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Old 06-14-2021, 10:40 AM   #1
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My Progressive EMS unit did it's job

This last weekend we experienced some heat at our campground that hosted our rally. Was sitting inside enjoying the cool when power shut down. Went outside and checked our external Progressive EMS unit. Power was 104 volts and apparently dipped below that triggering the EMS to cut things off. First time I have had it trip. Thankfully those of us on that loop, made sure we changed the fridges and water heaters over to gas. That pushed most of us up to 108-110. Not ideal but we walked the campground area it was impressive how many of these units our group was using, and the various voltages we were seeing on the loops.

Jack
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:56 AM   #2
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Our's has tripped on low voltage, found out the fridge doesn't like to auto-switch to LP.

The PD-EMS may seem expensive but it's cheap insurance in my mind.
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:02 AM   #3
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My Progressive EMS unit did it's job

Yeah, obvious when the EMS tripped, the fridge switched to gas. At that point I locked it on gas and turned off the electric side of the water heater. As the others made their adjustments we got enough power in the loop to keep above the EMS’s minimum voltage threshold.

I was happy to know that the monitoring was there to prevent low voltage damage.

Jack
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:37 PM   #4
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Hi

It's not just low voltage you need to worry about. One of those transformers might be turning into a "light show" in the near future. If it does, you very much do *not* want to be hooked to it. How likely the light show is depends on a lot of things, all of which are way out of your control..

Bob
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:50 PM   #5
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Hi

It's not just low voltage you need to worry about. One of those transformers might be turning into a "light show" in the near future. If it does, you very much do *not* want to be hooked to it. How likely the light show is depends on a lot of things, all of which are way out of your control..

Bob
Transformers blow and have fuses also. I've seen my share of the light show and smoke when one of those fuses go. Hopefully the EMS will take care of any surges and spikes with voltage that occur. Could have all kinds of nasty things occur that the EMS is looking for. That's why I have one hanging on the pole plugged into the outlet.

At the campground I was at, they've done some extensive work on replacing the main distribution panel. That thing used to pop all the time when the weather got hot. As it is now the problems I see is in the last mile of line coming from that panel that are the loops. Most likely the underground wiring needs replacement at this point. We noticed that every 5 sites had a distribution box below the a sites outlet box. Line came up out of the ground into that box and then back down into the ground. The further away you were from the distribution box, the lower your voltage was. Quite a few of us had the external Progressive EMS units. It was a matter of following looking at the voltage level display from each EMS unit. Each trailer was progressively lower as we walked further from the distribution box till we reached the last one in the line.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:54 PM   #6
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I'd guess this summer will be a test for many of the RV parks that have gotten away with marginal electrical systems so far. ...and with the price of copper I can see a lot of mixed metal systems (aluminum/copper).
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Old 06-14-2021, 03:23 PM   #7
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Yup this summer will test quite a few weak links in many chains IMO.



Great thread Jack thanks.

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Old 06-14-2021, 03:56 PM   #8
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Yup this summer will test quite a few weak links in many chains IMO.



Great thread Jack thanks.

Peter
Summer is always challenging and the electrical loads on campgrounds are probably increasing every year. Especially the need to deal with 50 amp needs which seem to be increasing with folks opting for two A/C units. A lot of the underground infrastructure is also showing degradation from decades of use.

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Old 06-15-2021, 08:23 AM   #9
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Hi

If you sit down and chat with the folks that do the work on the campgrounds, the problem often is bigger than you might think. They are out in the country. The main power line comes in from who knows where. That line maxed out "back in the 80's ...". Anybody who wants to add more electric simply gets told "no can do". If they press the point, they bump into the cost of upgrading the line ....

Is this all legal? Who knows. It is what they get told and not just at one location ....

Bob
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:50 AM   #10
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Not cheap to own a campground. Did the investigation of that about 30 years ago and gained a new appreciation of what it takes and I understand why daily rates are what they are.

In my recent case I was in a state park and was appreciative that they were doing power upgrades to the infrastructure. They obviously have a way to go yet, but it is in your best interest to not only protect against surges, but to also be monitoring for issues with the quality of the power. You've got a lot invested in those electrical appliances in your trailer and you can't assume that checking polarity and initial voltage is enough.

I used to work in a small bank years ago where we had our own computer center. We used to get errors on some of the equipment and after contacting the electric utility, they found that we were getting voltage sags every time the building's air conditioner compressor cycled up. Ended up they recommended a transformer and dedicated line to be run to the computer center. As noted it's not a free upgrade and we had to pay a hefty fee. Fixed the problem but as noted once the initial service is installed, upgrades aren't always done for free unless it's upgrades necessary due to growth of the power grid itself.

In our experience this last weekend, we got the word out and most of us took steps to use our alternatively fueled appliances to keep the local drop in our area of the park viable. It was really surprising to see the number of folks in the forums group there who are using EMS equipment.

