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Old 07-31-2019, 10:18 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
If you had drawn too much current (defined as more than 30 amps) either your main breaker or the pedestal breaker should have blown.
As the OP mentioned, the pedestal did not have a breaker. The campground had a main distributed to several campsites.

I've stayed in campgrounds with no pedestal, just a 50 amp outlet box about 1' off the ground on a 4" x 4", no breakers.

But once in Colorado, my campground was getting rewired so I got to see how it's done. First, they used direct burial cable trenched about a foot deep. I would have put it in PVC pipe, but they felt it was too expensive. Then the pedestals were nice but the main box did not have a breaker for every site, and the breakers they did have didn't total the load, on the theory that not everyone was using 50 amps at once. As I recall there was a 200 amp breaker for 6-8 sites. The contractor said there's a formula they use. I'm sure he's right, but at 2 am, a bunch of us lost power. Since I was nosy, I opened the main bistro box and reset the breaker.
The contractor basically told me to mind my own business.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:27 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Sorry to hear your power woes. However, Airstream doesn't make the trailer to be able to run everything at once. They make them to be able to adapt to 30 amp power. Airstream could easily say, "If you want AC, hot water, and a microwave at once, get 50 amp service!" I'll bet 80% of Airstreams have 30 amp limits.

That's big. 55 years? Things changed a lot in 55 years! Heck, in 1970 were there even microwaves or electric water heaters in RV's? Maybe not even AC.
It's always said the breaker is there to protect the wire, unfortunately, I'd bet there wasn't a separate breaker for every site. There might have been a 100 amp breaker for 8 sites. Yes, it doesn't make sense, but campgrounds don't wire for individual sites. So the high current draw didn't trip the breaker.
Lastly, being in Canada, the campground doesn't experience hot summers often, so they got along until now.
This is one of those things where everyone shared some of the blame and you shake hands and walk away. It happens.

wrong ....Montreal is a very hot summer place.....Canada is not all ice and snow 12 months of the year ....LOL
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:34 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
the campground was very responsive, even generous, to provide the parts for repair.


Al
They were kind to go to the store, buy the parts and install them, at my expense.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:39 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
The OP specifically stated that there WAS no pedestal breaker (which would make me very skeptical of the pedestal.) The campground owner said the breakers were "concentrated" somewhere else.

That is correct!
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:44 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fricassee1 View Post
I've been an electrician for 35 years.


Periodically I use Penetrox (Amazon) as a lubrication for all my plugs and electrical connections. Penetrox is an anti oxide inhibitor but it does more than that. Squeezing some in on the female shore power cord side will slow down its wear through use and it will also maintain a good electrical connection when you plug in. On the electrical distribution box end put a little Penetrox on the blades of the plug before you connect to the box.
Thank you for your contribution to the discussion. It may interest you to know that when I went to Amazon US it was $11, but is over $70 in Canada on Amazon (with no two day shipping in country!). As I am in Canada, I think I'll wait till I get back to the USA to add that to my repertoire!
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Old 07-31-2019, 01:04 PM   #46
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Thanks to the OP and all who have replied. I’ve learned more than I really wanted to know about camp site power issues from this thread.

We’re complete novices to trailer camping and still “kitting out” our 2019 NEST for its first real camping trip. We’ve found that reading Air Forums threads like this one, are often very valuable and occasionally expensive — like needing to buy a surge protector/EMS to protect our NEST from the vagaries of camp site power
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Old 07-31-2019, 02:46 PM   #47
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It is interesting how Airstream designed the electrical system in our 1994 model Classic. The A/C and microwave are on the same circuit but there is a switch in the upper cabinet where it gets flipped to the appliance you want to run. You either run the microwave or the A/C but never both at the same time.
I have seen several bad 30 amp receptacles in private and state park campgrounds. I carry a dog-bone that converts the 30 amp to 50 amp plug. Have used this a few times because of the worn out/faulty 30 amp receptacle on the pedestal.
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:50 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotoman1527 View Post
They were kind to go to the store, buy the parts and install them, at my expense.

