Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Low Shore Voltage
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Sam Spade

North Central Florida

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Posted: 07/12/18 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RTCastillo wrote:


Thanks! That's my point. If a cheap surge protector indicator says voltage or current is bad, why proceed and face the risk of damage to the pricey appliances in your rig.


Good discussion here.

I would add that I think it would be a good idea to verify the accuracy of the voltage report with a separate meter just to be sure.

And I was going to say "check for excessive loads inside your RV" but if it worked at the next place, that likely wasn't any part of the problem.


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GordonThree

Northern Michigan

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Posted: 07/12/18 03:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoundGuy wrote:

PApopup wrote:

The campground staff was like it ran for the other folks fine. Indicating we would be OK to run without the surge protection.So, were we right to leave to avoid this power issue?


2oldman wrote:

Once again, CG staff dismissing an electrical problem for what it really is, and somehow 'blaming' your surge protector. Amazing, and typical. Caveat emptor in RV parks.


No where in the OP's post does he claim campground staff "blamed" his surge protector (in reality an EMS w/surge protection) but merely suggested he remove it and run directly from the power post. In reality, that's all they could have recommended as it's not like they can suddenly throw a magic switch and increase voltage back to where it should be. [emoticon] The OP instead made the only other choice available to him at the time - move to a different campground. If neither one of these solutions is acceptable then the OP has only one other alternative - invest in a voltage regulator such as a Hughes Autoformer that will boost low campground voltage so it is acceptable.


X2 on this, the folks behind the counter aren't likely able to do anything.

My opinion, perhaps wrong, the ownership knows about the low voltage but doesn't care as long as the roster is full for the busy months.

Want a refund, fine, I'll call your bluff - good luck finding another chance with an opening at the last minute.

SoundGuy

S Ontario

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Posted: 07/12/18 03:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GordonThree wrote:

Want a refund, fine, I'll call your bluff - good luck finding another chance with an opening at the last minute.


Chances are someone else came in and rented that site the OP vacated, plugged in, and was none the wiser [emoticon] ... campground came out on top because they not only rented the site after all but charged the OP a $5 cancellation fee. Win - Win. [emoticon]

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 07/12/18 04:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PApopup wrote:

Thanks everyone! Had never seen this condition before but we knew it was not right. The autoformer sounds interesting, but given that this is the first time we experienced the low voltage, will probably hold off on purchasing.

It was a hot weekend so with all the A/C's going I did not think it would get better at our site. We checked one of the sites below us and it was 115 volts.
My experience the voltage recovers as the sun goes down.

If running the air I put the fridge and water on propane only to reduce the issue in these circumstances.


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SDcampowneroperator

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Posted: 07/12/18 06:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some years ago we experienced low voltage (109) incoming from our power co. at the meter during high demand. After distribution at pedestals it could read as low as 107.

Our linemen excused the problem saying the company was allowed a 10% variable, so 120v less 10% = 108v incoming.
The low voltage affected all camps, homes and businesses in the area. Moving to a different camp would not have solved the issue then.
Since then our power co. has installed new lines, substations and upgraded transformers to supply the increased load demanded by todays standard. A solid 119.6 - 120.6 is incoming since.
How long will it be before load again demands more than their and our infrastructure can provide?
We have 50Amp rvs with a Tesla to recharge. There goes the neighborhood with one sucking all the juice! And the meter spins fast enough to impress an ice skater!
Our only alternative is to meter and charge our cost for power to each site. Workable for a long term site, not for short term.
The conundrum is one every business owner faces, how to pass along the costs fairly. My example is fuel costs, buy 1 gallon or a hundred the same price applies, no volume discount. Structuring short term campsite fees to level of service type and size ( 50a / 30a fhu, elec. w water, back in pull thru is a nightmare. We do not.
The policy that works for us is first come first served. The early reservist gets the their choice the best site we have that suites them .The drive in gets whats left. Price is the same for level of service. .

* This post was edited 07/12/18 06:50pm by SDcampowneroperator *

valhalla360

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Posted: 07/13/18 07:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lynnmor wrote:

Just think, used trailers are recommended on here quite often. If you buy used, be sure you get a price that will be low enough if the air conditioner was abused.


I figure by buying used, I could replace the air/con, fridge and stove...and still come out ahead.

