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Old 05-16-2013, 09:43 PM   #11
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Mike, thanks for the great link.... I've been reading and reading. Who knew!?!?

Question: can a regular 120v outlet tester be used inside the camper (or on the outside camper outlet) to check for proper polarity after hooking to the pedestal? Or must one get a 30amp to 15amp adapter to properly check at the pedestal? In other words will the reverse polarity be detected in the campers 120v outlets?

I think this is going to be a regular safety check for me and want to do it right.

I have a meter and am reading your articles but am VERY respectful of electricity and would rather use a plug and play type device as the little yellow outlet tester.

Thanks again for the great articles.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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Had it happen to me, testing air pressure on my last RV, kneeling in damp grass got the sh__ knocked out of me when I reached across and touched a wheel cover with the back of my hand. This also reverses polarity to all appliances inside, only way to get shocked is to touch metal while grounded outside. Not a good wakeup call however! Turns out it was grounded extension cord, but hot and neutral were reversed.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jeep4Two View Post
Question: can a regular 120v outlet tester be used inside the camper (or on the outside camper outlet) to check for proper polarity after hooking to the pedestal? Or must one get a 30amp to 15amp adapter to properly check at the pedestal? In other words will the reverse polarity be detected in the campers 120v outlets?
Yes, plugging a little 3-light tester into an RV's outlet inside (or outside) the camper will indeed indicate a standard reversed polarity campground pedestal (swapped Hot/Neutral). However it WILL NOT indicate a pedestal or home outlet that's been miswired as an RPBG. Interestingly, after I identified and named this effect a year ago, I've discovered that the entire electrical industry seems to be unaware of RPBG mis-wired outlets. In fact, my article titled "Failures in Outlet Testing" is supposed to run in the June edition of EC&M magazine. Please watch my video at

So that means that a 3-light tester inside your RV will catch MOST mis-wiring conditions, but not ALL mis-wiring conditions. For instance, in addition to missing an RPBG, it won't find an under or over voltage outlet either.

However, that being said, if you want a Plug-N-Play situation, then adding a Voltage/Surge protector such one of the Progressive Industries products is a good idea. See RV Electrical Safety: Surge Strips | No~Shock~Zone

But note that you should also back it up with a Non-Contact Voltage Tester, an RPBG from Fluke or Klein. See RV Electrical Safety: Part IV

Mike Sokol
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:36 PM   #14
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Had it happen to me, testing air pressure on my last RV, kneeling in damp grass got the sh__ knocked out of me when I reached across and touched a wheel cover with the back of my hand. This also reverses polarity to all appliances inside, only way to get shocked is to touch metal while grounded outside. Not a good wakeup call however! Turns out it was grounded extension cord, but hot and neutral were reversed.
Note that if your RV is properly wired with the Neutral buss isolated from the safety Ground, then simply reversing the Hot and Neutral wires in an extension cord WILL NOT cause an RV hot-skin condition. However, if your RV is mis-wired with a bonded Ground-Neutal, then plugging it into a standard "Reverse Polarity" extension cord as you indicated CAN cause a hot-skin condition. (Note this is NOT a description of RPBG outlets in my other posting, since an RPBG can't be detected by any standard test methods, nor will any voltage/surge protector from any of the manufactures find it as well. I've confirmed this statement with the major surge protector engineering groups)

So the hint is this: If a standard reverse polarity outlet (as indicated by a 3-light tester) causes a hot-skin, then there's something else mis-wired inside your RV's electrical system. This isn't just opinion on my part, but rather something that's described in both the RVIA and NFPA NEC code.

I could set up a demonstration of this effect and create a video for consumer review, but sadly I get ZERO support from the RV or electrical test industry for these video and articles. Please ask your Forest River dealer or representative to support more NoShockZone articles. I have very little free time to create more NoShockZone content, but think it's important for the safety of all RV users.

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Old 05-17-2013, 11:47 AM   #15
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I read Mike's post III on checking the ground and shore power a while back and I was using the testing probes into the outlet for a while to check the shore power before hooking up our popup.

This year, I bought a PRIME polarity and voltage meter and a 30-15amp adapter to check it a lot easier, and in my opinion, safer. There were times I had to hold the shore power cover up while testing with the meter, kind of difficult to do with only two hands. This setup lets me check the shore power pole first, and then if I wanted to monitor the voltage at the campground I can plug it into on of my camper outlets.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:33 PM   #16
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This year, I bought a PRIME polarity and voltage meter and a 30-15amp adapter to check it a lot easier, and in my opinion, safer.
That's a VERY GOOD suggestion, since I too have problems getting the probes in the outlet contacts at times. I would also recommend you also add in inexpensive NCVT (Non Contact Voltage Tester) such as a Fluke VoltAlert or Klein NCVT-1 which will tell you in a few seconds if there's a RPBG outlet (Reverse Polarity Bootleg Ground) simply by turning the on the NCVT and poking it in the outlet's ground contact (if it lights up and beeps, then DO NOT plug in). Remember that your Prime Polarity/Voltage Meter will detect most outlet mis-wirings, but can't identify an RPBG outlet.

You can also use your NCVT to casually test other RV's for hot-skin conditions as you walk by in a campground. If there's an RV with a hot-skin condition elevated to 120-volts, your NCVT will light up and beep from 1 to 2 feet away.... Yikes!!!! You could save someone's life by warning them about the hot-skin, which is always a great thing.

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Old 05-17-2013, 12:35 PM   #17
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I read Mike's post III on checking the ground and shore power a while back and I was using the testing probes into the outlet for a while to check the shore power before hooking up our popup.

This year, I bought a PRIME polarity and voltage meter and a 30-15amp adapter to check it a lot easier, and in my opinion, safer. There were times I had to hold the shore power cover up while testing with the meter, kind of difficult to do with only two hands. This setup lets me check the shore power pole first, and then if I wanted to monitor the voltage at the campground I can plug it into on of my camper outlets.
I have one of those that I leave plugged in the RV to monitor voltage. Works great.

I also made one of the following testers that utilizes an outlet tester and an analog voltmeter. I believe the circuit/outlet tester checks for a few more things than the Prime one does.

30-amp RV outlet Tester
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:45 PM   #18
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You can also use your NCVT to casually test other RV's for hot-skin conditions as you walk by in a campground. If there's an RV with a hot-skin condition elevated to 120-volts, your NCVT will light up and beep from 1 to 2 feet away.... Yikes!!!! You could save someone's life by warning them about the hot-skin, which is always a great thing.

Mike Sokol
No Shock Zone
Dang Mike, you're going to make me spend some money today.

Hmm, now if I can just make this business related, so the company can pay for it. LOL
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:15 PM   #19
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Dang Mike, you're going to make me spend some money today.

Hmm, now if I can just make this business related, so the company can pay for it. LOL
The customer liaison at Heartland RV just bought 10 of the Klein NCVT-1 testers to give away as door prizes a their next Rally. I think you should find out who your customer rep is at Forest River and make the same suggestion. Perhaps they should send you one free for giving them the idea.

That's how to get stuff for "free" which is always good.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:27 PM   #20
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This is why I never hook up without my Progressive Industries EMS-PT50C. Yep, a few bucks, but a lot of peace of mind.
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