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

SmartPlug connector reduces fire/electrocution problems

By Bob Difley As part of its ongoing product evolution, SmartPlug Systems has incorporated several upgrades into its 30A connector. The BF30 30A Retro-fit Connector ushers in a new standard of safety for boat and RV owners. Changes to the BF30 30A Retro-fit Connector are all internal. The improvements incorporate the same proven technology which has been used for several... Read More

Before disconnecting cables or wires, make a diagram!

By Steve Savage, Mobility RV Service Our first service call today was to connect the cables in a set of four 6-volt house batteries in a large diesel motorhome. The first attempt (not done by us) resulted in six hours on-site and ended in frustration with nothing working. Simply put, too much disconnecting and not enough forethought before the task... Read More

Use an inexpensive inverter to minimize generator runs

by Greg Illes Not very many of us like the sound of a generator — it’s regarded by most as a necessary evil. In some areas, there are significant restrictions on generator-use times. Add to this the need to “warm up” a generator before you put a real load on it, and running a generator becomes even more annoying. But... Read More

Don’t be zapped by low voltage

By Russ and Tiña De Maris In the classic monster movies, the mad scientist zaps his new “creation” with a huge blast of electricity — and it all goes bad from there. As RVers, the wrong kind of voltage can raise all kinds of problems for us; and it’s not just any voltage to worry about, but low voltage. Old... Read More