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Old 07-09-2015, 09:43 PM   #15
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I was full timing at a campground in the UP of Michigan. We suffered from low voltage, I invested in a Hughes Autotransformer and it worked great. Problem was the other campers were suffering.

I talked to the campground owner who blamed it on the electric company. OK>> I contacted them and the manager called me and said that the power coming into the campground was good, he said that the campground wiring was to blame and they'd been through this before.

The work I was doing up there required that I complete a study as to the best option to provide power the complex we were in the process of getting permitted. I knew that the campground was located near one of the large transfer lines and that the power getting to them was good.

We suffered through low voltage for that whole summer, the Hughes Autotransformer worked great and keep the power within the +/- 10% of 120 volt.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb7auk View Post
Having just been through this problem as stated above the normal service voltage
is 120 volts and the requirements the power company must meet is plus or minus
5 percent of that voltage.
The bright side is the power companies want to know if they have a problem as
it is hard on their equipment and they will respond rather quickly when notified.
This subject is complex. The plus or minus 10% I stated is accurate for inductive motor operation. Upon review,I did not word my post correctly though. The plus or minus 5% you stated is accurate for power company standard of voltage variance, but is not what we RVers are concerned about here. http://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdf..._tolerance.pdf
and http://www.mikeholt.com/nec-voltage-drop.php explain much better than my feeble attempt.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
This subject is complex. The plus or minus 10% I stated is accurate for inductive motor operation. Upon review,I did not word my post correctly though. The plus or minus 5% you stated is accurate for power company standard of voltage variance, but is not what we RVers are concerned about here. http://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdf..._tolerance.pdf
and Mike Holt Voltage Drop (7-15-99) explain much better than my feeble attempt.
Having worked in this field for many years complex is stating it mildly.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:16 PM   #18
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In 2002, snowbirding in the Rio Grande Valley, TX, at a flea market in Donna, I bought this fabulous Hughes Autoformer that I still use today with my dogbone 50-30 AMP when I'm plugged in a 30 AMP circuit.

https://hughesautoformers.com/
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:45 PM   #19
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If your equipment is rated at 110V, then you can safely run down to 90%, or 99 volts. If it rated at 120V however, the lower limit is 108V so at 105/107V you are under-voltage.

One person mentioned a Buck-Boost transformer. A 10KVA Buck-Boost transformer to run one 50 amp outlet is about $1K, and weights close to 200 lbs, so that really is not an option.
Hughes Autoformers are basically Buck-Boost units and cost $368 for the 30 amp model and $548 for the 50 amp when purchased direct however they do go on special for quite a bit less at places like PPL and Camping World.

https://hughesautoformers.com/

They are well worth the investment and can pay for themselves in what you save on repairing/replacing failed equipment and grief from brown outs.

Part of the problem is that most campgrounds get by with a service rated for only a 40 percent load which is insufficient when you have more and more rigs that will draw almost the full rated capacity of their mains during the heat of the day when air conditioners are running at full capacity. The campground owners may be correct in saying that per code there is nothing wrong with their wiring however that won't change the fact that its now undersized for use with modern motor homes and that the code is out of date.

In simple terms if a campground has 100 30 amp sites then that would simply be 3,000 amps which would have to be adjusted for line loss, street lighting, bath houses and such but lets just go with 3,000 amps, so code in many areas will allow them to use a 1,200 amp service at 40 percent however at peak usage those 100 30 amp coaches are going to be potentially drawing more than 12 amps each so for many that is where the problem lies.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:17 AM   #20
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You guys are all forgetting that these campgrounds are supposed to be wired to CODE.
One of the aspects of code is "That which is code the day it's installed remains code till it is removed".

Yes, thy were wired to code,,back when Desi and Lucy were towing the long, long trailer.

Also many parks were wired for 30 amps back then and all the owners did was slap a 50 amp outlet in the box.. This is NOT code by any means but that's how they do it.

plus many older parks are wired with Aluminum.. New that stuff is not all that bad.. Oh the resistance is a bit higher, but it does not hold up as well as copper so what was say a 0 ga feeder wire soon becomes a 1,2,3,4,5,6 ga wire due to corrosion and tarnish.


To the original poster.. That is excessive voltage drop you measured (5 volts on one leg) and indicates what i posted above.

I use an autoformer on my RV.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:24 AM   #21
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NeilV, excellent explanation for what is most likely the problem in many campgrounds.

wa8yxm, I'll agree with you on everything but the outlet change, which would be immediately apparent because there would be 0 volts across the 2 "hot legs" (both are on the same phase) and you still would only have 4320 watts instead of the 15,000 watts from a true 50 amp pedestal. No one would be able to run 2 A/C units at a time then (unless that is what is happening).
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:45 AM   #22
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Whether the problem is with the utility company or the campground, they should get this fixed! It's not right to charge RV'ers for inferior service!
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:38 AM   #23
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Cost then becomes a big factor for this. How is this going to get paid for and when are they going to do it since the fix involves a major update of the electrical service and power grid feeding the campground along with the switch gear and wiring inside which could result in a long term shut down of sections of or possibly the entire camp.

That's a pretty big tab to foot at a Municipal Campground where it will be the taxpayers in that municipality that would be footing the bill for a construction project that could take a few years to complete depending on how large the campground is.

For many campgrounds which are barely surviving this upgrade would be a death stroke and end up putting them out of business.

The Power Company may also be faced with having to replace many miles of cable much of which may be underground in order to support this too especially if the campground is in a remote area which again can be time consuming and very costly which someone is going to have to pay for.

While the issue may be rather easy to track down the solution is many times out of reach for the campground without going a lot more deeply into debt and if they are already at the limit of their bond rating it becomes moot since no one will loan them the money to do it.

For me the Auto Former is an affordable solution that works especially since many power companies while they say they support only a 5% deviation on paper really allow much more so regardless of any upgrades individual campgrounds make we are still at the mercy of an aging electrical infrastructure that is prone to large deviations and regular rolling brown outs.
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:54 PM   #24
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Hughes Autoformers are basically Buck-Boost units
There is, or used to be, one company that made a buck/boost unit, IT was not Hughes. . Theirs is boost only.
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:18 PM   #25
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I think i'd like to push this a little. Can't they just change the tap on the transformer to raise the voltage?
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:28 AM   #26
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We are out on the road, about our 40th day, and, our Progressive Industries electrical protector has shut our supply source down at 4 different campgrounds-because of low voltage. The Voltage is good when we plug-in, but goes to unacceptable levels when our load (and our neighbors loads) put a demand on the available power supply. I have seen the available voltage go from 122 V down to 102V-and, of course, shut our system down.

I will say that our issues have all occurred at commercial campgrounds, not-State or National Campgrounds. And, I understand why.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:59 AM   #27
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I think i'd like to push this a little. Can't they just change the tap on the transformer to raise the voltage?
Could result in the opposite issue of overly high voltage when the lines are not overloaded.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:37 PM   #28
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What is an auto former? I am about to buy a simple voltage meter
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