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Old 12-04-2012, 04:42 PM   #15
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Well, to take them "By the numbers"


--I understand I need a surge protector...portable vs hard wire. Where does it hardwire in? How do you protect it from theft?--

I would recommend one, "Need" well it is an insurance policy It can end up saving you many times it's cost.

Hardwired is more secure against theft since it's inside, It wires between the shore plug and the automatic transfer switch... However, should it fail... A portable is easier to "Bypass" (it plugs into park post you plug into it)

One option is to get a hard wired uniit, and a pair of pigtails (male and female) and a Hughes Autoformer Install Kit (You can "home brew" those for less) this gives you the best of all worlds.. you can easily remove it if you must and bypass it.

--Camping world has portable ( last years model) on sale 100 dollars off. Led lights rather than digital readout.--

I, like many, tend to favor Progressive Dynamics, I also like a unit that gives me more information (IE: monitors voltage) but then I like information.

--Also sewer hose...is there a better brand if I'm going to be at the campground and immobile? --

Rino Flex is very good, I think there is one called Drain Master or Sewer Master that is better, lifetime warranty on it but... HOLD ON TO YOUR CHECKBOOK,, it's expensive.

--What chemicals do you prefer in black tank?--

Water, Just water.. If I am putting it in winter storage then I'll wash it out, Six to 10 gallons water, half a cup each Dawn (Blue not yellow) and Calgon).

The one thing that WILL make a rig "Stinky" is leaving the dump valves open.. Make sure if you leave any valve open (I only open when I need to) the line has a proper "Trap" (A section of line that dips down to form a water seal to prevent sewer gas backing up the line)

--Preferred water (drinking hose) is collapsible a good choice?--

I just use the potable water hose from Wal-Mart, or CW or my dealer.. I'm not convinced of the longevity of those "Collaspable" hoses. I do have one, several pin holes in the liner, I use it when I wash the rig.
...
-Water regulator...do I need a gauge?--

A Watts (I thnk Valterra make 'em too) "Whole House" type regulator from Lowes or Home depot or other plumbing supply, 1/2 inch minimum (3/4 inch is easier to adapt) with garden hose adapters. DO NOT BUY any product that says "RV" on it, these do not have enough capacity (Flow rate). The units that do have a bell shaped upper housing with a bolt or screw sticking out of the top of the bell

--How long a 30 amp extension cord do I need?--

I wold go with one extension cord.. I've only needed more than one one time.. They usually come in a standard length If you need more.. Go fetch at that time. I think 30 amp come in 20 or 25' lengths.. You minjgt also wish to pick up a spare plug.. But that comes a few years later.

I have no recommendation on water filters, Way too many choices and most of them work, Pay attention to flow rates if you filter the whole rig like I do.

====RV toilet paper...is it a "rip-off"====

Yes, it is.. Scotts Single Ply, Angle Soft, both better,

In assorted studies the RV toilet paper was among the WORST, plus it's a fine grade of sandpaper in my not very humble opinion.. But even the worst.. (They were measuring how fast it breaks down in water) Even the worst.. Broke down faster than I can get out and dump the tanks.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by hanko View Post
dont waste your money, they arent worth it, they dont work as advertised. Im an electrical contractor and i wont sell them. The worst and most common thing to happen is to loose the neutral (grounded conductor) and you will have voltages between 40 and 200 volts on your 120 vlt circuits, your surge protector will not help. If you listining to a to a sales man at camping world, take it with a grain of salt. In 35 years of of being in bisiness I have never seen a so called surge protector work as its supposed to.
Really ? I was out West this summer and went through 35 straight days with temps over 100 degrees. My EMS shut me down at least 7 times for low voltage that would have fried everything in the MH had it been left to its own devices. I will not plug in another outlet without it. I am of course referring to an EMS and not a surge protector , however , I think they have a real value as well.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by sharmanrn View Post
Hi, newbie here. I understand I need a surge protector...portable vs hard wire. Where does it hardwire in? How do you protect it from theft? Camping world has portable ( last years model) on sale 100 dollars off. Led lights rather than digital readout......thoughts?
Also sewer hose...is there a better brand if I'm going to be at the campground and immobile? Who would of thought there would be so many choices for a stinky slinky.........
What chemicals do you prefer in black tank?
Preferred water (drinking hose) is collapsible a good choice? I'm going to be at a campground....
Water regulator...do I need a gauge?
How long a 30 amp extension cord do I need?
Anything else for start up I'm missing?
Have a place for inline water filter under the sink. Can I go to home depot or do I need an RV brand. Service suggests a filter near white water hose. Do I need both?
RV toilet paper...is it a "rip-off"? Hehehe!!! :-)
Inquiring minds want to know........
Shar

Sharmanm, I will answer all your questions according to my own way of doing things (which has proven to be pretty trouble free and reliable).

