Jayco RV Owners Forum

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-06-2015, 09:53 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 917
Campground electrical problem

Hello to all my good people out there - first and foremost as summer comes to an end I can only hope that you all enjoyed it as much as we did. Many great miles and memories this year.

We just returned from our big trip this summer - 3 weeks on the road and 2000km of towing enjoyment with our rig. We camped at several different places, some Provincial and some private.

At our last private park stay I encountered a strange electrical issue in the campground's system that I wanted to share, both to help understand why it happened and to give warning to others.

We were hooked up to 30amp service, and resting voltage was normal (about 118-120V). As soon as I turned on the electric water heater, voltage dropped to about 111V. Turn the fridge on, 109V. This concerned me since I had never seen a drop like this on 30amp and my cut off is 108V.

I switched the heater and fridge over to LP and tried the air conditioner. Again, voltage dropped from 118 to 110 with just that singe draw. Thinking it was a bad power post, I pulled out a 30amp extension cord and tried it on the neighbouring site with the same issue.

This was obviously a problem within the park's grid and despite that, many other campers were running full bore with their electrical draw; likely in the low 100V area, effectively killing some of their AC components.

Has anyone else seen something like this? What would cause the voltage to tank so much with 30amp service?

2013 F-150 EcoBoost MaxTow, Roush tuned (415hp 506tq), lifted on 33s, R.A.S.
2013 Jay Flight 28BHS Elite (Equalizer 10K hitch)
SkyBound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2015, 11:03 AM   #2
Senior Member
hoppers4's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Port Orchard
Posts: 1,165
I haven't had a problem with that large of a draw before but I've stayed a few places where everybody was using their AC and the initial voltage was around 110-112 VAC. The AC would drop it down below where I was comfortable (108 VAC). At one campground the voltage was low enough that I fired up the genset even though I was plugged in.

In your case it almost sounds like their power distribution wiring is too small. Somewhere along the line there's a large line loss whether it be copper that's too small or a bad connection somewhere.

One option that may help would be to try the 50 amp connection with an adapter. You could end up picking up the other leg of the 240 VAC and less loss.

hoppers4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 08:13 AM   #3
Senior Member
Seann45's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Saskatoon Sask Canada
Posts: 9,701
You get that in some campgrounds, the wire is undersized or the run is used for too many campsites. This is why many of us use these...
Portable Surge Guard with LCD Display, 30 Amp - TRC 34830 - Surge Protectors - Camping World
2004 Chev Silverado Duramax optioned past the max. 2009 Jayco Eagle 308 RLS 765 watts of solar, 6-6 volt batteries (696 amp hour), 2000 watt (4000 surge) whole house inverter.
175 days boondocking in 2017
215/2016, 211/2015, 196/14, 247/13, 193/12

Seann45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 08:22 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Tucson
Posts: 316
Did you report this to the camp host? What was the response?
Jim-n-Ash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 05:33 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Fairfax
Posts: 78
We ran into something similar to that this weekend. A/C was running, Fridge was on and we were about 111V. Water heater pushed us down to 109V. We just used the water heater on LP whenever we needed hot water.

Last weekend, we were at a campground and my EMS complained the 30A on our pedestal had reverse polarity (hot and neutral were reversed) and wouldn't turn on the power (good!). The campground maintenance guy either wasn't listening or didn't know about how to wire one of the pedestals correctly. I had to take him and a multi-meter to the empty site next to ours to show him which leg was hot and which was neutral, and then bring him back to our site to show that ours was indeed backwards. I'm surprised no one else had ever complained about it, or they never fixed it if they did. That's a potential hazard in the making.
2015 Octane T32C
2012 Ford F-250 Lariat/FX4/Diesel
DustyGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 05:49 PM   #6
Senior Member
us71na's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: McKean, PA
Posts: 428
With all the campers running full bore it is likely that they supply wires to the pedestals or to the campground are not sized to handle the maximum load that was being experienced. You are generally good to run things as long as you are within +/- 10% of 120 volts.
2011 Skylark 21FKV
us71na is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 07:27 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peachtree City, Georgia
Posts: 256
I regularly camp in a private CG that is located on the Wallkill River in NY. During Hurricane Irene in August 2011, the river which normally runs at 3-4 feet deep crested at 18.92 feet. The water through the CG was 5-6 feet deep. Needless to say more than 125 sites had their pedestals under water. Lots of corrosion resulting in low voltage problems throughout the CG as the loads increase from A/C, water heaters, etc. Corrosion is probably a bigger problem then most would suspect in the outdoor pedestals.

2012 Ram 2500 Crew Cab 4x4 5.7 Hemi 4.10
2015 Jayco Eagle 284BHBE
2009 Jayco Eagle Super Lite 256RKS
2007 Jayflight 20BH
1997 Fleetwood Cheyenne PUP
1984 Rockwood 1080 - PUP 1969 Coleman PUP
gcloss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2015, 05:44 AM   #8
Senior Member
robkelly's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Duxbury
Posts: 4,515
We're currently in a similar situation, though I think it's more along the lines of what Seann mentioned - too many campsites in a row. We've had intermittent issues with water pressure too.

I am very thankful for the EMS, and will NEVER plug in without it. Not only does it protect the TT, but also tells me what the issue is so I know what I'm dealing with.
Rob & Kelly, Bella & Brady (Miniature Schnauzers)
2018 Pinnacle 36KPTS
robkelly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2015, 06:41 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upperco, Md.
Posts: 802
What you have experienced SkyBound is not all that unusual. We was in a campground last month that had very similar issues. I monitor the voltage constantly because I have cooked a AC years ago due to voltage drop. As others have said, a lot of times the camp ground has undersized wiring installed. The one we were at last month was because they were on the end of a grid from the power company. Interestingly enough, the power was OK during the weekend when businesses were shut down for the weekend. The voltage dropped drastically on the weekdays when the work week was in progress. An EMS or at least constant monitoring is a very good policy all the time!!

Ela1948 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Virginia State Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2002-2016 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.