Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Surge Protector Scorched
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Dernhelm

Las Vegas NV

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Posted: 02/18/22 08:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To answer the kind people who asked which one? It's a Surge Guard. Pictured here: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Technology-Research-30-Amp-Entry-Level-Portable-Surge-Protector-44260/310566342 Glad it did its job, I guess I'll find out if it has a warranty! Thanks everybody.

On edit: That's not quite it, mine has 3 lights. Same company though.

Oh, and I was surfing for RV Parks in NE recently and did see one that said "no autoformers" but I don't remember which one it was and it was too resort-like so we aren't staying there anyway. But they do exist.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 02/18/22 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dernhelm,

The scorching may be caused by low voltage. Try to keep the total loads below 24 amps, or 2880 watts.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 02/19/22 05:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

30 amp plugs do tend to do that. I've replaced several 30 amp and a couple 50's Temp sand it shiny. but replace the plug or socket... No need for a new surge protector just the plug... I'd get a slightly longer pigtail with plug and that way the next time it happens. and it will, you can just cut the cord and put on a new plug (carry a spare) .


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LouLawrence

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Posted: 02/19/22 06:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Keep in mind that an autoformer is NOT the same as your surge guard (or any surge protector). The Autoformer is designed to increase voltage to your coach during periods of low voltage by using extra amps from the campground service. 2 completed different beasts. The autoformer may also protect against surge but a surge guard cannot increase the voltage coming into your coach.

wa8yxm

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Posted: 02/19/22 04:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok there are 3 different devices covered by this thread
"Surge Guard" is a brand of 2 or 3 of them.

Autoformers often contain MOV devices designed to clip spikes. the primary purpose of an autoformer is to correct ... generally LOW voltage (one covers high as well) but these MOV's clip spikes.

A Spike is a short high voltage. often as much as a thousand volts. for as little as 1/100th or 1/50th of a second or less.

A true SURGE (like a tidal wave) they sound like firecrackers on July 4 as they blow up (Trust me been there when it happened)

Now a proper "Surge Guard" (By my denfintion) is a device (And Surge Guard makes 'em by the way.. I have one) that monitors voltage. Too high. or low. it cuts you off. From power application it waites a 2-3 mintues before it passes power. it reads amps and volts (on both legs if 50 amp) and otherwise protects you.

That Tidal wave (IE plugging into a 30 amp outlet that's 240 volt) it protects you MOVs just go BANG.

As I said before a burnt ... usually the neutral... on 30 amp plugs.
Very very common. Not an indication of failure. Indicates need for new plug

LouLawrence

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Posted: 02/19/22 04:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The autoformers are designed to adjust voltage. The surge guards are designed to prevent an electrical surge from destroying your coach's electronics and high or low voltage from doing the same. Some autoformers also have surge suppression but a surge suppressor will not increase your amperage usage to bump up your voltage which an autoformer is specifically designed to do. This is the reason that autoformers might not be allowed when a surge guard (of any name brand) would be just fine.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 02/19/22 09:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since the campground pays by the kilowatt hour, an autoformer is going to use a tiny bit more.

valhalla360

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Posted: 02/20/22 01:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Since the campground pays by the kilowatt hour, an autoformer is going to use a tiny bit more.


The pedestal amperage is still capped at the same level before the breaker pops, you aren't going to jump to using 36amps because you have an autoformer (yeah, continuous rating is 80% of nominal feel free to do the math but same principal).

Only time the autoformer should kick into boost mode is if the park is not providing adequate voltage, then yes, you get to keep using the electricity you paid for when otherwise, a smart person would kill the pedestal breaker so as not to damage the rig and by default you zero KWH...I don't feel too bad using more KWH by using the autoformer in those conditions.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 02/20/22 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360,

Since I'm 30 amp--I use an adapter to 50 amp. That gives me access to 6000 watts and the autoformer would never cause a trip.

The only time I've tripped a breaker was on a 15 amp circuit where I deliberately over loaded it. I was using autoformer because input voltage was 100.

valhalla360

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Posted: 02/20/22 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

valhalla360,

Since I'm 30 amp--I use an adapter to 50 amp. That gives me access to 6000 watts and the autoformer would never cause a trip.

The only time I've tripped a breaker was on a 15 amp circuit where I deliberately over loaded it. I was using autoformer because input voltage was 100.


Then it's not the autoformer, it's the 50amp adapter that is allowing you to use more power...by that logic, they should outlaw 50amp adapters.

But even then the autoformer won't boost unless the park is providing low voltage.

There might be a few watts used in standby but if the park is providing adequate voltage, the park would be hard pressed to show $0.01 of electricity per day extra used.

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