Electrical Concerns – Hook up my RV safely.

October 15, 2009 by Fred Brandeberry · 9 Comments  
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ELECTRICAL – Respect Electricity – Play It Safe
• Failure to turn off the Campground Post Circuit Breaker before Plugging in or removing
your Electrical Plug could cause any of the following Safety Hazards:
1. The plug on your cord could arc and burn, damaging your plug, and injuring
2. The Campground Post Electrical Outlet could arc and fail from this
3. This arcing could cause YOU personal injury. Less than 100 volts and 1/2 amp can cause
your heart to stop.
4. If the Campground Post Electrical Outlet is faulty, or your RV Plug is damaged, a
sparking Hazard could occur.
5. POLARITY: Check the Polarity with a Polarity/Ground/Open Circuit Tester BEFORE
you plug in. Reverse Polarity can cause damage to the Electrical System and its
Components; such as Air Conditioner, Furnace, TV, Refrigerator, etc.
6. GROUNDING: Check the Campground Post Electrical Outlet with an Electrical Tester
before you proceed to plug in your RV. This procedure also helps you identify the correct
Circuit Breakers for the outlet you are using. Your neighbor will not appreciate it if you turn
off their Electrical Power by mistake.
7. LOW VOLTAGE: Below 107 Volts AC; Using appliances and other equipment in your
RV with a voltage lower than 107 volts can increase the amperage draw on that circuit and
cause a fuse or Circuit Breaker to blow. Your convertor/battery charger and other
appliances may not work at all, or be damaged by the low voltage.
8. HIGH VOLTAGE: Above 130 Volts AC; your Convertor/Battery Charger will most likely
shut down automatically using a voltage above 130 volts. The lamps will burn out prematurely
and appliances could shut down; such as the Refrigerator.
Contact Campground personnel if these conditions exist. DO NOT USE THIS SITE, until repairs
have been made; or ask permission to use another site.

Happy Camping,
Fred b.

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Last 5 posts by Fred Brandeberry


9 Responses to “Electrical Concerns – Hook up my RV safely.”

  1. Bill Monsma on October 16th, 2009 2:47 pm

    While I agree with the need for checking the post I feel that you should have told what instrument to use for testing and where to buy it. I have been trying to buy a tester for quite a while and cannot find one anywhere. Camping World does not sell them anymore and neither do several other places. What do you suggest and where do I find what I need. Further, please tell how you do the testing what the meter. (I have two testers but neither are for testing 50amp service as the wires are too thin. I called the companies and they indicated I was correct and should not use them.) I have a tester for 110 which you use for testing house wiring that shows 2 green lights if the plug is wired correctly. Do they have something like this for 30 and 50 amp? Your help would be GREATLY appreciated.

  2. Bill Monsma on October 16th, 2009 2:50 pm

    Will u send me an email with the answer to my question? If not, where do I go to see comments?

  3. Bill on October 16th, 2009 4:15 pm

    I agree. I think that a future post that included information on available testers and how to perform the necessary tests would be really a good idea.

    I’m sure a lot more of us would be testing the electricity at our site if we had the proper equipment and the know how to use it.

  4. Howie Houserman on October 16th, 2009 5:26 pm

    We absolutely need to know where to find such a tester. I’ve had the same lack of success as others.

    This needs to next on the next RV blog posted.

  5. Gary Peterson on October 16th, 2009 6:30 pm

    I just want to mention that 3 weeks ago I was at a KOA Campground hooked up to 50 amp service and in the morning there was a momentary power failure just long enough to require resetting clocks but 3 hours later there was a power surge that pegged my 130 volt meter that I have plugged in to monitor the voltage. I ran out and immediately unpluged the 50 amp service but it was too late, It caused my $3000 3000 watt charger/inverter to fail and my radar/convection oven. I just had a new Inverter installed today. I am buying a 50 amp surge protector to plug into the 50 amp service from now on. By the way, that KOA will not accept any responsibility and am wondering if the head office should be contacted.

  6. PeteB on October 16th, 2009 7:10 pm

    Gentlemen (Bil & Gary),

    If I may be of some help here, please view this video available on YouTube in order to ascertain a proper and safe connection when you’ve reached a campground.

    If this URL doesn’t direct you instantly to YouTube, just Copy & Paste it to your browser.

    Hope this answers your questions.

  7. Chuck Hendricks on October 18th, 2009 5:52 pm

    I have had some luck checking the campground pedestal voltage and polarity. I admit my method is makeshift but it has protected me (and others in the campgrounds) from disaster.
    I use an adapter, 30 to 15A, with the three light polarity tester, mentioned above, and a plugin voltmeter. When necessary I add the 45-30A dogbone adapter to the stack. I realize this last combination only tests one side of the 120-N-120V circuit but I reason if one side is correct, so is the other as far as polarity is concerned,
    Replacing the polarity tester with the voltmeter completes the possible tests. Had I the experience of Gary Peterson, I would have killed my main breaker inside the RV. That too would probably be too late to prevent damages to everything.

  8. Fred Brandeberry, SR on October 20th, 2009 4:24 pm

    Hi Guys & Gals:
    MY website = offers some electrical testing tips as well as graphics of testers we use.
    Also, we use an auto-transformer for surge/spike protection, as well as low voltage issues.
    My fellow authors have given you some GREAT tips as well. (See above)

    Happy Camping,
    Fred b.

  9. Fruity on July 23rd, 2012 10:29 pm

    Smarty Pants…

    Brain Box…