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Old 07-08-2018, 12:15 PM   #1
01soundman
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Just how many times will I have to replace my (30 amp) plug....?

At the chance of waxing philosophical here, I'll ask: Why does it seem that so many people complain (myself included) about burned/melting 30 amp plugs?

I understand "Those pedestals get abused" and "If it weren't for the Class A folks with 50 amp rigs sucking the last volt out of the pedestal ..." and "Well, you just have to buy a Hughes Autoformer" (which I have just done).

Still, something seems very much awry here... Seems like the answer would be something other than cutting the bad/melted plug off and putting another one on. Eventually, that cable is going to be too short to do that....

After this past week where we experienced VERY poor voltage levels at the end of a 100 amp service for waaay too many sites, I got very tired having to play "manual power manager" to keep my Progressive Industries PT30X from dropping out while trying to run the A/C (alone!).

We bailed out of the site a day earlier than planned when the PT30X dropped power with only a floor FAN running... (Even the State Owned campground maintenance electrician, after replacing the circuit breaker in their attempts to do everything they could, said there wasn't anything left that could be done to improve the voltage.)

After the gear I've ordered arrives tomorrow, my power will be pedestal -> "sacrificial shortie" extension -> Hughes Autoformer -> PI PT30X -> camper.

My background in electronics makes me a bit concerned over the number of connections but I'm NOT eager to burn up the plug on either of the high-dollar pieces of gear by having them plugged directly into the pedestal.

I understand "volts down / amps up" and all that jazz.

And, yes, wherever I can I'll use the 50 amp side.

But, gee whiz, this seems like something I shouldn't have to deal with.

Just one more thing that makes camping "not fun".

Looking forward to our next trip because I'm prepared now,
Ray
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:48 PM   #2
chuckster57
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FWIW the 30A shore cord on my previous fiver was still in perfect shape when I sold the trailer after 13 1/2 yrs of ownership and plenty of trips. Current fiver looks great.
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:57 PM   #3
Badbart56
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This site has been very informative. I know relatively little about electronics so I try to pick up knowledge from the conversations I hear. I was planning on getting a surge protector but now I'm wondering if I should go all in and get the one that protects from low voltage and provides boost also. I'm living full time in the RV but I only share power with two other units. Of course that could change in the future.
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:03 PM   #4
kksfish
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I gotta say mine looks like new as well! I always turn the breaker at the pedestal off prior to plugging in or unplugging so as to avoid pulling it under load and causing an arc or spark and always use a little dielectric grease......
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:29 PM   #5
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I bought a wall plug volt meter to monitor voltage yesterday. I noticed that it's reading 120v in the front bedroom/bath until I turned on the front A/C then it drops to 117. My wife was using the hair dryer with that A/C on and it dropped to 109v! I turned the Front A/C off while she used it and it only went up to 111v. My understanding is you want to be between 114v and 126v, does this fluctuation for only short periods of time (like using a hair dryer) cause a problem? Obviously hair dryers are a big voltage draw and I'm sure space heaters would be also.
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:33 PM   #6
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Soundman, that's a shame to hear. I am glad you seem to have corrected it. As someone who also lives near Raleigh, which campground were you having problems at, so I can make sure to avoid it? Somewhere local?
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:44 PM   #7
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I'm not as experienced of a camper as a lot of you guys/gals on here, but I've been an Electrician since 1980 (that officially makes me an "old fart"). From my limited experience at campgrounds, many of the problems lie with the campground itself in the fact that their electrical systems have not been maintained as well as they should and that they have not updated their systems for higher power consumptions that they are experiencing vs. when they were built, sometimes many years ago. As I understand it, the 30A systems were pretty much the norm years ago. Now, many of the campers/trailers/coaches/etc are 50A systems and there is obviously a lot more power being used/consumed at the campgrounds. It is analogous to the days when all the houses had either a 60A service.....or if you were very modern, a 100A service. Now days, 200A services are the norm and 225 and higher are quite common. The utility companies have obviously had to upgrade their equipment....transformer sub stations, switchyards, distribution lines, and more power generation plants. Unfortunately, not all of the campgrounds have kept up with the "power demand" that the modern camper want/need to keep their campers happy. And of course, there are many that have, and they are the ones that we all want.
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbart56 View Post
I bought a wall plug volt meter to monitor voltage yesterday. I noticed that it's reading 120v in the front bedroom/bath until I turned on the front A/C then it drops to 117. My wife was using the hair dryer with that A/C on and it dropped to 109v! I turned the Front A/C off while she used it and it only went up to 111v. My understanding is you want to be between 114v and 126v, does this fluctuation for only short periods of time (like using a hair dryer) cause a problem? Obviously hair dryers are a big voltage draw and I'm sure space heaters would be also.
If your trailer has a 50A service, you do realize that the plug in volt meter is only going to tell you voltage readings on 1/2 of your incoming power. The other side of the service is not being monitored with just one plug in voltage monitor. If you have a 30A service coming into your trailer, please disregard what I just said.
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:00 PM   #9
Badbart56
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I knew I should have taken a course in electricity. So how do I accurately monitor an RV with 50 amp service?
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbart56 View Post
I knew I should have taken a course in electricity. So how do I accurately monitor an RV with 50 amp service?
Well, the most expensive way is to put a Progressive EMS on the trailer, either hardwired or the portable plug in type. Those not only monitor voltage on both lines, they offer surge protection (think lightning strike nearby) or some other utility snafu that may happen. The progressive also monitor both side of the incoming power for current draw (amperage), low and high voltage, cycles per second....commonly know as the frequency (60 Hz is the normal in the U.S.A), open neutrals, and probably a couple other things I'm forgetting. They not only monitor for those conditions, they will actually take your trailer off the line if you have high voltage or low voltage, and protect you from damage as a result of those conditions.

The cheaper way is to buy another one of the monitors that you just bought and plug into a receptacle that is fed from the other line coming into your trailer. Of course, all you are seeing there is voltage, and more importantly, those offer no automatic protection like the Progressive EMS systems do. Something like that is only effective if you are watching it and you see the voltage go low and take the necessary actions to turn off your appliances....

Here is a link to the Progressive web page....
http://www.progressiveindustries.net/our-products

Here is a list, copied from the Progressive page, that lists the types of protection that it offers....
Product Features:

Over/Under voltage Protection

Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Detection

Open Ground, Open Neutral & Reverse Polarity Protection

Accidental 240V Protection

Miswired Pedestal Indication

Surge Failure Indicator

Amperage Meter Display

Previous Error Code

A/C Frequency Protection

Time Delay (136 seconds)

Adjustable Time Delay

Thermally Protected

Built-in Scrolling Digital Display

Remote Display

Field Serviceable

UL Certified and Canadian Approved

Lifetime Warranty
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