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Old 05-18-2020, 08:49 PM   #1
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Low voltage issues

Hello fellow Jayco owners. I wanted to recount my first encounter with a low voltage pedestal at an RV park. We checked into our new camp site which only has a 30 amp pedestal. We have a 2020 Jayco Eagle 355MBQS which is a 50 amp trailer. We plug in using a 50 amp EMS-PT50X Portable RV Surge Protector. I installed a 50 to 30 amp converter after the surge protector. When i plugged it in i noticed the voltage was at 114. My power first cut out the following morning. I read the voltage at the pedestal at 108. I didn't have any popped breakers and the power came back on its own after a few minutes. I'm pretty sure the surge protector was doing its job by cutting off power when it detected low voltage. I called the camp office and the maintenance guys said it was because i needed a 30 amp surge protector. After a lengthy foray online i learned that the 50 amp protector will work just fine with a 30 amp power source. $600 later i plugged in an autoformer which boosts the voltage by 10% of the input voltage. So now when the pedestal dips below 114 volts the autoformer will boost the voltage, so instead of 108 I have 118. I haven't had a single power issue since. I just wish it hadn't been so expensive.

Has anyone had a similar thing happen to them, and if so what was your solution?
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cujonaut View Post
We checked into our new camp site which only has a 30 amp pedestal. We have a 2020 Jayco Eagle 355MBQS which is a 50 amp trailer. We plug in using a 50 amp EMS-PT50X Portable RV Surge Protector. I installed a 50 to 30 amp converter after the surge protector.
OK, I'm confused... How did you plug in a 4 prong, 50 amp surge protector into a 30 amp, 3 prong pedestal?

Do you mean you put the 30 to 50 amp converter BEFORE the surge protector, so you could plug in the EMS?
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:47 AM   #3
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Correct, i plugged a male 30 amp with a 50 amp female adapter into the 30 amp pedestal. I plugged the 50 amp ems in to the adapter and I plugged my trailer into the ems.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cujonaut View Post
Hello fellow Jayco owners. I wanted to recount my first encounter with a low voltage pedestal at an RV park. We checked into our new camp site which only has a 30 amp pedestal. We have a 2020 Jayco Eagle 355MBQS which is a 50 amp trailer. We plug in using a 50 amp EMS-PT50X Portable RV Surge Protector. I installed a 50 to 30 amp converter after the surge protector. When i plugged it in i noticed the voltage was at 114. My power first cut out the following morning. I read the voltage at the pedestal at 108. I didn't have any popped breakers and the power came back on its own after a few minutes. I'm pretty sure the surge protector was doing its job by cutting off power when it detected low voltage. I called the camp office and the maintenance guys said it was because i needed a 30 amp surge protector. After a lengthy foray online i learned that the 50 amp protector will work just fine with a 30 amp power source. $600 later i plugged in an autoformer which boosts the voltage by 10% of the input voltage. So now when the pedestal dips below 114 volts the autoformer will boost the voltage, so instead of 108 I have 118. I haven't had a single power issue since. I just wish it hadn't been so expensive.

Has anyone had a similar thing happen to them, and if so what was your solution?
The autoformer is the solution. Just be sure it is in front of the EMS. If it's after the EMS it can't boost if the EMS is shut down.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:24 PM   #5
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They are nice but heavy and expensive. I pondered for a while about getting one. We rarely have an issue with low voltage.

Yep, the maintenance guy didn't have a clue. They have low voltage due to loose/bad connections, bad outlet, bad breaker or an undersized system.


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Old 05-28-2020, 12:36 PM   #6
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Awesome, that's what i wanted to know. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:27 PM   #7
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They are nice but heavy and expensive. I pondered for a while about getting one. We rarely have an issue with low voltage.

Yep, the maintenance guy didn't have a clue. They have low voltage due to loose/bad connections, bad outlet, bad breaker or an undersized system.


Earl
I have also seen low voltage on hot summer days, when everyone has their AC on, and the feeder just cannot handle it.
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:27 AM   #8
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I have also seen low voltage on hot summer days, when everyone has their AC on, and the feeder just cannot handle it.
Yep, that would be an undersized system. Either the campground or utility side. Most likely the campground grew beyond their utility and never got it updated. Especially old campgrounds which were 15/20 amp service back in the day. Now 30 and 50 amp.


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Old 05-29-2020, 06:03 AM   #9
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yep, that would be an undersized system. Either the campground or utility side. Most likely the campground grew beyond their utility and never got it updated. Especially old campgrounds which were 15/20 amp service back in the day. Now 30 and 50 amp.


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Old 06-01-2020, 07:35 PM   #10
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Spend your $600 at a different RV park, hopefully one with suitable infrastructure. Most will say that low voltage is an indication of substandard park wiring. If an RV park in the deep south did not think to wire their grid for a gazillion 50A Yankee rigs running both A/C's at once...


I'm sure that's why most Florida RV Parks that I have seen meter individual RV sites and bill extra for juice.



The use of autoformers is contentious to say the least. Go to any RV Electricity forum and when you see the subject come up, you might as well grab a six-pack, bowl of popcorn and a Nomex flame suit, because it's about to get ugly up until some moderator shuts the thread down.


Low voltage is dangerous to electronics, and that is about the only thing anyone can agree upon
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:54 PM   #11
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Spend your $600 at a different RV park, hopefully one with suitable infrastructure. Most will say that low voltage is an indication of substandard park wiring. If an RV park in the deep south did not think to wire their grid for a gazillion 50A Yankee rigs running both A/C's at once...
I though about going to a different park, but the choices for parks with long term stays and in proximity to my job are limited due to COVID. I also thought that if I ran into this problem at the second campground I've stayed at in my new trailer, it is a bit more widespread of a problem and worth the price.