To the OP, if you want a cheap first step, for about $10 you can get a voltmeter that plugs into one of the inside outlets. Makes it easy to keep an eye on things.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 07/13/18 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RV owners need to be responsible users of a some what limited resource. My main use comes when the RV park is nearly empty, so I'm not a burden to other RV'ers. In the summer time, the campground prefers to keep me off their 50 amp pedestals--to make room for 50 amp RV's. That was a problem for me as their 30 amp wiring is old, tired and overloaded. I thought I had it solved with the load support Magnum inverter/charger--and although I found a way to change load support into voltage support, it required careful monitoring on my part, and contributed to early failure of the Magnum (it caught on fire internally, because the cooling fans are 120 volts instead of 12 volts, so when you turn off the inverter--you turn off the cooling).

Now that I have the autoformer I can relax a bit more. I still attempt to "dance on the needles" to tweak things for best performance. Sometimes it is successful and other times I have to do some load shedding even with the autoformer in the circuit.

When I'm "home" I'll turn on the load support before I cook a meal, then turn it off. I don't leave the RV and leave the load support feature on, as there is a chance that low voltage combined with the autoformer may trip the old tired breakers at the RV park, even when I limit my demand to 24 amps. I'd rather not return to deeply discharged batteries from running the roof air.

I don't have a "handle" on the math for what the autoformer does--and how much overhead it adds just by being in the circuit.

I do know that when I was at the 97 volt (under load) 15 amp shore power that my Kill-a-Watt meter was "chirping" and displaying 1800 watts when I was running the roof air (interior voltage 107).

shore power-->kill-a-watt-->autoformer-->RV

That would have been at 20% voltage boost. I did not think to check the amps which may have been a better measurement to use. It did eventually (30 to 40 minutes) cause the shore power breaker to trip.


Regards, Don
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RTCastillo

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Posted: 07/13/18 10:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A veteran RVer friend will tell you that electric current going into your RV should be the top of your concern if you don't want to be faced with a big ticket expense.

Those appliances inside your RV are top dollars as they are specialized and custom-made. And when it breaks down for voltage issues is not claimable as this is considered owner-error or negligence.

GordonThree

Northern Michigan

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Posted: 07/13/18 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

PApopup wrote:

Thanks everyone! Had never seen this condition before but we knew it was not right. The autoformer sounds interesting, but given that this is the first time we experienced the low voltage, will probably hold off on purchasing.

It was a hot weekend so with all the A/C's going I did not think it would get better at our site. We checked one of the sites below us and it was 115 volts.
My experience the voltage recovers as the sun goes down.

If running the air I put the fridge and water on propane only to reduce the issue in these circumstances.


Depends on the location maybe? In the southwest with dry air, as soon as the Sun is gone, the heat is gone. Here in Michigan, it'll stay 80-90 deg well past midnight. The Sun spent all day heating a huge mass of very humid air, and that air keeps things uncomfortable.

I ended up at a private campground just after the 4th, and it was 94 the day I rolled in. The voltage at the post was also 94, but would dip as low as 85. Few days later the humidity broke and temps dropped into the low 80s, voltage was back at 115 as most air con units were shut off.

Gal behind the counter says yea, we get that sometimes when it's hot out. You're welcome to move over to a rustic site and run the generator.

Kicker is, the local electric utility BUILT and OWNS the campground, located on the backwaters of a large hydroelectric plant. They let the County run it.


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valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 07/13/18 06:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GordonThree wrote:


Depends on the location maybe? In the southwest with dry air, as soon as the Sun is gone, the heat is gone. Here in Michigan, it'll stay 80-90 deg well past midnight. The Sun spent all day heating a huge mass of very humid air, and that air keeps things uncomfortable.

I ended up at a private campground just after the 4th, and it was 94 the day I rolled in. The voltage at the post was also 94, but would dip as low as 85. Few days later the humidity broke and temps dropped into the low 80s, voltage was back at 115 as most air con units were shut off.

Gal behind the counter says yea, we get that sometimes when it's hot out. You're welcome to move over to a rustic site and run the generator.

Kicker is, the local electric utility BUILT and OWNS the campground, located on the backwaters of a large hydroelectric plant. They let the County run it.


We were in Michigan last week during the "heat wave" and saw the voltage sag as the sun came up. It bottomed out around 11-12am and we broke out the generator because even with the autoformer, we were below 107v. Then went back up as the sun went down. I checked around 7pm and we were back up to 114v, so we turned off the generator and plugged back in.

It might not be as quick in a humid environment but without the sun beating down, the air/con units catch up and start cycling off.

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