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Old 07-20-2006, 03:24 AM   #1
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We were camping last weekend at RV Ranch in Burleson. It was VERY hot - temps over 100 during the day. The a/c unit ran constantly, shutting off only at night, and didn't really keep the trailer cool during the day even though we closed all the blinds. We just assumed that was to be expected for such hot weather, spent the afternoon in the pool, and resolved not to go camping again when it is this hot. I also found that food in the freezer had partially thawed and the ice cream was very soft. When we were leaving and Bob went to unplug the power cord he found it too hot to touch, so he got pliers to pull it out. When he started pulling it out with the pliers it was stuck really tight. As he pulled, the rubber plug started to pull away from the metal prongs. So he stopped, let it cool down a while, and was finally able to pull it out. As it turned out the rubber around the metal prongs was visibly melted. Needless to say, he took the trailer straight to the dealer Monday morning. They are supposed to be putting on a new power cord, and checking the a/c unit and the fridge for defects or damage. We bought the trailer new in October, so it's under warranty. The a/c unit is 15,000 btu. Just wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience. Should the a/c unit have cooled better even in 100 degree heat? Should the fridge have kept the food frozen? It really scared us to think what might have happened.
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Old 07-20-2006, 03:24 AM   #2
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We were camping last weekend at RV Ranch in Burleson. It was VERY hot - temps over 100 during the day. The a/c unit ran constantly, shutting off only at night, and didn't really keep the trailer cool during the day even though we closed all the blinds. We just assumed that was to be expected for such hot weather, spent the afternoon in the pool, and resolved not to go camping again when it is this hot. I also found that food in the freezer had partially thawed and the ice cream was very soft. When we were leaving and Bob went to unplug the power cord he found it too hot to touch, so he got pliers to pull it out. When he started pulling it out with the pliers it was stuck really tight. As he pulled, the rubber plug started to pull away from the metal prongs. So he stopped, let it cool down a while, and was finally able to pull it out. As it turned out the rubber around the metal prongs was visibly melted. Needless to say, he took the trailer straight to the dealer Monday morning. They are supposed to be putting on a new power cord, and checking the a/c unit and the fridge for defects or damage. We bought the trailer new in October, so it's under warranty. The a/c unit is 15,000 btu. Just wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience. Should the a/c unit have cooled better even in 100 degree heat? Should the fridge have kept the food frozen? It really scared us to think what might have happened.
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:07 AM   #3
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The hot weather probably caused and extremely high demand from the campground's electric service which resulted in you getting less than 120 volts. Low voltage will cause the amps to increase and will cause overheating of the power cord. Low voltage will also cause damage to air conditioners and other appliances.

Your refrigerator will cool better on propane than it will on electricity (especially if you are getting low voltage). Using propane for the refrigerator and water heater during times of high electricity demand will let the air conditioner have more of the available electricity. Microwaves, toasters, coffee pots, & hair driers also demand large amounts of electricity. Fans can be added to the refrigerator to help it cool. Orienting the RV so the fridge side gets some shade will help. Having an awning out so it shades a side of the RV also is good. RVs parked in direct sun with no shade when it is 100 degrees outside struggle to keep the inside cool. Any shade helps immensely.

It would be a good idea to use a plug-in voltage meter to monitor for low voltage situations. You can buy inexpensive ones that plug into an electric outlet. Fancy power monitors and power conditioners can be purchased to automatically protect against low voltage. They are expensive but can save your appliances. Camping supply catalogs will have examples of the voltage meters, power conditioners, and refrigerator fans that are available.

As for now, be concerned that the air conditioner compressor may have been damaged by low voltage. They might argue that plugging into low voltage is not covered under warranty and it probably is'nt. Hopefully they will fix it anyway if it is damaged. That kind of damage usually means replacing the compressor.

Good luck and let us know what the dealer says.
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:22 AM   #4
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It also won't do you any good to pull up to a site, and test the voltage before you plug in. it won't be under a load and won't tell you at that point if there's an issue. After you plug in, and get the ac going, then you plug the tester into an outlet in your rig. If it's low, complain and have them fix it or move to another site. There are usually several sites on one circuit. Some poles are marked with circuit numbers so you can look for a diffrent circuit number when moving. it could also be a loose or coroded plug causing the issue. Either way, your problems was low voltage from the park.
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:50 AM   #5
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life saver

we got one of these afte rour micro got fried from to low of power, so far it has tripped and saved us many times

also
yesterday we had a big power outage surge
got home coach was heating up and i asked the dumb question? is th epower out .. duh
so i fired up the genny, well after two minutes we stil had zero juice.
went outside and opend up teh genny cover and both cb had tripped. so we must have had a good sized surge
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:19 PM   #6
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I use a franks super booster purchased through upgrades and have found it to work great at the upper and lower end.It also gives lightning and polarity protection. Keep the dust on ya boot
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:52 AM   #7
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Thanks, everyone, for your replies and your advice. The dealer called Jayco to see if they would cover a new power cord under warranty. They refused - said it was an external power problem. Bob complained some, and the owner of the dealership was nearby. He told them to go ahead and give it to us at no charge. They supposedly checked out the A/C unit and the refrig for damage, and said they are okay. This is Nichols RV in Mesquite Texas. Just thought they deserved mention here since they treated us right.

Went camping with our Good Sams club this weekend, and following Two Bit's advice, kept the fridge and water heater on gas. Everything seemed to work fine. Bob felt the end of the power cord a couple of times throughout the weekend and it wasn't hot. A/C seemed to cool just fine. Of course, it was only in the 90's, and our spot had a little shade.

Talked to one of our club members, and he said he thought the problem was probably caused by poor contact at the box - as CharlieZ suggested. He said he cleans the prongs on his power cord regularly with a steel brush, and he checks the box at the park for corrosion before he plugs in. Wont plug in if it's corroded or if it doesn't fit tight. He also said that plugging in and unplugging with the circuit breakers on will cause the buildup of corrosion.

There is so much to learn by talking to other people. Thank you to all of you who responded. Happy camping!
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:29 AM   #8
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I burned out a TV and damaged a microwave due to power issues at a campground. I spent a few hundred bucks and now use a surge protector. If the voltage gets too high or too low, it will kick out. It is much cheaper than replacing electronic equipment. I also have a voltage gauge that plugs into an outlet. It is not super accurate, but it does give me an idea of the voltage situation.
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Old 07-29-2006, 08:36 AM   #9
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I stayed at a place in Emporia, KS a couple of weeks ago. When I plugged into the 30 amp I got about 106 volt. When I plugged into the 50 amp I got about 114 volts. I complained to the managers and went around with him as he checked the other vacant sites. They all indicated about the same. He said it was so hot that the power company could not keep up with the demand. The next morning when I got up my meter showed close to 120. When I came back through a week later it was much cooler and no problem with power.
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Old 07-29-2006, 08:49 AM   #10
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FWIW the tech who has worked at our dealer for many years suggested that the power cord always be fully extended and never used while coiled up. The explanation was that induction might create heat...sounds reasonable to me....especially in high heat/high demand/low voltage situations
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:11 AM   #11
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Low voltage, poor connection, and excessive current draw must be monitored at every RV park and CG to protect your investment. The simple voltage monitor, available for <$15 should be on every RV'ers must have list. Ours is not pretty or go with the RV decor, it is however in plain sight where we can watch what is happening. The receptacles in the CG pedistal will wear out. The loose connection blades will cause heat, amperage loss, and arcing- which by itself may damage appliances. This all makes spending approx. $500 for a power monitor such as Hughs really a wise decision.
It's good to hear of a dealership who cares for their customers long after the sale.
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