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Old 10-13-2015, 03:17 PM   #15
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1975 27' Overlander
Mission , Texas
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There was a time when I repaired big radars and related test equipment. The joke after making repairs was - "okay, let's smoke test this thing".
All breakers off before connecting power, then main breaker on, followed by breakers for circuits. Reverse order to disconnect.
Because you just never know ...

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Old 10-14-2015, 11:27 PM   #16
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Irving , Texas
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The cost to replace a 30 amp breaker is almost nothing, compared to the value of anything it powers up. The time it takes to replace one is less than the time it will take to write this post. And I doubt you could even build a site to code without them today, and for good reason.

Turning off the power for safety reasons is what they are designed to do. They prevent a plug of unknown condition, likely held in the bare hand of an unknown person, standing in unknown weather and other conditions from becoming HOT until the user intends it to be hot.

The fact that use will make it wear out someday brings them on par with every other mechanism in the modern world, and replacing them is simply a cost of doing business.

The notion that we should be more concerned about the cost of that part, which BTW we already pay for in the form of site rentals, or the amount of inconvenience it causes a park host (which could be counted in mere seconds per episode) every time some newbie can't figure out why there's is no juice, is far outweighed by the amount of reasonable safety they add to the equation.

I'm all for ways to save the park owner money or time, but not by volunteering my own personal safety instead...I'm there for my own enjoyment and I'm paying for the privilege, so I shut off the breakers, period.

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Old 10-15-2015, 05:59 PM   #17
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I always turn off the breaker before I plug in. And I have a hard-wired Progressive Dynamics monitor/surge protector that won't LET power into my rig if there's a bad ground, neutral issue or whatever. The usual problem I find in park pedestals isn't with the breaker, it's worn out contacts or broken insulator material from people who don't pull the plug straight out. (Saw this last night in the pedestal I was hooked up to.)
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by paiceman View Post
I don't care what a sign says. If breakers are on when I arrive I turn them off, plug in my circuit tester and fault detector, wait the 145 seconds for it to check everything and tell me all is ok, then I plug in our wire from the AS.

When I leave I turn the breakers off prior to pulling plug.
What tester are you using? Need one. Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:45 PM   #19
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<<What tester are you using? Need one. Thanks!>>

x 2 Paiceman.
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Old 10-16-2015, 08:55 AM   #20
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See Mike Sokol 's web site for detailed information concerning the necessary (inexpensive) instruments and proper technique. I use this procedure every time I hook up and on an extended trip with 57 separate hookups I found three faulty and dangerous connections. The camp manager in two cases fixed the problem immediately. The third manager was in denial but allowed me to move to a different site. I will follow Sokol's advice to never hook up to defective power. Death is too high a price for camping.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:53 AM   #21
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While we are discussing the plugging into an RV shoreline, the issue of surge/other protection is good to cover. This is what I use, a Progressive Industries EMS-PT50C Portable Surge Protector 50 Amp. I have also fixed two cables to lock things up.

Voltage monitor by Tommie Lauer, on Flickr

This checks the two sides of the connection, looking at voltage, etc. and has error codes if problems are discovered. Having spent nearly $1000 in repairing the Inverter/Charger on a large moho, I am aware of the issues with low voltage and how this can fry things in the RV.

So, for protection of the AS, a device such as the above, is IMO an essential.
Happy trails and Good Luck
Ms Tommie Fantine Lauer, Greensboro, NC
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Old 10-16-2015, 10:34 AM   #22
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I was taught that the electrical thermal load that a breaker gets to "pop" is what weakens the spring.
I have stayed at parks where the 50 amp breakers get too hot from solar radiation along with electrical load and "pop". One I shaded the pedestal to fix, the other I had to run on 30 amp with diminished AC. Both of these had weak springs in the breaker.
I have seen when a new park owner of an rural old park with low capacity use a water hose to cool the main power box until he could get everything repaired correctly.
"Chip Tank" is in Vacaville Ca..
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Old 10-16-2015, 10:47 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Msmoto View Post
While we are discussing the plugging into an RV shoreline, the issue of surge/other protection is good to cover. This is what I use, a Progressive Industries EMS-PT50C Portable Surge Protector 50 Amp. I have also fixed two cables to lock things up.
Good info in this thread. A surge protector and testing equipment are among the many things we'll be purchasing over the next few months to outfit our rig. Details like this are invaluable, especially when I can copy the item name (as above) and plug it into Amazon to bring up the exact device.


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Old 10-25-2015, 01:10 PM   #24
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UL testing will already have covered the expected life cycles of an RV pedestal circuit breaker. I would not be worried about wearing out the switch. Certainly the switch should not be turned on or off with full power running through it, but I'm pretty sure UL ar any other certification authority has it covered!
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:42 PM   #25
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X2 Msmoto - Always use an external surge protector. It has a 60-second delay before it transfers power. A good external surge protector will also TEST the line so that you don't fry your electonics.

The reason to use an external one rather than a built-in internal one is that if a strong surge occurs that fries the surge protector, you won't have the resulting heat cause a fire in your AS.

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