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Old 07-10-2010, 09:42 AM   #1
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AC Shore Power 124 V

I am parked at Big Bear Elks CA and I put a Volt meter on the 20a or maybe 15a outlet that I'm plugged into and wonder if too much voltage is coming from this outlet (124V). My coach doesn't like it too well as we seem to kick the circuit breaker as soon as we add a coffee pot. This circuit has a GFI and the circuit breaker kicks off before the GFI. I have hydro hot and just turned it off elec. and will use the diesel. I hope this helps. I am concerned about continuing to use this outlet.


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Old 07-10-2010, 09:47 AM   #2
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What all do you have running? If you're running hot water heater, A/C and coffee pot that could easily exceed the 15/20amp outlet you're plugged into. The 124VAC isn't anything to be concerned with.

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Old 07-10-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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RB - Your inverter is probably on, refridgerator on, possibly hot water, possibly lights, TV etc. The coffee pot is a high current draw so it is not at all surprising that a 15A breaker would pop. You can switch your fridge to gas and make sure hot water is on gas only and you should be OK. You can even turn off your inverter to save on input current draw if needed. Voltage is within proper range. We have to monitor what we have on when we plug into 30A sources and a 15/20 amp source takes even extra monitoring care.
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:49 PM   #4
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Based on my usage, here are some numbers in amps.

Hydro Hot electric = 11A
Residential Refer = 9 start then 3-4 running
Inverter in Charge mode = 3 - 11 (could be higher but don’t watch it all that much) depending on how low the batteries are run down.
Coffee Pot - 12 when making coffee - 2-3 when heating just pot.
Front A/C = 11 starting compressor then down to 9.
Rear A/C - 11 starting compressor then down to 9.
Washer = around 5
Dryer = around 10-13.

I only worry about use when plugged into 30 amp service, since then you only have a total of 30 amps. When plugged into 50 amp service, you have a total of 50A on each leg of the 120V supplied.

I would worry about voltage over 130, under that you are fine until you reach around 108V or so. The amount of voltage available is also an indication of how well the parks power is maintained. Lower voltage, especially when a lot of A/C loads, means the system is starting to be stressed out. I would not let the voltage fall below 108 if using the dryer or A/C units, as personally I would shift over to the genset. When voltage is low it’s more difficult for the power company to maintain the 60 Hz frequency in our electricity needs. Voltage collapse can lead to brown outs and complete power failure. So with that said, If you have AGC, I would enable it to start if A/C power is lost when in a place where the system is under stress, keeping in mind quiet hours of the place.

We stayed in Chehalis Thousand Trails park over the 4th of July one time, with a heat wave in progress, and the parks voltage dropped down to 104, I then shifted over to the genset for about 4 hours to run both a/c units and keep the coach cool. Once the hot part of the day had passed, the parks a/c load dropped the voltage came up, and I shifted back to park power. That park did not then have a lot of 50a circuits, cannot speak for it now as we have not been to it for over a year. Voltage is the pressure of electricity, which pushes the amps through the system.

A more important check would be to ensure the pedestal is wired correctly before you plug into it. So you take out the meter and check that first. There are horror stories on this forum about bad pedestal power, wrecking all the electrical things in motorhomes. I don’t know how well the surge guard would be in this situation. We had one pedestal in Tennessee, blow up when I opened the access door, as the door contacted the hot side and went to ground. Luckily the breaker blew when that happened and it was not wet. Generally you can tell if the park facilities are maintained or not by the look of things.

A test we use for restaurants is checking the bathrooms, if they are in good maintenance the restaurant is clean and ok to eat in, if the bathrooms are horrible we pass it up.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:15 PM   #5
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The breaker is tripping from drawing too many amps. A 15 or 20 amp circuit will not let you run much.

The 124v is OK.

Nominal voltage is 120v +/- 10%, so the acceptable range is 132 to 108 volts.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:28 PM   #6
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Ditto on voltage @ 124 is within spec, so no worry there.

Its really easy to overload a convenience outlet (20A or more likely 15A, @ an Elks location) by having two appliances on at the same time (e.g. toaster & coffee pot).
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:14 PM   #7
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Old Rv'er,

What do you use to measure your amp draw? Sounds like you can easily monitor your systems.


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Old 07-10-2010, 09:01 PM   #8
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Hello Jim & Vivan:

The battery charger in the inverter will also start when you connect to shore power and will go to a high charge when it first starts up so you can add that to the amp draw.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:08 PM   #9
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Nominal 120 volt AC power (VAC) is allowed to vary by + or - 10%.

This means the power delivered to the pole can be as low as 108 volts and as high as 132 volts, so your 124 volts is well within tolerance.

It sounds that you simply have too many items on that circuit and drawing more than the breaker is rated.

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Old 07-10-2010, 09:37 PM   #10
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Dont think you mentioned the model/year of your coach [assume newer model since you have hydro-hot]. With only 15-20 amps you can run one A/C-- IF you your frig is on propane, your inverter power share is on 5 amps or turn Xantrex "hot charge" to "OFF," and your hot water/heater is on diesel. If you want to make coffee, toast some bread, microwave anything, or curl your's or your spouse's hair, you will be able to do one at a time perhaps two, as long you shut off the A/C. Option two: run an extension cord from the same/different shore power plug [for your appliances with cords] and hope you get a different circuit from the one your coach is plugged into.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:53 PM   #11
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Thanks to everyone.
I think the problem may be resolved. When we arrived we had no problems until about the 3rd day when we began to have power problems.

I had the hydro hot on elec when we arrived.

When we used the coffee pot and other items it would draw more Amps until the charger using 15/20 Amps source could not replace the charge at the same rate as we were consuming.

I unplugged the shore power and turned off the elec hydro hot and other items we had running. The batteries were at 11.5 when I did this. I had the Auto Gen Set on all day and brought the batteries above 13.5. When I turned off the Generator and re-plugged into shore power all seems to be good (3 Hours). I will use the diesel when I need hot water and watch the battery level to be sure the batteries are kept charged.

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Old 07-11-2010, 07:14 AM   #12
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IMO, "mastering" the inter-workings of the Xantrex inverter, especially with limited shore power, can be a real challenge--and the Xantrex documentation is almost worthless unless you have an EE degree [again, IMO]. Best thing you can do is latch onto an "experienced Xantrex user" [ie, they feel your pain] and have them walk you thru the enigma that is Xantrex ....
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:42 AM   #13
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Well, day 2 and batteries remain above 13.5 and no trouble with circuit breaker, even after using coffee pot this morning. The learning curve is a slow process.

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