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Old 08-01-2019, 09:29 AM   #61
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2018 27' Tommy Bahama
Marana , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post

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.
I use the same device, plugged in right inside the door so that we can see the voltage being provided. Here is the amazon link to it.

https://amzn.to/315Qwr1

Please note that this is NOT a replacement for an EMS device. We always use our progressive industries EMS.

You have to use EMS it but also TRUST it.

It gave me an E2 when we powered up the AS this past weekend. Keep in mind I was plugging in at HOME and knew the 50amp was good as we have used it for years. I trusted the EMS and found that the ground plug at the wall where my 50amp extension cord was plugged in had worked its way out of the plug. The EMS was right on. I corrected the open ground situation and plugged the AS back in and all was right again.

Sorry this happened to the OP!
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:55 AM   #62
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we use an inside EMS 30 system. it has the remote display

we changed to the smart plug last year

we use both. when the EMS disconnects we don't reconnect until the park fixes the issue.
we can run on solar and battery for a while.

IT IS NOT safe to run without an integral EMS. AS should sell it with all new trailers
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:18 AM   #63
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2007 22' International CCD
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Campground electric burnout- whose fault?

SmartPlug is one of the simplest and best power inlet upgrades that you can make. Way better than the twist lock standard connector for reliable connections.

EMS, and always trusting it, is the other wise upgrade. Having voltage and current readouts is a plus. If you canít measure, you donít know what is really going on.
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:23 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
If you canít measure, you donít know what is really going on.
Agree!

If you canít measure, you canít manage.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:16 AM   #65
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Hi

An "inside" EMS is a tradeoff. There *is* a fire risk if you get a monster lighting strike that an "outside" EMS would not present. ( = the EMS dies in a ball of fire ). I'm sure that *somewhere* out there at least one person has had this happen. To me, not a big risk, to others maybe it is a big deal. Due to that tradeoff, the whole inside / outside thing *should* be left up to the owner. I know of dealers who refuse to install inside EMS devices based on the risk.

=====

One odd tidbit if this really *is* talking about 50+ year old campgrounds. Once upon a time, the standard "set voltage" was 110V rather than 120V. Indeed that was a *long* time ago. You still do find remnants of that practice around. A lot of us old folks still slip into calling wall power 110 or dryer power 220 ..... The US military was still buying some 110V targeted gear well into the 1980's.

Bob
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:09 PM   #66
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2019 Nest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Welcome!
FYI this Battery School is good background reading for RV battery use:
http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm
Happy Trails!
Peter
FYI/FWIW
Thanks for the link about batteries. I still have a whole lot of reading to do

FWIW AS has done a really good job of designing the NEST to reduce its 120v usage. Most of the NEST runs on 12v all of the time, including the fridge. All the lighting is LED. The water heater is instant on propane. Only the AC and microwave require 120v service. But based on my measurements, together these two power-pigs can pull as much as 21-25 amps (AC- 12-15, microwave- 9-10). So it only takes a few power hungry “appliances” (e.g. Induction cook top, electric grill, hair dryer, etc.) to max out a 30 amp service. That’s why I appreciate the suggestion of using an extension cord to take advantage of a separate 20 amp service, when available, to power things like a small induction cooktop and/or electric grill. Sort of a poor boy’s version of a 50 amp service
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:34 AM   #67
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I invested in an expensive, hard wired EMS for my trailer. There is no way I would not pay attention to its warning or bypass it... js... FWIW 😶
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:07 AM   #68
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It seems to me that weíve had worn out plugins at the Montreal South KOA. I canít swear on it but thatís my recollection.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:26 AM   #69
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For what it's worth, a Progressive EMS HW30C will shut off your incoming power if the voltage drops to 104.
A 30 Amp service at 120 Volts is 3600 Watts.
At 104 Volts, 3600 Watts is 34.6 Amps.
3600 watts draw at 100 Volts is 36 Amps.
So when the voltage goes down and the draw (Watts) remain constant you are pulling more Amps than your gear is rated for.
The primary fault here lies with the Park for supplying inadequate power for the conditions. A secondary and contributing factor was you not protecting your rig against a common problem and actually defeating the device that was doing its job. I think you were lucky not to have destroyed the electronics in your A/C, fridge, and other equipment.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:29 AM   #70
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I regularly stay in a vintage campground. My approach is to move the problem to the power post using Camco 30 AMP Power Defender Voltage Protector With Integrated Surge Protection (https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Protect.../dp/B00JFWKM2K). They also have a 50 AMP version.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:01 PM   #71
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2015 AIRSTREAM had a recall for that condition. The connector on the back side of the plug was not tightened properly and cause the plug to over heat. with high us causing a lower voltage, a loose connection could have exacerbated the situation.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:20 PM   #72
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Low Voltage issues

