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Thinking about 30A Shore Power at Home? READ THIS FIRST!


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Hi All,

 

Just wanted to share our experience getting a 30A power pedestal installed at home. Wanted a hookup to run everything at home to check all systems, cool down the fridge, and run the AC while working and prepping to leave for trips from home.

 

Electrician came out and installed 2 RV style boxes with the correct receptacles. BUT, wired them @ 240V! We did not realize this, and upon connecting the Ollie to power and starting the AC.... POP! Very loud, breakers tripped on both ends. It took us a while to realize, and we feared the worst. The Progressive Industries surge protector absolutely saved us... that was the pop we heard. Upon rewiring the hookup to 120V, all systems functioned properly... except the tank monitor. Was not getting anything out of that. Felt lucky that was the only thing we blew up, but upon taking the monitor off and unplugging and plugging back in the connector, it lit right back up. There's some kind of reset on it. Not even any fuses blown... we got lucky.

 

Moral of the story is, if you're thinking about getting hooked up at home, be sure you walk the electrician through the specs- 30A, 120V ONLY. The oversight almost cost us the whole electrical system, or at least all of the devices attached to it. This is not how most electricians would wire this hookup, they are thinking of it like a dryer hookup, which is 240V. Also be sure the polarity is correct. The Oliver wants to see white as the hot wire, not black. Most electricians will wire it the other way around. The polarity will not hurt anything, but you will get an error code on your surge protector.

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Not sure about that white being the “hot”  line thing. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

 

This is precisely why I never hire anybody to do this kind of work. I just do it myself, then I know it’s right.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for the story, you are lucky. You cannot assume a professional electrician will do it right, always check! Your problem is not unusual! BTW: White is NEVER hot in residential AC wiring, I am not sure where you came up with that idea.

 

I ordered a 30A 120V RV outlet for my RV bay, aka "The Hanger Deck" and I provided the electrician and builder each a printout of the wiring, a PHOTO, and also a link to the RV receptacle. I knew he might get it wrong.... especially if he did the job late in the day when he was tired and unfocussed. Everything was fine but I did check it with a voltmeter and VISUALLY before plugging in for the first time. I also made sure it had a dedicated 30A breaker.

 

Since I have an Air Command air conditioner (low amp draw), I rarely use it, I normally have a 10 AWG extension cord plugged into a regular 20A socket, and that is fine unless I need to run other heavy loads on that circuit.

 

RV-Dryer_Outlets.jpg.8c8b61e268ffc80fe8dfaa4bcfa4cc30.jpg

 

http://noshockzone.org/accidentally-plugging-into-240-volt-outlet/

 

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I'm glad you sustained no damage to the trailer.  From what I've read this is a common problem...electricians see the plug you want installed, think it's a 240V dryer connection and wire it accordingly.  I would recommend printing out the diagram that John posted whether doing this yourself or hiring someone.  Then once installed probe the two blade connectors and ensure you get 120 and not 240.

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition

 

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I posted about a simple and cheap setup to check both the circuit and the voltage of a 30 amp outlet HERE.

 

1-Screen-Shot-2017-05-28-at-5_17.34-PM.png.074b582a8174a37086dea73b4826f263.png

 

Simple and easy. I use it every time, before I hook up. I found two campgrounds where there was a problem with the 30 amp outlet.

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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I posted about a simple and cheap setup to check both the circuit and the voltage of a 30 amp outlet HERE.

 

1-Screen-Shot-2017-05-28-at-5.17.34-PM.png

 

Simple and easy. I use it every time, before I hook up. I found two campgrounds where there was a problem with the 30 amp outlet.

 

Dave:  Over the 50 years that we have been camping, I have found numerous campgrounds with electrical issues.  I always check their facilities before connection my equipment.

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

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Wow, you are fortunate, the Progressive Industries surge protector was worth its weight in gold. Glad to know it works as designed. Your experience, unfortunately, is not a one off, it happens more than folks expect. As has been stated, RV park power should not be trusted until proven correct. Not only incorrect construction, but low voltage will cause RV electrical system failure, not to mention personal harm in some situations.

 

I just completed my own home 30 AMP outside power enclosure. Many, many years ago, I made a living as an Electrician, and even with the training and experience you have as a professional, you always verify voltage, grounding, wire and plug amperage capacities, and in this case GFCI protection.

 

If you hire the work out, you must tell the installer it is 120 volt, 30 amp, single phase.  John's diagram is a good reference, but not infallible - some people can screw up anything.

 

RB

 

 

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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White is the color of the positive wire in a 12 V system.

 

Black is the color of the negative wire in a 12 V system.

 

This may lead to confusion on many levels, by many people.

