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Old 05-15-2019, 09:51 AM   #1
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Hughes AutoFormer

I have been interested for some time in installing the AutoFormer. I have many good things about it so I was about to pill the trigger. I had even bought the parts to put together the perm install. Then in an attempt to gather all the info I could find I came across an article that make s me wonder.

This guy bought an AutoFormer then dissected how it works and he came up with this observation. I present this to get other educated info.

He said that the AutoFormer works GREAT! Simple enough right? But it comes at a price. A price paid by the other campers on your electric loop. Referencing the ability of the AutoFormer to “amp” up the voltage to avoid brown outs, it in fact lowers the voltage available to other RVs, making a marginal grid even worse.

I cant explain it but that was the article. Now “IF” this true, is it “every man for himself”? Tough noogies bro?

If anyone is interested I will post the article.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:24 AM   #2
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YES............Please post the article and source


Per Hughes
The Autoformer DOES NOT take power from the park. It does not affect the park or source voltage, or make electricity. What it DOES is change the voltage (amperage relationship), lowering the amperage requirement by raising the voltage. Since appliances run better on higher voltage with lower amperage, less overall power is used from the park, and better service is enjoyed from your RV.

When the park or input voltage is below 113 volts, the output is 10% over the input (boost mode). When the input is over 115 volts, the output is 2% over the input (by-pass mode)

An Autoformer running at full output (30 amps) will use approximately one amp, but will cause appliances to cycle on less often and run cooler. This results in using less total power from the park


Course there is also the 'personal responsibility' issue side.
Just because the Autoformer has increased voltage doesn't mean to start using more appliances.....that can impact the park voltage/other campers.
Higher load demand does affect overall supply voltage.




I don't have an 'autoformer'
I do have a PI Surge/EMS and I monitor RV Voltage
I do have a generator and WILL run it if Supply Voltage drops to/below 108VAC and NOT use park power source until it comes back above/stays above 108VAC
*Electric motors can be damaged when operated below 108VAC
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:45 PM   #3
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Found it:
Autoformer Usage
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:55 PM   #4
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I’m no expert but disagree 100%. He states because you have an AF you use more current and more appliances and that this takes away from the total available to the whole park. If I need 2 ac I use 2 ac and that will use a portion of the total available. If I need 1 ac I use 1 ac. AF never inters my mind, just the temperature. The AF does not affect the park every amp we use affects the park. The author should never plug in to leave more available for his neighbors. I have been an electrician most of my life so I have a good understanding of how things work. I check the pole before I plug in. The reason I installed the AFi is the voltage could be low before I put my meter away and I wouldn’t know. I am hoping it boosts the voltage and protects my equipment
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:04 PM   #5
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Yep an AF actually helps the campground since your draw went down leaving more for others.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:26 PM   #6
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I’m no expert but disagree 100%. He states because you have an AF you use more current and more appliances and that this takes away from the total available to the whole park.
Take a look at the problem from a slightly different perspective. An RV is connected to the park though either a 30A or 50A breaker. Nothing the AF does can in any way change the maximum current that can be drawn through that breaker. Therefore, the AF has no effect on the park's power grid.

What people don't understand is that nothing that happens on the RV side of the AF can change the interface between the park and the RV. The RV is going to use a certain amount of "energy" (current x voltage). The AF raises the voltage which will reduce the current draw by some motors. But the breaker on your pedestal doesn't "care" what the AF is doing. All it monitors is the current draw at whatever voltage the park provides.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:59 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone who responded with logical and intelligent trains of thought. That is what makes this a great site. Thanks again. I will order my AF tonight.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:16 AM   #8
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Just one word of warning, the things are HEAVY, lugging it around is a chore.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:29 PM   #9
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I carried an AF for years, but only used it once...at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. We were on an 30 Amp site but everything started shutting off in the RV. Checking my voltage meter it was reading about 95 volts. I plugged in the AF and it raised the voltage to 110v. Perfect!

But after carrying this around for 10 years I finally sold it. And boy, they are HEAVY!
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:00 PM   #10
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The weight of it is another reason to hard mount it. Just like the water softner.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:19 AM   #11
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About 8 yrs ago we were in the North East during July and had low voltage issues in many of the parks we stopped at due to the old infrastructure and larger RV running AC units.
More than once, we left a park and moved on. After that trip I bought an autoformer and it's been in use ever since. Mounted in the power bay.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:21 AM   #12
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x2!
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docj View Post
Take a look at the problem from a slightly different perspective. An RV is connected to the park though either a 30A or 50A breaker. Nothing the AF does can in any way change the maximum current that can be drawn through that breaker. Therefore, the AF has no effect on the park's power grid.

What people don't understand is that nothing that happens on the RV side of the AF can change the interface between the park and the RV. The RV is going to use a certain amount of "energy" (current x voltage). The AF raises the voltage which will reduce the current draw by some motors. But the breaker on your pedestal doesn't "care" what the AF is doing. All it monitors is the current draw at whatever voltage the park provides.
Agree 100%, as my Electrical Engineering professor once said Watts is Watts if you raise the voltage and drop the Amps, watts is still watts. 50 Amp service at 100 volts (just making math easier) is 5000 watts, if you made the voltage 200 volts you would only draw 25 Amps in you RV, however 200 X 25 still equals 5000 so the pole sees the same exact power draw, except that with the AF there is inherent losses so you would actually be drawing more power than without it.

Having said this, keeping your internal RV power at 120 Volts will prevent any brown out conditions, barring complete power loss.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:57 AM   #14
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I fried one as it rained one night and the pedestal was lower ground that formed a lake. Hughes was good to me and since then I internal mount it. I like seeing the lights green showing good power or orange when it’s boosting. If you don’t use it all the time it will be too late when you need it. Internal mount is awesome and you can forget dealing with storage or weight. I recommend it and internal mount. I also moved my coax and put the internal mount receptacle upper right of the cord reel.
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