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?…

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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…

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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 you…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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RV Electricity – Electric space heater safety, Part 1

By Mike Sokol This is a special two-part article on a topic that’s not only seasonal, it’s very important to your safety, both in your home and your RV. This is about electric space heaters and how dangerous they can be if not used correctly.  Be sure to answer the poll at the bottom of this story where we ask…

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RV Electricity – Discussion of surge protector survey results

By Mike Sokol Last week RVtravel.com ran a survey asking which brand of surge protector you used, or if you used any surge protector at all. In a moment the results of that survey, but first I’ll write about a few comments you posted. (To read the survey click here.) First, Steve noted that even though he had a Surge…

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Do you use an EMS/Smart surge protector on your RV?

Many RVers use a basic surge protector when they hook up their RV to shore power. The more advanced surge protectors are sometimes called an EMS, which means Electrical Management System. Some of these “Smart” EMS surge protectors are built right into an RV, while others like those shown below plug into a power pedestal, and then the RV’s electrical…

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Power pedestal testing (including at COE campgrounds), Part 3

By Mike Sokol Here’s Part 3 of my article about testing pedestals, which includes U.S Army Corps of Engineers (COE) campgrounds that won’t allow you to use your own meter probes. For a review of Part 2 of the article, click here. As a recap, you might remember that some Corps of Engineers campgrounds are no longer allowing you to…

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