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Low Voltage

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Park outlets test at ~120V on the Fluke DMM, when I plug in the Progressive says 120V. But as I add loads voltage drops until the progressive cuts things off at 104V. Guy in the park says to get/use an autoformer. We do really like this park... Would any of the Victron goodies help as well? Thoughts on the autoformer? Go solar only?


2019 LE2 #529 expected Sep/Oct 2019


 

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I don't know anything about Autoformers. But it sounds like the park wiring is undersized. And I don't know if others were drawing power at the same time as you.

 

One way to work around that problem, with loads other than the AC, is to add a dedicated automotive style battery charger. This would probably need to be an older, ferro-resonant style, for best results. Turn off the incoming power to your on-board converter/charger, or simply unplug the trailer. Plug the battery charger into the shore power, and clip it onto your battery terminals. Then run all loads off of your on-board inverter.

 

This strategy eliminates any short term high amp loads on the 120 volt shore system and instead adds a lower continuous load to simply keep the batteries up. This "low load" will not be enough to overload the shore system, but enough to keep the batteries charged during use. It also eliminates the automatic shutoff caused by low voltage, and potential damage to appliances that can cause. Then any high amp loads can be handled by your inverter, such as a few minutes with the microwave, or running an electric coffee maker. Low 120 volt loads, like charging computers or running the television will be just fine and work as though they were on normal shore power. But it won't work well with an electric heater that might run all night, that is a longer term and higher load.

 

With this idea, you still get the same overall amount of energy you need to your trailer, but you eliminate high amp loading of the park system and instead, spread the load out over time. Space heating should be done with the propane heater and the fridge should be on propane too.


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Would any of the Victron goodies help as well?

 

A Victron MultiPlus, or any other hybrid inverter/charger, would help. But that's a big expense and a lot of work to rewire if it's only a temporary situation.

 

Do they have a 50 amp service? You could try that with an adapter.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I have no inverter now as I planned on getting a multiplus anyways for my lithium battery upgrade. I skipped on the Xantrex as the pricing (from oliver) was about the same as the multiplus from another vendor. From what I see of the multiplus is I could set a current at which it kicks in the inverter to help, but it doesn't appear to do any voltage sensing to determine when to do this on its own? The way I see the cleanest power a phoenix charger to provide constant DC and a phoenix inverter to provide the clean AC to the chassis. This might just move the timing up a bit for Lithium and Victron electrics. I am going to take a power strip, some heaters, and a 30a adapter to test the more sites to see if any are better. The spot we are on is perfect from a privacy/view/location standpoint, but with power issues. The few I tested with the trailer either had the same, or maybe only slightly less worse issues (my guess is undersized cables but shorter runs on the "better" sites).

 

The autoformer, from what I can tell, is a switch with either a direct line or 10% boost transformer. If power goes below 113V, it switches to the 10% boost (bringing Voltage up to 124v at 113, or at the 103 I see with a load back up to 113). This obviously means at least 10% more current. Seems like it'd do the trick, but with unknown efficiency I'm probably limited to ~25A before the breaker trips.

 

I agree the power runs here are likely undersized, since we are starting at 120-124 and dropping from there, I am guessing it is the individual campsite runs that are undersized as all the other campers are already running their space heaters and if whatever main circuit were already sagged, it wouldn't have as much as an impact from a 1500W heater. None of the neighbors anything about low voltage.

 

50A sites are here, but very limited. There'd be some very hurt feelings when fifth wheel owners see a little Ollie on their site. Maybe if I do my 50A conversion they would feel less so?


2019 LE2 #529 expected Sep/Oct 2019


 

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I ordered the autoformer.  About $300 and a bunch of bulk.  It makes the site we are on usable, abut we are still limited to about 2000W of draw before we start dipping below 110V.  The big change is we can actually use the microwave/convection oven now with out getting a low voltage cutoff.  The switch between passthru and 10% boost is pretty quick.  For a fixed site it works fairly well, but I'd like a more mobile/adaptable solution for the long term.  In my research, I've seen a ton of underperforming campgrounds in the summer, so looking at something where I have the ability to use the AC to charger the batteries, with solar help, and use an inverter for clean and proper power to everything else might be the end solution, even if its less efficient than a straight passthrough.

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2019 LE2 #529 expected Sep/Oct 2019


 

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As was stated. the problem is with the parks power feed - the wire size is too small, length from the source ix excessive, as demand increases, voltage drops, at some point nothing helps.  I always check my loads when on shore power - it usually rears its head with the AC. 


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"

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