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« on: July 19, 2013, 08:01:06 am »

I always check out the power on the pedestal with a volt meter before hooking up. Last month we were in a Florida State that was full of RVs and tent campers; when I checked the power it was a dismal 104 volts. I checked with the surrounding RVers and they were having no problems, but no one had checked the voltage (I'm always amazed that most do not check). I had no where to go so I switched everything to propane and ran my A/C on generator for an hour to cool the RV down. After switching back to shore power, I periodically checked my voltage in the RV and never got over 106 volts while running the A/C.

Not being satisfied with the situation, I went back to the power pedestal and checked out the 20 amp receptacle. Much to my surprise, I got 120 volts on the 20 amp side. I quickly decided that the tent campers were on the 20 amp side while all the RVs using A/Cs were using the 30 amp receptacles. Using my adapter, I plugged into the 20 amp receptacle and had no problems. I stayed for two nights and, with the refer on propane, I could even use the coffee maker with the A/C without kicking the circuit breaker. I quit worrying about low power and enjoyed the State Park.

Caveat: If both the 20 and 30 amp receptacles are on the same circuit at the pedestal, then there is no good solution besides running your generator.

 Wink

   
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 12:51:56 pm »

I carry a 50 to 30 amp converter plug for just such times. I am guessing the state park did not have 50 amp on the post.
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 03:32:42 pm »

I carry a 50 to 30 amp converter plug for just such times. I am guessing the state park did not have 50 amp on the post.

They did not. I also carry a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter and have found voltage gains but not sure why (unless I fed off the least used line just by chance) because most parks don't have dedicated 50 and 30 amp feeds. They will often have dedicated 30 and 20 amp feeds as I found in the State Park. I have been playing around with rigging a dongle to feed off the 30 and 20 amp receptacles to a single 30 for me to plug into. I know they have the dongles for a 50 amp feed but they would only work if the circuits were separate.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 03:36:34 pm by Shipper » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 03:46:14 pm »

I know what a computer dongle is but what is 120V dongle.

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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 06:07:51 pm »

I know what a computer dongle is but what is 120V dongle.Barry

HA! Just my name for anything that dangles such as:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/50-amp-rv-box-adapter/25774

Apparently I need to be careful how I use the word "dongle":

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/21/a-dongle-joke-that-spiraled-way-out-of-control/

 Grin
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 06:46:04 pm »

Well I'll be DONGLED hahah..  alright back to serious     SHIPPER,   trying to learn,,,,, even though you plug into the 30amp with only 106volts are you saying you may not have enough power to run your stuff?  Is that why you kept the frige on gas?? You had 120v on the 20amp,,,, crud I'm confused,  I realize you have more power with 30 than 20amp,,,, HELP haha

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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 07:31:01 pm »

Well I'll be DONGLED hahah..  alright back to serious     SHIPPER,   trying to learn,,,,, even though you plug into the 30amp with only 106volts are you saying you may not have enough power to run your stuff?  Is that why you kept the frige on gas?? You had 120v on the 20amp,,,, crud I'm confused,  I realize you have more power with 30 than 20amp,,,, HELP haha
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Everything I've run across says you need a minimum of 110-115 volts to not damage 120-130 volt appliances. The damage probably won't be noticed when it occurs (unless it shuts the appliance down), but will definitely shorten its life.

As far as power is concerned you only need enough amps to power the appliances you are using for the rated voltage. 30 amps allows more appliances than 20 amps but only if each source is at least 110 volts and preferably more.

By only running the critical appliances on electric you may be able to keep the voltage at an acceptable level. You can manage this by switching the appliances that can operate on propane to propane. This is all moot if you can't check the voltage at the pedestal. Most of the surge protectors only tell you if the pedestal is wired correctly but not about the voltage. I'm sure someone can reply with more detail. Hope this helps!
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 10:10:40 pm »

Hello,
      Another think about the low voltage, if it fall below 108 you will burn out you Air Conditioner. I have 50 amp on my 3100 and have a cord made up for 50, 30, and 20 amps. That what you get when you work as an electrician for 25 years. I know it over kill but I don't like using adapter on electrical cords, I've seen too many of them burn up from loose fitting. Just my 2 cents worth. You did the right thing using the 20 amp plug at 120 v. Most likely the 30 amp plug has a loose connection and the wire is burning up inside the post.

