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Old 01-26-2015, 05:08 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Need help with metered power

We have a Forest River Wildcat 30' Fifth Wheel. We are at an RV Park, where we don't have our own meter, but share with some of the others in the park. The owner is over charging us for electricity. We have a solar panel on the top of our camper, we use propane to heat and even use propane only to heat our hot water when we use it once a day. Is there any type of device we can get like a portable meter to hook up between the outlet we plug into and our outlet that we plug in that would measure our killowatts used?

We are desperate. We are being ripped off on the electric we use. Others here in the park are using portable electric heaters all the time, leaving lights on all the time and abusing the electric. We save and need a way to track that.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:20 PM   #2
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I would ask the owner to install a meter on your site. You say you are sharing a meter with another site. Could the other site be using more power and the owner is just taking watts used and dividing the amount by 2?
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:24 PM   #3
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I would ask the owner to install a meter on your site. You say you are sharing a meter with another site. Could the other site be using more power and the owner is just taking watts used and dividing the amount by 2?
I am pretty sure that is their issue. With only one meter, there is no "fair" way to do it. The owner (and the other tenant!) would have to agree to a different way of dividing up the power used, I would think.

Even if you put a personal meter on your line, the owner would have to agree to use your readings and if it is less that 1/2 of the total usage, bill your neighbor for the extra power.

Me thinks THEY will not be happy paying for what they are using more than you.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:28 PM   #4
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If the manager doesn't want to give you your own meter I would take your money to a park that will treat you fairly.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:37 PM   #5
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I have seen ones like this for 30 amp RV's. May have to google to see if they make one for a 50 amp. However, you have to add the cost of any kind of metering equipment to the costs on what you are paying for electricity to see if it's advantageous to buy a meter.

MeterMaid 30A Plug-In Power Meter for Power Pedestals - Microcustom International
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:39 PM   #6
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I have seen ones like this for 30 amp RV's. May have to google to see if they make one for a 50 amp. However, you have to add the cost of any kind of metering equipment to the costs on what you are paying for electricity to see if it's advantageous to buy a meter.

MeterMaid 30A Plug-In Power Meter for Power Pedestals - Microcustom International
WOW that is cool! Pricey, but cool!
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:46 PM   #7
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A google search turned this up for the DIY'er:

Tech Tips: Building a Portable Electric Meter - RV Life Magazine - The Motorhome and Travel Trailer Lifestyle
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:03 PM   #8
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So, here is an "El Cheapo" solution!

Though you would need to buy two for 50 amp RV service.

5 in 1 AC264V 100A Digital Combo Panel Meter Volt Amp kWh Watt Working Time Ct | eBay
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:28 PM   #9
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you are likely not just paying for electric use. Typically there are other charges related to this. The biggest thing to find out is call the local supplier and find out what additional rates may apply, such as what they a "rider". These riders allow utility companies to get back money from expenses. Say coal goes up, instead of like gas companies that hike it overnight, utility companies usually have to charge a set price with the public utilities commission for that state. Then the utility files for an adjustment which if approved ends up as these rider costs. Also since there is only one meter, it is likely he is charged a commercial rate vs residential rate...check with utility to verify rate. There is also in some form a meter charge. As you can see too many variables to just pay for use, unfortunately many do this to either make money on you or not to lose money by paying for meter charges on unused sites. You could suggest he puts in tab metering (customer owned meters) however I am sure with added cost he will just say no.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:35 PM   #10
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The Kill-A-Watt meter plugs into a 15 amp outlet and accepts a standard 15 amp extension cord. It costs less than $20 and might be useful to use for a day or 2 to demonstrate "typical" power usage. I don't think it is practical for continuous monitoring of the power used but it might get a conversation going on power usage facts.


P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor - Low Temperature Alarms - Amazon.com
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