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Author Topic: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?  (Read 1040 times)

rookieRV

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Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« on: May 04, 2018, 11:28:56 PM »
2005 Winnie Sunova ‘35N class A. The newly installed CONverter and DC batts seem to work fine. Lately, however, the AC appliances (two Air conditioners, one micro/convection) have been experiencing “power pull” cycling noises time and again (akin to ‘brownouts’... and , no, we never run three of the major appliances simultaneously, staying within the 30 amp limit of both the lot electrical service post and the RV itself).

I decidedly stayed ‘home’ (RV) one fine day, and the repetitious cycling noise gravitated to a ‘on-off’ noise of 30 times in ten seconds or so, to finally rest off (save the DC lights).  :o

I checked the shore plug outside... no burn marks whatsoever on the plug’s three terminals, wires inside of the plug had no signs of corrosion, all well connected. To confirm if things were wrong on the campsite’s end or my end, I started up and switched over to generator. Not only did Air conditioner run fine, but NO ‘pulling’ /‘cycling’ noises!  8)

Camp employee first inspected the next distribution/ circuit breaker box serving three nearby lots (appearently they have the AC distribution “Christmas treed” eight ways to Sunday). Flipping one circuit breaker ‘out there’ (not at the panel box that DIRECTLY serves OUR lot, mind you, but ANOTHER panel box that services ours amoungst THREE lots, w/ one breaker for each lot, so ‘tis SAID) got power going back on (he attributed it to an additional switch behind that three-lot circuit breaker within the panel... ever heard of switches BEHIND a circuit breaker? I thought that a circuit breaker WAS a switch!). ::)

Management gets electrician out, electrician believes that we are idiots who overuse appliances beyond rated 30 amps  >:( (my wife RELIGIOUSLY makes sure of using only one air while she cooks). Says turn on your two ACs simultaneously, see how much they pull. 21 amps. “Gee”, I said, “That’s the same amount that my indicator inside says!” “Well, appliances can demand more as they get older”, he replies. My amps current meter on the fritz too, huh?  ::)

A laughable part... the manager says that power demands get worse AFTER 2/3 of the clients here have made their mass exidus back North.. let’s see, over 75% people gone,  under 25% using two air conditioners continuously... 25 X 2= 50%... DEMANDS? ???

THEN she and staff say, “maybe it’s your power INverter” Wait minute, my INverter only comes into play when I’m running off generator/batts, no? When major appliances are hooked into shore/elec grid power, why/how would an INverter play ANY role? Hmmm, Air conditioner 110v, shore 110v AC.. I need to INvert, what, WHY??  :( Then something abt a ‘relay’ in my RV... How’s it all work fine with MY generator, but not THEIR shore?  ???

Thank goodness for specialists... one who I have hired here for contract RV maintenence told me that some of the electrical lots/plots/grids in this campsite are old and in disrepair... That, or the relatively new ownership intends on converting to a 60+ mobile home community, who knows?

It’s 12 midnight, and our AC appliances are still occasionally turning off/on (DC lights remain fine). Please tell me what’s up here? :(


edit by staff - changed message icon to topic solved
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 11:46:17 AM by John Canfield »

Lou Schneider

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 12:04:54 AM »
Get a plug in voltmeter and see what kind of voltage your RV is getting.  It's not unusual for the voltage to sag as the system is loaded, especially in older parks that only offer 30 amp service.  Low voltage will play havoc with your air conditioning compressor motors, shortening their life.  If you have a power management system it's doing it's job, protecting your RV when the voltage gets too low.

A Kill-A-Watt meter measures voltage as soon as you plug it in, and lets you do a bunch more, too.

BTW, electrical circuits are only rated for 80% of the breaker capacity on a continuous basis.  So a 30 amp circuit is really only capable of safely delivering 24 amps for more than a few minutes.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 12:08:23 AM by Lou Schneider »

SargeW

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2018, 01:33:48 AM »
Yep, what Lou said, plus you are in dire need of a surge guard that has low voltage protection.  The surge protector will disconnect the rig from power if the voltage drops below 104 volts. It may be inconvenient, but not near as much as replacing an AC, microwave, or TV when the power supply fails. They make hard wire units, and potable units that plug into the park pedestal directly.  Either will work.  Here is a link to a popular brand that has a life time warranty. 

http://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems-pt-x
 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
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John Canfield

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2018, 07:27:11 AM »
What Lou and Marty said...

Lots of the older RV parks and many of the older "membership parks" have outdated wiring, some have aluminum wire instead of copper which further causes issues. No doubt many of them do not meet current local and national electric code requirements.

One 'fix' is an autoformer - it's a transformer-like device that boosts voltage at the expense of current capability. Many technically unsophisticated people (RV park managers, owners, site mates) mistakenly think the autoformer "steals" power from other users. This is completely wrong, energy (matter) cannot be created or destroyed. You still use the same wattage in the RV with or without the autoformer - it simply boosts voltage. The myth persists and I invariability have to take time to explain the basics of electricity when I need to use the autoformer.

