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Old 06-27-2016, 11:02 AM   #1
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When is a drop in volts unsafe for your RV

I have a 2104 coachman 310bhds and the CG we are staying at has some old electrical lines in it. When running the air conditioning the volts in the camper drop to 109-111. So far I have not seen it any worse then that but we have the fridge and water heater both on gas to try and not draw any other power. I have heard that the air conditioner may fry up running on volts that are that low, could some one tell me if that is true? I also heard someone got an autofomer to try and up the volts coming into the camper. Do these work? What is the down side to using one? Thank you for your help

Todd



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Old 06-27-2016, 11:07 AM   #2
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Hello,
There will be lots of replies.

Simply stated;

I would not worry at 109 volts. Current goes up when voltage goes down. You are doing the right thing shedding load.

You can use a autotransformer to boost the voltage but depending on 30 vs 50 amp service they can be quite costly.

Camp and enjoy the time away.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:14 AM   #3
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Id start to be concerned under 105 volts.

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Old 06-27-2016, 11:35 AM   #4
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Progressive Industries power monitors cut out at 104 volts so your 109-111 should be fine.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:02 PM   #5
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10% let's say you had 120v then anything below 108v.most things will run on around that area.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:08 PM   #6
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we have a Progressive industries 30 amp hard wired unit and 3 weekends ago teh power kicked off watching tv.
the next morning when the wife tried to make coffee and toast int eh 5th wheel the toaster kicked out and the coffee pot would not run without kicking out and having to be reset a couple minutes later.

the display was showing 106.
when we got back to our seasonal and plugged in - we were back above the 120 mark
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:22 PM   #7
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Progressive Industries power monitors cut out at 104 volts so your 109-111 should be fine.
X2. My PI 30A EMS does the same thing.

OP: What was the voltage at the post?

The only time it has been a real problem was at a campground where the power post had only between 109V and 111V. The AC starting would cause the voltage to drop 104V or less and the EMS would shut down power. Prior to the AC kicking on, we were only using about 2A of current. An electric kettle also did the same thing at that site. All the nearby sites I checked had the same low voltage that weekend.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:34 PM   #8
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On my second year with the autoformer and it has been great. After my many years camping the big problem is low voltage. My 30 amp unit does a great job of protecting my circuits and keeping my voltage at a useable level. I don't want my air to turn off at low voltage...with the autoformer it keeps running. Seems like a lot of state parks around me have older over taxed systems. I am at one right now and air is running and I am reading 119 inside RV. Pole has been lower the few times I have checked it. I would not go camping without it.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:49 PM   #9
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Id start to be concerned under 105 volts.

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Old 06-27-2016, 06:02 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies. I will see what happens this weekend when the CG is full for the holiday. If it stays in the 109-111 range with the air conditioner running I will just let it go.


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Old 06-27-2016, 06:15 PM   #11
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I would be concerned at anything below 110 volts. Keep in mind the lower the volt the higher the amps will run. Its hard on everything especially the electronics. higher amps means more internal heat, Heat is the worst enemy you can have.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:55 PM   #12
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The electric companies design standard is a nominal voltage of 120 VAC +/- 5% (114 to 126 VAC) delivered as measured at the transformer. However, for most electric products the design standard is 115 VAC +/- 10% (103 to 126 VAC). Beyond those limits, particularly the lower limit of 103 VAC, damage may occur.

This is why the PI EMS is set to cut power below 104 VAC and Above 132 VAC.

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Old 06-27-2016, 07:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RJHuser View Post
The electric companies design standard is a nominal voltage of 120 VAC +/- 5% (114 to 126 VAC) delivered as measured at the transformer. However, for most electric products the design standard is 115 VAC +/- 10% (103 to 126 VAC). Beyond those limits, particularly the lower limit of 103 VAC, damage may occur.

This is why the PI EMS is set to cut power below 104 VAC and Above 132 VAC.

Rick
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:36 PM   #14
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Low voltage

You have done well to come to this forum for help.
I was alerted to the dangers of low voltage and high amps here.
I'm a retired Navy Machinist's Mate. I worked in the engine rooms of aircraft carriers and a Frigate. Below the water line with all the heat and noise and those nasty bilges. I am a certified knuckle dragger.
As a result I was pretty low on electrical knowledge, we considered it to be some strange form of voodoo and I knew enough to keep my hands out of 460v connection boxes.
So, I paid attention here and learned the trouble signs and enough to know when I have a problem and when to ask for help.

That being said, watch the low voltage or you will let the magic smoke out of electronics and things like your AC unit. Putting that magic smoke back into the equipment is right expensive.
That is where the Autoformer and the power management equipment come in to protect you.

Two years ago we went to a campground and had issues that would have been very bad had I not paid attention to the indicators.

Check out this thread from then.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...tal-60072.html

Herk and others have sung the praises of the autoformer, I became a believer after that trip. My mom had given me a 50 amp autoformer from their coach when they sold it. I didn't use it, not seeing the need...Dummy.
Now I connect it to the 50 amp service and then connect to it with my 30 amp dogbone adapter. No more problems.
Two weeks ago we were at another campground and it got into the low 90's, and the AC was running hard even though we were in a shaded site. I checked the voltage at the meter inside the Sunseeker and it was running 110-112 volts, good for the conditions. I checked the autoformer and it was warm, but not hot and the indicator lights showed it was in boost mode. Hurray! It was doing what it was supposed to do and boosting the incoming voltage to a safe level.
Trust your indicators.

Hope this helps you some.

Chris in Virginia
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:29 AM   #15
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Is it safe to run AC if all you have is a 20amp circuit ???
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:41 AM   #16
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Yes. Just don't run other big power draws. Air uses less than 20 amps.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:06 AM   #17
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Yes. Just don't run other big power draws. Air uses less than 20 amps.
THANKS Jack !!!
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:07 AM   #18
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Low Voltage

For the first time since living full time in my 5th wheel, my Progressive industries portable 50 amp surge protector shut off power to my RV. At first I thought the campground, Drummer Boy RV resort, near Gettysburg, Pa. lost power. I turned on my generator. Saw the surge protector had lights on and read an error code saying low voltage. Reset, and had no more problems with shore power.

The OP should have some sort of protector for electric coming into his unit.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:11 AM   #19
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I use a portable surge protector hooked to mine @ all times !!!
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