Make plug-in electric heaters safer with SmartPlug

  By Bob Difley Portable heaters are a convenient way to ward off the season’s chill, but these devices increase amperage loads that poorly maintained electrical systems can’t handle. SmartPlug Systems, maker of the revolutionary SmartPlug, offers tips to identify potential safety hazards in a shore power system, and ways to safeguard against overheating and possible fire. With a traditional... Read More

Prevent dangerous RV “hot skin” condition

  RV Electricity with Mike Sokol Dear Mike, We recently purchased a pop-up camper. We set it up in the driveway to check things out. My daughter got a shock when she was standing on the grass and touched the camper door. I checked it out and realized that the extension cord had a bad ground wire. I hooked up... Read More

RV electricity: Reader asks meaning of AC power

  Reader Question: Forgive my electrical ignorance but doesn’t “AC” mean “alternating current”? Does that mean that the hot and neutral wires are constantly reversing? Mike’s response: The “Hot” wire is also known as the “Line”, and it is indeed energized with 120 volts AC (in the USA). The Neutral wire is “bonded” to the earth ground rod(s) at the incoming... Read More

Mystery of the smokin’ shore power connection

  By Chris DoughertyChris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a letter he received from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. Dear Chris,A couple weekends ago, we were using close to the rated 30 amp draw on our trailer with fridge, water heater, periodic microwave, HVAC, etc., when my son suddenly told me that... Read More

Troubleshooting Onan genset “won’t-starts”

  By Chris DoughertyChris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a letter he received from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. Dear Chris,I’m having a dilemma with my Onan generator. It won’t stay running and it quits when I take my finger off the START button, or cuts out and dies if it decides... Read More

Charging chassis battery through a lighter socket?

By Chris DoughertyChris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a letter he received from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. Dear Chris,Because our chassis battery does not charge when we are plugged into shore power, we plug in a small 12-volt solar panel and set it on the dash when we are parked for... Read More

GFCI hums in Class A motorhome — Why?

Dear Gary,I have replaced the Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) in my Class A motorhome and the new one hums when the inverter is on. Do you know why? —Denise D. Dear Denise,My immediate thought is that the new one simply does not know the words! Or it might have something to do with an internal line balance-detecting transformer (more likely).... Read More