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Old 04-30-2019, 08:52 PM   #1
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Circuit Checker with new Airstream

Airstream gave us a little circuit checker with our new Airstream. It was one of those little yellow ones that you plug in to a wall socket to check the electric circuit. It came in the box with Airstream that had remote controllers, etc. No one told us how Airstream wanted us to use it.

Should I plug it into the pedestal 20amp plug at a campground before I plug in the 50 amp plug? Or do they think it would be a good idea to plug in the trailer first then check the circuit in one of the plugs in the trailer?
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:07 PM   #2
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THe best idea is to carry a 30A to 15/20A adapter and plug the tester into the adapter. That way you are testing the circuit you are going to use.

Al
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:04 PM   #3
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I’d use a built in or portable EMS/surge protector instead of the gadget with the lights. An EMS does constant checking and will save you from brown outs and other issues.
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:11 PM   #4
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Old habit, I keep ours plugged into the TV dupe...line if sight just above the refer on light. Just my habit to check on SP once in awhile.

I know the TT is wired correctly so rely on my Progressive surge protector to diagnose and warn/trip of pedestal irregularities.

Bob
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:04 AM   #5
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Welcome Aboard....👍

We got this when we got the trailer...simple but still does the job.
We also use the EMS PT-30c, and a very handy circuit tester. 👍


Bob
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CruizinDux View Post
Old habit, I keep ours plugged into the TV dupe...line if sight just above the refer on light. Just my habit to check on SP once in awhile.

I know the TT is wired correctly so rely on my Progressive surge protector to diagnose and warn/trip of pedestal irregularities.

Bob

Bingo. The circuit checker's yellow light is also visible from outside the trailer, to check shore power continuity during the winter, in the back driveway.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:28 AM   #7
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The most important check by far is to ensure there is no hot neutral swap. Before you plug anything in! If there is a swap and you are standing in water, damp ground and touch the shell.... Poof, you're dead in 1/60th of a second (really).
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:50 AM   #8
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That is a tester to verify correct wiring. You should only have to use it once on your trailer outlets, but it's handing to have with you when you are traveling. Most power posts have a 110V 15A (standard USA household plug/socket) in the pylon next to your 30/50A plug. Plug the device into that outlet BEFORE you plug your trailer in to the 30/50A outlet. It will let you know if there is a problem with the outlet wiring. If there is a problem in the 15A outlet, there is a good chance that the problem is in the 30/50A outlet also.

There is no need to leave it plugged in while you are there. A quick check at setup is all you need.

Note: The device does not protect anything. It only tells you if the pylon is wired correctly. If you want to test the 30/50A outlet, you would need an adapter. You might be surprised at how many pylons have wiring errors in them.

If you want "protection" you need to get an in-line protector. The smart ones that will not pass the power when things are wired bad or if there are other problems are best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TankerIP View Post
Airstream gave us a little circuit checker with our new Airstream. It was one of those little yellow ones that you plug in to a wall socket to check the electric circuit. It came in the box with Airstream that had remote controllers, etc. No one told us how Airstream wanted us to use it.

Should I plug it into the pedestal 20amp plug at a campground before I plug in the 50 amp plug? Or do they think it would be a good idea to plug in the trailer first then check the circuit in one of the plugs in the trailer?
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:06 AM   #9
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Here's another option. Inexpensive little device that I use before I plug into the pedestal where ever I go. Non Contact Voltage Tester. Klein makes the one in the article and you can buy it a Home Depot/Lowes. Better to know BEFORE you plug anything in in the post is bad and you accidentally touch it while plugging in a tester. Several good articles by Mike Sokol on the RV Travel website.

https://www.rvtravel.com/reducing-ho...-we-there-yet/
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:31 AM   #10
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Polarity checker

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
The most important check by far is to ensure there is no hot neutral swap. Before you plug anything in! If there is a swap and you are standing in water, damp ground and touch the shell.... Poof, you're dead in 1/60th of a second (really).
Exactly, but there’s a Catch 22... If you leave it plugged into an inside outlet, you could have a shocking experience as you enter to check it. I keep mine plugged into an outlet I can see from the door and leave the door open before I plug in. If you use it to check the pedestal outlet first, you need to use a 30-15A adapter with it to check the outlet you’re actually going to plugged into. The vast majority of campgrounds are wired correctly, but it only takes 1 miswired outlet to make your trailer’s exterior hot. I check, but only if we stop at a campground and the electrical looks sketchy to begin with. While I’ve never encountered a hot/neutral reversed, I have occasionally found an open ground. The ground/hot reversal is the killer.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:35 PM   #11
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I use the predecessor to this
https://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems-pt30x coincidentally being replaced under lifetime warranty ( this due to moisture ). It has a 2:15 delay as it checks the connection 's wiring etc. Only once have i had it fail the tests and fail to allow power to the TT and that was caused by the moisture intrusion.

However on the recent trip to the East coast, i found at 4 different parks, the 30 amp was installed upside down. It would pass the surge protector's analysis but the power cord leading up would not allow the pedestals cover to close. This to me is very scary. If the basic receptacle position was wrong....dare i ask about and rely on the internal connections. I would insist that they immediately rotate the receptacle to the correct position, then check again with the Progressive.

All 4 times it was connected correctly, but this is pretty basic stuff.

BTW, now i check the pedestal before anything...leveling, unhitching...anything.

Bob
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:04 PM   #12
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Atomic and SilverGoose are spot on with the risk. That's why using a non contact voltage tester should be the first step for prevention. Start with the outside case of the pedestal. If the NCVT alerts do not go further, don't pass go, don't open or touch the pedestal. Move to another site or on down the road.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:05 PM   #13
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Thanks. I have the hand held for years, mostly for hot romex ID in housing rehab. Never occurred the discussion was for the pedestal panel box. I thought the suggested use was for detecting voltage at the 3 individual contacts at the receptacle. Duh, the panel could be hot! A quick pass with the device, before the automatic lifting of the cover is a great start.

Thanks ghaynes et. al.

Bob


Quote:
Originally Posted by ghaynes755 View Post
Atomic and SilverGoose are spot on with the risk. That's why using a non contact voltage tester should be the first step for prevention. Start with the outside case of the pedestal. If the NCVT alerts do not go further, don't pass go, don't open or touch the pedestal. Move to another site or on down the road.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:46 PM   #14
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ours lives in the bathroom / commode area ... plugged into the wall outlet - nice nite light when on AC.
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