Once again, I have been proven to not be a very good reader. Sorry.


Al
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Old 07-31-2019, 04:00 PM   #49
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Well I really butchered THIS post! So for the record, here it is again without all the quite funny auto-correct "interpertations" ... I gotta remember to proof stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBRich View Post
I had this very same thing happen at my home, connected to a dedicated 30-amp line. Both the house breaker and the in-lne surge protecter caught the issue and tripped ...but the female socket on the trailer and male plug on the cord were melted. Our service guy said there was a loose connection on the interior side of the receptacle...a screw holding the wire in place had worked loose over time, and finally got to the point where it caused a problem. We were lucky we didn't have a fire. But that's what breakers and good surge protectors are for.
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Old 07-31-2019, 04:23 PM   #50
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Hello fotoman1527,

Bummer that you had said experience. Maybe there's solace in knowing it could have been worse - fire!

We had a related but much less dramatic experience last night. On the road for over three weeks and it's been very hot as you know yourself. We needed one last night of electric (near home) so we could unwind, clean the trailer, pack up, etc.

The Progressive Dynamics power module tripped several times when we first connected to the power pole and turned on the AC. I was angry - the old, dingy, former KOA we stopped at was definitely "long in the tooth" and needed some upgrades. The pool was fantastic but the electrical system needed to be modernized. No breaker at the pedestal. There was over 10Volt drop in the circuit when I turned on the air conditioner.

It was around 7 PM and everyone was running their AC. The voltage drop was not unexpected but boy was I pi$$ed! $35 per night and I get a lousy power connection just like you.

I waited about an hour and sun was going down. The voltage increased by 2V I suppose because the load throughout the park was going down as the sun went down. I noticed a 3V drop in the line just because the Progressive Industries unit was in-line. I was also able to attribute almost 3V drop because the refrigerator was on electrical power. We don't have an electric water heater but I suspect that may contribute several more volts of drop. The battery charger was also working pretty hard initially so that was adding to the voltage drop. After an hour of being hot (and angry) I finally calmed down when I was able to get the voltage stabilized.

I didn't do a bunch of "tests" but decided with the refrigerator on gas, and by removing the Progressive Industries power protector, the voltage was remaining at 105 even with the air conditioner running. Not very scientific but good enough for me. It worked through the night.

As others have mentioned, it's good to be very aware of your power demand. A volt/polarity meter inside the trailer is very useful in helping with matters like this. This item simply plugs into an existing outlet inside the rig. It's available from Vintage Trailer Supply, Amazon, Camping World and probably Canadian Tire.
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:39 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Hello fotoman1527,

Bummer that you had said experience. Maybe there's solace in knowing it could have been worse - fire!


I didn't do a bunch of "tests" but decided with the refrigerator on gas, and by removing the Progressive Industries power protector, the voltage was remaining at 105 even with the air conditioner running. Not very scientific but good enough for me. It worked through the night.

As others have mentioned, it's good to be very aware of your power demand. A volt/polarity meter inside the trailer is very useful in helping with matters like this. This item simply plugs into an existing outlet inside the rig. It's available from Vintage Trailer Supply, Amazon, Camping World and probably Canadian Tire.

Thanks for contributing!

Readers of this string by now get the importance of having an internal voltage meter. I know I do, even though I haven’t found it at three stores, including HD (all in Canada). Canadian Tire is next! Thx!

Let’s move to the next question: once you have such an in-house meter, what are some general action guidelines for different voltages?

Sure, you shut off or switch to propane everything you can, but assume a hot, humid night.

At what voltage is it dangerous to run the ac? Or if you have secure, clean connections and the ac is working do you not worry, and rely on either your own breaker or whatever the campground has to go off? I know people will react to any solution that relies on that approach as ill-advised.

In other words, you had a reading of 105. Is there any reading where you would have turned off the ac as a safety risk, even if it was working?

I hope others give their own answers as well.

Thx!
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:45 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeSerious View Post
Thanks to the OP and all who have replied. I’ve learned more than I really wanted to know about camp site power issues from this thread.

