Issue 857 • February 28, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day
Here’s a quick reference chart on voltages you should measure at pedestal outlets. If anything seems a little strange or you don’t understand the readings you get, DO NOT plug your RV into that outlet. It only takes a few seconds to fry your entire RV’s electrical system from over-voltage, so better to be safe than sorry. As usual, I’ve included these as small thumbnails to save download time. But if you click on a graphic below you’ll get a full 1200 pixel wide image suitable for printing.
I’ve updated this graphic to include acceptable high and low voltage readings as well as nominal 240-volt and 208-volt service, since campgrounds are now allowed to use 2-phases of a 3-phase service for a 50-amp pedestal. That’s why it can read around 208 volts leg-to-leg and 120-volts from either leg to neutral.
WHAT! So you don’t actually read 0 volts between ground and neutral? Correct – measuring up to 3 volts between the ground and neutral wires is acceptable. That’s because the ground wire isn’t changing potential by 3 volts. It’s the neutral that can change by as much as 3 volts due to normal voltage drops from the load due to other pedestals on that same branch circuit. That’s within normal limits according to both me and the NEC (National Electrical Code), where we expect to see at least 1/2 volt between the Ground and Neutral if the branch circuit feeding the pedestal has any appreciable current draw.
Also, if any of you engineering types are following along, here’s how a 3-phase transformer works out. Note that you have (nominally) 208 volts between any 2 of the 3 phases, but 120 volts between any of the phases and neutral. This is for a 3-phase Wye transformer connection, since 3-phase Delta hookups have no neutral. Too much fun, eh?
Thanks to Continental Control Systems, LLC, for this nice graphic. If you want to go down the rabbit hole of 3-phase power, visit their website.
Wednesday afternoon update
RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury will be interviewed on the radio show The RV Show USA this evening for one hour beginning at 6:05 Pacific Time (9:05 Eastern Time). You can watch the live taping and ask him questions at http://Facebook.com/
Read yesterday’s tip: Is an AGM or lithium RV battery in your future?
Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
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RV Camping in Corps of Engineers Parks
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers manages more than 12 million acres of land and water nationwide. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. This book will guide you to more than 600 Corps-managed campgrounds with sites suitable for RV camping on nearly 200 lakes around the country. Many RVers believe Corps campgrounds are among the best out there! Learn more or order.
Size does matter
Is your vehicle licensed properly for its size? Some jurisdictions will move you from personal class to commercial class simply because of your licensed GVW. Be sure this doesn’t happen to you as the rules change significantly. Being classed commercial may limit your hours of driving, keeping log books, having restricted routes, need to carry specific equipment, etc. Thanks to George Bliss.
With electricity expert, Mike Sokol
An inexpensive Non-Contact Voltage Tester (NCVT) such as a Fluke VoltAlert or Klein NCVT1 is the easiest and quickest way to check your RV for potentially deadly hot-skin voltage after plugging into shore power. Something as large as an RV with a hot-skin of 120 volts will generally cause an NCVT to light up and beep from more than a foot away.
Watch where you point your vents
Got “pointable” air conditioning vents in your RV? Be careful how you point them! If you accidentally aim them at your thermostat, you may find the a/c system cycling erratically. The same is true for heater vents blasting at the thermostat.
HOT TOPIC AT RV TRAVEL.COM
Simpler backing into your RV site.
and keep your RV steps safe
The RV Save-A-Step Brace is designed to be placed under RV entry steps for safety. It stabilizes the RV steps and helps keep the coach from rocking — preventing sag and wear. The brace is made of heavy-gauge steel with a 3/4″ solid metal screw thread, 1000-pound load rating and 7-5/8″ to 14″ adjustment range. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
WEBSITES OF THE DAY
Need a dog walker? A dog-sitter or boarder? Use Rover to find locals in your area (they’re background checked and insured!) to watch your pup while you’re out for the day, week or month! We’re big fans of this site. (Psst! Using this link will give you $20 off your first booking!)
Factory Tours USA
Information on 570 factory tours available to the public. Tour unique factories, farms, and museums.
Search books, literature trivia, book quizzes, and quotes. Need a book recommendation? Tell Goodreads what books you like, and they’ll recommend similar titles! Join for free and follow along with others to see what they’re reading and what they think about it. Share to Facebook and other social media accounts.
Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.
Okay to stay overnight in an RV at truck stops?
Jim O’Briant of OvernightRVparking.com says, yes, it’s okay at some truck stops, which he names. But … watch the video to hear what else he has to say.
See all of our videos on our YouTube Channel.
Endorsed by Roger Marble of RVtireSafety.com!
An excellent tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn off the gauge, don’t worry, it will automatically shut off. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. And all this for about $20. Learn more or order.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Be prepared in case of fire
“One of my biggest fears as a fulltimer is fire — not just something that could start in my rig, but also to a neighbor’s unit parked nearby. As a preventive measure, I use a water ‘splitter’ or manifold at my site’s water spigot. One side supplies water to our rig, but the other has my extra 30-foot hose that I could use to fight a fire in my rig or a neighbor’s. This precaution, in combination with smoke detectors in our living area and one in basement storage, helps me sleep better at night.” Thanks to Jim Schrankel
Introducing Rover or Fluffy to RV travel? Make sure they have a comfortable bed for traveling. If you’re headed for cold or damp country with an older pet, consider springing for a heated pet bed. Whatever you choose, let your pal get used to it at home before traveling.
Batteries last a long time!
Motion detection nightlights can last a year on a set of batteries
When you need a nightlight when without hookups, these are great: they light only when they sense motion, shutting off after 30 seconds of no movement. They use no wires & install in less than 5 minutes. Use outdoors, too. Lights come in a 3-pack. Can last up to a year! Watch the short video for a demonstration or learn more (or order at a great price) at Amazon.com.
Pot of Gold. Did you win?
Here are today’s Zip and Postal Codes. If you’re the winner, let us know immediately. If you are, you’ll win $110. Good luck!
RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Deanna Tolliver, Mike Sokol, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com .
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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