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Converting RV electrics for use in UK

Forum member Paul Chatwin provided the following information on converting a U.S. RV for use in the UK.

Electric Conversion

Buy a 230-110V Transformer from Airlink Transformers. We bought the 5600 model.

DO NOT BOTHER to have all the RV converted to 230V; You can't do it all anyway (fridge/washer/microwave/etc), so it isn't worth doing at all in my opinion.

Contact Darren or Martin at Motorhome Medics in Cheltenham and they will connect the transformer for you (plus do all other work).

By keeping everything in the RV at 110V you are running it all as it was intended to be run; it wasn't designed to run half at 110V and half at 230V so why change it.

If you have an Energy Management System on board it will operate fully as all the electrics will be monitored; if you change half to 230V it won't work as it should.

If you have a generator and wish to convert to 230V, you will need another Transformer for that (yet more expense) and extra wiring. If you keep everything at 110V the generator will work without any changes.

Motorhome Medics installed a single 230V supply into our RV for emergency use. If you decide you want to convert to 230V later (an ill-informed buyer may insist on it), then it will be an easy and low cost job to do.

Televisions

You can buy multi-region and multi-voltage TVs in the USA from 110220volts. BUT you need to be 110% sure of all the dimensions before you buy; We found out the hard way with one of the two TVs we purchased.

I would try (before you leave the USA) to get a supply of wood to match the TV cabinet for your RV and buy the TVs in the UK; The wood will be invaluable if you can't get a good size match.

Then, I would use a small 300W 110-230V transformer (for each TV) such as this one from Maplins for £30.

Lights & Fog Lamp

If you need amber lamps/lenses for the rear, try and source ones to match in the USA; It's much easier. Motorhome Medics will fit them with no problems. You will struggle to find a red fog lamp in USA, so leave that until you get back to the UK.

Some caveats:

Folks have reported various issues using the transformer method, due mainly to the difference in line (mains) frequency of 50Hz (UK) and 60Hz (USA). The following summary was provided by froum member Ian Hancock:

The A/C units and heat pumps make a lot of noise,as if they are working very hard.

The Microwave/convection oven makes noises, buzzing.

Timers will be out of sync and and clocks won't keep time.

The EMS had gremlins; I found it hard to control heat pumps to furnace.

All the above problems corrected themselves while running on generator (because the generator produces the correct 60Hz). However, the EMS took a while to sort itself out.

Some of the heavy amp wire got warm. The rear heat pump burned a wire, and the ceramic heater wire got hot and burned through.