We’re complete novices to trailer camping and still “kitting out” our 2019 NEST for its first real camping trip. We’ve found that reading Air Forums threads like this one, are often very valuable and occasionally expensive — like needing to buy a surge protector/EMS to protect our NEST from the vagaries of camp site power


Thank you for contributing and happy adventures! While this hasn’t come up we had an extra power cable and our AS has two input 30 amp receptacles, so even if the campground staff had not graciously fixed the blown bits, we could have continued on. Remember backups when you kit out!
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:03 PM   #53
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I found the following in a Dometic installation manual. Not sure if it applies to all models and may not apply to other brands but it’s a good starting place.


The unit is a 115VAC, 60Hz appliance. The proper operating range is between 103 and 126.5 volts AC. The voltage reading should be taken at the unit power supply leads. One test should be performed when the unit is turned OFF and another with it running under load. If the voltage is not within the proper operating range, it must be corrected before operation of the unit.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:03 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Hello fotoman1527,

Bummer that you had said experience. Maybe there's solace in knowing it could have been worse - fire!

We had a related but much less dramatic experience last night. On the road for over three weeks and it's been very hot as you know yourself. We needed one last night of electric (near home) so we could unwind, clean the trailer, pack up, etc.

The Progressive Dynamics power module tripped several times when we first connected to the power pole and turned on the AC. I was angry - the old, dingy, former KOA we stopped at was definitely "long in the tooth" and needed some upgrades. The pool was fantastic but the electrical system needed to be modernized. No breaker at the pedestal. There was over 10Volt drop in the circuit when I turned on the air conditioner.

It was around 7 PM and everyone was running their AC. The voltage drop was not unexpected but boy was I pi$$ed! $35 per night and I get a lousy power connection just like you.

I waited about an hour and sun was going down. The voltage increased by 2V I suppose because the load throughout the park was going down as the sun went down. I noticed a 3V drop in the line just because the Progressive Industries unit was in-line. I was also able to attribute almost 3V drop because the refrigerator was on electrical power. We don't have an electric water heater but I suspect that may contribute several more volts of drop. The battery charger was also working pretty hard initially so that was adding to the voltage drop. After an hour of being hot (and angry) I finally calmed down when I was able to get the voltage stabilized.

I didn't do a bunch of "tests" but decided with the refrigerator on gas, and by removing the Progressive Industries power protector, the voltage was remaining at 105 even with the air conditioner running. Not very scientific but good enough for me. It worked through the night.

As others have mentioned, it's good to be very aware of your power demand. A volt/polarity meter inside the trailer is very useful in helping with matters like this. This item simply plugs into an existing outlet inside the rig. It's available from Vintage Trailer Supply, Amazon, Camping World and probably Canadian Tire.
And again the start of this thread is you pay money for system protection, get an error message and shut down for safety, then for what ever reason decide to remove it from the equation so you can run your stuff regardless of the safety messages you received....HUH? Maybe I am stupid. feel free to call me so if I am missing something.
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Old 08-01-2019, 06:05 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeSerious View Post
Thanks to the OP and all who have replied. I’ve learned more than I really wanted to know about camp site power issues from this thread.

We’re complete novices to trailer camping and still “kitting out” our 2019 NEST for its first real camping trip. We’ve found that reading Air Forums threads like this one, are often very valuable and occasionally expensive — like needing to buy a surge protector/EMS to protect our NEST from the vagaries of camp site power
Welcome!

FYI this Battery School is good background reading for RV battery use:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm

Happy Trails!

Peter

FYI/FWIW
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Old 08-01-2019, 07:44 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by bweybright View Post
And again the start of this thread is you pay money for system protection, get an error message and shut down for safety, then for what ever reason decide to remove it from the equation so you can run your stuff regardless of the safety messages you received....HUH? Maybe I am stupid. feel free to call me so if I am missing something.
I systematically went through the process of understanding where the voltage drops were occurring in the system. I changed (turned off) what was using power in my trailer so I could maintain 105 volts inside my trailer. The protection device I use is made by Progressive Industries. They shut off the power at 104 volts as shown below. However, their device was creating a 3V drop. I was not able to get the voltage inside the trailer to be a constant 105 unless I removed the Progressive Industries device from the equation. I believe I made a reasonable decision.

