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Air Conditioner Breaker Tripping

Each time we use our Coleman a/c on our 2007 Sportsman RV, it trips the breaker. When we turn the a/c on and leave when we come back we find the breaker tripped and the RV warm, not cool. This has happened at 3 different locations, so it cannot be a low voltage problem. We now have the RV in for repair. They indicate the breaker has not tripped when running the a/c. They cannot find the problem. Please help!!!!!

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This is a tough one to diagnose without seeing the panel. It's the main breaker or just the a/c breaker? The easiest diagnosis is to put an amprobe on the black wire coming off the a/c breaker (Harbor Freight about $12.) to see how much current it's drawing. It should be less than the rating of the breaker (shown on the end of the handle). Make sure the thermostat is all the way down so the compressor is running.This is a likely solution because a high current draw can be caused by anything from leaves laying in the bottom of the shroud to a compressor starting to go bad. If that amperage is lower than the breaker rating and it trip's it's probably just a bad breaker.Another cheap fix. I would have to assume the rv dealer tried this so we can move on but it is the best starting point. Loose wires anywhere in that panel can also transfer heat through the buss bars. Unplug your power source and tighten all connections. The panel won't get warm until its been on a while and heat is what causes the breakers to trip. Again I assume the dealer would have tried that but I'm trying to cover all options. The last thing I can come up with is maybe the RV dealer isn't putting the cover back on the panel while troubleshooting which stops it from building up heat. Without the additional heat build-up the breaker won't trip. The inside of the breaker is two metals sandwiched together designed to bend when they get warm. When they get warm enough (caused by the rated current flowing through the breaker) they bend enough to push a button to trip the breaker handle. Try these out and let me know if it works.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008

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