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Old 08-05-2019, 07:29 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Yes, but you must realize that the 'smart' plug is not smart enough to stop corrosion or bad connections, the OP's original problem.

As noted...
No matter what you are using it must be clean and corrosion free.

Bob
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Absolutely, Bob, that’s why the smartplug is such a good choice, at least at the inlet.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:48 AM   #82
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Good morning all. I recently purchased a 1966 Caravel '17. I took her out this weekend to a state park on the Hudson River in NY for her maiden voy age (with me). The site had a brand new electrical post, about 3' high. It offered 50 and 30 amp plugs, as well as a 15 amp plug. Since my rig does not [yet] have an AC, I plugged into the 15 amp service (identical to what I have been using at home since I got her).

I noticed that the Fantastic fan was not so fantastic and the lights were as if on a dimmer. Everyone else around me had ample power. I had not appreciated the issues you can encounter at an RV park.

It was too late to leave so we crashed, got up at 5 am and came back home. The next day, I replaced the battery (it was dated "12/05"!!!). I plugged the rig back into the exterior outlet (exactly as it had been for the past two months while I was cleaning her out, updating water pumps, etc.). Everything seemed back to normal...had my morning coffee out there yesterday, and everything was fine at least up until 6:30 pm, when I discovered that the trailer had gone dark. I reset the outside outlet. Nothing. I moved the trailer to a different outlet. Still nothing.

The only thing that was on during the day was the Dometic refrig....just as it has been since I bought her.

I have a 9100 Intelli-Powe converter with a wizard monitor....which is now blinking, which ordinarily means battery is drained...but that can't be the case here. Any suggestions for what I can do to troubleshoot. I will say that the connectors to the battery cables are exposed and one seems to have frayed...a long time ago...meaning, it was like that when I bought the trailer and it has been working without issue for the 2 Mos it has been drydocked in my drwy whole I worked on her. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:18 AM   #83
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Where to begin, I would want a little more info. Did you have AC voltage in camper? Did you have 12 VDC at any DC lights? Did you check for DC at converter? You may need to disconnect output from converter to get a good reading. Are applicable fuses /CBs ok? I’d Check those things and assuming your input power is ok, fuses are good, AC is there lean toward converter issue. Others may have more experience with this sort of thing.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:24 AM   #84
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Thank you for your prompt response. The lights all work on DC. I did not check the converter. I pulled a diagram of the converter off the internet but the fuses are not where they are shown on the diagram - it is all sealed sides, except for the fan. Any input on this would be helpful. I need to go pick up a voltmeter to do the balance of the checks. One question I had is whether the converter + wizard are sufficient to monitor the flow of shoreline power to the battery. I would hate to think that I have fried this brand new battery. Thanks again.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:05 PM   #85
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You won’t believe this!

If you’ve followed this thread since my original posting, you know that it all began in a campground in Canada, where I ignored a surge protector’s clear warnings and ended up with a burned out connection, but thankfully nothing worse.

Thereafter, my wife got ill and needed an antibiotic, for which we obtained a prescription from an American doctor. I then learned, and perhaps now so will you, that Canadian pharmacies will not honor prescriptions written by American doctors!

Starting again with the Canadian medical system was not a better option. Hence, we had no choice but to take the script and return to the closest American pharmacy to Quebec City, which, for your further edification, is 200 miles away in Fort Kent, Maine.

The morning we were to have left, our Airstream was in the shop on a long-scheduled appointment having a back-up camera installed. I thought it would only take a couple of hours, but it took so much time that by the time we left I had a 3 1/2 hour drive and only a 30 minute window of safety before the pharmacy in Fort Kent closed, and with it the opportunity to get those medications on board that day, which was very important.

One of the things that I asked the mechanic to do was to put the air pressure on the four tires on the Airstream at 75 psi.

As we pulled out of the repair facility, we went through our standard practice of checking the Tireminder, which reported that the tire pressure on three of the four A/S tires was 107!

At this point we were three blocks away. I had two choices:
1- ignore the safety device that I had put in the system to warn me of problems just such is this, on the theory that the technician could not possibly have made so boneheaded a mistake as to inflate the tires to 107 when he meant 75; or
2- loop back the three blocks we had already traveled from the facility, risking being unable to get to the pharmacy timely, and confront the issue, meaning honoring the warning device.

It was at this point that all of your comments regarding my foolishness in putting a warning system in place and then ignoring it attacked my brain in a torrent, along with the ever-present motto of the RV’er: Safety First!