Here's the quote from Progressive Industries:

High/Low Voltage Protection: The EMS continuously monitors AC power. When AC power deviates below 104 volts for more than 6 seconds or rises above 132 volts the EMS automatically shuts down power to the RV. Once AC power rises above 104 volts or drops below 132 volts the 2 minute 16 second time delay counts down and power is restored automatically.

Other power protection manufacturers may be different. Notice the high voltage condition of 132 volts and compare that to the previous information from Dometic indicating the high voltage condition is 126.5 volts. Even within the RV industry there are variations on what constitutes a low power or high power condition.

The OP has learned quite a bit from this discussion as many of us have. One thing I've learned is don't blindly follow (or allow) one part of your system to interrupt the workings of your RV equipment if you have reason to believe it may be part of the problem.
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Old 08-01-2019, 07:51 AM   #57
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Hi

One minor advantage of an "inside" EMS is that you can get them with a readout. I have mine mounted so it can easily be seen. I gives me the line voltages and currents. ( I have two voltages and two currents since it's a 50A system). There is no need for other gizmos to continuously monitor things.

Bob
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:02 AM   #58
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YOu know, back when we owned our campground in Angel Fire, we saw that people would come in with burned plugs in about a third of all cases, some worse than others. And we saw that allowing them to plug into our posts just spread the burn to our receptacles. The story had to stop someplace, and we decided -- out of enlightened self interest if nothing else -- that we would NOT allow people to plug into our system with burned up plugs.

So the solution was simple enough. I checked every plug on every RV that entered the park. IF the plug was in bad shape, then I cleaned it up to shiny new before plugging it into our system.

Did it work? I should say so. Among other things, I saw on many repeat customers' plugs the result of my cleanup -- even years after I had done the work originally. (It was easy to spot: Parallel scrapes across the metal from my sacrificial pocket knife left tell-sale scratches in the metal.)

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Old 08-01-2019, 08:12 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by eubank View Post
YOu know, back when we owned our campground in Angel Fire, we saw that people would come in with burned plugs in about a third of all cases, some worse than others. And we saw that allowing them to plug into our posts just spread the burn to our receptacles. The story had to stop someplace, and we decided -- out of enlightened self interest if nothing else -- that we would NOT allow people to plug into our system with burned up plugs.

So the solution was simple enough. I checked every plug on every RV that entered the park. IF the plug was in bad shape, then I cleaned it up to shiny new before plugging it into our system.

Did it work? I should say so. Among other things, I saw on many repeat customers' plugs the result of my cleanup -- even years after I had done the work originally. (It was easy to spot: Parallel scrapes across the metal from my sacrificial pocket knife left tell-sale scratches in the metal.)

Lynn
We've been to that campground and must have passed the connector test! I don't recall that you had to scrape our connector.

As we continue this discussion about voltage drop, burned out connectors and related topics, it makes me wonder if the removable power cord is a good idea. For instance, the screw-lock connector on the side of modern Airstreams (and most modern RVs for that matter) are adding another connection to the system and every connector is a potential source of problem such as voltage drop and the heat it generates.

Why did the RV industry make the switch to separate/removable power cords? Convenience is one reason. Are there other reasons? Who says the screw-lock system is the best? There's at least one other interface on the market: SmartPlug. Their product may be worth evaluation for those of your who have removable cords.
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Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:13 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
.......... I was not able to get the voltage inside the trailer to be a constant 105 unless I removed the Progressive Industries device from the equation. I believe I made a reasonable decision.

...........One thing I've learned is don't blindly follow (or allow) one part of your system to interrupt the workings of your RV equipment if you have reason to believe it may be part of the problem.
Ok, let’s recap:

Your safety device (which draws power) indicated unsafe electrical conditions.

You unplugged the safety device in order to increase the available power to a barely safe level.

Thereby leaving your very valuable AS vulnerable to low/high power conditions.

I’m not sure this rationalization holds.
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