Several readers have stated that trailers will draw MORE current when the voltage is low. This is not usually the case. Ohm'l law says I = E / R where E is the voltage across the load and R is the resistance of the load. Unless some specific voltage regulating device, e.g. an autoformer, is involved or the load changes its characteristics and behavior when the voltage is lowered, a lower supply voltage generally results in a lower current draw. Devices such as compressor motors that have high starting currents may never actually start under low voltages and draw the starting current until something burns out.

Now, power, P = I X E or E X E / R. A device, say a hair dryer, rated for 600 Watts at 120 Volts will draw 5 Amps (600 / 120) at that voltage. This gives it a resistance of 24 ohms. Assuming that the resistance stays the same as the temperature changes, the dryer will draw 416.66 watts if the voltage drops to 100 volts. Nichrome, a material commonly used for electric heaters, has a positive temperature coefficient for its resistance so it's resistance rises as it gets hotter. The net effect is that its resistance will be a little bit lower when it is connected to 100 volts and it will draw a little bit more power and current than under the constant resistance assumption but it will always draw less at lower voltages than at higher ones.

That said, campground wiring can exacerbate the problem. Some 15 years ago, we had a site at an Airstream campground North of Pittsburg. It was a hot summer and the power company was trying to reduce the load by dropping the voltage on its distribution lines. I installed a power monitor on the main distribution panel for our end of the campground and found voltages as low as 103 volts on hot afternoons. This is what we were getting from the utility, even if we removed all the load. The voltage at many of the sites was down to 95 volts. Some of the runs from the panels to the sites were well over 150 feet. The branch circuits were run on #10 wire, standard for a 30 amp service, but that assumes runs of a few 10s of feet, e.g. as in a house. #8 or even #6 would have been more suitable for these runs, but no one had thought of this when the campground was built and no one thought that the power company might deliberately reduce the voltage to reduce the draw.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:43 PM   #73
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Campground power was inadequate for the load

Your power manager/ surge protector did it's job...it warned you, by shutting down

Probably, you should have moved to another site that had more amps..I have done that 3 or 4 times over the years.

I will say that I had the same issue at a commercial park in Montreal some years back. It was a cool evening, so no a/c was needed, I put the frig on gas, and, only used 12 volt lights. All was fine for a night.