Jack
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:51 AM   #11
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Same story for me. I was at a campground I go to a couple of times a year. Never had a problem before.

This last trip in May my EMS kicked in multiple times due to low voltage.

Turns out the campground has been upgrading its boxes to add 50A service. They are having a new line brought into the campground to increase the power capacity etc...Everyone at check was told to only use the 30A. People were using the 50A service anyway.

So those of us on the 30A circuit kept getting low voltage. Not a problem for the people on the 50A ! So the camp hosts when around and told people to use only the 30A and watched them change. As soon as the host moved away I saw numerous people IMMEDIATELY switch back to the 50A.

So the camp hosts had to go around and manually disable the 50A service to all the sites.

We ended up leaving early as we could not get a reliable power supply and it was not worth moving the camper for one night. By the time we hooked up we just drove the 40 mins home instead.

(segway) Not to mention the endless off leash dog issues on that trip. I am pretty much giving up on camping this year due to constant issues like this. There was a definite uptick in people being inconsiderate last year and I don't see an end for it any time soon.
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Old 06-15-2021, 02:17 PM   #12
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Shut it down...

I NEVER plug in a 'hot' AS. Shut everything down before connecting.
Been using the PD 30a unit, 5 LV warnings in 10yrs.

Bob
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Old 06-15-2021, 02:32 PM   #13
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I NEVER plug in a 'hot' AS. Shut everything down before connecting.
Been using the PD 30a unit, 5 LV warnings in 10yrs.

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Yep. Progressive says for their portable units, to plug in the unit first and let it go through its quality check of the power source. Then if it passes, turn off the power source, plug in the trailer to the EMS and then restore power to the EMS where the power will be rechecked and if clean will provide power to the trailer.

Once that is done, I go inside and turn on my water heater, air conditioner etc. Understand the trailer technically is still "hot" since there are some devices within the trailer that will start drawing power as soon as the EMS cuts power in. Examples of which are electronic control boards in the refrigerator, furnace, water heater and the converter.

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Old 06-16-2021, 04:32 AM   #14
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Thanks Jack for those details . . . good to know. We don't do much "plug in shore power" camping, so the reminder is very helpful.

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Old 06-16-2021, 08:27 AM   #15
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Hi

Power problems aren't always caused by being "way to far away". By far the most trouble we've ever had with the EMS kicking out was one evening at a TVA campground. You could hit the hydro electric dam with a rock from the campground. Each time they switched this or that at the dam (I guess ...) the resulting spike / dropout triggered the EMS. I finally just pulled the shore power plug .... Next day, all was fine and no problems at all.

Bob
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:57 AM   #16
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Our's has tripped on low voltage, found out the fridge doesn't like to auto-switch to LP.

The PD-EMS may seem expensive but it's cheap insurance in my mind.

Yep. You don't need it, until you need it. Then you're very glad you have one.
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:02 AM   #17
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Hi

Power problems aren't always caused by being "way to far away". By far the most trouble we've ever had with the EMS kicking out was one evening at a TVA campground. You could hit the hydro electric dam with a rock from the campground. Each time they switched this or that at the dam (I guess ...) the resulting spike / dropout triggered the EMS. I finally just pulled the shore power plug .... Next day, all was fine and no problems at all.

Bob
Gives you thanks for having the EMS. I know our electrical utility is exploring the feasibility of allowing customers to buy or rent EMS devices for their home. The utility is polling various customers myself included, as to our interest in providing these as an option to our electrical service. I know if they would offer it dependent upon the cost, I would seriously consider the option.

I do have a electronics power strip unit that I use with the TV, satellite equipment, and other home electronics that not only watches power surges but also protects against over voltage and under voltage and will cut the power to all plugged in devices if the power quality deviates. My cable modem, internet phone system, and router all run off a small UPS unit that gives me 90 minutes of backup power and again protects the devices connected against various power issues.

A couple of years ago sitting around the campfire at a rally we had a long discussion with an attendee whose job revolved around electrical service for his employer. After that discussion, quite a few of us added EMS units. This year's Moraine View rally was surprising as we were trying to track down the power issues we noticed all the EMS units in use from our attendees.

With the increasing numbers of RV sales, higher campground populations, and in many cases aging infrastructure, I think the value of EMS is well worth its cost. My gut tells me that I wouldn't be surprised that Airstream might consider offering EMS systems in their higher end trailers in the near future. I'd personally rather see that as an enhancement rather that electric shades.

Jack
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:15 AM   #18
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I have had good success with the Hughes Autotransformer. It appears to be limited in the power surge/spike protection but excelled in raising the voltage within the Airstream. I believe that I would see about a 3 to 5 volt AC increase while using the unit and felt that the increased voltage it provided (especially to the air conditioner) was worth its weight.
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Old 06-20-2021, 02:18 PM   #19
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What does EMS stand for?
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Old 06-20-2021, 02:34 PM   #20
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What does EMS stand for?
Electrical Management System

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