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Old 09-06-2016, 09:25 AM   #1
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How do y'all check voltage at the campground pedestal?

I suspect I have been staying on a campsite with possible low voltage.
My /c units will stop working and an E1 error code will display on the thermostat.
The thermostat will not reset by pushing Zone and Mode at the same time.
Not knowing what was wrong, I took the trailer to an RV repair shop and left it for a month.
They reset the thermostat by pressing Zone and Mode at the same time and it worked until I went back to the same campsite.
Same thing happened Sunday afternoon. A/c quit. Thermostat would not reset.
I'm scratching my head on this one.
We get home.
I plug the trailer in at home.
The thermostat reset by pressing Zone and Mode at the same time and the a/c was still running this morning.
I ask myself why I didn't try this before I took the trailer to an RV repair shop.
I guess it just didn't occur to me that there could be a problem with the campground voltage because we have camped on that spot for years.
Why would this year be different?
Maybe ants have nested in the receptacle?
Maybe there is moisture in the underground service?
If the a/c runs for 3 days at home I will call the campground and tell them I suspect low voltage at the pedestal.
I want to buy a voltage meter to take with me everywhere I go to check the power at campgrounds when problems arise.
Which one should I buy?
My surge protector tells me the pedestal is wired correctly, but does not measure the voltage.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:32 AM   #2
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I had a similar experience with the ac and ended up taking the trailer into the shop to have them check it out. The tech told me that this happens often especially when you camp at an older campground that are crowded. My ac was fine.

I bought a plug in meter but I can't tell you the name of it. It is analog, not digital, and it works just fine. Last time out I watched the needle move toward the red range but it never made it.

I suppose you could also use a VOM to check voltage at the outlet. I have a digital one of these and it measures down to the tenth of a volt.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:42 AM   #3
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I keep a digital meter plugged into an outlet all the time to watch voltage; in hot and cold weather it can vary a lot with a/c or heating units operating.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:47 AM   #4
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We use the same type of plug-in amp meter as aftermath. We have had this one for ten years, When we plug in at a campground, we always check to see how the power is. With the air conditioner running, if the needle on the meter is down near the red zone, we are very careful about what we are running on shore power. There have been campgrounds where we switch the refrigerator to gas and do not use anything else while the air conditioning is running.

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Old 09-06-2016, 09:51 AM   #5
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So...
The $9.99 Camco one that plugs into a wall socket/receptacle in the trailer will work?
It is a round/oval yellow thing that plugs into a 110 receptacle and has an analog gauge on it.
I assume there are other versions available with a digital readout as well.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:56 AM   #6
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Randy at Best suggested this unit....


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Old 09-06-2016, 09:56 AM   #7
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You want a plug in volt meter that you can mount inside the trailer. I say this because the voltage will fluctuate as thinks, total user ans conditions, change and you don't wan to be running in and out to check voltage at the post. I have mine plugged into the extra receptacle at the microwave .

Keep in mind you do not want to run an AC at less than 105 volts. The older ACs had a low voltage indicator but not now so you have to keep an eye on it via a meter.
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:02 AM   #8
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I have a little $15 plug in meter plugged into an outlet in the bathroom. I have since bought a deluxe surge protector for the power in and it might tell me but I keep the little meter plugged in anyway.
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:14 AM   #9
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Hi from AZ. . . I, too have a meter in the outlet right inside the door, & look at it BEFORE I turn any devices on. Anything with a motor ( A/C, fans, etc ) should not be run on low voltage. The last time that happened to us w/ our previous FC28, I used a 50 amp adapter, & plugged in to the 50 amp plug on pedestal, & the voltage was much better than the 30 amp plug. . . just FYI. . . regards Craig
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:22 AM   #10
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I carry a HF "free" DVM and stick it into the outlet near the sink to test, but I like the idea of a permanent plug-in.

I was in a year-old "new" section at the Weston, FL KOA and my AC kept blowing the breaker in the trailer. I checked the voltage and found only 92 volts. 50A outlet was no better. Neither was the adjacent site. Had to hookup again and move across the campground. I swore after that I would always check voltage before unhooking, but haven't been faithful to that oath.

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Old 09-06-2016, 10:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
Which one should I buy?
My surge protector tells me the pedestal is wired correctly, but does not measure the voltage.
Progressive Industries. It has a voltage readout.

http://www.ourflyingcloud.com/2016/0...protector.html
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:47 AM   #12
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The low voltage thing has only come up in older state parks.
The state is highly unlikely to do anything about it.
I will just have to remember which sites to avoid.
I hope they won't charge me the $10 reservation change fee to move to a spot with correct voltage.
I haven't yet had a problem in a COE campground or privately owned campground or Forest Service campground.
I guess some of it is budget and the state is broke. At Hugh White State Park in Grenada, MS when the water or electricity quits working in part of the campground they just close it off. The prettiest loop - the loop we preferred - has had faulty electrical and water for years and was closed off 4 years ago.
As far as checking voltage before setting up camp, the electrical connection is generally the first I make so the tongue jack is not using my truck battery or coach battery, so if I find low voltage and move no big deal, but...
Seems like it changes. It works a day or 2 until more trailers show up and plug in and then the voltage drops... So after a couple of days on the spot then the voltage drops and the A/C won't come on. It was 91 degrees one time and 88 degrees another...
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:49 AM   #13
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Randy at Best suggested this unit....


Bob
I do use this one as well because it gives more info but a simple analog meter will work as pointed out as well.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:00 AM   #14
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I think I will go with the one recommended by a couple of you guys available on Amazon for about $50.
I will check our local hardware store for price comparison on the voltage meter, propane pigtail hose connectors, and ball valves for low point drains before ordering.
I'm sure I can go ahead and order a floor jack and jack stands from Amazon and they will be less expensive than Auto parts stores. I will check Walmart.com for floor jack and jack stands. I think it needs to lift 7,000# 18". Am I right or wrong to think this?
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