Friday, December 9, 2011

Camper Modification 3--Hardwired Whole House Surge Guard

With our solar system and generator we don't often need outside electric power, but when it is available or free we like to make use of it.  We travel all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico and are amazed at the number of RV'ers that just do not understand the most simple workings of electricity.  We never connect or dis-connect from power without first turning off the campground breaker, as is shown above.  After testing with our power monitor and determining that all is well, we know it is safe to plug in and our Surge Guard takes over from there.

  Once we plug in, incoming power goes in the top of our Surge Guard and is analyzed for 2 minutes and 15 seconds before it is allowed to enter the RV.  This protects the A/C compressor.  Power is then continually monitored and will be immediately shut off if voltage goes below 102V or above 132V, or open neutral is present.  After another analyzing period, it automatically resets when power is restored. 
Our Surge Guard is on the back wall behind this control panel.  It's built in, light weight, easy to see below the battery tray, and would be hard to remove as no one even knows it's there.

This view below the battery tray shows that line voltage is correct . A lit caution light would warn of a miss-wired pedestal.  High or low voltage would shut the rig off from power and the corresponding lite would be on.

Here is our line monitor inside our rig.  It is easy to see and allows us to keep an eye on things.
 It gives the voltage and other information we like to have, but will not protect the rig from any sudden, harmful changes that do occasionally occur while the rig is hooked up to outside or shore power.  You can be asleep, away from the rig, or right there but you cannot know and unplug the rig ahead of time before these things happen.  That is why you also need the automatic shut-off protection of the Surge Guard.

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