Regardless of what happens with the autoformer i still have my EMS surge protector between it and my trailer (fingers crossed).
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Joan617 View Post
Spend your $600 at a different RV park, hopefully one with suitable infrastructure. Most will say that low voltage is an indication of substandard park wiring. If an RV park in the deep south did not think to wire their grid for a gazillion 50A Yankee rigs running both A/C's at once...


I'm sure that's why most Florida RV Parks that I have seen meter individual RV sites and bill extra for juice.



The use of autoformers is contentious to say the least. Go to any RV Electricity forum and when you see the subject come up, you might as well grab a six-pack, bowl of popcorn and a Nomex flame suit, because it's about to get ugly up until some moderator shuts the thread down.


Low voltage is dangerous to electronics, and that is about the only thing anyone can agree upon
Actually it's not the electronics. It's the motors in the A/C that low voltage causes the most damage with. Electronics have a pretty wide tolerance.
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:01 AM   #13
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Actually it's not the electronics. It's the motors in the A/C that low voltage causes the most damage with. Electronics have a pretty wide tolerance.
Right. Point taken, thanks.
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cujonaut View Post
I though about going to a different park, but the choices for parks with long term stays and in proximity to my job are limited due to COVID. I also thought that if I ran into this problem at the second campground I've stayed at in my new trailer, it is a bit more widespread of a problem and worth the price.

Regardless of what happens with the autoformer i still have my EMS surge protector between it and my trailer (fingers crossed).
I can see thatís a tough call. We just spent 3 mos in a CG that was an older KOA from the 70ís but lucky for us the infrastructure was quite sound. EMS got us through just a few glitches. Got lucky then I guess.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:05 AM   #15
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Ouch. Woke up to red lights on the Surge Guard, indicating the MOV's are all used up and there is no more surge protection left. It would be great if they made an EMS that would log electrical events so we could see the accumulated hits. Would not be hard or expensive. The type of UPS (Uninterrutable Power Supply) that I used in my call centers did that very well. The blank clock display on the microwave indicates we took a hit last night.



Now to see if someone in Meridian, MS has the new Southwire Surge Guard with the RV-side protection (opens and shorts in the RV) and the bluetooth display.


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Old 06-07-2020, 05:21 AM   #16
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Ouch. Woke up to red lights on the Surge Guard, indicating the MOV's are all used up and there is no more surge protection left. It would be great if they made an EMS that would log electrical events so we could see the accumulated hits. Would not be hard or expensive. The type of UPS (Uninterrutable Power Supply) that I used in my call centers did that very well. The blank clock display on the microwave indicates we took a hit last night.



Now to see if someone in Meridian, MS has the new Southwire Surge Guard with the RV-side protection (opens and shorts in the RV) and the bluetooth display.


Angus
Get the power watch dog from Hughs autoformers. https://hughesautoformers.com/product/pwd50-epo/
It has a user replaceable surge module.
I have one and it works great, takes care of spikes, and drops, and has an app to monitor power on each leg.
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Old 06-07-2020, 06:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Joan617 View Post
Ouch. Woke up to red lights on the Surge Guard, indicating the MOV's are all used up and there is no more surge protection left. It would be great if they made an EMS that would log electrical events so we could see the accumulated hits. Would not be hard or expensive. The type of UPS (Uninterrutable Power Supply) that I used in my call centers did that very well. The blank clock display on the microwave indicates we took a hit last night.



Now to see if someone in Meridian, MS has the new Southwire Surge Guard with the RV-side protection (opens and shorts in the RV) and the bluetooth display.


Angus
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Old 06-07-2020, 06:59 AM   #18
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We don't run much electricity through our little rig but I use an in-line surge protector to check the circuit and hopefully provide some protection.
I keep a volt meter plugged into my kitchen plug so I can see how much power is coming in.
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Old 06-07-2020, 07:11 AM   #19
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We don't run much electricity through our little rig but I use an in-line surge protector to check the circuit and hopefully provide some protection.
I keep a volt meter plugged into my kitchen plug so I can see how much power is coming in.
Have you been in my trailer???
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Old 06-07-2020, 08:44 AM   #20
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Get the power watch dog from Hughs autoformers. https://hughesautoformers.com/product/pwd50-epo/
It has a user replaceable surge module.
I have one and it works great, takes care of spikes, and drops, and has an app to monitor power on each leg.

Respectfully, we went right away with a replacement SouthWire Surge Guard, this time with the newest one that provides RV-side fault monitoring and supports the optional remote monitor for inside the RV. Amazon sources were all third party sellers with long lead times, but we found a local RV dealer that could get one to their counter in 24 hours (albeit full retail). That was important because at the time I wrote my last post, there was literally thunder and lightning in the air.

The idea of the replaceable surge units in the Hughes' units is attractive, but there is also a school thought among some analysts that if an EMS unit got beat up enough to smoke all the MOV's then there is is likely accumulative damage to the rest of the electronics. Arguable, for sure.

The inside remote monitor has proven useful, since I can walk around the RV and turn on appliances and note not only their amperage draw, but see which leg they are wired to. Just about every major item; A/C, microwave, water heater, hair dryer, central vacuum, all seem to draw about 11-13 amps and appear to be split wisely between the two 50A legs.

We are now considering the purchase of a second EMS to act as a hot spare and simply amortizing the cost of a $400 unit every 18-24 months as part of our normal baseline utility budget.
Angus


Edit: Another little notable improvement with the new Surge Guard is that while it will still offer the 128 second delay before applying power (in order to spare the A/C compressor), it will now do so only after power has been re-applied following an unplanned interruption such as from High or low voltage. This way when setting up camp normally, power is available to start leveling after just ten seconds of analysis. It's a little thing but gets a beer in my hand a full two minutes sooner.
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