 

I think you have it backwards about the 12 V system wiring color code.  According to the drawings that came with our Oliver, black is the 12 V positive wire and white is the negative wire.  And that is how our trailer is wired.

 

 

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

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Going from memory, I think the power-in cables on mine (battery & solar) are red, and then it switches to black for distribution. The negatives are all yellow, except the solar which is black (probably because they couldn’t get yellow in the higher gauge).

 

The 120v side is standard black hot, white neutral, green ground.

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I'd like to thank aquestell for posting this issue. Seriously, it's not uncommon to get bad results, even with good specs and scope of work agreement.

 

John Davies, thanks for your input, too.

 

Not everyone here has the skills and resources to accomplish this install. And in many communities, you're required to hire that licensed professional, anyway.

 

Sherry

 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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You guys are Electric! I plan to have an electrician wire my 30amp service very soon so this information is quite timely. Also, thank you DavidS for your circuit and voltage testing gadget - I checked out your recipe and ordered the stuff from Amazon Prime right away. This will be a simple and inexpensive pre-hookup check at every camp ground. Once again, thanks to all for this great information. As an aside, before I ever heard of Oliver, I was researching Airstream and spent much time monitoring the Airstream forum. What a negative, complaining, poor-mouthing forum. In fact, it was the frequent quality complaints that led me to Oliver. One Airstream commenter suggested "Airstream quality is so poor it might be best to get an Oliver", so, I checked out Oliver and the rest is history (I pickup in April 2019). And this Oliver forum - no one complains and gripes about quality, but offers helpful information and suggestions for improvement. I am so very pleased to have found Oliver owners - looking forward to being one(I did make my 15% down payment, so, I am a partial owner).

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KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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Partial owner is an owner. Welcome to the club.

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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I posted about a simple and cheap setup to check both the circuit and the voltage of a 30 amp outlet HERE. Simple and easy. I use it every time, before I hook up. I found two campgrounds where there was a problem with the 30 amp outlet.

 

Thanks, David, for this tip. I already have and use the circuit tester. Now I have ordered the other items to assemble the combined circuit-voltage tester.

 

I DO have a question for David and others who have discovered problems with improper circuits and/or voltage in different campgrounds: What was your next step? Did you leave the campground? Get the campground manager to make adjustments? I'd like to know the stories and, most important, any suggestions for dealing with the issues. Thanks.

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Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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I posted about a simple and cheap setup to check both the circuit and the voltage of a 30 amp outlet HERE.

 

1-Screen-Shot-2017-05-28-at-5.17.34-PM.png

 

Simple and easy. I use it every time, before I hook up. I found two campgrounds where there was a problem with the 30 amp outlet.

 

Hey David, thanks. Is there a reason you picked a dial type gauge over a digital one like this?

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017AVBIVG/?coliid=ID1HJKRPE2S5B&colid=1X5H11EH41351&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

 

They are the same dimensions, I suspect the analog one would not survive a fall, the digital one “might” survive.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Hey David, thanks. Is there a reason you picked a dial type gauge over a digital one like this? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017AVBIVG/?coliid=ID1HJKRPE2S5B&colid=1X5H11EH41351&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

 

 

 

I found my notes. I considered a combined circuit tester and voltmeter. This is currently $32. My notes include a digital model, similar to the one you found, for $9.60. The analog model I chose was $12 at that time, and my notes point out the very good price and the very good reviews.

 

Why did I choose the analog model over the digital? Don't know. Could have been the very good reviews. The web site that suggested this setup used an analog gauge, and that could be one reason. Maybe because I am an analog type of guy. I dislike digital watches....

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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I use the simple circuit tester to verify correct polarity. (Because I already had it) If somehow, the plug source was incorrectly wired, or has more than the required 120 volts, I don't believe you will get the correct indications. If I was to guess -excessive voltage will damage the tester.  If it was wired incorrectly say 208/240 volts you will know it then. I use the progressive remote read out to verify voltages otherwise. I am as leery of high voltage as I am low voltage. RV park electric service design is not always as it should be...…..

 

On longer trips, where I will be far away from home, my tool box expands - I'll carry a handy dandy - economical digital multi meter - a Harbor Freight special. But at some point , the service power -  its correct or  not - find another spot that is. Twice -I've run across ones that were not.

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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I DO have a question for David and others who have discovered problems with improper circuits and/or voltage in different campgrounds: What was your next step? Did you leave the campground? Get the campground manager to make adjustments? I’d like to know the stories and, most important, any suggestions for dealing with the issues. Thanks.

 

I repeat the question because I'm not sure how many who could answer it read it. Since I am relatively new to RVing, I am interested in how more experienced RVers have dealt with this issue. (I promise not to bug the forum again with these questions if I still get no replies.)