Jim and Rae Anne
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2013, 07:14:28 am »

Hello,
      Another think about the low voltage, if it fall below 108 you will burn out you Air Conditioner. I have 50 amp on my 3100 and have a cord made up for 50, 30, and 20 amps. That what you get when you work as an electrician for 25 years. I know it over kill but I don't like using adapter on electrical cords, I've seen too many of them burn up from loose fitting. Just my 2 cents worth. You did the right thing using the 20 amp plug at 120 v. Most likely the 30 amp plug has a loose connection and the wire is burning up inside the post.

Jim and Rae Anne

Jim,

I have only 30 amp on my 2400 so don't know much about the 50 amp and I have an adapter for 20 amp. You said you have  a cord made up for 50, 30 and 20 amps and you don't like adapters. I don't like adapters either because I have had three of them melt in past years but I don't know of any other way. Are you saying you actually unwire one cord from the MH service box and wire back in another cord when you get to site to get the service you want/need? Could you please elaborate a little?

My SIL is an electrician so I can get made anything I need. I had the inside of my service box almost catch fire from some loose terminal connections inside just from rattling down the road. He replaced it all for me and we check it every year for loose connections so I know how loose connections can cause tremendous problems. Thanks for your post.

Alan

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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2013, 09:00:28 am »

Alan,
      My 3100 has a Marinco Shore Power outside plug in for the power on the side the unit at the inlet water. Here's a picture of the type of plug I have. ( http://www.fisheriessupply.com/marinco-50-amp-125-250v-stainless-steel-easy-lock-shore-power-inlet ) If you are direct wired then you will have to use the adapters.

Jim & Rae Anne
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2013, 03:38:29 pm »

When we were full time with a class A, I had an inline Surgegard installed to prevent power issues affecting our unit. It saved us on many occasions, but my problem was that it provided no info on park power. I always had to check the pedestal with a volt meter. Now I use a Progressive model EMS-PT30C which I recently purchased from Camping World when it was on sale. This unit has an LED display for voltage, amps and hertz. It will also check for problems such as polarity, ground, etc. when you first plug it in. This past week on a trip to northern Maine we were at a campground using the AC, electric for the hot water and TV. All was fine until the wife plugged in her curling iron - too many amps.... The EMS shut down the power feed. I turned off some of the load, reset the EMS and all was fine. Have always felt that surge protection is cheap insurance for the unknowns in the campgrounds.
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2013, 10:01:04 pm »

Alan,
      My 3100 has a Marinco Shore Power outside plug in for the power on the side the unit at the inlet water. Here's a picture of the type of plug I have. ( http://www.fisheriessupply.com/marinco-50-amp-125-250v-stainless-steel-easy-lock-shore-power-inlet ) If you are direct wired then you will have to use the adapters.

Jim & Rae Anne

Jim,

Thanks for the link. Now I understand what I am looking for. Brain dead once in awhile.

Alan
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2013, 10:56:14 am »

Hello, Another think about the low voltage, most likely the 30 amp plug has a loose connection and the wire is burning up inside the post.
Jim and Rae Anne

Good possibility, but most of the times I've found myself at the end of the distribution line. The wire is not large enough to carry the load. In it's day, it probably was sufficient, but in this age of two and three A/Cs with heat pumps the power grid is not able to handle the load. When it's possible I try to locate nearer to the power source especially in the summer.

A trip through Alaska will give you a good lesson on low power. Some campgrounds are on generator and power is only available during certain hours supplying about 10 amps maximum. I've seen 30 amp receptacles that when traced back to the distribution box had 10 amp circuit breakers. I do not feel comfortable hooking up without at least a voltage and polarity tester which I use before setting up on the site. 
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 06:12:20 am »

I am cautious about the devices that run any time we hook to a 20 amp, which I have done, when necessary.

If you read enough on the amp draw from an air conditioner you'll find that the AC draws about 20 to 30 % more when it kicks on than after it runs. Also as the unit ages it can draw more amps. My rule of thumb with my AC is that I need sufficient amperage of 15 to run the AC on a 20 amp circuit. That means some thing need to be turned off, to avoid burning out the AC which I did last summer.

We thought everything was covered with only the AC on and hooked up to 20 amp circuit. During the night the campground lost power, and when it came back on everyone's AC came on and we believe the sites amperage dropped below 20, or voltage dropped. It was an old city campground in Alabama. The AC never worked again.

Best bet is avoid running AC when hooked to 20 amp. Unless at home that's my plan

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