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 – 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

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... Read More

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... Read More

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... Read More

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... Read More

Explaining converters, inverters and generators – Part 3

Do I need a generator? By Wolfe Rose In my last column, I explained why there just isn’t enough power stored in your batteries to run a sizable inverter for long. The amperage draw is damagingly aggressive, and it’s not realistic to carry the pickup truck full of batteries necessary to replicate an off-grid-house-size battery bank. Since you’re not creating... Read More