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Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


AZCACOKSMONVNMORTNTXUTmed.jpg

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Spike:

 

I have had issue at several campgrounds over the years; most of the time when I contacted the campground office about the problem, they sent someone right out and they corrected the problem, if it is with the wiring or defective receptacle.  However if there is a voltage issue, most of the time just moved to another section of the campground.

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

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Spike wrote: I DO have a question for David and others who have discovered problems with improper circuits and/or voltage in different campgrounds: What was your next step? Did you leave the campground? Get the campground manager to make adjustments? I’d like to know the stories and, most important, any suggestions for dealing with the issues. Thanks. I repeat the question because I’m not sure how many who could answer it read it. Since I am relatively new to RVing, I am interested in how more experienced RVers have dealt with this issue. (I promise not to bug the forum again with these questions if I still get no replies.)

First, I am not an experienced RVer. I have had Ollie for under two years.

One time there was a problem with voltage being way too low, and we were able to move to another campsite.

The other time was last May at the Oliver Rally at Lake Guntersville. I believe the problem was hot and neutral reversed, but my memory might be wrong on the details. I contacted the park people, and a guy came by on a golf cart. He seemed pissed off at me. “I just rewired all of these last month.” He checked it with a multimeter, and said “it is fine” and quickly left. I checked it again, and it still showed the same problem. The camper was very warm from our drive and we needed AC ASAP. After a quick google search I decided to hook up and hope that the Progressive Industries surge protector would protect us. The AC started up. Later that evening I found out the most of the 120V outlets did not work. None of the circuit breakers had tripped, but I finally figured out that the GFCI outlet under the bed had tripped. That solved the problem.

Two days later Matteo Giovanetti came by to install our Micro Air Easy Start. Before he climbed up on the roof, I warned him about the hot - neutral reversal (if my memory is correct about the nature of the fault), and he said okay, not a problem. As part of the process, he had me flip off the circuit breaker under the dinette that controls the AC. A few minutes later there was a loud POP from the roof, and a little smoke from the AC unit. Matteo was not hurt, but I could tell he was a little shaken. He said “Of course, the hot - neutral reversal,” and asked me to shut off the 30 Amp breaker at the campground pillar, and I did so. The AC was not damaged, and I have verified that the Easy Start works.

One last thing. A shout out to Matteo Giovanetti for great customer service from Micro Air. I have had excellent support from a number of companies that supply components to Oliver.

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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"

I contacted the park people, and a guy came by on a golf cart. He seemed pissed off at me. “I just rewired all of these last month.” He checked it with a multimeter, and said “it is fine” and quickly left. I checked it again, and it still showed the same problem.

 

DavidS - It is unfortunate this happened, the situation had/has the capability to cause personal harm. I would guess the "guy" simply verified voltage, and blew you and the problem off. He should have been fired. It would take very little effort to correct the problem. The liability he assumed was much larger than he ever dreamed. Say Matteo would have been harmed, and later looked for compensation. Well ,we all know how that works out.

 

I never assume wire color means anything - always verify - is there voltage present and how much. Black, red, blue, etc. are not always "hot, and white is not always neutral. I do the same with grounds, if you cannot read voltage to ground, you have no ground.

 

As far as what to do when you have an problem in a RV site - I let the park management know - if it is simple and fixable - quickly - fine, otherwise I move to a site that is safe and working correctly.

 

To be clear - I am not one that worries about much - I take a few seconds, plug in a tester, if ok, I hook up and go about my business. If not, I make changes, its simple really.  Life is to short to argue with folks to lazy take care of their business. But this dude needs retraining at the minimum.

 

 

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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We were at a CG near downtown Freeport, Maine. There  was an open ground, as shown by the "little yellow tester" we always plug in first. The Progressive EMS system would not allow power to the Oliver. We had to be there for two days at a family function, so moving on was not an option. We notified management who eventuality sent someone over. The problem is they didn't know what the Progressive unit was and went and got their own tester. It was the "little yellow tester" and they didn't know how to read that. As, with an Oliver, electrical hookup is not needed to be comfortable we stayed. We hooked up a two line extension cord to a crock pot and electrical grill as needed. The CG saw that and commented, "see, you got power". Walking around we saw another site that had an electrical wire stapled to a tree and only loose wire nuts on the exposed wires. Just where a kid might play with them. Again we talked with the staff. This time I was told they would look into it the next week during business hours. Seeing we live close we went back a little more than a week later with a tester. Nothing had been done. An acquaintance of ours in the State office that inspects CG got a call. I just noticed the owner has decided to retire and the CG is for sale. A great opportunity to enjoy a great life style and it has some great shopping too...

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