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teisenstein 04-16-2016 04:08 PM

Has anyone experienced brownouts in power due to "dirty power" at RV parks?

JFXG 04-16-2016 04:26 PM

teisenstein..... A brownout is an effect of low source voltage. If you have an EMS such as one made by Progressive- which you should have, in a coach your size- then you will never experience a brownout. The EMS will catch it before it can hurt you. Low voltage can do a lot of silent damage to many different things.

In four years of fulltiming I once moved to a different spot due to high voltage, but I've never experienced low voltage.

John & Diane, fulltiming since '12
'02 DS, FL, Cat, '04 Element

Gary RVRoamer 04-16-2016 07:36 PM

Not in ages, but we have been frequenting better parks since we bought the larger rig. I'm sure that older "mom & pop" campgrounds with old or undersized electrical systems still have that problem at times. We just avoid them.

Mr_D 04-16-2016 07:40 PM

We stayed in the side you at a friends house in CA. IN our '02 Dutch Star I plugged into an outlet he had outside and we, and others have used int he past with no problems. Last year we were there with the present rig and found the power management system wouldn't let power through. Used a different plug a few feet away. Worked OK UNTIL he started working in his shop. Every time he started his power saw the voltage went low and our inverter switched over.
We still had enough power to keep the batteries up so it wasn't a real problem.

TwelveVolt 04-16-2016 07:55 PM

We stayed at a campground the other night where the Progressive Industries isolator gave a warning of:
E01 - Reverse polarity

Since this was the only site available, I chose to use the device's override switch. No ill effects, but I am wondering what potential problems I may be overlooking.

If polarity is reversed in a 110VAC circuit, it means the breakers and on/off switches are now on the neutral side instead of the hot side of the circuit. This means the device is hot as long as it is plugged in. Stick a knife into a toaster that you think is off and you will be in for a surprise. If the current takes a different path to ground (e.g. through you) then there is no breaker in the circuit and the On/Off switch does nothing. Is there something else I am overlooking?

The campground staff assured me that people have been using that site for years without any complaints. Their online reviews say otherwise.

Arch Hoagland 04-16-2016 07:56 PM

I've been in two parks that had brown outs. Dodge City, Kansas where it wrecked 3 RV air conditioners. I was OK because I didn't have my air turned on but that was when I learned that low voltage would destroy a roof air conditioner.

The other park was in downtown Winnemucca, NV at a RV park next to a Casino. They at least warned you and have since upgraded their power.

If you see voltage at 105, or below, turn off your air conditioner.

rpk 04-16-2016 08:02 PM

Had this quite a bit in the park we hosted in last year. When the park was full or nearly so and the day was hot, the newer rigs with monitors would trip off. At that point I would read about 112v at my site. The industry standard is 115v for rv parks, but it is voluntary compliance only. Problem is, if the voltage is cranked up to 120 when the park is full, it'll be 130 when the park is almost empty. This is solved in the better parks by having multiple transformers serving fewer sites. In our poor little municipal park this was impossible to afford.

Best solution is a Hughes autoformer which takes park fluctuations out of the equation.

Good luck!

TonyDi 04-16-2016 10:16 PM

My Progressive EMS has shut me down a few times due to low voltage in RV parks

Lt Dan 04-16-2016 11:42 PM

Three different times in different parts of the country. Twice in older parks and once in a newer park when everyone started checking in and turning on their AC units. Thank goodness for surge/low voltage protectors.

LINADR 04-16-2016 11:50 PM

Yep, happened to me in Utah, saved by my my voltage protection. Turned out to be a faulty park breaker.

johnhicks 04-16-2016 11:53 PM

Of course. It was over a July 4 weekend and I just fired up the generator while most others were all trying to get their ACs to work. It was just too much load for the park.

