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Old 02-09-2011, 09:27 AM   #1
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Digital volt monitor

So a little history 1st.

Me and my family take our coach dry camping at least 2 times a month during the winter and then about 1 time a month in the summer. I have a Honda 3000 and a Yamaha 2600 generators that I bring along on the trailer with all of our toys. I don't usually run the coach generator unless we need to use the a\c or microwave. Both of these generators will run all weekend on a few gallons of gas and are extremely quite. I only bring one or the other not both at the same time.

OK so I notice that when I turned on my florescent lights in the trailer they just flickered and would not come on. I pulled out my volt meter and wow only 93 volts. This was on the Yamaha gen and it was not plugged into the coach thank god! So I took the gen to the repair shop to have them look at it.

So I see this little digital monitor at Camping World the other day and I think man this is a good little safety feature to have to warn me of bad voltage. It sounds an alarm if the voltage drops below 102v and above 135v. It also monitors a few other things like high/low frequency, polarity, ground fault.

My question is if the alarm doesn't sound until 101v and lets say you run appliances at 105v all day will that hurt them?

Sorry for the long story to the question.

Daniel
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
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san I don't think you will damage anything unless it has a motor, you would not want run a motor at 105V. They (appliances) will not work as good as they should. I would not run my rig at that low-voltage.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:46 PM   #3
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IMO an alarm that goes off a 101v isn't worth much - I also don't think that high tech device gives you a reading on amps either.

Suspect many people would argue that 103.5 is about as low as you want to go - that's 10% swing from 115 volts. When it comes to AC units I suspect many people get uncomfortable if the volts drop below 109 or 108 - I know I do.

Consider buying a kill a watt - doesn't have an alarm feature but it gives you an accurate reading of voltage as well as amps. As a bonus you can also get a read on frequency.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:53 PM   #4
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Daniel ...

On my coach all of my flourescent light fixtures are 12V (I think mine are manufactured by Thinlite) ... they work regardless of whether I am hooked to shore power or have the inverter turned on ...

So I am surprised that your flourescents are different ...

When I am home and in colder weather they are sometimes very slow in coming on and flicker quite a bit until they get sufficiently "excited"
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
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Ski I tend to get excited too quick these days cold or not!
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksg5000 View Post
Consider buying a kill a watt - doesn't have an alarm feature but it gives you an accurate reading of voltage as well as amps. As a bonus you can also get a read on frequency.
I think I saw a newer model kill a watt that will shut down if the voltage drops below a set level.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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Ski...

My coach has the 12 volt ones as well. The 120 volt florescent are in my enclosed trailer that I pull our toys in. I pick up the repaired trailer genny in a few days and I already bought a plug in style volt monitor.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:33 AM   #8
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I always use an autoformer. Since many RV parks were built in the 70's they are not equipped to handle the demand newer motor homes. We also attend biker rallies where they are not set up to handle the demand. We have been in parks where people have had to pull out because of voltage spikes. They are expensive but I think they are good insurance.
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