Are You Protected From Electrical Meltdowns?
If you have been RV’ing for any amount of time, you are bound to run into occasional problems with campground electrical pedestals. While most times you will never have problems, all it takes is one time under the right circumstances to fry your RV’s electrical system or one of its components. In my many years of camping, I have seen some of the following mishaps regarding electric. Shore power lines completely melted, a/c units burnt out, interior circuit boards melted.
There are many issues that you might run into regarding electrical problems. Some of them could be low voltage, high voltage, cracked or broken outlets, incorrect wiring, weak breakers just to name a few. Most of us are not electricians so what steps can we take to prevent damage to our rigs?
What Have I Done To Prevent A Meltdown
Recently I was sitting at my computer and thought, what have I done to protect myself against a meltdown or damage to my rig or an appliance. I guess it began as I was typing a particularly long document and thought to myself, what would I do if the power went out. I was thinking about the older computers and software that when your power went out you would lose everything you were working on. You had better have saved frequently or you would be starting all over…lol.
I am not sure about Windows computers these days because I have gone to the dark side and converted everything over to Apple, but I know that Apple automatically saves your work as you are working on it. If the power goes out, I have lost nothing. Then as I was thinking about that, I thought what if my computer melted down. Apple has taken over the task of protecting my work with the auto save feature but what have I done to protect the Apple computer.
Surge Protection, Energy Management, Or Both
This put me into deeper thought. What have I done to protect the RV electrical system in general? After all, it is probably one of the most important systems on your rig. Well, I have always had a surge protector. We used one similar to the Surge Guard 44260 only the older model. It had saved me a few times at previous campgrounds when the wiring at the pedestal was incorrect. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, it is a great introductory unit.
I have recently replaced that surge protector with an Energy Management System that plugs into the pedestal. It monitors the voltage and also acts as a surge protector. It monitors the voltage at the pedestal and if the voltage goes too high or too low, it shuts down power to the RV preventing any damage to your RV’s electrical system. When the voltage come back into range, it will then allow power back to the RV. We chose the EMS PTX-30 by Progressive Industries. It has worked extremely well and I would highly recommend it. See our review. They also make one for 50 amp.
Why Is My Computer Yelling At Me?
So there you go. I have nothing to worry about, right? I have taken the steps to protect the RV and all is good. Not so fast. While it’s true, I feel like I have taken all the precautions possible, there was one more problem. Remember that Apple computer? It does not like to shut down by power loss. When a power loss occurs it shuts off abruptly. When the power comes back on and you turn the computer back on, it yells at you. It repeatedly tells you “this” and “that” was not shut down correctly and damage may occur if it continues.
Great, now what? I am glad you asked. My latest introduction to my arsenal of electrical equipment protectors is the battery back-up. This little device draws only about 3.5 amps and will supply power to your devices (in my case the computer) until you can shut it down properly or the power comes back on. These devices range in power so you need to research these units to get the one that will fulfill your needs. My only need was to power the computer so that is what I based my decision to buy on. I chose the CyberPower 650.
Drumroll Please/The Big Test
Of course, me being the way I am, I had to test it. I plugged it in and charged it for the 8 hours it said to initially charge it for. Then came the test. I cut the power to the RV and waited 5 minutes. I panicked after that and turned the power back on…lol. The result was the computer never lost power. Even at 5 minutes, that is more than enough time to shut down the proper way, therefore, preventing damage to the computer.
I am not sure how long I could have actually waited to put the power back on because basically, I am a big chicken…lol. All I know is I had enough time to properly shut down the computer. Success!!!!
Time To Get Back To Work
So call me paranoid but with an energy management system, battery backup, and individual surge protection for the other outlets in the RV, I am fairly confident I have covered all the bases. Now I have no more excuses for missing tips, blog posts, or putting up the many pages I need to get up on the site.
If anyone has ever encountered any electrical problems with their RVs, post it with what you did to correct it in the comment section below. If you have any other tips to protect your RV electrical system post them in the comment section too.