TwelveVolt 04-17-2016 05:30 AM

We had the EMS cycling continually in a couple of parks. The voltage was marginal, the EMS solenoid kicked in, the coach load was applied to the supply causing the voltage to drop below the threshold and the solenoid to drop out. This cycle would continue until the campground voltage came back up. Wondering if this could damage the battery charger or batteries.

windsorbill 04-17-2016 09:29 AM

I can't stress enough for everyone to consider a Progressive EMS or similar to protect the coach. I was at a nice private rv park in Utah a few years ago and a thunderstorm rolled by. Took out a park transformer and 6 coaches electronics that didn't have any type of protection---air conditioners, microwaves, battery chargers, TV's. Ours would have fried as well without the Progressive. They come both hardwired or portable, 30 and 50 amp.

I've also been in a campground where the progressive wouldn't let me connect to their power. After returning to the office, they 'forgot to tell me that particular pedestal is having problems'. JEEZE GUYS, THANKS FOR TELLING ME!!. They moved me to another site.

Airstreamer6 04-17-2016 01:02 PM

Years ago I was in a campground which made my air conditioner groan. I turned the AC off after I measured the power at about a hundred volts. I moved on the next day.

Soon after, I bought a Surge Guard which doesn't let me hook up to a campground's electric system if the current is not acceptable, and turns things off if it later becomes unacceptable.

Then I bought a Hughes autoformer for those cases that the voltage is low but usable with a boost, which the autoformer provides.

They're all useful tools, especially when the weather is extreme and the loads on the circuits are too.

Duoglide1 04-17-2016 03:22 PM

I've mainly ran into this issue at rallys In fact at FMCA in Indio this year my unit shut me off several times due to low voltage.

2007 Monaco Executive 45' 525 ISX

PantherJeep 04-17-2016 07:22 PM

Last month while setting up at an older RV park the power pedestal initially showed 120V on both 50A legs, both via multimeter & surge guard (TRC). Five minutes after starting one air conditioner though, the TRC tripped off indicating 141V on L1, 91V on L2, and reversed polarity. :eek: I unplugged, cycled the pedestal breaker, and plugged the TRC back in (with shore cord disconnected), but it still showed the same bizarre high-leg/low-leg/bad polarity power conditions.

Between this and a busted water spigot, I got the park to move me to a different site and had no further problems that weekend. Still, the TRC saved me from some likely unpleasant consequences due to bad power at the podium. :whistling: That's also the first time I've ever seen both high and low voltage concurrently on the same receptacle. :blink:

Hopefully the park's new owners (who had just taken over the park the week before my stay) have since repaired that issue...

palehorse89 04-17-2016 07:27 PM

I have also had a Hughes Autoformer for has served me well and has been a investment for sure.

jacwjames 04-17-2016 07:35 PM

I was staying at an older RV park in Upper Michigan with low voltage problems. As soon as it got warmer out the voltage drop got worse due to the number of people using AC. The parks owners didn't want people running AC but that wasn't really an option.

When my wife showed up in July and it was hot we had to do something so I bought an Autotransformer, it solved the problem for the next 2 months while we were camped there. Still have the autotransformer, works great and we still carry it.

I have since installed a Progressive Surge protector which also protects against low voltage so having the autotransformer is even more of a necessity. I haven't gone through the trouble of hardwiring it though.

powerboatr 04-17-2016 07:44 PM

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I have seen reverse polarity on the display and power will not engage, more than a few times.
two of them i knew were BS as it was at my SB house, right after a HARD rain.
i suspected loose grounds or something in the main on the house.
but almost as soon as it happens, it goes away.
even had power company come look at lines ad transformer. never found anything amiss

but my surge guard has saved us many times
at my sisters house, her husband inadvertently wired the 50 amp wrong and the surge guard refused to accept power, AT ALL. thats when i pulled the box cover and found the problem.
a few summers ago in San Antonio the heat was HOT HOT HOT, even in the shade. A/Cs never really shut off or got a break.
park power teetered in the low range a few times and the power was shut off.
then there was the transfer switch melt down during winter...surge guard saved us again

i cant sing enough praises for the surge guard.

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