Experiencing the country during the hot summer in an RV can be a memorable experience, one that allows you to enjoy the diversity in the country without sacrificing your comfort.
Should your RV’s AC stop working because of a tripping breaker, then your plans will be wrecked by the unbearable hot summer days and nights.
So, in this guide, I will share the common reasons why your AC’s breaker may be tripping and how you may be able to fix the condition.
Reasons Why your RV AC may be Tripping the Breaker (+Fixes)
There are several reasons why the breaker supplying power to the AC in the RV may trip.
Here are some of the most common ones.
Work through them as you try to get to the cause of the tripping.
#1. Is the AC breaker tripping after a power outage? If so, it may be because the AC is attempting to restart immediately when there is still a lot of head pressure in the AC to overcome.
This high pressure exerts an excessive load on the AC that results in a high current draw that then trips the breaker.
While newer ACs usually have an inbuilt delay start feature that prevents them from starting immediately after a power outage, older ACs might not have one.
If they don’t, consider installing an on-delay timer to prevent this.
#2. Check the voltage of the supply to the AC. Should the supply voltage to the AC be too low, the AC will draw a high current as it attempts to meet its power requirement which then trips the breaker.
A low voltage supply may be caused by a bad supply from the power company or a bad shore connection.
You can check if the supply voltage is within the recommended range by measuring it with a voltmeter.
Low voltages can damage the AC’s compressor!
Note: Always follow safety precautions when dealing with high voltage.
If you are not a qualified electrician, contact and use the services of someone who is qualified.
#3. Your AC’s breaker might also be tripping because of a loose ground or hot connection in the breaker or at the terminals connecting to the AC.
Loose connections can be a source of sparks that generate heat and eventually trip the breaker.
Use the services of a qualified electrician to inspect the connections and make sure that they are firm at the breaker and at the AC too.
#4. It could also be a case of an aging circuit breaker. A circuit breaker can fail too and when it does, it might keep tripping.
Try connecting the AC to a different breaker and check if the breaker is still tripping.
If not, then there is a good chance that the breaker where the AC connection was previously is faulty, the connections are loose and need to be tightened.
#5. Lastly, a fault in the AC itself can also trip the circuit breaker. Work through the possible causes above and if you still have the breaker tripping then you may have a failing AC.
Consult a qualified electrician to inspect and confirm if this is the case.
What to do if the RV AC trips the breaker?
A circuit breaker trip is usually a sign that there is an excessive current draw from the breaker.
This may be caused by a faulty AC, a problem with the wiring (if it is damaged), loose cable connections at the appliance or circuit breaker, or the circuit breaker itself is faulty.
If the circuit breaker trips,
1. Inspect and rule out any of the common causes of the circuit breaker tripping – perhaps damage to the cable, a burning smell at the breaker, loose connections, or a power outage.
If there is a fault condition, that may have caused the trip such as a damaged cable, fix that first as a first step.
2. If there is no obvious cause of the circuit breaker tripping, you can proceed to reset the circuit breaker.
If it trips again, inspect the AC itself to see if it is the likely cause of failure.
Is there any burning smell at the point of connection?
Is the power supply cable damaged at any point?
3. If there is nothing obvious and the breaker trips again, it is probably a good time to contact a qualified electrician to investigate further.
There might be a fault with the circuit breaker of the AC itself.
Why your RV AC’s Breaker may be tripping after a few Minutes?
Note: This list is not exhaustive nor is it conclusive but only meant as a guide to get you started on likely causes of the tripping.
If the circuit breaker is tripping after a few minutes of switching on the AC, then it might be a case of :
#1. Loose contacts or connections that spark, heat up and eventually trip the circuit breaker.
These loose connections can be at the AC itself or at the circuit breaker.
#2. A faulty breaker that keeps tripping and needs to be replaced.
#3. Might there be a case of moisture buildup in the AC’s terminal connections or at a point where the AC supply cable is damaged?
Have you had any leaks recently? This can cause the AC breaker to trip also.
If the breaker supplying the AC in the RV is tripping, it is usually one of several causes: a fault in the AC, faulty or damaged cabling, loose or sparking cable connections, or a faulty breaker.
Try and rule out faults with the cabling and connections first then inspect the AC and circuit breaker for a possible fault.
Do not hesitate to contact a qualified electrician at any point.