approved circuit breakers and 12V fuses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

Connect Wires to the New Breaker: Reconnect the wires to the appropriate terminals on the new breaker. Tighten the terminal screws securely to ensure proper connections.

Double-Check Connections: Verify that all connections are tight and secure.

Test the AC: Turn the new AC breaker to the “ON” position and reconnect the RV to power. Test the AC to see if the breaker still trips. If it does not trip, your replacement was successful.

If the breaker continues to trip even after replacing it, there may be underlying electrical or AC issues. It is best to consult a qualified RV technician for further inspection and repair in such cases.

Final Conclusions

Why Does My RV AC Breaker Keep Tripping? In conclusion, if your RV AC breaker keeps tripping, reviewing the 6 common causes explained in this post will be best.

An electrical overload is the most common cause of a circuit breaker tripping when amps are exceeded in an RV that uses many appliances.

Other reasons that cause an AC breaker to keep tripping are an overheated AC compressor (or damaged) and the breaker switch itself.

The dirty coils in AC equipment may be the reason behind an RV AC breaker tripping.

Also, a faulty breaker or loose wires may cause an RV breaker keeps tripping all the time, especially during hot weather.

Understanding the potential causes can help you address the issue, fix it and enjoy a comfortable RV experience. Remember to prioritize safety and seek professional assistance if needed, especially when dealing with electrical systems.

About Ward Greenway

Since I was 5 years old, I remember being inside my father's pop-up camper crossing the USA. My passion for RVs and Campers grew until I graduated in Mechanical Engineering (Tennessee). Then, I took my passion to the next level. Because I wanted to improve the design and engineering of the RVs I enjoyed them so much. I have been lucky to work for Central RV New Zealand, Jayco Corporation Pty Ltd (Australia), Forest River Inc., and Mercury Marine, as a Mechanical Design Engineer. I have seen and improved hundreds of RV floor plans. Nowadays, I enjoy RV living full time in my Mallard travel trailer and the joy of meeting new friends along the way who help me put the best on CamperOutdoor.com

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