I was not going to make the same mistake in only two weeks!!

We looped back and spoke to the technician, who immediately said it couldn’t be possible. Then he got a battery pressure gauge and confirmed that yes, his pressure gauge must have malfunctioned because he did fill the three tires to 107!!

He adjusted the tire pressures accordingly and we were on our way.

Would I have done the same thing without the lessons learned from this string? Frankly, I think not. It was too unbelievable. Because of your comments I acted differently, and was the better and safer camper for it.

And yes, we made it to the pharmacy with 15 minutes to spare, having forewarned Alan, the Rite Aid pharmacist. He was most cooperative, telling us that even if we were late he’d come back to the store and open it for us! Fortunately, he didn’t have to.

So thanks again to all who posted to this string! I hope you’ve learned as much as I have in fundamental ways!
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:59 PM   #86
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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.
...

Ohm's law only applies to passive, resistive loads. Motors, particularly medium to large sized ones like an AC compressor are not resistive devices. When a motor is doing work and the voltage drops, the current will go up. I have verified this experimentally in my trailer (not intentionally) when a site I was at had only 92 volts of shore power available. My air conditioner reliably tripped the breaker feeding it until I realized what was happening and moved to a site with adequate voltage.


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Old 08-06-2019, 05:05 PM   #87
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Fotoman, what a kind and humble response to your take away from a very educational but somewhat dissenting thread.

Good man!
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:07 PM   #88
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Fotoman, what a kind and humble response to your take away from a very educational but somewhat dissenting thread.

Good man!


Ditto!
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:38 PM   #89
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Campground electric burnout- whose fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Ohm's law only applies to passive, resistive loads. Motors, particularly medium to large sized ones like an AC compressor are not resistive devices. When a motor is doing work and the voltage drops, the current will go up. I have verified this experimentally in my trailer (not intentionally) when a site I was at had only 92 volts of shore power available. My air conditioner reliably tripped the breaker feeding it until I realized what was happening and moved to a site with adequate voltage.


Al


I can say beyond a doubt that my air conditioner draws more amps with lower voltages and less amps with higher voltages.

Since I have prominently displayed amp and volt gauges I've observed the phenomena many times.

For me this is an empirically proven fact. Click image for larger version

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Old 08-06-2019, 08:06 PM   #90
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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.
Airstreams had electric water heaters least by the early 1950's, in any case, years before they had propane water heaters. Air Conditioners became options on Airstreams by the late 1950's. There was actually one on an Airstream on the 1959-60 African Caravan. Microwaves probably came in the mid to late 1970s.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:16 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Ohm's law only applies to passive, resistive loads. Motors, particularly medium to large sized ones like an AC compressor are not resistive devices. When a motor is doing work and the voltage drops, the current will go up. I have verified this experimentally in my trailer (not intentionally) when a site I was at had only 92 volts of shore power available. My air conditioner reliably tripped the breaker feeding it until I realized what was happening and moved to a site with adequate voltage.


Al
Hi

I think the original post about this was more referring to the fact that you have a mixture of loads in the trailer. Indeed the A/C compressor is (effectively) a constant power load. The converter / charger (if it is modern) is also a constant power load. If it's an older converter it's a constant current load ( = also does not obey Ohm's law). The water heater is just a resistor, so is the 120V AC side of the typical fridge. They do obey Ohm's law.

Bob
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:55 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by fotoman1527 View Post
His view was that the campground was faultless. This just happened when it did because with only 30-amp service I was drawing too much current over time. He pointed out that the fried connection was not where the cable met the pedestal, but where the cable met the airstream as grounds for his campground’s innocence.

So far, he's absolutely right.


When a plug or socket overheats, it is invariably because either the plug or socket is failing due to corrosion on either or a loss of springiness on the socket. Keep them clean, and remember that they are wear items that require periodic replacement.


Quote:

He said I should have 50 amp service for my one air-conditioner, 27 foot airstream, notwithstanding what airstream installed.


Further, he said do not run the hot water heater, refrigerator and air-conditioning at once because it will draw too much power and eventually cause this problem.


RVIA/NEC requirements mandate the use of 50 amp service when there is both an air conditioner and an electric water heater. If your trailer has an electric water heater and has 30 amp service, then the water heater was upgraded (from propane only) after the trailer left the factory. The actual requirement is that any RV with more than two thermostatically controlled loads must have 50 amp service. Since the fridge and the air conditioner are each thermostatically controlled, the water heater is a third. See the 2017 NEC, Article 551.42 (d) (https://www.nfpa.org/NEC/About-the-N...en&access=open) Older versions had the same provision but the numbering may differ.



