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Author Topic: We'll be boondocking more to short-circuit electrical problems on the road.  (Read 7361 times)
NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2007, 06:06:28 AM »

http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm?skunum=24900&src=SRQB

would this be a viable option?
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2007, 08:14:52 AM »

Len and Melbo, thank you both for some real world help, rather than just telling us we better chk those power pole connections! Thanks to your posts i will now dare to try to plug into shore power. I have been reluctant to try this because i have no knowledge of elec system on board, although it all seems to work well on the genset. Great sense of timing too guys, as i am getting pretty ramped up to go on first extended trip in less than two weeks. This diagram is printed out and put in my manual!
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2007, 08:27:47 AM »

Another thing to watch on shore power is that everything can test out fine at the post but you can run into trouble under load, particularly if you have a high resistance ground on the post.  I have a cheapo voltage meter plugged into one of the sockets in the kitchen. I'd highly recommend something like that for anyone who is routinely hooked up to unknown power sources. 
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2007, 08:48:24 AM »



Possibly, but I'm a bit suspicious of the statement that it functions as a surge suppressor.

I contend  you can do everything you need with a $4 cheapo multimeter from Harbor Freight. In fact, I bought one that has a separate on-off switch on it and we mounted it permanently in my father-in-law's trailer and modified the leads so they are permanently attached. We leave the dial in the reading position we want, and then just turn on the swtich when we want to see the reading. He uses it to read battery voltage.

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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2007, 08:52:32 AM »

I agree with Craig. It appears to only check one leg of the 120 volt incoming power and appears to do no more than the little three light indicators that plug into any electrical outlet. And it is really too late to check, after you have already plugged into shore power. You need to check at the pole.
Richard




Possibly, but I'm a bit suspicious of the statement that it functions as a surge suppressor.

I contend  you can do everything you need with a $4 cheapo multimeter from Harbor Freight. In fact, I bought one that has a separate on-off switch on it and we mounted it permanently in my father-in-law's trailer and modified the leads so they are permanently attached. We leave the dial in the reading position we want, and then just turn on the swtich when we want to see the reading. He uses it to read battery voltage.


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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2007, 11:18:07 AM »

I thank each of you for the ideas.

This is so valuable for all of us.

Gary,
Great idea to copy and paste in a document, I did it and will refer to it often.

Maybe we should have a help file just for electrical threads and documents. How about it Nick, Phil or Dallas!

Happy Trails,

Paul

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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2007, 11:20:13 AM »

John,
I am trying to get a handle on this product you mention, I like it but correct me if I mis-interput where to use it.  I think it is used after being connected up to the shore power is connected up to your bus.  3 prong connection indicated a plug in type to me like a regular recepticle.   I am more intuned to measuring before getting out my power cord for connecton like (Melbo & Len silva) gave us the schematic to train us to use you might say.  

I still sort of like what the old timer I met I told you about that use what ever adapters are necessary to plug together to use that 110 volt led light with the red light aparatus to also check by use of the idiot lights on it to re-affirm the decision to connect up.  I will not have all the nice toys on board some have but I do not want to lose any electrical equipment in any circumstanes and sure do not want to see anyone else do so either.  

Having this meter John mentions is good proof after all good connections are made at the time of connection for peace of mind and also a way to see if there is a power loss because of inadequate incoming power for everyone on the campground and this monitor will send off an alarm telling us so that we can here.  Checking before connections sounds safest but monitoring after is really a plus to peace of mind.
Gary
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2007, 11:32:40 AM »

Help Files suggestion,
Richard is doing such a great job at filling this stuff for us now, perhaps we can ask that they be categorised such as electrical, brakes & air systems, tires, batteries and compartments, towing habits etc. and just keep adding them after we get enough to see how they would like to do this but man this is good stuff and any demonstrational photos would go a long way as well such as from Len Silva and Melbo.  This is only a suggestion from a few of us that really want to make every conversion and traveling situation as successful for us all that we can and what better tool than our bulletin boards and this internet?

You can buy books on this stuff and it is great but actual circumstance of failures happening and the recommened corrections goes futher and certainly makes us think more of the seriousness of our hobby especially after seeing our busnut friends go through it.  Admitting to a mistake in public is so beneficial to everyone not really thinking of all this stuff.  If all this is categorised then it will be easiy researched.  Now this is just a suggestion as I know our bd administrators in particular spend a lot of time in making this program great to do all this stuff. 
Gary
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2007, 12:03:58 PM »

Jim Stewart (H3Jim) has a slick set-up.  He wired an outlet box in his bus between the land power cable and his main inlet breaker.  Each of the outlets is wired to one leg of the 240.  In each of the outlets, he has one of the yellow testers which he leaves installed.  He opens the bus main breakers and does not close them until he has checked both testers.

The only thing that concerns me a very tiny bit is that these outlets are not protected by the proper sized breakers.  He does leave the testers in place, so he is not tempted to use the outlets in the normal fashion.

My planned approach is to make a separate “pigtail” for both the 30A and 50A plugs.  Each will have 120V outlets.  I will then use my faithful Good Governor to check the legs of each application for polarity, voltage and frequency.  After I check the power pole with the pigtail, I will then hook up the regular power cord with reasonable confidence.  If I have any suspicion about the wiring, I will get out the voltmeter to double check the 240 volt reading

The Good Governor is described at:

http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm?skunum=16036

I have used mine for many years.  It checks for correct wiring and digitally displays voltage and frequency.  I first got it to check the frequency of my old gasoline generator I had in a truck conversion I did many years ago.  The generator RPM (frequency) had to be adjusted often and this was a great tool.  

