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Old 07-16-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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Need Recommendation - Electrical AMP Meter / surgeguard

We just purchased a 2012 AS 27FB Eddie Bauer. First time out went great- yet we noticed a few things that we would like more info on.

Electricity. 30amp from the RV Parks trips when using too many appliances and the Air Conditioner (get the E7 code, and have to reset the master breaker).

Any recommendations on how to install an AMP meter / lcd to see the current trailer draw? I was hoping to see how many amps were currently being pulled, so we are in the know. Granted we are learning to not use the AC, Coffee Maker, Dyson Fan, and water heater at the same time :-)

Any recommendation on the TRC 30amp surge guard? This is an inline electrical guard- outside the trailer. Not sure if it shows trailer draw however.

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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The TRC Surge Guard is described as having a readout of the current draw in amps, but the one that's easy to retrofit (the portable model) is outside the trailer so that's not a convenient display of your current consumption.

Since the AC was running, you probably weren't running the Dyson in heat mode even if it's a Dyson Hot fan+heater, so it probably didn't have much effect. I'm sure that just the fan is a very low draw.

It looks like those gas/electric water heaters pull about 12 amps, and the running current for an AC unit is going to be around 12-15 amps (with starting current demand being higher) so you're getting close to the 30A capacity right there, and the coffee maker is probably another 10 amps or more. You don't really need to spend money on a meter, just keep a mental list of the demands of each appliance when they're in operation.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:19 PM   #3
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Don't forget the "hidden" 7 amps or so being consumed by the 115vac heating element for your refrigerator.

I switch to propane for the frig if I need to use the microwave or the electric skillet...

Mike
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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If the Air cond. is on, we have just gotten in the habit of switching off the elec. water heater when we will be using several appliances together and that does the trick. Also, don't plug too many appliances in together - ie hair dryer + coffee makes + microwave etc!

With the AC, the fridge, and the converter/charger running, you don't have a whole lot of your 30 amps left, so tripping breakers easily happens.

You soon get used to it without needing an ammeter!


Brian.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:01 PM   #5
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Hmmm, Brian, I think my fridge heater is 325 watts, or about 3 amps. Going from memory here......

ooops, I mean Mike, not Brian.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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Great replies! 3-7 amps on fridge, 12 amps on water heater, 12-15 for AC... I can see where if running the AC, it would be wise to switch to Gas for Fridge and Water heater if possible. It was more of a test- hence why I purchased the Dyson hot / cool fan :-)

How quickly will the propane tanks go dry using the Fridge and Water Heater (assuming 2 people use).
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:32 PM   #7
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one other hidden item is the converter that charger your batteries. at first hook up it can draw up to 7-8 amps.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
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I'm a big fan of this thing.

EMS-HW30C 30 Amp Hardwired EMS with Remote Display

Not only protects the AS from Surges and bad juju (juice), but gives a readout of voltage, frequency and current draw. Also gives you an error code if it trips off your power to give you a clue for where to look for the problem. eg it gave me an open ground code. Found I had a bad connection to an extension cord I was using.

The amp readout is also very helpful. I use it to see if I need to shut things off before using the Microwave or the AC.

Another plus. If the protection circuits are destroyed protecting your stuff, the circuit boards are replaceable.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperkins View Post
Great replies! 3-7 amps on fridge, 12 amps on water heater, 12-15 for AC... I can see where if running the AC, it would be wise to switch to Gas for Fridge and Water heater if possible. It was more of a test- hence why I purchased the Dyson hot / cool fan :-)

How quickly will the propane tanks go dry using the Fridge and Water Heater (assuming 2 people use).
Assuming you switch off the water heater at night, 2 cylinders of propane will run the fridge and water heater for many weeks. The furnace will burn lots of propane, the refrigerator uses very little, and the water heater varies on how much hot water you use.

To give you a rough idea, I purchased my Argosy with some propane in the cylinders, but they weren't full. Over the next year we camped 21 nights, running the refrigerator on gas when traveling and on some campsites (where we were boondocking.) The water heater has an old-school pilot, so that remained lit from setting up camp to preparing to leave. We also cooked on the gas range quite a bit while camping. I decided to fill the propane cylinders before going on a 4-night boondocking trip, and if memory serves between the 2 cylinders I had about 1/2 of one full cylinder, having started with less than 2 full cylinders. We've camped 23 nights since then and haven't emptied the first cylinder yet.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:24 PM   #10
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My bad -- reefer is 3 amps, not 7. Still, it's a draw that one tends to forget...

Mike
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:31 PM   #11
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The location of any amp meter that will be effective in this case would have to be at the connection to the city power, a place that you will not find convenient to watch.

Considering the small amount of gas that the hot water heater uses, especially if you cycle it as you need hot water I would disconnect the electric to it during the summer, lest you forget and blow a fuse again.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:15 PM   #12
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I have the same set up as Dave Swenson (Post #8). One of the distributors was selling them at Alumapalooza and I bought it there and installed it when I got home. Took about 30 minutes. Seems to work fine....company is located in NC and it's an American made electronic product. How rare is that?
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:07 PM   #13
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Managing Power Usage

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperkins View Post
...
Electricity. 30amp from the RV Parks trips when using too many appliances and the Air Conditioner (get the E7 code, and have to reset the master breaker). ...
!
Post 309 in the link below may prove to be of interest to you in trying to managing your power usage.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f252...ml#post1096653

I used it to prevent the microwave oven and the water heater from trying to run at the same time.

We routinely run the AC, TV, refrigerator, and water heater with no problems (provided the line voltage available is above about 115 volts).
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:41 PM   #14
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The whole issue could be low power at the campground. There may only be 15 amps at the 30 amp plug.

The E7 code on the thermostat is the 110 volt controls not the AC compressor.

I use a Portable Surge Guards With LCD Display I picked up at Camping World. They have 30 and 50 amp models. Portable and Installed models as well. Cheap insurance if you ask me. You never know how the campground are wired.
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