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Old 08-09-2002, 08:51 PM   #1
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Electrical testers, and meters

Based on some of the posts I have read lately I am curious what type of voltmeter do most of you carry for troubleshooting?

Is there a plug in monitor/meter that can tell me if the campground is not putting out enough volts or amps?

I have used a Fluke brand digital DVM of one kind or another for 20 years. But I really do not want to set it on the kitchen counter and sitck the probes in the wall outlet to monitor voltage. ANd amps is a whole other beast due to having to pass it thru the meter itself...

So please tell me what you have used, can reccomend, or would stay away from.

Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2002, 11:10 PM   #2
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Meter readers

There are ones that plug into the wall outlet, either meter or LED, camping world & radio shack as well as general rv stores have them as well, go for about $20, it's a good idea to plug into the elect box at the campground and check volts/amps before plugging in your trailer/mh. Some people use surge protectors as well.

John
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Old 08-10-2002, 07:38 AM   #3
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Meter

I had a cheapo $10 analog, figuring that most of the time all I needed to know is voltage present when troubleshooting, probably could have just used a trouble light. With the fuel injection, I decided I needed a DVM because the sensors put out some low voltages, got one for about $30 at radio shack. It is trash. Shuts off after 7 minutes. I have been taking a measurement and it shuts off. I would stay away from them.

Been looking for a cheap Fluke (try finding that) to take with me, that is my 'home' meter also.

Current would be hard to measure unless you put a shunt inline. The easiest way would be to watch voltage, if it drops or runs low you can figure the campground does not have proper wiring to handle the load.

John
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Old 08-10-2002, 07:51 AM   #4
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I bought an inexpensive (16) DVM at Wal Mart that I use for the motorhome 12v testing. It seems to work ok, but the manual is a waste of time, and I am no pro at using its functions by any means.
On the subject of voltage at the campgrounds, I have had recent problems where I knew the voltage was not correct, as my TV/VCR would only work on tv tuning, and the VCR would not play. Then with the gen set running it was fine. We also popped the campground circuit breaker running a toaster oven and a/c, which I thought was a total of not more than 30 amps. draw
Related question- can we use 50 amp plug ins, simply by converting the plug end itself? Or do you have to have your electrical system set up differently? My plug ends are max 30 amp. type.
Lastly-I have seen the plug in type voltage readers for your a/c outlets...any one using these?
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Old 08-10-2002, 12:43 PM   #5
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50A plugs

You can use the 50 amp as long as you have a 30A main breaker in the motorhome or trailer. You won't have to worry about drawing too much current through a cord not rated for it.

John
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Old 08-10-2002, 04:27 PM   #6
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Excellant 120vac monitor

About $100.... Monitor all ac volts and polarity.......
Any ac voltage less than 108 is not good for RV use. Power distribution must be at least 117 vac. A voltage greater than 119 is very good power. Low power make all devices operate slower and will destroy most motors partly due to slow cooling fan....... Frank
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Old 08-10-2002, 04:30 PM   #7
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AC tester

Cheap.......about $8.
Checks wiring in trailer and the source....
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Old 08-10-2002, 09:01 PM   #8
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GB Instruments GDT-292A digital multimeter which will always be smarter than me.
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