RV Electricity – Watt’s Up?

Watt’s Up? As promised, here’s the next installment of my Basic Electricity Course. Class is now in session…. If you’ve been reading along this far you already know about voltage (electrical pressure) and amperage (current flow). But one without the other is useless to us. In the end it all comes down to wattage. Get to Work  We’re going to…

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RV Electricity – Troubleshooting 101: Over-current testing

Mike, I have a question but, as I said at the RVillage Rally, it’s a little long. What would cause a pair of 2kW generators to overload when charging my batteries? Looking for your guidance in what actions I need to do to either the generators or the trailer to allow me to charge my batteries with the generators.   …

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Surge Protectors and Joules and MOVs, oh my!

Dear Mike, After reading all your articles about voltage problems, I’m now in the market for a surge protector but a little confused by all these Joule numbers. Some are rated at 1,400 Joules of protection, while others are 2,100 or even 4,200 Joules. So first of all, how do you pronounce Joules, and just what are they? If these…

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RV’s power outlets are melting. Help!

Dear Mike, I noticed the outlet for our microwave in the motorhome had started to melt. Upon removal of the outlet I saw that the wires connections were not screws but pressed into a pronged connection. I replaced the outlet with a standard screw-type outlet. I checked other outlets and discovered the one to the washing machine also was burned…

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Trailer breakaway switch operation, and inverter questions

Dear Gary, I have several questions about the breakaway switch on a travel trailer. First, thank you so much for all of your time at the Hershey Shows. You always go way beyond what is expected to answer questions. My wife, Jayme, and I have attended several of your sessions over the years. I have always learned something from each…

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Do I need an “intelligent” surge protector for 50-amp shore power?

Dear Mike, Thanks for your recent articles on why an intelligent surge protector is needed for 30A service. But would this also apply to 50A service? I have been reading these articles and did the survey, but then realized everything you wrote has been about 30A plugs and service. —John G. Dear John, While it does seem like all I’m…

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Why you need an intelligent surge protector

I’ve written a number of articles here about surge protectors and the difference between intelligent and basic models. The overview is that basic surge protectors usually cost less than $100 and offer protection from nearby lightning strikes and voltage spikes on the incoming power line. However, they can’t protect your RV from an over-voltage condition that occurs if you happen…

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