I have had only one power issue at a state park (they came right out & replaced a 30 amp breaker) . On 4 separate occasions, I have had low amp issues at commercial parks...resulting in relocating 3 times...and just toughing it out the other time ( paid to boondock at a poorly run campground)
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:02 PM   #74
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Low voltage isn't going to cause such a huge increase in current draw that it will cause a plug/socket in good condition to give up the ghost. More likely the connection has been operated more than once or twice over the years without being plugged in correctly and the contacts have started burning in the past and this time the contact was poor enough that it overheated.
Blame, if it must be apportioned, lies fully with the user.
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:18 PM   #75
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Same thing happened to us this week on our 2013 FC25 - second time in 12 months. Both times were during 100+ temperatures (TX, UT), both times it was down to a loose connection on the back of the inlet. The first time we were in an old campground and had many voltage drops and tripping breakers at the pedestal. When we unhooked to move, a pin came out of the inlet along with the cord. When I removed the inlet I could see that the screws were not tight enough. I had heard about a recall but Airstream said that the 2013 was not part of it. I picked up a new gray Furrion inlet, a new cord and also a new SurgeGuard (I had noticed that the cord was no longer fitting tightly into the surge protector), but the design of the Furrion has changed and the inlet rear cover is now deeper and wouldn't fit between the inner and outer skin, so I switched the rear inlet for the front inlet and put the new one up front. I made the connections as tight as I possibly could.

That was a year ago, and now the same thing with the second (older) inlet. This time I took the AS in to the local dealer and they confirmed that there was a loose screw. They put in another new Furrion (I don't know how they managed to make it fit).

I'm wondering if there was a design flaw with the screw connectors on the old Furrion and that they joggle loose way too easily with vibration.

Now I'm seriously considering replacing both inlets for the SmartPlug system.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:13 PM   #76
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I have much higher confidence in the SmartPlug system over the old twist-lock system plugs. Lot easier to plug in, fits really tight and looks nicer. Good thing is that it fits in the same hole.
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:22 PM   #77
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Thumbs up

Thank you all for opening my eyes to camp ground power.
This year was our 1st year camping in a 5th wheeler (we have now sold it, it was way too big for us) and now looking for a 27ft AS.
It sounds like we dodged a bullet.
And you all have given us more things to put on the shopping list.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:19 PM   #78
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Campground electric burnout- whose fault?

I always use a flashlight to inspect the pedestal receptacle before I grab a multimeter and check voltage and polarity.

If it looks badly maintained or toasted to a sooty black I try another site. If its an endemic problem I move on.
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:20 AM   #79
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Here's probably what happened.

The plug on your trailer wasn't making good contact, that's what caused your surge protector to trip......

When you took the surge protector out of the mix, the poor connection overheated all night long and melted the plug.

The guy was wrong about the 50 amp thing, but he was right about the source of the problem.

A camp ground problem wouldn't have caused a failure there no matter the voltage.

Sometimes plugs get dirty, sometimes the contacts bend, sometimes the wires loosen from the terminals, and sometimes they just wear out, all of these things can cause electrical resistance and therefore HEAT.

I've been through a few plugs over the past five years, it's just part of the RV equation.

I have no dog in this fight, so I'm just going to call this on how it is. The bottom line is that this was NOT a campground caused failure.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:17 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmb View Post
Same thing happened to us this week on our 2013 FC25 - second time in 12 months. Both times were during 100+ temperatures (TX, UT), both times it was down to a loose connection on the back of the inlet. The first time we were in an old campground and had many voltage drops and tripping breakers at the pedestal. When we unhooked to move, a pin came out of the inlet along with the cord. When I removed the inlet I could see that the screws were not tight enough. I had heard about a recall but Airstream said that the 2013 was not part of it. I picked up a new gray Furrion inlet, a new cord and also a new SurgeGuard (I had noticed that the cord was no longer fitting tightly into the surge protector), but the design of the Furrion has changed and the inlet rear cover is now deeper and wouldn't fit between the inner and outer skin, so I switched the rear inlet for the front inlet and put the new one up front. I made the connections as tight as I possibly could.

That was a year ago, and now the same thing with the second (older) inlet. This time I took the AS in to the local dealer and they confirmed that there was a loose screw. They put in another new Furrion (I don't know how they managed to make it fit).

I'm wondering if there was a design flaw with the screw connectors on the old Furrion and that they joggle loose way too easily with vibration.

Now I'm seriously considering replacing both inlets for the SmartPlug system.
I did before that happened and am very pleased. Smartplug helps reduce chances of that happening at the inlet.
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