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Electric - Event Date: 18 Nov 2019 - 28 Nov 2019

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Buckeye View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Buckeye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Calendar Event: Electric
    Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 8:44am

Sometimes things are not as they seem. Take, for example, our weekend trip to Meramec State Park in Sullivan, Missouri. We pulled into our campsite and set up our trailer: leveling, disconnecting, and connecting to the electrical outlet. Because the water was turned off due to the season, we brought water with us. It was cold, so we turned on the furnace to warm up the Pod, let it run a bit, and then headed off into the local town to run some errands and have dinner. When we returned, we learned that the furnace wasn’t working because the propane tank had run out. No problem…just connect our spare tank and fire it up. Ah, no…it blew cold air, but the igniter wouldn’t activate. Crawled under the bed and took off the grate looking for a reset button after numerous times turning the furnace off and on at the thermostat. Checked all the breakers and fuses, too, but everything was ok…so no heat and the temp was going into the high twenties overnight. Thankfully we had brought the heavy down comforter and felt as if we could stay warm under it. After sitting around the campfire, it was time to turn in; however, upon entering the POD we noticed that the lights had really dimmed. So, we, thinking systems, looked at all the electrical connections, and saw that nothing was amiss. Decided that maybe it was the electric source, so we took out the extension cord and went to the next electric box and connected. Same thing. We tried using the 30-amp port, 50 amp with the 30-amp adapter, the 30 to 110 ac adapter multiple times with both boxes…no change. Brain hurting, we snuggled under the comforter and tried to sleep under the comforter with multiple blankets on top with Sam and Spot our two Shih-tzus on top of us. We slept off and on throughout the night.

Next day, thinking we had missed something went through the whole process again thinking systems…where was the faulty link?  The Mr. Coffee worked but the lights dimmed appreciably when we plugged our phones in to recharge. Finding the problem still existed and deciding that we could not repeat the previous night’s fun, we drove to the nearest Walmart and bought a space heater. It worked and we slept that night.

Next day…getting ready to leave and we try to bring the slider in…you guessed it: it wouldn’t activate. So, we threw a Hail Mary pass and connected the POD to the Beast (our F-150) and it activated; and we made it home without incident.

 Lessons learned:

1. Sometimes things are not as they seem, I was thinking it was the POD; but the problem was the electrical hookups. The camping area is in a flood plain along the Meramec River that floods regularly and some of the electrical hookups are faulty. Our neighbor had no electrical problems with their Jayco Hummingbird and the hookup at their site.  We wondered if the hookups were the culprit and our theory was confirmed when we got home and plugged our electrical cord into our garage 110 outlet with our adapter and EVERYTHING worked: furnace, lights, slider without hesitation. Next time I’m going to find the host and get a new spot. Any other ideas?

2. Numerous entries have recommended the use of a portable heater to use the electricity that has been purchased instead of the propane. Did and will use.

3. Have fun and roll with these little glitches. It didn’t ruin the weekend, the scenery along the river was beautiful, and, due to it being November, there were only 5 other campers.

 

     
Craig-retired teacher of the blind
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pod People Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 8:51am
We have learned from bad experiences to test the electric connection BEFORE  We do any set up. We check for polarity, ground and voltage. This has shown us that the campground pedestals take a lot of abuse and are not always in good condition.
A cheap tester is worth a lot more than it’s cost
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 9:38am
+1. Start at the source (the pedestal). Get a tester and a DVM to make sure you're getting good power. 

It sounds like you made lemonade from your lemons though.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 12:36pm
Clearly, your 12v battery system was not maintaining charge. But, if the Mr Coffee worked then it seems like your ac connection was actually OK. If that is the case then your WFCO battery charger is the most likely culprit. Check it and its fuses out thoroughly.  

You ended up with the only other solution available to you (excluding solar charging) which is to charge your trailer battery from the TV. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Buckeye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 12:46pm
WFCO?
We tried the 110 connection. It allowed us to initiate pulling the slider in, but it quickly stopped.
Craig-retired teacher of the blind
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lostagain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 12:49pm
Hey Glue Guy, what's a DVM?  What came to mind was Doctor of Veterinary Medicine but I don't think that's what you meant.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote poston Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 2:25pm
Originally posted by lostagain

Hey Glue Guy, what's a DVM?

Digital Voltmeter?


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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 2:50pm
Yup DVM is Digital Volt-Multimeter (or just Meter), but they typically measure volts, amps, ohms, and sometimes a few other things, so I use "Multi"
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 4:05pm
Mr. Coffee is pure resistance heat. It is not as sensitive to low voltage as things that have electronics and motors. I suspect that the voltage at the post was low, essentially giving you brownout conditions. A digital voltmeter is definitely a good investment as is a good circuit analyzer that plugs in to the post (or hard wires, your preference). We have a Camco one that is basic, but did spot a faulty post at one campground where we changed sites. I am glad I had not done all the setup first.

There is a plug-in voltage conditioner that can boost low voltage, but it normally costs an arm and a leg and a firstborn child. However, Amazon has the Hughes Autoformer right now at $339.70, which is a bargain for what it does. I just ordered one since I have been waiting for them to come down in price. That is over $80 less than I have seen it selling for before now.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Blue Ridge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 4:21pm
FYI
A digital volt meter may or may not show a low voltage condition where an analog meter would show it. I have tested circuits that showed the correct voltage but when connected to a load dropped low because the circuit could not supply enough amperage to run the load. Typically you would see this caused by a loose connection in a damp location (ie: power pole in camp ground).
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