I still use the GG often.   I have good analog meters in my power panel and a good digital voltmeter, but I still love my GG, since it is easy to use.  When we were in Charlotte for the FMCA, the generator supplying the power for several RVs was having lots of problems.   Folks with sophisticated power protection systems could not hook up to the power on a consistent basis.  I plugged in my GG and could monitor the power supply.  It did not get out of a range that I thought was acceptable, so I continued to use the power I paid for.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 12:07:12 PM by rv_safetyman » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2007, 12:06:49 PM »

I believe Nick has already started a topic on mechanical things and made it sticky so that it remains at the top of the board. I am concerned if we try and make several sticky topics that it will defeat the purpose of the board as originally outlined by Phil.
I have no problem with adding topics to the Help board and accumulating  various posts, if that is desired. Such as I did for Gary's recent post. Let us know what you want and the moderators will decide how to do it.
Richard

Help Files suggestion,
Richard is doing such a great job at filling this stuff for us now, perhaps we can ask that they be categorised such as electrical, brakes & air systems, tires, batteries and compartments, towing habits etc. and just keep adding them after we get enough to see how they would like to do this but man this is good stuff and any demonstrational photos would go a long way as well such as from Len Silva and Melbo.  This is only a suggestion from a few of us that really want to make every conversion and traveling situation as successful for us all that we can and what better tool than our bulletin boards and this internet?

You can buy books on this stuff and it is great but actual circumstance of failures happening and the recommened corrections goes futher and certainly makes us think more of the seriousness of our hobby especially after seeing our busnut friends go through it.  Admitting to a mistake in public is so beneficial to everyone not really thinking of all this stuff.  If all this is categorised then it will be easiy researched.  Now this is just a suggestion as I know our bd administrators in particular spend a lot of time in making this program great to do all this stuff. 
Gary
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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2007, 12:15:36 PM »

John,
I am trying to get a handle on this product you mention, I like it but correct me if I mis-interput where to use it.  I think it is used after being connected up to the shore power is connected up to your bus.  3 prong connection indicated a plug in type to me like a regular recepticle.   I am more intuned to measuring before getting out my power cord for connecton like (Melbo & Len silva) gave us the schematic to train us to use you might say.  

I still sort of like what the old timer I met I told you about that use what ever adapters are necessary to plug together to use that 110 volt led light with the red light aparatus to also check by use of the idiot lights on it to re-affirm the decision to connect up.   I will not have all the nice toys on board some have but I do not want to lose any electrical equipment in any circumstanes and sure do not want to see anyone else do so either.  

Having this meter John mentions is good proof after all good connections are made at the time of connection for peace of mind and also a way to see if there is a power loss because of inadequate incoming power for everyone on the campground and this monitor will send off an alarm telling us so that we can here.  Checking before connections sounds safest but monitoring after is really a plus to peace of mind.
Gary

Gary, I see a problem with this I think. It would appear that this would only check one of the hot legs of a 50 amp outlet.
I would recommend that a pig tail adapter be built that would plug directly into the 50 amp campground outlet and that it would have two of the 120 volt testers hard wired into the unit. That would make a quick and easy, and relatively inexpensive,  way to check the 240 volt 50 amp campground outlet. I think I would also build one for the 30 amp, 120 volt outlet also.
Richard
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« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2007, 01:53:00 PM »

OK, here is a simple adapter you can make to test the camp outlet before you plug in. 

Take a standard 50AMP plug and attach a standard duplex outlet to it however you would like.  I think you could drill a 1/2" hole in the cap of the 50A plug and mount a plastic outlet box right on it.  Install a duplex outlet and BREAK THE TAB between the two brass screws.  This will separate the two halves of the outlet.  Leave the silver screws (neutrals) connected together.

Wire it up as shown and put one of those little three light testers in each outlet.  You should end up with a handy, self contained tester.

Len
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« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2007, 03:08:26 PM »

Where in the heck do you live Len, you are certainly my kind of guy on this stuff and again this is just a great and inexpensive way to check our camping connections.  Man you got good info. Thanks again for sharing, already printed it out with the vmeter check.  No more doubts now and no reason to have any for any of us reading this from you and Melbo.

Richard, you are right on two things tonight, lets see how you guys and everyone concerned with this bb'd as to how much stuff to keep on the Help section.  We are all just excited about getting this simple stuff and do not want to lose it in time, I sure anin't going to tell you how to run your board, going to good now for sure.  Item #2, I like Len silva's method recently posted of setting up the home made camp ground tester that is absolute proof to the camp ground owners that something is wrong with their power system.
Gary

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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2007, 05:30:17 PM »

Gary, yes Len's drawing is exactly what I was describing. It really could be made so that it plugged into the shore power outlet at the power pole with a male connector and then a female connector at the other end to plug the shore cord into. That way it would be in the circuit at all times for a quick check. It would need to be made waterproof though.

A similar box should also be made for the 30 amp 120 volt service.
Richard

Where in the heck do you live Len, you are certainly my kind of guy on this stuff and again this is just a great and inexpensive way to check our camping connections.  Man you got good info. Thanks again for sharing, already printed it out with the vmeter check.  No more doubts now and no reason to have any for any of us reading this from you and Melbo.

Richard, you are right on two things tonight, lets see how you guys and everyone concerned with this bb'd as to how much stuff to keep on the Help section.  We are all just excited about getting this simple stuff and do not want to lose it in time, I sure anin't going to tell you how to run your board, going to good now for sure.  Item #2, I like Len silva's method recently posted of setting up the home made camp ground tester that is absolute proof to the camp ground owners that something is wrong with their power system.
Gary


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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2007, 06:13:09 PM »

Again Len, your diagram really proves up the old saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words!"

Thanks again.
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