1. I use the Progressive PT 30-C portable protector. It has a handy hasp (included) that padlocks to anything you like. The support is better than any other product out there and they will ship you a new unit years later for free if something happens. It would be a little more difficult to remove a hard wired unit if you needed to service it. Your question about extention cords is subjective. Under normal circumstances- you shouldn't need one but limit the extention cord length to no more than 25' and make sure it's not coiled up- stretch it out or it acts like a heater instead. Keep your usage as low as possible with one of these and check the plugs at least once a day to be sure they are not discoloring.

2. I use a Polychute sewer hose- expensive but very dependable. I also carry a 20' extention. No leaks and there is no wire reinforcement so it's alot lighter. Guaranteed forever.

3. I use the "Geo Method" with black/gray tanks- you can Google it here and get endless detail but all you do is use Calgon water softener with an occasional small dose of laundry soap. This combo is not only effective but it's environment-friendly.

4. I use a short white non-collapsable drinking hose. I also put a carbon whole house filter onto the fitting at the rv end. At the hose bib I install a flow restrictor and an adjustable pressure regulator that I set to 45 pounds. A watts unit is high quality and there are more than a few to choose from, or you can go to the hardware store and find one there. I use a Valterra that I bought from Camping world about 4 years ago. I don't have an under-sink provision for a filter so I just filter everything from outside at the hose. You only want an approved hose for drinking water. If you use a tank flusher like I do, make sure you use another hose and a back flow preventer.

5. I use only light-duty t.p. that's usually 2-ply rv-rated. Even the "septic-safe" household stuff from Scott seems to give us trouble occasionally depending on your guests and their "flushing habits". I've had to unclog my black pipe once or twice after using this stuff and I just would rather not do it anymore.

These materials/methods have served us very well over the last 10 years and I hope I have saved you from some frustration by mentioning them. Remember, rv'ing should be fun!
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:46 PM   #18
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Test the Toilet Paper by adding a sheet or two to a jar of water, cap the jar and shake. If it breaks down it is OK to use. As for chemicals, I use an Enzyme type. Brand is not anything special. Do NOT use a Formaldehyde based type. It will kill the bacteria in the campground/dump station septic system and is illegal in some states.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:59 AM   #19
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Thanks so much for all your wonderful suggestions...Cliff I did get your message and next time I will split questions up. When I tried to search it either the answers were old or it wouldn't bring up what I needed. The search engine is not exactly user friendly IMHO
:-)
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:14 AM   #20
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The progressive industries ems-hw50c 50 amp (hard wired) also has a bypass switch should something go wrong with the unit (in bypass you loose the 240v protection which could be measured at the post with a VOM prior to plugging in.)

Can't beat the 24hr service, lifetime warranty, and readouts of current, volts, freq.

Put mine in just before the transferr sw with a 18" pc of #6ga-4 stranded wire from Home Depot. Hardest part of the job was finding the 6 ga stranded pc. as I was checking rv service locations which said they just cut up an extension cord and charge you for the whole cord!

Even though the instructions state not to feed the EMS from an inverter (try at your own risk) I feed it from a Xantrex ProWatt 2k PSW unit with no problems while going down the road or dry camping. Wouldn't try with a MSW type inverter.

The only (very small) downside to the Progressive ems (and most brands) is the built in delay required to check conditions prior to passing the juice. This delay (when going from generator to shore power) requires you to wait 15sec longer after you plug in the cord (to get juice) before you turn off the genny if you dont want to have to reset all the clocks, electronics etc. Small inconvience for that situation vs the reward.

It's like insurance, you hope you never have to use it but a great pc of mind.
The instructions show simple wiring and remember to retighten the screws holding in the 6ga wire.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Really ? I was out West this summer and went through 35 straight days with temps over 100 degrees. My EMS shut me down at least 7 times for low voltage that would have fried everything in the MH had it been left to its own devices. I will not plug in another outlet without it. I am of course referring to an EMS and not a surge protector , however , I think they have a real value as well.

Cliff

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surge protection and low voltage sensing are two different things. Surge protection was marketed to protect against a lighting strike, or an unexplained spike from the utility co. Now a low voltage sensing unit that can shut your system down is probably a good idea. Ive allways used a volt meter that plugs into a 120 outlet in the kitchen so I can keep and eye on it myself. As I pointed out earlier the biggest reason for over voltages in any electrical system is a loss of the grounded conductor which will cause eratic low and high voltages to the point of major damage to any thing with a circuit board in it. Do what your comfortable with, But I wouldnt feel totally comfortable relying on these so called surge protectors
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:01 PM   #22
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Test the Toilet Paper by adding a sheet or two to a jar of water, cap the jar and shake. If it breaks down it is OK to use. As for chemicals, I use an Enzyme type. Brand is not anything special. Do NOT use a Formaldehyde based type. It will kill the bacteria in the campground/dump station septic system and is illegal in some states.
X2 on the Toilet paper test. We also use Happy Campers powder and have Never had any issues with plugged drain or the like. This stuff works Period.

