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Old 07-30-2014, 10:32 AM   #1
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Pedestal Power

All - I find it a pain in the backside to get out and check the pedestal power every time I get to the park. I have been on this guys mailing list for a while now and this is his invention, which I am going to order next month.

Why you say, since meter is just as good? Hmmm, let me count the ways:
1. First I have to get the meter, and it's tucked away in a drawer or my tool box in the bay, too much work.
2. Then I have to hook up the leads, which invariably get tangled up and then I have to fix that.
3. Then I have to put it on the correct scale so I don't blow it up, and yes you can blow up a meter, literally and figuratively.
3. Then I get to test the connection.

The below plugs in, gives you a reading in 20-30 seconds, tells you everything you need to know, and let you know if it's safe to plug into.

Here is the link, order one, you will happy you did, no I don't get nothing for sending this out. Just better to be safe than sorry. I can cite several examples where folks toasted their rig's electric because the power was bad, happy trails to you.

RV Campground Voltage Tester Protects Your RV
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:39 AM   #2
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Hard wired surge protector does the same thing , as soon as you plug in and keeps testing and protecting during your stay.
JMHO: For the extra $ worth the added protection.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:39 AM   #3
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Check this web site if you want to build your own for less than 1/2 the price.
http://www.myrv.us/electric/Pg/tester_50amp.htm
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
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Pedestal Power

Old RV'er,

Is nice, but you can build your own for far less cost and it will not need a 9v battery. Here is a pic of mine, and I have more detailed pics if needed.

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Old 07-30-2014, 11:31 AM   #5
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Moonrover,

I assume the switch in your tester is a single pole, double throw switch to switch between the two different power lines? I was just getting ready to build a box like shown like shown in the posting just above yours in the Alpine Coach forum. I like your switch better than moving the voltmeter.

Is that little cone above the volt meter in the picture a tester for checking for voltage between L1 and L2?

Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:45 AM   #6
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I built one myself for about $50. Will post picture later.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Hard wired surge protector does the same thing , as soon as you plug in and keeps testing and protecting during your stay.
JMHO: For the extra $ worth the added protection.
I agree completely. I have too many electronics on my rig to take a chance on high, low voltages.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:09 PM   #8
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My surge protector tells me the voltage, frequency and current on both L1 and L2. Why do I need anything else?
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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Pedestal Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim A View Post
Moonrover,

I assume the switch in your tester is a single pole, double throw switch to switch between the two different power lines? I was just getting ready to build a box like shown like shown in the posting just above yours in the Alpine Coach forum. I like your switch better than moving the voltmeter.

Is that little cone above the volt meter in the picture a tester for checking for voltage between L1 and L2?

Thanks for posting.

Yes the switch allows testing of each leg. The small cone shaped thing is wired so it lets you know if the power from each leg is in phase. Meaning someone who wired the box at the pole is trying to fake a 220v output by running the same 120v circuit to L1 and L2. If the cone lights, then L1 and L2 are out of phase which will provide 220v.

As to why I just don't rely on the built-in surge protector and indicator lights ... That requires that I pull the bus into a slot, reel out the 50 amp cord, then plug into the power pole. Sure is nice to pick up my home made tester to do the checking before going to all that effort.

Granted, the majority of power sources that I've checked at RV parks have been OK. Where I ran into a big problem was at a Corps of Engineer park. The power box at the pole was pretty well abused looking, so I checked it before backing into the parking slot. Ranger came along to see why I was not backing into the assigned site. We showed him the tester which indicated a ground neutral bonding as well as no power on one leg. We motored to another site and checked it first too.

Not related to this discussion, but along the same thought ... I'm always suspicious of black burned marks around the 30 and 50 amp outlets. Might be from careless campers not throwing the breakers to "off" before yanking out the pronged plug. Does not take too many of these little "welding arcs" to ruin what should be a nice solid connection.

How many of you have lifted the power box lid and found the 30 and 50 amp breakers in the "on" position?
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Hard wired surge protector does the same thing , as soon as you plug in and keeps testing and protecting during your stay.
JMHO: For the extra $ worth the added protection.
x2, I have portable instead of hardwired. I just plug it in when connecting the shore power cable and go about other setup chores. If after a few minutes (there is a one minute delay built into the unit) of doing other setup stuff there is no power to the coach I go check the unit for an error code. About as easy as it can get to ensure incoming power is good.
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:58 PM   #11
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I use the portable unit too, EMS-PT50C
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Hard wired surge protector does the same thing , as soon as you plug in and keeps testing and protecting during your stay.
JMHO: For the extra $ worth the added protection.
x3
If the price of this unit was in the $50 to $60 range it would really worth while. This price makes it really more effective to add a few bucks more and get the surge protector. The former owner of our coach was nice enough to add this to the our coach.
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:09 PM   #13
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For those RVer's that own a Portable EMS unit from either Progressive Industries (model EMS PT-50C) or from TRC (model 34750), purchasing another tester is a waste of money.

However, for those RVer's who have hardwired EMS units mounted inside your RV, then having a portable Power/Pedestal Tester is a good time saver. It will tell you in less than a minute whether the power is acceptable at your assigned site or whether you have to go back to the office and ask for another site.

Whether you build it yourself or have one built which I have done for people it's totally up to you. The Power Pal is an OK device, fairly expensive @ $169 BUT its biggest downfall is that it doesn't check for a "Fake 50 AMP" pedestal.

In my book not worth the money.

Here are a few photos of the one that I use.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:00 PM   #14
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I also use my surge guard system, it would be nice to have known it's problems before I plug into the pedestal. A friend pulled into a park and his SG keep the coach for going into SP. I came over and low and behold, the transformer was buzzing to beat all heck in that section of the park, it had something going on with it, causing the power to be weird. He moved to another section and everything worked fine, it bugged him so much, he carried around a spare SG unit for his coach. I like the idea of plugging something into the SP pedestal prior to my coach, just to be safe. The examples above are all nice, but the size of the thing makes me wonder where I will keep it. The storage space is limited or I have to open a Smartbed, so then I start the generator or have the coach running so I don't burn up the motherboard in the HWH system, it needs to be small compact and easy to keep close and handy.
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