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Old 08-03-2020, 05:13 AM   #1
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Checking voltage in trailer

How would one check the voltage coming into the trailer?

I've grown concerned that busy campgrounds, especially on a warm afternoon, may have demand so strong that the system can't deliver the full voltage load.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:25 AM   #2
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A surge protector with low and high voltage detector and a digital readout is a good investment ($180-300) and then you can easily know power quality and trailer current usage. Otherwise get a medium quality (true rms voltage) multimeter ($25-35 another good investment) use the probes on any wall outlet and read trailer voltage from there.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:27 AM   #3
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Many of us have an EMS that plugs into the pedestal, then our cord plugs into the EMS. The EMS reads out voltage and in most cases protects against severe undervoltage. Without that, you can simply measure the voltage with a voltmeter plugged into one of your outlets..that is close enough.
You are right, quite a few campgrounds do not provide full voltage, especially when every trailer in the park has A/C running.
Larry
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:27 AM   #4
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My KISS solution...

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Old 08-03-2020, 09:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Many of us have an EMS that plugs into the pedestal, then our cord plugs into the EMS. The EMS reads out voltage and in most cases protects against severe undervoltage. Without that, you can simply measure the voltage with a voltmeter plugged into one of your outlets..that is close enough.
You are right, quite a few campgrounds do not provide full voltage, especially when every trailer in the park has A/C running.
Larry
Ditto - this was one of our first purchases before we took our new AS out for her first trip! My husband carried an electrical license for many years and is a stickler for proper protection. We even have a surge protector system on our house.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:50 AM   #6
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Hi

First off: If you don't already have a multimeter, get one. Even the $20 version from the big box store will do ok. Then learn how to safely use it to check various voltages / currents / circuits in the trailer and TV. You *will* need one of these and the ability to use it at some point in time.....

Second: Indeed, get a proper EMS unit for the trailer. I happen to like the Progressive units. There are others out there. To some degree it's a "you get what you pay for" sort of thing. The setup I have allows me to check voltages and currents without getting out of my chair in the trailer ....

Yes, this is a bit of money. It's money well spent when you see some of the odd things campgrounds try to do to your electrical feed.

Bob
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:08 AM   #7
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Autoformer

I second the autoformer.

I own a small Marina where my airstream spends most of the summer. On Friday afternoon when when most of the customers show up to their boats, turn on ac, water heater And pop dinner in the oven the voltage dips for a while. The ac on my airstream sounded like it was laboring. Added the autoformer and end of problem. The boat systems seam to be a little more tolerant than the AC on the airstream.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:14 AM   #8
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This is a little overkill but this is what I have in addition to a 50 amp surge protector with a interior bluetooth monitor.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/sho...66#post2392166
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:16 AM   #9
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I also use the Progressive Industries EMS. Yesterday, with a full campground on a very hot day, the PI EMS protected my a/c unit and other electrical components by shutting down power to the rig on low voltage. (below 104 volts) E4 error code on EMS and E7 error code on AS panel.

The Progressive Industries EMS unit would be the first essential purchase I would recommend before hitting the road.
Mark
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:35 AM   #10
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Wherestream - this is what I use. Know what's going on at a glance.
https://www.amazon.com/Prime-Product...6472505&sr=8-2
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:36 AM   #11
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Cheap solution

Killawatt plugs into a socket and displays constantly. I also used to plug into 30 amp adapter, plug your standard 110 circuit tester into it and then plug into campground pedestal. I could then tell the amps at the pedestal and whether the 30 receptacle on the Post was properly wired. I have upgraded for constant monitoring but still leave the killawatt plugged in inside the AS to monitor real-time the volts.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Kill-A-W...4400/202196386
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:43 AM   #12
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Photo of what my polarity meter it shows when plugged in:
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:04 AM   #13
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I have a old analog volt meter from Radio Shack that I keep plugged into a bathroom outlet.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:08 PM   #14
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I have a 50 amp Airstream so I use Hughes Power Watchdog that manages voltages and will shut off power if a low or high voltage situation. It has Bluetooth so I can check on my phone.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-03-2020, 03:11 PM   #15
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I have a old analog volt meter from Radio Shack that I keep plugged into a bathroom outlet.

This is what I do. KISS is how I roll.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:56 AM   #16
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This is what we are using with our Airstream as well. I really like it; very robust contactor and separate user-replaceable circuit board with the surge/spike protection components. I bought a spare board when I bought the unit. The Bluetooth capability is a really nice bonus. Nothing against Progressive Industries EMS units; we have one in our bus conversion and it has served us well. PI was sold, and there warranty is not what it used to be (which was lifetime, no questions asked). Still, I would not hesitate to use one. Two of the most important things we don't leave home without are the TPTMS and the EMS.
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:36 PM   #17
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One low voltage problem another camper and I solved at a large campground was realizing we were too far from the power transformers in the park. There were several. We were having low voltage because we were at the tail end of the electrical distibution system. We move closer to a transformer and got much higher voltage.
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:23 PM   #18
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Like Craigleith I keep a Kilawatt plugged in.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:55 AM   #19
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Very nice!!!! Thanks
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