Low voltage is very hard on inductive devices (motors), lots of electronic devices will tolerate a very wide input voltage range.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

rookieRV

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2018, 11:03:22 AM »
It’s the campsite ::)! The power went off this morn :'(,  I went out to that second panel box (the one w/ three circuit breakers serving three individual lots simultaneously)... I turned each breaker on and off (nobody on the other two lots, they’re gone for the Summer), and I heard a crackling noise from the panel box! ??? :o Maintenence went back, opened up that panel box... first to find mud daubers :o, second to replace the breaker at my behest ::). The breaker that he removed had burn corrosion marks on the insert contact spades ;D! Once replaced, no power disruptions so far 8)!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 11:05:59 AM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2018, 11:53:41 AM »
Very good, thanks for the follow-up. You really, really, really need a surge protector that will also shut off on high or low voltages. I hard-wired mine in the electric bay as one of the very first improvements to our then brand new Horizon. 13 years later we've had exactly ->zero<- power related equipment problems or damage caused by shore power surges or high/low voltages. The protector has told us when we're missing one leg of 50 amp service and has shut down on high voltages; for the money it's dirt cheap insurance.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Kevin Means

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2018, 03:55:34 PM »
What John said. Even though your appliances may continue to work on low voltage, and for some time afterward, low voltage takes a cumulative toll on them. A good power monitor/surge protector will disconnect the RV from a power pedestal that has too high, or too low of a voltage, then reconnect it when the power is within parameters again. Believe me, they're a wise investment.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 960 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

rookieRV

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2018, 04:47:54 PM »
Agreed. Perhaps that ‘relay clacketing’ noise inside the RV was something performing such protective function? Anywhoo, while I try to be a believer in being prepared, I’m also a believer in, “Lack of planning on your (their) part, does not constitute an emergency on my part.”, “Ignorance (on anyones part) is not above the law” (legal or moral), and “The KISS Principle” (Keep it Simple Stupid...if they were maintaining their part, then maybe I wouldn’t need 27 additional gadgets to protect me!). ;D

Bill N

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2018, 07:03:46 AM »
How about:  The Lord helps those who help themselves.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
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Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

John Canfield

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2018, 07:29:41 AM »
^^ good one Bill ^^

How about protection from a lightning strike? I helped a guy a few years ago that caught a surge from a very close lightning strike that fused his transfer switch. A surge guard would have prevented or minimized the damage.

But if you don't want advice, that's okay - you can learn the hard way.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Bill N

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2018, 07:34:46 AM »
 :)) :))
^^ good one Bill ^^

How about protection from a lightning strike? I helped a guy a few years ago that caught a surge from a very close lightning strike that fused his transfer switch. A surge guard would have prevented or minimized the damage.

But if you don't want advice, that's okay - you can learn the hard way.
:)) :))
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

rookieRV

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 08:05:36 PM »
Okay, point taken... will this require the cheap version of surge protection that plugs into the AC power post outside (the panel boxes close and padlock here), or the $400.00 inside-the-RV, digital readout, makes-my-coffee-too jobs, w/ install? :o :'(  :-\ What’s the difference?

I dunno... maybe there’s already a $400.00 unit on the inside, failing to do its job!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 08:09:45 PM by rookieRV »

SargeW

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 09:11:58 PM »
Okay, point taken... will this require the cheap version of surge protection that plugs into the AC power post outside (the panel boxes close and padlock here), or the $400.00 inside-the-RV, digital readout, makes-my-coffee-too jobs, w/ install? :o :'(  :-\ What’s the difference?

I dunno... maybe there’s already a $400.00 unit on the inside, failing to do its job!

There may be some protection built into the transfer switch in your rig. But what they don't protect about is the condition I described in reply #2 above.  The exterior protectors are a bit less expensive than a inside hard wired unit. And there are other brands out there that may be cheaper. The difference is the less expensive ones have a 12 month warranty, the PI is lifetime.  It's your rig, and your money. You decide. 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
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Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchick2018
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FunSteak

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2018, 04:06:49 PM »
FWIW, we just had to replace our entire AC unit (under warranty, thank goodness), and I suspect it was largely due to a low voltage situation at a campground late last season.  Either that or it was just a lemon of a unit. 

Dealer, General RV, was very good and Coleman stepped right up to ship a replacement unit very quickly.  All-in-all, could have been much worse.

