RV Electricity – No~Shock~Zone by Mike Sokol – Issue 2

Issue 2 • December 31, 2017 Brought to you as a public service by RVtravel.com. Support comes from our sponsors, advertisers and the contributions of readers, who believe that an educated RVer is a safe, happy RVer. Please consider supporting our efforts with a voluntary subscription. Subscribe to one of our many online newsletters (including this one) about RVing. From editor Mike... Read More

What’s all this electrical “ground” stuff about?

  Dear Mike, I had a problem a few months ago where the campground pedestal lost its ground, which gave my RV a hot-skin voltage. But I had my jacks down on the ground, so why didn’t that ground my RV? Are there different grounds or what? —Frank S. Dear Frank, I get this question a lot, so you’re in... Read More

How do you know if you have a (dangerous) miswired power pedestal?

Hey Mike, I didn’t see anything about phase protection in your last article. I realize on a 30-amp service it’s not an issue, but people should know on a 50-amp service it’s a big deal – because without it (phase protection) a miswired shore power pedestal can cause a serious overload on the neutral leg. How do you know when you... Read More

RV Electricity – Surge Protector Evaluation

  Hi Mike, Your articles in the No~Shock~Zone are outstanding. Thank you for caring enough to share and help people like me stay safe as we head out on our first travel trailer/4000-mile/27-stop retirement trip. Boy, we really could be in trouble without the electrical know-how you have shared. We purchased a TRC Surge Guard RV Power Protection Model 34730... Read More

Is a surge protector enough to protect an RV?

By Mike Sokol Hey Mike, I’ve recently purchased the top Progressive EMS 30 Amp surge protector which seems to work great. I now have several extra test gadgets (the Fluke Non-Contact Voltage Detector, as a example) and wonder if I need to hold on to them. Can I now just plug into pedestal power and not worry about extra electrical testing?... Read More

RV Electricity – Overloaded wires – What’s the big deal?

By Mike Sokol Dear Mike, You’re always warning us about overloaded wiring, but what can really happen if that occurs? Does the overloaded wiring just get hot, or can it actually catch on fire? —Caleb Dear Caleb, While I can quote code chapter and verse from the code book all day long about current ratings, and even produce my own... Read More

RV Electricity – No~Shock~Zone by Mike Sokol – Issue 1

Issue 1 • November 26, 2017 Brought to you as a public service by RVtravel.com.  Subscribe to one of our many online newsletters (including this one) about RVing. Everything you wanted to know about RV electrical systems but were afraid to ask…   OK, you all asked for it. The more I write about RV electrical systems, the more questions... Read More

RV Electricity – Quick Tips #01 – Sparks

Quick Tips #01 – Turn breakers off before plugging or unplugging Contrary to what you might think, the bright yellow and green sparks you see when unplugging an extension cord or the shore power plug are not electrons zipping around, but rather tiny bits of super-heated copper burning in the air. Where does that burning metal come from? Well, it... Read More

DIY – Safely welding on your RV

Hello Mike, I recently purchased a travel trailer and need to reweld the bumper support to the frame. Besides unhooking the battery, what other precautions must I take to protect the electrical system on my RV? The welder I’m using is a standard 120-volt unit. Thanks for your help. —Tim Kurta Hi Tim, That’s a great question. And I’m guessing... Read More

RV Electricity – Portable space heater safety, Part 2

By Mike Sokol As promised, here’s Part 2 on space heater safety. Last week we discussed the wattage and amperage draw requirements of various wattage space heaters, and discussed electrical fires that can result from heat-damaged outlets and how using skinny extension cords and outlet strips can cause a fire. You can review Part 1 here.  This week we’ll discuss... Read More