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Old 06-12-2018, 08:02 PM   #1
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low voltage shore power

I recently saw a video about the hughes autoformer. From my basic understanding it is an auto switching buck transformer to boost poor shore power. I found one listed on a website for $153. compared to the $641 hughes charges for the new model. The only difference I see is the new one seems to have a surge protector built in. I was considering buying the old model and using a progressive industries EMS. The only reason I am investigating this is because we are setting up to be FT in the spring and the last CG I was at we blew the 50amp main. it was ridiculously hot when I reset it. I checked the line voltage and it was 108 on L1 and 110 on L2. any in
site on this subject would be greatly appreciated, and if I should be looking somewhere else please point me that way.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:46 PM   #2
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You're lucky you didn't lose anything with only 108v! I have a PI EMS and the one time it disconnected because of low voltage. (it disconnects at 104v) I just unplugged the shore cord and started my generator. I've also had a couple of times the EMS found errors and didn't connect. Once I moved to a nearby campsite and reported the bad pedestal, another time I was able to reach another pedestal with my shore cord. In both cases the CG electricians verified my EMS was correct in not connecting.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:08 PM   #3
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Could of also been your site was at the end of a power run with everyone else using power like they were at home.....
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:25 PM   #4
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On our first trip, we stayed at a RV park in Eagle Nest, NM. The surge protector was resetting itself numerous times a day. It was a pain in the neck. After we got home, I built a 50 amp tester based on the directions below.

Now I test the pedestal before I begin setting up the trailer. It has paid off a couple of times. Mostly high or low power, but at one RV park, the tester showed that the pedestal was not grounded properly. The tester checks that both legs are wired correctly, the voltage on both legs are within acceptable range, and that it is true 220/240 VAC.

While it may not catch every bad shore power, to this point it hasn't failed to detect a bad one.

Just carefully follow the directions.

50-amp Tester
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:15 AM   #5
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I also picked up a Hughes off Craigslist several years ago.... been working great. I put a simple surge protector in front of the Hughes which then connects into my Progressive EMS. Surge protector saves the Hughes and the Hughes boosts the voltage before going into the EMS. If the voltage is so low that teh Hughes can't boost it enough, the EMS won't let it flow. We ran into voltage issues in several older CG's in the northeast during the summer months which is why I decided to get the autoformer.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:33 AM   #6
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Your best bet is to purchase a Progressive Industries EMS unit. You can get it in several versions to meet your needs but I recommend that you get the 50 amp unit with remote display that mounts in your electrical bay. It will protect you against high and low voltage, frequency problems, open grounds, mis-wired neutrals, surges, and so on. An autoformer is only there for low voltage situations, in my opinion. In our time fulltiming, we only saw low voltages once and mis-wired neutrals and high voltages several times (even in some high end parks). Protecting against all of the wiring goof ups is more important, IMHO.
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