I'm telling you this because it was the catalyst to get me off my duff and get a Progressive EMS, external model.  Yeah, it was a bit spendy at a bit under $400, but I sure feel more secure knowing that it's going to go FAR to protect the much more expensive components downstream.  In fact, I'm pretty sure it just saved our bacon on a recent trip.  We were at a campground and it was pretty hot - suddenly the power shut off.  I went and checked the EMS, and sure enough, low voltage shutdown.  When power came back to normal in a moment, it did it's 2 minute delay and fired back up.  I breathed a sigh of relief and suddenly the investment in the EMS seemed a lot wiser...
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

flydude92

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 04:23:00 PM »
Interesting.

I am at our local fair and I monitor the voltage and frequency. Being so new to RVing I didn't expect to have problems. (sorry I am that new)

Our voltage dropped to 99 on our first day but so far it hasn't gone below 105. I may invest in the 30 amp version.

Thanks for the heads up.
-- Brian --
Waterville, Ohio
2003 Winnebago Minnie WF329B

rookieRV

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2018, 08:20:20 PM »
There may be some protection built into the transfer switch in your rig. But what they don't protect about is the condition I described in reply #2 above.  The exterior protectors are a bit less expensive than a inside hard wired unit. And there are other brands out there that may be cheaper. The difference is the less expensive ones have a 12 month warranty, the PI is lifetime.  It's your rig, and your money. You decide.

By lifetime warranty, are we talking abt. replacement of ALL appliances that burn out, if the unit fails in its function?

rookieRV

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2018, 08:52:11 PM »
How about:  The Lord helps those who help themselves.

Bill

How about: Luke 10, 30-37
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

If the “two denarii” was the Samaritans advice (read, “two cents worth”), then I’d say that he went well beyond that...
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 09:01:39 PM by rookieRV »

FenderP

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2018, 09:00:38 PM »
Thus we know who is truly our neighbor. May the Lord bless the reading of His Word. Amen (I believe it).
I'd rather you offend me with the truth than appease me with a lie.

SargeW

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2018, 10:15:56 PM »
The PI warranty is for the unit if there is a problem. I can't think of any product that would cover anything down stream if the product failed.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
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Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchick2018
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sadixon49

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2018, 06:39:56 AM »
The PI warranty is for the unit if there is a problem. I can't think of any product that would cover anything down stream if the product failed.

Actually, many of the better plug-in surge protectors, i.e. Belkin, Trip-lite, and others, come with insurance/warranty that covers downstream electronics.
steve
2017 Jayco Redhawk 26XD
E-450 Ford, 6.8 V-10
EEZRV TPMS

rookieRV

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2018, 06:57:28 AM »
The PI warranty is for the unit if there is a problem. I can't think of any product that would cover anything down stream if the product failed.

Right... while such more costly an item may give me much to oogle about in the short run 8), it would still give no additional solace (compared to the cheaper outdoor variants) when/if it fails ::) Cost seems to speak little for effectiveness here, IMO. Either way (the indoor or outdoor variants) seem to leave it to chance (by some degree).  >money = <chance when one “puts their money where their mouth is” (has more to lose themselves if/when their product fails). That would be “standing behind your product”. ::) Otherwise, I would be paying more for some additional false sense of security (but, hey, it might make for something good to brag abt, like, say, buying a 3 liter bottle of Moët & Chandon’s Dom Perignon White Gold 1995 for 12 grand ;D)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 06:59:54 AM by rookieRV »

rookieRV

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2018, 07:05:02 AM »
Actually, many of the better plug-in surge protectors, i.e. Belkin, Trip-lite, and others, come with insurance/warranty that covers downstream electronics.

Thanks, sadixon, I’ll definately give these a look-see...

SargeW

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2018, 03:39:35 PM »
I would take the warranty claims with a grain of salt until I had verification that the $16 wall outlet was going to stand behind my $1200 refer after a surge or low power condition frys the electronics. But, it's always the same answer.  Your RV, you do what you want.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
2018 JLU Jeep Sahara
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchick2018
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

rookieRV

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Re: Is it my Winnie, or the campsite?
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2018, 07:42:06 PM »
What Lou and Marty said...

Lots of the older RV parks and many of the older "membership parks" have outdated wiring, some have aluminum wire instead of copper which further causes issues. No doubt many of them do not meet current local and national electric code requirements.

One 'fix' is an autoformer - it's a transformer-like device that boosts voltage at the expense of current capability. Many technically unsophisticated people (RV park managers, owners, site mates) mistakenly think the autoformer "steals" power from other users. This is completely wrong, energy (matter) cannot be created or destroyed. You still use the same wattage in the RV with or without the autoformer - it simply boosts voltage. The myth persists and I invariability have to take time to explain the basics of electricity when I need to use the autoformer.

Low voltage is very hard on inductive devices (motors), lots of electronic devices will tolerate a very wide input voltage range.

You don’t have to explain the principles of this device to this ham, John... Sounds like Kirchoff: You can change it (voltage, current, motion, heat), but it’ll all come out one way or another! Stealing? ::)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 07:56:17 PM by rookieRV »