As far a s a surge protector, I just had a 50A Progressive installed after I saw the result of not having one on a rig last winter. All the TV's, Sat Receiver etc. Fried. But I have been told all Surge Protectors are not the same. The Progressive seens to have the best reputation.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:02 PM   #23
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I also gave the Progressive Industries 50amp hardwired unit and its a great unit.... I bought the hardwired unit for two reasons : 1 - I didn't want the hassle of having to hook it up to the CG pedestal every time and 2 - I mounted it inside the power compartment for security (didn't have to buy the lock required for the portable unit... All I do when I set up is plug in my MH power cord - the unit takes care of everything else. It's set up between my power cord and my rig..

There really isn't that much difference in the price of a hardwired unit and a portable unit with the lock needed for security...

The PI unit has a switch that allows you to totally by-pass it if need be.... The unit also has a remote display...
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:45 PM   #24
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I too have the progressive ind. unit . CW is having an internet special for the Surge Guard. If they will sell you last years model for less , that would be a good deal , Surge Guard makes a fine product. You are talking about a 50 amp unit , right ?
On other questions , I might follow the simple common sense approach of puttin.
That is a good way to start and if needed , refine your operation as you need to
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:48 AM   #25
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Seems like you have received the answers you will need. Let me add one point for you;

Don't believe all the hype about RV only toilet paper. Search the forums for the subject toilet paper and you will find a wealth of reading on how to test (put it in a mason jar and time it) the brand you like to see if it breaks down quick enough.

In the threads your search turns up you will find links to Consumer Reports where they rate various brands by the time required to dissolve.

You will find several brands no RV brands that break down just as quick. All of which will be way cheaper than the hyped RV toilet paper.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:46 AM   #26
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First-

I have seen several RV's with stopped up black tanks. It a messy, crumby job to unstop. The ones I've seen that were stopped up was when they sat over a winter, or sitting on a dealers lot for years, without proper flushing prior to storage. The system simply "dries up" and the paper, and Human waste turns to "concrete".

Always use ample water when flushing the toilet.

The best sewer hose to me, is the RhinoFlex. I watch other campers struggle with their bulky hoses all the time.
Another choice is a macerator system as used on boats. Many RV's are now using them.

Second-

I have the Progressive EMS. Mine has shut me down several times because of high voltages. When it happened, on 50 amp service, it was 3:30 in the morning and I went out and watched as it cycled on and off. I was getting 134v when it was happening. I switched over to 30amp service and then I was good for the remainder of my visit. Management didn't seem to care about this problem. A new transformer and new power lines had recently been installed. It was at a military FamCamp.

Good luck, I know you'll enjoy the RV'n experience.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:53 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharmanrn View Post
Hi, newbie here. I understand I need a surge protector...portable vs hard wire. Where does it hardwire in? How do you protect it from theft? Camping world has portable ( last years model) on sale 100 dollars off. Led lights rather than digital readout......thoughts?
sharmanrn, I would definitely invest in a surge protector. I have attached some pictures of how I installed one on my Ventana. I went with a Progressive Industries 50 Amp Hardwired Integrated Display EMS-LCHW50C. I wired it ahead of the automatic transfer switch. It has always worked fine and Progressive provided excellent support when I had some technical questions several times and called them.

Steve
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:22 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by hanko View Post
dont waste your money, they arent worth it, they dont work as advertised. Im an electrical contractor and i wont sell them. The worst and most common thing to happen is to loose the neutral (grounded conductor) and you will have voltages between 40 and 200 volts on your 120 vlt circuits, your surge protector will not help. If you listining to a to a sales man at camping world, take it with a grain of salt. In 35 years of of being in bisiness I have never seen a so called surge protector work as its supposed to.
!!
Our Progressive Ind. EMS will shut down the system with a loss of ground. It will shut down the system if voltage goes above 133VAC or below 103VAC. It does help with trouble shooting the system. This past weekend we plugged in at a park and immediately knew that L1 had 123VAC while L2 had 3(three)VAC. Before we got back to the MH from the front office, the replacement of the ckt. bkr. set was almost complete. Without the EMS we would probably be trouble shooting the A/C/heat pump tied to L2.
WE WOULDN'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT....
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