The exception would be a trailer that has an energy management system that prevents the water heater and air conditioner from operating at the same time. I don't believe your trailer would have left the factory with such a system.
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:43 PM   #93
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So far, he's absolutely right.


When a plug or socket overheats, it is invariably because either the plug or socket is failing due to corrosion on either or a loss of springiness on the socket. Keep them clean, and remember that they are wear items that require periodic replacement.






RVIA/NEC requirements mandate the use of 50 amp service when there is both an air conditioner and an electric water heater. If your trailer has an electric water heater and has 30 amp service, then the water heater was upgraded (from propane only) after the trailer left the factory. The actual requirement is that any RV with more than two thermostatically controlled loads must have 50 amp service. Since the fridge and the air conditioner are each thermostatically controlled, the water heater is a third. See the 2017 NEC, Article 551.42 (d) (https://www.nfpa.org/NEC/About-the-N...en&access=open) Older versions had the same provision but the numbering may differ.



The exception would be a trailer that has an energy management system that prevents the water heater and air conditioner from operating at the same time. I don't believe your trailer would have left the factory with such a system.
Huh? I have a 30 amp 2012 with one A/C and a dual water heater, just as Dometic supplied it to Airstream for factory construction. In fact, every 30 amp trailer I have seen in our club is the same, right from the factory. Something is fishy because I doubt that even Airstream would fly in the face of such a requirement.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:34 AM   #94
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Huh? I have a 30 amp 2012 with one A/C and a dual water heater, just as Dometic supplied it to Airstream for factory construction. In fact, every 30 amp trailer I have seen in our club is the same, right from the factory. Something is fishy because I doubt that even Airstream would fly in the face of such a requirement.
Larry
I thought that it was the number of circuits that determined the required supply (ie. more than 5 means 50A required)?

My 2013 25FC has A/C and an electric WH and it's only 30A (5 circuits at the panel).

When we were researching our purchase pretty much all of the single-A/C Airstreams we looked at were 30A units.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:33 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Huh? I have a 30 amp 2012 with one A/C and a dual water heater, just as Dometic supplied it to Airstream for factory construction. In fact, every 30 amp trailer I have seen in our club is the same, right from the factory. Something is fishy because I doubt that even Airstream would fly in the face of such a requirement.
Larry
Hi

First off NEC is *not* the RV association. They are two completely different organizations.

There is no rule that relates to specific appliances. The current pulled by the appliances is all that matters when you wire them up. If the A/C pulls 15A and the water heater pulls 8A, that's 23A. There is no rule anywhere that says you need a 50A circuit to supply an 23A load.

Bob
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:32 PM   #96
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Hi

First off NEC is *not* the RV association. They are two completely different organizations.

The RVIA incorporates the NEC by reference.


Quote:

There is no rule that relates to specific appliances. The current pulled by the appliances is all that matters when you wire them up. If the A/C pulls 15A and the water heater pulls 8A, that's 23A. There is no rule anywhere that says you need a 50A circuit to supply an 23A load.
Read the cite. It's pretty clear on the limit of two thermostatically controlled loads.


The code doesn't allow using more than 80% of a circuit's ampacity except for electric motor loads. So the design limit is 24 amps. If the A/C pulls 15A, the water heater pulls 8A, and the fridge pulls 3A, and the converter pulls 6A, then that's 32 amps, anyway, which is obviously over 30 amps.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:34 PM   #97
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Huh? I have a 30 amp 2012 with one A/C and a dual water heater, just as Dometic supplied it to Airstream for factory construction. In fact, every 30 amp trailer I have seen in our club is the same, right from the factory. Something is fishy because I doubt that even Airstream would fly in the face of such a requirement.
Larry

I'm surprised they're doing that. I guess anything is possible. I would imagine that no one at Airstream stopped to consider that it's in violation of the code.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:29 PM   #98
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Fotoman, what a kind and humble response to your take away from a very educational but somewhat dissenting thread.

Good man!

Re: post 85

What Hittenstiehl said.

Fotoman,

Safe uneventful but enjoyable travels to you.

Gary
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:52 AM   #99
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Hi

There is no house out there that is set up assuming that every circuit gets turned on to full capacity at one time. That's just not how it is done. They all comply with NEC ... go back and read the book again. You missed a section.

Bob
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