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Old 09-05-2013, 06:19 AM   #1
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Potential Hazards of shore power running at 102v

Recently at a campground and plugged into a pedestal with 30amp service. I also plugged in my sure-guard. Everything appeared good until I tried to use the AC. My sure-guard started to continuously trip. It was doing its job and protecting my coach. I measured the volts at the pedestal and was getting 101, 102 volts. The three other campers were running their AC and without the low voltage protection. I informed the campground and they were going to fix it.
I am curious as to the potential complications of running your camper on low voltage. These folks had no idea what they plugged into and did not realize anything could be potentially wrong. Thanks
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:33 AM   #2
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Man, that's scary! I would not run my rig for even one minute at that voltage! I'm not sure what it can cause but I'm told it can be bad! Thankfully, my PI HW50C cuts off at 104 volts!
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:37 AM   #3
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Motors run very hot at voltages lower than is specified. The potential problems would be burnt out A/C compressors and fan motors. Other electronics may be damaged as well. EMS units are the only way to protect your coach.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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When our very first Class C was a week old, we were in a campground where we ran two electric heaters to save on propane (so we thought). We were alerted to a burning smell which we traced to the back of the breaker panel. Some of the neutral wires were glowing and melting the insulation. I put a multimeter on the 30 amp pedestal and found it was delivering only 85 volts! I had no way of testing polarity but I suspect there was also a line/neutral reversal. We narrowly avoided totaling a brand new rig. Since then I have learned all about Surge Protectors, EMS and Voltage Regulators and have them all installed, and also about checking the pedestal before hooking up.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:46 AM   #5
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Simple formula power= voltage x current x power factor , bottom line the less voltage the more current which overloads cables and appliances , fire risk !!
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:58 AM   #6
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102v is dangerous to motors and compressors (they overheat), and perhaps the microwave, but unlikely to bother much of anything else in your rig. Resistive loads like heater elements (e.g. fridge and water heater) just produce a little less heat, and your converter/charger probably produces a bit lower output voltage. The a/c units are compressors, though, so they should never be run at voltages below about 106.

Some electronic controls get flaky when the voltage falls to far, and a few will probably just shut themselves off. I have an electronic clock that loses its digital display right around the point where my Surge Guard cuts out as well. Still keeps time, but the display goes off.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:02 AM   #7
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Electrical Management System (EMS)

If you don't have an Electrical Management System (EMS), you need to get one. I installed the EMS-HW50C on my coach and it has already saved me from a bad low voltage situation like the OP reported above. On one leg of the 50Amp I had good voltage but the 2nd leg only had 101 to 102 volts and it shut that leg down. I reported this to the RV park office and they tried fixing the problem but were unable to. We packed up and moved on.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:44 AM   #8
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I have heard a lot of scare stories about damage to TV's Radios, Fridges, Converters and the like.. For the most part I don't believe them.. Will explain.

AIR CONDITIONERS however, are another story,, Motors that are not being properly fed have a strong tendency to draw too much current and burn out. At a kilobuck for a new A/C Installed, that is major damage.

How to fix

park---hughes autoformer----Surge guard---RiG.

NOTE that some parks object to autoformers.. Which is you they will never see mine.

Now the fridge.. It has two parts (Well 4 technically) that use 120vac

1: Is nothing more than a resistor, low voltage won't hurt it a bit
2: The 120vac sensor,,, I seriously doubt low voltage wll affect it other than it may say "NO AC".
3: Ice maker water solenoid, not bothered,. though it is inductive, it's not a rotating device.
4: Ice maker motor.. Onlyl voltage senistive part in the thing.

Converters, radios, TVs and such at worst should simply refuse to work if on low voltage.

Still, for everything a proper diet is best.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm
I have heard a lot of scare stories about damage to TV's Radios, Fridges, Converters and the like.. For the most part I don't believe them.. Will explain.

AIR CONDITIONERS however, are another story,, Motors that are not being properly fed have a strong tendency to draw too much current and burn out. At a kilobuck for a new A/C Installed, that is major damage.

How to fix

park---hughes autoformer----Surge guard---RiG.

NOTE that some parks object to autoformers.. Which is you they will never see mine.

Now the fridge.. It has two parts (Well 4 technically) that use 120vac

1: Is nothing more than a resistor, low voltage won't hurt it a bit
2: The 120vac sensor,,, I seriously doubt low voltage wll affect it other than it may say "NO AC".
3: Ice maker water solenoid, not bothered,. though it is inductive, it's not a rotating device.
4: Ice maker motor.. Onlyl voltage senistive part in the thing.

Converters, radios, TVs and such at worst should simply refuse to work if on low voltage.

Still, for everything a proper diet is best.
Interesting. You have all the fixes but don't believe the stories. As for what gets damaged, you and I will never know as I also have a VC50 and SP.

Perhaps folks just make the stories up to get others to spend money. You and I have no stories and telling folks to spend a grand upfront. I like our approach better. Only difference is choice of Voltage Controller and I believe it when someone says their XYZ was fried.
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